Tuesday, August 19 2014 6:48 PM EDT2014-08-19 22:48:12 GMT
LOS ANGELES, CA (WFLA) -
An enthusiastic crowd had already gathered hours before The Ellen Show was scheduled to tape. When I arrived on the Warner's Brothers lot, I was greeted by one of Ellen's Producers. Though I hoped for a ride in Ellen's golf cart, we walked a few blocks to the set and my behind the scenes tour began.
Ellen's studio is massive by Hollywood standards. An upstairs, a downstairs and lots of dressing rooms for all the A-list Hollywood stars who drop by. Even I had my own dressing room for the day. My name on the Ellen door tag and all.
I settled in and primped for my one on one sit down interview with the talk show superstar. I hadn't been in my dressing room five minutes when the Ellen folks asked if I would mind moving to a different dressing room. “Of course,” I said, I wanted to see as many of the dressing rooms as I could. Turns out, Usher, a last minute add to the show, needed my dressing room because it had a shower. I'll happily get bumped for Usher any day.
Ellen's staff kindly showed me around the set and allowed me to tape some promotional teases to take back with me to Tampa. I was an hour into my visit and still anxiously awaiting my first Ellen sighting. That didn't happen until seconds before the show was set to tape. The staff escorted me backstage, where I got a close up view of the whole production just moments before it started.
An energetic Ellen burst onto the set to the roaring screams of her live studio audience. She sported her toothy grin and shared some of her signature dance moves. The audience members went wild. For me, watching from the sidelines was surreal.
Considering it is one of the hardest talk show tickets to get, the audience is engaged to say the least. On this day, Ellen's first guest was Adam Levine of Maroon 5 fame. Levine is also a judge on NBC's The Voice. What the audience didn't know is that Ellen had also invited fellow Voice judge, Usher, to be part of a game where two audience members would be blindfolded and would have to guess which of the two men in front of them was the real Adam Levine, based on touch only. When the blindfolds came off, the two women were shocked to find out Usher was the other choice.
Ellen's team took me to another part of the set for the second half of the show. I sat on a big comfy couch and watched Usher and Adam walk right by. So fun to rub elbows with some of Hollywood's biggest stars and to see what really goes on behind the scenes.
As soon as the taping ended, it was my turn. The announcer asked the studio audience to stay put while a News Anchor from Tampa, Florida interviewed Ellen about the upcoming twelfth season of The Ellen Show. Then he announced my name and I joined Ellen on the set. I was in the guest chair but was the one asking all the questions.
I was giddy with excitement. Did I mention it was all a little surreal? Ellen could not have been nicer but was a little more reserved than I expected. We spent nearly ten minutes going back and forth and getting a few good laughs along the way. I hope you enjoy my four-part interview with Ellen. I sure did!
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