Self-Sacrifice For The Greater Good. Yours.

For inexplicable reasons, my friends Monsieur Shinn and his wife turned into American Idol fans last season. The rabid kind. The glued to the little screen ones who won’t go out three nights a week for fear of missing something idolly earth-shattering. I believe they may even have voted once or twice, not that they would ever cop to that. Sigh.

Last week, the Shinns informed me the AI try-outs would take place on the 26th in Arlington at the new Dallas Cowboys Stadium. My interest was purely photographic, of course, as I have been known to kill wee animals when I attempt to sing anything. I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to capture the madness. For you. My faithful readers whom I’ve neglected lately because of a cute French man. Who could blame me?

I thought about planting a small tent in the stadium parking lot the night before, hanging out, being down with the peeps, roasting s’mores on a makeshift fire, and bursting into spontaneous Thriller choreographies with the kids. However I do not own a small tent (nor a big one.) My idea of camping generally involves a chalet and room service. And, let’s be honest, all these pretenders to the throne are artists, bohemians if you will, and probably not proper company. So scratch that.

I woke up early instead. A few unexpected events foiled my initial plan to arrive at the Stadium well before 7 am and photograph the mad crowd: a half hour struggle with the snooze button, the absence of Starbucks coffee dripping down my veins, and the fact that Arlington had decided, since the last time I was there, to add 1) a new street with a stupid name right where I was supposed to veer off the highway, and 2) a new stadium. In close to 20 years in Texas, I have yet to set foot in a stadium. My ignorance showed. I ended up at the Ballpark, the baseball stadium, instead of the football stadium. After realizing the error of my ways, locating the right stadium, and taking 15 minutes to find an illegal spot to park, I realized with great dismay the 10,000 hopefuls had already vanished in the confines of the new shiny building.


All that was left for me to photograph was the lazy ones, those with not enough drive to get at the audition on time like the other 10,000.


Some looked just too cool to care about the time.


Some looked like bad reincarnations of the Village People


Some brought home-made paraphernalia


Others, their good-luck tattoos, some of which looked… original and frightening at the same time:

AI_007Kinda looks like me when my brother shoots my portrait!


Even scarier than the above-referenced tattoo, Heather Elmer, 27, who has already auditioned SEVEN times (some folks do not know when to call it quits), and was going to sing… Yeah, that’s right. Over the friggin’ Rainbow. Incidentally, she made it to the next round. How creepy is that?


And oh surprise, reporting for the TV Guide Network, Alexis Grace who finished 11th last season. She is minuscule.


Here she is, interviewing Jason Castro’s brother, Michael. For all of you non-Idol initiated, Jason was a semi-finalist on Season 7, and Michael got eliminated at Hollywood’s final round of Season 8. Was Michael going to audition again? I have no idea! I did not ask. I’m a crappy reporter. I’ll have to ask the Shinns next Season.


While all of this exciting stuff was going on, Pat was chilling. Numerous were the peeps who did not know they could have registered to enter the stadium as supporters. Pat was waiting for her granddaughter. 7:30 am. A forecast of 100 degrees for the day. The auditions concluded at 6 pm. I hope she found a way to stay cool.


This girl got the cooling part down pat, sending herself to oblivion.


Some, like this lady, had brought their own sitting apparatus. 10 hours of wait. I would have brought a damn sofa. And fluffy pillows.

Not auditioning but making a lot of noise anyway, a bunch of youths with ‘tudes:


The kids and not so kids were part of a new step ensemble, managed by a savvy business chick (mommawonder, I suppose) who immediately made them pose with the banner displaying her contact number. I need an agent like that.


The band was led by a tough cookie, a small girl who, I’m sure, could kick my butt in one minute tops.


I hung out a bit, being all hip and stuff


The boy with the light colored shirt up front is Dominic who speaks French. Salut Dominic!!!!


DJ Wild Hair (on the right) was in da house (see how I’m down with it?)


And there were also very menacing looking men (who were actually the sweetest kids ever and who posed for me forever – we were having a swell time!) But a hot time too! Too hot for comfort. Time for me to head home but not before snooping a bit and taking a photograph of the $1.15 billion Stadium.


This is what a $1.15 billion stadium looks like. Some call it “Six Flags over Jerry” (that’s Jerry Jones, the footballers owner. Even I know that!) The City of Arlington participated to the tune of $325 million. Personally in my own opinion, I think that I would have insisted for the Cowboys to be re-baptized Arlington Cowboys had I been the City of Arlington. To thank them for the $325 million, the new Stadium will only charge the honorable citizens of Arlington and others $40… for parking at major events. That’s $40 for a parking spot. Let’s say you decided to attend the U2 concert on Oct. 12. The ticket in the nosebleed section would cost you $30.00. Parking: $40.00. In other words, it would be more expensive for you to park your car than to attend the concert. Mmhmm…

I continued snooping around and guess who suddenly appeared in my line of vision?


That’s right! The Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, all decked out with their sparkly pompoms, their wholesome cleavage, and their almost non-existing shorts!


They were being filmed saying something very intellectual like “Texas is hotter!”


A dude snooping next to me screamed at them: “I thought you’d be taller!” I turned to him and told him “I’m sure they thought you’d be slimmer!” That silenced him. Don’t you be rude to my sistas! Anyway, this did not excite me much but I thought that, after depriving my readers from Miami models, I owed them the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders. It was time to hit the road and find the closest Starbucks. I felt I deserved a extra humongous  latte. After all, the snooze button could have totally won…

23 responses to “Self-Sacrifice For The Greater Good. Yours.

  1. Nice black and whites. 🙂

  2. She’s back!

    How could you abandon us for so long for a mere Frenchman?

