The Day I Met Celine Dion

Date: July 22, 2016 at 7:26 pm- by Ali- Comment(s): 36

Welp.

All my dreams have officially come true.

This morning, I met Céline Dion.

#flawless

#flawless

I went to the Today show concert, and I lived for every moment Céline was onstage. I laughed (when she sang Rihanna’s “Work” during sound check), I cried (when she sang “A New Day Has Come”)…

Right before Céline came out: "I don't think I'm going to cry, actually!" The moment she started singing: tears.

Right before Céline came out: “I don’t think I’m going to cry, actually!” The moment she started singing: tears.

…I gawked (that silver sequin pantsuit — need), and then I got to go inside the studio to meet my favorite performer in the whole world.

SPOILER.

SPOILER.

I have loved Céline Dion my whole life. So when I heard she’d be performing on the Today show’s summer concert series, I knew I had to be there. And while the concerts are free and open to the public, I wanted a good spot in the crowd. Obviously. So from the bottom of my heart [of the ocean], THANK YOU to my friend Meredith, who used to work at Today and hooked me up with VIP passes. I will never love anyone more than I love Meredith. (Except Céline, but double duh.)

My friend Emily and I made the [not very long] trek from New Jersey to RockeFELLER Center at 5 AM, and were at the plaza by 5:30. We hopped into the VIP line — which was longer than I would have expected — and waited and made friends. I loved it. The energy was so fun, everyone was so excited, and people were so nice. (In the middle of Manhattan, no less!)

So very excited at 6 AM!

So very excited at 5:30 AM!

Around 5:50, they started bringing everyone in, and we were just a few people back from the stage. It was awesome, and I think I just kept saying, “Oh my god. Oh my god. Holy crap. Oh my god.” For someone who has interviewed and worked with loads of celebrities and has never once felt starstruck, I was feeling it.

Sleepy eyes. (Mine, not Emily's. Emily always looks cute AF.)

Sleepy eyes. (Mine, not Emily’s. Emily always looks cute AF.)

Sometimes, before the show starts, the artists come out to do sound checks — and Céline did! Such a treat! She came out and performed her full set for us before it was even 7 AM! She was wearing a cool denim shirt and she looked amazing and she’s so funny. She loved hamming it up for the crowd, and she even improvised a performance of “Over the Rainbow.” All the while, we were having the best time singing along and dancing and making friends in the crowd.

THE QUEEN!

THE QUEEN! And some lady’s phone.

Now let’s go back in time.

When I found out I had VIP passes, I knew I wanted to wear something special, like a cool Céline Dion shirt or perhaps a sparkly floor-length gown like one Céline might wear. I didn’t like the options on Amazon, so just one day before the concert, I called up a friend who works for my favorite Bow & Drape and asked if there was any chance I could get a last-minute shirt made. I wanted it to say “THAT’S THE WAY IT IS” (my second favorite Céline song) in gold sequin letters. He said yes, I just needed to come pick it up.

POP QUIZ: What is my FIRST favorite Céline song?

POP QUIZ: What is my FIRST favorite Céline song?

Well, I couldn’t come pick it up, because my Thursday was slammed with calls, appointments, and a nighttime event. But Brian said he’d make sure someone got it (like an intern or something — I owe you guys!).

When my event ended late last night, I hadn’t heard from Brian, and last I heard, no one was able to pick up my shirt. SO SAD. Brian finally made it home around 10 PM…shirt in hand. Turns out, he went to get it for me and then got trapped underground for more than an hour on the subway. HUSBAND OF THE YEAR.

Why is that important?

Because the shirt was a hit.

Making friends! That's me with my new buddies, Jonathan and Alex!

Making friends! That’s me with my new buddies, Jonathan and Alex!

I assumed everyone would be wearing gold sequin Céline shirts, but not so! So I was mostly just living my best life during Celine’s sound check, and producers and cameramen would come over and ask me to scream stuff into the camera, which I’m sure looked and sounded insane, but they seemed to love it.

SO EXCITED.

SO EXCITED.

EVEN MORE EXCITED.

EVEN MORE EXCITED.

The live show began at 7 AM, as it does, and we were told Céline would be performing at 8 and 8:30.

She reemerged just before 8:00 wearing a silver sequin pantsuit. She’s amazing.

This is how close we were!

This is how close we were! Look at Savannah’s cute baby bump!

