After the two hours were up all the groups made there way back into the main hall. Tia Mocha stood on the platform in front of all the males. "Now that you've all practiced and hopefully work well together. Let me now introduce the special guest."
"I bet any of you it's Tidus," Sora whispered.
"$10 says it's not," Cloud said pulling out a ten dollar bill from his pocket.
"I'm staying out of this," Riku said.
"Me too," Squall agreed.
"Fine," said Sora pulling out a $10 note and shaking Cloud's hand.
Sephiroth came out of the door behind Tia. "Everyone please welcome Tidus Jones as the third judge." A shy looking Tidus walked out from behind Sephiroth.
"Dammit!" Cloud said loudly, everyone turned to him. "Sorry," he said passing the $10 to Sora.
"Yes more candy money." He grinned speaking quietly.
Tidus walked forward to stand beside Tia. "Wow this is a big turn out. I wish you all the best of luck." He smiled before taking a seat at the table.
Tia turned to the groups. "As you saw there are numbers on each room. That will be your group number. Each group, starting with group 1, will come forward to these instruments and play your song for us all. Each singer must announce the names of each band members before you start," Tia called out. "Group 1!"
Group one came forward and the singer called out their names, then the group started to play. This continued as each group stepped up. As more groups played Sora's hands began to shake uncontrollably. Sora bit his lip as he stated to doubt his abilities. The other singers had such trained, wonderful voices.
Riku noticed Sora's shaking out of the corner of his eye. "You alright?"
Sora looked up at him and shook his head, honestly. "I don't think I can d this. They're all so good." Riku put his hand on Sora's shoulder.
"You're good. I've only heard you singing twice and I think your voice is amazing."
"I agree," piped in Cloud. "And I'm fussy about a singer's voice. It's got to be just right before I'll listen to it." Squall nodded in agreement.
Sora relaxed at hearing the complements. "Thanks guys," he said sincerely. He still had butterflies in his stomach and was shaking a little but he felt better.
"Group 12," called out Tia.
It took Sora a second to remember that that was them. They walked up to the instruments. Riku and Squall strummed a few chords to hear if their instruments were in key. Sora coughed before lowering the microphone stand a bit. "Hi everyone. On drums we have Cloud Strife. On bass we have Squall Leonhart and on electric guitar we have Riku Kusa. I'm Sora Aoiro and I'll be your singer," Sora said feeling calmer the more he talked. "We've got a Heartbreakers song for you today. Enjoy!" He said before turning to Squall. The shorter brunette mimed the words 'three, two, one,' before he and Squall started to sing and play. After five lines of the song, Cloud and Riku joined in.
" It's not like you to say sorry,
I'm always waiting on a different story,
This time I'm mistaken,
Before hand I knew my heart was breaking,
And I've been wrong,
I've been down to the bottom of every bottle,
These five words in my head,
Scream are we having fun yet.
Yeah, yeah, no, no,
Yeah, yeah, no, no. "
Sora continued to sing the rest of the song taking the microphone off the stand. He turned to see the others, he smiled to them happily. Thy all smiled back all seeming to enjoy playing together.
Sora turned back around to look at the three judges. Sephiroth had a straight face, not giving away anything. Tidus was smiling while he nodded his head to the music. Sora noticed that under the table the judges were sitting at, Tidus was tapping his foot to the music too. Sora then looked to Tia, who was sitting between the other two judges. She was smiling a little and occasionally casting a glance at Tidus.
The song ended and the group all stood together and gave a little bow, before joining the audience. They listened and watched the other eight groups perform. Sora noticed that for the other groups Tidus didn't tap his foot, though he did nod his head at most groups.
Once all the groups had played Tia stood up. "Guys you've all done really well. Just mingle about, chat to other groups while we discuss who is staying and who's not." Sephiroth and Tidus stood to, taking the clipboards that were on the table with them. They left through the door behind there table.
Sora watched the door for a while before turning to Riku and the others. They talked to the group next to them, who were also nervous about the outcome. While everyone was talking, one group pushed past everyone to stand on the stage, facing everyone.
"Everyone of you should just go home now," said the leader of the group. "We're clearly the winner's. We've got more talent in our pinky's than you have in your whole bodies."
"Group one is the best!" Said another from the group.
While they were talking Tidus, Sephiroth and Tia came out of the room. They looked at there papers and shook there heads. Tia walked up behind the group and coughed loudly. The group turned around startled. Tia raised her eyebrow at them as Tidus and Sephiroth took their seats. The group sheepishly coward back into the other groups.
"Right we've narrowed it down to three groups. Groups..." Sora crossed his fingers tightly while looking up at Tia. "4, 9 and 12. Congratulations your all though. Everyone else, bad luck.".
