Thursday, August 30, 2007

Good Morning America!

Which nut wakes up at 5 a.m to do something that is not work-related?


Nice to meet you.

For one of those few times in my life, luck decided to favour me and I was selected to be part of 'Good Morning America', ABC's daily morning news show, yesterday morning. So if I had to get up at 5 a.m, then so be it! After reaching Times Square at 6 a.m and getting pissed off with the sidey characters who made random comments at me (6 a.m!! Eve-teasers need to get a life. The sun hadn't even risen yet), I was allotted to the group that was going to be in the audience for the 'Dancing for the Stars' segment on the show. Being part of the television audience for an American TV show is supposed to be one of those things that one must do if they get a chance (or so I'd been told - see, I'm a sucker for all these things!). The show tapes 7-9 a.m, but our segment went on around 8 a.m, prior to which there were a couple of trial runs in a little cement island in the middle of busy Times Square, which is where the segment was to be shot.

For those of you who are not familiar with 'Dancing with the Stars', it is one of those reality shows that pits famous people against each other in a dancing competition. I think it's one of the most-watched reality shows in the US, second of course to the all-pervasive 'American Idol'. Yesterday's show had some hot salsa dancers to showcase the programme, and the co-hosts of the show, Tom Bergeron and Samantha Harris (who had some of the younger members of the audience screaming and fervently asking for autographs and photos) revealed the participants for next season.

So, what was it like being there? First, the show taped outside, so there was none of the 'ooohhh I'm in a TV studio with real sets' kind of feeling. Second, all that was seen of me by the one person I know who watched the show, was me waving and screaming enthusiastically, standing on the top row of bleachers right behind Diane Sawyer (the anchor of the show) and the sexy-looking co-hosts. I'd only ever seen posters of Sawyer with her fellow anchors while riding on the subway - never really watched her on TV before, but she was all made-up and gave the air of 'I know I'm important', if you know what I mean. But with the sexy-looking Bergeron and Harris there, not to forget the salsa dancers (pictured above) who's going to look at the audience?!!! Anyway, anyone who knows me will probably vouch for the fact that if ever 'enthusiastic' people are needed, I can be counted on to pep up the atmosphere. Earned me the not-so-attractive nickname of 'enthu-pat' in college (short for 'enthu-pattani', translatable as 'enthusiastic pea' - whoever came up with it is DUMB!!!!!).

But (and there always is a but, pardon the pun), just being in Times Square at that hour was sort of surreal. The lights and billboards never stop flashing in all their glory, and I'm a fan of the bright lights - not just the billboards but the studio lights as well. It's all so exciting, and heck, I'm not a filmstar!!! :-D

The hot salsa dancers and the hot judges were worth it, in any case. The Johnny Cash-inspired soundtrack for the show which they played in between had the salsa dancers (and me) snapping their fingers, and was fun too.

So, yeah, an experience to smile about as I reminisce when I'm older, that's for sure!

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