An Audience Member at “Bachelorette: The Men Tell All” Tells All

Our friend Laurie Sandell is not only a celebrity interviewer for women'smagazines like In Style, Glamour and Marie Claire, she is also a BachelorNation superfan. She started a private Facebook group for her likeminded
friends (like us) called "MondayNight You-Know-What Discussion Group."She once bagged the White Rhino of Ben's season of The Bachelor, a randomrun-in with show-villain and now tell-all author of"I Didn't Come Here to Make Friends,"Courtney Robertson (Laurie was bold enough to ask for a pictogether and got one!). Her superfandom reached its zenith last night: shewas in the studio audience of "The Men Tell All"! And now she's here totell us all about it:

How did you score tickets to "The Men Tell All"?
One of my friends knows one of the show's producers. As soon as I found
this out, I immediately called in the most important favor I could imagine
ever asking of him.

Where were you seated?
In the front row directly behind [host] Chris Harrison and the hot seat.
It was just a fluke we got those seats: I brought a friend [another fellow
superfan] and we were one of the last people called into the theater. They
needed a party of two for the front row and we fit the bill.

What's the difference between seeing it in person and seeing it on TV?
Surprisingly, it was eeerily similarly because the set was so utterly
familiar, like we had teleported through our TV into the studio.
Everything looked exactly the same: the lighting, the flowers, the
candles, and, of course, the roses.

Are the guys better (or worse) looking in person?
So much better looking in person. We were actually floored by how
good-looking they were. They were shorter than we expected, however - at
least some of them were. They were all very comfortable and charismatic on
stage. Clearly they had been in front of cameras for months. None of them
seemed shy or embarrassed to be there.

Were there any surprises with the guys?
I have to admit, I have been a little bit lax in my viewing this season: I
have an infant, so I've been watching with one eye, so I didn't know
exactly who the guys were. So when they came out, I was like "That guy is
cute." But he turned out to be the potentially racist one, so I quickly
changed my crush.

To whom?
Ron was very charming and super cute.

What was Chris Harrison like?
He's more sarcastic and hilarious than he is on the show. On the show he
has to appeal to a mainstream American audience, but in reality he's very
wry and quick-witted, so that surprised me a bit.

And what was Andi like?
Very likable. And so much more beautiful in person - she truly is
stunningly gorgoeus, as good-looking as any A-list celelbrity. Articulate
and very put together. She came across as genuine.

How long did it take?
Eight hours.

What?!? Really? Start to finish?
Really, eight hours. When we first got there, we were in a holding room
while the producers were making sure everyone was there. They gave us
sandwiches. Then they ushered us into the studio and we spent the first
two hours watching the fantasy suites episode - they tape "The Men Tell
All" before the fantasy suites episode airs so we got to see it before
anyone else. After that, each segment took a long time to shoot because
they film more than they air, and there were breaks between each segment
for leg-stretching and bathroom runs.

How were the bathrooms?
Luxury trailers set up like nice hotel restrooms. An entire trailer was
one bathroom.

What was the audience like?
I was looking around at my fellow audience members, like, "Who are these
people? How did they get here?" There were a lot of jewel-toned tops. It
really did look exactly like the audience you see on TV. They're a
combination of people like me who are friends of friends, people who had
won charity contests, randos off the street, and people associated with
the show. For instance, there was a guy there - and there are hardly any
guys in the audience - so I asked him how he got there and he said he
provides the limos for the show. But I have to say, everybody in that
audience was a superfan - there was not one jaded person in the room. I've
been in the studio audience of "Dancing with the Stars" - I was there to
interview Lisa Vanderpump - and I was seated next to another interviewer
who was totally bored. At the "Men Tell All", everyone - and I mean
everyone - was into it, laughing it up.

Did you practice your reaction faces beforehand?
My friend and I were cracking up practicing our faces beforehand, but when
the show started, we were so caught up in it, we really were making crazy
expressions. Afterwards, we were actually afraid we might look really ugly
because we hadn't practiced looking pretty while looking surprised!

Did they use any of your reaction shots?
Umm, nothing BUT shots of us! We were practically in every frame![See
below, Laurie is the one in blue, with dark brown glossy bangs.]There
were no super surprised reaction shots but we did tsk tsk when Chris
Harrison talked about Marquel getting kicked off. At one point, Chris
brought up a rumor that Andi was pregnant, but I misheard and thought she
was about to announce that she actually was preggers, so I whipped my head
around to my friend and gasped louder than I've ever gasped in my life.
Fortunately they didn't use that.

What was the most surprising thing about the experience?

It was more intimate than I thought it would be. There's nowhere to hide.
You really are a part of the show. And the guys were very close to the
audience. They were only a few feet away. They were milling about
afterwards and we could have interacted with them, but there were a lot of
producers around and I think it would have been unseemly to try to talk to

Any other dirt you can give us?
There are a ton of funny things that I'd like to share but they might
really break the fourth wall and I had to sign an extremely steep
confidentially agreement that no amount of fundraisers would ever help me

- In Defense of Juan Pablo
- Juan Pablo and the Fantasy Suite Charade
- The Return of Sean's Abs