"Hi! How are you doing tonight?" I asked the first contestant of the night, Sky, giving her a side hug.
"I'm doing fantastic! I can't believe that I'm standing here at the finale of American Idol, talking to you. It's all so surreal," She looked around us, her eyes filled with wonder.
"What has this entire journey been like for you?"
"It has been growing experience that's for sure. I've been able to meet so many cool people out here and do so many things I never would've been able to experience. And these people that have been through it with me will be friends for life absolutely!"
"I can imagine! Well, you look fabulous! Have a great time tonight," I added. She smiled, thanked me and the red carpet coordinator helped her down to head inside.
Pretty soon, I had a line waiting to see me. I talked to the judges, a few more contestants, and a few of the American Idol alum from past seasons.
"Next up is Carter Danon..." Sheila announced, and I flipped to his page in my notes to review what I had written down.
A few minutes later he walked up. He was a lot taller and a even better looking than I thought he would be. Normally, I wasn't into guys like him. He had a two tone mohawk and dressed a little more on the punk rock side.
"Hi Carter, it's nice to meet you," I stuck out my hand and he shook it firmly.
"So nice to meet you too! You look great by the way," No one else had commented on that, and we were almost finished. "Thank you! You look pretty dapper as well."
"Thank YOU," he smiled and chuckled to himself.
"Now, a lot of people thought you would be in the top two tonight..what are your thoughts on leaving the competition so early?"
"At the time I regretted doing the song choice, but now I realize that it was just my time to go. God had other plans in mind."
"Absolutely, everything happens for a reason. Your faith is a big part of why you do what you do...if this Hollywood career doesn't work out like you want it to, would you like to get involved in ministry?"
"I think I would probably go down that route, but honestly it just depends on where God calls me," he shrugged, "At this point I'm open to anything."
"God definitely has incredible plans for you whatever they may be!"
"Thank you! I appreciate that."
"One last question before you go, because I know you need to get inside pretty soon..."
"Oh, no rush!" He stood there, like he didn't have a care in the world.
"What was your favorite performance of yours from this season?"
"Hands down, Dare You To Move . It's one of my favorite songs of all time and I had really wanted to be able to perform that one! Being able to do that was a dream come true."
"Well, you did such a fantastic job with it. I loved that you were really worshiping up there; it wasn't just a performance."
"And that was my goal. I want people to see that I'm not doing it just for the sake of doing it or to get the emotions of America. I'm doing it because it's in my heart.We're all here for something so much bigger than ourselves and it's up to us to do something about it."
"I think that's the perfect way to end our interview," I smiled at him, "Thank you so much for stopping by."
He walked down from the platform we had been standing on, and I wrapped up the segment. "That's all I have for you right now. But, on the bright side this is just night one of all the American Idol festivities. We'll back again tomorrow night to announce the winner and more coverage from all of your favorite contestants! Stay tuned," I smiled and nodded to the camera as the red light flashed off.
"That's a wrap," Sheila started packing up her camera gear, "Fantastic job!" she gushed with a huge smile on her face.
"Thank you! You seem really happy," I noticed.
"You totally just met him..."She stated, as if I was supposed to know what she was talking about.
"Him? Who's him?" I asked puzzled.
"Your future husband! It's that guy right there; Carter Danon! I don't know how I didn't see it before. You guys would be perfect for each other."
"Oh c'mon," I put my ipad in my Coach bag, and pulled out my phone. I had all kinds of tweets and missed phone call alerts on the screen.
"Did you not see the way he was looking at you?"
"That doesn't mean we're going to get married...maybe he thought I was pretty or maybe he's just really excited to be here. I have no idea! And he probably didn't even think that. You're crazy. Did you forget that we are at the American Idol finale?"
"No, I did not forget that...but, you wrapped up the segment and he's been waiting down there, glancing up at you every few seconds. Just watch," she nodded towards Carter.
"Fine," I continued to act like I was talking to her, watching Carter out of the corner of my eye.
Sure enough, about ten seconds after, Carter nodded my way and smiled. I politely waved back.
"That still doesn't mean anything," I shrugged nonchalantly to Sheila. I had finished packing up and helped her put a few camera chords away.
"Alright, but I'm telling you one of these days you'll believe me when I come up with some crazy brained scheme, such as this one."
"Right," It went in one ear and out the other, "I'm gonna start heading inside," I told her.
"You just want to talk to Carter, and that's completely fine!"
"Shut up!" I shook my head at her, and walked down the steps.
"Hey!" Carter nodded to me as I walked by. "I really enjoyed our interview!"
"Me too," And that was the truth. I had felt more relaxed with him, "I feel like we really have a lot in common."
"Okay, so I wasn't just imagining that connection back there?"
"Apparently not! My friend that was running the camera keeps sa- keeps giving me a hard time about you," I rolled my eyes. I had started to go into detail with more of her crazy ideas, but decided it was best not to open that can of worms quite yet.
"I've been getting all kinds of tweets about you saying we'd be the cutest couple. Apparently people thought we'd known each other awhile."
I pulled out my phone quickly, and read a few tweets I had gotten while filming.
*Oh my gosh! Are you guys dating?
*They are so adorable together.
*I was really hoping he would win, but if nothing else maybe he'll get a date out of it
I laughed out loud...literally. "It looks like you're not the only one who got those!" I showed him the screen, scrolling down to all of the different comments I had received.
I looked down at my phone again and saw there were a few texts from friends and family.
"I think you should get that guy's number! He is a CUTIE AND A CHRISTIAN...Winning? Uh yeah!" my best friend, Miranda had sent me.
"You two totally clicked! Maybe you should get to know him a little more. Love you and have fun~mom," yeah that was from my mom. I felt my cheeks warm up.
