What It’s Like Being at An American Idol Taping . . . and Watching Adam Lambert Sing!!!


Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be in the audience for one of the American Idol tapings? Well, Glamb Leader Lila Hayes and I were lucky enough to get tickets for the April 14th taping, the one with Adam Lambert singing! I’m still breathing hard and can’t believe our luck!! You all know Lila, she’s my partner in crime for ATA – All Things Adam.

After realizing we were going the day that Adam would be there, we left San Diego bright and early, hoping we’d be in the front of the line. The emailed confirmation says admission is not guaranteed, and that it is for standing room only. We figured maybe they overbook and give out more tickets than they have room for, to guarantee a full house? Maybe that’s the reason they state admission is not guaranteed? I don’t have an official answer, but I have my theory, which will be answered later. Depending on the day you’re attending, you’re told what time to arrive by. We had a 4:15 report time for the 6 PM taping. Being cautious, we arrived at 12:30 PM and the line was already 20 strong, mostly wearing black and leather! We made friends with those standing in front and back of us and found out that people had flown in from all over the country for this show. We knew the amount of people in front of us could increase if not everyone in their parties were present. When you register for tickets and you get your response email, you have a choice of 3 links to click on for tickets. The Tuesday Dress Rehearsal, Tuesday Live Performance Show or Wednesday Live Results Show. If you’ve responded to that email quickly enough (about an hour maximum response time!), you’ll be able to then select the number in your party, up to 4. The day of the show, all people in your party must be present to enter – no late arrivals. By 4 PM, the line had grown to about 100.

At our 4:15 PM entrance time, we were led to two sitting areas just outside the studio entrance door, for about 45 minutes. We had to turn in our cameras, cell phones and iPods to the security team, so we’ve got no pictures to share with you, only memories. We were given fabric stickers with the Idol logo and were told to put them below our waist, so they wouldn’t be seen on camera. We saw the cute young girls had a “G” marked on their stickers by the “evaluators.” We were sure they would be the ones in the mosh pits to the sides of the judges. At this time, we also saw a large number of people who had actual hard tickets, not just emails like the rest of us had. Hmmmm. I went up to a couple of these ticket holders and asked how they got their tickets. It turned out they were the “friends of Fox and friends of the sponsors.” It was amazing how many of them there were! They were brought into the studio first, which only left about 40 of us. We were now not feeling so certain about getting in. I think this is why they say admission not guaranteed. Maybe they have no idea how many “friends” are showing up?? I was now convinced our early arrival was the only way to go.

After we gained entrance to the studio, Lila and I looked around quickly to try and find a great seat. The studio is filled with seats so I have no idea why the email says “standing room only?” Luckily someone was saying “ladies, come this way.” We weren’t sure if they were talking to us or the ones in front of us, but once we saw that they were being directed to the standing mosh pit, we jumped alongside of them. Lila and I looked at each other with our eyes wide open saying “do we want to be standing here or sitting down?” Very strange considering she and I had just returned a few days earlier from Phoenix, where we went for our second Muse concert. (For Muse, we will only consider having the standing floor tickets. We had been at the Las Vegas concert a few months earlier and all the jumping with the crowd that was smashed up against us had us fearing for our safety, but it was a high like no other!) Sorry, I’m off subject! We quickly saw that only the high side seats were open, so of course we now became 20 years younger in our minds, glued ourselves to the floor and hugged each other, not believing our incredible good fortune. The 20-something girls were in the front and luckily they were short! We were about 3 rows behind them. We were on the Randy Jackson side of the stage, about 10 feet away from where the contestants would be sitting! OMG!!! Forget the contestants, we couldn’t believe we’d be seeing Adam from there too!!! I made it a point to start taking everything in and commit it to picture memory. Everything we’ve been seeing at home from our couches for 9 years now. The red contestant seats, the judges table and chairs, the American Idol signs up in the air, the stairs where Adam strutted down singing Feeling Good! OMG – I couldn’t believe how lucky we were.

