Women Tell All: What You Didn’t See
A big round of applause goes out to WebMAN for fixing my issues! Thanks so much!!! Now on to the recap!
Look. We’ve been friends for years. Some of you have followed me since the Firestone days in 2003 when this little blog took off. I feel like we are in the place in which I can admit to you that I was completely and utterly surprised to get an invitation from Warner Bros. to join them in Hollywood for their “Women Tell All” taping. During Dr. Travis Stork’s season, Our Host Chris Harrison was nice enough to invite me out to California to be a part of the studio audience. This time, I was invited as a member of the media. Shut the front door…
My adventure began on a 7:00 a.m. flight from Houston to LAX. My plan was to take a little nap on the plane, but the desire to either hurl or have massive diarrhea due to sheer nerves hindered me from achieving that goal. Even though my friend Natalie had dressed me from head to toe (yes I looked fabulous) I had no idea what to expect or how to be a member of “the media” once I got to the sound stage. Fortunately, Natalie also provided me with a super cute leather jacket to go over my emerald green shirt and the perspiration marks were easily covered.
I arrive at the designated parking garage, spotted an unmarked van and headed over to see if this was my ride to the sound stage. The bored looking teenager driver asked me if I needed a ride. He didn’t think it was funny when I asked if he was a murderer. Or the ABC intern.
“Calm down,” I told myself. “You are a sophisticated reporter-type. Don’t embarrass yourself in front of Bachelor folk.”
After confirming that this young gentleman was indeed taking me to Our Host Chris Harrison, I slid in next to a girl wearing a suit. That’s when my stomach started churning again. Should I be dressed more professionally? Were we supposed to wear power suits? Am I going to stick out like a sore thumb with this super cute belt slung low on my hips over my skinny jeans?
“Hi! My name is Paige. Who do you work for?”
Let the record show that I had been invited under the iHateGreenBeans.com umbrella. Yet I was also billed as a Huffington Post writer. I had to sign TWO waivers promising my first born child should I leak that Courtney was at the “Women Tell All” taping, even though ABC ran promos on her appearance. Go figure.
Before I could decide how to explain exactly what iHateGreenBeans is all about, she volunteered, “I’m with Entertainment Tonight.”
I smiled and began to sweat again.
The bored guy dropped us off at a studio where we were escorted to the green room. Imagine a garage in the suburbs, full of tools, random equipment and brooms. That’s exactly where we were. Except there were metal folding chairs set up in rows and a flat screen television.
Paige takes a seat on the front row by some British guy who looks like Ricky Gervais whom she apparently knows.
British Guy: “So what do you think? Will we be out of here by 6:00?”
Paige: “Probably not. Remember how long it took last year?”
A quick peek at my phone (a watch didn’t really go with this outfit according to Natalie) I saw that it was 12:15 p.m. What in the world could possibly take six hours? I had sunset cocktails with friends at 7:00 p.m. Surely this wouldn’t take that long, right?
British Ricky would beg to differ.
“Darling…this was supposed to start at noon. It’s already 12:30 and half of the media aren’t even here yet. We’re in for the long haul. Better get comfortable.”
Everyone else begins to pull out their laptop computers. I tweet Chris Harrison and tell him that I’m there and can’t wait to meet him. He tweets back that he’s going to save me a Dr Pepper. GREAT! Because I’m thirsty.
A few moments later, a handful of other reporters show up. They are in the equivalent of yoga pants, ball caps, t-shirts and flip flops. My “suit” anxiety has quickly subsided and I sort of feel sorry for Paige that she’s going to be sitting in such binding clothes for the duration of this blessed event.
Suddenly, the TV screen flashes to life and Corey the warm-up guy is leading the studio audience with a few reaction exercises. Corey has a microphone, so we are able to see and hear everything.
Corey: “Now act like something shocking just happened! Okay give me a soft golf clap. Now a giggle. Now a BIG laugh. Come on audience! One of our contestants has just said something ridiculous. REACT!”
This goes on for about 30 minutes. Cameras are working angles. Audience members are over acting. Interns are lighting candles. Corey is barking instructions. And then Our Host Chris Harrison takes to the stage and the crowd goes nuts! I can’t believe that one wall and a blinking “ON AIR” light is between me and those sparkling baby blues.
The audio switches to Harrison’s microphone and the cameras follow suit. That’s when I noticed something was off. Harrison didn’t have quite the twinkle in his eye that we’ve all come to know, expect, love and swoon over. He thanks the crowd for their hard work and apologizes for his rough voice. Several people tend to his every need. It is Harrison after all. He runs through the opening “welcome” spiel a few times before taping. He never misses a beat. He’s completely professional.
We’re an hour and a half behind schedule, but the bigger issue is that I’ve been up since 4:30 CST and have had nothing to eat. The crews provided packaged crackers and bottled water. Thank goodness I had jelly beans in my purse. I settle in beside Entertainment Tonight and the dude from across the pond and watch the parade of bachelorettes file onto the stage.
