A Very Scientific Process In Making the Ultimate Boy Band

Question: Do we need another boy band?

Keep reading if your answer is yes. Because the correct answer is yes.

Executives at ABC recently announced a new reality show called Boy Band, a 10-episode series coming this summer featuring aspiring male singers vying for a spot in a – you guessed it – boy band. Viewers can vote for their favorites, with the top five forming the final group. Think American Juniors meets Making The Band, but sans sketchy Lou Pearlman and with adults.

But what if the singers of boy band past tried out for Boy Band? Would they make the cut? We make the ultimate group based on a very scientific method: what the singer was like at the height of their popularity, their voice, their voice blending with the other voices, how their popularity would shine on a reality TV competition and my own personal opinion.

Nick Carter

OG Boy Band: Backstreet Boys

Vocal Function: Lead Tenor

Personality Function: The Heartthrob

Why He Would Make The Cut: Every boy band needs a lead heartthrob with a singing ability to make you swoon in your over-postered bedroom. Circa ’99, Nick Carter was the picture perfect dreamboat, made to make the cover of Tiger Beat, YM and Teen People all over the world. Every time he asked, “Am I sexual?”, the answer is always a screeching, “YES!”.

Harry Styles

OG Boy Band: One Direction

Vocal Function: Second Tenor

Personality Function: Silent Heartthrob

Why He Would Make The Cut: That face. That accent. The way he belts those notes. That hair. The way he puts his hands through THAT HAIR.

Nick Jonas

OG Boy Band: Jonas Brothers

Vocal Function: Counter Tenor

Personality Function: The Seemingly Serious One But Actual Sex Pot

Why He Would Make The Cut: I’m talking Jealous -> now era of Nick Jonas even though the JoBros doesn’t exist and I wouldn’t even really classify them as a real boy band. But Nick is a smokeshow, can hit those falsetto notes like nobody’s business and did I mention he’s a smokeshow?

Donnie Wahlberg

OG Boy Band: New Kids on the Block

Vocal Function: Bass

Personality Function: Bad Boy

Why He Would Make The Cut: Similarly to Nick Jonas, I’d say later era Donnie Wahlberg is primo Donnie Wahlberg. I saw him on the NKOTBSB tour with BSB and I was completely shook and quite frankly upset with myself that I had not been paying more attention to Donnie all these years. He is straight up beefcake, masculine to the max sexy, and his speak/singing voice will automatically take your undergarments off.

Joey Fatone

OG Boy Band:*N SYNC

Vocal Function: Baritone

Personality Function: Jokester

Why He Would Make The Cut: Joey is the type of dude who would thrive on a reality TV competition show. He’s such a ham for the cameras that audiences would lap it right up. See: Dancing with the Stars.

BONUS: Justin Timberlake would be the second one to make the group, but like Ikaika before him, he left to pursue a solo career. Nick Jonas takes his place in a dramatic results show episode.

Disagree? Agree? Chime in!

Filling The Dancing with the Stars Card: Season 23

Another season of Dancing with the Stars is around the corner, and this week, the cast of 13 “stars” was revealed. To be honest, a handful of these wannabe dancers are so generic and fit into pre-existing DWTS roles that I thought they were already on the show before. Or Marilu Henner was just destined for this show.

A couple seasons ago, I broke down the usual suspects when it comes to casting DWTS, since every star can usually fit into a pre-existing category. I’ve done it again for this season and also determined who actually has a shot of winning the coveted MIRROR BALL TROPHY (it’s worth noting I correctly guessed two of the final three from S21, so I’m pretty much an expert on this kayyyy?).

*denotes winner of season

Season 23 Contestant: Maureen McCormick {Actress}

Filling the Quota: Actress That Was Somewhat Relevant At Some Point In Their Career

Preceded by: Tia Carrere and Tatum O’Neal (S2), Jennie Garth (S5), Shannon Elizabeth (S6), Shannen Doherty (S7), Denise Richards (S8), Melissa Joan Hart (S9), Pamela Anderson (S10 & 15), Ricki Lake (S13), Melissa Gilbert (S14), Elizabeth Berkley Lauren (S17), Danica McKellar (S18)

Usually Partnered With: Tony Dovolani, Artem Chigvintsev

Notes: I have a feeling Maureen will at least make it through the halfway point. She’s got the nostalgia factor going for her, and she’s probably got some moves she’s been hiding since Sunshine Day? Also, I predict she will say something along the lines of this in the first episode: “Hi, I’m Maureen McCormick and I’m an actress. You probably know me best as Marcia on The Brady Bunch… I have asked my TV mom Florence Henderson for some pointers, and she just told me to be confident, and most importantly have fun!”

Season 23 Contestant: Marilu Henner {Actress}

Filling the Quota: Older Actress/TV Personality

Preceded by: Paula Deen (S21), Suzanne Somers (S20), Betsey Johnson and Lea Thompson (S19), Valerie Harper (S17), Ricki Lake (S13), Kirstie Alley (S12), Florence Henderson (S11), Cloris Leachman (S7)

Usually Partnered With: Tony Dovolani, Artem Chigvintsev

Notes: Marilu and Maureen are basically filling the same role, except Marilu lucked out with Derek Hough. Because of this alone, she has a good shot of staying in the game longer than Maureen.

Season 23 Contestant: Jake T. Austin {Actor}

Filling the Quota: Younger actor/singer

Preceded by: Carlos PenaVega (S21), Riker Lynch (S20), James Maslow (S18), Brant Daugherty (S17), Roshon Fegan and William Levy (S14), Romeo Miller (S12), Kyle Massey (S11), Cody Linley (S7)

Usually Partnered With: Alison Holker, Witney Carson, Jenna Johnson

Notes: Usually this person is the underdog, surprisingly good and consistent throughout the show, a force to be reckoned with towards the end. I can definitely see Jake doing this, and he’ll have a good story to tell too: former Disney star who got into some trouble with the law (DUI) a few years ago? Golden. Too bad there’s another cast member who has a better redemption story.

Season 23 Contestant: Kenneth ‘Babyface’ Edmonds {Singer/Songwriter/Producer}

Filling the Quota: Rando singer/musician

Preceded by: Andy Grammer (S21), Redfoo (S20), Gavin DeGraw (S14), Master P (S2), Billy Ray Cyrus (S4), Chuck Wicks (S8), Donny Osmond* (S9), Michael Bolton (S11).

Usually Partnered With: Allison Holker, Sharna Burgess, Emma Slater

Notes: You’d think musicians would have good rhythm as dancers, but most of the time, it just means their rhythm is better suited off the dance floor. Babyface will probably hang on past the mid-season mark.

Season 23 Contestant: Calvin Johnson {NFL Star}

Filling the Quota: Athlete

Preceded by: Michael Sam (S20), Michael Waltrip (S19), Keyshawn Johnson (S17), Jacoby Jones and Victor Oritz (S16), Donald Driver (S14)*, Metta World Peace (S13), Sugar Ray Leonard and Hines Ward (S12)*, Rick Fox (S11), Chad Ochocinco (S10), Warren Sapp (S7), Helio Castroneves* (S5), Apolo Anton Ohno (S4), Emmitt Smith (S3)*

Usually Partnered With: Witney Carson, Karina Smirnoff, Cheryl Burke, Lindsay Arnold

Notes: I honestly have no idea who this is, but NFL stars usually excel when it comes to DWTS.