Quickly everything started happening. The lights went down, the familiar music started, our hearts started beating harder, and then we heard Ryan with his introduction. You know, the famous one that ends “this . . . is American Idol!” The lights came up and he was walking down those stairs that Adam owns now, and introduced all four judges. You know, you all watched the show. Now I have absolutely no allegiance to anyone on the show this year. In fact, last year I vowed that I wouldn’t pick up the phone once this year. And I’m certainly not getting another AT&T Go Phone, like I did for the final month of voting last season. I’m sure it’s the same for many of you. We’ve all said that we knew from this point last year that Idol would never be the same. Adam has ruined it! No one will ever come close to having his talent, looks and charisma. You know – the “It” factor. Even Adam said it during his brilliant mentoring sessions. The contestants need to wake up! But somehow, being only a few feet away from the remaining 9, I started to see more in them. Being that close, they became real people. They have real emotions, real feelings, and are all nervous, trying to establish themselves in show business. I could see subtle changes in their facial expressions and how they carried themselves as they listened to comments about them and while they endured the results.

During the commercials, we were able to talk with the judges and the contestants. A day before the taping, I had an email that Tim Urban was following me on Twitter. So, Tim was on the seat closest to our mosh pit, only about 5 feet away. I called to him, and he immediately looked at me and stood up and came over to talk with me. I told him I had just gotten an email saying he was following me on Twitter, and he broke into a big “Tim Urban smile.” He told me they had taken all of their Twitter accounts away and someone is impersonating him. I told him I had read about them not using their own Twitter accounts and I wasn’t surprised, but that I just thought it was funny! He gave me a big smile and I wished him luck, and he’s now become a favorite of mine. I know he doesn’t sing as well as Crystal or Lee or Big Mike or Casey . . . but heck, he smiled at me!!!

Watching Aaron walk on stage to get his verdict, I thought he didn’t look well. Even with all the makeup, he still seemed pale. When he was declared “safe” and went back to the contestants area, he looked no better. During the next commercial, Lee was sitting in the closest seat so I called to him and asked if Aaron was okay. He turned around to look at him, and then he turned back to me and said “he’s nervous.” Wow, to still be so affected even after he was “safe.” His youth started shooting out at this point, and I thought about my son who was his age only a few years ago. Instead of a polished performer who put himself out there to be judged, in my mind he then became as close as a “neighbor’s son” – someone you looked after when your friend needed help. I guess what I’m trying to say is I won’t be so judgmental with my comments about this year’s gang. Even though, in my eyes they will professionally never be as good as Adam, they became real that afternoon.

Okay, now I’m going to try to describe what happened next; the reason so many of us were there. During the break, they brought out the microphone stands, keyboards and drums and Monte, Longineu and Tommy came out. Tommy walked over to our side and waved. I’m sure Camilla was there, but we couldn’t see her on the other side. The lights went down, Ryan started talking, and we started screaming. It was obvious how much of the audience was there strictly because of whom else was there that day! The fog started to fill the entire stage and the cone light began beaming down. The music began. The light shone upon Adam’s face and he looked so incredibly magical singing from within the lace print of the fog and lights. Oh that voice. It was perfect, perfect, perfect. Here I was, seeing Adam sing Whattaya Want From Me for the third time in four months. And no two times were ever the same. Lila and I were at the Leno taping in December, Fantasy Springs in February, and now Idol. I have to say, this was my favorite version! Then the strength of the song broke out and the lasers started. You could see the joy in his eyes. He was so into the emotion of the song, careful not to betray his commitment with a smile. He came over to our side and kneeled down with his hand out. Just like when he sang Black or White last year and went to the mosh pit, put his hand out and laughed while he was singing. I wonder if he was thinking about that too? I’ve read comments from him about how great it was to be back on the same stage, like he was home. I wondered if he was reliving any of his past moments on stage? Then he started singing “thanks for loving me” and he smiled so genuinely, knowing he was thanking everyone present for helping him realize his dreams. He ended the song with such a dramatic note, that I wondered if he did it purposely to slam Simon with it! It makes you wonder, why is it okay for an established singer to use the lights, fog and lasers, but not a contestant trying to show they’re the one to pick for stardom?

