When I found out that there would be fourteen contenders instead of twelve, I thought my head had detached from the rest of my body. My game plan was to beat eleven other people, not thirteen.
My first impression of the other contenders was, "Yikes! Thirteen talented people I need to take down to win this thing!" As they all rushed at me, I felt -- as cliché as it sounds -- an instant sense of family. I had an instant connection with Blake as if he were a brother or cousin already. I thought Dani Shay was talented and had a great personality. I thought of Lily, Aylin, Taryn, and Shanna as the girl next door type. I found Nellie, Michael, Tyler, Abraham, Max, and Charlie to be immensely kind. Ali was the definition of beauty and serenity, and she was the only one who had a clear sense of what I was in for as a disabled performer.
I think my biggest competition is Blake, and Ali as well. Blake and I had an instant brother-like connection and already, through our goofing off and conversations about our life, I've realized that he is a phenomenal, likable singer/actor talent. Plus, all the girls in the cast house are swooning over his boyish good looks. Ali has an incredible story with the talent and personality to boot. But I definitely stand out because I am the sexy, chocolate guy here (not to mention the only chocolate guy). Hint! GIRLS SAY I HAVE BEAUTIFUL CHOCOLATE SKIN. Have they lied to me (Haha!)? More importantly, my eclectic, full singing voice and my ability to act despite the lights being out definitely makes me stand out. I'm here to inspire Ryan to write for me.
Going into the competition, I was most intimidated by the prospect of dancing. It wasn't necessarily because I didn't think I could do it, but it was because I didn't want to be the contender that made dance rehearsal longer than it needed to be. I didn't want to give them any regrets for casting a blind performer, and more importantly, I didn't want to mess up, leaving people with the impression that I had only been selected for spite. No, I'm here because of my talent and story.
On the rather scary plane ride here (I HATE FLYING), I said to myself, "I betcha we're gonna do “Born This Way” at some point." Confession, I was very surprised that we were doing this song so early in the season. It's also a very high song, so I was praying that I did not end up with one of the lines in the chorus.
I was ecstatic over my performance for Lea Michele and I think I REALLY impressed her. When Ryan walked in again, things were real, but when Lea walked in, I thought "Damn straight. I'M REALLY ON THE GLEE PROJECT RIGHT NOW!" I couldn't believe that my talent had earned me this opportunity.
Working with Zach and Brooke on the choreography for my first music video was unreal. I knew it was new to Brooke and Zach, but they are kind and awesome with the methods we are using to teach me the dances. I felt like I was living in a dream. One day, I'm miserable as a desk office person, and the next day, I'm learning choreography on a Hollywood set.
I know Nikki is a really sweet and kind person, but I was privately intimidated by her. My session with her was awesome and dream-like, but she scrutinizes every little thing you do on a really short line and even that makes me want to fall over. She is a fan of my voice, though.
I could not believe that I was on the set of a first rate Hollywood video shoot. A few of the other contenders described the set to me, and I was blown away. Erik has worked with everyone, including Chris Brown, the guy who I'm desperate to meet and work with. I'm obsessed with Chris Brown's talent so I was just thinking, “Erik White, you're my new best friend and I hope I impress you.”
I danced my "A off" in that music video. I hope to heaven that the mentors agree. Shooting the dance over and over again, I felt like a Hollywood arrival that never wanted to go home. I love my new TGP family, and performing and dancing on a rock star stage with them. They told me I look rather handsome in the music video. Someone hand me a mirror.