Season 23 Contestant: Vanilla Ice {Rapper}

Filling the Quota: Rando singer/musician

Preceded by: Redfoo (S20), Gavin DeGraw (S14), Master P (S2), Billy Ray Cyrus (S4), Chuck Wicks (S8), Donny Osmond* (S9), Michael Bolton (S11).

Usually Partnered With: Allison Holker, Sharna Burgess, Emma Slater

Notes: Unlike Babyface, Ice actually dances when he performs, so he’s got a good shot here. Will he dance to Ice Ice Baby? 100 million percent yes. (Ed note: I swear I found that video after writing that. Dancing on Ice is a DWTS/Strictly Come Dancing spin-off in the UK. He placed 7th out of 16.)

Season 23 Contestant: Amber Rose {Model/Talk Show Host}

Filling the Quota: Reality TV Star

Preceded by: Kim Zolciak Biermann (S21), Lisa Vanderpump (S16), Kristin Cavallari (13), Kendra Wilkinson (S12), Audrina Patridge and Bristol Palin (S11), Kate Gosselin (S10), Joanna Krupa (S9), Holly Madison and Melissa Rycroft (S8), Kim Kardashian (S7), Trista Sutter (S1)

Usually Partnered With: Tony Dovolani, Louis van Amstel, Mark Ballas

Notes: I never really know what to call Amber Rose, but per her ABC bio, she’s a “proud mother, activist, entrepreneur, spokesperson, talk show host, model, actor and published author from Philadelphia, PA.” Ok then. She’ll do alright. She’ll also get in heated arguments with Maks. But muva won’t be taking home a trophy for Sebastian.

Season 23 Contestant: Terra Jole {Reality TV Star}

Filling the Quota: Inspirational hero

Preceded by:  Alex Skarlatos (S21), Heather Mills (S4), Chaz Bono and J.R. Martinez* (S13), Amy Purdy (S18), Noah Galloway (S20)

Usually Partnered With: Karina Smirnoff, Derek Hough

Notes: The demographic for DWTS LOVES a good inspirational story, one that makes you cry in the video package shown before their dance every week. This contestant usually does really well.

Season 23 Contestant: Jana Kramer {Country Music Star}

Filling the Quota: Rando female singer who needs to overcome adversity

Preceded by: Toni Braxton (S7), Wynonna Judd (S16),

Usually Partnered With: Karina Smirnoff, Derek Hough

Notes: Jana fills two quotas, one as a rando female singer, but the other unfortunately because she recently separated from her husband. Who knows if she’ll discuss why she decided to do the the or if she signed up prior to her split, but she’ll grab some sympathy votes in addition to her natural talent.

Season 23 Contestant: Rick Perry {Former Governor of Texas}

dwts

Filling the Quota: Older actor/Comedian/Not a chance in hell

Preceded by:  Gary Busey (S21), Tommy Chong (S20), Andy Dick (S16) David Hasselhoff (S11), Buzz Aldrin (S10) Tom DeLay (S9), Steve Wozniak (S8), Jeffrey Ross (S7), The Holy Trinity – Steve Guttenberg, Penn Jillette and Adam Carolla (S6), Wayne Newton (S5), Jerry Springer (S3)

Usually Partnered With: Kym Johnson, Cheryl Burke, Emma Slater, Anna Trebunskaya

Notes: Here’s a hint – any older male contestant whose initial promo photo features them standing and not doing any sort of dance move – they probably won’t get too far in the competition.

Season 23 Contestant: Laurie Hernandez {Olympic Gymnast}

Filling the Quota: Female athlete

Preceded by: Laila Ali (S4), Monica Seles and Kristi Yamaguchi* (S6), Misty May-Treanor (S7), Shawn Johnson* (S8), Natalie Coughlin (S9), Hope Solo (S13), Martina Navratilova (S14), Dorothy Hamill and Alexandra Raisman (S16), Lolo Jones (S19)

Usually Partnered With: Mark Ballas, Derek Hough, Maksim Chmerkovskiy

Notes: WE’RE NOT PLAYING COY, WE WANT THIS CINNAMON ROLL OF A HUMAN EMOJI TO GO ALL THE WAY AND WIN THAT MIRROR BALL TROPHY

Season 23 Contestant: James Hinchcliffe {Racecar Driver}

Filling the Quota: Reality TV/Internet Person/WHO?

Preceded by: Hayes Grier (S21), Mark Cuban (S5), Rocco DiSpirito (S7), Steve-O (S8), Jake Pavelka (S10), Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino (S11), Carson Kressley and Rob Kardashian (S13), Sean Lowe (S16),

Usually Partnered With: Emma Slater, Peta Murgatroyd, Karina Smirnoff

Notes: Although this person has plenty of fans, the contestant has a lot of work to do in the dance studio. He gets frustrated often and knows how to be dramatic in front of a camera. Also, I have no idea who this person is.

Season 23 Contestant: Ryan Lochte {Olympic Swimmer}

Filling the Quota: Male athlete who has to overcome adversity

Preceded by: Michael Sam (S20), Michael Waltrip (S19), Keyshawn Johnson (S17), Jacoby Jones and Victor Oritz (S16), Donald Driver (S14)*, Metta World Peace (S13), Sugar Ray Leonard and Hines Ward (S12)*, Rick Fox (S11), Chad Ochocinco (S10), Warren Sapp (S7), Helio Castroneves* (S5), Apolo Anton Ohno (S4), Emmitt Smith (S3)*

Usually Partnered With: Witney Carson, Karina Smirnoff, Cheryl Burke, Lindsay Arnold

Notes: Apparently Lochte was in talks to do the show before the who #LochteGate happened, so this just happens to be serendipitous timing. He wouldn’t be the first star to help fix their reputation – remember racist Paula Deen? She made it to 9th place and bested four other contestants!

Other Random Quotas Not Filled This Season:

Female Models: Rachel Hunter (S1), Shanna Moakler (S3), Kathy Ireland (S9), Petra Němcová and Elisabetta Canalis (S13), Charlotte McKinney (S20)

Middle-Aged Actor That Were Somewhat Relevant At Some Point In Their Career: John O’Hurley (S1), Joey Lawrence and Mario Lopez (S3), Ian Ziering (S4), Ralph Macchio (s12)

Younger Actress: Alexa PenaVega (S21), Rumer Willis (S20)*, Janel Parrish (S19), Chelsea Kane (S12), Sabrina Bryan (S5), Monique Coleman (S3), Kelly Monaco* (S1)

Most likely to be on cover of CosmoGirl or Teen People: Willow Shields (S20), Sadie Robertson (S19) Bethany Mota (S19), Zendaya (S16)

BBW: Patti LaBelle (S20), NeNe Leakes (S18), Amber Riley (S17)*, Sherri Shepherd (S14), Gladys Knight (S14), Wendy Williams (S12), Niecy Nash (S10)

Pop star and-or actor/has plenty of dance experience/ringer: Nick Carter (S21), Alfonso Ribeiro (S19)*, Corbin Bleu (S17), Aaron Carter (S9), Lance Bass (S7), Mario (S6), Joey Fatone (S4), Drew Lachey (S2)*, Joey McIntyre (S1)

Season 21 Predictions: Final Three – Laurie Hernandez, Jana Kramer, and Jake T. Austin

ICYMI: She’s a Dancing Machine

A favorite summer reality show is back and this year, it’s all kids. No, not Big Brother – So You Think You Can Dance.

