She began to tremble just as the blonde contestant before her belted out the last few notes of a Madonna cover. “Man…that girl’s got some mean chops,” she said to herself. “It’s my turn now,” she whispered nervously while hiding behind the gigantic black curtain that will soon be drawn across stage to end the first round of this Las Vegas talent search show. She could hear the hoot and howl from the audience for the pretty blonde as she waved to thank them before finally walking off the stage. “Way to go,” she said encouragingly and gave the blondie a high-five. “Good luck eh?” the blondie replied with a thick southern accent. “Man…too many southern belles in this competition,” she murmured as she takes the mic from the blonde.
At that instant her hands began to sweat. The mic felt slippery on her right hand so she passed it to the other hand as if sweats only come out on one side of her body. Again, she looked carefully for the small green LED light on the microphone to make sure it was lit up. The applause died down and the female host announced her name and made a joke about how appropriate it was to have such a name for this talent show. The crowd bought it. “It’s a good start,” she nodded her head.
She took a deep breath and used her right hand to cover her eyes from the blinding spotlight and introduced herself to the three judges. They have been carefully situated by the producers on an elevated platform about 20 yards out from the stage so that they could see each contestant’s facial expression clearly, yet far enough to get the feel of the audience. The female judge followed up on the host’s joke and asked why she had such an interesting name and she smiled and said that her mom named her Lucky because she didn’t know she was pregnant until almost half-way through the pregnancy! Mom has said that she’s lucky mom didn’t drink or smoke that much before she found out she was pregnant thus the name Lucky. The middle-age British rocker judge asked her if her father had a say in naming her and she said no to him, not wanting to divulge that she didn’t know much about her father, as she wasn’t in the mood to get sentimental. All she knew was that he was some famous musician that her mom met while she was interning at a TV station. Apparently, she gave him a ride to the airport because the limo driver got into an accident and somehow they made a stop at his hotel to pick up his luggage and created an accident of their own. At least that’s what her mom told Lucky how she was conceived.
The crowd gave her a warm applause with her matter-of-fact answer. The African-American record label executive judge thanked her for coming to the audition and asked her what song she was going to sing. She told him that she was going to do a cover of a Rolling Stones hit and the crowd broke into another loud cheer and applause, perhaps they’ve had too much to drink, or more because one of the members of the Rolling Stones was there as a judge. It was Vegas after all, hard to tell. She began to sing the first verse on cue just as the music began and the crowd went wild. They haven’t heard I Can’t Get No Satisfaction sang this way before. She clinched a spot to advance to the next round from all three judges. “That was easy,” she smiled.
Backstage, one of the show’s assistants told her to hang around as one of the judges needed to speak with her. She obliged and waited around for another half hour until the last male contestant left the stage. He got sent home by the way, for his awful rendition of Kelly Clarkson’s My Life Would Suck Without You. The female judge made a joke about how her life would suck after listening to this song. Ouch…
It was also the female judge that wanted to talk to Lucky. Apparently, during Lucky’s audition, the British rocker judge had a moment while listening to her performance and revealed that Lucky reminded him of a girl he met when he was touring in the States some 25 years ago. A strong resemblance he added. The female judge didn’t go into all these details but simply asked Lucky what her mother’s name was, explaining that she looked like someone she knew. Lucky said that it was not possible, since the judge is an international super star while her mom has been working as a secretary most of her life in the small town of Wisconsin. Anyway, she said her mom’s name is Michelle Clark Emerson but she also went by Emma, perhaps a twist on the Emerson last name but who knows. Seeing that she didn’t elicit any reaction from the judge, she figured her mom wasn’t the person she was looking for anyway. The judge thanked her and gave her a good luck pat on the back for the next round.
Back in the rental car, she called her mother in Wisconsin to let her know she got past the first round. Her mother was happy for her, of course. Lucky then told her about the female judge asking for her name because she thought she knew her but turned out she didn’t. Her mom concurred that she’s never met her, even in her days working at the TV station. But the next moment she almost went into a convulsion when Lucky told her that one of the Rolling Stones was there as a guest judge and she knew this so she sang Can’t Get No Satisfaction at her audition.
Emma’s mind raced back to that day in 1985 when she met him, Lucky’s father, and how she lied to him that Lucky died during childbirth because he was on a tour and didn’t come in time to see her at the hospital. Emma was sobbing now. She thought about telling Lucky why she had such a natural talent for singing. She thought about facing the rocker she fell in love with but decided to cut off all contact with him when he couldn’t make it to the hospital in time to be with her. She thought about how Lucky’s life is about to change dramatically in the next few days and thought about telling her but hung up before Lucky could ask her why she was crying.