While being chosen for a makeover is completely up to chance, Kennedy hedged her bets, showing up at Rockefeller Plaza at 5:30 a.m. on Feb. 1 with her husband, Bill, two signs and an authentic “just rolled out of bed” look.
“I just knew it was something that I always wanted to do,” the retired music teacher said. “I don’t wear any makeup. I’m a true coast-of-Maine girl. So I knew this would be something fun.”
Kennedy said the experience was everything she dreamed of and more.
“It was just so much fun. It was a whirlwind.”
The Kennedy’s raised their two sons, Christopher, 28, and Andrew, 24, in Kennebunk before moving to Memphis in 2006 for Bill Kennedy’s job. What Cheryl thought would be a one year stint down south turned into 11 years, but the couple returned to Kennebunk last year.
Kennedy said she especially enjoyed meeting the “Today” show hosts, Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford, as well as the makeover crew who made her look glamorous. She said they were very genuine and kind through the whole experience.
“They are who they are when you see them on the show,” she said.
The “Today” show glam squad led by Louis Licari and Jill Martin chose Kennedy from the crowd in the plaza. She was holding a poster with a blown up baby picture of herself, while her husband held a sign that read “This baby needs a makeover!”
Maryann Campo gave her a layered hair style, and Licari added highlights. Kennedy loves her new color and cut, but isn’t sure she will maintain the style.
She said she had no input into anything, but she loved the results. Martin, the wardrobe specialist, chose Kennedy’s outfit — a pair of dark bootcut jeans, heeled black booties, a red top, and a fierce black leather jacket.
“Everything happens so fast. They put me behind a curtain and one of the assistants asked what size I wore, and then she just started throwing clothes at me,” Kennedy laughed.
Bill Kennedy wore a blindfold until they brought out his wife for the big reveal.
“Oh wow! I think she looks beautiful! This is fantastic!” Bill Kennedy exclaimed.
He grew teary as his wife turned around to get a first look at herself in the mirror. She said that moment really was the first time she saw her new look.
Kennedy planned her whole trip around the “Today” show Ambush Makeover, and the couple spent Thursday out on the town in New York City debuting her new look.
After the show she stayed dressed and made up, minus the lipstick.
“It was just so heavy, it was like three layers,” she laughed.
The couple celebrated the rest of her birthday and her makeover with lunch, tickets to a play and a late dinner in New York.
So what’s next now that Kennedy has celebrated her 60th birthday and checked Ambush Makeover off her bucket list?
“I’m trying to figure out where I’m going to wear that outfit,” she laughed.
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