Terry Morrow: Sarah Palin steals thunder at NBC party

FILE - In this Feb. 11, 2012 file photo, Sarah Palin speaks in Washington. Not it!  Republicans considered to be up-and-comers are scrambling to make it known they have no interest in becoming Mitt Romney’s running mate, taking themselves off the still-forming short list of would-be vice presidents. With Romney poised to win the GOP nomination in June _ if not earlier _ some of the focus has shifted to his pick for the number-two spot on his ticket but no one is rushing forward and many of the top prospects are trying to shut down the conversation before it begins.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

FILE - In this Feb. 11, 2012 file photo, Sarah Palin speaks in Washington. Not it! Republicans considered to be up-and-comers are scrambling to make it known they have no interest in becoming Mitt Romney’s running mate, taking themselves off the still-forming short list of would-be vice presidents. With Romney poised to win the GOP nomination in June _ if not earlier _ some of the focus has shifted to his pick for the number-two spot on his ticket but no one is rushing forward and many of the top prospects are trying to shut down the conversation before it begins. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

BEVERLY HILLS — Forget the Marines. Sarah Palin added her own fire power when she turned up unexpectedly at NBC's summer party for television critics.

She doesn't have a series on the network, but her husband, Todd Palin, will star in the reality competition, "Stars Earn Stripes," debuting Aug. 13.

In it, he and celebrities such as Dean Cain and Laila Ali will perform in tricky military missions to win money for the charity of their choice.

When Todd arrived up at the party, she was by his side, and, at first, declined to do interviews. She said she wanted the spotlight to be on Todd.

But, for whatever reason, she accepted my offer to do an interview — and then numerous others after mine. We talked about Todd, her competitive nature and reality TV.

"Was I jealous because (Todd) got to do this (show), and I didn't? No," she said with laugh.

"If I got to hang around (the Marine trainers) and he didn't get to? That's a different story!"

Sarah Palin said she didn't know if she'd want to do "Stars Earn Stripes." Training with Marines and then going on missions may not be her cup of tea.

Maybe she'll do season two? "We'll see what happens," she said.

Todd Palin said his wife was supportive of him doing the reality competition. "She knows what I can do," he said. "She was glad to see me do this."

The Palins have been all over reality TV in recent years. There's "Sarah Palin's Alaska" and Bristol Palin's "Life's A Tripp," both on cable. Bristol also did "Dancing with the Stars."

Overly tanned, Sarah Palin had a glam Hollywood look going on, wearing stylish shades as the sun was setting and snug in an olive wrap dress with tall heels on her expensive-looking footwear.

A few guests said she looked like she'd had recent plastic surgery around her mouth.

She was somewhat reserve, though she did stop an interview with the New York Post because she objected the way the tabloid reports its news.

And though the party crowd claimed they weren't exactly Palin's biggest fans, nearly everyone was gawking when spotting her.

Comic Zach Cregger ("The Whitest Kids U Know" and the new NBC comedy "Guys with Kids") just HAD to meet her.

He navigated his way through a thick wall of fans and straight into a restaurant where Palin had finished eating dinner.

He introduced himself and told her he was in "The Whitest Kids U'Know." She told him she was a fan (though he didn't believe it). Afterward he gushed and talking to his entourage about the meeting.

Terry Morrow may be reached at 865-342-6445 or morrowt@knoxville.com.

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