UPDATED!!!! – Bette & The Big O: And The Winner Is…:
(This Whole Gosh Dang Article Is A Spoiler)

Update: Guys, guys, girls, girls – Miss Luzanne did not get ripped off. Trying to be humorous and obnoxious, I forgot to mention that she did not go home empty handed. She talked to Bette from her seat in the audience (very funny story, but may be edited out…it’s up to Liz to share that info)….however, she did win 2 tickets, front row to the opening night show with airfare and room paid for….that is my fault for just forgetting…but I’m blaming it on the bossa nova!

Mister D:

First, I would like to say the winner was not me. I am not Bette’s biggest fan, even though subconsciously I think I am. If you connect on some level with anybody (sometimes “thing” – think “Lars and The Real Girl”…whatever gets you off!) – a characteristic, a style, a philosophy, even a song…and it alters your life in some way…hopefully for the good, then I think you have the right to call yourself or think you are the biggest fan of that person, animal, or object (it could happen!). I guess I would call it a state of mind. It’s certainly not something to fight over or sling ugly names about. Under my definition, many could be Bette’s biggest fan (but I really am, I’m Mister D, bitch!…cue music and bring me a pole)

ArtWork: Lucy Wilkins

Basically, I’m talking about the taping of the Oprah Winfrey show with Bette, Sophie, and the announcement of Bette’s biggest fan. If somebody is a fan of Bette and wins a contest over me (even though I did not participate…strike one against me), then wooly, booly….good for them. At least we have someone out there touting Bette’s talent and philosophy. So when I announce the winner, be happy for her, dammit! (“her” is a clue and she does read BLB).

My new BLB friend Darron gave me a good lowdown on the show…however, the sarcastic comments are mine, so don’t blame him…he’s a sweetheart. Okay, here we go:

The audience, which I am proud to say had a good bit of BetteHeads in it giving each other secret BLB looks…something one can’t describe, because, well, I don’t know what I’m talking about.

  • Some backstage footage was shown from the upcoming Caesar’s gig.
  • Bette performed a kind of edited version of what the opening might be likw….There’s the “Hey Bette Midler” and then the singing of “Big Noise From Winnetka” (Rumour I have heard: that a new song is being looked for before Big Noise, but what do I know).
  • Gay men were relegated to the back rows (yes we are the new Rosa Parks, God bless her), and “Beaches” fans were pushed towards the front. Gotta love the producers…they know who their audience is…..
  • (The above was statement was not meant to be taken seriously as far as gays being relegated to the back. I just generalized and made a joke…my bad…Mister D…and yes, I’m gay )

  • Oddly enough, Sophie took up a good part of the interview while Mama Midler mugged at the audience as if she were upset at being ignored. Yes, folk, this was in jest! No foul letters please!
  • There was no talk of the new movie, which is a shame, since Bette is getting such good notices.
  • I was told everyone had a wonderful time and were so grateful they were able to get a chance to go. I mean Bette and the Big O? Come on! It’s hard to get into this show! (I really don’t watch Oprah (gay gasp), so is that really her nickname, the Big O or am I in trouble???)

I’m getting this out because I almost deleted what I wrote. More is coming, including the winner’s story….if there are lots of mistakes on here…spelling, bad definitions, and/or incoherent sentences….I literally can barely see…some kind of med (no not meth)…whatever…just read. Just refresh the page….the winner is coming up….

Mister D: I just have one beef. I thought the producers were sucky with this contest. You get people to film stuff, write stuff, ask personal questions, and then when you pick the people you want, then you tell them they have to pay for their own plane ticket and room? Come on! You give away pontiacs to a whole audience and Oprah flies 100’s of rich celelbrities to some remote resort where God only knows what goes on….I just think you could fork out some money for the people you chose. That’s it….plus, no one got to meet Bette, not eveb the winner!

The winner’s name is Luzanne or “Liz”…not sure of the age, but I’m guessing in her twenties. I heard she is very pretty and she’s been very gracious and sincere in her emails to me. No sttitude. And no high falutin’ ego as to her title. I admire what she did with her life as to being influenced by Ms. Midler. And a fabulous sense of humor. Here’s her story:

Basically, I went to my first concert in my Mom’s belly in 1979. That began a lifelong love affair with Bette’s work. My father, lacking any sense of boundaries would plop be down in front of “Divine Madness” to keep me occupied. He wasn’t going to sit there and watch Sesame Street with me! The years of trouble I got into by saying things at school like in second grade when I announced to the class, “The question before us is where’s her clitoris?” Of course, I didn’t know what it meant but I knew she got a great laugh. All I got was a detention!

I followed Bette’s career in a completely obsessive manner. Had she not moved out of Los Angeles byt the time I got my driver’s license, I’m sure I’d have a record by now! I wanted to be a singer and performer until I realized that I had severe stage fright and was tone deaf. Ha ha. Just about that time, Bette founded the New York Restoration Project – this happened to coincide with my 14th birthday. A time when kids begin to think outside of their social circle and to the bigger picture. Bette’s clear enthusiasm for the topic piqued my interest. I summered in Hawaii in the area where she grew up; lived in LA and spent much time in NYC. I completely understood her thoughts on beautification and the environment.

