She beat out thousands of singers who auditioned for a coveted spot on American Idol. Then she made the cut for the top 24, the top 12 and, finally, the top 10. Now, Gina Glocksen is living out of a suitcase on tour with American Idols Live! TV Guide stole a few midtour minutes with the Naperville, Illinois, native.
TV Guide: How's the tour going?
Gina Glocksen: I'm having an amazing time.
TV Guide: Is it different than you expected?
Gina: It's absolutely completely different than what I expected.
TV Guide: How so?
Gina: I was expecting to be tired all of the time and not get any sleep. Also, we're a really close group and I thought that the bad parts about us would come out on tour. But so far, nothing has happened. If anything, we're closer, so it's kind of weird.
TV Guide: What do you like to do when you're on the bus headed towards the next stop?
Gina: We'll just put in movies. We'll watch Friends or The Devil Wears Prada.
TV Guide: Has your boyfriend come out on tour yet?
Gina: He's actually here now. He came for all of the California shows. He's a high-school teacher, so he has his summers off.
TV Guide: So it's like he's a groupie, right?
Gina: [Laughs] Yeah, he's a groupie. Exactly.
TV Guide: You're lucky. A lot of people on the road complain that they miss their friends and family.
Gina: And mine get to come with me.... It is cool.
TV Guide: What do you do when you're not performing?
Gina: Every show we go to, there's a massage therapist. I definitely try to get into those as much as possible. But mostly I just try to get to know everyone who's involved with Idol. When people think of the Idol tour, they just think of the 10 Idols who are performing. But there's so many people. There's the backstage crew and the road staff....
TV Guide: Is there anyone in that group you've gotten to know well?
Gina: Yeah. There's this guy Matt. He's totally awesome. He's kind of spunky and unique like me, and we kind of enjoy the same things.
TV Guide: Have you given any thought to what you want to do when the tour is over? I'm sure you've been getting lots of offers.
Gina: I have not yet, actually.
TV Guide: Really?
Gina: Not yet. But I have a friend who's put together some songs for me. I listened to them for the first time the other day and I loved them, so I'm going to record them as soon as I go home.
TV Guide: How would you describe the songs?
Gina: They're very, very hard-rock songs. It's hard because [my friend has been] singing them and when he does it, it sounds like Alice in Chains, which is not the route I want to go.
TV Guide: I can't really see you doing that.
Gina: No. I'm going to try to make it as punk as possible.
TV Guide: Season 7 auditions are starting. What advice do you have for people who want to be where you are right now?
Gina: Not to get overwhelmed, because they are going to get overwhelmed going into an arena where there are thousands of people who are there for the same reason. They all have the same dream, so make yourself stand out in some possible way. Always smile. The judges smell fear.
TV Guide: Especially Simon?
Gina: Yeah. Well, there's a couple of rounds [with the producers of Idol] you have to make it through before you even see Randy, Simon and Paula. Also, don't sing Etta James. Don't sing Mariah Carey or Whitney Houston. They hear it all of the time, so they just get bored with it.
TV Guide: A lot of people sleep outside to audition. Any words of wisdom about camping out all night?
Gina: Just be ready for any kind of weather. Dress in layers. Bring an umbrella. Anything can happen. The first time I auditioned for the second season, it was pouring rain and I had nothing, so I was completely sick the next day.
TV Guide: At tour stops, do people recognize you in the mall?
Gina: Yeah. If I didn't have the red in my hair, no one would know who I was. When I wear a hat, no one knows who I am. They'll all go up to Blake or Jordin. They give me the camera and they'll be like, "Can you take a picture of us?" [Laughs]
TV Guide: Is it nice to be able to hide if you don't want to be recognized?
Gina: Yeah. The thing about me, though, is I love it. I love the attention. If someone comes up to me and asks to take a picture, I'll never brush them away. I'll take out my camera and ask for one, too. Remember the Crying Girl? She came up to me at the meet-and-greet after a show and was like [Mock sobs], "Will you take a picture with me?" She was bawling. I was like, "Only if you take one with me."
TV Guide: What's something you brought on the road with you that helps remind you of home?
Gina: Probably my laptop, because it stores all of my pictures of my cats. I have three — Jackson, Meat and Eat.
TV Guide: That's got to be hard, being away from your pets.
Gina: It's awful because when I come home, I know they're going to be so mad at me. When I came home from the show... they were mad so they slept in the kitchen for a good week. They punished me.
TV Guide: Did any celebrities come to your L.A. show?
Gina: Oh my gosh! Here's a story: Ryan Cabrera gave me a call!
TV Guide: Why?
Gina: We've been talking since I was on the show and he called me asking for tickets. It was like, "Wait a minute.... " It kind of hit me when I was on the phone and I started crying. Ryan Cabrera was calling me? To see me?
TV Guide: How did you meet Ryan? Did he come to an Idol taping?
Gina: He came to a taping when Brandon Rogers was in the top 12. They are friends, and we were invited to his house one day after a show. We just kept in touch.
TV Guide: Is he a nice guy?
Gina: He's awesome — and he's dating Lisa Marie Presley's daughter.
TV Guide: You've mentioned some things that have been tough about touring. So what's the best part?
Gina: Being able to perform every night is a dream. Usually, back home, I'd have a show once every two weeks. That's just not enough. I don't want to be a dental assistant for the rest of my life. I want to sing. So being able to do that every day and doing it in front of not just 200 people but in front of a couple thousand people, that's insane. It's always been a dream but I never thought it would come true this soon in my life.
Get weekly updates on the American Idols Live tour throughout the summer in TV Guide (try four risk-free issues now) and on TVGuide.com. Plus, TV Guide Network's Idol Chat hosts Justin Guarini and Kimberly Caldwell will appear in person at the concert on Aug. 28 in East Rutherford.
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