Busted (My Run In With Eminem)

Ok, so I naively thought this day would never come, but I have been busted. I mistakenly believed that I could get through my adult life without The Most Embarrassing Thing Ever being brought up 13 years later, but people are smart and the internet is wide. So after more than a few “Who me? I don’t know what you’re talking about, haha” comment denials, I’m coming clean. My name is Sherry $herdog, and I was on MTV when I was 17. And it was easily the most embarrassing compilation of moments that could ever be edited together.

I’m an over-sharer, so some folks might wonder why I’d try to hide from this video. And to you I’d say: it’s one thing to invite people into your home and share a video that accidentally features your bra laying out on a bedroom chair or an interview where you flail around jerkily and generally look crazy or admit that you walk around covered in dog fur and cream cheese smears, but it’s a whole different ballgame to say “Let’s take a time machine back to my most awkward moments as a seventeen year old girl being surprised while life-guarding and told she’ll get to interview Eminem for a show called FANatic on MTV – oh look, I have the whole thing on video for you, let’s all sit down and watch it together.” Now excuse me while I giggle uncontrollably for ten minutes. I do that when I’m nervous.

Allow me to spill a few secrets: shows like this are a smidge set up. It’s not to say that I wasn’t completely Marshall Mathers obsessed (I was) but there are certain things you’re highly encouraged to mention so that you come across as the most deserving fan. Things like “I aspire to be a rapper someday.” I’ll pause while you snort whatever you’re drinking out of your nose. It’s true that I did what I like to call “ironic rapping” with my best friend Mariam at high school talent shows (we once donned orange puffy vests and belly shirts and parodied the Eminem/Dre duet Forgot About Dre) but it’s a Jersey thing. You had to be there to understand that it was not meant to be taken seriously. It was our version of Weird Al-ing someone. So no, I didn’t actually hope I’d be touring the country as a famous female rapper when I grew up.

Of course the show sets up situations too, like us going to the old burger joint where Eminem used to work before the interview…

… but it was pretty cool as a teenager to see some random restaurant and think “he really worked here just a few years ago flipping burgers?” Fun fact: the people I’m serving at that table in the restaurant are the limo driver and one of the production people who carted us around.

A few other things about the show were “orchestrated.” For example, I hardly knew the girl who surprised me at the pool and came with me on the entire adventure. See, MTV required that the “friend” of the person being featured was 18 or a parent would have to accompany the fan and the friend (which I’m guessing cramped the crew’s style). So when I was going through the whole “you might be a finalist” phase of the process, they asked me about my friends and I gave a list of all my best 17 year old buddies and they sort of heavily suggested that I list someone over the age of 18. So the girl who worked at the front desk at the Marriott (where I was a lifeguard for years, represent) got listed – and she was the friend they picked to surprise me. And yes, it’s still really cool to be in a limo when you’re 17. Especially if you flash the peace sign with your sleeves rolled up.

Here’s where it gets extra embarrassing. At some point in the interview the word “phat” inexplicably slips out of my mouth. I never said that word before and have never said it since. I can only blame temporary insanity at the thought of sitting next to a hip-hop star and somehow thinking $herdog could pull off a term like that. And I couldn’t. It rung in my ears for the rest of the interview while I continued to grin like a crazy person and giggle nervously. Although a lot of this experience is what I like to call “retroactively embarrassing” (since at the time it was really cool and I felt really lucky to be chosen), the moment I realized I said “phat” on national television was the moment that I wanted to punch myself in the face.

Then they asked me to rap. Repeatedly. It’s bad. Very very bad. Oh and about the pigtails, I wanted to wear a ponytail and an arm band (yes, an arm band) but the crew gently suggested the pigtails and no arm band. I’m thankful they nixed the arm band but still a little weirded out by the pigtails. So without further ado…

As for how I even got on the show, my friends dared me to send in a tape since I really was a hardcore fan and they thought I had a shot at being chosen. Meanwhile I believed I had zero chance, hence me doing all sorts of ridiculous things that I thought would never be on TV/YouTube (like sitting in a tub full of M&M’s) because I truly believed with every fiber of my being that I would never make the cut.

MTV does a really cruel thing to make you think you weren’t chosen (at least it felt cruel at the time) in order to get that completely surprised ‘surprise shot’ when they sneak up on you. They’re in pretty constant contact with you for a while to collect things like “what you would ask if you were chosen” and “who you would bring as a friend if you were chosen” and then they say you’re a semi-finalist but it’s not a done deal, and then they cut off communication for a few weeks. Total radio silence. So you go from being hopeful that you might get picked to completely and utterly bummed out that you didn’t make the cut after thinking “dude, I might actually get flown to Detroit to meet Eminem.” Which is a pretty cool concept as a 17 year old.

This is of course when you forget about the footage of yourself in a tub of M&Ms and it sounds like it could be The Coolest Thing You’ve Ever Done and not The Most Embarrassing Thing Ever a decade or so later. But I have to admit that as a teenager it was a pretty fun time. I got to fly somewhere with a camera crew and without my parents, they put us up in a cool hotel, and Marshall was actually a really nice genuine guy (now I’m going to get weird and tell you that he had the best looking hands I’ve ever seen in my life). And he did kiss my neck, which at the time made me believe we would soon be married and we’d go on to have three bouncing babies named Slim, Shady, and Stan (kidding). Dude, I took a picture of my neck after it happened. I’m that girl (can you believe I managed to bag a guy like John? I still can’t).