So You Think You Kids Can Dance

I’ve been a fan since the literal jump, so when they announced the new format for the 13th season, in which the contestants are kids and not 18+, I was a little hesitant. Actually still am, pending on how tonight turns out. For me, I find young adults competing and achieving their goals much more interesting and less gut-wrenching than seeing kids get eliminated from a show which they think is a life and death situation. But don’t get me wrong, I’m not some sort of curmudgeon about this – in fact, if SYTYCD: TNG turns out to be anything like MasterChef Junior, then count me in. 100 percent. Especially since I know there are some talented kid dancers out there.

I’ve been known to tinker around the Internet here and there, and somehow on my travels I manage to find super talented kids who are already much better dancers than I’ll ever be. So before tuning in to SYTYCD: TNG, check out some of these kids that will motivate you to get up and move that tush a little more.

Soni Nicole Bringas

All four of these kids are great, but I’d like to point out the girl on the right with the long brown hair. If you’re wondering if she looks familiar, it’s because she plays Kimmy Gibbler’s daughter on Fuller House. So not only is she a good actress, she’s an amazing dancer too. Acting seems to be her second profession, really. That’s how good she is.

Aidan Prince

Again, if this kid rings a bell in your brain, he’s one of those kids Ellen brings on her show because she’s dance’s number one fan. I actually discovered him while creeping on videos Soni was in, because apparently this is what 30 is like, folks. Aidan has been dancing for years now, but his hits and grooves are so impressive for a kid his age.

Charlize Glass

This girl. Muscles for dayz. And you can tell because she is one of the strongest dancers I’ve seen, including adults. The other two girls in this video (another appearance by azn gal Bailey Sok on the left) are great dancers, however Charlize could easily pass for a 23 year old with her moves alone.


 If you weren’t into the first episode of SYTYCD, feel free to look back at some of the best auditions from seasons past. Yes, baby Travis Wall is in this.

Best of: So You Think You Can Dance Auditions

One of my favorite parts of summer TV is coming back today, and I could not be more thrilled, since So You Think You Can Dance is probably my fave reality show of all time. I started watching halfway through the first season, but that season doesn’t really count anyways (sorry Nick Lazzarini) because no one was really watching, and the fab Cat Deeley wasn’t the host yet. Now about to enter its 10th (!) season, there have been hundreds of amazing dancers that have wowed the judges and inspired thousands watching. Here are a few memorable auditions from the past 9 seasons to get you back in the dancing mood!

Travis Wall, Season 2

Travis is somewhat of a SYTYCD legend, as he started out as a contestant in season 2 and became the runner-up. But he solidified his mark on the show by becoming a choreographer, earning Emmy noms for his work on SYTYCD as well as a group piece on Dancing with the Stars. Among the Emmy nominated dances, season 7’s Fix You by Robert and Allison, which will make my cry every time I watch it.

Donyelle Jones, Season 2

Donyelle had this light about her when she danced, and it made for a compelling routine every time she took the stage, eventually finishing in third place. She and frequent partner Benji (who went on to win) were like my OTP back in the day, but alas, she married her longtime boyfriend, and he turned out to be gay. Oh well.

Hok Konishi, Sesaon 3

Hok tried out in season 2, nearly made it to top 20, but since he’s originally from England, he wasn’t able to get a visa. He tried out again for season 3 and ended up landing in 7th place.

Joshua Allen, Season 4

Ok, so Joshua is a hip hop dancer. However clearly in this audition, he has so much potential that it’s clear why he won season four. I mean, that Russian? Hello? Where did you come from?

Ellenore Scott, Season 6

Ah, season six. Otherwise known as the ‘lost season.’ This season was overlooked by many, because for some reason, FOX and show producers decided to air it in the fall of 2009, right after the summer season had ended. Rude. But Ellenore was one of the best from S6, and made it to the top four.

Billy Bell, Season 7

Billy made it to the top 20 on season 6, but had to drop out because of a mysterious illness. Because the judges loved him so much, they allowed him to come back for season 7, and placed 6th. Also, season 7 was the one where they were all dropping like flies, because Alex Wong got hurt and Ellen DeGeneres replaced him, Ashley Galvan was also injured and forced to leave the competition and all-star Allison hurt something too. Dropping like flies.

Lauren Froderman, Season 7

LoFro! The winner of S7 came into the auditions not really prepared and went on a whim, and it worked out well for her.

Melanie Moore, Season 8

Another one of my faves, she is so elegant and sharp and bubbly all at the same time.

Kyre Batiste, Season 8

Ok, but how cute is this guy. AND his grandma!

Amber Williams, Season 8

Amber didn’t make it too far, but all I can say is FIERCE. I’m sure she’s doing well even without SYTYCD on her resume.

Leroy Martinez, Season 9

One of the most inspirational auditions ever, Leroy was just a bundle of joy and I wanted to hug him through the TV screen.

Cyrus Spencer, Season 9

Cyrus ‘Glitch’ Spencer: Real life robot? Probably. He did make it all the way to the final 4, so possibly not human.

Eliana Girard, Season 9

Damnnn girl, those legs! Ballerina Eliana became the first co-winner along with Chechon, and totally deserved it.

Ninja Twins, Season 9

“We consider ourselves socialites of LA. We’re like the Paris Hilton and Nicole Ritchie… but we’re broke.” Hilarious.

So You Think You Kids Can Dance

Happy Memorial Day! Also happy Motivation Monday (I’m taking a social media hashtag approach this week)! After you finish showing down on hamburgers or setting off fireworks or whatever you do on Memorial Day, may I suggest sitting down to watch the season premiere of my favorite reality show, So You Think You Can Dance. Or rather, So You Think You Can Dance: The Next Generation.

I’ve been a fan since the literal jump, so when they announced the new format for the 13th season, in which the contestants are kids and not 18+, I was a little hesitant. Actually still am, pending on how tonight turns out. For me, I find young adults competing and achieving their goals much more interesting and less gut-wrenching than seeing kids get eliminated from a show which they think is a life and death situation. But don’t get me wrong, I’m not some sort of curmudgeon about this – in fact, if SYTYCD: TNG turns out to be anything like MasterChef Junior, then count me in. 100 percent. Especially since I know there are some talented kid dancers out there.

I’ve been known to tinker around the Internet here and there, and somehow on my travels I manage to find super talented kids who are already much better dancers than I’ll ever be. So before tuning in to SYTYCD: TNG, check out some of these kids that will motivate you to get up and move that tush a little more.

Soni Nicole Bringas

All four of these kids are great, but I’d like to point out the girl on the right with the long brown hair. If you’re wondering if she looks familiar, it’s because she plays Kimmy Gibbler’s daughter on Fuller House. So not only is she a good actress, she’s an amazing dancer too. Acting seems to be her second profession, really. That’s how good she is.

Aidan Prince

Again, if this kid rings a bell in your brain, he’s one of those kids Ellen brings on her show because she’s dance’s number one fan. I actually discovered him while creeping on videos Soni was in, because apparently this is what 30 is like, folks. Aidan has been dancing for years now, but his hits and grooves are so impressive for a kid his age.

Charlize Glass

This girl. Muscles for dayz. And you can tell because she is one of the strongest dancers I’ve seen, including adults. The other two girls in this video (another appearance by azn gal Bailey Sok on the left) are great dancers, however Charlize could easily pass for a 23 year old with her moves alone.

