Why raffles are worth the try

In my previous post, I shared how hopeless I was about watching the American Idol Season 11 Tour here in Manila. The post was published September 19, the same day the Idols had simultaneous meet and greet events in two different locations just around the metro. Having read the tweets of people who’ve gone to the mall album signing, my sister and I got a bit pumped about attending the album signing since the security seemed lenient (a lot of people got to hug and kiss both Colton and Phillip!). But since we were out of budget (as I have mentioned in this post), we gave up right away the thought of going to the second batch which was set to happen the next day, September 20 (P2’s 22nd birthday!).

Morning of September 20 came, I was already fine with letting this chance of seeing Colton pass by (the same goes for my sis with Phillip), so I decided to just stalk some more updates on Twitter and Facebook. I always browse through the “Colton Dixon” topic on Twitter in order to see pictures and spazzes of my fellow fans. And the usual went on, album buyers got to talk to him and all that. But then, this one tweet caught my attention. It says “I want to see Colton Dixon tomorrow! #Inquirer #AI”, a picture was attached to it. When I clicked on the picture (since I got curious what’s it about), I learned of this concert ticket raffle promo by the Inquirer.net.

Ticket raffle mechanics

The mechanics of the promo

Realizing how easy the instruction was, I, together with my sis, joined the promo on Twitter. Around 4PM we both tweeted our entries. To be honest, I was not expecting anything big to come out of this trial we did. We just gave it a shot because who knows? Before we went online that day, we also saw another AI concert ticket promo plugged on TV. And because of that, it somehow occurred to me that maybe Papa God is telling me to join one. Well, that’s how my faith goes. But anyway, as stated in the image, the winner of the pair of tickets will be announced that night. I did not really eagerly wait for the result since come on, there were too many tweeps who joined the promo, as if I’ll ever get picked. But since I was online on Twitter (busy updating myself about my Korean fandom), I also get to see the tweets of the account @InquirerEX. When it tweeted that the entries are already being raffled, I did not feel any excitement, what I did instead was prepare myself not to get disappointed even if I will not win the prizes. But then, @InquirerEx suddenly followed my account (I even thanked it for doing so, not realizing that it could mean I won). A couple of seconds after my tweet came this mention;

INQUIRER.net’s mention and follow

and when I checked what the picture attached to it was, I had to process again for quite some time what the message meant;

INQUIRER.net’s announcement tweet

My entry was in it and yes, the account says I won. I was like “huh? what’s going on?”. The next thing I did was confirm whether the account is legit or not, and when I finally saw the verified Inquirer account retweet the message, my face went :O for quite a while. I did not panic, I did not squeal or anything, but my hands got extremely cold and they were shaking a little so it took some minutes before I managed to tweet about me winning the free tickets.

The entire night, my sis and I could not sleep because (apart from the fact that we’re insomniac) of excitement. I mean, this is my first time winning a raffle and never in my wildest dream did I think of acquiring American Idol concert tickets for free! I was emotionally prepared to let the concert go wasn’t I? Then this happened. 

September 21, the big day, my mom and I went to the Inquirer’s office at Makati to claim the tickets. Until we arrived at the Inquirer’s office, my mom had doubts about the promo where I won. But since we were accommodated, she was then convinced it’s for real. I met Ms. Irene. She took the requirements they instructed me to bring, then after a little while of waiting, she handed me over the tickets contained in an Inquirer envelop. Again, my sister and I were not expecting anything big. We thought general admission and upper box tickets will definitely do since hello we were not even supposed to watch the concert in the first place. But when I saw the tickets, woah;

Lower Box American Idol Season 11 Tour concert tickets c/o INQUIRER.net

What else to call this but a blessing? My sister and I got even more excited upon learning that the tickets we’ve won are Lower Box ones (hmmm! closer look on the Idols!). When I arrived home, I relaxed a bit (cos the entire journey for the tix was really tiring), then my sis and I took off for the concert. It was my first time lining up at the gate of the Big Dome though it was not my first concert experience. While waiting for the gates to open, I had fairly enough time to admire how diverse the crowd was for the American Idol concert. Some people came with their entire family, while some with their friends, fellow fan club members, special someones — all that. No wonder the concert we’re looking forward to is a sold-out one. When we were finally let in, we did a few more waiting as the band was still rehearsing when the gates opened. We (my sis and I) were really surprised when we learned that our seats were located next to the backstage;

View from our seat

We could get a glimpse of what’s happening in there (I’ve been to the backstage of the Big Dome during my internship so I could clearly imagine what is really going on in there). A few more waiting and chatting and people coming in and then, the lights went off and poof! there Hollie was at the backstage. Gaaaaaawsh she’s gorgeous! She looked as pretty as how I imagined her to be in person! And she’s my favorite next to Colton! I was spazzing like mad in my head but I was keeping it in so as not to annoy the people around me.

