I remember mentioning there was a camera crew at my house on Sunday July 29. Our main camera guy, Kevin was from a show that is going to begin airing on September 10 called The Jeff Probst Show. Jeff Probst (the host of 'Survivor') is starting his own talk show and our family was chosen to be featured in an episode. So we had Kevin at our house on that Sunday at 5 AM filming our family getting ready for church. He also rode in the car with us to church asking us questions and filming us. After church he rode home with us again and then he and his sound guys filmed us the rest of the day, and interviewed us outside on the balcony by the the river.
Guy in yellow is Kevin.
McKenna and I were really bothered with our mom's micromanaging because every time we started answering a question, she would interrupt us and have us say what she wanted us to say, or what she thought was more important.
Here is an example: while we were in the car driving home from church, Kevin asked me what I don't like about being the oldest in a family of 8 kids. I started to say "I don't feel like I have any authority-" and then BAM! Mom interrupted me and said "Well while you are living at home, you *don't* get any authority." In my own defense, here is what I was going to say before she decided to butt in.
I don't feel like I have any authority in my own life. I'm 26 years old and I do not feel like I have the freedom a person my own age should. I'm lumped in with the 'kids' and I am not treated as an individual. If I have a conflict with someone, I do not get to resolve it, Mom has to do it.
McKenna also had an issue with Mom being a busybody but i do not remember the exact situation.
Now the following Thursday, on August 2, the studio sent up a bus from LA to our home to pick us up and take us to LA. Our driver was John and he was awesome!
The inside of our bus.
Nina in the bus before we left. Self portrait.
Before we could head south, we had to drive in to the Bay Area to pick up David from a Cystic Fibrosis retreat he goes to every year. From there, we took a back way through Gilroy to I-5 and we stopped for dinner at a place that is about an hour from home, but it took us 6 hours to get there >_<
The show put us up at the Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood. This place is super nice! A lot of celebrities hang out there, as does a general 'younger' crowd. I heard about it on a show on the Travel Channel in 2010. It is rumored to be the most haunted hotel in Hollywood. Marilyn Monroe used to hang out there as did many other older movie stars.
This was the view out the window.
The rooms were modern enough, Nina and I shared a corner room, so there was a weird bend to it.
The view out our window was Grauman's Chinese Theater. The sidewalk was closed off for an event so I went down with Shannon, and Nina to check it out, even though it was after 10 at night. We found Dad there and he told us that Johnny Depp was there. I did in fact get to see him. Mom thinks it was not really him, but Dad seems to think it was. I couldn't honestly tell you if it was or not, it sure looked like him, so if anyone asks, I saw Johnny Depp. I called up to McKenna and Lynnsey and had them come down for the event.
Also at the Chinese Theater is the place in Hollywood where movie stars place their hands in cement. I've been there many times, but it was Shannon's first time in Hollywood. She literally freaked out when she saw the hand prints from the cast of Harry Potter. It was a fun night, us 5 sisters walking around Hollywood, looking at the stars on the Walk of Fame and such.
The show had 5 rooms for our family, 2 per room. It was so much fun having a huge bed to myself. I shared a room with Nina and she and I stayed up until after 1 in the morning watching The Food Network, and the Olympics. It was fun, I can hang out with that girl all the time.
Nina and I had a room in the corner of the building, hence the weird bend at the window.
We had to get up pretty early because we were to meet John at 8 downstairs so he could get us to the studio by 8:30. They wanted us to come in light make up and hair so they could make adjustments if needed.
Nina and I got up around 6 and got ready, then I went downstairs and across the street to a Starbucks and got breakfast sandwiches for everyone (thank you discount!)
As usual, we were a few minutes late getting checking out, but it was no big deal.
Outside the studio, we learned there several shows filmed at this particular location including Judge Judy and Let's Make A Deal. There was a line of people waiting for that show in their crazy costumes.
We got two dressing rooms. They had drinks and a brunch breakfast for us, coffee, tea, soda, energy drinks, yoghurt, bagels, fruit, and cookies.
Yes, these are cookies!
We were very early for the show, but that was a good thing. It takes a bit of time to get 10 people through wardrobe, make-up and hair. My make up artist asked if I had done my own my own make up that morning, which I did. I did foundation, light blush and eyes. She told me I had done an exceptional job and hardly needed to do anything, just touch me up for the cameras. I was honored that I got such a high compliment from a Hollywood make up artist. She added a lip color I am absolutely in love with. It is 215 from Palette 5 from Make Up Forever. My local Sephora carries Make Up Forever, but not the lip palette that was used.For my hair, they just re-straightened it, no big deal.
For my wardrobe, I was wearing my 4 inch heel boots, a pair of weathered jeans from Rue 21, a cranberry top from Target, and a blazer I borrowed from McKenna. the only thing they changed for was the jeans, I was given a pair of super skinny jeans that looked amazing with the boots.
Everyone went through the same-ish routine of hair, make up and wardrobe, some of the girls got super cute dresses.
During some point of this process, we were taken onto the stage so we could get spaced and in order, it felt like blocking in a way.
So then it began. From the hall, we could hear the audience being brought in, clapping to upbeat music, it was so exciting. We were brought from our dressing room after Jeff did the intro to our family. from just offstage, we saw a monitor of the video intro that Kevin had filmed earlier that week, it looked so neat put together like that in a professional way. And then we were cued to come on stage, in front of the cheering audience, it was such a rush.
Unfourtinally, I can not talk about what was discussed on the show, I signed a contract. I can once the show airs.
After the family got to talk with Jeff, he turned the tables on my parents, and turned the focus on them, something we did not see coming. He had us kids taken back to the dressing room, where we watched the rest of the show, and he kept my parents.
Again, I am unsure if I can talk about what happened so I won't. But here is an idea:
After the filming, we were told everyone could keep the clothes we were given (yay my super skinny jeans are all mine). We got John as our driver and he drove us straight home, then took David and McKenna to the CF Retreat in the Bay Area.
It was a super packed, fun two day trip and I'll never forget it.
Credit to my dad, Thomas Hardy for most of these photos.