By Alesandra Dubin Posted March 9, 2011, 2:30 PM EST
LOS ANGELES “You're going to Hollywood!” It's a refrain that kicks up the energy every season on Fox's American Idol, and you might say it was also a theme of the latest installment of the party to celebrate the show's finalists and expose them to the press. Fox's Karin Pofsky oversaw the event on Thursday, which took over a new location, the Grove's parking structure rooftop known as Level 8, which allowed maximum guest exposure to talent, and also offered sweeping Hollywood views. More than 300 guests—press folks, plus sponsors and Fox executives—came out for the event.
Noting that over the years, the step-and-repeat has been one of the party's major attractions for guests, organizers paid special attention to that element this year. The group put two giant tents on the roof, and one was dedicated to a 160-foot step-and-repeat, complete with a blue carpet and a Ford car, that ended at an opening of the party tent. Within the press tent was an elevated viewing platform for guests to watch the finalists and celebrities walk the blue carpet. Event producer YourBash! carpeted the platform (and entire party) in a silvery gray Astroturf and furnished the space in silver and blue furniture and metallic blue linens. “This party has evolved over the years. It used to be that the press was kept in one area and the guests in another. By the time the Idols would get inside, they were exhausted, and guests were just seeing them for the first time. This year, since we changed locations, we completely incorporated it into the party so that it became part of the guests' experience,” Pofsky explained.
The rooftop venue provided a blank slate to create a fully branded experience. Blue—for Idol, Fox, and sponsor Ford—found its way into the event's decor everywhere. To underscore sponsor Coke's participation, YourBash! created a red center bar serving all Coke products, over which hung five giant red drum chandeliers. Four internally lit, 10-foot diameter Idol-blue chandeliers hung from the large tent frame, the roof of which was lit by Daylight Event Lighting to mimic the logo that was used for the invitation, and multicolored glass gobos splashed across the ceiling in pinks and purples. Blue drapes covered the side walls and the back wall was a clear tent wall that provided views of Hollywood and the lights at night; the tent was specifically laid out to face the Hollywood sign and the Hollywood Hills. “The view was a big selling point of that venue,” Pofsky said. “It's quintessential Hollywood and Los Angeles, and it rained the night before, so everything was beautiful and clear. It's also closer to show production, as the finalist show is produced at CBS. [The finalists] didn't walk—they came over in Ford vehicles—but they could have.”
Four raised platforms stood directly under the giant 10-foot diameter chandeliers. Three had blue furniture and mirror coffee tables and side tables, atop each of which was a logo for Idol, Fox, or Ford. The fourth platform represented Coke and had silver furniture and Coke bottle logo decals. The Fox platform was especially used by Jennifer Lopez and husband Marc Anthony and friends, and received lots of guest attention. “Jennifer Lopez stayed for quite a while. It really brought the Hollywood experience home to all the guests,” Pofsky said.