My only wish was that after singing, the judges would give their comments on him! Oh to hear them rave about him would have made it full circle for so many of us, Adam included! But I’m sure Simon would have said something about the fog and lasers! In fact, when the show was over, Simon walked in front of our mosh pit on his way out, and he shook hands and spoke briefly with several people. Not being shy, I called out “Simon, what did you think of Adam’s performance?” He looked at me and said he “thought it was great. But I couldn’t see it with all the fog.” I added, “not too theatrical for you?” He laughed.

As an added bonus, we were held in the studio for two more hours after the show was over. They had to film some sequences that they’ll be showing on the Idol Gives Back show this week. There’s a part where Russell Brand and Jonah Hill will be at the phone banks, talking to Ryan about the celebrities they have answering phones and taking donations. Well, they’re comments were pre-filmed, so Ryan had to insert his part in the conversation. This took many starts and stops, leaving Ryan turning to us and taking questions and making wisecracks, filling the gaps of time. I love Ryan! He is such an accomplished professional and does such a great job. This began about 30 minutes after the show taping ended. Did you notice in the filmed interview with Adam “the next day” on Ryan’s radio show, that they’re wearing the same clothes as on the show? Ryan with his shirt and tie, and Adam in that incredible silver jacket, tie and “let me stare at your beautiful face” make up? We now think during this 30 minute gap, they were doing the interview. Then they started tearing down the stage, and Ryan thanked us for hanging around, saying they had one more bit they needed to do that our presence was required for. After the stage was set, Lady Antebellum came out and performed a full rehearsal and 2 full performance versions of their hit, Need You Now. This was indeed a very lucky day!
As soon as I submitted this, I checked my email and there was something from Idol Gives Back. It seems they didn’t sell enough seats, and are giving out tickets for tomorrow’s performance! You have to have the special code to get these tickets, and it’s nontransferrable or I’d include it here for you westerners!

So Lila and I are hitting the road again, sooner than we thought. They say it may be a seat filler, so you may not sit with your group, and may have to move a few times. But then they say many times you see the whole show from the same seat. When I went online to look for tickets yesterday, there were a lot of seats available in the orchestra section. They were asking $200 for them. In this economy, that obviously isn’t flying! Maybe Adam will be there afterall, since the ash kept him from flying to the U.K. and scheduled performers can’t fly here?! I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed!

We finally left the studio at 9 PM, starving. Lila and I had a great dinner at The Cheesecake Factory, still bubbling about our great fortune. We never stopped talking about it for the 3 hour drive home. After watching our DVRs closely the next day to see any glimpses of ourselves on camera to prove we were there, we have to say you’ll just have to take our word for it! I think I saw myself from the back for 3 seconds, jumping up and down clapping for Adam after he finished singing. And I did see 2 seconds of Lila’s right arm in her cool bronze-colored jacket!

If we find out that Adam is going to be on Idol again, I’m sure we’ll be in our car, bright and early again, ready for another great adventure!

~ Lila, Glamb #3 and Carol, Glamb # 7 ~

About Carol

I started writing on this site back in May 2009, not knowing what I was in for or where it would take me. I had no idea of the joy and personal satisfaction I'd find here. I never dreamed that I'd get to meet Adam, but that dream came true! The bonus of becoming such great friends with Lila and the other fans is what keeps me going. Music gets me though every day. In addition to Adam, I love Muse, Linkin Park, 80s and finding newer bands and supporting them by attending everything that's within 350 miles. With Adam, the boundaries are farther! Thanks for joining us on this ride! :)


  1. ellen #447 says:

    Lila and Carol Great Story! I want to move to California ! Thanks for all the details, almost like we were there with you. Hope Adam is performing in the finale and you have another awesome adventure !

    • I did see a blond in the mush pit……..I was thinking oh not just the teeny boppers down there……was that one of you?

  2. DEE #458 says:

    LILA AND CAROL….What a great recap of your ADAM Adventure….you girls are soooooo lucky…an experience you will never forget. I also went to his Indio Concert and lucky enough to the Leno Show too….memories I will never forget! ADAM IS A GEM….A DIAMOND….A BIG SPARKLING DIAMOND !!!

    • Lila - glamb #3 says:

      We’re so lucky to live in Southern California where so much of this stuff takes place! I’m just glad I found Carol to share it with and you all to talk to about it! It wouldn’t be nearly as fun without all of this!