Kaycee Rice

I don’t even know what the fuck that video is, I’m convinced she’s some sort of dance alien that came to Earth to teach us how dancing really works. Like, what are those moves?

Big Will Simmons

This kid actually deserves the name Big Will. You know how some dudes give themselves nicknames that don’t really fit their personality? Big Will’s swag lives up to his name.

Sofia Lucia

Apparently this girl is on Dance Moms. No idea. All I know is that her extension and turns are flawless.

Balang

This is my Filipino cousin. JK I WISH.

#ManCrushMonday: Everyone Not On This Season Of The Bachelorette

Folks, we’re one week away from a new season of The Bachelorette aka America’s favorite guilty pleasure. Season 12 features Ben Higgins reject Jojo, you know the runner-up who Ben professed his love to, even though you’re not supposed to do that until the season finale. Jojo, like all the other losers in The Bachelor franchise, deserves love, and she will hopefully find it with the man of her dreams on national TV starting on May 23rd. But what exactly does she – and we – have to look forward to this season? I mean besides Jojo’s mom drinking alcohol straight out of the bottle? These dudes.

ABC released the first look of the men she’ll be picking from this time around and let’s just say… it should be an interesting season. I’ve decided to make a few first impression judgements on some of the guys, and then figure out if I was anywhere near the truth. I PROMISE I did not peek at their bios before giving my guesses! Do any of these guys look remotely appealing to y’all? Maybe their personalities will shine through when the show premieres. And I am ready to be proven wrong.

Fake Name: Stellan

Fake Occupation: Mixologist at hipster speakeasy in Silver Lake – known for his magic tricks at the bar

Fake Rando Fact: Makes his own craft beer in his garage

Real name: Evan

Real Occupation: Erectile Dysfunction Expert (NO, REALLY)

Real Rando Fact: Favorite type of dancing is “booty” dancing

Will he last? Nah.

♦♦♦

Fake Name: Julian

Fake Occupation: Vintner in Napa Valley

Fake Rando Fact: Says he’s fluent in French, took one semester in college (got a B- as a final grade)

Real name: Nick S.

Real Occupation: Software Salesman

Real Rando Fact: The food he dislikes the most is “scary cheeses”

Will he last? Not with that neckerchief, no.

♦♦♦

Fake Name: Tony

Fake Occupation: Wedding DJ

Fake Rando Fact: At the age of 16, he was briefly in a boy band called No Way Out. It was managed by Lou Pearlman’s cousin Stu Pearlman.

Real name: Vinny

Real Occupation: Barber

Real Rando Fact:  The most embarrassing style he’s ever had: “I bleached my tips once. I looked like Timberlake – boy-band style.”

Will he last? Nope.

♦♦♦

Fake Name: Charlie

Fake Occupation: Financial analyst

Fake Rando Fact: Grew up on a ranch and was the Colorado state champion bull rider

Real name:  James Taylor

Real Occupation: Singer-Songwriter

Real Rando Fact: He has a tattoo of an American flag and eagle on his left arm/shoulder.

Will he last? How sweet it is to (not be) loved by you

♦♦♦

Fake Name: Ashley

Fake Occupation: Hairstylist

Fake Rando Fact: Worked for celebrity hairstylist Jonathan Antin but was fired during episode two of his Bravo reality TV series Blow Out

Real name: Luke

Real Occupation: War Veteran

Real Rando Fact: If he could be any superhero, he would be Superman, because “he’s got swag and powers.”

Will he last? No, sir.

♦♦♦

Fake Name: Scotty B.

Fake Occupation: Manages bookshop/cafe in Chicago

Fake Rando Fact: Was a former child actor, best known as Beans on Even Stevens.

Real name: Brandon

Real Occupation: Hipster

Real Rando Fact: His all-time favorite book is David and Goliath, by Malcolm Gladwell, because of “how he sees challenges, advantages and disadvantages.”

Will he last? We’ve got a Goliath on our hands

♦♦♦

Fake Name: Mikey

Fake Occupation: Sports Trainer

Fake Rando Fact: Is super into China and its entire culture

Real name: Alex

Real Occupation: U.S. Marine

Real Rando Fact: The most outrageous thing he’s ever done – “Ripped the door off a totaled, burning car and pulled the unconscious driver out to safety.”

Will he last? Um, probs not?

♦♦♦

Fake Name: Jayson

Fake Occupation: Fitness Model

Fake Rando Fact: Is one of 7 kids – only boy in the bunch

Real name: Christian

Real Occupation: Telecom Consultant

Real Rando Fact: His best friend is his mom, “She is my ultimate supporter and has been there every step of the way.”

Will he last? I don’t believe in Christian’s longevity

♦♦♦

Fake Name: Tyler

Fake Occupation: Coffee Enthusiast

Fake Rando Fact: Been an extra in five episodes of Portlandia

Real name: Wells

Real Occupation: Radio DJ

Real Rando Fact: He doesn’t like pizza.

Will he last? Maybe? I’m not-so-secretly rooting for him, based on nothing.

♦♦♦

Fake Name: Nate

Fake Occupation: Product Developer

Fake Rando Fact: Doesn’t hide the fact he loves Ryan Gosling

Real name: Chad

Real Occupation: Luxury Real Estate Agent

Real Rando Fact: “All-time favorite movies – The Notebook (don’t make fun of me)”

Will he last? It wasn’t over, it still isn’t over

Hittin’ on Ben Higgins For All The Right Reasons

Well guys, it’s January, which means one thing: breaking resolutions a new season of The Bachelor! America’s favorite guilty pleasure is back, and so is our inability to stop watching year after year despite telling ourselves otherwise. But I mean, how else are we supposed to judge others as a community while downing bottles of wine?? And this time around, the 20th season of The Bachelor features one of the most beloved contestants in the series, Ben H(iggins).

When Ben H. was dumped by Kaitlyn on last year’s The Bachelorette, the cries of thousands of females (and males) were heard around the country, including mine. He was one of the nicest, non-dramatic, HOT, there for the *right reasons* contestants on the season, and it was obvious he was going to be chosen as the next object of affection. Now that he has the title, all he needs is a slew of women stirring up some trouble inside the mansion as well as his heart. Last night, we were introduced to the 28 ladies vying for Ben H. and it’s already off to such a great start. In full disclosure, I latched myself onto my friends’ Bachelor fantasy league yesterday afternoon and I have a lot more riding on this season than normal (nothing, we’re playing for nothing) but it is intense THERE IS AN EXTENSIVE GOOGLE DOCUMENT AND I AM EXCITED. Here are some of the contestants who stuck out to me (and might be part of my fantasy team), and maybe not all for the *right reasons*.

The Frontrunners

Get these girls a ticket to their hometowns already

Lauren B ⋅ 25 ⋅ Flight Attendant

Lauren B. seems to already be a favorite among #BachelorNation, but more importantly to Ben, who was obviously smitten with her during their brief chat in front of the fireplace.

Becca ⋅ 26 ⋅ Chiropractic Assistant

I’m in the “Who Cares” camp if someone from a previous season comes back to the show again, because on the real, it’s a whole different ball game. Becca’s relationship with Chris Soules is completely different than the one with Ben. On top of that, if her romance with Ben is stronger than his is with, say, Olivia, then let them be, amirite?!

