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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

AWKWARD: Boy George, Justin Bieber and me: My epic adventure with music icons

( - Okay, so my gurl WENDY WILLIAMS was kind enough to give me a pair of tickets for her show today (well her staff or the random ticket fairy). I couldn't get anyone to get out of bed and meet me at her studios by 8 am so without coffee, wearing yesterday's dress and no make up (see below) I grabbed my broken umbrella and headed to her studios.

Thank goodness, I got on the wrong train because I was thinking she was filming at the 53rd Street location because the last time I came to her show (first season) it was there. A fellow passenger looked up the address and we discovered it was actually on West 26th Street. It took me a few minutes to realize that even if it was on 53rd, twenty third street is lower and the train would have gotten me there either way. But, like I said, I was coffee-less, sleep deprived and super excited about seeing the show. I hadn't been since the first season when I was able to give her an award (see below) so the new location threw me off.

My first time on Wendy Williams Show

AMERICAN IDOL to WENDY WILLIAMS: The amazing life of Paula Abdul

We were not told who would be on the show - at least I didn't know - so when PAULA ABDUL came out it was cool. Wendy got her to talk about her experience with the late great music legend PRINCE ROGERS NELSON (although it was very PG and we learned nothing about whether or not she knew him on that level).

Through strained teeth and in a tipsy-sounding voice, Paula did dish that he sent her a plane ticket to Paisley Park inside a giant box of peanut butter Twix, which was both of their favorite candy. He wrote a song for her (see below) and the memories still made her smile. Paula was a lot of fun but before long it was time to say goodbye to her.

Before I say goodbye to Paula in this post, can I talk about her outfit. On her appearance on Wendy when it was at the 53rd Street location, Paula killed. Her look was - in the words of Kim Kardashian - to die. Her color block stilettos bootie was purple suede in the front. She wore ultra skin hugging pants/leggings with a black top and a sheer purple shirt. She looked amazing.

Fast forward to May 2016 and Paula's outfit was just as awesome. What did she wear? Well, you'll have to wait for the show! (Okay, ok. I'll share. The video is at the end.)

We were asked to stay seated because they needed to take a second segment. Wendy could barely talk when she revealed the guest was none other than BOY GEORGE. The audience went wild.

So, where was I? Oh yeah....Boy George and Justin Bieber. This is going to be one of the longest posts I've ever done on but you'll want to keep reading because it's really, really juicy!

Before I get to them, I want to share something exciting that happened to me. I met so many awesome people but I got to sit next to a young lady who I met in the bathroom. She was so excited when I mentioned I'm a journalist. We lost each other in the hustle and bustle but managed to get seated next to each other during the taping. We've both been on the show before and were relieved to placed out of the limelight so we could just sit back and enjoy it. When you're dead center or upfront you've gotta work too hard trying to please the camera that you're too busy to really appreciate the show.

She's a fashion design student who was offered an internship at a very, very popular TV show with a dynamic female host (hint) but has decided to go to France for the summer instead. She has a fashion blog but hasn't been sure how to take it to the next level so when the show was done filming, I taught her how to do a quite video to promote her blog. I am sharing it below so that I show you how cool she is and give you a peek at Wendy's set.

Okay, now on to Boy George and Justin Bieber.

When I first met Justin, he was the cutest little kid who came up to my elbow. He had the cutest hair. Ironically, it was after the show that I first went to for Wendy Williams. He was taping his segment so we'd been ask to wait to allow him to have an audience available.

I didn't know who he was but I liked him. Over the years, I'd see him around and he was awesome but over the last two years he's seemed sad, distant and tortured. He's been crying a lot on stage and getting very close to revealing something very huge to his audience but the powers that be seem to have him too spooked to do so.

That's why when Boy George - whose real name is George O'Dowd - mentioned Justin Bieber it was kind of shocking.

Not just because Boy George is a 52-year-old man lusting after 23 year old Bieber. Not just because it was clear that he didn't want to invite Justin over for a beer. It was shocking because just the day before another young male actor - Elijah Wood - came forward to say how badly Hollywood preys on young boys and abuses children. It was shocking because Boy George spent 15 months in jail for sexual deviant behavior. He was also accused of molesting two teen boys.

