I’ll start off by saying that this show definitely lives up to all the hype from all the fans that’ve already seen it. Amazing, fast paced – I was exhausted by the time it was over and I was sitting in a chair a lot of the time!! Perfect blend of styles and music. I absolutely loved it!! So much fun. Can’t wait to go again. I was sitting by myself down front while my friends were in the balcony, but I made friends in no time at all.
Did you all know that Derek is expecting a baby?? Yeah, me either. Seriously, the things you hear from people! I didn’t say anything other than “No, that’s not true.” Same woman told me that Julianne has a house here in Nashville when she sold it a few years ago. Unless she bought another one that I’m not aware of and I don’t think she did. Anyway, it’s really interesting to watch and listen to people talk about Derek and Julianne. There was a man talking about Derek very seriously saying that the guy has “STAR” stamped on his forehead and he saw it years ago. I was like, “Dude, preach.” Anyways, I realized that despite the amount of time I have spent on this website, I may not live up to fangirl standards in a lot of areas. I am okay with this.
The only thing about the show I would change would be to have Derek sing another song, maybe two. Loved Julianne’s singing, and by no means do I agree with the notion that it’s more weighted toward Julianne in any significant way – but I so love Derek’s singing voice and would like to hear more of it. I’m selfish that way. Both of them were just so totally amazing though – which makes it easy to forgive the glitches in the whole VIP thing.
I had Ultimate VIP and I have to say, Ann from Live Nation must have the patience of a saint. I’ve heard so many good things about the experience that I know it’s the Ryman that kinda screwed the pooch on that score. The Tour adding a matinee just made it worse. You pretty much had to choose between Early “Crowd Free” shopping and the backstage tour – you couldn’t really do both. The Ryman would NOT let VIPs in during the first show just to shop. If you went on the backstage tour, the doors were open to the general audience for the second show by the time you got done because of course you couldn’t have a backstage tour while the show is going on (I was kinda hoping for it though. You know *surprise* there’s Derek in his undies changing from one costume to another). The backstage at the Ryman is TINY. But do it – Ann said that sometimes Derek pops out of their dressing room to say hi to the tour. Anyway, the end result of taking the backstage tour is that there was a crowd in my “crowd free”. Since it was 95 outside with 80% humidity and I had been sitting out in it for a while waiting for all this to happen, I declined the shopping, period, if I was going to have to wait in a long line. Poor Ann was dealing with a lot of people who claimed to understand the problem with the Venue (total chaos outside the Ryman while the first show was going on), but they still somehow expected her to be able to DO something about it. She had nothing but trouble. I can understand people being upset too, of course, after spending that kind of money…but hell, being in the front few rows made the price right regardless of the extras.
Others have discussed the show and by now most have seen hundred of pictures of the show (mine totally suck so don’t get excited – video ain’t great either. I lost the ability to work my camera when I was that close to the stage), so I’ll just stick to the stuff that was likely different (maybe) from my show. The one thing that stands out in my mind is that Derek and Brittany (?) blew that ending trick from Kellie’s freestyle. I’m not quite sure what happened, it was so fast. One minute she was going down in that lean like Kellie did, the next second her hands were on the floor and then next after that she had spun around and kinda landed on Derek’s groin-ish area. I could hear him make a little “oof” sound – very quick, no big deal, just a sign of them being tired from two shows, I would guess. I’m wondering if anyone beyond the front couple rows even noticed it. If they did, they surely didn’t remember it by the end of the evening because the show is so amazing. Of course they just kept going. And other than that, it was pretty much purrrrfect.
The front row gets showered with sweat…and most people in the front row were perfectly okay with that.
Another thing I found interesting was during the bit where Derek is talking about the questions he always gets asked –when they got to the part where he says “Am I single?” and (I’ve heard) the board behind him flashes yes while he talks about keeping it on the DL, at my show the board just had question marks and he said “No one knows.” I dunno, I thought the change from “yes” to “?” was rather significant. Hehehe…so much for the DL, Derek.
