By Esther Folaranmi
Reality TV was brought to the Bart Luedeke Center (BLC) Theater stage on Feb. 21 with Rider’s newest event, The View.
Prior to the hosts taking the stage, The View began to fulfill its promise of audience interaction. Evan Gurman, president of the Student Entertainment Council (SEC), gave audience members a chance to voice their opinions on what topics they wanted to hear the hosts discuss.
The audience-generated topics ranged from lighthearted to serious. Several of these topics were discussed by the hosts, including ideas about the Brian Williams situation, the Oscars, and abstinence from sex until marriage.
Hosts Nick Barbati, Donte Carty, Christine Mehlhorn and John Mozes were well prepared to take on the topics.
The hosts opened up the show with a segment called hot topics. The subjects were Bruce Jenner and his transformation, Emoji users having better sex, Fifty Shades of Grey, and Bobbi Kristina Brown, as well as the topics the audience suggested.
The hosts first tackled the topic of Bruce Jenner and his transition into a woman. The hosts presented a variety of perspectives on the subject.
Nick Barbati commended Jenner for embracing his sexuality, but he then condemned him, saying, “[Jenner] is exploiting the transgender community for attention and money.”
Barbati explained that Jenner was waiting to reveal an interview with Diane Sawyer in which he discusses his sexuality. However, there are many who could benefit from someone of his celebrity status speaking out on the issues facing the transgender community.
The discussion on Fifty Shades of Grey garnered a loud response from the audience, and if they were surprised by the willingness of the hosts to go there, it was not evident. Barbati and Mehlhorn also shared funny anecdotes that got the audience laughing.
Once the hot topics segment was over, the first guest was introduced. Cheryl Ojeda, owner of Sweetly Spirited Cupcakes, led the audience through her baking process. She then presented the hosts with ready-made cupcakes.
A special cupcake was made for Barbati, a surprise organized for his birthday. The audience sang along with the hosts, and Barbati blew out his candle.
Barbati was flattered by this gesture from the audience.
“You guys keep me young, and I hope you guys enjoy the programs we put on,” said Barbati.
Amber Marchese, a breast cancer survivor and star of Real Housewives of New Jersey, was the next guest. Marchese discussed how being on the show opened up many doors and provided her with a platform to share her story.
Her advice to the females in the audience was to be vigilant and examine the breasts and ovaries regularly. For those with a family history of breast cancer, she advised getting a BRCA, a blood test that is used to determine the likelihood of developing the cancer. She encouraged audience members to never dismiss any lumps or anything unusual they might find, and to always check with at least two doctors before accepting any diagnoses.
Marchese’s story touched audience members. Christina Leib, a freshman human resources and management major, was especially moved, as her mother, too, is a breast cancer survivor.
“Mrs. Marchese was phenomenal,” Leib said. “She was so personable and she relayed a great message to Rider.”
The hosts informed Marchese that $1,000 was to be donated in her name to the American Breast Cancer Association.
Marisa Liza Pell, an intuitive/medium and relationship expert, who hosts 920 AM, The Voice radio show, was the final guest. She advised the audience not to rush into relationships, warning against falling into a pattern of bad relationships.
The night ended sweetly as audience members received cupcakes from Ojeda’s store as take-away gifts. In addition, the first 100 audience members were able to receive I Love College: Club Carnival tickets.
With such a successful evening, Barbati hopes The View will return to Rider.
“It’s really a decision up to the SEC,” he said. “But I’d be shocked if The View didn’t become a frequent fixture on campus.”
Printed in the 2/25/15 edition.