In this Crazy Tour Stories segment, the pop artist, STEFANO, shares one of his stories from being on the road. You can check out the story, after the break.
I’ve had some crazy-ass tour experiences. Two national radio tours and two years on the road with the legendary Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds will do that for you. But the craziest, well, more like most embarrassing and hilarious memory I have is from my time on the infamous American Idol tour. Yeah yeah, I was on American Idol. And I picked a good year to join. That year was the first to introduce a panel without Simon Cowell. Instead, it featured J-Lo, Steven Tyler, and the OG Randy Jackson – who helped propel the show from out of its depths to being the top show in America again. And directly after the season was over, you know the idol machine was going to get our asses in shape for that sold-out tour. 52 dates in a little over 2 months. No joke.
While on the show, I was branded as the handsome, relatable, boy next door. And although I was J-Lo’s favorite (you can check the tape) I was also cast as lacking edge and consistency. I was always being criticized for shutting my eyes. God forbid I got into the song huh? Man, I’m happy those days are over. Anyways, come tour I felt like I had a lot to prove. And as a young kid from the Seattle music scene singing gospel and Jazz, I did. Out of the ten finalists on tour, I wanted to make sure I stuck out.
The songs 2 songs I soloed for the tour were “Grenade” Bruno Mars. Which I killed. And after that, it was “DJ got us falling in Love” By Usher. Which looking back… Wow… Kinky. LOL After “Grenade” I was to break out information to be joined by 4 of my fellow girl contestants that would backup sing and dance with me. Despite the terrible dance moves or the lack of melody in the song, I was able to make this performance memorable. At the end of the song and a frumpy yet incredibly committed dance break, I was to rip my shirt off in front of every packed arena filled with thirsty middle-aged women and young teenage girls. It was a hit. Usher would be proud. Or would he?
I can’t remember what city we were in (trauma blocks out stuff like that. It’s science) the show was going great. But this time when I grabbed my shirt there was a problem. With my face covered I could feel my in-ears pack catch my shirt ripping the pack from my jeans. I felt it and quickly gave it an extra tug to make sure it didn’t get fully caught. And it didn’t, but I had another problem. From the jerk, the shirt awkwardly tangled up around my shoulders. Still covering my head. I was in full panic mode! I was stuck. Really stuck. Wiggling around like a chicken with his head cut off. I can still hear the laughs from the band behind me. I would’ve laughed at me too! After about 12 seconds of flailing, I got the shirt off. My gelled hair a mess, and my ego bruised beyond repair. I still played it off though. The crowd didn’t know what to do, but they still cheered me on. I was a shirtless season 10 idol finalist and they didn’t give a shit. That’s what I like to tell myself anyway.
Aaron Spears, Tim Stewart, and Brandon Brown were all in the band. All legends. (If you don’t know look em up) I looked up to them. Veterans in the game and masters of their craft. And still to this day, when I see them, please believe the headless man always comes up. I take it on the chin. At the end of the day, a dose of humility never hurt anyone.