When Sheryl Camp got a Tweet from “American Idol” in early December which stated that the show's producers would like to bring her out to Los Angeles for a sneak peak of the upcoming 13th season, she was skeptical.
When Sheryl Camp got a Tweet from "American Idol" in early December which stated that the show's producers would like to bring her out to Los Angeles for a sneak peak of the upcoming 13th season, she was skeptical.
She assumed it was a fraud or that she'd been phished or hacked.
But all the enormously popular program's producer's wanted was an email back if she was interested; so she clicked send.
"I am by no means a huge fan of 'Idol.' I've watched every season except the first one. I am a mature woman who enjoys music and that is about it."
A few days later, Camp got another email. This time it was from Ryan Seacrest, host of the show.
It was an invitation to take part in a behind-the-scenes look of the show's Hollywood Week episode.
"When I got the email, I went 'Oh my gosh; what is happening here?" she said.
She also noticed that she wasn't the only woman getting such an email.
Through Facebook she was able to connect with the other invitees.
They too were shocked; not sure how they got selected for this all-expenses paid trip to Los Angeles. They formed a Facebook page appropriately titled Idol Tweethearts.
Within a few more days, this group of 19 women from all walks of life were in the bar of the Hollywood Roosevelt on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
What they learned is that "American Idol" had hired an outside firm to track down women who are successful and popular in the world of social media.
"They told us that they were trying out something new. This was a first and one-time deal where they were looking for a new way to create buzz about their upcoming season," said Camp.
Why she got chosen is still somewhat of a mystery to Camp. However, in the mid-'90s while living and working in Washington (state) she was very much involved in social media and podcasting, specifically as it related to the tech industry.
Eighteen months ago she and her husband moved to the Rolla area.
"I am not doing any of that now," related Camp a 50-year-old grandmother. "But I have maintained a number of connections in high places."
She was the second oldest of the Tweethearts and said she served as a den mother of the group. The youngest of the group was 18.
That first day the Tweethearts all got a screening of the premiere of the upcoming 'Idol' season which will debut in mid-January on the Fox network. As well the Tweethearts met a lot of the producers and staff.
The next day they were at the Dolby Theatre, not far from the hotel. They got a tour of the set and a chance to meet the judges: Harry Connick Jr., Keith Urban and Jennifer Lopez. Connick gave the ladies a talk about the show.
"It was really exciting to hear Harry talk," she said. "He is incredibly smart and seriously gifted; he knows his stuff."
After meeting Connick, Camp and the others were seated behind him and Urban and Lopez for the live taping of Hollywood Week.
"There were about a 120 performers. It was just like it is on TV," she said. "It was very exciting
That particular program will air in February.
The groups whirlwind Hollywood experience came to end that afternoon and they were on flights back home.
While they are not certain what is next in their relationship with "American Idol," they are pretty certain that they will all have more as they have remained in contact with the crew of the show.
Stay tuned, said Camp.