Today I had the awesome experience of being the live guest blogger on Anderson Live. You can catch all my tweets about the experience on twitter (@realitytea or #AndersonLiveBlogger).
Things started off chaotic – an east coast tornado warning delayed my flight and I didn't get in until 1am. I had to be at the studio at 7am. I almost left the hotel in two different boots, but fate intervened and I snapped to.
For someone that works from home and rolls out of bed around 9 to guzzle coffee while percolating about Housewives that was some crazy. However everyone at Anderson Live is totally used to it – and amazing! How they have so much energy I'll never know, but it was fantastic!
It was really exciting to be backstage and see the inner-workings of a show I watch all the time. I'm a big Anderson Cooper fan (didn't know if y'all were privy to that). Also exciting – CYNDI LAUPER as in 'Girls Just Wanna Have Fun' 80's anthem was the co-host! The other guests were Jon Cryer from Two and A Half Men and the Bayou Billionaires from CMT's hit reality show about real-life Beverly Hillbillies.
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I can assure that while they had a southern twang to rival Honey Boo Boo's they were not hillbillies and were incredibly down-to-earth and gracious. And how do I know that?! Well, I shared the hair and makeup room with them! How's that for fancy! Kitty came in first and just needed a little spray to keep her hair in place – she does her own make-up.
Mallory, who is married to the youngest Bayou boy Thomas revealed she wears Banana Republic jeans (hand me downs from her sister) and did some Tae Kwon Do with the make-up artist. In heels. #awesome.
It was fun in there gossiping about all the uber stars that come through with their entourage of thousands.
Below is a photo of me rocking out with my leopard print shoes in the hair and make-up room like a real live star. Cheesy smile alert. I need to practice my photo op faces. 😉 I did not do Tae Kwon Do.
Next I got mic'd up just in case Anderson talked to me; which made me all nervous and then I got to go on-set where I had an assigned seat. The set is amazing. It's big, airy, and bright. I've never been to live-studio before and the cameras were amazing.
The producers got everyone pumped up and had us practice our camera-ready faces (cue the nerves) and then got things bumping with an audience dance-off. Thankfully I did not participate. While I've got sarcasm down pat, shaking my booty – not so much!
As I said before Cyndi Lauper(!) was the co-host. And I just need a moment to discuss her awesomeness. And her boots. Oh. My. Gosh – they were sensational. They were over-the-knee and laced up the back and she wore them with tuxedo skinny pants. Cyndi's voice is even cuter in real-life and she does not holdback.
First on the agenda was discussing the infamous Lindsay Lohan and her troubles with
life driving, driving, the law, and yeah – driving. So in case you didn't hear she hit a pedestrain last night in NYC and got arrested. Is that why traffic was backed up for HOURS? Thanks LiLo – it's not enough that you tortured me when I lived out west, but now you're following me to the east coast too? #StayHome!
Cyndi decided Lindsay just needs someone to love her, but Anderson thinks girlfriend needs to learn to ride a bike. He apparently rides one everywhere. She could also get a driver – she's got all that Lifetime money now, doesn't she?
Cyndi discussed her new memoir (of which I am now the proud owner of courtesy of Anderson swag), called Cyndi Lauper: A Memoir. In her book she discusses her own struggles with addiction and depression – she can relate to Lindsay's. Can she please do an invasion of the body snatchers and take over Lindsay's life for a while so she can get it together? Girls just wanna have fun, but not as much fun as Lindsay's been having!
The 15 minute news round up continued with a discussion about the American obesity rate – where Anderson admitted he loves McDonald's?! And then switched to Iyanla Fix My Life (and why OWN has become the cable network that wears an invisibility cloak) and Mitt Romney. It was Romney, Iyanla, and snark – just the way I like my news!
Next up, Jon Cryer from Two and A Half Men took the stage. He commiserated with Anderson about bike riding accidents. Jon took a serious hit (wearing a helmet he described as "sperm hat") and got scraped all up and down his body during a charity race. Anderson on the other hand likes to whack cars in traffic and yell at them to watch out for pedestrians. Even if they recognize him. Hey – he's doing a public service announcement! I hope he wears a helmet.
Anderson unloaded some armor and an Anderson Live First Aid kit onto Jon for future safety. I want one! Then Jon and Cyndi faced off on a Totally 80's game show and shockingly, amazingly – Jon won!
Next up was the reality TV portion of the show (woot! woot!) where the Bayou Billionaires took the stage to discuss mystery mail, gator meat, and Grandpa's dating proclivities. Anderson, like all of us, was very curious about Grandpa's ladies. Where does he find them? Apparently he met most of them during WWII and they've stalked him all these years later? Is there a seniors match.com?
When he's not dating, Grandpa has done made himself a pin-up calendar. Seriously. This is a real thing. Right, CMT? Anyway, Cyndi was the lucky lady to receive one. I'm going to be ordering mine next week. Right after I investigate how I can get some mailbox money. Maybe the Bayous can buy me a magic mailbox and a calendar. Clearly their budget is higher than mine – especially since they are saving their money!
Speaking of which, Anderson asks if the Bayou Billionaires are spending their money wisely and they assure him that they are not blowing their wad on trailer homes and four-wheelers. He didn't look convinced?
In the middle of all of this the world's Rubiks cube champion was there to put together a Rubiks cube blind. How long did it take – oh, all about one minute. Color me amazed!
Also amazing – gator stew. Yes, that happened on live TV right in front of me. Thank goodness it wasn't sketti!
After that the live show wrapped and Anderson and the Kitten did a little gator stew makin' Actually it was gator sauce piquant. Step one: don't forget to kill your own wild gator. Apparently this is a dish only eaten on special occasions – so it's sort of like Thanksgiving for the bayou? I feel so honored to have tried some!
You can find a video of Anderson and the Bayou Billionaires whipping up this delicacy on the AndersonLive website. Anderson admitted he was alittle scairt of it and wasn't sure about the smell, but it sure did look like chicken. I tasted it… it was something.
After the show, Anderson taped a segment for tomorrow's show with Amanda Knox's ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito – who has just written a book about his experiences being wrongly accused of a murder and imprisoned in Italy for four years. The book is called Honor Bound: My Journey To Hell and Back With Amanda Knox.
The most interesting part of the interview was when Raffaele revealed they are still friends and communicate on Skype, but he would never date her again!
And now for the best part – after the show I got to meet Anderson! Yes, the silver fox himself, in person, looking very silver foxy! And guess what – we talked HOUSEWIVES! Pinch me! He asked me what my favorite franchise was and I admitted I'm very much liking Real Housewives of New York because of the new girls.
We also talked Real Housewives of Atlanta and that's Anderson's favorite of the franchise. And of course no chat with Anderson would be complete without dishing on Real Housewives of New Jersery He also revealed that ANDY COHEN himself said the reunion was out of control and went from 10 am into the night! So there you have it – even Anderson knows that Jersey is off the chains.
All in all, it was a fantastic experience and I had an amazing time at Anderson Live! The set was fantastic and I loved getting to see the show tape live. Thanks so much to everyone at AndersonLive for including Reality Tea in this amazing opportunity. And we will definitely be watching more Bayou Billionaires – I kinda want that Gator Stew recipe!
Talk about hitting the jackpot – Cyndi, Anderson, and Gator Stew!!
Photo Credit: Mary McClelland