  3. Mary-Ellen #444 says:

    Thank you thank you for sharing your experiences! I really could almost feel I was there! You are super observant and all of us appreciate your writing! Here’s hoping you both do indeed have some more super adventures of the Adam kind to share with us! (I’m hoping to hit at least one East Coast tour stop for my own Adam Adventure! ) Thanks again!

  4. Victoria Fonseca says:

    I was smiling the entire time reading your story. I too was at Fantasy Springs and then went on to Jay Leno. I was speechless watching Adam’s performance at home, I am uncertain if I could have handled your fortunate experience without acting the fool!! lol I live in Texas so no hope on Idol tapings BUT Adam did say something about being back for the finale! Gas up the car gals!

    Does anyone know if Glam Nation schedule is complete? Looks like I will have to try to travel to CT to see him on the tour – I see no mention of Dallas at all…….:(

    Glambert #4113

    • Lila - glamb #3 says:

      I hope it’s not complete! He’s left a lot of big holes across the country!

  5. Madeline says:

    Thanks for this view from the inside. Just knowing you are in the same room is exciting.

  6. Peggy Glamb #543 says:

    Wonderful writing and adventure girls….I feel that I will be very lucky in June as I live in the midwest and presuming we get tickets I know we got the 3rd to last room in Mahnomen, my daughters and I plan on going to Council Bluffs, Mahnomen, Mn and Mystic Lake, Mn….Can’t wait hardly but will have to….

  7. TexasGal says:

    Victoria, I live in Dallas too! I’m still hopeful that a stop somewhere in our area will be announced – there are alot of Glambs down here! And Carol & Lila, thanks so much for sharing your amazing experience with us. I think I would melt if I got to do what you girls did (mosh pit??? Leno??? Fantasy Springs???) As wonderful as Adam sounded and looked on TV, I can only imagine how wonderful it was seeing this “coming home” performance in person. And way to go, asking Simon what he thought? You go, girl!

  8. Lila and Carol, great story! i enjoyed reading your adventure because it reminded me of mine last year. i was lucky to get idol tickets last year. i too went to the studio and had amazing seats! i was in the first row, next to the mosh pit, but on simon’s side. i couldn’t believe that the seats were so good and i was going to see adam up close performing! unfortunately , that was the day where there were bizarre accidents on set for the rehearsal and they were running late, so they had to cancel the dress rehearsal and proceed with bringing the other audience in for the live show. i was disappointed not to be able to see adam perform that day. however , i was able to get tickets to the first day of the finale where adam sang 3 songs. that voice sounded so beautiful although the seats weren’t as good as the small studio.

    i really want to attend one of his concerts this summer! but i need to find another glambert to come with me. i’m planning to go to the Pacific Amphitheater in Costa Mesa, CA.

    • Hey Azita where do you live?

      • in irvine, ca!

        • Azita,
          I’m from Irvine too, but now I’m in San Diego. Graduated from Uni High! My dad is a retired prof from UCI and still lives in the faculty housing neighborhood. My aunt and uncle and cousin are still in Irvine too! I wasn’t able to get tix on Wednesday for Adam, but I’ll die trying!! Did you get tickets? Don’t worry about finding someone – we’ll all meet up there!

          Carol Glamb #7

        • Hi Azita,
          I’m from Irvine too, but now I’m in San Diego. Graduated from Uni High! My dad is a retired prof from UCI and still lives in the faculty housing neighborhood. My aunt and uncle and cousin are still in Irvine too! My girlfriend got 4 tix for our group. We’re trying for better tix still though. Did you get tickets? Don’t worry if you can’t find someone – we’ll all meet up there!

          Carol Glamb #7

          • Carol (and other Glambs!) add me on facebook. my name is Azita Mahmoudian.

            • Okay, but I’ll be honest with you, I rarely use Facebook!

              • Azita,
                I just did a fb search with your name, and it didn’t come up. Only something called CandlesByVictoria. Send me an invite – Carol Hagey.