 But, while I love Boy George's music like everyone else, I was devastated for Bieber and disappointed in Wendy. She'd just spent a significant time discussing Bill Cosby and saying, "We'll never. It's our job to make sure YOU never forget," talking about Cosby's alleged sexual abuse of under-aged models. So, I'm not sure why Boy George was given a pass by Wendy but he totally did. At one point she said to him, "You're our kind of people. What took you so long [to come to the show.]"

As soon as the Boy George segment airs on Wendy Williams, our little buddy Justin whose been begging for peace and quiet, will have every paparazzi trailing him asking him to respond to Boy George's advances. If Bieber says, I'm not into that he'll be called a homophobe. If he says anything other than that, his personal life is on blast. Either way, it seemed incredibly unfair to throw the kid under the bus.

Still Boy George is of course Boy George. He's intentionally controversial but I tell what else: He's a heck of an interview. He was perfect. He was fun, engaging and left us wanting more. He could easily have his own show where he just sits for three hours dishing on his own life.

He rocked the weirdest, coolest hat ever. It was like a cross between the "Arby's" hat made famous by Pharrell Williams and a cartoon character. On Boy George, the hat looked awesome. Good call!

George was asked if he was sober to which he replied: "I am. I've been sober for eight years. I was not very good at doing that. I'm much better with a clear head and in control."

He was asked what his favorite song was and he replied with hesitation that it was by "NINA SIMONE, of course.  Middle of the Night." If you've never heard of the song, I've provided it hear so you can hear it for yourself.

Boy George was asked what he's seen recently that he like. He said, "Noni's song - it's very dark. It's not pop, okay! It's very dark but I'm in love with it."

He shared what it was like to grow up gay. "For me it started about age 11 or 12. I saw David Bowie and that was it for me. My mother used to make things for me. She brought me a record by Rod Stewart called "The Killing of Georgie." It's a big song. The lyrics go, "Georgie boy was gay I guess
nothin' more or nothin' less." (See the full powerful lyrics below) She put it in a paper bag and put it in my drawer as if to say, "I kind of understand now, but I let's not talk about it. Spare me the details." Well, I knew that was not going to work for me. I've been very vocal about it."

Most of the audience had no idea what Boy George was talking about. Many had heard of Rod Stewart but not the song. If you've not heard of it, here's the song.

George was asked if he was dating. Well, actually Wendy said, "So, who's your man?" It was a little blunt but it's Wendy so it was totally fine. George said he wasn't dating but "working on my career but if Justin Bieber wants to do something, I'll make myself available."

He would later admit he has Bieber's cell phone number "I got it from a friend but I've never used it....yet." It's easy to see that Boy George likes them young.

While he was very well received, it shouldn't go unsaid that Boy George has some pretty strange sexual tastes. He's like R. Kelly in that the music is awesome but the man is complicated. Here's hoping that one day he'll look back at this time and feel at peace with it because being there for his interview with Wendy Williams was confusing, engaging, entertaining and a guilt trip all at once.

In these days of changing ways
so called liberated days
a story comes to mind of a friend of mine

Georgie boy was gay I guess
nothin' more or nothin' less
the kindest guy I ever knew

His mother's tears fell in vain
the afternoon George tried to explain
that he needed love like all the rest

Pa said there must be a mistake
how can my son not be straight
after all I've said and done for him

Leavin' home on a Greyhound bus
cast out by the ones he loves
A victim of these gay days it seems

Georgie went to New York town
where he quickly settled down
and soon became the toast of the great white way

Accepted by Manhattan's elite
in all the places that were chic
No party was complete without George

Along the boulevards he'd cruise
and all the old queens blew a fuse
Everybody loved Georgie boy

The last time I saw George alive
was in the summer of seventy-five
he said he was in love I said I'm pleased

George attended the opening night
of another Broadway hype
but split before the final curtain fell

Deciding to take a short cut home
arm in arm they meant no wrong
A gentle breeze blew down Fifth Avenue

Out of a darkened side street came
a New Jersey gang with just one aim
to roll some innocent passer-by
There ensued a fearful fight
screams rang out in the night
Georgie's head hit a sidewalk cornerstone

A leather kid, a switchblade knife
He did not intend to take his life
He just pushed his luck a little too far that night

The sight of blood dispersed the gang
A crowd gathered, the police came
An ambulance screamed to a halt on Fifty-third and Third

Georgie's life ended there
but I ask who really cares
George once said to me and I quote

He said "Never wait or hesitate
Get in kid, before it's too late
You may never get another chance
'Cos youth a mask but it don't last
live it long and live it fast"
Georgie was a friend of mine


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