10 Reasons Celebuzz Loved Live-Blogging ‘Anderson Live’
“Hello,” a man says. “This is Anderson Cooper’s car service.”
Well, that makes my 5:45 a.m. wake-up call worth it. It’s still before dawn, but I’m dressed and dolled up — underneath my three layers of winter wear, of course — ready to be whisked off by my awaiting town car to Anderson Live! There, I will be live tweeting today’s episode from the studio audience as the show’s “Blogger of the Day.”
By 7 a.m., I’m watching CBS morning shows in my own private dressing room — still a world away from the spacious, wardrobe-packed rooms that greet Anderson Cooper and his star guests. But I’m beyond content with my cushy seating, mini water bottles, coffee and plate of pastries.
After secretly snapping a few framed photos of Anderson with past interviewees (think Janet Jackson, Debra Messing and Judi Dench), I’m escorted down a seemingly endless hall to hair and makeup. Blabbing and beautifying ensues before I leave feeling like the belle of the ball with carefully coiffed bouncy waves and camera-ready makeup.
A pit stop in my dressing room — for one final caffeine jolt and to collect my MacBook Air — then it’s off to the studio. As I’m ushered to my assigned seat, comedienne Dena Blizzard, better known as One Funny Mother, is warming up the crowd with some wisecracks. Producers prep the crowd, a friendly fella slaps a Celebuzz sticker on my laptop, and then it’s a countdown to the man of the hour.
A standing ovation welcomes Anderson and his returning guest host, Rosie Perez. And we’re off with the First 15, tackling the American Idol feud, the bone-chilling temperatures across the country, and even heavy topics like the Pentagon lifting a ban on women in combat. The remainder of the episode delves into the risk of online profiles, hearing first-hand the experiences of Diane O’Meara, the real-life woman who became the face of the Manti Te’o hoax, and Alicia Kozakiewicz, who was abducted by a stranger she encountered on the Internet. And it all wraps up with a healthy dose of hotness: guest Liam McIntyre of Spartacus: Vengeance fame.
If you missed my live-tweeting from this morning, here’s my top 10 highlights from my morning with the Silver Fox:
1. Is Anderson as nice as they say?
“Better than that,” insists my Romantique Limos morning driver, who dropped me at CBS studios before the sun even nudged above the New York City skyline. “I’ve been picking him up for three years now…he’s usually my first pickup of the day. And, let me tell you, he’s a nice guy. Quiet, but he’s a nice guy.” Happy to hear it, though I truly hadn’t a doubt in my mind.
2. The Big Freeze
“Everyone is talking about how cold it is, but as I remember, this is what winter is,” Anderson says matter-of-factly. “This is what happens.” Touché. While some shiver, Rosie embraces the chill. “I like to stand out in my backyard and breathe so I can see my breath.” Normal? Probably not. Adorably quirky? Absolutely.
3. They’re still Bey-lieving.
How could they not talk about the controversy on everyone’s lips? Beyoncé-gate. Despite all the hoopla surrounding her lip-sync scandal, Anderson is standing by Queen B. “I’m a big Beyoncé fan, but I don’t really care,” he says. “I don’t think it’s a big deal.” Rosie agrees it is a bunch of over-the-top brouhaha. “My whole family knows I’m obsessed with Beyoncé. When I’m in the shower, I’m her,” she confesses, singing a little line from “Crazy In Love.” Though Rosie “was like, ‘No, she didn’t,” when she first heard the news, she believes “the story has been blown out of proportion.”
Anderson is “obsessed” with the flu. Don’t fear for him, though. “My flu shot kicked in yesterday…so now I feel invincible,” he says, adding that the “shot is only 60 percent effective.” Rosie, who claims she caught the flu from a supermarket cashier, swears by olive leaf extract as a holistic cure. But Anderson can’t get on board, exclaiming “it’s disgusting” after downing a dropper-full.
5. Birthday boy?
In talking flu prevention, Anderson admits he’s compulsive about washing his hands. “In the men’s room at CNN, I’m sitting there singing ‘Happy Birthday’ to myself,” he confesses (the CDC recommends humming the tune from beginning to end twice to ensure effective hand-washing.) “People are walking by like, ‘Why is Anderson singing ‘Happy Birthday’ to himself? He must be very lonely.'” Boy, would I like to be a fly on the wall in that restroom.
6. Put it to rest, dueling divas.
Though she doesn’t tune in often to American Idol since Simon Cowell left, Rosie — who is “all about women’s power” — feels fazed by the feud between judges Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj. “I think both women are guilty. It bothers me,” she says. “There’s a mature way to defend your point.” Though Anderson isn’t sure he buys “how real all the fighting is,” he pinpoints its true purpose: “It gives the show buzz, and gives people a reason to watch.” But he bemoans how all that drama steals attention from the Idol hopefuls: “No one is talking about the performers, which is really sad.” Agreed, Anderson.
Before the show even kicked off, several unsuspecting audience members agree to show off their best breaking-it-down moves (count me out) in a dance competition to — what else? — Justin Bieber’s “Beauty and a Beat.” The grand prize: An Anderson Live! t-shirt. During commercial breaks, the dance-off continues with new bold-and-brave contestants. My favorite? The broadcast journalism professor from University of Tennessee, Sam Swan, who slowly stripped off his conservative black blazer to the applause of the in-studio students. Seems the Silver Fox will make you do funny things. I, instead, held on to my humility.
8. Doggie Doo!
“It’s pretty self-explanatory,” Anderson insists of the way-wacky kids’ toy. It goes something like this: Feed the fake pooch, squeeze its leash, squeal at the fart noises and wait for it to go…plop. Then what? Clean up! “It comes with these little shovels,” he adds. But Anderson struggles to, well, get the “doo” out. “It’s supposed to come out. We practiced with this backstage. It worked,” he says with a laugh. “Maybe the dog is constipated,” Rosie chimes in. “How hard can this toy be that I can’t make it work? Oh wait, there it is, I see it!” he excitedly exclaims, as he yanks out the playdough-like putty from the pup’s tush. One word: gross.
9. Manti Te’o
The show’s mood takes a turn for the serious with talk of the headline-hitting Manti Te’o hoax. “I had no idea. I keep up on…the times, but I don’t follow college football. I don’t follow college football players’ girlfriends,” says Diane O’Meara, whose identity was stolen in the faux girlfriend stunt. “All it would have taken was for me to Google it.” Even though she had no hand in the hoax, Diane is bearing the consequences. “I’ve shut down all my social media accounts. It’s like living in a cage,” she says somberly. “We’re searchable now. We’re encouraged to be searchable. But you have to think about..what’s being exposed. It’s very hard to protect yourself in this day and age.”
10. I. Am. Spartacus.
“I’m either having a hot flash, or you’re making me hot,” Rosie says to Liam McIntyre. But, girls, don’t get your hopes up — the hunk from Down Under is taken. The actor recently got engaged to actress/girlfriend Erin Hasan. But it was no ordinary proposal: After a year of planning, Liam had his wife-to-be whisked away at Disney World and dressed up as her favorite fairy-tale princess before presenting her with a meal of her favorite food. He — fittingly, in prince attire — then got down on one knee to pop the question. Swoon.
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