Caila ⋅ 23 ⋅ Software Sales Representative

Caila, like Ben, is a software sales rep, so they probably have a lot of corny jokes about Mavis Beacon or something. TBH, I don’t think she’s The One, but she has a chance of making it in the final four.

The Low-Key Soon-to-Be Frontrunners

Every season, the winner and/or runners-up tend to come out of nowhere. They suddenly get a lot more air time in the middle of the season and next thing you know you’re rooting for them to win because they have a *connection* (See: Jef, Catherine, Jade). These girls might be the ones to surprise us this year.

Samantha ⋅ 26 ⋅ Attorney

There’s something super chill about Samantha that makes me think she’ll stick around for the long haul, and perhaps Ben sees it too. Or maybe it’s because she reminds me of a mashup of Jordan and Tara from Chris’ season.

Joelle (JoJo) ⋅ 25 ⋅ Real Estate Developer

JoJo is also someone with a chill vibe – basically I feel like I could hang with these girls except for the fact that I would feel super old and haggard around them. Anyways, JoJo seems normal and is there for *the right reasons*.

Jami ⋅ 23 ⋅ Bartender

IDK what it is guys, but Jami could guerrilla attack us and end up being the next Bachelorette. She’s gorgeous, and Ben hit it off with her in the limited minutes we saw them together, but I have high hopes for her.

Keep Them In Your Bracket For A While

Amanda ⋅ 25 ⋅ Esthetician

This mother of twins seems to be another fan favorite, and she also shares something in common with Chris Soules’ (ex) fiancee – their high voices.

Emily ⋅ 22 ⋅ Twin

Good for TV, y’all.

Hailey ⋅ 22 ⋅ Twin

Good for TV, y’all.

Jubilee ⋅ 24 ⋅ War Veteran

Listen, Jubilee sounds like a badass I don’t want to mess with, so if Ben is smart, he shouldn’t cast her off so soon either.

Amber ⋅ 30 ⋅ Bartender

I don’t want to say I dislike Amber, but all I’m saying is I don’t feel anything for her when I watch her on the show. I don’t love her, I don’t hate her, I don’t anything her. But looks like Ben does.

Jennifer ⋅ 25 ⋅ Small Business Owner

Jennifer also didn’t get a lot of screen time last night, which either means she’s leaving soon or she’s staying for a bit. I can’t even remember why I wrote her down as not leaving anytime soon, so here we are.

The Shit Stirrers/Kukoo Banana Pants

This should be self explanatory.

Olivia ⋅ 23 ⋅ News Anchor

She may have gotten the first impression rose, but I had a feeling she had crazy eyes before the crazy seemingly came out in the promo for the rest of the season. Also, she said, “I’m really humble”, which is a thing actual humble people don’t say.

Mandi ⋅ 28 ⋅ Dentist

Bitch came in with a giant rose on her head and proceeded to examine his incisors.

Lace ⋅ 25 ⋅ Real Estate Agent

The token wasted girl on the first night. If you watched it, you already know.

#YouTried

Honey sweetie you made it this far but your journey ends here (or in an early episode). Take a moment and say your goodbyes.

Sushanna ⋅ 27 ⋅ Mathematician

Her entrance was all in Russian (?). Brilliant move by the show’s editors: only show her speaking not English for the rest of the episode. Homegirl is from Utah.

Jackie ⋅ 23⋅ Gerontologist

She had a cute little game with Ben on the first night, but her luck might run out soon enough.

Lauren (LB) ⋅ 23⋅ Fashion Buyer

Honestly, I think no one even calls her “LB”, but there was already a Lauren B., so she had to pull a Lauren Conrad instead.

Lauren H ⋅ 25⋅ Kindergarten Teacher

No matter how many times I look at her, I still don’t remember her.

Rachel ⋅ 23 ⋅ Unemployed

Sidenote: EVERYONE IS SO YOUNG. I GET BEN IS 26 BUT THESE ARE BABIES.

Leah ⋅ 25 ⋅ Event Planner

But seriously, she looks like the captain of her high school cheerleading team.

Special shoutout to Tiara the “Chicken Enthusiast”, who got cut the first night. At least we got to see this:

 

The Real World New Orleans: Where Are They Now?

June 14th, 2000 – the day The Real World: New Orleans premiered on MTV. It’s been 15 years since we were introduced to the true story of seven strangers – David, Melissa, Kelley, Jamie, Danny, Matt and Julie – and found out what happened when they stopped being polite and started getting real.

Turns out that story became one of the most memorable seasons of the groundbreaking reality show, and my personal favorite. I was the kid who watched too much TV when I was younger – not only a lot of it, but probably stuff that was out of my demographic. The first season of The Real World I watched was season four, in London, like, in real time. It was 1995 and I was nine years old. By 2000, I was a seasoned vet of TRW, and the New Orleans cast/show spoke to me on a deep level. It probably had a lot to do with Melissa, but we’ll get to that in a bit.

When I moved from Boston to LA about six years ago, my two friends and I stopped in New Orleans on our road trip, and I had to put the Belfort Mansion on the To Do list. The house is a huge two-story 19th century Greek revival mansion in the Garden District, and when producers found it, owners were in the process of turning it from apartments to a single-family house. This is what it looked like during filming:

After the cast moved out, it took about four and a half years to turn it into the single-fam residence, and that’s what it is today. This is what it looked like in 2009 when we creepily stood outside and took pix of ourselves in front of it:

1929290_554294457431_6913468_n

The color is more beige in person, and the “Belfort” sign on the door is gone. So now that you know what the mansion is up to these days, let’s take a look at what the Real 7 at 7 are up to today.

David Broom

Photo Jun 15, 1 21 21 AM

Then: A student from Chicago who had a 4.0 GPA, didn’t drink or smoke, as working out was his vice. He was known as a ladies man and aspiring musician, as evidenced by his classic hit, Come On Be My Baby Tonight.

Now: David now goes by the name, Tokyo Niyeli, a nickname given to him by his friends because of his love for Japanese anime. He lives in Chicago and continues to do some work with MTV, but he’s also a YouTube personality, thanks to yet another moniker, Chef Showtime. He’s combined his love of cooking and music into one by creating videos of original tunes with recipes of his favorite foods, like this apple pie. It’s actually annoyingly catchy, just like Come On Be My Baby Tonight, which I still think about and sing outloud to this day.

Melissa Howard

Photo Jun 15, 1 23 43 AM

Then: Originally from Tampa, Florida, Melissa was known for bringing comic relief to the house, and is possibly the funniest person to have ever been featured on TRW. She liked to paint, was often the center of attention, and butted heads with David. Often.

Now: Melissa moved to Los Angeles after TWR to be a stand-up comedian, and when she was a guest on The Late Show with Craig Kilborn, she straight up asked for a job, and ended up working as a PA on The Jamie Foxx Show. Later, she became a cast member of Oxygen’s prank show Girls Behaving Badly, and later appeared on Bravo’s Battle of the Network Reality Stars. In 2007, she married Glassjaw rocker Justin Beck, and converted to Judaism.  They live in Long Island, and they have two daughters – Shalom, 6, and Maja, 2. She is an excellent writer and her pieces can be found on her personal Tumblr here.

Kelley Limp

Photo Jun 15, 1 24 23 AM

Then: A sorority girl from Arkansas who was steadily dating a medical student called Peter throughout her time in the house. She became BFFs with gay friend Danny, and had an aspiring career in broadcast journalism.