I volunteered at different organizations like “Heal the Bay” and “Surfrider” but sought to make it my career. If it had not been for her, I might not have discovered what turned out to be my passion. Had I not been introduced to it at that time, who knows what I’d be doing. I went to USC and graduated #1 in my class, then to Harvard for a graduate degree in bioethics with a concentration in the environment and graduated Magna Cum Laude; now I’m in my first year at Notre Dame Law School with a specialization in environmental law. I’ve applied for an internship at NYRP for the summer so we’ll see how it goes.

I know that I will make a huge difference in the field and can thank her for being my inspiration. Bette’s professional work impresses me to no end but what distinguishes her in my mind is her profound sense of empathy for our future generations. Bette jumped on this bandwagon before every celebrity had to have a charity, you know?!?!

Thanks;-) Luzanne

I would just like to thank Luzanne for writing in and sharing her story. She certainly didn’t have to and she’s very well aware of the way some people might feel. The producer’s chose the winner, and it was Luzanne. End of story. So I would appreciate no ugly comments…I won’t let them through.

If you want to bitch about the show’s producers, that’s fine. Luzanne didn’t even get to meet Bette either. I thought for sure all the peeps that got on the show would….boy was I wrong. Anyway, be nice and happy for her. At least we can say she’s one of us. I loved this story and it’s very inspirational…

Love, Mister D

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54 thoughts on “UPDATED!!!! – Bette & The Big O: And The Winner Is…:
(This Whole Gosh Dang Article Is A Spoiler)

  1. I hope some of the Betteheads in the audience will give us a great review of the show. I also hope somebody will record the show and upload it, pleeeeeease! 😉
    and to all of you who are going

  2. Are you serious…? Gay men relegated to the back row…? You’re not serious. I was invited to attend but I wasn’t about to pay over 450.00 for roundtrip airfare to Chicago. Am so glad I didn’t now if you are serious. I would have been pissed. The deciding factor was that I already have a ticket for her opening night in Vegas. Also, when they informed me that they were unable to pay for my airfare I had to laugh – Oprah has paid more for fried chicken to be air couriered from Ezel’s Chicken – mere blocks away.
    I spent a lot of time and creative effort on my essay and video submission – not to mention the numerous pix, telephone interviews and email correspondence with them, if you are serious about gay men been relegated to the back row – I beleive this garners more serious conversation then a bulleted statment…

  3. I was there and, agree with what you said about how the producers handled this “contest”. I really didn’t know what was going on half the time, just was a member of the audience and had to go there on my own (well, my mother’s) dime. I was lucky to be able to go because of her generosity, but definitely didn’t feel special at all. Like I had poured my heart out into a video and a couple of letters and then was just given a seat in the back row. I guess if they had just been really up front when they called to ask me to be in the audience – that that was all it was, nothing more – I would have been OK with that. But it was the unknown, the hope that something special would happen and the crash and burn when nothing did (except for Bette putting on a great show of course!!) that was disappointing. I was hoping that they would at least put most of us “winners” in the front rows rather than the casual Beaches watcher or the person who was happy just to have tickets to Oprah, whatever the show topic.

    So congrats to the winner and a big hello to the fellow Betteheads that I didn’t actually shake hands with. I should have – I was just so confused most of the time!

    Next stop for me – Vegas baby! Good things there are such things as credit cards.


  4. Scott:

    Come on…get your panties out of a wad…I was overgeneralizing on what someone said. I think they just discriminate against men…period (and than God we don;t get them)….:-)

    Love, Mister D

  5. Not in a wad – just confused on when your comments are made and when the commentator is quoted. I am happy for Luzanne, sweet story.

  6. Congrats Liz!! So, she just won the title of “Bette Midler’s Biggest Fan”?????

    That seems cheap on Oprah and her people’s part.

    I got a call, but was not invited to attend. I’m going to pretend I’m a celebrity and say that I wasn’t invited because of my antics on The Brandon Hall Show… shut up, it makes me feel better. =)

    Also, congrats to those who do get to see Bette in Vegas, I probably won’t be able to make it… had she waited 2 more years to do it until I was out of college, that would be a different story, but school sure does put a dent in the wallet.

    Anyway, I’m just as confused with this whole contest as ever and I wanna Oprah’s people should be ashamed of themselves for not even inviting the winners to atleast shake hands with Bette after shelling out a few hundred dollars to get there.

    In the words of Frank Sinatra, THAT’S LIFE!

  7. Sorry Scott, that’s my fault. I bulleted stuff, but I didn’t put quotes around around anything…but Darron’s comments seemed in jest…about he and his group. If it were true, I would have bitched up a storm about that.