The part where Julianne kicks Derek in the crotch – Derek was acting like he really got kicked, said “that was supposed to be a joke” and talked about needing a moment. I couldn’t decide if she really got him or not, but later I thought maybe so. More on that later.
At one point, Derek is laying on his back on the stage with his head and shoulders hanging over the edge into the audience – the women right near him took advantage. I think his hair got touched a lot and one girl kissed him on the cheek. At least I think it was the cheek…anyway, he had several male dancers around him at this point – I think holding his legs so he didn’t go over the edge.
Speaking of going over the edge, there were a few moments because the stage at the Ryman is so small that I was afraid Derek or one of the other guys would go flying over the edge into my lap. If I had remained conscious, that might have been okay.
Both of them are very gorgeous in person, as many have said. Derek’s features are finer in person than they are on TV, more delicate but still very masculine. Gorg. Julianne has always seemed pretty on TV but she’s beautiful in person. At the end of the show when all the dancers come into the audience, she went along the front row hugging everyone and thanking them for coming. I thought that was fantastic. Very humble. Derek was running all over the place. He high fived me at one point and that kinda stung. Powerful. I interacted with Paul and Jordan – Paul high fived me right at the beginning. I also talked to Nika, as she was hanging out in the audience right near me.
I know this is long, but I remember a surprising amount. I’m sure I’ve forgotten a lot more. Anyway, because of the matinee, we had to have our meet and greet after the show. Ann had told us to stay in our seats once the show ended and Derek and Julianne would come out once they cooled down and changed. So there we sat. It didn’t seem like a long time. At one point they moved us all back under the balcony so that we would be able to hear Derek and Jules better as the stage was being torn down while we sat there. Of course, being in the front row pretty much guaranteed that you were in the back row during the Q and A, which sort of annoyed me. But it also meant we went first for pictures. I suppose it balanced out. But I have to say, after being in the front for two hours of close Derek watching, being 8 rows back was a hard adjustment. That’s me being selfish.
A bit later, Derek and Julianne came out across the stage and down to where we were sitting. Derek wearing that red plaid shirt he seems so very fond of. Everyone cheered. I didn’t ask any questions and I was quite pleased that Nashville represented pretty well on the question front. And this crowd seemed like it was all about Derek, although Julianne did some talking too. The funniest thing of the entire night was when Derek walked up to the people sitting and said something like, “I just want to put this out there…I have a bag of ice in my pants. Just have to get that out there.” Someone in the front row said something and he’s said “Did you notice I was wearing two pairs of pants…I have to fix that.” Julianne comes up behind him and says, “Why are you talking about your pants?” He told her about the ice and she was like “You do?” and he said he had tweaked it, he had an injury on his upper thigh – which is what happens when you do so much dancing. Julianne mentioned that she had tweaked her neck during rehearsals and that it was just now healing up. After they had been answering questions for a while, Derek starts fidgeting and finally he says something like, “Okay, I gotta get the ice out of my pants…it’s starting to freeze things it shouldn’t.” He is so funny.
Here’s what else I remember about the questions and answers (heavily paraphrasing):
- Of course, someone had to ask if they were both coming back to DWTS – people can’t seem to help themselves. Neither really answered, but it looked like a “no” on both counts from where I was sitting.
- Several were raving about Derek’s choreo, one mentioning how right Kenny Ortega was with what he said. That led to a question of how he does it, where it comes from. Julianne jumped in and said Derek is so humble that he won’t say anything but he’s the most creative person she’s ever met and that his brain is wired weird (paraphrasing) and that it’s all in there and he can’t even articulate where it comes from, he just has to express it with movement. Derek tried to answer the question, saying that when he hears the music he sees colors and the colors somehow translate to movement. Julianne jumps in and says “see, he can’t even say it.”