Now: After the show, she was a caterer and event planner, and eventually moved into being a life coach. Scored big time after marrying actor Scott ‘Dimples’ Wolf in 2004. They live in Los Angeles with their three really super cute kids.

Jamie Murray

Photo Jun 15, 1 22 36 AM

Then: A web entrepreneur from Illinois who had that haircut all the cute boys had in the 2000s. Melissa had a crush on him, but he always brushed it off.

Now: Jamie is still in Chicago and works for Internet company Pauwow.com, which apparently is ” easiest and most conclusive way to poll your friends on Facebook.”

Danny Roberts

Photo Jun 15, 1 22 06 AM

Then: Gorgeous, southern boy from Atlanta, who is close to his mother, but not so much with his father. He’s BFF with Kelley, and was secretly dating Paul, an officer in the military, whose face had to be blurred out to protect his identity thanks to the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Policy. Four years after TRW, he and Paul appeared in an MTV special in which Paul revealed his identity.

Now: Still gorgeous and still based in Atlanta. He scored a few acting jobs, including a season four cameo as a ‘French’ guy in Dawson’s Creek, and toured schools talking about diversity in sexuality, coming out, and public policy, particularly Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. He jumped from career to career, working at a corporate non-profit foundation, to working as a recruiter for real estate website Redfin, and now he works as a talent scout at MailChimp (Yes, that MailChimp). In 2013, he married someone he became friends with in college, and reconnected with after TRW. He also goes by Jason Danny Roberts, his real name, now.

Matt Smith

Photo Jun 15, 1 25 21 AM

Then: Despite looking like a ska/punk rocker with crazy shirts, the Georgia Tech web design student was a devout Catholic who was a big hip-hop fanatic. Julie had a crush on Matt, but he treated her more like her protective brother.

Now: Matt is the founder/CEO of smithHOUSE, a Phoenix-based design focusing on mobile, web, social media, and branding. He is happily married with four daughters who are really super cute. You can keep up with him via his blog, on which he still calls himself a ‘hip-hop mogul’.

Julie Stoffer

Photo Jun 15, 1 25 52 AM

Then: The Mormon girl from BYU. Because of the school’s strict policies, she was constantly worried about her living with men on the show, which goes against the school honor code. She was the ‘innocent’ one and arguably learned a lot from being in the ‘real world’ the most out of all her castmates. She flirted with Matt a lot, but alas, he’s just not that into you.

Now: After appearing in a Real World/Road Rules Challenge or two, and co-hosted G4’s video game-centred show, Electric Playground. She ended up transferring to University of Connecticut, and in 2004, she married Spencer Rogers, an ophthalmologist. His work has taken them across the country, where they lived in Northern California, and currently live in San Luis Obispo, along with their daughter Evelyn and son Westley. Oh, she also changed her name to Juliet.

BONUS:

Some of my fave moments from the show, all happen to feature Melissa. She’s said in an interview that after she saw Ruthie on TRW: Hawaii, a fellow ‘brown girl’, she thought she had a shot of being on the show too. For me, it was one of the first times I had seen a young Filipino girl/woman on TV, and I found her fascinating. Her impressions of her mother, Mercy, was so familiar to me because I knew her. I knew Mercy in real life, not necessarily in my own mother, but parts of her, her friends and relatives. Melissa’s humor was also something I related to, because that is also my default quality. So, here it is, maybe my favorite moment from the season, and all of TRW (that I’ve seen). There are so many things to love about this, the kertanging, the friend playing the computer, Jamie and Kelley listening to David, but the best is Melissa’s comedic commentary.

 

The Fastest-Rising Baby Names Of 2014 (And Why Your Kid Will Hate Them In 2027)

If you had a baby in 2014, enjoy! In 13 short years you will be the parent of a surly teenager. Surly teenagers hate many things, but their own name usually tops the list. That’s why last year we examined the top baby names of 2013, and why your kid will hate them in 2016. It doesn’t matter how restrained or normal the name was, how well-planned or creative — sometime in the next few decades you may have to answer to your child’s wrath. It’s not your fault.

Last week the Social Security Administration released the 2014 baby name rankings – the official list of every name given to more than 5 children in 2014. Since the top 10 names are mostly the same as they were last year, this year we’re looking at the fastest-rising names. Now, many of these were not highly ranked at all, given to maybe a few hundred kids, but what’s unusual is how quickly they skyrocketed. All the more reason for your children to hate them. We’re anticipating some of the kids’ arguments, but don’t worry if you’re the real parent of an Aranza or Bode: I don’t think any of these names are really terrible.

[Fastest-rising calculations courtesy of the Baby Name Wizard blog.]

Girls

Aranza
  • Aranza is a telenovela name, a form of  Arantxa (your daughter thanks you for not choosing Arantxa). Basically any name that pegs the mother as someone who watches a lot of soaps can be sort of embarrassing. Just ask all those 20-somethings named Kendall and Lucky.
  • It’s sort of simultaneously beautiful, yet also sounds like the name of an evil cartoon spider. Teenaged Aranza will latch onto the latter opinion.
Daleyza

Awww. Who WOULDN’T want a kid like little Daleyza?

  • Again, 13-year-olds are the worst: any name, however pretty, with the syllable “lay” in it will be the victim of dozens of dirty jokes.
  • A child will figure out that it sounds like “the laser” or “the lazy” and make even more jokes. None of them will be good or funny, because again, middle school.
  • People are stupid, so by 2027 little Daleyza will be tired of explaining that it’s not Da-LIE-za or Da-LEEZ-a.
  • If you think soap opera names will make your kids roll their eyes in 13 years (don’t worry, moms and dads, most things will make them roll their eyes in 13 years): try reality TV names. So it is with Daleyza, from mun2 reality show Larrymania. Fortunately, little Daleyza will have plenty of classmates with names like Khloe and Bethenny to keep her company.
Everly

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4X7b2E_Jq-k]

  • Everly Brothers: charming, old-school 1950s musicians, or hokey as hell? Tween Everly thinks hokey (don’t worry, she’ll come around).
  • Everly kind of sounds like a weird adverb. That’s not really a bad thing, just an observation. They lived everly after. I’ll mow the lawn wheneverly. She’ll have this name foreverly.
Montserrat

Montserrat has it all: it’s not new or made-up. It’s a place name, and it has religious significance. And all of that will be lost on a 13-year-old.

  • The taunting starts early, with the nickname “monster rat.” Unfortunately, it comes from her preschool teacher’s failed attempt to pronounce the name on the first day (hint: it is pronounced exactly like the letters in the name look. Put the accent on the last syllable. Done).
  • Having a name that means “mountain” will not feel awesome when lil Montse hits that junior high growth spurt and feels like she’s towering over everyone.
  • At age 13, Montserrat is old enough to order those fluffy Starbucks drinks, but too young to find it hilarious when her name is misspelled.
Elsa

You’ve loved the name Elsa since you were a little girl, and just your luck, Disney releases a movie with a heroine named Elsa right when you’re getting ready to have kids. I named a character Elsa in a book I wrote in third grade — I get it. [Other characters: Charlotte, Lillian, Lucy, Eleanor. Man, was I ever tapped into the popular baby names of 2015 back in 1995).

