Tears and tantrums as Ellen arrives
TV host Ellen DeGeneres arrives in Sydney with her Australian wife Portia De Rossi, much to the excitement of hundreds of fans.PT1M36S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-2gk1x 620 349 March 22, 2013
They queued from midnight, sat in the heat and, whatever Ellen did, they would have loved it. Some 3000 of her fans enjoyed a free show in the Royal Botanic Garden Saturday and were delighted with what they saw - well most of them anyway.
With a backdrop of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House, along with plenty of Aussie cliches, it was just what the chat show queen would have wanted for her American audience.
She came on stage half an hour late, which kept the warm up team busy, but by the time Ellen did arrive on stage the crowd's anticipation was at a peak.
Ellen's live Melbourne and Sydney show
Fans at the recording of Ellen DeGeneres' The Ellen Show at Birrarung Marr, Melbourne. Photo: Penny Stephens
Then came the mutual admiration.
''I love you all so much,'' she said looking at the blue sky, and added: ''You are used to this.
''I am looking for property, I am looking here.''
Ellen DeGeneres along with her wife Portia de Rossi. Photo: AFP
First off she introduced her Australian wife Portia de Rossi. ''She's Australia's most beautiful export,'' she said.
At first there were a few glitches as she huddled with a couple of stage hands while the warm-up crew distracted the fans.
''We didn't have time to rehearse,'' was her explanation - not unreasonable given that she only arrived on Friday.
Then came the usual mix of Ellen humour, games and, but not enough some said, dancing.
Russell Crowe was on stage briefly to try and show Ellen how to crack at cattleman's whip. He failed.
With two players from the Rabbitohs, Sam Burgess and Greg Inglis, he helped throw and kick a few signed balls into the crowd. One unfortunately crashed into the microphone of a 2GB reporter.
Ellen also complimented Russell, who in a dark suit was looking great she said.
It was his 12th day of an abstemious diet he explained.
Asked what he was missing out on he said: ''Food, vodka, flat whites, which is coffee. Pretty much everything that's worth while.''
The tourism bosses would have been delighted when he produced a map of Australia and told her all the great places to visit.
''Spending a small amount of time in Australia is not as good as spending a lot of time in Australia,'' he said.
Ellen countered: ''I have wanted to come here for so long.''
Three fans got dunked in the harbour from trap doors in a version of 'Know or Go'.
''Don't worry about being electrocuted by the microphone, that shouldn't happen,'' Ellen quipped.
Jessica Mauboy help with a singing quiz and did an impersonation of a kookaburra.
There was one hitch when a group at the Opera House was offered by organisers to be bussed to the show. When they arrived they were only able to watch it on a large TV screen.
French exchange student Quiterie Sarton du Jonchay said they were told they wanted some extra people to see the show. They were pretty disappointed until a small group were offered to meet Ellen as an apology.
''She met us at her hotel and stood and talked to everyone of the group.
''It was a good bit of PR but what about everyone else who missed out?''
Veronika Jendruch, 20, from East Ryde queued from midnight, she said: ''It was a bit unorganised which wasn't her fault. It was still a good show.''
Leanne Gazzola, 43, a high school teacher from Sydney was less enthusiastic.
''It was like her heart wasn't in it,'' she said.
''It wasn't well rehearsed and there was no feeling to it and she didn't dance in the audience. It was underwhelming but asked if I would do it again, the answer would be yes.''
Perhaps the biggest winner was Destination NSW.
Were you in the crowd? Tell us what you thought of the show below.