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Not-so-fun: What being in ‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show’ audience is like

2020 was not Ellen DeGeneres’s year. She has faced all kinds of criticism for a whole variety of behaviors, such as complaining about being stuck in her mansion during quarantine, acting like a tyrant on set, treating employees poorly, and now, the same accusations are coming from her audience members. Turns out, being an audience member at The Ellen DeGeneres Show might not be the fun & games it seems. 

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An incident, in particular, has been highlighted as being particularly heinous & improper. Although the incident was aired under the guise of good fun, as both Ellen & the audience member that was targeted smiled while the cameras were rolling, a closer examination of what happened reveals the truth: Ellen is downright mean. 

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In an incident that occurred a little while ago, Ellen set up a desk at the front of her studio to “see how honest the audience was”. She laid out Ellen’s merchandise and told audience members they were allowed to take one item each, at no cost. While the event looked like a gift, the intention was actually a little more sinister. Ellen clearly states she wanted to see if she could catch anyone violating the terms of the giveaway. In other words, she was looking for people to call out. 

Ellen did say that the majority of her audience members that day did actually adhere to the guidelines and take only one item each. However, the daytime host wasted absolutely no time publicly shaming an audience member that didn’t. 

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Ellen’s team set up the table, rigged it with hidden cameras, and did not tell the incoming audience members that they were currently being filmed. The hidden cameras captured an audience member clearly taking more than the one gift item. Ellen used the footage of this occurring, without the woman’s permission, and aired it during the show, shaming the woman on national television for her actions. 

As Ellen calls this woman out as the show is airing, she is smiling and giggling. However, the language she is using clearly denotes her true feelings on the issue. She uses the words “stolen items” and suggests that the audience member probably shoplifts and steals in other situations too. Ellen lectures the audience member, who we learn is called Nancy, about being a good person. 

The audience aren’t alone in suffering the wrath of Ellen. Here’s our article bringing you the most cringeworthy interviews hosted by Ellen DeGeneres.

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As if the humiliation of being publicly called out on camera wasn’t enough, Ellen then demands that the audience member move from her seat and sit in “Ellen jail”. The audience member is moved to a prominent location at the front of the set, ensuring everyone can see her at all times. Ellen appeared to delight in the public humiliation of her fans.

Have you always wanted to go and participate in a taping of The Ellen DeGeneres Show? Well, we found the rules the show has created for members of its audience. Check out this exhaustive list of do’s and don’ts that you must adhere to if you’re sitting in one of her coveted audience seats. We gotta say, some of them are pretty out there, and The Ellen DeGeneres Show appears unapologetic about them all!

Do you want to see just how mean Ellen can be? Here’s our article focused on the most problematic episodes of The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

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Rules for audience

  • Leave your knitting needles at home – meaning you can’t bring in weapons
  • No shouting out things – even if you’re showing love to guest onstage
  • Metal detectors are used – they say it’s tighter than airport security
  • Prepare to be cold – they keep the temp pretty low in the studio
  • No autographs – the size of the audience and lack of time are cited as reasons
  • Arrive in the biggest car you can – you could be the one taking home the massive amount of freebies Ellen gives away
  • Fans have to dress for the occasion – “dressy jeans” at a minimum and you should wear bright colors
  • Coordinating outfits isn’t allowed – you can’t coordinate outfits with your friends for reasons unknown. You do have the opportunity to purchase Ellen-related clothes in the backstage hangout area but you cannot wear that during the show taping either

  • The audience must be prepared to dance – it seems just as much time is spent on your feet as it is in your seat
  • Even celebrities have to dance – even in the 30-second commercial breaks fans are told to dance and even the celebrity guests aren’t safe from the constant demands
  • You must take care of your own accommodation – the show’s online FAQs section doesn’t even offer suggestions
  • Fans with special needs must give two weeks’ notice – although this rule may seem a little excessive during this lengthy period of notice the producers can ensure any potential issues are ironed out
  • Anyone under 14 is out of luck – you must provide a valid ID showing your age. Event celebrity guests under the age of 14 can’t technically sit in the audience
  • Fans have to line up outside – luckily the weather in LA is mild but fans have reported waiting hours before producers let them in

  • Fans need to be there super early – if you don’t have guaranteed seats then you better be in line early
  • Snacks are forbidden – If you try to sneak food in be prepared for some severe consequences
  • Fans might be separated from their family and friends – you get a number and that’s the order in which you can enter the studio so you may end up by strangers
  • Info about the show is kept top secret – you have an idea of what you’re going to get but most of it is kept secret. The first time you find out which celeb is coming is when they walk out on the stage
  • Each row has to devise their own dance – the rows are asked to devise their own dance moves and perform it in unison
  • Front row fans must know today’s pop hits – you gotta bust out your best dance moves and also be singing along to the hit that’s playing. I hope you’re good at multi-tasking
  • Game players must be super chipper – no surprise here. No one wants to watch a dud onstage

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  • Even the clapping is choreographed – The audience is told exactly when and how to respond by a designated staff member
  • No t-shirts or shorts – no flip flops or hats either
  • Producers check your excitement – if you want to increase your chances of being chosen as a participant during the show then you better bring your A-game when it comes to energy
  • Fans must get gifts checked by security – no one gets to deliver a present by hand to Ellen and they must all go through security before getting to her
  • Fans get just one freebie – don’t try to take home more than one freebie. You may just get caught and called out in front of everyone

  • Chewing gum is forbidden – gum is a no-no as it’s not attractive on the screen and may keep you from singing those pop hits when Ellen enters. Oh yeah it’s a pain to clean up too
  • You can’t sell your tickets – if you’re lucky enough to get tickets don’t even try reselling them to make money. If the person who shows up isn’t the person on the ticket then they won’t get in
  • Recording the show is a no-no – fans can keep their cell phones but they must be switched off while in the studio
  • Travel expenses aren’t reimbursed after a canceled show – if you live in the area you’re probably fine but if you’re coming from out of town you might be losing a small fortune

Tickets to tapings of Ellen’s show have been sought after, and ridiculously hard to get for a decade now. Have you been to a taping of The Ellen DeGeneres Show? We’d love to hear about your experiences in her audience.

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Things appear to be going from bad to worse for Ellen DeGeneres. Check out the details of Ellen and Portia’s potential divorce.

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