I've watched American Idol since halfway through Season One. Each time as they've gotten down to the final 3, I have enjoyed watching the contestants go to their hometowns for a day of encouragement and celebration. I had always thought how amazingly cool it would be to get to go see one of the Idols on their hometown trip. Today that thought became a reality.
This season, Kris Allen is the hometown Idol from Conway, Arkansas, which is a very short distance from where I live. And today was the day he came home. My friend Karon and I have been watching Idol together almost every week this season, so we decided to go see Kris today. We turned back the mental clocks to when we were 16 years old, and headed to downtown Little Rock for Kris' first concert appearance. I was totally giddy...and so was Karon. We squealed and cheered and screamed and had a blast.
And as for Kris? He was AMAZING!!! You think he's good on American Idol? Well guess what? He's SO MUCH BETTER live! I took some videos of him performing. I don't want to take the time and space to post them here right now. Tomorrow I'll finish uploading them to Youtube, and I'll post another blog with the links.
I did not want to lug my big camera downtown in the crowds, so I took my little point and shoot. Big mistake. None of my pictures of Kris came out. Here are the few I got at the concert.
Waiting with Karon for the concert to start
Quite the crowd at the Riverfront Amphitheater
I loved this sign! Ha ha Simon!
My honey came too!
I don't know this little girl, but she was really cute, and totally into it
Screaming for Kris: today's preferred activity. If you look closely, you can see him on the stage between Karon's head and mine!
Later in the day, I decided to join my friend Stephanie, and we drove to Conway for another Kris appearance. It was completely different from the morning performance in Little Rock. Conway was a madhouse. While there were 10,000 people in a wide-open space in Little Rock, there were 18,000 packed like sardines in a small area for the Conway performance. We stood, all jammed in together, from 4:30 until 6, in the hot sun, waiting for Kris to arrive and perform. Everyone was antsy and a bit grouchy. But then Kris' brother Daniel got up on stage and told about his American Idol journey with Kris.
Did you know that Kris and Daniel were late to the auditions, and the registration table had closed? They were told it was too late and to head home. And then, by some "coincidence," the table reopened...and Kris, Daniel, and their friend that was with them were the last 3 contestants allowed to register at the Louisville audition. They waited 17 hours, and Kris was the last to perform. Daniel was obviously so proud of Kris! He did a great job introducing Kris, and the performance began. Kris was even better tonight than he was this morning! Another awesome highlight from tonight was a short talk by Kris' pastor. He spoke on the importance of humility. Then he got to pray...this amazing prayer thanking God for Kris' gifts, his humility, and the example he is to so many people. It was incredible! What a platform! All around me people were bowing their heads and praying along, and the whole crowd screamed "AMEN!" at the conclusion of the prayer. I Heart Arkansas!
Here are some cool pics from the Conway performance tonight. This time I brought the SLR, and I was thanking God for my big lens. =) Check back tomorrow for links to the videos. Oh...and vote for Kris. Not only is he A-M-A-Z-I-N-G, he is the type of person we want representing America. He is the real deal...the stuff role models are made of. The right kind of role model.
One of MANY signs welcoming Kris home
Arkansan pride in our American Idol
Flags flying over the park in Conway where Kris performed
Daniel Allen introduces his brother Kris Allen to the crowd in Conway
Can you stand that sweet face? He was so blown away at the volume of people who turned out to support him!
The proclamation of Official Kris Allen Day in Conway and Faulkner County
Kris performs "Man in the Mirror" as his first song for the Conway crowd
I saved the best for last: my favorite shot of the day!