Approximately 250 friends and family members made a circle as Todd Harris
, a 38-year-old Brandon native, and his
bride, Marti, entered the room for what the crowd figured would be a typical first dance.
and Marti will be one of three couples featured.
"What made this so shocking was that Todd is the last person on Earth you would ever expect to do this," says Todd's dad, Bill Harris, a residential and commercial contractor in the Jackson area.
"I could actually relate to Todd," says Fernando Mills, the show's executive producer.
I filled out the application, then asked Todd
would be willing."
"It wasn't something I would usually agree to," says Todd, a 1987 graduate of Northwest Rankin and now an assistant film editor with Sony Pictures, "but I knew Marti really wanted to do it.
And if they would teach me the dance, then I was willing to do it for her
They did an on-camera interview.
Answered "what seemed like 500 questions," Marti says.
A couple of weeks passed without any response from TLC.
"I was actually sort of relieved," Todd
Marti and Todd
agreed to do the show.
They had one week to learn the two-minute routine.
"I was in panic mode," Todd
They breezed through it - all except Todd
"I only learned about half of it," he
says, "and now I'm really panicking."
The following Monday, Todd
and Michol danced as curious onlookers and a camera crew captured every move.
At night, Todd
would move furniture so he
and Marti could practice at his
During a lull at work, Todd
ducked into an empty meeting room that had a mirror.
"I'm practicing my steps, and in walks the cleaning guy," he
"What else could I do but shrug my shoulders and keep dancing?"
The hardest part, Todd
and Marti agree, was lying to their friends and family.
"We had to keep this whole thing a secret," Marti says.
would say he
had to work, and I just played the crazy bride card and said I had wedding stuff to take care of.
"Plus, Todd works at Sony Pictures.
I just figured he
was going to have an awesome wedding video."
The actual performance was everything the TLC cameras - and the newlyweds - had hoped for.
"And even though I was locked in and focused on the dancing, I remember hearing all this screaming and people going nuts," Todd
And because it is reality television, they had to do it twice more so the cameras could get all the necessary angles and crowd reactions.
The only noticeable glitch: "I couldn't get Marti's skirt off the second time," Todd
would've loved this," Todd
"Absolutely eaten it up."
Phyllis fought the disease for 18 months.
And though the cancer had stolen her
ability to speak, Phyllis was able to meet Marti, just one week before she
had been dating only two months and Phyllis was gravely ill, Marti insisted on meeting his
made a spiritual connection with Marti that day, and I think she
was happy Todd
had found someone like her
to share his