Chris Bellis, the No. 1 fan Thomas chose to perform with in "Into the Sunset," to be distributed by LFP Video, joined her on the show. Bellis was chosen from hundreds of hopefuls anxious at the chance to be Thomas' final on-screen lay.
Vavoom President Stephen Brown told XBIZ that several producers of "Chelsea Lately" contacted him after reading the slew of publicity following Thomas' retirement announcement and final film plans.
"Frankly, I think it was the best interview Sunset has ever given," Vavoom Vice President Kent Wallace told XBIZ. "Plus, she finally put some closer on the Bunny Ranch story. Of course Chelsea wanted to know about Cathouse and the Ranch and how that impacted Sunset’s career."
Wallace also said that the producers edited out the opening segment during which Lately asked Bellis about winning the contest because he was overcome with stage fright and hardly could speak.
“He was confident the night before, confident on the ride over to the studio and confident right before going on," Wallace said. "Then he froze. But that’s OK. If anyone suspected Sunset and Vavoom of bringing in a ringer, that myth was quickly dispelled. Chris is, as advertised, a genuine civilian — a blue-collar kid from a small town in Pennsylvania. His stage fright actually seemed to motivate Sunset, who took the baton and ran with it."
Both Brown and Wallace said that being on "Chelsea Lately" brought the Vavoom brand a special kind of national exposure, and was an opportunity to reach the company's target demographic.
"E! is the Vavoom demographic, especially Chelsea’s show," Wallace said. "Our website went ballistic and emails are pouring in to both Vavoom and Sunset.”
E! Entertainment's "Chelsea Lately Show" will re-air Thomas' and Bellis' appearance Feb. 13 at 11:30 p.m. and Feb. 14 at 2:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m.