updated 2:19 PM UTC, Oct 15, 2020

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Live on American Idol: Mayor presents Kree with Key

Woodville Mayor presents Kree with Key to Cityby Woodville Mayor Ben Bythewood

Originally, I was to give the key to Kree over a pre-recorded segment, but on my way to Los Angeles I got a call from Nigel Lythgoe, the executive producer of American Idol, requesting that I present it to her live on the show. Of course, I said yes, and we all took great care to ensure that Kree wasn't aware I was there. On Thursday, I went to CBS Television City (where AI is produced) at 2:30 in the afternoon and they hid me in the dressing room for the female dancers from Dancing With The Stars while everyone else entered the studio. I was then transferred to another dressing room while I waited to rehearse with Ryan Seacrest and some fill ins. Then I went back to the dressing room, got my makeup applied, and waited for the live show to start. Next, they walked me to the back of the set until it was time to surprise Kree. At 5:05 PST, 7:05 CST, I came out from behind the screen and presented Kree with the key. It went well; she was so touched she began to weep. She was sweet, wonderful, and really appreciative of the gesture.

All in all it was a great way to support Kree, promote the City of Woodville, and make a touching moment for the American Idol audience. It was a good thing to do for all parties involved.

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