- Someone asked them where they saw themselves in 5 or 10 years, what they would be doing. Both made faces like that was a hard question – Julianne answered and said that she has so many loves that it’s hard to say. She loves singing and her label people were in the audience and she was telling them she wants to come back, but she loves acting and she loves dancing. Derek said something about doing lots of different things, whatever interests him.
- Someone asked about a DVD of this show and Derek said, “Honestly, probably not this particular show” but that it was VERY possible they would be doing another tour. And then he made a comment about not knowing what to expect from this show. How those thoughts tied together I can only guess…perhaps they weren’t prepared to video this tour (not to mention the music would be very expensive) and that now that they know it’s popular they might be prepared next time.
- Someone mentioned Meryl and Maks’ “perfect partnership” and asked him if he had one of those and if so who it was…which of course Derek didn’t answer, because he never really answers that question. Instead Derek and Julianne were both very complimentary of Maks and happy for him and Derek said that the reason why Meryl was so perfect for Maks was because she was “training” *him* just as much as he trained her. He went on to say that whenever Maks started to self-destruct, she had the ability to go “now, relax, calm down” and it worked. And that allowed them to move forward.
- Someone else (I think) mentioned how great Amy was (and the crowd cheered) and asked him something about his teaching or if she was his most challenging partner – can’t remember. Oh, it was “do you do anything to your partners before you start teaching the steps” or something like that. He said that his method of teaching on day one is to put on music and watch his partners move without looking like he’s watching. And he waits to see something fun, that they are natural at or that they like and then he incorporates that. Then he tries to make the teaching as fun as possible so that they associate dancing with fun. He mentioned “others” who yell and say “THAT’S WRONG” and for those partners it associates dancing with fear of messing up instead of just having fun and then you see them not get the steps as well or freeze up. When talking about choreography and teaching, he gets very passionate and can talk at length about it – it’s extremely interesting to listen to him talk about it.
- Another person asked them how they have the endurance to do all of these rigorous shows. Derek spoke up and said that he had actually been very worried about that because he hadn’t thought he would go all the way to the finals on DWTS. Since he did he had no time off at all, *not one day* (his emphasis), between DWTS and tour rehearsals. He honestly didn’t know if he would be able to do it. Julianne said she was really worried because she hadn’t REALLY danced in five years or so. Then they both said, “You just DO IT.” Amazing.
- A man down in front said he just wanted to say thanks to both of them for being such amazing role models for young people in this country and that he appreciated them. I thought it was lovely. Made me a bit misty.
After the questions were over, they walked up the aisle through the audience and one woman reached out and gave Derek a folded up piece of paper that had something to do with her daughter – I believe it was a letter. Next thing I know the daughter is being hugged very tightly by Derek a couple times. He was extremely sweet with her.
Next thing I knew, I was about 5th in line for a photo! I didn’t feel nervous or anything. Ann asked if I wanted a selfie or a regular pic. I said selfie and she took my phone to “get it ready for Derek”. When it was my turn, I walked up to Derek and hugged him (hard as a ROCK), then I hugged Julianne. And I don’t know what I was saying – I could have been talking 90 miles an hour – no idea. I think I said thanks, I hope I did anyway. Derek says “are you ready?” and then he took like five pictures with my phone. It was weird. I didn’t feel nervous when I went up there but I feel like I must have been talking fast. I started to walk away and then in my brain I said “fuck it” and turned back and leaned toward Derek and stuck out my hand and kinda whispered (I think – I like to be on the DL too) “BTW, my name’s Heidi and I own purederekhough.” Both of their mouths dropped open in surprise. I don’t know if I looked like a troll and they weren’t expecting that, if they didn’t think I actually existed prior to that moment, or if I was talking so fast they couldn’t process it properly. Julianne then says, “I go to your site all the time to see what he’s doing,” as she gestures towards Derek. Derek is staring at me with big eyes and he says, “Thank you SO MUCH.” At least, that’s what I heard. I suppose he could have said “fuck off” and I wouldn’t have heard that.
And then I waved and walked away. I think. Not really sure how I ended up over by the door.