  9. Wow!!!! Thank you soooo much for sharing! I was just in tears while reading it. I ask myself why I get so emotional when I see him perform or hear about poeple’s experiences but I am just so happy for Adam! I am so happy for both of you as well!

    I was also at Fantasy Springs as well as Leno and it was just so surreal. I live in OK so I don’t get to see him too often. I have a very special project so dear to my heart that everyone must see on my website. It is an amazing photo album that is unlike any other in the world! It has a stainless steel cover and I designed it with over 200 images of Adam and it was made in Italy. You can see it on my website as well as pictures that I took of the FS concert. Let me know what you guys think by emailing me! Go to http://www.capturedimages.info and look in the galleries under the musician section.

    • Beautiful collection of pictures!!

    • Really wanted to see your pics, when i clicked on iy all I got was a dark page with what looked like leaves on it? Dont know why, sad!

    • Dianne Hill says:

      Dannielm, this book is absolutely amazing, thank you so much for sharing it with us. I have seen your book before when you first told us about it, but those pictures of Adam at Fantasy Springs are just awesome.

      What an absolutely amazing man Adam is, when just looking at the pictures of him performing on the Idol tour or at FS, he is incredible, he transports you to a whole other place, and I get that from just looking at his pictures. To watch and hear him takes you to another level again. I haven’t seen Adam live – yet. I am so hoping and praying that he will be coming to New Zealand on his world tour, once he has finished touring America. I can’t wait to see him live, though I am not too sure I would survive the experience, but what a way to go LOL.

      Thanks again Dannielm this book is just amazing.

  10. Libraglam says:

    Woah !! Great story ! Love to read about seeing ADAM !! Thank you so much !!!

  11. Is Adam still here in the US? I have heard he might show up for Idol Gives Back if he is. I have heard the earliest he could fly over there is Thursday. Any truth to any of this?

  12. ElianeBrasil #577 says:

    Oi meninas / Hi girls
    I don’t type for a long time here but everyday I sow this site. I continuous part of this family .
    I share this happyness with you………..
    Reding your words I feel being with you at show. I watched the AI this week here, Brasil, but I feel all energy from you being there.
    It’s so grateful for yor informations.
    Beijos / kisses (Sorry My English), you know)

  13. EternalGlamNation says:

    Thanks so much for posting about your amazing experience. How lucky you both are!

    I’ve not been lucky enough to see the Glamster in person yet, but I’m hoping for a tour stop in Memphis this summer.

    Thanks for sharing!

  14. What a great time you had and thanks for sharing it. My gosh you did a lot of typing. How cool Adam and Lady Antellbomb or whatever…..very nice.

  15. ianaleah says:

    Lovey to read, I thank you too. Adam is a dream. I ,also, do not vote this year. And.I realize now that what a real fan is, a fan.atic -because I have never ever been so caring,supportive,protective, about any other artist in my life as I am about Adam.
    I saw him at Fantasy Springs, and it was a 3 hours drive,in rain, with a sore right ankle. And I don’t like driving,esp in rain, and it was only for Adam, gosh, I wouldn’t do that for even a relative,I’d cancel the tripl. Sigh.

  16. Libraglam says:

    YAY !! the Adam lambert Official site just sent me the ticket code for early tickets OC Costa Mesa , CA. ! Register to the official site , you will get the code via email immediately !! HURRY up ! Only Orchestra is the closest availble i can get ! Darn !!

  17. Tickets for 3 of the concerts went on sale at 10 AM this morning.
    People who have signed up as members on Adamofficial should
    receive an e mail with this info. Can’t remember which ones and I have
    to rush to work..agh…

    • ok, the 3 concerts are 6/5 – Sayreville NJ
      6/10 Council Bluffs IA
      and 7/28 Costa Mesa CA
      (maybe everyone already knows this already…)

      I tried to purchase a ticket for the California concert just
      to see what would happen (with the code) and couldn’t get
      any. Would they be sold out already??!!

      • I tried to purchase tickets to this costa mesa concert as well, and it didn’t work, huge bummer!! I’d like to know what’s up?