When the idols came out on stage, all I could see was Colton. Him and Joshua were situated at the higher part of the stage, so they’re literally on top of them all. But Colton’s blond hair really stood out. The show started strong to be honest, they sang Sing by My Chemical Romance.

AI Live in Manila opening

After the group performance, Colton and Skylar did a short opening spiel;

Colton and Skylar doing the opening spiel.

Our phones and digital camera had issues with the lights so please excuse the crappy photos ):

Deandre was the first to perform, it was a delight to see him perform Master Blaster in person. That was his best performance during the competition (in my opinion).

Deandre Brackensick performing Master Blaster by Stevie Wonder.

Hollie and Skylar came next. Their rendition of Carrie Underwood’s Undo It was really sexy. I have always loved how Hollie performs but seeing her actually singing on stage, I fell in love with her more. And personally I think her precision on hitting notes has improved a lot.

Hollie Cavanagh and Skylar Laine performing Undo It by Carrie Underwood.

Erika’s voice forever works its magic on me. She truly deserved to be on Top 10. And during the concert, my sister realized that she’s not just a good singer but is a total performer. I completely agree.

Erika Vanpelt performing Glitter in the Air by Pink.

After Erika’s stage, Colton, Hollie and Joshua came out for Moves Like Jagger. Ohmigosh, Colton and Hollie were partners for duet the entire night! I screamed my lungs out when my two favorites started singing together. Things cannot really get any better!

The energy in Heejun’s solo stage was on par with the group’s. He sang Green Light by John Mayer.

Heejun Han performing Green Light by John Mayer.

Then he had a little change of outfit to perform Party Rock by LMFAO next, this time with the couple, Deandre and Jessica.

Deandre, Heejun and Jessica performing Party Rock by LMFAO.

The AI boys (except Phillip) came next to perform Everybody Talks by Neon Trees. It’s such a shame that we missed on taking pictures and videos of some of the great performances. Especially of the next one which is Elise’s Whole Lotta Love. It’s more jaw-dropping now than her first time! She was singing a rock song but her voice sounded angelic. The runs she did at the end of the song, oh dear, they were perfect. This has got to be the highlight of the show. Next to this climactic performance was Elise with Deandre and Erika, singing Rumor Has It by Adele. Another series of performances which I was not able to take a picture of was Colton’s. When he came out, oh forget the recording, time to stare. I savored the moment he was on stage. He performed Meant To Live by Switchfoot first (it sounded so him), and then his own song (proud fan!) Never Gone (which will be out on i-Tunes in three days I think?), and then lastly, his ever heart-melting version of Billy Joel’s Piano Man. Hah! My sister got to record this one on video LOVE YOU SIS!

Nine of the idols performed Just The Way You Are after Colton’s stage, and then What Makes you Beautiful by the British boyband One Direction.

Erika, Heejun, Skylar, Colton, Jessica, Joshua, Hollie, Deandre and Elise performing Just The Way You Are by Bruno Mars.

The program then paused for a short break. The gap took around five or 10 minutes if I am not mistaken. Then, it was Jessica’s solo stage up next. The crowd goes wildest for Jessica of course. There is no doubt that this girl can sing. She’s even gained so much more confidence now. The way she sang Beyonce’s Best Thing I Never Had was so good your argument is just invalid, that is if you even dare.

Jessica Sanchez performing Best Thing I Never Had by Beyonce.

I’m not a big Jessica Sanchez fan but I have to admit that she’s a total performer too. How Come You Don’t Call Me Anymore and Proud Mary gave the fans further reason to cheer and scream and be proud of this young gal.

Jessica with Deandre and Joshua singing Proud Mary by Ike and Tina Turner.