Again, we are at the mercy of the camera men and the audio guy. It switches out from person to person who we are “covering” at the moment. When they are not filming, the sound people sort of bounce around from girl to girl, probably trying to figure out who is going to be the most entertaining based on their off-camera conversations. At this point in time, the order of business was to make sure the audience couldn’t see the front row’s business. The person who chose clear chairs has probably never sat in a seat with a four-inch skirt on. Several individuals dressed in all black maneuvered knees, crossed legs and angles to achieve minimal crotch shots. Boobs were checked. Nip slips were checked. Someone says, “I had four mimosas back stage.” Glitter bombs had gone off on each and every chest. And the “f” word was dropped on the average of once every 30 seconds.
We haven’t even started yet.
Our Host Chris Harrison introduces the girls one by one. Someone had to feed him the name of that first chick behind Kacie B. because no one on our side even knew who she was, let alone that a girl named Amber was ever on this season. She was mute the entire time. Emily received the biggest applause with Kacie B. at a close second.
For some reason, Harrison decides to give Jugs McGee the floor first. Although she wasn’t invited into the hot seat (obviously named for its close proximity to Harrison) she was bestowed the opportunity to “explain her strategy.”
Miss Pacific Palisades interrupted her after every sentence. This is not an exaggeration. When she had the decency to keep her mouth shut, her seat mate Jaclyn would pipe in with some random ugly comment. Red head Jennifer would jump in, Elyse, Jenna, sometimes Rachel, Casey S. and Monica sort of volleyed the conversation around with a mixture of whining, screaming, pulling focus and high pitched nonsense. It was miserable. Then Emily would say something that was smart, funny and Harrison changed the subject. To the infamous meltdown of 2012.
I need you to notice that the one segment with Jugs McGee lasted 30 minutes. THIRTY MINUTES.
Harrison asks Jenna why she had the meltdown. Jenna said she was embarrassed and just wanted to be Monica’s friend. Monica got up, walked to her side of the stadium seating and asked her to accept the tampon. Jenna did.
My head hurts.
Harrison moves on to Brittney and asks why she decided to leave the show.
Brittney: “I had no attraction to him whatsoever.”
For some reason, this honest answer puts Miss Pacific Palisades panties in a wad and she yells and screams at Britney, shouting something about how she never got to know the girls and was a recluse. Harrison watched as Britney’s brain slowly began to simmer. This random story was tag teamed by both MPP and Jaclyn for about 10 minutes. Suddenly, Britney snapped and called Palisades a Chihuahua, annoying and questioned why she just never shut up.
Harrison’s face was priceless. He laughed for a good five minutes. He also laughed like a pre-pubescent boy each time any of the girls dropped an “f” bomb. Which was, as I have disclosed, every 30 seconds. Perhaps he was tripped out on meds? We will never know.
The crew stops filming, but as you know, we still hear everything that’s going on. Someone asked for a Xanex. Those of us in the media room only hoped the ABC intern would share with us.
The break lasted for about 30 minutes. Several people dressed in black came out with red Solo cups. I can only imagine what wholesome goodness resided in those receptacles. It’s almost 3:00 and these girls probably haven’t had a thing to eat in hours. So this is how they achieve the most dramatic moments. Lack of oxygen to the brain and food to the belly mixed with large amounts of booze. Got it.
Shawnel is brought to the stage and there’s an energy that physically leaves the room. I think we were all ready to get to the good interviews and he brings “The Embalmer” out to the hot seat. Who cares? According to Harrison, the girls are still buzzing about her appearance on the show.
Dude. I think that buzzing is due to the tequila shots in opaque plastic cups.
Emily takes the hot seat next and it’s a breath of fresh air. If you can get over the fact that her boobs were dangerously close to falling out of their purple busier, you would see that she is probably one of the coolest girls on the show. She’s well spoken, learned lots of lessons and easily made Harrison laugh. Which, of course, translates to boring television. NEXT!
Nicki is up and we learn nothing. The best part of her interview is when she accidentally said, “I was in love with Chris” instead of Ben. Without missing a beat, Harrison responds, “I get that a lot.”
I bet you do old friend. I bet you do.
Kacie B. takes the stand and again, we learn nothing. Harrison delivers another golden gem by saying, “You can’t hate you. It would be like hating a kitten.”
It’s quotes like these that make me wonder about the editing department over at ABC. How this classic quip ended up on the cutting room floor is beyond me.
Harrison addresses the camera with one of those “we’ll be right back” throwaway lines. The director asks him for one more take.
Harrison: “Do it again. Suck less. Got it.”
As if he could ever suck at anything. Please.
Kacie B. heads back to her seat and Harrison opens up a big can of worms by asking a simple sentence, “Let’s talk about Courtney.”
