Tuesday, November 29, 2022

“Celebrity promissory note”: Idina Menzel did not expect that she would have to become “Down & Dirty”.

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When Drew and Jonathan Scott invite stars to appear on their hit HGTV show Celebrity IOU, they expect the celebrity guests to lift some weight as they transform a space for someone special in their life. But all that work came as a big surprise to Broadway and “Frozen” star Idina Menzel, who appears in the next episode of the show, which premieres Monday, November 21, 2022. Here’s the behind-the-scenes look…

The Scott brothers, who are longtime theater fans, are delighted to welcome Menzel as the first Broadway star to appear in Celebrity IOU. In fact, in a preview Heavy received, Jonathan says he’s seen “Wicked” six times, in which Menzel starred as the original Elphaba. When the threesome filmed together, the twins were visibly entranced every time Menzel broke into a song on set. And whenever a small problem arose, the brothers jokingly sang “Let it go,” a nod to the blockbuster song Menzel sang for the movie Frozen.

Menzel signed up to participate in Celebrity IOU in hopes of giving back to her family’s close friend James, who coaches young people in Los Angeles basketball but also sees it as his mission to help them to be “good people”. Menzel’s son, who she shares with ex-husband Taye Diggs, trained with James for five years and considers him extended family.

According to press materials, James lost his parents within 18 months of each other and worked through his grief by delving into setting up his basketball program, hoping one day to have his own headquarters where kids could stop by for advice, basketball tips and more. So Menzel asked the “Property Brothers” for help with the construction and transformed his garage into a place where he and his players could relax, watch movies and socialize after practice.

But when the Scotts met with Menzel to begin demolishing the garage, she was shocked at the amount of effort they put in and the amount of help they wanted from her. She assumed her construction crews would do most of the work, but they involved her in every step, from demolition to choosing tile designs.

“I didn’t know they got so rundown and dirty,” Menzel told producers. “I’m so surprised they’re doing so much. I didn’t know you would let me do so much!”

She then joked, “I would have worn more deodorant! You guys don’t call it!”

Drew told Access Hollywood that Menzel made the renovation process more enjoyable by getting her to sing at the top of her lungs.

“We sort of ‘whistle while you work’. This show is so much fun and you’re doing something good by giving back to people,” he said.

In the end, all the effort was worth it, because Menzel was able to surprise James with the basketball venue of his dreams. The episode shows him overcome with emotion as he enters the new room.

“What I love about ‘Celebrity IOU’ is that every story is so different,” Jonathan told Access Hollywood. “The only guarantee: you will cry ugly for each and every one of them. I can’t even tell you the fun, the laughs, the tears, everything. And this season’s renovations are even bigger and more exciting.”

Drew echoed that sentiment, saying, “Every story this season is so unique. And I think everyone will love each story for their own reason.”

The Celebrity IOU episode starring Idina Menzel, entitled “Slam Dunk Reno,” premieres Monday, November 21 at 9 p.m. Eastern and Pacific. Additionally, according to HGTV, it will air at the following times:

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