I was assigned to cover the 11th season finale of “American Idol” at the Nokia theatre in downtown Los Angeles. The show culminates after months of nationwide eliminations and crowns a new winner in a two-hour televised show.
The show features the last two finalists and generally an array of high profile music performances. Our shooting position was next to the teleprompter, so my setup was a Canon Mark IV with 400mm, 5D Mark II with a 70-200 and another Mark IV with either a 300mm or a 16-35.
Seasoned show host Ryan Seacrest got the finale off the ground, accompanied by a joyful and supportive crowd that quickly filled up the theater and cheered for an opening duet by the two finalists. The show definitely kicked into a higher gear with a laser-enhanced performance by Rihanna and an energetic performance by American Idol judge Jennifer Lopez.
The evening passed through performances by music icons like John Fogerty, Neil Diamond and Chaka Khan while the top male finalists honored the memory of Bee Gees founder Robin Gibb, who had just passed away.
The two-hour show quickly motored towards the end, but before the crowning, the audience was graced with another great performance by American Idol judge Steven Tyler and his band Aerosmith.