Skylar’s Gunpower and Lead and Stay With Me made me want to dance along but again I had to keep the fondness to myself as I might spoil the others’ concert experience if I let myself get carried away. But when Hollie came next, oh forget it! Her Rolling in the Deep was so sexy! I know it’s not supposed to appear that way but I don’t know, it just happens. I lost it when I realized it was Demi Lovato’s Give Your Heart A Break she was singing next (it’s my favorite song of Demi Lovato!). Hearing Hollie perform it live was URGH. Felt like crying that moment cos she sounded really good and soulful. So proud of you Hollie! /in British accent >’3

Joshua’s singing talent is another thing that you can never question or joke with. My mom and aunt were never fond of his voice as they think it’s not pleasant to listen to, but I think otherwise. Though I’m not his biggest fan, I seriously acknowledge and look up to his crazy singing skills. When this boy starts singing the Joshua Ledet way, all you can do is hang your mouth wide open and stare in amusement. He’s really one hell of a singer. And oh by the way, he can be a good dancer too. Knew he was hiding something during the Season 11 competition. Anyway, he performed Bruno Mars’ Runaway Baby, James Brown’s It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World and I Knew You Were Waiting For Me by George Michael and Aretha Franklin.

Joshua Ledet performing Runaway Baby by Bruno Mars (Backed-up by Deandre, Elise and Erika).

And then finally, finally the Season 11’s American Idol came out! The first song Phillip performed was his audition piece Superstition.

Phillip Phillips (p2) performing Superstition by Stevie Wonder.

His solo stage was the longest as he had five songs to perform. After Superstition was Usher’s Nice and Slow, and then his duet with Elise for Somebody That I Used to Know by Gotye. Phillip’s version of Damien Rice’s Volcano was still as sexy except that this time, a little more spice was added as Jessica sang along with him. The blending of their voices was something I did not expect to be really good. I mean, Jessica is more of the diva while P2 is the acoustic sensation so I never thought their voices would have perfect chemistry when put together.

P2 performing Volcano (Jessica was at the higher part of the stage).

Phillip’s fifth song was his winning piece, Home. When he sang this during the finale of the competition, I knew then that he’d win. It has this victorious feel to it, not because it is P2’s winning song but because it always makes you feel as if you have conquered something. I really love this song. It even sounded better in the tour performance cos the rest of the group was there backing-up for P2. From the very first moment I heard Home, until now, the magic of its hum part (or however that is called) just never wears out. It still gives me goosies <“:

The girls then sang Raise Your Glass by Pink, and finally, the show ended with the Top 10’s own rendition of Glad You Came by another British boyband, The Wanted.

True enough, I am glad that I came to watch the show. The whole production was flawless. The lighting was wow. The band sounded really great. And the drummer, oh the drummer, he was the sexiest part of the show, crazy beat.

Until now I could not believe that we were able to hear and watch all these people perform live. When Colton was performing Piano Man, I swear I felt like crying because I’m finally hearing him sing as he sings. You know what I mean? The telecast we had here of American Idol was hours late from the actual show (except the finale) so it was really a big moment for me to actually hear him sing. When this boy was eliminated from the competition, I literally cried and sobbed like a lost kid because I’ve somehow felt how much he wanted to win. But then, seeing the performer he has become now, and knowing that he’s got a song to release already, I don’t feel so bad anymore about him not winning the show. Of course, Jessica and Phillip were very much deserving to be on Top 2. They were all deserving, it’s just that, contestants really had to be eliminated one by one. Okay, I’m sorry for saying too much. I couldn’t help it as I haven’t blogged anything Idol related yet so all my feels that have been bottled up are released now in this one go.

But really, hearing Erika’s majestic voice, being at Heejun’s party, getting a dose of Deandre’s falsetto, having a real time encounter with my much loved musician that is Colton, banging my head to Elise’s rockin’ Whole Lotta Love, imaginarily jumping to the Skylar show, singing to Hollie’s Give Your Heart A Break, being mesmerized by Joshua’s range, understanding why Jessica wow-ed J.Lo, Randy and Steven T. and experiencing Phillip’s electricity running through his entire body as he sings is definitely the best way to spend the 21st of September, 2012. At the end of the day, I could not thank Inquirer.net enough for this opportunity they gave two broke girls like my sister & I.

And so, now you and I finally both know why raffles are always worth the try. 

Love and peace to you,

The Snowy Bunny


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