Sora turn to the rest in his group and jump hugged them all one by one. He hugged Riku last and a little longer than the others.
The hall slowly cleared as the others left. The three groups looked between each other sizing each other up.
With only one group going to make it though, this would be were it got really competitive. Sora closed his eyes as he thought, 'we will win, we will win,' like a mantra. The more he thought it he believed it was true. Sora opened his eyes and smirked to himself.
Each of the judges walked to one of the groups. Tidus walked to group twelve, smiling. "I was impressed by your groups' talent. Did you have any problems picking a song?"
"Not really we just all said what we could play then let Sora choose the one he could sing," Cloud said shrugging.
"Good choice in song. I really like Heartbreakers songs," Tidus said.
Sora watched Tidus in wonderment, forgetting that even famous people had likes and dislikes.
"Hey your the guy that shouted out 'dammit' when I came in," Tidus said recognizing Cloud's face.
Cloud grinned sheepishly. "Yeah, but it wasn't because you came in, well it kinda was."
"Oh?" Tidus questioned.
"See Sora bet that it would be you that was the special guest. I bet him it wasn't. So obviously he won my money." Cloud huffed.
Tidus chuckled. "How much did I win you?" He asked Sora.
"Ten dollars. More candy money." Sora grinned flashing the note at Cloud. The spiky haired blonde growled a little and turned his head away.
Tidus chuckled again. "I've got o say you guys seemed to have bonded well. Do you think you would be able to cope with spending a lot of time together? Like if you were sharing a house?"
"I think we would. Cloud and I are roommates anyway. I think we'd be able o cope," Squall replied.
"Great to hear that. I have high hopes for this group." Tidus leaned into them all. "Don't say anything but I personally want you to win," he said leaning back and giving them a thumb up.
Tidus, Tia and Sephiroth left the groups they were at and went to there table. They talked for a little while in whispers. Tia turned to the groups. "Right now we're going to put you through some tests in your group. See how you cope in different situations. Can all the singers come up here please?" She asked. Sora looked around then walked up to the stage with the other two singers.
"Right can the rest of each band come here please?" The rest of each group came up to the edge of the stage. "We're going to get you to do a trust exercise." Tia turned to the singers. "As the singers of the band you will have to trust the other band members not to leave you hanging. Each of you stands at the edge of the stage and fall back. Your group should catch you." As Tia said this all the groups moved into position. "Group 4 goes first then 9 then 12."
Sora breathed in deeply and watched the other two out of the corner of his eye. When it was his turn he smiled and closed his eyes as he fell backwards. He landed safely with Riku to his right, Squall and Cloud to his left. They set him up on his feet carefully.
The three judges were busy scribbling things down n their clipboards. "Alright guys, next test will be to see how well you follow instructions." Tia took a pile of papers from the table and handed them to each male. Tidus handed out pens to all of them. "Each person on their own o find a space to write, but don't look at it yet." The boys headed off to different places to wait. "You have one minute. Do what's on the sheet. Starting... now!"
All the boys started looking over the sheet and writing. Sora raised an eyebrow at it. Question 1 was to read all the instructions. They seemed really strange, like 'draw four squares in the top right hand corner of this page'. He read the last question which said 'ignore all the previous questions and write your name on the top of the page'. Sora giggled realizing they were testing to see how would follow what the paper asked them to do. He wrote his name on it and waited. Tia started to countdown from ten. Sora noticed that some of the others were rushing to finish. He also noticed that Riku was one of them.
"Time's up," Tia called out. "Put your name on the sheet if you haven't already." She stepped off the stage and collected the sheets. She looked over them. "Congrats to those who read the instructions fully. If you didn't realize it, you were only supposed to put your name on the test. Group 12 you should be proud. You only had one person do it wrong."
The boys went back to their groups, while the judges disappeared into that room again. "It would have been two people in our group getting it wrong, if I hadn't had that test in college," Cloud said smirking.
"You cheated?" Sora asked quietly so the others didn't hear.
"I wouldn't call it cheating. I did read all the instructions," Cloud replied smugly.
"So I was the only one that got it wrong? Oh man," Riku groaned.
"Looks like it," Squall commented.
A short while later three returned to the main hall. "We have made our decision," Tidus said stepping forward. "Group 12 you are the group we've chosen. Congratulations!"
"YES!!" Sora cried out happily. He grinned widely and hugged the other three in the band.
The other two groups left the building. The three the judges came down off the stage and walked to the group. "Well done! Now we'd like to introduce you all to the fifth member of the band. Tidus Jones," said Sephiroth.
The four band members turned to Sephiroth shocked. "What?" Sora and Cloud called out.
Please Review. I'm coming up for my 500th review. Whoever gets it can request something from me. Either something you would like to see happen or a one-shot.