When Rachael Ray Met Her Childhood Crush She Sweated So Hard She ‘Was Pitting Out’: ‘It Was So Creepy’

We’ve all had celebrity crushes. Maybe you spent a day binge-watching all of an actor’s movies, or you daydreamed about your favorite rock star whisking you away to a glamorous life. Even celebrities themselves have had crushes like this. These celebrities, however, are more likely than the average person to actually meet the star that they’ve fantasized about. One such celebrity was iconic television hostess Rachael Ray, whose childhood celebrity crush led to a massive panic when she finally met the man himself. But just who was it that Ray had crushed so hard on? And how did they end up meeting?

Rachael Ray smiling
Rachael Ray | Charles Sykes/Getty Images

Rachael Ray is a prominent talk show hostess

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Rachael Ray is a veteran of television by now, though she didn’t start as an actor. Instead, she taught cooking classes at the gourmet store where she worked. From there, she was approached by a local TV channel to take her cooking class concept, meals that you could make in less than 30 minutes, on air. This became popular enough that, in 2001, she was able to move to the Food Network for a national reach.

By 2006, Ray was the star of her own talk show. She made frequent appearances on The Oprah Winfrey Show to promote it but soon became quite popular on her own, and the show still runs today. She has her own magazine, Every Day With Rachael Ray, and on top of all of these various business ventures, particularly in home goods. Rachael Ray’s path to success is therefore quite unique: most celebrities aren’t discovered from teaching cooking classes at the local grocery store!

Rachael Ray has hosted many celebrities

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Over the years of The Rachael Ray Show, Ray hosted and had conversations with many big-name celebrities. One of the major celebrities on the show was Ray’s more recent crush, rapper 50 Cent. Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex made an appearance on the show, as well as first lady Michelle Obama. Many actors have appeared on Rachael Ray from Jake Gyllenhaal to Jennifer Hudson. She’s also hosted celebrity chefs like Jet Tila and Bobby Flay!

It’s clear, then, that Ray has expertly handled hosted a show with some of the most famous people on Earth. If someone can handle interviewing a guest like Michelle Obama, one might guess that they could handle any celebrity. However, one guest broke through that calm and professional style.

Rachael Ray hosted her childhood crush

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In a conversation on the podcast Life is Short with Justin Long (available on Stitcher), Ray talked about her first-ever celebrity crush, and her experience having him on the show. This crush? Singer Tom Jones of songs like “What’s New Pussycat” and “It’s Not Unusual.” Ray would watch him on TV and sing along, saying:

When I was a little girl, I was so obsessed with Tom, I would put a dress on and I would stand in front of the television and try to mimic every word and try to sing along but I didn’t know what he was saying … My first song that I learned all the words to is ‘Delilah,’ which is a very violent and misogynistic song. It’s about a man who stabs a woman, and it’s all her fault ’cause that b*tch was cheating. So I would go around signing ‘Delilah’ as like a 4-year-old all the time.

Therefore, when Jones came on the show, it shook Ray pretty hard. She cooked a meal for him she knew he’d love, but when he came on the show, she got flustered:

I couldn’t even look at him. I was sweating so hard, the picture of me hugging him like this all you could see is like I’m pitted out from my boobs to my waist. It’s so gross! I’m freaking like panic sweat everywhere … I couldn’t speak. It was so creepy.

Luckily, they made it through the show and Jones seems to have had a good time. Hopefully, future encounters with beloved celebrities will be less awkward!