    I didn’t like the way they handled the whole thing. Tons of emails about it. I just hate the way that show biz exploits or trivializes everything and plays with people’s emotions…I think that’s what I want to say.

    Of course, if I won, then all is fair…LOL

  8. Before I go grocery shopping, I just wanted to tell Brandon he is not alone. I probably won’t be able to make it to this show either. My first to miss. I’ve fallen on hard times right now (next thing I lose is my insurance), but we all have our own cross to bear….so I pulled this little stunt….

    I tried, true story, to get in as part of the press…LOL

    You know, I work for Bootleg Betty, and I would like to cover the Bette Midler: The Showgirl Must Go On on opening night….I got kind of a “get real” Don note.

    Bollocks, I say. We’ll get there Brandon, as God is my witness!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

    Love, Mister D

  9. I wanted to publicly Thank Mister D. as I don’t think ANY of us would have known to even ENTER if it weren’t for BLB. The two BLB fans I met aftwerwards (and sent pics of to you) were such sweet (and cute!) boys, but they seemed really crestfallen afterwards. One other fan and I wore our Bette t-shirts and there we were on the back row watching a woman ON STAGE(who’s seat was right down front too) saying her favorite song to choreograph to was “that wind, wings song” In the entire front section (about 1/3 of the audience) there was only 1 man. Anyway, I think I was okay with it all as I had to call in Friday night and BEG for tickets. That’s when she said they had just invited mostly Chicago area folks to come since they weren’t paying for air/hotel but was VERY sweet and said if I could get there I could go. I knew at that point that I wasn’t picked as they didn’t NEED me there for show. So I made peace with it then and there. I figured if I showed up and if we all got free tickets to the show or a car or whatever GREAT! If not, hey I got to see Bette in a room with just 350 other people. I have to say I have never been in any business or establishment with more kind, friendly, down to earth, respectful and sincere employees than Harpo Studios. Even the lady out in the snow at 6am welcoming us to the studiio was all smiles and warmth. I enjoyed it all but certainly felt like I was asked to sit at the back of the bus, as were all the gay men there. The difference is it was NOT a public arena. It is a private business that appeals to a certain demographic (although I suspect a big part of that demographic are the gays) and to stay in business they need to appeal to that group. i.e. middle aged “Beaches” fans who had, with there best girlfirend seen the movie 3 or four times together and shared a box of Kleenex. Meanwhile, while talking to one of them on the front row she hadn’t ever heard of “Big Business” or “And Then She Found Me.” I gladly filled her in and then watched her go back to front row center from my back row seat. Oh well! We shall overcome! And in the meantime–I am just glad I was there.

  10. Umm. Really? Luzanne was chosen as Bette’s Biggest Fan (awesome story by the way) and they couldn’t even let the girl meet Miss M? A picture, a handshake and hi-5… nothing? That seems silly and absurd to me on so many levels. Now I realize why I stopped watching Oprah.

  11. If amybody needs to change their comments…in my effort to be humorous…I left out the part where Luzanne did win 2 tickets to the show, and 2 nights…something like that. Now you see why I didn’t get a press pass!!!!

    Love, Mister D

  12. Thanks for everything you guys! I, like you, had no clue what was going on pre-show. You probably noticed that I was surprised to hear my name. I’ll send pics of the show to Mr. D…maybe I’ll get to meet Bette in Vegas? I will be our representative for the night! I wish we could all go together 😉

  13. Sounds like Luzanne got ripped off. I was feeling sorry for myself, because I thought my letter was great (although my opinion is slightly biased, lol)but I never got called. Now I don’t feel so bad though.

    Darron- I watched Beaches with my best girlfriends and we shared a box of cookies, and yes, kleenex. However, I get so darn upset when people think Beaches and WBMW are all there is to Bette. Don’t even get me started.

    Do you guys think Sophie is going to follow in her mother’s footsteps?

  14. Sophie is in the interview….thats kind of cool….i cant wait to see what her and Oprah do to play off Bette.
    But, Im confused, why is she there exactly??

  15. i was a little startled with the comment about men only in the back, then i got the humor in it and laughed (its been a long week). as for luzanne, congrats on winning. what suprised me the most was how she said she’s in notre dame law. i grew up in south bend…and i love the irish. who knew bettes biggest fan would go to school 10 minutes away from my house…crazy.

  16. Dam, now I have to find out when do they air Oprah here, because, honestly, I don’t watch that show…LOL! I really have to see Liz, cause one of us made it! LOL! Congrats Liz and enjoy your trip to Vegas!

    Well, the fact that Sophie is in the interview is really curious, cause she has always been away from the public view except from one or two events she goes with her parents once in a while…hummm…I always thought she wasn’t going to do anything in showbusiness, now I’m starting to expect something…LOL! What did they talk about?

    And, by the way, you can blame bossa nova as much as you want…it’s too dam good, isn’t it? LOL!
    Love to all.

  17. Hi All:

    Just wanted to say that I had a fantastic time. Not only getting to experience the Divine in that intimate environment but also just attending the Oprah Show.

