Cut to Alli and Tramel, apparently in the middle of a conversation about -- you guessed it -- hats. Ugh. He explains that he brought his Tilley along on the race especially because he knew that the one way not to be overlooked was to bring your mockable hat. They have a chuckle over this, as it is her first confirmed onscreen shout-out. When he moves along to his next fan, she gets a chance to talk to Talicia. They meet, they say hello. "You were always very kind to us," Talicia adds evenly. "Hey, you did great," Alli says. (Okay, we're about to move from "not smooth" to "possibly toxic as a conversationalist.") Talicia pauses and looks at her. "Well, no, we didn't, but that's nice of you." "Hey," Alli points out, fortunately sincere as well as attempting to bail her klutzy ass out yet again, "you got screwed by the WaveRunner." "Yes, we did," Talicia says. Good grief.
Shortly thereafter, she is over closer to the stairs that all of the racers have used for their entrances, when she looks over and sees the giddily happy Andrew standing between the cool-looking Heather and Eve. She goes over and shakes his hand. "Andrew, I'm Miss Alli," she says. "You're Miss Alli? Oh, it's so nice to meet you!" he says graciously. Andrew's smile? Is about forty times as powerful as the sun. No, really. "Oh, it's great to meet you, too," she says. Now, no one talks. Alli glances at Heather with a forced smile. Heather glances at Alli with a forced smile. Eve stares off in another direction. "Yeah. Anyway, I'm on my way upstairs," Alli says, and hops up the stairs, still in her stocking feet. Wow, that's a first. That's the first time she and a team have ever blown each other off. Eh, probably won't be the last.
Upstairs, she runs into Sars, who is standing in the entryway to the upstairs bar. They exchange a greeting, and chat a little about how crowded it is downstairs. Just then, who should ease by them but Flo. Flo! Dun dun dunnnn! She, of course, has no way of recognizing either of them, so she squeezes by into the upstairs bar. Just after her, here comes this guy in a NASCAR cap, looking more than a little overwhelmed, who turns out to be Drew. When they've passed, Alli and Sars exchange a silent look that says something like this: "Hmm." ["Well, maybe Alli's silent look said something like that. Sars's pulled an TV-MA rating." -- Bruckheimer]
Somehow, Alli winds up downstairs again, just inside the door, as Flo and Drew make their way into the room. In fact, she winds up standing sort of between them, in a crushing mob of people. Finding herself shoulder-to-shoulder with Flo, she introduces herself, but Flo is distracted, because Drew has just taken his hat off to reveal quite a case of hat-head, and this is making Flo very unhappy. She reaches across several people, like she's actually going to cram the hat back on his head, but he eventually does it himself, and Flo vanishes into the crowd. Now Drew is just in front of Alli, with his back to her. She's backed up to a table, with the backs of her knees against the edge, and they're literally front-to-back in this sea of people. Moreover, he's now having his picture taken, so he's trying to back up a little bit. Alli scoots backwards, with nowhere to go, staring at the back of his hat-head, which is about three inches from her nose. You can tell she's wondering whether this is an apt time to introduce herself. He scoots back a little more, and she leans back in turn, now pinned to the table. Finally, she extricates herself and makes her way into a little bit of open space, where she runs into a friendly face at last. "Drew just, like, body-slammed me into a table," she says. "How was that?" says the friendly face. She nods slowly. "Wasn't bad."