Jasper resident thrilled in sister’s TV makeover

Jasper resident Robin Garcia, right, and her sister, Denise Sharp, were on their annual Christmastime trip to New York City in December when Sharp was pulled from the crowd to receive an ambush makeover on the TODAY show. (Photos provided)




NEW YORK CITY — Jasper resident Robin Garcia couldn’t believe her eyes when her sister, Denise Sharp of Celina, Texas, came on stage after her Ambush Makeover on the TODAY Show.

The sisters were on their annual Christmastime trip to New York City and making their annual stop at the TODAY Plaza on Dec. 21, 2017, when hair stylist Louis Licari and expert stylist Jill Martin chose Sharp from the crowd as one of two women to receive an Ambush Makeover that day. Garcia got to be on stage later that day for the big reveal.

“To me, I always thought she was beautiful before, but...” Garcia trailed off.

The two arrived at the TODAY Plaza early in the hopes that one of them would be chosen. For the segment, show staff choose two people from the crowd before Licari and Martin come out to be filmed. By the time the taping happens, the recipients have been chosen. Garcia remembers being told to look surprised later when the cameras were rolling and the makeover recipients were taken inside.

Originally, Garcia said, she was going to get the makeover, but when Licari came out, he told her he couldn’t bring himself to dye her hair.

“He said, ‘I have people who would kill for that hair. I can’t dye it,’” Garcia recalled.

Instead, Sharp got the makeover, which was just fine with Garcia, who thought her sister would appreciate the experience more.

In the video clip of the reveal, Sharp teared up when she finally saw her reflection.

From the time Sharp was plucked off the street until the big reveal several hours later, Garcia wasn’t allowed to see her sister. Sharp wasn’t allowed to see herself, either. In the dressing room, Garcia said, all the mirrors were covered.

Licari cut Sharp’s hair into a short hairstyle and dyed it red, a professional makeup artist did her makeup, and Martin chose an outfit for Sharp to wear. Once the outfit was chosen, it was tailored on-site to fit Sharp. In the video clip of the reveal, Sharp teared up when she finally saw her reflection.

The Ambush Makeover wasn’t the sisters’ first time on the TODAY Show set. Every year they try to be in the audience for a taping of the show.

“That’s just always one of the things we do,” Garcia said. “It’s fun to see the show and how they produce it.”

This year, though, will always be a special visit. For Garcia, watching her sister get the makeover was like watching her be rewarded. Garcia said Sharp is active in her home community, including participating in the annual three-day Susan G. Komen walk when participants walk roughly 20 miles a day to raise money for breast cancer research.

“She does so much for other people,” Garcia said. “I just thought it was really neat that she got to experience it.”

A television screen shows Sharp's before-and-after appearance.

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