    Once I found out they were not flying folks there, my expectation were low, so I was not dissapointed. I’d be lying if I didn’t say I thought there may be a chance of a ticket giveaway or that all the Bette fans would be seated together, but c’est la vie. I still think it was a once in a lifetime opportunity and I regret nothing. We were never promised anything.

    The Oprah show obviously does this kind of stuff a lot as there is currently the same sort of contest running for Dolly Parton which I believe tapes tomorrow. It will be interested to see if it is handled in the same way.

    I’m going to reserve any comments on Martin Lawrence and Mo-nique and the gang…my mama always told me, if you have nothing good to say…but trust me I have plenty.

    Great meeting you Darron!!

    Luzanne – congratulations, you looked amazing and handled yourself wonderfully in front of the camera, I would have froze for sure. You have a great story! Ridiculous that you didn’t get to meet Bette. Have a great time in Vegas, I hope they are flying you there, although it didn’t sound like they were. Tickets and Ceasars ain’t bad though!

    On a side note some of the funniest stuff about the show happened during the warm-up that you won’t get to see. Some great antics and comments from true fans and some not so great ones from the above mentioned “beach bags”. Some of the funniest shiz came from the Mo-nique fans, absolutely ridiculous…but I won’t go there as promised.

    See ya’ll in Vegas!!!

    Thanks again Don for provided this forum so that we all have the opportunity to share and discuss.


    P.S. What’s with all the fur coats in Chicago, I thought fur when out with the 90’s. It was all over the place!

  18. Hey, Cris, my hot little chili pepper!!! I can’t keep up with all the comments….I am really about to lose my health insurance, so I need to be filling out some forms, but like you, somebody PLEASE tell us why Sophie was there or should we just leave that as a surprise….

    Okay…all you others, sorry I didn’t put up what she won….GOSH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    And I don’t watch Oprah either…sorry, as a bona fide pessimist, I can not watch an optimist….:-)

    Linds: Some times I don’t get my humor and some times it just doesn’t translate in posts…which only means I have to improve my writing skills….I guess? I don’t know…

    Love, Mister D

  19. Oh, I’m so glad Luzanne got to a least talk to Bette. You’re not funny, Don. (I’m kidding, of course you are.;))

  20. Hey Mr. D,

    Sophie sat in for one or two segments. Seemed kind of impromptu actually, which may be why Bette’s segment ending up being an hour.

    They just chated about general topics – school, dating, Bette’s parenting, etc. She is not interested in being in the entertainment industry which was actually discussed.

    It was a cute interview. It’s amazing how much she looks like Bette! She has her father’s hieght though – tall!

    That’s about it.


  21. Okay–Sophie Info: Here goes! It seems she was just asked on as a moment of pride for Bette and a curiosity for viewers. I am really reading between the lines here but from speaking to the producer and everythng else I have read and experienced Bette is WORKING HARD in Vegas (VERY slim by the way) and this is one of the reasons for them cancelling the full hour, trimming down the “Bette’s Biggest Fan” thing and keeping it simple (besides the production number–anything but) So how it seemed to me (and this is just my guess) is Bette is having to do publicity for the show, travel all over from show to show as well as rehearse the biggest production she has ever mounted at an age when most of us retire! So it seemed she might have just asked Sophie to come on and help fill the time, because, well, she’s tired! Although not looking it Miss M did seem very reserved. She did, however sing the cutest “Salad Song” she wrote.
    Sophie is NOT following in her mother’s footsteps according to her (but has the body to do so if she wishes!) and just discussed growing up under momma Midler i.e.No TV, none of Bette’s movies until recently and when she could watch TV it was silent movies and musicals only. No candy etc. Sophie says Bette is the strictest parent in her circle of friends.
    I think the neatest moment, although not live, was a clip of Bette backstage and her going through her old costumes. To me it was like seeing all of these old friends and so many memories and incarnations of Bette came flooding back. The dress from the back of “The Divine Miss M” album and later graffitied (sp?)on “Songs for The New Depression” The Oscar Presenter Dress “I bet you never thought you could over dress for THIS occasion!” later worn to open “Art or Bust” as well as the Oscar Nomination Kimono the year of “The Rose” It was just so neat. Other than that I am not sure why Sophie was there but just for a proud mamma to show off.
    As a side note before leaving the producer did say “You might be on television twice” meaning they got so much footage from both segments they may flesh them out to make two full hour shows. Also, I love Monique but that movie was rotten. I wondered what was wrong with me as the audience was HOWLING but Lord! Fart jokes and dogs having sex were the highlight of an otherwise hour and a half family fist fight.

  22. Gosh Suzanne….my heart fell into my stomach when I read the “you’re not funny, Don”….and then of course, a big smile after the aside…LOL I’m such a baby!!!!

