Elana Taylor: 7 Things Reality TV Doesn't Show
Olympic bobsledder (and recent newlywed) Elana (Meyers) Taylor let the camera in on Say Yes to the Dress. But what happened behind the scenes isn’t exactly what you’re likely to see on the show. Here are seven things that surprised Taylor -- an avid SYTTD fan -- about the experience.
She’d already said yes to another dress -- and that was OK. Filming was last Christmas during my break from the season at Lori’s Bridal Shop in Atlanta. They actually approached me on Facebook, and then Twitter (I ignored the message at first because I thought it was a joke). I didn’t think I could be on the show since I’d already gotten my dress, but they said, “Well, what about your reception dress?” I’d already planned to get a different dress for the reception, so it worked out.
It was a long filming day. I’d done NBC photo shoots leading up to the Olympics and I thought I was prepared for a longer shoot. But I didn’t realize what was involved in reality TV dress shopping. Not only are you trying on all these dresses, but you’re mic’d the entire time and there’s all this staging so it’s not like you can just walk out there. And then there are all the one-on-one interviews.
The actual day was not dramatic -- there was no fighting. (But that doesn’t mean that’s how it will play out on TV.) In one of the interviews I told them that I don’t pick out a lot of my clothes for events and award shows -- my mom does -- because she has a lot of style. I haven’t seen the show yet, but I’m pretty sure they turned it into my mom picked out my clothes because I don’t know how to dress myself. I know one of the taglines my sister found on the Internet was “Olympian argues with mother over length of dress.” I don’t think we argued, but it is reality TV, and I know their job is to dramatize things.
You have to repeat your “lines” over and over. They don’t tell you what to say, but they’ll ask you to say something another way, or to say it again and again. I admire the salespeople who do it day in and day out. Let alone that their job is to sell dresses at the end of it all.
They gave us food, but I was afraid to eat. We were there from 9 a.m. till after 3 p.m. and they had all these snacks, but no way was I eating anything. First of all I’m trying on dresses and I don’t want anything to show badly. And then I don’t want Cheetos on my fingers when I’m trying on dresses!
The dresses aren’t free. A lot of people were asking me if I got a dress out of it. Well, I did “say yes.” (Sorry if that’s a spoiler, but my wedding was April 24 so I’m already in all the pictures wearing it!) But nope, even as an Olympian, all you get is a little discount.
It really is reality TV. A lot of the shoots I’ve done in the past, you get there pretty raw and they make you up and make you pretty. For this, you had to do your own hair and makeup. How I looked trying on dresses is exactly how I would have looked trying on dresses without the TV cameras.
Taylor's "Say Yes to the Dress" episode airs Friday at 9:30 ET on TLC.