5/10/2010
Project Allison: the introduction

Here's something you might already know: I'm a fairly big Allison Iraheta fan.

Yes, I did say fairly. I'm not exactly the cheerleader type. I'm not the kind that obsessively follows people I'm interested in. All I know is, I like the person, period. No need to drill it down too much.

I remember last year, when she was still doing American Idol. I was chatting with Icka a lot back then. "Go follow her on Twitter," she'd tell me, before giving me some URL. I didn't. I didn't want to go giddy when I check the site and notice that she's tweeted.

I don't remember what Valerie said when I said I didn't follow Allison. "Loser," or something. Maybe not that. But it was meant to be a light-hearted yet harsh jibe.

I eventually followed her. It was a full year, definitely more than that, after I first heard of her name. I, of course, wrote about American Idol for work, and her name was coming out of the spoiler lists. Many figured that she wouldn't last long because we haven't heard of her at all during the audition episodes. Oddly, that's what made me remember her.

And then she sang Alone.

And then I went, oh shit, she's so going to be my bet this year.

It somehow helped that I was having this little crush on her. "She's distracting me from the shit happening at work," I told someone. I'm not sure if it's Icka, but I'm pretty sure it's her. It must be the red hair. I know, it's shallow. And then there's this part of me that's going, she really sings like that? And to think we pretty much wrote her off because of a lack of pre-audition exposure. She ended up finishing in fourth place. I was wearing a red shirt at the time, well knowing it'd be her time to go. I actually held back tears in the office.

Just a fairly big fan? I'm starting to doubt myself.

"Objectivity runs through my veins," I told Imogen last Tuesday. She's a David Cook fan. A really big one, apparently. Thanks to Valerie I've kept touch with a segment of the Cook fan community in the country, and somehow I got exposed to the ways of the obsessed fans. Well, obsessed in varying degrees, although I find something amusing whenever they start fawning over whatever photo comes out. I told myself I didn't want to be like that, simply because one thing would lead to another, and eventually it would lead to disappointment. My oft-cited example: those stupid biters.

But I was already there, it turns out. I mean, why else would I refer to her as Allie on my articles about her? I may not read up as much but, to use a term I only used lately, watching her makes me smile silly. And that, unfortunately, makes me more than a fairly big fan.

I knew I'd be disappointed. Valerie is also a big Allie fan, and she - along with the rest of the Cookistas' top brass - would talk to me about how the red-haired rocker was underappreciated. Well, she came during the year of Adam Lambert. They did a cool Slow Ride but the world loved him more than her. So you can imagine my surprise when I first heard that she was coming here.

And we thought, really, she's coming here?

For one, the news came from out of the blue. Usually the first reports of these gigs come out months before, but this one popped up just three weeks before. Maybe two weeks before. I remember wondering if I'll ever go, because it fell on a Tuesday. And it was in an unlikely venue.

"Bakit sa Robinson's?" Valerie would ask. "Hindi Ayala o SM?"

Also, there was only one date. I was expecting a mall tour. "Sana meron sa Galleria," I said back then, naturally because I work in Ortigas, and I thought I'd sacrifice walking the whole kilometer and a half or so just to be able to watch. Turns out there was just only one date, at Robinson's Place Manila, best known as the spot where many Lasallians hang out. Well, many except for me and a handful of others.

It took me a whole week to think about it. Actually I didn't. I actually planned not to go, simply because it fell on a Tuesday. Or maybe because I wasn't prepared to jump in, head first, into all-out fangirlism. I guess I was a fan in denial. Or I guess I had problems defining what a fan is. But then, I thought, whatever, this only happens once. I'm going.

And your responses...

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