    Love, Mister D

  23. oh Don! thanks for the update! I WAS kicking myself for not entering. Then I hear all the hubbub about the “winners” paying their own way. Oh well. I would not have been able to go even if they HAD picked me as the ultimate fan ( CONGRATS Liz! 😉 )
    Now, Brandon! I thought you were taking ME??? and Don, I thought you were taking ME???? {sniff} I am so hurt, 🙁 . SO now you are taking each other?? I feel so …rejected… Liz, would YOU take me??? 😀
    Kidding Don and Brand, ya know I love ya 😛

  24. Hello!
    I think the producers of the Oprah Show should have been a little more specific on what they were looking for. There is a major difference between the idea of looking for Bette Midler’s “biggest fan” and all of the qualities that embodies. And the idea of wanting to spotlight the “choices and decisions” that a person has made throughout their life “based” upon their admiration for Bette Midler. I realize that’s kind of a fine line but after reading Liz’s story, it’s clear to me now “what they were looking for.” I feel they misled A LOT of people from the very beginning and then they clearly strung them along, asking for additional photos, follow up letters, phone calls, etc. etc. I think in the end, a lot of people got their feelings hurt because of how poorly this was handled. I know I wouldn’t have been very happy being placed in the back row, after being a fan for over 30 years, while those who were “just there for the day – and the show – luckily found themselves near the front.”

    I’m absolutely appalled that all of the “gay” men were placed at the back of the audience, along with those who were wearing Bette Midler t-shirts. I get the feeling they wanted all of the more “enthusiastic” fans as far away from the “average camera shot” as they could get them. Throughout the years, I’ve seen a lot of the Oprah shows where she’s had other entertainers on and I don’t recall ever seeing this happening before. I have the actual video tapes of the shows devoted to Patti LaBelle, Tina Turner, Cher, and some of the others, and I’ve always seen a good mixture scattered throughout the audience.

    And we all know that each of those entertainers has their own particular fan base, who are gay and who are proud to be their fan. So why go to such lengths this time around to put the most enthusiastic fans at the back? And to make a specific point of putting all of the “gay” men there?

    If you go back and look at some of the interviews that Bette has given over the years, it’s not uncommon for the question to come up “why do you think the gay community were the first ones to support you?” Keeping that thought in mind, it’s easy to say that a portion of Bette Midler’s fame can be attributed to her gay following. So it doesn’t make any sense to place her most ardent and faithful, clear at the back. Imagine those sitting at home watching this and they only see ONE guy sitting up front. I think a lot of people are going to be crying “foul.” Myself included.

    In reading one of the comments, I got the feeling that a good share of those who were up front weren’t really even a fan of Bette Midler. Unfortunately, this can be attributed to the fact Bette was sharing the show with Martin Lawrence but it peeves me to no end that those who admire her the most are never given the respect they deserve. I’ve seen this time and time again at her concerts, where people are given front row tickets and they could care less other than to say “We saw Bette Midler and we had front row tickets.” Sure a lot of these are give-aways, promotions, comps, etc. etc.

    But it wrangles me that the true fans never get that chance.

    Each of us in our own way, support and admire Bette Midler greatly. And I’m extremely happy for Liz! And what an impressive resume! You are a very lucky young lady and I have no doubt that you’ll continue to do wonderful and amazing things!

    I know I really shouldn’t comment any further on the show, until it actually airs. But in all honesty, I’m not pleased at all with the producers or how this was handled. From everything that I’ve read, even the people who were ASKED to be there had no idea what was going to happen. And that’s very strange. In the future, I’ll begin to question my dedication in watching the show because I’ll wonder how much of this is on the “up and up” as they say. Or what their motive is behind the stories they have chosen to tell.

    Like I mentioned the other day in one of my postings, I was skeptical of them looking for Bette Midler’s “biggest fan” because we all share to some degree a collective experience, when it comes to our admiration. Yes, I did submit a video and now I wish to some degree that I wouldn’t have put so much into it because clearly the things that were important to me, were undoubtedly of no interest to the producers. Sure, I’ve had several “high points” ( and someday, I’ll tell you all about them! ) but that wasn’t the angle they were looking for. Which is fine. But I wish they would have made it more clear on what they were looking for in the very beginning.

    I am disappointed to some degree that they didn’t delve into the essence which has made Bette Midler so endearing all of these years. Which is kind of what I was trying to get across in my video but I suppose with Bette Midler actually sitting there, it might have been a little too much. I’ve always been interested in “what it is about her” that has attracted such a wide and varied fan base, all of these years. And what those qualities are.

    Congratulations Liz! I can’t wait for the show next week! And it’s always a thrill seeing Bette!


  25. Peter: You made my day. I don’t know what I did, what they asked me, how I sounded, my reactions. I’m not normally this neurotic but I also don’t normally have Oprah Winfrey and Bette Midler staring at me!!!

    Andy: If my date falls through, I’ll let you know.

    To all: I forwarded the site to the Caesar’s PR person. Once I get my confirmations, I’ll push more to get more Betteheads involved.

    Here’s to good editing on Monday!