  • “Let it goooo, let it GOOO!” If you think you’re sick of this now, imagine how tired little Elsa will be by, oh, third grade or so.
  • Sharing a name with a Disney princess has a ton of cultural cache in Kindergarten; less so in seventh grade.
  • Also, stupid children’s jokes: “Do you have a sister named Anna?” “It’s cold in here, right” [pointed stare at Elsa.]

Boys

Gannon

If you’re scratching your head about what a “gannon” is, you probably don’t watch Teen Mom. Me either. It sounds name-ish, and it’s a short name that ends in -n, a pattern that is all over the boy name charts. But don’t worry, your teen will still hate it in 2027 because:

  • TEEN MOM. First of all. You can swear to him that that’s not where you got it, but he won’t believe you.
  • ZELDA. Not just Zelda, but the bad guy from Zelda. And if any name from Zelda is trendy, why not Zelda? That’s actually cool.
  • You may be well-versed in up-and-coming names, but the receptionist at your pediatrician’s office or elementary school definitely isn’t. “Gannon Smith.” “CANNON?” “Gannon.” “No, but like, Dannon?” “Gannon.” “Gander.” “Gannon.” “Shannon.” It’s a new name, but it sounds sort of like a bunch of other names and words.
Karter

Well, somebody’s been taking a page from Kris Jenner’s guide to baby naming. And your baby doesn’t care now, but he’ll care in middle school – not because you’re a bad parent, but because the human brain is beset by obnoxious little demons from ages 11-14 or so.

  • Everyone’s just going to spell it Carter, then you’ll have to say “Carter with a K.” Which isn’t that big a hassle, but what’s the point?
  • And when Kris Jenner has that baby boy at the age of 63 after a few seasons of flagging ratings on E! – thank you, science – Karter is really going to hate sharing his name with baby Karter Kardashian.  Yes, Kris is going to legally change her surname to Kardashian in 2020 or so to keep it “on-brand.”
Bode
  • People assuming that either he – or you – smokes a whole lot of weed. It’s like the name version of having one of those heavy, woven Mexican blankets in your trunk. See also: Kai.
  • The name will constantly get mispronounced as “bode,” unless you pronounce it that way, in which case it will constantly get mispronounced as “bodie.” You’ll try to explain to his teachers that the accent is on the “e” — from which point, his name will be pronounced “boe-DAY.”
  • Seems like it stands out, but his karate class will have a Brodie and a Bodhi … oops.
  • Also, I almost wrote “karate klass.” THANKS KARTER.
Royal
  • You wouldn’t think that people would remember the Lorde song “Royals” well enough to sing it at him in 2027. But they do, because by then our nostalgia cycle is moving faster than ever and we’re all really pining for 2013.
  • By 2027, baby Royal has also internalized thirteen years of your mother-in-law tut-tutting “I don’t know why you had to go and name him ROYAL” every time she visits.
  • The nickname Roy. Just, you know, in general.
Axl
  • The worst fear of any parent naming their child “Axl”: he will grow up to be a music snob. There’s only so many times he can hear “Oh, like Axl Rose?” before he snaps.
  • He also won’t love how, thanks to Axl Rose, his camp nickname was “Rosie.”
  • Unlike the Scandinavian classic Axel, people will think that they’re supposed to smoosh the consonants together.

Bottom line: all of the girls’ names are appealing enough that I can see why parents’ will choose them. Your kids aren’t any more likely to hate them than if they were named Sophia or Mary. Which still makes your kids pretty likely to hate them, because kids are the worst. And the best. Congrats on your 2014 baby!

Things I’ve Learned from Heart-ing Nick Carter

You may know him as that blonde boy bander, you may know him as Paris Hilton’s ex-boyfriend, hell, you may even know him as Aaron Carter’s older brother. But to me, he’s Nick Carter of my beloved Backstreet Boys (new readers, I am a BSB fan, get over it). And tonight, he becomes a reality TV star.

Nick, the youngest of the BSB-ers and the last one to get married, is front and center of a show called I Heart Nick Carter, in which he and his then-fiancee Lauren Kitt let cameras into their world as they prepare to get married. As far as reality TV shows go, I have a pretty high tolerance for them. I used to exclusively write about reality TV for a living for about a year and a half, and trust, there are some pretty horrible shows out there. But then there are actual good ones that you can’t stop watching, even though you know most of it is set up or edited perfectly (Wahlburgers, The entire Bachelor franchise).

After watching the first episode of I Heart Nick Carter, I’d say this show is somewhere in the middle, but closer to the quality of the Wahlbergers than say, that of Joe Millionaire (was that ref too old?) or I Wanna Marry Harry. That being said, I think if you’ve ever been a fan of the Backstreet Boys at some point in your life, you should watch this show. If you are a product of the 90s, you’ll understand that celebrity was much different in the “TRL Era” than it is now. Kids these days can easily following their favorite Directioner or Bieber on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, YouTube, etc., and see behind-the-scenes photos and personal videos or send a quick message to them in hopes of a reply. Before the internet and social media, seeing our favorite band in concert was the closest we’d ever get to them and if there was a MTV: True Life or Making the Video, it was a friggin jackpot.

While celebrities having their own reality series seems cliche these days, for 90s kids like me, it’s surreal that we get an inside look into Nick Carter’s life. Like you’re telling me we get to see his HOUSE and it’s not just on CRIBS?? This is next level shit, y’all. And, I can say that even as a fan, I learned a thing or two from the show, so maybe you will too. Here are some things to look out for on the premiere tonight:

There Are Fans Who Actually Hate Nick Carter’s Fiancee

Even as a tween/teen, I was never the kind of girl who would be so mad to the point of pure hatred if one of the BSB boys had a girlfriend. I don’t know, maybe it’s because I was more of a sensible young adult, but I thought it was cute when they found love. Also, I’m not delusional. Apparently, there are still fans who have so much hatred towards Lauren Kitt (as seen in the photo that’s floating in a toilet from the Twitter account ‘F**k you Lauren Kitt/DumpLK’). Granted the accounts I found against Lauren haven’t been touched in like 3 years, but still. Lauren says in the pilot that “girls yell obscenities at me”, and I just am embarrassed if these girls who hate Lauren are over the age of 18. Look at your life. Look at your choices.

Lauren is an Independent Woman (Part I)

Lauren left home at 18 to live in Japan. Japan! AND she speaks fluent Japanese! And then she moved to Paris!! Seriously, she’s living my dream life.

Don’t Try Beating Lauren at Wrestling

There’s a scene in the first episode where Lauren pushes Nick to set an actual date for the wedding, and threatens him by playfully wrestling with him on their bed. And she isn’t kidding Around. Oh PS she’s a bodybuilder. As in she’s competed in competitions including the World Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation competition, whatever that is. Also, she was almost a WWE Diva. So I mean, those Twitter trolls probs shouldn’t mess with her.

Lauren’s BFF is A Girl Who Got Screwed Over by a Boy Bander…?

Lauren has a heart to heart with her best friend named Natalia, who, as Lauren says, she met when their boyfriends were on tour together years ago, and they became BFFs. But Natalia’s unnamed boyfriend broke up with her after five years and it ended horribly. He even took all the money out of their joint account, and that’s exactly what Lauren is afraid will happen to her. After some research, it seems as if Natalia is the ex-girlfriend of newly married (always shirtless) New Kids on the Block bad boy Donnie Wahlberg. He obvs kept it on the low for five years, but yikes!

