Day #1 - October 16, 2013: Auditions
A few lucky fans and dancers had been selected through the official Hard Candy Fitness Berlin website. In order to have a chance to audition, you had to enter your name online and if you were lucky, your name was drawn and you were contacted by phone. My friends Nina and Ally, with whom I traveled to Berlin, were picked. I wasn't, but showed up anyway and the fitness center kindly let me audition. I had done the New York auditions in June not knowing what to expect, but this time I had trained with Nicole Winhoffer's DVDs and gone back to my normal fitness routine, so I was more prepared. I was selected at the first round, but not at the second one. The final winners were mostly professional (hard candy) fitness dancers and knew their stuff! It was fun to audition in any case. Besides, we were offered Hard Candy Fitness shirts! It was nice to be inside the gym and see all those pics of Madonna on the walls. I wish there was a Hard Candy gym close to where I live, I'd definitely be a hardcore member!
The next day, the winners trained for 6 hours with the American team (that was doing the auditions the previous day.) We fans showed up early in the morning and spent the day in a cold yet sunny weather. It didn't rain until shortly before Madonna arrived. The German crew in charge of security and of setting up the decors was pretty friendly and did its best to avoid drama. We were given wristbands around noon so we could leave and come back at 3:30 when the barricades would open, but obviously no one went away. The group of fans was surprisingly small (about 30 people.)
Around 8:30pm, Liz Rosenberg walks around the barricades, smiling, and encouraging the fans to cheer for Madonna. Then Madonna arrives and the crowd goes wild. At this point I mostly filmed so the following are screencaptures. M signed a few autographs, pulled on one side by Liz, on the other by Guy Oseary. When she arrived in our corner, she signed two arms, like she did with Frank in New York at the Truth Or Dare Q&A at Macy's, and those fans got tattoos right afterwards. Guy points to Nina and Ally, two diehard fans who appear in the MDNA World Tour DVD, and authors of the Madonna's Freedom Fighters for Unity Facebook page. Madonna recognizes Nina right away and rushes to shake her hand and sign an autograph. It was awesome that M acknowledged a fan this way! She then posed with a lady in a wheelchair, making her dream come true. She was really cool. As for me, I had a security guy in front of me (as usual) so she didn't come my way since it was blocked.