  26. i can’t believe liz didn’t get to meet her… what a freakin’ rip-off!! would have loved to have been there… but liz’s story is so great!!

  27. Gay fans pushed to the back rows!!!!!! Normally I can hold my temper really well, but I find this treatment appalling.

    All I can say is in Australia, if any of Kylie Minogue’s fans were sent to the back rows of a performance or live television appearance, there would be a fucking riot!

    Makes me wonder if any men showed up wearing towels and flip flops and if so did Oprah send them home? Maybe Oprah should read her history on Bette a bit better. Does anyone remember a time when there was nothing but Gay fans at a Bette show? Yes Oprah, GAY FANS IN THE FRONT ROWS!

    Sydney Australia

  28. Congratulations Liz!!
    Good to see a Bettehead in the winning box, enjoy the show & have a great time. Think of me down in Australia unable to make it to Vegas!!

  29. Well….like I said in my previous comments…HAVE NO EXPECTATIONS!!!!!! I really didnt understand the “Biggest Bette Fan” contest either…I mean seriously what was the point in having the contest and NO ONE got to meet the Divine Miss M…personally I think they had the contest and didnt run in by Bette…seriously…why was Martin Lawerence added to the same show? I was blessed in being less then 10 feet away from Bette…. and at one point I told her Thank you…and she looked at me and said Thank you back…eye contact and all….to me that was worth my 6 hour bus ride to Chicago. I was however disapointed in Oprah! I felt like an unwanted guest in her “House”…I guess when you are “Oprah” you are able to treat your audience members that way! During the commercial breaks…she didnt even talk to us…I know I will support us “gays” and go back to watching “Ellen” she atleast involves her audience.Hell gives prizes to her audience! I captured fun memories with my family during our journey to Chicago and the ride back….I am a firm believer in the “little things” but Oprah and her producers took it to another level! Thanks for listening…..Mary”Bette” 😉

  30. Liz: I can’t imagine being in that situation either. You did great! It did happen really quickly. Oprah intoduced you and although you didn’t get a chance to tell a lot of your story, you did tell us about attending your first concert in your Mom’s belly, you told us all about your educational background to date (Bette and Oprah seemed very impressed!), and then how Bette inspired you to pursue an environmental career. Then Bette piped up to offer you the good news about Vegas! You looked genuinely touched and surprised. I saw them mic you afterward, so I assume you read your letter to be incorporated into the segment. I’m sure it will all come together really nicely.

    Enjoy every minute in Vegas and when you get back be sure to update us on the whole experience!!

    Oh, and just a quick comment on the putting the gay fans at the back of the studio – I think this is getting a little blown out of proportion. Yes I did notice a few gay fans at the back of the room, but there were others scattered throughout such as myself. There were only a handful of us to begin with (As most probably did not opt to purchase flights to get there). I really don’t feel there was any sort of conspiracy. People were not directed to seats individually anyway. People were directed in groups to start filling up rows from the front upward and once they filled they directed people in another direction. I can’t speak for others, but this was my perspective.

    Gotta get back to work! Later gators.


  31. Hey guys!!

    Congrats to Liz, i hope you have th best fun on opening night.

    The show sounds really fun and i can’t wait to see it on TV. However, i would have loved ot have bin there, and was slightly upset that us foreign fans weren’t even given a chance. But if they weren’t payin for you gusy in the US to fly to Chicago, there wasn’t any chance theyed fly little ole me from England in lol!!

    But I’m glad most people had fun, and i can’t wait to see it on TV!!

    And hopefully i’ll save enough to get to see Bette in Vegas!!

    love Jonathan

  32. Thanks, Peter! Did you notice that I couldn’t sit down fast enough? Haha. I felt like I was hallucinating.

    I want you all to know that I’m SOOOOOOOOOOOO grateful for my prize. I don’t think it makes me the number one fan but it certainly makes me the happiest fan!


  33. I am glad for Peter. As for me and the other gay men I saw I was told directly where to sit and in what seat. Lucklily my sister who went with me wasn’t having any of it and got up and asked if we could move. We had to sit seperately and I got moved down to the second to the last row but all the people I entered with were told where to sit specifically. Anyway, its all done and like I said I don’t think it was anti-gay, I think it was knowing who Oprah’s target audience (30 to 50 year old women) want to see. And that is other 30 to 50 year old women. I wasn’t mad, like I said this isn’t a public forum but a private business. I was just amused that the majority of people down front and center knew little or nothing of Bette but “Beaches” Even in the back it was better seats than the ones I have for Vegas so its all good. And LIZ! Yes! You were very articulate, pretty and made us all very proud! Congrats again! I really am happy that a BLB fan and a TRUE Bette fan got it.

  34. Hey guys and gals:

    I just woke up to find all these comments. Reading through them I have to say a little panic began to work itself up my spine, concerning the “gays to the back of the bus” thing.

