Sorry I haven’t been updating my blog so much is going on! This week I went to California for a three-day trip – short but still it was a fabulous one! I went to attend the live taping for American Idol, a perk from my moms job (she is in media advertising). I have family and friends that live in Orange County but I stayed at the Ramada Plaza Hotel in West Hollywood and in my last night I spent it in the OC. I had a lot of fun and I can’t wait to go back for a longer and adventurous trip in July where I will also be going to Vegas for my 21st birthday! Woohoo!
As I was waiting for my cousin to pick me up from LAX airport I spotted Eric Archibald a fashion stylist to the stars and editorials and has appeared on MTV’s Styled and E!’s Keeping up With The Kardashians. When I recognized him and told him ‘you are the fashion stylist!’ he looked very surprised and a bit shocked. I don’t think people recognize him and I think he kind of liked me doing so, I told him as a fashion major, I love his work and I kept it moving . I didn’t ask for a picture, he didn’t come off nice. Maybe it was the shock of being recognized or maybe he’s a ‘divo’ (diva). I’ve watched him on TV and I’ve seen how rude he can come off.
Later that night, I had dinner with my cousin and friends at the Sunset Strip. All restaurants are outdoors and the weather is always beautiful…no humidty ever! The atmosphere and the vibe there is refreshing, carefree and relaxed which is different being from NYC. Everyone is dressed to impress and wanting to be seen. We later went to have dessert at the swanky Chateau Marmont Hotel. A lot of the places I noticed I’ve seen on TV or read in the tabloids, so I knew of Marmont.
The guy standing outside for the valet quickly informed us that there are no cameras allowed inside in privacy of their guests..meaning the celebs. We went inside and there was a private party being held and the hostess tells us that it wasn’t for a celeb and that tonight was a quiet night, especially since we were there at around 9:30, which apparently is too early for the stars to come out. So as we are walking out my friend says ‘Oh look it’s Brody Jenner’ and I asked where, and she said it wasn’t him, she thought it was. Then all the sudden, as I’m walking to the valet a tall man walking fast with a black shirt, black jeans and a black cap passes by me and it is indeed Brody! He was with his new girlfriend Avril Lavigne. She was talking to him and he was walking next to her listening to her closely, she had a pink bow clip in her hair and a colorful sweater and pink sneakers. She looked like a little girl. They walked fast and by the time we noticed it was them it was too late to get our cameras out and ask for a picture. They sure are an odd couple.
The Chateau Marmont is beautiful and traditional. It was built in 1927 and they never remodeled and I love that! I was missing a fringe dress, pearls, a feathered scarf and a curled bob to go with the old glamor feeling you got when you walk in. It felt old Hollywood glam to me, the high ceilings and the arched windows, the mix of old furniture and knowing that Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra and many other Hollywood legends walked the same steps as me decades ago was pretty cool.
The next day after laying out by the pool all day and walking around Santa Monica Blvd, I headed to CBS studios for American Idol. The lot is huge and being there made me realize how many movie and TV legends have entered the lot. There were trailer trucks in front of every studio. I saw the Dancing with The Stars studio as people were entering and it is taped right next to Idol. We were not allowed to bring any cameras or cell phones inside the studio so we left them in the car before entering the CBS lot so we won’t have to put them in a basket along with others. The Idol stage is a lot smaller than I thought it. The audience was less than 500 people. It was pretty cool to see what goes on during, between and after the show. They had a hype man as they do for every show. Simon Cowell’s fiance was seated in the audience and it happened to be 5 rows in front of me, accompanying her was her $10,000 Berken bag. The Idol contestants were introduced first, next up were the judges. Kara Degardi comes out first, to a suttle audience reaction. Randy Jackson is up next with a better greeting. Than Ellen DeGeneres shows them what it is like to be loved with an amazing audience welcoming, by her side was her beautiful wife Portia. Both lucky women sat next to each other, Cowell’s fiance headed backstage during the first commercial and never came back. Portia would go backstage after every commercial and would come back up untill the last 15 minutes of the show. Ryan Seacrest was than introduced a few minute before show time and he went up the stairs to get ready to walk down the steps to open the show and then a mere seconds before the show goes live Simon Cowell comes out to an overwhelming introduction by the audience. We all love our brutally honest Brit. During every commercial Simon would quickly head out, during the first commercial Ellen stayed to talk to Harry Cannock Jr., Kara talking to producer and Randy talking to other people. Than for the rest of the commercials all judges would quickly head backstage.
The contestants sound different live than on TV, they sound better on TV. Everyone did good, but Big Mike and Lee DeWize stole the show. I really want Lee to win! He had an amazing standing ovation. I know Christa Bowersox is a fan favorite and she is original but I don’t think she is suited for fame and what comes with it. Lee is super talented and I would buy his album. Besides, I dislike when Bowersox talks back to the judges, she comes off cocky and doesn’t take constructive criticism well.
I didn’t like fact that we weren’t allowed to take pictures! I loved that Simon greeted every fan around him after the show was over. He is very sweet and I loved to see how interactive he is with the fans. He hugged and shook hands with anyone that he was able to reach. Ellen surprised me with being opposite. Either way it was a cool experience and it was fun to attend the taping.
I had a great time! I didn’t get to take a lot of pictures but I didn’t worry much about it since I will be going back in the summer. California reminded me of Lebanon so much! It’s just beautiful and very refreshing from NYC. I say that because in NYC it’s always a rush. A rush to get to work, to get to school and a rush to get home and to finally relax to wake up and do it all over again. The weather is either too hot or too cold. Don’t get me wrong its beautiful and I’m proud to be from NYC but I don’t see my future here. My goal has been to move to Miami but after visiting Cali, I felt at home. Time will tell what the future will hold for me and where it will take me!