She performed a new song (“Water and a Flame”), a medley of her classics, and “Because You Loved Me.” Everyone on the plaza was holding up their phones and iPads and iWhatevers, but I put my phone away for the most part and just took it in and enjoyed it. She also ended up singing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” because they liked it so much during the soundcheck. So we basically got a full Céline Dion concert. For free. In the middle of New York City.

She's like a disco ball with wavy hair.

She’s like a disco ball with wavy hair.

At some point, the hype man — you know, that guy who is kind of in charge and gets everyone to cheer on cue — told me he liked me, and asked if I was available after the concert to come into the studio. Here’s how the conversation went…

Hype Man Alex: I like your energy, and your shirt. You’re great. Are you available to stick around a bit this morning to come into the studio and do a segment during the 9:00 hour?

Alison: [Blank stare]

Hype Man Alex: We’re going to do a game show where the contestants and the hosts fill in the blanks from Celine Dion songs.

Alison: Oh god, I don’t know. Do I know all her lyrics? I think I do. I don’t want to be bad. I’m really sweaty. This shirt is cotton.

Hype Man Alex: Are you available to do it?

Alison: I’ll do it if I can take a picture with Céline Dion! (This was a joke. I assumed she was leaving right after performing.)

Hype Man Alex: Well you’ll get to meet her. She’s hosting it.

Alison: [Collapses to the ground.]

So when Queen Céline was done performing, they brought me into the studio and I met the other two contestants.

Being escorted to meet the queen. So VIP.

Being escorted to meet the queen. So VIP.

We were told who our partners would be — I was with Jenna Bush Hager! — and given a super quick rundown of how the segment would work. I had to turn my phone off (not just airplane mode!), so I couldn’t take any pictures, but then Céline walked past us and into Studio 1A, and I just. kept. sweating.

Jenna was the BEST partner, because she's a fellow Céline super fan, and she was really eager to push the buzzer.

Jenna was the BEST partner, because she’s a fellow Céline super fan, and she was really eager to push the buzzer.

The segment was silly and fun, and Jenna and I were declared the winners (even though Jonathan totally stole the show and was amazing).

Céline Dion should host EVERYTHING.

Céline Dion should host EVERYTHING.

Jenna, it's OK that you messed up the words to "The Power of Love" (AKA Brian's and my wedding song). I'm sorry I yelled at you. On live television.

Jenna, it’s OK that you messed up the words to “The Power of Love” (AKA Brian’s and my wedding song). I’m sorry I yelled at you. On live television.

Singing "It's All Coming Back to Me Now" WITH Celine Dion. Aca-believe it.

Singing “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now” WITH Celine Dion. Aca-believe it.

I won this Heart of the Ocean necklace, like from Titanic, and Jenna tried to put it around my neck, but it clearly didn't fit over my head. In the clip, you hear me say — with it on my head like this — "Does it look good?!" Fool.

I won this Heart of the Ocean necklace, like from Titanic, and Jenna tried to put it around my neck, but it clearly didn’t fit over my head. In the clip, you hear me say — with it on my head like this — “Does it look good?!” Fool.

Before the segment started, Céline was so nice and funny, and she got us all to sing along with her, and she seemed exactly like she does from all her funny behind-the-scenes videos. (The segment isn’t online, but if they put it up, I’ll share it. Obviously.)

Before I left, I swung by the Orange Room, flipped through Wranger’s scrapbook, snapped a quick pic, and then practically floated my way back to New Jersey.

Watch out, Carson Daly. I'm here to steal your job. JK, WE CAN BE CO-ORANGE ROOM HOSTS!

Watch out, Carson Daly. I’m here to steal your job. JK, WE CAN BE CO-ORANGE ROOM HOSTS!

Best day ever?

Best. Day. Ever.

Souvenirs!

Souvenirs!

Here are a few videos from the day… (I’m in the first one!)

And a few more gratuitous photos…

THIS. HAPPENED.

THIS. HAPPENED.

No, we did NOT get hair and makeup. Clearly. Dang it.

No, we did NOT get hair and makeup. Clearly. Dang it.

Rocking out with Jenna Bush.

Rocking out with Jenna Bush.

I'm in there somewhere!

I’m in there somewhere!

See Emily and me over on the right?!

See Emily and me over on the right?!

Great look. Very stylish.

Great look. Very stylish.

