This was a nice blog that Jennifer sent me – she wanted to share her experience of going to a DWTS Live show and seeing Derek, Bindi and all the other dancers. Check it out! Thanks, Jennifer!
Dancing with the Stars Experience Live taping in Los Angeles, CA: November 2, 2015
Getting tickets to see Dancing with the Stars is like winning the lottery. You put your name on the waiting list and hope they send you an email saying tickets are available, but its only within a 2 week period. So, if you get this email, you have to be able to drop everything you’re doing and go. Also, you have to claim your tickets after getting the email. I was lucky and just so happened checked my email about 5 minutes after they sent me an email saying tickets were available. I claimed mine right then and thank goodness I did bc within 30 minutes of getting the email they were all gone.
After the excitement wore off a little, I realized Matt was working the night i was wanting to go. I couldn’t take Sophia with me because they don’t allow children under 14 inside and she’s only 2&1/2. And the only person I trust to watch Sophia overnight is my bestie Mandy who I was afraid to ask just because I know she has a lot going on with work and she would have to drive almost 4 hours to get here. Then I wasn’t sure if my friend Ann could even go because of short timing. Matt pushed and told me just to ask them. What was it going to hurt? Not to mention I was also scared to go through with this because I have never left Sophia alone without me or Matt since she was a small infant. Especially being across country. But I asked and it all worked out. Ann was going with me and Mandy was coming over to stay with Sophia. I was beyond stoked!!!
But then I read the bottom of the tickets. It said even though you have this ticket and stand in line, you still aren’t guaranteed inside to watch the show. This made me nervous because what if I went all the way to CA and spent all that money just to be turned away at the end? Well, that was a chance I was willing to take. You never know until you just go and try! And boy am I glad I took that chance.
We wake up at 5am Monday November 2nd. Head to the airport at 7am and plane left at 10am. It was storming that day pretty bad and I was hoping and praying our plane wouldn’t be delayed bc that would ruin the whole plan. We take off a little late but not enough to really matter. Our plane lands in CA at12pm. Our cab driver met us inside the airport holding a sign with my name. He took us straight to the hotel to check in and throw our dresses on. ( I did my makeup on the plane to save time). He waited as we hurried inside and it was 1pm at this time. The tickets said we didn’t need to arrive until 3pm, but you know you have to be there earlier than that. We get in the cab at 1:30 and we arrived at the CBS Studios just before 2pm and there was a huge line already started.
We took a deep breath and walked to the end of the line after showing our tickets. I met some really nice and fun people as we stood all dressed up waiting to get inside. A lady walked by and was counting the crowd and I was number 132. We waited until 3:30pm and the line started moving up. We were so excited and felt we were getting in. Then, one of the guys with the mic in his ear told us that all spots were taken and they now have 510 spots available for VIPS. So, we were now “seat fillers” bc not all 510 VIPS will show up. My confidence of getting inside was a little shaken, but i was still positive. Around 4pm we walked inside the gate of CBS studios and had to turn in our cell phones and walk through a metal detector as they searched my purse. Once finished they told us it would be wise to use the restrooms in the nice porter potty bc you are not allowed to get up during the show unless its a commercial break. And you don’t want to risk missing your favorite couple dancing as you pee.
As I’m standing in line, the studio back door opens and out walks Alek Skarlatos! I was shocked and all I could say was, “Hi! Good luck tonight!” And he smiled and said thank you. In case you have been living under a rock this year… Alek is an Oregon National Guardsman among 2 U.S. servicemen who stopped a gunman on a train heading to Paris. He is a hero and was a privilege to meet him. My friend Ann was able to get his autograph for me while i was waiting to use the bathroom. At this point I”m still waiting in line so I start a conversation with the other ladies. They all just drove from other cities in CA to see the show and was so shocked when I said I flew down that day from GA just to see the show. They thought I was crazy. Maybe I am, but I love risks! You never get the reward if you never try.
I finally make it back to the bench I was sitting on and continued talking with other fans. They started moving big groups of people inside the studio at this point and its 4:15pm. They told us if they don’t get you by 4:45pm you aren’t getting inside because the show starts at 5pm. All the rows in front of us go and then they stopped. We were left outside just waiting. I look at my watch and it’s 4:30, then 4:40 and finally 4:45. I can hear the music and people practicing to clap inside. I was on the verge of tears i was so disappointed. Did I really just take that huge chance for nothing? Did I really make it that far just to be left sitting outside? Then all of a sudden the man came back out and looked at my row and picked me, my friend, and a few others out and said come with me. I jumped up and ran. We made it inside!!!!!
They made us stand in the hallway for a while, but I could see the stage! I didn’t care if I got a seat at this point bc I was just too excited and happy to be inside and see the stage. The guy looked at me and the girls around me and told them to go upstairs and I got a 3rd row seat on the floor by the stage! I was sitting with all the celebrities family. As I”m walking to my seat, I had to step on the main stage. I walked across the same stage all the celebrities and pros have danced on for 10 years and it was a surreal moment for me. Not to mention I almost tripped and fell bc all the dancers were already at the front of the stage and I was checking out my Derek Hough and Val up close and personal. LOL.
I sit down and Nick Carter’s wife and family are sitting in front of me. Shawn Johnson, the Olympian gymnast and past DWTS winner sitting across from me along with Victor Espinoza and Riker Linch. Then, the moment I’ve been waiting for. The music comes on and the show starts. Carlos and Whitney dance first and OMG i cannot believe they are right in front of me. I see them on tv every week, but to see in person was a completely different and awesome experience.. Then I got to see the judges talk and Bruno do his Bruno act. I got to cheer the good scores and boo the low ones. I was so close to Derek and Val dancing I could actually see the sweat drop off their chest.
I noticed around me that the people that let us in were switching people around in their seats during commercial break. Well, during one of the breaks they moved Nick Carter’s wife to the very front row so he could kiss her after his dance. After his dance he brought his wife on stage with him and then they found out the gender of their baby right on live television. They are having a boy which they called a backstreet boy…LOL…After that was over they sat his wife back in front of me. Nick carter came back to give his wife one more kiss so i looked at him and said, “Congratulations!” Nick Carter looked me straight in the eye with the most sincere face and said “thank you very much”. OMG i about melted right then and there..Did a backstreet boy just really talk to me? I never wanted this night to end. Then Derek and Bindi dance. They are my favorite of course. At the end Derek threw his hat into the audience and landed right in front of me! A girl with Nick Carter’s family caught it and I was so jealous! But, later the DWTS cast took the hat back, so I didn’t feel so bad anymore..LOL.
Then, before you know it the show was over. As i was leaving I saw Bindi’s mom and brother talking and I got to wave to Bindi and Derek that were above me in the skybox. After the show Ann and I decided to eat and grab a few drinks at a place called Mixology. It is located in the famous Grove. I wanted to go here because I read online that after the show a lot of the dancers go there to eat and watch the broadcast of the show they just filmed. And sure enough as soon as we sat down here come, Keo, Sasha, Sharna, Carlos, Alexa and a few others I knew, but not their names. I got my picture with Keo and Sharna. Omg she was even more beautiful and nice in person if that’s even possible. After we took some pictures and watch some of the show we decided to head back and get some sleep bc we had to be up at 3am for our flight that leaves at 530am. It was a tiring trip, but so worth every minute!!! It felt like a dream. I will never ever forget this experience and will cherish my memories for a lifetime.