"Number 19, Number 19"
One of the staff members ran into the resting area.
"Number 19, Number 19"
A woman, in her early 40's, with a sticker marked "27" on her chest, stood up.
"I saw her earlier. She went out about 5 minutes ago."
The staff ran out of the room.
I looked at Fanny, the 20th person to compete. Then I look over at David, number 21.
"I have a feeling that we will be separated."
"Damn Number 19."
As expected, the staff couldn't find Number 19. So, Fanny ended up being called into the "competition room."
"He sure looked nervous." I said to David.
"He'll do fine."
"He will. He has that voice of gold."
"But I'm not sure about the song choice though."
"Exactly. I've never heard of that song."
In front of us, Number 23, a girl in her teens, in black tank top, seemed really quiet. Her rose-y cheek and terrifying eyes told us that she was scared.
Next to her, Number 24, a typical stereotyped-looking Asian American Banana boy, was quiet too. He was busy listening to his CD Player.
David's face turned slightly red as well.
For the contestants, this could be the chance to be the next Asian American Idol. (How come there was no Asian version of Ryan Seacrest there? Damn it)
Myself, on the other hand, even though I had the Number 22 sticker on my, I was really part of the "Friends and Family Cheer Leading Squad." And, to fulfill my duty, I started to do weird stuff.
"Hey, Number 23, you seemed nervous."
"I am. Aren’t you nervous?"
"Not really. I'm the cheerleader."
Then I explained to her that I signed up to watch Fanny and David performs.
"What are you going to do when they call you on stage?"
"Sing. Of course. This is a singing contest after all."
"What song are you going to sing?"
I looked at her. I had a feeling that she wanted to know who she will be competing with.
"The Birthday Song." I said. Firmly.
"YOU are KIDDING ME."
"I'm not prepared. I don't sing. I can't sing. The only song that I can remember the lyrics, is the Birthday Song."
She turned to David. "Is he serious?!"
David nodded his head.
To ease the tension for the nervous contestants, I started to crack some jokes.
"See, on the contest poster, it said that they might ask us to do special talent."
Down the hall way, a guy in a black tank top was practicing his brick dance.
"Do you have a special talent?" Number 23 asked.
David: "I don't know. I didn't know much about the contest until now."
"Yeah." I said with confidant.
"What is it?"
"THIS!!" I rubbed clock-wise my tummy with my left hand and pat my head with my right.
Then I reverse really quickly. Rubbed my tummy with my right hand in circles and pat my head with my left. And I didn't break the pattern.
David, Number 23 and 24 cracked up. They laughed.
The registration lady came. "That's not a talent!"
"Yeah, you do it!"
So she started to rub her tummy with her left hand... And pat her head with her right...
She switched, but her pattern was messed up.
Number 24: "See! You can't do it!"
The registration lady laughed. Then a staff member came, and tried to do it... But ended up the same messed up routine. We all laughed.
All of the sudden, number 17 walked out of the room.
Number 23 quickly asked her..."How was it? Did they ask you to sing a 2nd song?"
Number 17, seemed that she didn't noticed Number 23, walked straight down the hallway and disappeared behind the elevator doors.
"She must be crushed." I said.
"If they want to make this show like American Idol, they had to include at least 1 mean bitter-mouth Judge like Simon. And probably a Paula too."
Number 24, stood up. "Yeah. This is going to be hard."
It turned out, Number 23 and 24 have met previous in another singing contest.
Then a camera crew came to us. A lady dressed in light purple, approached us with a microphone.
"Hello Contestants. Care for an interview?"
Number 23 and 24 backed up as if the reporter is covered in maggots. "No, No, No"
It was just David and I, leaning against the wall.
The camera man shined the light on us. The microphone came up to my nose level.
Reporter: "(In Mandarin) Do you think you can meet a lot of friends in going to competitions?"
Wayne: "Sure. I must met Number 23 and 24, and I think we are friends now. I'd be looking forward to see them in the future."
Reporter: "(In Mandarin) What do you think that brought all of you guys here today?"
Wayne: "I'm here to cheer for my friends. For other contestants, maybe the passion for singing. Or that Price Money that I've been drooling for in the last 30 minutes."
Then the Cameraman came up to me. "Hey, I saw you were doing some funny stuff earlier. Want to do that again?"
So I did my tummy rubs, then I started to VOGUE (Yep. VOGUE BABY) and ended with a regular "HI MOM! I hope you don't see me here!!" shout.
After the camera crew left, the rest of us got back in our line, waiting to be called.
"Woof Woof Woof"
David: "What the heck..?"
Sounds of animal came though the wall.
Number 24: "The judges ask the contestants to do voices?"
We continued to joke around, until Fanny walked out of the room.
Face, pale. Eyes, depressed.
He shook his head at David and me.
To be continued...