Nick’s Scared He Will Lose Fans If He Gets Married

Alright this seems like one of those fake storylines that reality show writers set up to create more drama. I mean at Nick’s book signing (yes, he wrote a book) in Los Angeles, there are “fans” who tell him they don’t want him to get married. One of them even says, “Maybe I’ll move on to the One Direction guys”, to which Nick responded, “I’ve had nightmares about this moment.” Let’s be real – I feel like half these “fans” aren’t real. I have never seen these people in my life. And I’ve been around the LA BSB circuit (gross). Nick defends his theory since their first manager (probs stupid ass/jailbird Lou Peralman) told the boys they weren’t allowed to have girlfriends in public because it will ruin their careers and won’t sell any records. Keep in mind Nick was 12 when he joined BSB, so really, his career is the only thing he’s ever known. Luckily, good old Sweet Howie D hits Nick with the real shit and basically tells him to get his act together and marry Lauren, or else she should be the one to leave him.

Nick’s Management Team is Really Involved With His Life

Lauren and Nick tell his management team, which consists of a publicist, agent, and two managers, that they want to get married on March 1st. The team basically shuts it down (unconvincingly as actors, I must admit), and they all agree to move the big day to April 12th, which is probably the date Nick & Lauren picked out in the first place. The interesting thing here is that the team is talking about planning their wedding. Excuse, why is the business management team planning Nick and Lauren’s wedding?

Catch I Heart Nick Carter Wednesdays at 10pm on VH1

I’m Trying To Understand Shark Week

We all have our pop culture blind spots, and one of mine is Shark Week. I mean, do I “live every week like it’s Shark Week?” Yes! Absolutely! In that on both Shark Week and the other 51 weeks a year, I … don’t participate in Shark Week.

Now, I don’t begrudge anyone their shark-based T.V. program. I love educational television! Granted, I’m more into the “kid with weird wasting illness that the British royals hid in the 1920s” kind of educational programming, but each to their own. I love learning and I love T.V., so I feel like I should at least try. Here’s what info I’ve managed to process about Shark Week – but I still don’t understand it:

Why Sharks?

You know how sometimes a pop culture obsession springs up, and you wonder if you missed something? Like bacon. Bacon is huge. I wondered for a long time whether I missed whatever set off the Bacon Revolution, but no. Everyone just realized that they all liked bacon and it was time to talk about it openly. Or mason jars. For a while after they took off, I wondered if it was the 200th anniversary of Hezekiah Mason’s birth or something. It wasn’t. People just realized that anything you put in jars looks 100% more folksy, like you might be a Lumineer.

So of course my first step to understanding Shark Week had to be determining whether there was something I was missing with sharks. Koala Week, I’d understand. Those not-bears are adorable (but they’re totally bears, nice try Australia). Or Endangered Species week, because somebody has to save them. And the Puppy Bowl? I get that. The kittens are the cheerleaders. But why sharks? They’re  kind of assholes, and not even attractive assholes. You didn’t see Lisa Frank designing a shark Trapper Keeper, and you know why? Because nobody’s that into them.

The answer, like most answers that are probably wrong, is on Wikipedia. Shark Week is supposed to “raise awareness and respect for sharks.” I believe I speak for everyone who’s ever swam in the ocean when I say that I’m aware. Oh, am I aware. And I respect the hell out of anything with that many teeth. You know what animals need respect? Woodchucks, who always somehow look like the hillbillies of the animal kingdom. Or moles. Get better eyes, moles. Your faces looks like butts.

Anyway, no matter what Wikipedia says, the answer to “why sharks?” is really “why NOT sharks?” They’re an animal, people are interested in them, and if you hype it up enough, people will watch Discovery Channel for a week if you tell them they want to. I’d still prefer Koala Week though.

There’s a host, I guess?

Because you can’t just watch shark shows, you need someone to walk you through it. But here’s the thing – the hosts aren’t just shark guys. I don’t know what a “shark guy” is but I picture the crew of the Keldish when they took Old Rose out to sea to die. They’re celebrities – Andy Samberg! Craig Ferguson! Josh Wolf! This year, it’s Rob Lowe.

You’ll notice that most of those guys are comedians. That’s because if you don’t toss in a little levity, viewers will realize that they’re watching a straight week of animals that can kill or, at best, maim you. You’ll also notice that in the two-decade hosting history of Shark Week, there has never been a female host. I don’t think this is because educational television is an inherently sexist industry, I think it’s because ladies are too smart to socialize with sea beasts that might kill them. It’s violent enough on land. Most of us have finely tuned sensors for who might kill us – have you ever watched Nancy Grace or Law and Order: SVU?  I’m pretty sure we’re holding out for starfish week or something. We all saw what happened to that nice little blonde surfer girl who didn’t respect sharks enough. She got her arm gnawed off. No thank you. Gentlemen, you can have this one.

Didn’t Sharknado Just Happen?

846a4-img_0936

Yes, reader. Sharknado did just happen. We live blogged both of them. At first I thought it was part of Shark Week, but it’s actually just that the American appetite for shark movies is insatiable. Almost as insatiable as sharks’ appetites for the flesh of living humans. I couldn’t come up with an acceptable answer to “why sharks?” but evidently the answer to “how often sharks?” is “at least twice a summer, thanks.”

Sharks or #Sharks?

The answer is #sharks. Shark Week is all over social media, and even has its own Twitter handle (@sharkweek). There’s a live stream of “Shark After Dark.” There are seven – seven! – different Shark Cams on the Discovery Channel website. There are interactive shark games, such as What’s Your Shark Personality ( I believe mine is “human,” not sure).

Is Shark Week Controversial?

Sure! There are a ton of articles about how “scientists” hate Shark Week. I love that – the vague job category of “scientist,” just anonymous nerds in lab coats who begin sentences with “according to my calculations…*”.  I guess scientists are pissed because Shark Week included a fictional movie about fictional scientists searching for a long-extinct Really Big Shark. They think this belongs on Sci-Fi, not The Discovery Channel. Okay. But have they seen the Discovery Channel lately? The only things we’re discovering are how the Amish Mafia operates, or ways people have survived on mountains with full camera crews. Half of the shows are like a slightly more educational version of Jackass.

Scientists who have worked with Discovery Channel have found that the information they gave the network was turned into misinformation. That’s a more valid complaint. If your life’s work is studying an animal, you finally get the chance to spread your knowledge, and it’s turned into something that’s flat-out wrong, you’re right to be ticked. Even worse, Shark Week has allegedly hurt conservation efforts because people now want to eat shark, sort of a “if sharks eat humans, humans are just going to eat all of the sharks” thing. As much as I joke about sharks tearing humans apart, the fact is that humans are way worse for sharks.

* I think that “scientist,” of whatever sort, is pretty much the coolest job ever, so no harm meant. But I doubt most of them call themselves “scientists” any more than I’d call myself a “desk person” or “office lady.”

How Do I Live Every Week Like It’s Shark Week?

You know, it depends. If, like me, you aren’t into Shark Week, you live every week like it’s Shark Week by continuing to not watch shows about sharks. If you love Shark Week, then you buy the DVDs, I suppose. If you’re a shark scientist or a conservationist, you try to get your message out there despite the Discovery Channel’s efforts. And if you’re a shark … well, I can’t tell you. Because I don’t watch Shark Week. Just keep swimming, I suppose.