Monday rolled around and we were able to enjoy a relaxed morning. We were to meet people from ABC down in the reception lobby at 2:00, so we walked around Rodeo Drive and other streets lined with shopping that morning. I had been wanting to get my hair done for the show and finally made an appointment to do it that morning. I was able to get it done at the salon within our hotel, which was really nice. Before I made the appointment, I went to the salon to talk about what I was wanting to get done and find out how much it might cost. When we walked in, there was a man sitting at the reception booth talking on the phone and another guy standing at the end of that booth. I said hello and began talking with the man standing at the end, but OOPS!, I'm pretty sure I wasn't supposed to talk directly to him without having an appointment. The guy on the phone quickly put the caller on hold and gave me a look like, "what are you doing?!" and asked what I needed. I apologized, but the first guy I talked to quickly put me at ease and said, in his Argentina accent, "No, no you come right over here and talk to me." Whew! Anyway, I scheduled an appointment and Robert and I headed out to walk around and grab some lunch.
I arrived at my appointment on time (I did not want to upset the reception guy again :)) and learned my hairdresser was the man I had originally talked with. I was so relieved! He and I had a nice time chatting for the hour I was there. I have to tell you about some craziness that happened while I was there. Near the end of my appointment, this lady came rushing in all in a huff looking for her stylist and exclaimed that she had an emergency. Being a small salon, everybody "nonchalantly" perked up to find out what the problem was. Well....her driver disappeared! She hadn't been able to reach him for the past hour and a half and, heaven forbid!, had to take a BUS to get to the salon! Yikes! The driver called right after she said that and boy did she let him have it. He obviously was trying to explain what happened, but she shut him down saying there was absolutely no excuse for his behavior and that she was going to call the cops! Sheesh! By that time my hair was finished, so I don't know how everything turned out. Inside I was both shocked by her behavior and laughing at it because it was so ridiculous. I think I'll stick to driving my own minivan around town, hauling my cute kiddos with me. :)
Back in the room, we got all gussied up and I tried to calm my nerves. I was so excited about the event ahead and surprisingly nervous. Plus, knowing we wouldn't be able to take our phones with us and the impending severe weather threatening at home didn't help either. Nonetheless, we got dressed and headed downstairs. Turns out, there were a total of 15 winners and guests from across the country that were also staying at the hotel and attending the show. It was really fun meeting people from near and far and seeing everybody all dressed up looking nice. We were also able to visit with the 3 people from ABC that escorted us everywhere. They were so nice!! In fact, one guy used to live in Tulsa and worked at KOTV and KJRH, so we had a good time talking with him about the area. And another guy has family that lives in Muskogee. Small world!
Our motor coach was a big bus that took us to the studios. An interesting fact about the show is that it is filmed in a CBS studio but is an ABC show. I thought it was interesting. On our way to the studio, we played trivia games for prizes. Once we arrived on set, we saw a huge line of people standing outside the gates of the studio hoping to get in to watch the show. Unfortunately, most of them never made it inside. Once we were in the gates, though, the hunt was on for celebrities. Being a Bachelor and Bachelorette fan, judge if you must, I wanted to find Sean and Catherine. The first star we saw was Robert Herjavec from Shark Tank. We had to wait outside for awhile while they processed people through security, but again it was fun seeing everybody all dressed up and watching for celebrities.
Once inside, they broke us up into 2 groups. One group headed to one balcony, the other group to a different balcony. We ended up sitting right beside our ABC escort, Brad, who was around our age. We really enjoyed visiting with him throughout the show. I felt like a sponge when we made it to our seats. I was just soaking up everything I could about the show and set, all while watching for Sean and Catherine. Side note: we were in the first row of the first balcony behind the judges. The first star I saw inside was Maks. He had on super bright red pants and it was nearly impossible to miss him. :) After that, I spotted Catherine! Yay!! And next to hear was Sean. And next to him was Lisa Vanderpump. Behind them was Victor Ortiz. On the other side of the aisle was Emmitt Smith and his wife. In another part of the audience, we saw Kellie Picklers family and Jacoby's mom. We also saw Hugh Hefner's current wife. (Gag!)
Not long after we were seated, the show began. Watching a live show and everything it takes to put it on was so fun! And all the people required to put it on, too! There was an MC who interacted with the audience anytime we weren't live and he also had us clapping almost non stop throughout the show. Seriously, pretty much only during the commercial breaks were we not clapping and had a chance to sit down. But it was SO fun!! And the time went by so quickly. There were 2 different times that night that Tom Burgeron was on the balcony. And both times, he was RIGHT beside us. Seriously, if they would have turned the camera ever so slightly to the left, we would have been the crazy Okies on TV. :) But it was still so fun to be that close to him and "a part" of TV. Something interesting, is that we heard very little of what the judges, Tom or Brooke said that night. It was so loud from the constant clapping that we just couldn't hear them.
Once the show ended, we made our way outside to some benches to wait until our whole group was together again. While we were out there, we got to meet Kristi Yamaguchi and Dorothy Hamill! They are so beautiful and so very nice!! They took several pictures with us and visited with us for a bit. It was a lot of fun. After that, we loaded up in the bus again and made our way around the studio. We drove right by the stars trailers and were able to see the stars from the show again. It was fun watching them interact with people who made it back that way for pictures with them.
We made it back to our hotel in time to watch the show. We watched a little bit, but were so hungry we went out to grab a bite to eat. When we came home Tuesday night, we sat down to watch the results show and discovered from the little clips from Monday night, that we were in fact on TV a couple times! Now, if you didn't know where we were sitting, there's no way you would have seen us. But we do plan to watch the Monday night show to see if there are any better pictures of us on TV.
Overall, we had such a fun time!! It was certainly a once in a lifetime opportunity for us. Even if we someday attend another taping of a show, we'll likely never do it in this fashion. So we kept that in mind our entire visit and tried to soak everything in. Here are some pictures the ABC people took for us.
It was a fun trip indeed! We are so grateful for the chance to get away just the two of us and enjoy something so different and extravagant. Thank you ABC and KTUL!!