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We All Need Eli: IDKINT Book Tour Review

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Courtesy of Vivi Melkonian
Live from Eli Rallo’s “I Didn’t Know I Needed This : The Live Show”

In the endless gray haze that is the end of January, Eli Rallo’s tour for her debut book I Didn’t Know I Needed This: Rules for Flirting, Feeling, and Finding Yourself was a hot pink break in monotony.

Before the show began on Thursday, Jan. 25, the excitement in Philadelphia’s City Winery was palpable. The room was a sea of pink sequins and heart-shaped appliques, buzzing with praise for the stars of the evening: Rallo and her fabulous book.
A self-proclaimed fan of early bedtimes, Rallo trotted on stage in a Barbie-pink cocktail dress (complete with oversized, ruffled sequin hearts) at 7:30 p.m. sharp. She started the evening with a toast to the audience, who Rallo said she didn’t know she needed. She continued by reading a passage from the book to set the tone for the evening.

“But if you walk down the way you came, you’re returning exactly the way you arrived–you’ve not lost anything that you had before,” Rallo read in part.

A chief draw of Rallo’s book tour was the promise of special guests from her online influencer community. Philly was the first night of the tour, and Rallo started off with a bang. Philly-based influencer Branden Edelman (@bran__flakezz) and Manhattan TikTok star Carly Weinstein (@carlyweinstein1) took the stage, each partaking in game segments during the show.

Edelman and Rallo played a variation of “Smash or Pass,” with elements of friendships and fun nights. Weinstein played “Slay, Nay, or May,” a yes-or-no bit with characteristics of dating prospects. Edelman, Weinstein and Rallo engaged with the audience as much as each other throughout their segments, leaving the crowd’s abs hurting from laughter.

Rallo’s audience is a community of supportive and driven women, both online and in-person. Strangers complimented each other across the table and best friends gripped each other’s hands all night. While Rallo is praised for her sarcastic wit online, one often wonders if the same humor would translate to a live environment. To much delight, Rallo’s humor, much like her dress, was custom-fitted to her audience and effortlessly joyous.

Like Rallo’s book, the show had a healthy balance of fun and gravity (Wicked pun unintended). Following the special guests, Rallo had one-on-one time with the audience. She brought it back to the “rules lists” bit that propelled her internet fame. Rallo presented the audience with the “Rules for Getting Out of a Funk,” which she said was fitting of every gloomy January.

Rallo ended the evening with an intimate sit-down moment with the audience, when she read a brand-new essay. Her words were a testament to the important time period the young women in her audience are about to embark on: their early 20s. She spoke candidly about the turmoil that will come and the importance of the communities that will support one through it. The nearly seven-minute monologue focused on Rallo’s beloved musical theater as a metaphor for this time and inspired the audience to embrace the good and bad to come.

“There are an infinite amount of possibilities to love and be loved waiting for you,” Rallo said in part. “The only thing you have to do is be ready and willing to go find them.”

“Finding yourself” is a pillar of the book that brought Rallo’s community together on the chilly Thursday in January. Rallo’s empowering words illustrated for the women in the audience that finding yourself is an exciting journey, not a scary one.

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About the Contributor
Vivi Melkonian, Co-Editor-in-Chief
Vivi Melkonian is one of two Co-Editors-in-Chief of The Villanovan in 2022. A senior Communication major specializing in journalism and minoring in Political Science, Vivi was Co-Opinion Editor in 2021. Vivi never shied away from a controversial topic during her time as Opinion Editor, including articles on the Texas Abortion law, an on-campus sexual assault case, and former Villanova head coach Jay Wright's change in attire. Vivi has three dogs, including two dachshunds.
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