Biggest, most gracious thanks to Meredith for the VIP passes, without which I would never have met CÉLINE DION. And to Emily, for being the best hype girl and buddy, and for being willing to wake up at 4 AM to go to the concert. And to Brian, for picking up my shirt.

I’m gonna be so pissed if I wake up tomorrow and this was all a dream…

Posted in Happy Things and tagged , -

36 Responses to "The Day I Met Celine Dion"

I am so happy for you!!! I can’t imagine how it must have felt to meet somebody whose fan you have been for practically your whole life – did you even believe it while it happened?!?
(Did this really happen? Or did you just play with Photoshop and are messing with us all?) 😉

I WISH I knew how to do Photoshop magic! I’d play all kinds of tricks! But no, this was definitely real. I think.

Oh man what a day! Your face is exploding with joy. I love it.

I am in tears over here just reading about your experience. So happy for you that you were finally able to meet her. I imagine this is the giddy-ness I would feel if I were to ever meet Eli Manning.

This is so crazy cool! I have been reading your blog for basically ever and have always heard you talk about Celine. I hope they post the game show clip so you can share it!! (Or maybe you should just record it with your phone from DVR..) The necklace looks good as a crown 🙂

Seriously the coolest thing. So happy for you.

Margaret says: July 22, 2016 at 9:18 pm

one of the best blog posts ever. Ali you are very deserving of this day. I can’t believe you met Celine and now your are IRL friends. Love all the pics, the clips, the t shirt, the joy!

This is AMAZING! Seriously, what a day. I’m sure you were awesome and hilarious on the game show! So happy for you that you got to meet her and have this experience!

I saw you on the show and got excited! I was like I read her blog! To my mom who had no clue what I was talking about 🙂 how exciting for you!!! You did awesome!!

This post is EVERYTHING!!!! So happy for you! Fun fact: I had that exact same necklace back in the day. I was obsessed with Titanic. I also adore Celine and want to see her in Vegas this winter!

PS: Is “I Drove All Night” your #1?

Nope! It’s up there, but it’s not my favorite!

Well, shit. If I hadn’t decided to “sleep while the babies sleep” today, I could’ve seen you and been all like, “how do I know her?!”
Instead I did the snapchat bee filter on her when she was singing “Beeeeecause You Loved Me” , sent it to a few friends who were stuck working, and then took a nap.
But serious high five to you for having such an awesome freaking day!!!

HAHAHAHAHAHA that’s hysterical.

Okay, then I bet it’s “I’m Your Lady.” Am I right?!

YOU’RE RIGHT! The Power of Love is my top jam. It was our wedding song!

Oh. My. Word!

How freaking cool. I’m a huge Today Show fan so this is just extra awesome! I’m probably more jealous you got to meet some of the hosts!

Ali, I love this post! I am going to see Celine in LV this fall. Wish you could come:)

OK, I’LL COME.

So happy for you!!! #dreamscometrue

Oh my! The Today Show is my fave! I was watching and singing along myself and told my 13 year old son Celine has always been my favorite. So happy for you! Loved reading about it!

Please make that last photo of the post your profile picture for everything ever.

I stopped watching the Today show down here in FL because it was making me ache missing NY. UGH, I so wish I saw this! I would’ve been screaming. You’re so lucky!!!!

Don’t miss NYC. It smells like hot garbage.

This is not real life. SO COOL!!!!!! And so happy you actually got to live out this dream of yours.

I saw you. I kept yelling to my husband. That Ali on the Run.

Love Celine too.

Insanely jealous

I am so happy for you!!!!

You have such a cool life! 🙂

you are living your best life.

Omg this is amazing I’m so happy for you!

So amazing! Total redemption for the failed radio contest. #karma

Jillian J says: July 25, 2016 at 12:32 pm

This is amazing!!!!!
did you invite her to Paris for your anniversary??? she should totally sing your song as you and Brian dance your way through the city!

YAAAAASSSSSS!!!!!

True story – I Tivo JUST the 9 o’ clock hour of the Today Show so I just went and watched your appearance. I mean Celine’s appearance. I mean yours and Celine’s joint appearance! Well done! 😀 Her interview was amazing and had me in tears – what a fabulous human.

I’m so glad your dreams came true! Does this make up for losing out on the tickets all those years ago??

It mostly makes up for it 😉

This is AMAZING! So happy for you since we all know how much you love Celine and she seems really great and so nice! Did a little youtube search and saw your segment here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fYJSMd2gSeA

This seriously is so exciting. What a great experience!