So long, ‘TRL’

16 Sep

MTV has pulled the plug on “Total Request Live.” See a full story on it here.

I know we already talked MTV last week, but “TRL” kinda feels like an institution. Or, it was for me, at least. I was 15 when the show started, so I was definitely in its target audience. I loved it.

I remember seeing all kinds of bands I loooved on there. I even remember when Carson Daly was its first host!

Ah, memories. Let’s share some after the jump.

So last week I said I’d been to a taping of “TRL,” but I didn’t tell the whole story.

For Spring Break 2006, was in NYC to attend a journalism conference, and part of the conference was tours of media in the area. I won the chance to go to “TRL” through a lottery.

We were told to show up to the lottery in bright clothes, because we were supposed to head out for Times Square (to MTV studios) right after. Apparently the show won’t either let you in or show you much if you’re in dull shades. The brightest thing I had was a light gray hoodie with sequins. I had my trusty bright yellow jacket, but as you’ll see below, no jackets were allowed.

We stood outside MTV for what felt like forever. When we finally were allowed in, a security guard gave us very quick, very strict rules. Among them: no purses or coats, no gum, no lip gloss/lipstick. I was cool with the first two, but no lip gloss? I was about to make my national TV debut and I can’t spruce up the gloss in between commercial breaks? And, trust me, they knew if you tried to sneak it in. A friend of mine hid her gloss in her pocket, but an equally-large security guard spotted it.

Then we had to wait in a different line, this time to actually go into the studio where “TRL” was filmed. It was slightly cooler than the last, since the walls were covered with photos from videos “TRL” had retired.

When we finally got in, I realized what an incredibly small space the studio was. They (producers I suppose?) warned us when we got in that they’d move some of the seats around for the performances, so we’d have to be ready to jump up and move at any time.

The producers told us to yell and clap loudly when they called for it, and if we were especially good, we’d get tickets to come back to another taping. I could care less – I knew I wouldn’t be back to NYC anytime soon. But the guy beside me decided to yell his little heart out, but he did it so much he got dirty looks from the camera guys and producers.

Damien was the host that day, and he was kinda strange. He’d come out, talk some, then run back to the back. He wouldn’t come back out to shoot until literally the last minute. And, since the show is live, that made for a few scary moments. Maybe he was just having an off day, but he didn’t seem like the friendliest of friendlies.

Amanda Bynes (you probably know her best from “Hairspray,” “Sydney White” or “What I Like About You”) was co-hosting to promote her new movie, “She’s the Man.” She wore an adorable black dress and adorable black heels that I thought for sure she’d keel over in. She was super, super friendly. Way nicer than she should’ve been.

Gideon Yago came in for a bit to talk news…his exact topic is beyond me. I just remembered he was super cute and I got such a serious crush on him. He was just as friendly as Amanda Bynes. I remember he told us all to go see “V for Vendetta.”

We were all cozy til it was time for Natasha Bedingfield to perform. Before I knew it the producers had taken my seat out from under me, and moved it up closer to the middle of the room. She set up with a guitar player and a few background singers, and those of us on the black bleacher-like seats were pushed right up under her. They’d also pulled in some fans from outside, so it was kinda packed in there.

She sang an acoustic version of “Unwritten.” It was the brand-new single, I didn’t like it (still don’t, sorry), so I had to pretend I knew the words so the camera would even think about coming near me. Even though I didn’t like the song, she sounded amazing.

Then, after the song, she ran over to all the fans they’d let in, and she left, and they pushed our seats back to where they were.

And that was kinda that. Basically we yelled and clapped loudly for the hour or so the show lasted. It was really, really weird to just sit there and clap for that long. After the show, we filed out and went back to roaming the streets of NYC.

Even though I stopped watching “TRL” years ago, it was exciting to see it taped live – especially since I was such a big fan of it when I was teenager. Sweet, sweet memories.

Did you ever go see “TRL”– or, heck, any other show for that matter – live?

What’s your favorite “TRL” moment?

Did you have a favorite host?

Anyone else remember that time Mariah Carey had the break-down on air? Or the time Lindsey Lohan wore that “You were never my boyfriend” shirt on there? Gah, I watched this wayyy too much. 🙂

Share your favorite moments!

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