We arrived at the CBS lot and waited about 20 minutes in the line of cars to get into the lot. This year was way smoother since it was a Sunday and the Studios were pretty empty except for a few shows. We were able to park right next to the check in area and waited in the audience holding area for about a half hour before being taken to the stage. While we waited, we met some of the other fans and our new friend who works in a different building on the CBS lot. We walked through the CBS lots, past the prop area, the neighborhood where the wrap party is held, and waited right outside the house until we were shuttled into our seats in the audience. We were excited to sit right behind Janelle and her ebay date. Our new CBS friend was excited too, since Janelle was his favorite during her seasons.
It seemed a lot less crowded in the audience this year and they ended up filling a few seats with the staffers I recognized from check-in, which I thought was kind of weird. There also weren't a ton of prior houseguests there. We saw Bunky, Eric, Erika and Adam (still on crutches one year later! lol), Dick, Daniele, Kail and her husband, and Amber. Janelle came in and sat down and turned around to say hello and ask if we were going to the wrap party. She looked AMAZING and that's an understatement! She's such a sweetheart and was signing things for people throughout the show during the breaks. It was very sad to not be there with Naters, but was fun to get texts from him and other friends saying they saw us on TV! We had four signs with us and they ended up being passed around to others on our side and the other side of the audience! The staffers brought out some signs for the guinea pigs that they had made. The cutest sign we saw (besides ours of course lol) one was a little boy who had a huge hat that said, "Julie Chen Rocks!" Julie took pictures with him and LOVED the sign.
Julie looked great, and had HUGE hair as usual! She does such a great job, with what they give her to work with. It was really fun watching her work and feeling the excitement of the staffers. Our new CBS friend was talking about the HUGE numbers of people who work on this show and what a big production it is. With a winter BB, they aren't really getting any down-time and I could feel the energy in the room even more than last year. These production people are so proud of their operation, it was really fun to see them enjoying BB as much as the fans.
The taping was fun as usual! We got the low-down on how to act, when to clap, when to hold up signs, etc...during each break. When they brought in the jury, I think they were all completely shell-shocked at the cheers. It is always really cute to see these normal people coming to the realization that they have fans. James and Alex both said several times during the commercial breaks to their neighbors, "Who ARE these people?!?!?" with these huge smiles. Sheila got ALL excited when she noticed Dick in the audience! Dick gave James a big thumbs up and they were all pointing out the former houseguests in the crowd. James (and I!) were SOOOO excited that he won the America's Favorite Juror award. That's a lot of money to him and I think he was worried that he wasn't well liked. After the segment where Jen and Allison had to talk about each other, they totally hugged and said they loved each other, which was so funny! I always thinks it's hilarious that they get so wrapped up in their bitterness during the show and then seconds after the finale ends they're all best friends. It's a crazy bond that they make, all of them going through this experience together. Some of the strangest friendships come out of Big Brother because of that.
After the finale was done, they taped the CBS morning show spot and then it was time for a picture of Janelle with our new CBS friend and time to go the Green Room party. We had some fun catching up with some of the former houseguests while the new houseguests, Dick, Daniele, and Janelle all did the backyard interviews. It took SO long for them to come to the Green Room, but we kept busy at the open bar and with the families of the houseguests. It turns out Ryan's mom is a friend of a friend (it's a small world!), and she's such a sweetheart! Kail and her husband were sitting all alone for most of the night and Eric hung out with Erika and Survivor Adam. We saw Amber and her date very briefly at the green room party, but they didn't stick around. We met Alex's mom and asked her who the flowers she was holding were for, and she told us that Daniele actually brought them for HER, so sweet! We took some pictures with people and watched as an avid fan had everyone and their brother sign OUR posters which we had left in the audience. It will be interesting to see if they turn up for sale on ebay or anywhere. She was really nice, but she was way too forceful getting their phone numbers and stuff. As long as she had fun, I guess that's what's important.
We caught up with our friend who works on the show and he told us that this group of houseguest was so crazy and so different than other groups! He said immediately after the live show taping, the houseguests who had been out of the house, not in the jury were going CRAZY trying to tell every single detail to the jury members. There was info flying everywhere about James' gay porn being all over the web and all the other news and rumors that the jury didn't know anything about. It was CRAZY! We talked to him for a while about the cameras and how this group was so wild compared to other seasons. I can't wait for the wrap party so we can really have time to sit and talk to all of the staffers that we've met in prior years! We're really excited too, to be able to take our new CBS friend who is an amazing set designer. Hopefully, he can do some networking at the wrap party and maybe HE will get to design a future BB house! As for other staffers that we talked to, it seemed like they loved this group of people, but didn't think very highly of them as competitors this season. Some likened it to the "Real World" season of BB and were disappointed in the final two.
We watched the show when it came on at 8pm our time, in the Green Room and were STILL waiting for the houseguests to show up. They finally did and we took pictures with our favorites. They were all hilarious and introduced themselves! They would ask our names, then say, "Nice to meet you, I'm so and so" which is so funny. I think they really do forget that they have been on tv 24 hours a day for three months! I took the first pic with James and he was SO happy to be free, he's so nice and not arrogant at all. He was so happy to see a couple of his friends and hear about how they liked the show. We took some pictures with Parker, Amanda, Alex and Ryan. Chelsia's mom looks EXACTLY like her, they're both so beautiful. She said, " I love my girl" and we told her we did too. I think they're all so worried about their kids and what the fallout of this experience will be.
It's fun to meet the families and see that they're all normal people like the rest of us and just want the best outcome. Amanda was SO sweet and gorgeous. She has the cutest little curvy figure and she looked great in her dress! She told us to party like rockstars and chatted for a little bit. Alex is just as beautiful in person as on TV. Natalie was there with her sister (who is so cute and blond), James brought a friend from the bar, Parker brought his brother, Shiela's son showed up towards the end, Jacob brought his mom, Sharon was shrieking up a storm when she saw a friend who she didn't know would be there. All of Adam's family was there and all of Ryan's family too.
They were all so excited to hang out with each other, meet each other's family and friends and are all looking forward to the wrap party! We'll post more after that and the pictures will be available soon!