    The line I made in my post was meant to be flip and funny. I just took someone’s email account (and I find this person funny) about a few gay men put in the back rows and used it along with the Rosa Parks analogy (I can’t believe I’m dissecting a joke). I had no idea that people would take it seriously. If I thought it were true, I would have written Oprah’s producers and whatever gay organization I needed to go to get attention to it.

    Also, did the producer’s ask everyone if they were gay or not? I don’t think that happened, so then that would have to make them rely on stereotyping, and then that becomes a problem…let’s just say we’re very diverse. I can pretend all day that I can pick out anyone that’s gay, but I would be lying….as far as being 100% accurate.

    If you want to be mad at anyone, be mad at me. I’m not the best writer so I don’t know the rules of writing…maybe I shouldn’t make jokes within the context of somebody reporting back to me, which is what I did. I saw an opportunity for a laugh and went for it. The bad thing about the written page is that sometimes things don’t translate the way you want them to….believe me, I’ve been through hell and back with this sort of thing. That’s why I didn’t turn on the comments section for years. But I won’t allow myself to become too politically correct to where I’m scared to say anything at all so I don’t offend.

    I realize there’s injustice…I see it everywhere. Part of the reason I’m in the state I’m in…unemployable about to lose my fucking health insurance….is fighting, what I call, injustice. And I’m sure there are some readers here that are in the same boat, but maybe for different reasons. (this is the part where Crystal and Katrin would call me a drama queen…:-) ) I feel a little ramblin’ coming on here…I’ve been openly gay since I was about 25…now I’m 52…and the whole ride (at least mine) has been a series of bad jokes (like the one I wrote)…I’ve had to fight because I was too open, not open enough, or just because, because, because..whatever. I’ve been burned by the straight community as well as the gay community….I’m talking volunteer (non-profits) to corporations. And the injustices had more to do with corruption more than anything, and less to do with being gay (except for one company)

    I’m truthfully, a burnout now (unemplyable, almost it seems uninsurable, mentally to the point of being afraid of my own shadow, yet still hopeful), but if I thought there were a real injustice with the Oprah show and gays, I think I’d have some of the fight in me come back. But I don’t believe it…and I thank Peter and Darron for saying something to diffuse the situation.

    I did not like the way I heard the show was handled, It seemed shabbily put together. I couldn’t believe people who were picked had to pay for flight, room, and board. And above all, I thought it was a shoo-in that the winner and fans would get to meet Bette. And those were my low expectations…thank God, I’m like Moe.

    On a lighter note, I’ve been told there are a few things I could probably succeed in…being a writer, songwriter, singer, performer….the things I love. So, dammit, I guess I need to work harder to write better. 🙂

    I just wanted everyone to welcome Liz and say congrats, and I’m truly sorry if I caused a shit storm….it wasn’t meant to….

    Love, Mister D

  35. Wow! I’m quite impressed with the reactions to this post. I, for one, am glad that the comment section is open Don. It really allows Bette’s fans to talk to each other. There was a time in my life where I had no one to share my Bette admiration with and coming here feels great. So, thank you.

    I do understand why you turn them off at times (I wish people like Perez Hilton would get the drift and turn his comments off from time to time… for example, some people are leaving nasty comments about the passing of Heath Ledger).

    As far as the Oprah show is concerned… I hope everyone who got to go is grateful. I (and everyone who knows me) consider myself to be Bette’s biggest fan and I wasn’t even contacted after sending my video in. So, be grateful and Bette handshake or not, you still got to go.

    Does anyone know when the show airs?? I don’t watch Oprah either but watch everything Bette related. I’ll set my DVR.

    Don, I hope you are well and keep a big smile on your face. You’re a wonderful person.


  36. Hi Stephen:

    Dang, I’m so glad you posted. My last comment was pretty heavy-handed. I wish I had some kind of self-editor.

    Let’s just all say in unison: “Drama Queen”

    The show airs Monday the 28th at whatever time Oprah comes on in your area.

    Putting everything else aside, I’m sure that everybody there was grateful…I would have been. I would have just silently gotten her attention and then mouthed words to her…LOL

    I can’t wait to see the show….I was so surprised when I heard Sophie was interviewed, since she usually is kept out of the public eye. Mr. Vilanch introduced me to her at one Hulaween and she looks just like her mom and is taller, as many have said. She was very gracious and well-mannered. She told me she had accidentally come upon my site while doing research on something and she noticed BLB…that’s not unusual since I have almost anything on the site remotely connected to Bette. She said she found it to be “interesting” and then I told her never to go there again because her mother would disapprove or I would tell her mother..I can’t quite remember. But she was very nice and accommodating…

    And once again, I just want to congratulate Liz and hope that you have a fabulous time…and who knows you may still get to meet her…

    Love, Mister D

  37. Well, now that you guys told me that Sophie is not interested in showbusiness I feel better…LOL! Good for her, if I had her money and spoke German I wouldn’t neither! LOL!

