Another excellent Adventure!! Huge thanks to Caroline for giving us all the lovely details of her weekend in Florida with Derek and Mark. I believe the benefit she refers to is called “Life’s a Dance” and it benefits Covenant Hospice.
Clarification for anyone wondering: Derek & Mark were in Ft. Walton on Saturday (6/13) and then in Pensacola (6/15). I had the opportunity to go both events through my studio, but after talking with some people and finding out they were basically doing the same show, I went to the event on the Monday. They were both Fred Astaire sponsored and the event on Monday was a benefit.
I had been looking forward to this event for a while and was so excited when the day finally came! We pull up at the theatre in Pensacola and have 4th row seats. Local celebrities from the Pensacola/Ft. Walton area participated in the performance as well as Tony, Elena Grinenko, Fabian, and Aliona Vilani. Mark and Derek never danced, and sang only 4 songs (Mark also sang 4 songs with Joanna).
So after 2 dance numbers, its time for m&d to come out and my heart is pounding like crazy! The lights are out, but I see Mark come out onto the stage and plug in his guitar—no Derek, yet anyways. Obviously it’s an acoustic performance since it is just the two of them, but I was really excited since I had seen all of the acoustic Grove shows on YouTube. Mark started Do You Love Me and Derek entered from the back of the theatre coming through the aisles doing his “Now who do I love?” haha it was very cute, he was also without guitar. Mark had on a lavender colored button-up with black pants and Derek had on a black button-up with Levi Skinny Jeans (that looked amazing btw). At one point during the show he was like, “I spent too much time at the beach yesterday, my legs are chaffing underneath these tight pants!” After that Derek starting moon-walking off the stage, with Mark following, and so each song after that they would be like “moon-walkin it off!!” After 6-7 dance numbers they came back on and did Gotta Get Through This, including Mark’s rap session and a mini-dance off. Before they started that song, Derek came on and was like “crap, I forgot to get rid of my gum” then after he swallowed it he goes “GROSS!” Then randomly he pulls out his phone and looks at it for a second and Mark goes “Dude, did you just check your phone?!” Derek gets it back out and is like, “technology these days, geez, 3g!! I bet all you guys out there are wondering about Julianne, maybe we should call her and put it on speaker!” He was just like… nahh we’ll do that later. After that Mark came out with Joanna to play 4th of July and Storm Before the Calm.
After intermission, they came out to play Mustang Sally which I was extremely excited about because it reminded me of the old days J Then Mark & Joanna sang Falling Slowly, after that m&d came back out one last time to play their Rip It Up/Tutti Frutti combo. At first Mark was the only one on stage and he was like “I don’t know where D is..” Then Derek’s sprinting onto the stage for a round-off back-hand spring and then brings Aliona on to jive a little with her. Before I know it Derek’s in the audience dancing with people. Then he’s starting to come towards the front and I don’t know what I was doing, but he’s looking at me waving at me to get up with him. I actually think I squealed which is something I never do! I was so jealous of those girls who he picked up at the Grove and now I was one of them! So he takes me up to the stage in front of the 500 or so people and I had so much fun!! I barely remember any of it because it happened so fast to me! We were spinning around, then I remember him looking at me and saying, “ready for a lift?!” he has me up and I remember holding my dress down and being like SHORT DRESS!! Haha. Then we bowed and he walked me back down. So that definitely got my adrenaline going (Just slightly*). So walking out of the theatre, everyone was like “Were you the girl who got taken up on stage?! You lucky girl!” One woman was like, “Was that rehearsed?! Because you both looked great together, you must be a dancer!”
The cast/vip party was at a restaurant right down the street, so once I got there I got to go back to the back room with Fabian and his family, then he told me that Mark and Derek would be back here in a bit to eat. Once they walked in, Mark gave me a wink and then he took me out to where they would be signing autographs for people for a while. Mark and Joanna were sitting at a table (Joanna sitting at Derek’s name card) and Derek was standing at the left of the table. So I first introduce this 6 year old girl to Derek who was afraid to walk up to him by herself (so cute!) and afterwards, we started taking our first pictures (this was when Derek did have his shirt on). While we were doing that, we realize that my purse is sitting extremely close to a candle and that I almost caught the table on fire, lol I had everyone laughing at that one! I then go sit with Mark and take some pictures and we first talk about the interesting volleyball games on the beach on Saturday (that’s a whole different story, trust me!). So we are all just talking for a while, and then someone asks Derek if he would auction off the 4 tickets to DWTS/trip to LA. Of course he agrees, and hops up onto the bar in front of everyone. I’m talking to Joanna at this point about what a bundle of energy Derek is at all times and how crazy he is, we look up, and he’s taking off his shirt and unbuttoning his pants! Haha no we didn’t auction off his shirt, he was just working the crowd! Once that gets auctioned off for $3,000, he jumps down and walks over to where me, Mark, and Jo are and is like, picture time! That is when he takes the picture of us and then Mark comes over to pick me up. Mark also took the picture of me with Joanna. I was walking back to the other room to get something to drink and am talking with Fabian’s wife when she tells me that has gone to get someone for me. He comes in with Derek and is like, “Derek this is Caroline”. Derek’s like… “Dude! We’ve met! I’ve been with her all night!” Then we decided to take some more shirtless pictures. He was like, “Do you want me to lift you or dip you” I’m thinking to myself…don’t want to hide the body, so I go with the dip! We take one, and he’s like lets review it just in case, he decides its not good enough since you could barely see my head (I’m thankful) so we take another one. Then I ask him if BHB was going on a summer tour, even though I already knew the answer, and he was just like…”We are doing a lot of recording this summer and some more new things.” I then told then everyone from the message boards said hey and that every fan was thankful for the recent blog he had posted.
Once everyone was getting ready to leave, I go out to say bye to Mark since he had to leave for Nashville. Derek was staying in FL for the night.
So that’s an overview of the night… if you need more details just ask!
All of Caroline’s pictures (yes, there are more of Derek shirtless 😉 ). :::sigh::: I love shirtless Derek.
Caroline also took some short video of Derek and Mark under threat of camera police. He’s not shirtless in these videos. Caroline still gets an A+ for the day. 😉