When tuning in to the second season of “Selling the OC,” we didn’t expect the real estate to get overshadowed by a couple of ice sculptures. Then again, we’ve never seen ice sculptures quite like this. After cast member and realtor Gio Helou hit $100 million in sales, he turned to Kat Johann, event planner and owner of Parties by the Sea, to help throw a party in his honor (as one does). The celebration included the usual pleasantries — a surprise boat entrance, gorgeous flowers, and plenty of dramatic confrontations from the rest of the cast — but there was one detail even Helou himself couldn’t have dreamt up: a towering ice sculpture that looked just like him.
“The cast members were talking to the sculpture as if it were Gio.”
“I surprised Gio with the idea of making a life-size sculpture of himself. He, of course, loved the idea, and the best part was the cast’s reactions when they walked in and were completely blown away,” Johann tells POPSUGAR. According to her, the final creation, modeled in Helou’s image, was almost as tall as he is. (He stands at about 5’10”, for the record.) “There were several segments of the show where the cast members were talking to the sculpture as if it were Gio,” Johann says. “It was a lot of work but ended up being so beautiful, and the ice sculpture was the highlight!”
The “Selling Sunset” franchise has a peculiar prowess for lavish parties, setting the bar high with an especially controversial “Burgers and Botox” broker’s open and a zebra-friendly engagement party courtesy of the iconic Christine Quinn. With a new cast and plenty of ground left to cover, “Selling the OC” certainly had big shoes to fill, but Johann hasn’t backed down from the challenge.
She was originally tapped to plan the 100 Million Dollar Sale party just one week before it filmed for Netflix. No pressure. In addition to the massive Helou doppelgänger — which doubled as a place to hold glasses of champagne — Johann also designed a custom ice luge for the cast to take shots off of, carving “Selling the OC” and “Gio’s 100 Million” into the sides. Will “Selling the OC” bring the ice into season three? We can’t say for sure just yet. But watch for Johann next season, and rest assured that more spectacular parties are already underway.