Everyone hates her. Everyone has something negative to say, even if it’s a passive aggressive way. Casey S. is her one advocate and Palisades quickly volunteers that they are only friends because Courtney is getting Casey modeling gigs.
Harrison continues to poke the beehive by asking why the ladies think Ben likes Courtney?
Palisades: “Isn’t it obvious? He wanted to BLEEP a model.”
I thought Harrison would totally fall out of his chair at that remark. He brings Courtney out and the bashing continues for several more minutes. Just as Courtney is about to bust a gut, the media room was surprised that Harrison decided to land the plane instead of milking the meltdown. He gets up and walks off stage apparently because the cameras are still stuck on Courtney and her microphone.
Music begins to play in the background (again we’re still on Courtney) and you can see the red Solo Cups making another appearance. A loan crew guy in black makes his way up to Courtney and sits at her feet.
Courtney: “Hey. How are you?”
Dude: “Good. I’ve missed you.”
Courtney: “Yeah. We need to have one of our talks soon.”
Dude: “Yeah. Are you okay?”
Courtney: “This is really, really hard.”
Dude: “What can I get you?”
Courtney: “American Spirit?”
Dude: “You can smoke after. You look great. You’re doing great.”
Courtney: “This is so hard.”
Dude: “You’re doing this for your own good. And for Ben. It will be over soon.”
Courtney: “When is Chris coming back?”
Dude: “I’ll check.”
And then the screen went blank because apparently, the media is not supposed to see or hear what just went down. Spoiler alert perhaps? Who knows? Who really cares at this point? I’m STARVING. And tired.
Just as I’m wondering why I didn’t wear pajama bottoms and a Pi Phi rush shirt from 1996, none other than the slithering snake Mike Fleiss saunters into our area announcing that Harrison is being pumped with fluids because he almost passed out. We’ve been “dark” for about 30 minutes. When he leaves, the crew claps for him. I wanted to take a shower.
Courtney takes the stage again with Harrison and that’s when she begins to cry. The tears and apologizing lasted for another 30 minutes before Jenna got up out of her chair to come give Courtney a hug. The entire time, Harrison is chanting, “What is she doing? What is she doing?” I’m sure that forced 15 minutes of fame never had a shot at making the two hour special. Our Host finally allowed her to get in her limo and drive away. Harrison scolded the girls for giving her a hard time.
Groban: “Welcome to my nightmare.”
Media Room: “JOIN US WON’T YOU????”
Groban was dressed in traditional blah and his personality proceeded to mirror his lack of energy. He was irritated, annoyed, bored and really could care less about answering any questions. His biggest reason for attending the show (other than the contractually obligated portion) was to announce to America just how fun he is in real life. According to him, he was the product of bad editing.
After Groban leaves the stage, the WB handlers ask us who we would like to interview. We must decide as a group. Harrison is the first on my list and I’m told that he is leaving due to illness. I was crushed and probably would have started crying right there had he not walked by at that precise moment. My butt clenched and I waved. He waved back having no clue who I was. I should have shouted something but People Magazine was next to me and I wanted to prove to her that I was cool. Ugh.
On the other side of me is British Ricky Gervais. We visit and talk about the show while Groban is interviewed by Extra, my friend Paige at Entertainment Tonight, E! and the local ABC station. Groban’s handler brings him to the print section and I just assume that he’ll go to People Magazine first because…hello…it’s People Magazine.
Of course he walks straight up to me.
I fumble around for my digital recorder, turn it on and proceed to act like the biggest idiot. He thinks I’m a total tool and I ask the most moronic, boring questions known to man. Who am I? Him?
Groban is clearly bored, barely looks me in the eye and wants nothing more than to walk away from me. He hasn’t cracked a smile or giggle. He was really ticked when I asked about his hair. The girl gives me the wrap up finger twirl. This was my first time to ever work with digital recording media, so forgive me for the rough editing. I was able to capture this truth:
Groban finishes with the LA Times and then heads over to the same Dark Lord who coached Courtney through her super tough meltdown with the ladies. He tells him that he’s so tired of doing stuff like this and can’t wait for everything to be over. He’s done and will be happy if he never has to talk to another media outlet again.
Hey Dillweed…don’t say that in a room full of media people. WE CAN HEAR YOU.
Groban leaves and then they bring in Jugs, Casey S., Emily, Nicki and Kacie B.
I decided to throw all caution to the wind and ask the questions we really wanted to know from the ladies (note: the audio is shorter than the picture clip…it’s not broken, I’m just learning how to edit!)
And my favorite…
After each media person had interviewed everyone, they shipped us back to the parking garage in the unmakred van. It was 9:15 p.m. I raced to meet my friends and had the best meal ever. Of course, they could have fed me green beans and I would have been happy.
That’s an exaggeration.