Indianapolis, Indiana — Kate Gosselin, star of TLC’s hit show, Jon and Kate Plus Eight, spoke to a packed houses during two appearances at the Indianapolis Home Show. News reports based the crowd for Kate at 1,500, and I can tell you that all seats were taken early and there were people standing everywhere in the area as well.
When it was time for Kate to appear, she came in through a side door from outside. Walking to the stage (really just a platform 2 feet off the ground), I noted that she looked tired and unenthusiastic.
All the women (yep, I didn’t see a lot of men there) were oooh-ing and ahh-ing about how skinny she was, and yes, she did look thin. She looked good — as someone who has had a tummy tuck, professional teeth whitening, monthly spa visits and daily runs on the treadmill should.
She wore skinny black pants and a red sweater, and black sandals with probably 4″ heels.
A few people in the audience called out questions, and Kate said, “You don’t get to ask questions! I have a few … how can you live here in this cold?” (and it WAS cold – in the teens) “There ARE warmer places, you know!”
And with that, she began. She told how she and Jon met, and she went through the story of her pregnancies and the birth of the sextuplets, and told briefly about their first year.
One sore point among some J+K viewers is the fact that neither Jon nor Kate “work” in a traditional sense anymore. Kate seemed sensitive to this criticism; mentioning that she had needed to stop working as a nurse seven weeks after she became pregnant with the sextuplets. She said she hated that, because, “I like to work; I like to pay my bills.”
She also mentioned Jon losing two jobs because his employers did not want to take on the family due to insurance costs. She told us wryly that “this is still legal in Pennsylvania, basically to let someone go for any reason.”
Kate said that, while she and Jon now work VERY hard on their reality show, including parts we don’t see like production meetings, “the kids don’t work; the kids just get to play and have fun and go places.”
Kate asked how many of us had read “her” book, Multiple Blessings. A roar went up from the crowd. She then asked who would like to read book two … and book three … and the roar continued. She told us to look for her new books soon. For the unitiated, this is another J+K controversy: Multiple Blessings was apparently lived by Jon and Kate, but written by family friend Beth Carson, who was not mentioned. Nor were there were mentions of Aunt Jodi, Jon and Kate’s parents, or anyone else. In fact, I don’t believe she mentioned more than one or two of the kids by name. This talk was basically all about Kate.
The home show flier said she would give “tips for handling the household”, but there was none of that. This was a recap of Multiple Blessings, which was being sold at an adjoining table.
After 35 minutes Kate said, “Okay, have I talked long enough?” Somehow I had expected Kate to talk briefly about their new house, or answer some already-submitted questions (I would have loved, but knew better than to expect, her to answer audience questions). No, this was it.
Someone announced that Kate would be taking a five minute break and then signing books for an hour. She said that if you were not already in the book line, there was no point in lining up because it was already so long.
The fan-club atmosphere was somewhat expected I guess, although rather surreal to be part of. But I had seen Kate Gosselin – up close and personal.