Editors Note:

EDITOR'S NOTE: Fresh off a three year managerial stint, your friendly neighborhood lenslinger is back on the street and under heavy deadline. As the numbing effects of his self-imposed containment wear off, vexing reflections and pithy epistles are sure to follow...

Sunday, September 30, 2012

X Marks the Shot

Tough Room
Now that The X Factor has aired all its audition episodes, I can share you with the exciting news: Simon hates my singing! Okay, so I didn't launch into song the last time I saw the t-shirted titan - but only because his bodyguard looked like he wanted to eat me. I was a little ill at ease without a camera in my hand, but the show's producers insisted we local TV types set our gear aside as soon as we entered the 'Celebrity Judge's Green Room'. We were there to quiz Simon, Demi, L.A. and Britney about the Arab Spring exciting new season of The X Factor. For three days, Shannon Smith and I scoured every crevice of the Greensboro Coliseum, haranguing hopefuls, elbowing extras, fending off the fanatics. Such is the slog at a reality show audition and we were both glad to be near the end of it. In fact, there was only assignment left: interview the judges.

So when the hipster with the headset motioned for me to put my camera down, I did so with some hesitation. I've been on Paula Abdul Time before, once doubling my beard length while she pouted outside in her limo. But this was no Idol production. It was a Simon Cowell joint and the man who swaddles his pecs in too tight cotton twists a mighty tight one. Soon the man himself entered the room, followed by the other judges. Suddenly, the lighting warmed, the air conditioning whispered and ice cubes ceased their clinking. Then again, that PBJ I'd just hoarked down inside the live truck had been sitting in the heat all day. Either I was swooning for the glare of white hot celebrity or I was simply about to upchuck. Either way, I was determined to do it with a smile, especially when the judges began extolling the virtues of a certain frothy beverage.

And that Virginia, is how I came to appear in a Pepsi commercial of sorts. If you're still confused, you're not alone. My fifteen year old daughter saw it and she still can't decide whether it was A) pretty cool or B) reason enough for her to request a school transfer.

I can't decide, myself.

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