That time I got photobombed by GLEE’s Jane Lynch…

Hollywood Game Night - Season 2


If you’re a fan of Hollywood Game Night, I’m sure you’ve imagined what it would be like to play the game – am I right? A few months ago I started DVRing the show to have something fun to watch while I worked on jewelry in my studio. It looked like SO MUCH FUN! I’m no pop culture whiz but I LOVE playing games and I thought “I should google it” – the google search pulled up an application form, and I thought “Why not!? Doesn’t hurt to try.” That’s how my adventure started!


According to the casting agents, Hollywood Game Night is one of the most sought after shows for would-be contestants. I can’t divulge the rest of the interview/selection process but let’s just say it reminded me of my pageant days. It’s cliché but you really just have to BE YOURSELF. A different day, different pool of contestants – there will be different results. I was fully prepared for either possibility. Getting on the show would be amazing, but if I didn’t, the journey was an adventure of its own and that would be enough to put a smile on my face.


When I got the call to come to LA, I was at the airport. I remember having my “fist pump” ready to either slam down on my thigh in defeat or throw up high in the air to celebrate… it went up. What an exciting moment! From there, it was a whirlwind. I got my hair done for the first time in a couple of years, picked out some new clothes and went to get a facial. I decided to book a flight for my hubby and baby to come along with me. After all, what is an experience worth if you can’t share it with the ones you love?




We got an amazing babysitter, the gorgeous jet-setting model, Kylie Dashefsky (You saved us girl!) and I had my best friend, Tianne <In photo below – to my left>, pick up the hubby so they could be on set for the show. Seeing the two of them instantly put me at ease. (Later that night some dear friends of mine joined up with us – you might recognize them – Teri Okita <on the left> used to anchor the news at HNN and is now back doing work with national networks & Monica Pang <to my right> is “my” Miss Georgia and was 1st runner up to Miss America the year I ran – love all of these ladies so much!)




Things were happening so fast that before I knew it I was being led out to meet my “team” – the cast of “Hot in Cleveland!” Wendie Malick, Jane Leeves and Valerie Bertinelli had huge smiles on their faces and welcomed me with open arms. They were all so sweet! Jane showed me photos of her daughter, Wendie and I bonded over our common ethnicity (North Africa) and Valerie (the veteran HGN cast member) gave us tips for the show. I didn’t really get to know the celebrities on the other side of the couch (we just didn’t have enough free time) but Mekhi Pfiefer was such a down-to-earth guy. He told me he loves Hawaii and visits frequently – truly a sweetheart! Jane Lynch totally surprised me too. When she came out, the first thing she did was give me a big hug! It was amazing. I could feel the love. In fact, I felt “aloha” from everyone there. No Hollywood attitudes at “Hollywood Game Night” – how refreshing!




I could go on and on and on but the best way to show you how much fun it was, is to have you watch it for yourself!



Swell Game Night Observations…


-        I taught Jane Lynch (and all of the celebrities) how to take a selfie using only one hand by pushing the button along the side of the iphone instead of the one on the front. I started to take the “ussie” and Jane says “How are you going to take the photo?” …that’s what led to the lesson ;) #awesome


Jane Lynch takes a selfie of our group!

Jane Lynch takes a selfie of our group!


-        Valerie took an “ussie” during the show which ended up making it into the intro of Hollywood Game Night on a bunch of different episodes! Not the actual photo, but video of her taking the ussie. Super funny to say “Look, I’m on NBC in the intro! Don’t blink!” – it’s literally up for 2 seconds (maybe less) but if you pause the show you can see my flower ;) ha ha! After the show aired Valerie tweeted the actual photo she took and we realized Jane Lynch totally photo bombed it! ha ha! love! I can say I’ve been photo bombed by Jane Lynch… #awesome




-        My hubby and best friend told me that I was “myself” – which means I was a total dork, goofball that probably looked like an idiot at times. #awesome


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-        I wish I had worn pants. I’m way too much of a tomboy to sit nicely in a dress and play games without flashing someone, somewhere. Ha ha! (I’m trying to “act out” the word “bath” in the shot below) #awesome


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-        I brought ho’okupu (gifts) for all of the ladies. Made with aloha by moi! Jane Leeves even tweeted about it! #awesome




-        Speaking of tweets – Jane Lynch tweeted that I was a “GREAT” contestant. Did I mention how much I LOVE her?! Valerie tweeted some cute emoticons and both Wendie & Hollywood Game Night retweeted my thank you message. I got some twitter love! #awesome




Seriously awesome to read all of the tweets as the show aired the first time. MOST of them, were geared toward how HOT Doug is! lol The shows main demographic must be women because the amount of tweets on this subject was slightly overwhelming! ha ha! I thought it was AWESOME that Jane thought it necessary to defend me on the topic! lol Again, LOVE her. #Janeisawesome




-       After the show aired, my old gang at Sunrise on Hawaii News Now interviewed me about my experience. It was great to hear everyone’s voice and chat. Jackson said “hi” to every single person! lol Here is the interview followed by Jackson skyping with “Uncle” Steve Uyehara. #awesome



No regrets… but if I could have done something better I would have stopped thinking so much. Just push the button! The answer will come to you! I can’t believe that for not ONE single round did I push the buzzer faster than Doug (who was amazing and totally deserved the win). My advice to you? If there’s something out there you want to try out for… do it! What do you have to lose?


(All photos were tweeted by the celebrities themselves or made public by NBC – The blog was sent directly to NBC PR for approval)





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3 Responses

  1. On the Red Carpet! Season 5: Hawaii Five-0 | Life's Swell says

    […] contestant I feel like we’re kindred spirits lol! (Blog about being on Hollywood Game Night: “That Time I got Photobombed by Glee’s Jane Lynch”) Funny side story: The first time I met Daniel I was at the Ala Moana Red Party (where they shut […]

  2. Emily Dudley says

    I LOVED watching you on this show! Way to represent Hawaii!! Xx

    • Malika says

      Thanks Em! You were there in spirit!