"And there ya go..." I shrugged, not sure of what else to say.
"Yeah...."He just smiled, "So are you from around here?"
"No, I'm actually living in San Francisco! I'm just here for the next week and a half covering this and a few more things that The Chronicle comes up with."
"Oh, that's awesome! I've never been to San Francisco but it always looks beautiful from the pictures."
"It's home! I can't imagine myself living anywhere else. I'm originally from Texas, though."
"Do you travel a lot with work?"He looked at me sincerely. It was like he really cared, he wasn't just being polite or trying to make conversation. I had been with a lot of celebrities to know when someone was being fake, and that was a good portion of the interviews I covered.
"Quite a bit, but mainly just to LA and New York or where most of the big events take place."
"I'm sure you enjoy that! You're such a natural with what you do."
"Thank you so much! It definitely had its moments of being tough. When I was engaged, it was really hard on my fiance..."
"Oh, so you're married?"
"No, thank goodness! That's a long story...How about we save that one for another time?"
"That sounds great!" he smiled, and just when I was about to see what his plans were for the rest of the time being, someone stepped in to pull him away.
"You're needed inside, Carter," the woman in black with a headset tugged at his elbow, pulling him towards the entrance.
"Oh, right..." He had lost track of time. He looked at me, "Stacey, right?"
"Yeah?" I smiled in an obvious way.
"I'll find you on Twitter or something. Maybe we can keep talking."
"I'd like that," and I really meant it.
"Totally your future husband," Sheila said watching everything as it happened. I could see Carter pulling out his phone as his figure wandered off in the distance down the red carpet.
"Shut up!" She had finished packing everything up, so we headed inside.
We walked inside the Nokia Theater and found our seats. The show started taping on time, seeing as it was live, and we were out within an hour. The two final contestants, Ashley and Paul performed three songs a piece. They both had music in their blood from the time they were born, and had a lot of experience. It was going to be an extremely close race with these two. Everyone I asked on the red carpet had a different answer, so it would be interesting to see who went home with the title and the million dollars.
I was able to chat with several celebrities I had interviewed previously like, Tim Allen, Jennifer Lopez, Steven Tyler, and Jennie Garth after the show ended, and they gave me a short piece about their review of the show that I could use for my blog review. I couldn't believe how chaotic the crowds were and how tension was running extremely high, especially with the crew. There was still so much to be done before tomorrow night's big result show. It was an absolute zoo just trying to make our way out of the theater.
"There's your lover boy," Sheila teased, and I could see the tips of his mohawk.
"That's nice, but he is not mine. So we had a nice talk..big deal, Sheila."
"You're afraid of getting hurt again," she got me.
I bit my lower lip, nervously. I knew she was right, because I had just almost admitted it to her in the room just last night. I was afraid of needing someone to only have them let me down in the end, especially some rock star that was known across America.
"You're right, I am. So, I'll gain a friend out of it, but honestly I don't want anything more. It's just too soon."
"What if it's not?, and this is what God has had planned for you. Don't just write it off like this isn't what you've had in mind, because it probably isn't. What if it's so much better than that?"
"When did this just become an episode of One Tree Hill? You're getting extremely deep on me," I laughed and kept walking.
"Carter's heading over this way, he sees us!"
"Well, you can stay and talk to him if you want to so badly. I'm going back to the room."
I knew Sheila was growing more frustrated with me as the seconds passed. She didn't want to, but she followed behind me as we walked back to the hotel.
"You know, you can't ignore me forever," she finally said as we walked into the lobby. There were a lot of people that had just come from next door and were chatting.
"We do still have another week and a half here...it would be hard to do that in silence," I joked.
"I'm only doing this because I love you. I know you've been hurt and I know things didn't work out with whatshisface, but you have to move on. It didn't work out for a reason, he wasn't the one for a reason...and maybe that reason is because there's someone better out here or somewhere."
"It's just hard. You know how much I hate change. I get comfortable in my little rut; I get my routine's down and I stick to them. Why change a good thing?"
"Because maybe you'll find something better..."
"I guess we're just going to keep going around and around..."
"Look at it this way...When you and I met we were strangers, right?"
"Right..." I said, listening closer to where she was going to take the rest of this.
"Okay, so we started out as strangers and I'm sure you didn't want to let me in. But, you did eventually, and look where we are today. We're the best of friends. I know I can't imagine my life without you, and you can try to deny it all you want, but good or bad you know you can't imagine me not being in your life either."
BAM! Right where it hurts. I just got a big dose of reality, and there was no way around it.
"Stop being practical and let God do His thing. Maybe Carter's not gonna be anything more than another follower on Twitter or someone that you can add to your list of celebrities you've interviewed. But, maybe this will be your wake-up call to moving on."
"Maybe I'll give it a chance, but please just stop pushing it on me..."
"Deal!" Sheila squealed and threw her arms around me, giving me a hug.
Later that night, as I lay in bed staring at the ceiling, I decided to pull my Blackberry Curve out. I went through some e-mails and replied back to texts that I hadn't had a chance to earlier. A tweet flashed up on my screen just a minute or so later.
"It was really nice meeting you tonight :-) Tried to catch you after the show, but u had already left ~CD~," It was from Carter. My heart did this weird flip flop. I just ignored it. It was way too soon to start getting attached to a guy I didn't even know.
I decided it would only be polite to respond the gesture of following him and replying back. "It was really nice meeting you too! Hope 2 c u 2morrow :-)~SR~" I decided it would be best to turn off my phone, so I did. Turning over on my side, I said a prayer, asking God for guidance on what to do next, because right now I wanted to hide in a corner or stay in my bed the rest of the trip; hiding from the rest of the world.
**To be continued...Part three coming soon :)**