    I have to pay attention to the dam schedule here, because there is the time for translation and the captions thing…anyway, if I miss it I’m sure a blessed soul is going to unpload the show at some site on the internet…right? 😛 After 20 years I can’t miss the chance to see the girl making fun of her famous mom. LOL!

  38. Something that we all have to take into consideration: Bette may not have wanted to have met her “biggest fan” in front of a studio audience with cameras rolling etc…

    If all of you would take out your “View From A Broad” book (didn’t I sound like a teacher just then???) and read what Bette wrote about meeting fans on the “Dear Diary” page then maybe you’ll understand why no meeting occured during the taping of the show.

    Liz, I hope you didn’t take it personally. I’m sure it wasn’t. I sincerely hope you will get the chance to meet Bette after the Vegas show.

    BTW, Liz: I can’t stop laughing at your letter. I can only imagine the look on your second grade teacher’s face!! Priceless!!

  39. Just a thought for the people who had to see others who weren’t BIG fans sitting in the front row seats…well, life isn’t fair…that’s why I take antidepressants…LOL!

  40. Hey Darron:

    I didn’t realize that, we had completely different experiences. That really does suck. Especially since it was so clear that you were a true fan with your shirt on. Love the Hocus Pocus jacket by the way!!

  41. Hi guys!

    I didn’t get to meet Bette but I SO did not care. Honest. I feel beyond blessed to have had that experience – I don’t know that I could’ve taken much more! Of course, I would have loved to have met her but it took nothing away from my experience.

    I’m not the most effusive person, shy when confronted with expressing personal feelings on national television, you know? Afterall, I’m German! I am already so frustrated with not being able to articulate my profound appreciation for her role in my life on camera – so I am going to write her a letter of appreciation.

    Is anyone going to opening night? We should all get drinks or something…….

  42. PS Mark: What does it say on that page?
    I just (August) moved to the middle of Indiana and all my stuff is still in storage. I need to know and can’t remember…it’s going to bug me all night!

  43. This is from “A View From A Broad” page 35. This is Bette’s response on getting a fan letter from the Johnson Girls, who wrote that they will attend every performance of the world tour in 1978:

    “I guess it’s always troubling to be faced with that kind of devotion. Like most performers, I can deal with intense adulation form the multitudes, but as soon as it comes from a focused source…well, that’s another matter altogether. Maybe that’s why so many performer friends of mine refuse to have any dealings with even their most ardent fans. They don’t want them to become specific, particularized people.”

    And the last line: “They say they love me, the Johnson Girls do, but I love – and need them …more than they’ll ever know.”

  44. Hi Liz – I see you prefer that rather than Luzanne – I am going opening night and would love to meet you afterward! I look forward to seeing Oprah this coming Monday and see how it is produced in its finality. Congrats again. Think it’s great that Bette inspired you to be an environmental law advocate. Believe me – every time I pick up one of those nasty plastic bags off the street and throw it away I say to myself here’s another one for Bette.

  45. Bette Midler: 62 and Heading For Vegas

    “Bette Midler is 62 and still divine. Take a sneak peek at her new Las Vegas show and meet her look-alike daughter, Sophie. Plus, meet the hilarious cast of Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins.”

    Give me in till Saturday or Sunday and I can give you the pre-view video of the show =]

  46. Thanks, Mark! I would be the worst celebrity ever. Ardent fans scare me and they’re not even my own!

    Hey Scott: let’s connect as the date gets closer and figure something out…assuming I’m not swept backstage!

    I too cannot wait for the show. Bette did such a great job and Sophie is so cute. I couldn’t formulate a sentence in my 10 seconds- I would pass out if I had to be up there, right?!?!

    It’s going to be fun talking after Monday’s show. No one can be mean to me 😉 It’s not everyday that Oprah Winfrey and Bette Midler stare at you. Haha.

    Have a great weekend everyone 😉

  47. LOL…Mark, I come from the Baptist lineage of religion, and for a moment I thought you were about to say, “open up your hymnal to….” and I had flashbacks of a hell and brimstone preacher….which I know you are not. You’re a sweetie! Thanks for reminding me of that story.

    Liz and Scott?: Have we made a love connection here???? 🙂 I know Scott, I know…

    Wendy Poo: I have no idea what you’re talking about, but I always have faith in you!

    Love, Mister D

  48. Sounds good Liz – Mr. D. my love has already been connected and it’s on full AC not DC! lol You have my full permission to grant Liz my email if she wants it and we’ll chat more as the big day draws nearer to opening night.

  49. Don:
    What I wrote in was the synopsis for the show on Monday. I will here in the next few days i will get the video that they show on tv, it will be emailed to me…sort of like the “commercial” for the show so to speak.

  50. Just a quick comment- I have a friend who has been to the Oprah show several times and she learned pretty quickly that when she dresses up she’s seated closer to the front and nearer to cameras than when she doesn’t. I’m sure it’s just a marketing tactic as mentioned previously in several comments. Target audience. It does seem rather unfair though.

    Congrats, Liz! Have a wonderful time!!

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