So I’m not ungrateful for the experience. In fact, it was kind of amazing (it made “the morning announcements” at my high school – haha). But the fact that the footage from a defunct show from over 13 years ago is now somehow on YouTube is something I never imagined. Haha. Oh well. The cat phat is out of the bag.

Now you tell me your most embarrassing secrets so we’re even. Go.


  1. says

    Oh Sherry! I love that you posted about this! I saw this on a forum, and didn’t want to email you about it (in case you would be embarrassed), but you totally embraced it!

    We all have weird moments from the high school days….ugh, that was an awkward time for me, too!

  2. Jess says

    I am such a nerd about the show Top Chef, that when I met a contestant (Stefan), I promptly started rambling about how he “skinned an eel like nobody’s business.” Uh, what? I also once had the opportunity to interview Ina Garten for a magazine that I was writing for, and for some reason I spent the whole interview nervously rambling about maple syrup (I live in Vermont). Oh and then there was the time that I corrected the grammar of one of my favorite writers (David Sedaris). Should I go on?? :-)

    • Amiz says

      Oh my gosh I’m the same way with Survivor. I was at my best friends bachelorette party at a hotel here in Louisville and a TON of survivor people were there for a reality benefit dinner thing. I got my bridesmaid hat signed by a bunch of people from survivor. The bad thing was though none of my girlfriends knew anything about them and we got into the elevator with a guy named Yao Man and to say I was freaking out would be putting it mildly haha. Picture a 21yr old girl jumping up and down yelling oh my god oh my god its yao man, to a 60 year old asian guy. Yao man literally ran off the elevator. Oh man

    • says

      I would die a little if I met Ina Garten. If it was videotaped, forget it. Not only do I sound like a horsey man on video, but I’m insanely obnoxious and awkward. I would keel over a little for Ina.

    • Jennie says

      Agreed. If I met Ina Garten (or Giada de Laurentiis) I would just die on the spot. Thank heavens for my dignity that it hasn’t happened!

  3. says

    Ahh hilarious! If it makes you feel better, I totally wanted to be on that show to meet NSYNC. And I probably could have. But I was too ashamed to let anyone know exactly how obsessed I was!!

  4. Shanee says

    OMG I remember this!! I was so jealous! LMBO! Hrm embarrassing..I was on tV once too. ..It featured a judge. I’m not telling anymore.

  5. says

    You’re my freaking hero. I love this video!!!

    Funny story, the same thing happened to me, only it was only 2 years ago, and it was Slash…

    I’m still really embarrassed by some of the stuff said on there, but hey! Life experiences! (And I still love the man.)

  6. says

    Thanks for sharing that’s awesome (and a nice flashback to high school).

    I can understand why it’s embarrassing to watch yourself (and the “phat” slip would drive me crazy too) but you come accross much more together than a lot of the FANatics I remember. Good questions.

  7. Chelsea says

    Since we all know it’s a very small world, I live about 3 miles from Gilbert’s Lodge…and completely remember when MTV was there way back when. Hysterical that it was you!!! Way to be famous in multiple arenas and truly living up to your $herdog nickname!

  8. says

    There’s a YouTube video of me singing my little butt off as Annie in high school. I am scared every day that someone that reads my blog will find it.

    Because I like, can not sing even a little bit, they only gave me the role because I was VERY enthusiastic about it.

    I even dyed my hair bright red.

    Bright Red – also the color of my face as I type this.

    • says

      Oh my gosh don’t you dare!

      You probably wouldn’t be able to find it anyway, you would have to know the name of the production company that put on the show.

      And that, I will never tell.

    • says

      Um, I read both of your blogs religiously, and didnt’ think I could like either Sherry or Lauren anymore, and now I do. I really want to find the Annie video now.
      Also, I’m in a commercial for Grout Bully that was filmed last year. They didn’t even pay me, just strolled into my then job and my boss made me do it. I figured no one would see it but about once a week for the last year, someone (including my new in laws) sees it on TV and texts me/facebooks me about it. Lovely.

    • says

      Haha you have been foiled Alex/Lauren/Nikki/Sherry!

      I just went to find my video again on YouTube and COULDN’T!!

      Maybe it got taken down after I emailed the person that posted it the following sentence: “GAH take it down take it down take it down take it down!!!”

      But thank you lovely people for reading my blog. I will try to convince myself to post my parents’ home video of the play at some point. After I finish hyperventilating at the very thought of anyone seeing the video.

  9. Olivia says

    Oh, the shame. Ah well, we’ve all had embarrassing stuff turn up. Note to self: never google yourself. Ugh. I had that experience as well. It was perfectly crap-tastic. Really google should allow you to block all pre-24 photos. ;)

    Thank you for the name of the tile, btw, it worked really well. It didn’t turn out as prefect as your, but I like it!


  10. says

    This….this was awesome. I was dying over your use of “phat.” I think you tried to cover it up super fast because you said “it was phat. It was really good.”

    LoL. you were adorable. The Real $herdog, for sure. Question: are you still just as in love with Slim?

    • says

      Hah, yes I totally backtracked! Like I didn’t just say phat, I said good.

      As for my Eminem love, I have this protective thing about him where I want him to be healthy and ok (he was really a genuinely funny and nice guy) but I’m not crazy obsessed anymore. No more screensavers and posters of him, haha. But I do buy all his albums (the clean versions now that we have a wee one).


  11. Ann L. says

    I’m speechless.

    Hahahaha, no seriously. I SAW this before. I used to watch that show all the time in middle/high school. I even filmed an audition tape for Blink 182 but didn’t get picked! :(

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