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So yesterday was the big American Idol showdown between Katharine McPhee and Taylor Hicks. We finally learned who would be this year’s winner and who would be returning home as just another anecdote in the annals of pop culture. Every season, Fox throws official viewing parties for the finalists, and since Katharine McPhee’s big bash was being held just a few miles from the TVgasm offices, I knew I had to drop by to take some pictures. Of course, that meant having to suffer the embarrassment of perusing with 7th grade girls all afternoon in the hot sun, but hey, it’s got to be better than eating a P’Eatzza, right? Photos after the jump…
I’m told the party is starting at 3 PM. I arrive at 3:40 — an hour and twenty minutes before the live telecast (5 PM on the West Coast for this party). As you can see, the McPheever Central is out of control!
Ryan Seacrest’s radio station is here at least. So that’s exciting.
There’s a whole big stage set up for performances and whatnot. It’s never used the entire evening.
Some random signage.
The McPhee fans show unbridled enthusiasm!
I like this lady. She’s a real housewife from Orange County who says she actually knows Katharine. Other things she knows: spunk!
I never learned her name. I’ll call her Peg.
Work it, Peg!
It’s now just over an hour until the live telecast. McPheever has taken hold of the Citywalk!
If it’s any consolation, local radio celebrity Valentine is handing out headshots. Consider this day a success!
I have to take pictures of banners because THERE ARE NO PEOPLE.
Yay! More banners!
Valentine rouses up the masses. All three of us.
People start to filter in a little bit. They’re all huddling in the shade though. Did I mention that it’s about 150 degrees out?
Up on the big screen, the producers play the San Francisco tryouts episode — the same episode where Katharine was found. She finally comes on screen for her emotional audition and…
…No one is watching. They’re all looking at Valentine. Poor Kat.
I retreat to Starbucks for a foofy iced blended mocha. The baristas don’t double blend as I request, but somehow I survive.
Finally, some real fans show up. The girl on the left is nuts about Kat. Literally. I’m concerned for her.
Another excited fan!
This guy in the black shows up with a whole bunch of pre-made signs. I really hope and pray that he’s an uncle. Otherwise, that’s just sad. (Says me, lurking around taking photos).
Ten minutes to showtime! I think we almost have twenty people!
Uh-oh! Dissension amongst the ranks! A lone woman hoists up a Soul Patrol sign, making it official: 10% of the party is pro-Taylor!
The cameras are out. Eight minutes to go!
Tamyra Gray takes the stage. Is it wrong that the first thing I notice is how small her breasts are?
One minute until the live show begins. Look at the fans just trying to cram into the party!!!
Tamyra’s a sweet girl. She even smiles for my camera. The unexpected benefit of this: since I’m the first one to ask for a photo, all the little girls and mothers then ask too. Tamyra moves off to the side to take pictures, the girls all follow, and I score a sweet spot in the first row. Awesome! (And lame.)
The shocked crowd suddenly realizes that Taylor has a whole stadium full of fans. Yeah, it’s pretty much over.
Tamyra’s about to go live. Exciting!
Oh how the children love Meat Loaf.
This woman was hilarious. She was standing sort of next to me, and she kept on muttering hostile comments like, “If people think I’m going to move, then they’re WRONG! I am NOT moving! I’ve waited here for THREE HOURS!” RELAX!
“Hahaha. Look at Clay’s dumb hairstyle!”
Dionne Warwick entertains the youth of America.
I really like the grim turn this poster takes. Have McPheever? Then you will DIE!
Tamyra was supposed to come on live a second time. I’m all ready to force my TVgasm.com t-shirt onto TV (since the first time, all I managed to get on screen were my stupid sunglasses).
Awww! The McGrandparents!
Okay… moment of truth…
They’ve waited all season…
Do it for Peg, America. Do it for Peg!
And the winner is….
Taylor Hicks. Wah wah wah.
Hey, what are these two smiling about? Worst McFans EVER!
Awww… The McGrandparents are McSad.
A little girl cries by her mother’s side. If you think I’m being exploitative, that video camera being shoved in her face? That’s Access Hollywood.
And now the stunned fans talk to the McPress.
I think this McSums it all up.