How do you end a dream date with Justin Timberlake?
Not with a kiss, according to Cpl. Kelsey De Santis, the Marine who was escorted by the 30-year-old singer and actor to her Marine Corps Ball this weekend after famously inviting him through a YouTube video.
When it came time to party with Marines, Timberlake was on his best behavior.
“As we said our goodbyes, it was me and our entire group,” De Santis said today on “ Good Morning America” in her first live interview since Saturday’s ball. “We just all gave hugs and parted our ways. He was a complete gentleman.”
Though there was no kiss to end the night, both De Santis and Timberlake walked away with a lifetime of memories.
“There were so many favorite parts,” she said today on “GMA.” “I was super, super excited and ready to get it on.”
While De Santis and her fellow Marines were supposed to be the ones in awe of Timberlake, it was the singer himself who walked away from the night starstruck.
“He had a smile on his face the entire time and was taking pictures with people,” De Santis said. “We were talking and shaking hands.”
Timberlake wrote on his website that the event “turned out to be one of the most moving evenings I’ve ever had.” Attendees said a video montage of Pearl Harbor, World War II and the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks “almost brought [Timberlake] to tears.”
De Santis said that memory would be her favorite of the night as well.
“Right after the ceremony, we kind of locked eyes and we were both grateful for the things our country stands for and just everything that our military has done for us,” she said. “Not only the look on his face but also the look on everyone else’s face and the feeling in the entire room.”
Timberlake’s road from Hollywood to a Marine Corps Ball in Richmond, Va., began last July when his “Friends with Benefits” costar Mila Kunis was first invited to the Nov. 18 Marine Corps Ball in Greenville, N.C., by Sgt. Scott Moore. The marine made a YouTube video asking Kunis, 28, to be his date to the annual event.
After Timberlake encouraged Kunis to say yes to Moore, De Santis took her shot, inviting the star to her own Marine Corps ball via YouTube.
“If you can’t go,” De Santis said in the video that became a viral sensation. “All I have to say is cry me a river! Hit me up.”
The 30-year-old actor and singer has been known to “rock his body,” but De Santis admitted there was no Marine vs. Popstar dance-off at this event.
“We did have one dance but it was our entire group that went out there and had a good time,” she said. “I didn’t bring it on the dance floor.”
Still, De Santis clearly left the star in awe.
“She seemed to be so humble and honest … Very cool,” he wrote on his website. “She also simultaneously seemed like she was nervous about the whole evening and if I was going to enjoy myself … I have to tell you, it’s not every day that I meet a 23 year old girl and she’s more worried about if I’m having fun or if I’m comfortable…I was really blown away.”
“That makes me feel completely honored because there were a lot of Marines in the room who I served with who are my heroes,” De Santis said on “GMA.” “It was a complete honor to be able to share that experience with someone who is so selfless. It was a great thing.”