    I loved the shot of the black woman with the headscarf, but I loved your comment to the cheerleader heckler even better.

    Good to hear from you again.

  3. Aha! Thanks Razz! The Frenchman happens to be an incredibly gifted writer so he emasculates me creatively. Seriously. And he is not mere.
    Sorry about the abandonment… 😦 I do my best but sometimes life gets in the way…
    I’ll try to be better.

  4. iheartfilm: thanks for your compliment. Your blog shows very nice photos. I’ll visit again!

  5. Nico the Dinosaur

    As a recent but already addicted reader of your gazette, I also want to complaint about the delay driven by your frenchman adventure. A mere glance to our delicious Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders shows the excellence of our American gender, and should prevent you from harming your faithful readers impatience with some far eastern young stranger adventure . Self depreciation humour, yes, self depravation Amour, no!
    I’m looking for no more delay in your next picturesqueness issue, and send you, despite my deep -although supportive – ire, my sincere liberty kiss.

  6. Pingback: Self-Sacrifice For The Greater Good. Yours.

  7. Super cool photos. What a great opportunity to get to take pics at! You did great.

  8. As a woman (you are a woman…. aren’t you?), it could be argued that you could never be emasculated.

  9. Mister Dinosaur: your concerns are duly noted. I appreciate your input as well as your liberty kiss (hee! Hee!), and assure you I’ll be more receptive to all y’all’s Texan charms in the future. I will not allow this impudent Frenchman to stand in the way of my writing anymore. But l’Amour! Surely, you understand… :-)))))))))))

    Blah la Blah: I always feel like calling you La Blahblah. It would be so much easier for me. Thank you!

    Razz: I call it as I sense it. I feel emasculated. Figuratively speaking. 🙂

  10. It’s about time you drop that Frenchman like a bad habit and come back to us!

    You know, I can imagine the characters who waited in line to audition, but I think you found the better part by missing the horde and visiting with the support staffs outside. I smile every time I look at that photo of Pat.

    I love the snarky comment to the guy when it came to the cheerleaders. Too funny!

  11. Tres interesente! Or something like that.

  12. Be careful with that French Guy. Soon the American tax payers force you to pay additional taxes for importing love from outside the US.

    And I thought it was cool how you slam dunged that guy at the cheerleaders.

    And $30 for a U2 ticket? Life sucks here in Europe. Tickets cost her $100 without parking 😦

  13. Jason: I’m afraid I have developed an addiction to the Frenchman and, that being the case, I cannot drop him like a bad habit. He is a good habit, even perhaps a great one! The guy talking (screaming) to the cheerleaders deserved my comment. what a bozo!

    Heather: merci pour cet effort remarquable!

    Wouter: Obama would never do that to me. He loves France! Now perhaps France would impose taxation… The U2 tickets range from $30 to $250. It is a HUGE stadium so when you pay $30, you really pay for the privilege to see miniature Bono (and that’s with binoculars!)

  14. Excellent shots as usual, Nathalie.

    I love the shot of the gal with the tats on her legs.

    And I REALLY like the shot you took at the jamoke who made that comment at the cheerleaders.

    Great stuff.

  15. Seeing as how I love American Idol and the Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders, I can’t believe it took me so long to get to your site and check out your pics! But you disappear FOREVER and then BAM! Spring this on us? You are one crazy French lady…AND I love the pics! 🙂

  16. Nat – $40 for parking? Are you kidding? And who is this mysterious Frenchman? pray, tell.
    Alexis Grace certainly is weenie, those cheerleaders make me feel like a lady trucker with hairy ‘pits and those rapper kids – what characters. I love your photo series – evocative and transporting. Almost feel the heat of that there day myself.

  17. A whole lineup of cheerleaders and not a wardrobe malfunction to be seen. They must have been sewn into those getups.

    Good to have you back in all your snarky glory!

    -Turkish Prawn

  18. Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders?? You’ve just made my husband a very happy dude. Kinda like when he insists on going to Hooters for chicken wings..

  19. Is you be alive over there? Man, and here I was feeling guilty for posting only every week or so!


  20. TP, I know. Procrastination does not even seem like an appropriate word anymore… I need to get back on the beast. Perhaps I could please you and Sweetiegirlz‘ husband at the same time and offer a post about women’s minimal clothing in Vegas. Nico kept thinking they were all hookers! 🙂

  21. Nat Crack, is everything okay la-bas?
    I keep checking back every so often in case there are signs of a confessional revival. No pressure… but I think you might find there are a lot of us out here who are missing your acid wit and people shots. Like I said, no pressure or anything. Much.

  22. I noticed what you posted about me dressed up like Dorothy. I wouldn’t really call it scarey…funny, or silly maybe? Yes. It was actually a dare with my co-workers because no one thought I would dare to do it. Yes I have auditioned 7 times…because even as ‘myself’ I would always get past a few rounds. I don’t expect you to understand, but I’m just a normal girl following her dreams. I am a real singer, and perform all over…I have videos on youtube singing at Jazz games etc. put Heather Elmer in the search box. Anyway, maybe I’ll be on this season for a second, but I wanted to post this just so that everyone knows.. I’m not scarey, or a freak, or weird.. acutally just pretty funny, and daring 🙂

  23. Heather, I apologize for offending you. I would agree if you had done it one time on a dare, then it would have been pretty funny… But 7 times? WHY? Why the need to use the same gimmick over and over? If you are not serious about auditioning, at least do something different (+ after six times, it’s not that daring anymore nor that funny)!
    I think it is sad that a woman with a voice like yours uses it in a way that may induce negative publicity. I’m all for self-deprecating humor, but you have to know where to draw the line.
    Next time, you could make a dress out of a curtain, and go as one of the Von Trapp children. You could bring an Edelweiss… 🙂

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