YouTube link added 02.03.09
3:09 PM, Friday, April 7th, 2006:
Well the insomnia has hit a new level for me. I'm not really sure what's wrong. I think it's a combination of things however: I think I've hit an age where caffeine now effects me much worse than it did when I was younger, and of course with the present environment...the SECOND my eyes open while in bed, my mind runs...and it's all over. I've remixed the audio for the comedy bit about 25 times. I've zip-tied a few more wires, did a few more tests...and of course - researched every damn word I could find on this show.
I treat this like a huge videogame because unfortunately, talent is only a percentage of what you need to make it. So finding as much information as possible - could mean a leg-up on your competition. You want to know what they want before they ask. So I spent the better part of 2-4 AM last night searching the vast world of the internet for every possible story on the show. And boy did I come up with a dooozy:
"…in an effort to stand apart from other shows, the "America's Got Talent" auditions will carry an element of chance."
"Everyone who turns up will be sitting in the audience, and no one knows if they'll be auditioning until their name is called," Cowell explains. "There are going to be about a thousand [hopefuls] a day, and only 70 or 80 will get to see the judges. So you've got to be dressed, you've got to be prepared, and if your name and number is called, you run up to the stage and audition."
What the fuck. What the double fuck. Even more oddity:
Cowell also says that the audition rounds will feature "a device to stop the act, which I won't reveal at the moment, but it's brutal." In response to a reporter's question, he does allow that the device is neither a gong nor a trap door.
"A trap door is something I've requested for years on 'American Idol,' and I haven't been given one yet," he says with a laugh.
Yeah, this changes things dramaaaaaaatically. I pictured a small intimate setting (even planning of using the sound through the TVs and singing without a microphone, and THAT sounds like it'll be a much bigger stage. ?!!? So I kept on searching, and found a different spin on his quote:
Those who make the first cut will sit - in their costumes - in a theater and will have to run up to the stage when their name is called.
Cowell says he will not be on the panel of judges, who remain unnamed. But when it's time for the acts to stop, there will be what he calls a "very brutal" device to indicate that.
Ok, here's my take: There will be a first round (the pre-screening before anyone sees Simon, Paula and Randy like all Idol shows), and it will be narrowed down to say 300 out of the thousands in each city. You're not assured of seeing the judges however. You'll go to an auditorium where you'll wait. You then won't know if you actually made it to the REAL audition until they call your name. Kinda like Idol meets Price is Right. Now if the pre-judges see my show, and don't think I deserve to go and see the big boys - so be it. I can't possibly pack more varied talents into one show than that. There may be better actors, singers, dancers, comedians, writers… but to have invented a canvas like 4tvs to show it all at once? Whew. Damnit there go my legs again. I'm all jumpy. Ha! (picture me saying "whew" while typing it, then bouncing my legs under my desk in excitement)…
…seriously who am I kidding. This is all I could have ever dreamed or hoped for 4tvs. These aren't TV execs or casting directors that I'm gonna have to convince of my talents in their medium with this crazy-unique show…this is a talent show SPECIFICALLY looking for crazy/unique variety and novelty acts. No one has ever done anything like it, and they've never seen anything like it. From the position of "making an interesting show", after 500 jugglers, or dancers, or obviously leave one spot for the only person on the planet doing this. There's just no way they don't. So I'm done doubting. This is mine to take.
Knowing that has allowed me to reminisce on how I got here. Remembering November 3rd, 1998 when I first thought of 4tvs at a Brian Setzer concert, but let it drift away... then seeing Billy Joel a week later and saying:  "I have to perform, I have to make this work." Spending the next day at work calling production companies and finally figuring it out, ending with me drawing this:

...and the rest is one helluva loooooooooong history. It either ends forever or starts all over... tomorrow.

Hold your breath.