Early on Hollywood Week was a lot less stressful of a travel situation for me than most other contestants, considering I only had to take a 15 minute Uber to get there. I also stayed isolated the week prior to Hollywood, to make sure I was healthy and prepared - which definitely helped me feel very centered.
Day one I got settled in my room, filmed vlogs and other social content for the show, and then was one of the first contestants to get into a rehearsal room with our accompanist Phredley. Rehearsal went great, Phred gave me a recording of my accompaniment to use for rehearsal, and I was off to dinner meetings and bed. The next day was an EAAAAARRRRRLY 6am call time so I was obviously awake at the ass crack of dawn for hair, makeup, and everything in between.
Our schedule for Hollywood was not as set in stone as it felt for Audition Week, so I wasn't really sure what to expect and just tried to go with the ebbs and flows of everything. Of course I had to film all of the typical stuff like interviews, socials, etc., but we had A LOT more time waiting around at first - which I was honestly not mad about because I got to meet and bond with contestants that had auditioned in different cities. I spent the most time with my new friends, Rebecca, Caroline, Austin, Tripp, Liam, Courtney, Kevin, Karinthia, Oliver, PK and a few others.
Day 2, if I'm remembering correctly, we picked our performance challenge category, which was a new addition to the American Idol competition this year. Usually on Idol, round one is a genre competition, but this year contestants had to choose between confidence, stage performance, and songwriting. I chose confidence because that was the only criticism Lionel gave me after my audition and I thought I should take his advice with what to work on. After choosing we got to meet with our mentors to work on our song choices and get advice in what we were working on from their experience on Idol. My mentors were Clay Aiken and David Archuleta and I was SOOOOO excited because they were some of my favorites I remember watching when I was little. They were so kind and hilarious- I absolutely loved getting to chat with them and get advice on what to expect. I especially loved running into David later in the hotel lobby and him stopping to say hi again because he may or may not have told me my outfit was, "such a slay" and I was everything. LIKE COME ON!!!!! Love him! After that I was sooooo happy and of course had an impromptu photoshoot with Rebecca, before more dinner zoom meetings and bed for performance round one day.
Day 3, was the day I performed for round one of Hollywood Week and sang, "She Used to Be Mine", by Sara Bareilles for the judges/audience. That day was a ton of filming and sitting around in the holding room without lunch until 4pm. I would honestly have no complaints other than that I don't think thats an acceptable time for lunch when our breakfast ended at 6am. By the time we watched the first few lines of contestants perform and get either cut or sent through, I don't know what time I went on stage. But I had so so much fun with my friends in the audience, lifting one another up and getting excited to sing. Being on that stage was incredible. For me, there is nothing comparable to the high of letting myself go on a stage and singing my heart out.... and I genuinely believe that was the best performance of my entire life. I owned my confidence, hit every note and run, worked both the audience and the judges, and displayed as much vulnerable emotion as I could without crying. Before singing we had to explain why we chose to enter the competition, why we chose our performance challenge category, and why we chose our song - and my answer tied PERFECCCTTLYY with the background of the song, which also helped a ton with my performance. I can't describe how uplifted I felt after that performance. It was such a release.