        • Libraglam says:


          I just tried to access that ticket site , it is still working, so far only tickets at the Terrace area are avail (furthest area) just $19.50/ticket , but i heard they have realy big screen . It is tricky to get ticket. If you enter the price and any availble best seat, it won’t get for you . you have to enter specifically the SECTION area you want and it has to match (That is very stupid, how the hell we know which level is what price, so if you enter incorrectly it won’t match and will tell you that they could not find any). It took me several times to figure out what the hell is going on ) Here are some tips:

          1. Go to adam lambert ticketmaster : http://tinyurl.com/y3bakyh
          2. Choose “Fan Club Presale”, enter num tickets and ticket price
          + GLAM2010 code + SECTION,
          3. If you choose “$19.50” (after entering number of tickets)
          remember toenter code “GLAM2010” AND you must
          select SECTION “Terrace area”. Without section ==> will not work.
          It won’t select for you.
          4. If you choose $29.50″ (with num tickets, glamcode) then
          you must select “Orchestra level )
          However, I think Orchestra level tickets all sold out , i even tried to get 1 tix
          but none left. HEY, I did see Terrace Level still available. Give a try !!! Tickets are so cheap, i think because it is outdoor but i also heard the sound system is really really good. It is the only summer concert in S. CA , have no other choice ! Better than nothing
          good luck

  18. From Adam,s twitter looks like he is finally on his way to the UK after being held up because of the volcanoe ash.



  21. I miss watching Adam dance, because he’s such a good dancer. Hope he dance with his songs like FEVER. I love that ATA – All Things Adam. And we fans can also have another name aside from GLAMS and GLAMBERTS. We are ADAM’s APPLES. Ha – ha – ha! Just kidding. But who wouldn’t want to be the apple of his eyes ?

  22. Great article ladies! Thanks so much for sharing…..i almost felt like i was there with you!! You are both so damn lucky….i’m totally jealous!!! I think that was one of my favorite “Adam” performances!!

  23. i just read the news that adam had 100k downloads after guesting on AI. with the total of 964t. wow! thats great. i assume one of his songs in the future from the album will be the biggest.WWFM did not really justify adams talent.hope sleepwalker, surefire winners or a loaded smile is a haunting ballad. i wish all songs will do best.

  24. Glambertgirl1 says:

    You are really lucky. I was on the waiting list but never got a notification. So wanted to be there

  25. Debbie Glam# 2473 says:

    thx for sharing your adam gladventure, was wondering cause couldnt tell on tv but did the whole audience give him an standing ovation???

    • Debbie,
      Sorry, but we didn’t take our eyes off of him to turn around and look. And it was so dark and smoky/foggy in there, I don’t know if we could have seen the audience anyhow. But seeing how many people were dressed in black that day, I have a feeling a huge part of the audience was their for him, so yes, they were probably on their feet the whole time!


  26. Thank you for sharing, it’s nice to know what goes on behind the scenes!

  27. Glamb #470 says:

    I am SO Jealous- What a great review and thank you for sharing.

  28. Thanks so much for sharing; sometimes words are worth a 1000 pictures!! I feel so blessed that I also have had the opportunity to see Adam live 3 times in the last 3 months; Fantasy Springs, Jay Leno and River Rock in Vancouver and each show was better than the next. He just keeps changing it up and gets better and better with every note that comes out of his mouth. His performance on Idol was really something to admire; a true professional in every sense of the word. You were so lucky to be able to see that live. I admire the tenacity of you girls!! Hopefully they will be announcing more tour dates on the west coast hopefully Seattle or even better Vancouver again. Who knows….Vancouver is a possibility as they are on their way back to the UK again after only a short time. Since two shows sold out here in 3 minutes each its a possibility. Thanks so much for your commentary! It was almost as good as being there. Hope you girls are doing great!! By the way, did you get a chance to see my pics with Tommy and Monte from the River Rock? We had a great time with them after the show when they came down to the lounge. If you didn’t see them let me know and I’ll send them to you.

  29. Dalene says:

    Thank you so much for your info on what times to arrive!! i am supposed to be going to the results show tomorrow and i have NO clue when i should get there! This helped me decide! Wish me luck on getting in!

  30. Love your first person account of the Idol taping. Gives the rest of us a really personal connection even tho we can’t be there.


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