Patrick Tio, one of the surprised Starline Tour bus passengers, and his new wife Yulree Tio thought they were in for a special tour of the gowns stars would be wearing at the show Sunday night. There was only one twist — that stars would be in them!
“It was amazing. They played it up really well that we were just on this regular tour with a special thing at the end where we could see the progression of statuettes,” Tio tells PEOPLE.
But once they got to the “exhibit,” they were taken in through a side door away from the red carpet and any clues of what was in store for them.
“We walked up to these doors just labeled Oscars exhibit and as soon as those doors opened we all just froze,” he admits. “We couldn’t believe that we were really at the Oscars. Then we started recognizing people and we were like, ‘Holy crap!’ ”
Selfie with Sting and Janelle Monae in the audience
Hugging Nicole Kidman
The first people Tio recognized were Nicole Kidman, Keith Urban and Dev Patel, snapping a picture of his wife hugging the Australian actress. It also may have been the moment Kidman’s dress accidentally ripped. Moments after the hug, the actress was spotted with one of the back straps hanging down.
Tio’s wife was especially excited about meeting the Lion actor. “She was the most excited to hug Dev Patel,” Tio reveals. “He’s a personal hero of hers and she thanked him for representing Asians in media so well.”
The couple, who used to live in L.A., decided to treat themselves to a “staycation” since they didn’t have time to go on a honeymoon after their location wedding two weeks ago in the Philippines. When they were approached by what seemed to be Starline employees, they decided to give the tour a chance even though they don’t usually do “touristy things.”
Tio and Yulree with the rest of the bus crew
Susan Wilson from Starline tells PEOPLE that Kimmel’s producers dressed up as employees of the company to recruit people for the bit. They were held in the Starline offices for about 30 minutes before they were taken out to the Dolby Theater to participate in the viral moment with Kimmel where Tio and Yulree also got to talk to the host. After asking Yulree her name, Kimmel remarked how it sounded just like jewelry and then made a joke about Tio’s more ordinary name.