Hey! I was on TV! (Newlyweds: The First Year)

My best friend Nadine Jolie Courtney and her husband were followed around by Bravo for a year being filmed for the 2nd season of Newlyweds: The First Year and I made the cut! I had the distinct honor of standing by her side as she married a great guy and was so excited to be able to toast to their love and happiness.

I’m not going to lie, being on TV was a little weird, but still sort of cool! And it’s definitely fun to see the ways that the magic of reality show editing create a whole new “reality”.

Here is a full transcript of my toast:

The first time I met Nadine, almost 15 years ago when we were both interns at FHM in New York, she had just broken up with her college boyfriend. We spent a whole summer sitting in a closet together, sorting through men’s grooming products and watching Mandy Moore on MTV. Despite all the fun we had that summer, it wasn’t until she moved out to LA 6 years ago that I truly understood how deep our friendship ran. Nadine is the most sparkly person I know. She is smart and funny and talented and loyal and the goofiest dancer on the planet. She is also my most travelled and up-for-anything friend so I wasn’t even remotely surprised when she called me up in March to ask me to vet a new guy she was dating before they went on their third date together – in JAPAN!

Throughout the years Nadine went through her bad boy phase and her good boy phase and her “hey, you’re a boy” phase, but it wasn’t until she met Erik that she went through her right boy phase. I may have approached that first phone call with him skeptically, but Erik’s sincerity, passion and excitement about my friend made it easy to see why she was so willing to travel across the world with him. Getting to know him this year and watching my best friend truly fall in love has been amazing.

I spend a lot of time reading the internet at work and I came across a quote from a 4-year-old who was asked about love. He said “When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You just know that your name is safe in their mouth.” I love this so much. And it makes me think of Nadine and Erik. When Nadine fell in love with Erik, literally the moment she told me they were all in, her smile changed. Nadine has never been what people would call an unhappy person, but I have known her for almost 15 years, and I have never seen her smile the way she started smiling when she met Erik. It was as if she knew that her name would be safe in his mouth.

(Thanks to Nadine for providing me with the footage)

Music Video Appreciation: Florence + The Machine “St. Jude”

Florence + The Machine’s newest album How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful won’t be released until June, but man, oh man, are the singles and videos building up the hype. Her latest video for “St. Jude” is magic to me. The song is ethereal and gorgeous, but the video has a very grounded feel to it. The way that the sounds of kids laughing or a passing man asking her a question weave into the song playback is super effective. It’s a pretty simple video outside of the trick with the birds at the end – which will definitely leave you wondering if that was found in nature or created in post (probably the latter, but music video magic makes it acceptable to believe the former) – but the distance traveled feels greater than the sum of its parts.

Dear Susan: The Bachelor National Nightmare is Over

Dear Susan,

This photo represents the utter lack of excitement during this season of The Bachelor.

This photo represents the utter lack of excitement during this season of The Bachelor.

Last week was the “Women Tell All” special. I didn’t recap it for you because a) the women did not tell all – they mostly spent their time crying, complaining about what someone else said, and accepting apologies – which means that it was also b) BORING. I cannot thing of one thing that I would tell you about it so we’ll just move on to last night’s 3 hour finale extravaganza.

Not even all the kissing can make me think this season was interesting.

Not even all the kissing can make me think this season was interesting.

Despite how boring this season has been, I found myself really into last night’s episode. I’ll tell you one thing, The Bachelor editors are pretty good at their jobs. They made Becca, the most on-the-fence person to ever be on this show, seem riveting. However, as I go through my notes, I am realizing that once again, this season with Farmer Chris was just incredibly boring. Continue reading

Face Off: Creating Insects Through Body Painting

Lois Burwel and McKenzie present the artists with their foundation challenge.

Lois Burwell and McKenzie present the artists with their foundation challenge.

You guys, I LOVE body painting challenges! They haven’t done them very often and they always cause the artists to flip out (in fear), but they are always so cool. But first!

Foundation Challenge: Select a hat & use it to inspire an original character.

Guest Judge: Lois Burwell (Season 7 judge)

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Continue reading

Dear Susan: The Most Boring Bachelor in Bachelor History

Dear Susan,

The fear on Kaitlyn's face says it all.

The fear on Kaitlyn’s face says it all.

First of all, I spent all morning writing this post on my iPad only to then immediately delete it when I went to post and now I have to start all over. The fact that I’m spending even this much time on this supremely boring episode of The Bachelor is boring to me. But man, was the last post good. This one won’t be as good. Sorry.

The most important thing about this episode is that one girl wears a really great necklace and another wears a great dress. But the third girl wore what appear to be black pleather shorts so. . . I guess 2 out of 3 isn’t bad. Also, the most engaging conversation that Chris has is with a monkey in the episode tag. I’m not even kidding. Continue reading

Face Off: The Troll Under The Bridge

The artists meet McKenzie on the LA "river"

The artists meet McKenzie on the LA “river”

Spotlight Challenge: Select a famous bridge from around the world and create the troll that lives beneath it. McKenzie suggest that the make-up artists keep in mind the architectural designs as well as the culture of the location of their bridge.

Guest Judge: Doug Jones I loved watching Doug work with the models during the Application Phase. He has such a great understanding of character and a great command over body movement. It really is beautiful.

Mr. Westmore returns! Full of good advice and troll puns.

Mr. Westmore returns! Full of good advice and troll puns.

I was kind of surprised by how dull this challenge turned out to be. With the exception of Ben, I really didn’t feel like anyone really pushed the definition of what a Troll is or truly captured a fantasy element. Rayce told his team to “reinvent trolls” and it ended up backfiring big time (both Anthony and Rob ended up in bottom looks). Meanwhile Team Anthony took all three top look spots so good on them!

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Poor, poor Anthony.

Poor, poor Anthony.

Winner: Jamie (though I would have given it to Ben for his far more interesting and creative concept)

Packing His Kit: Anthony

Face Off: The Sound of Makeup

Jill Wagner & McKenzie Westmore

Jill Wagner & McKenzie Westmore

I apologize for getting this up so late! I’ll have last night’s recap tomorrow.

This week the artists actually did a Foundation Challenge! I really like these challenges, but I’m also glad that they use them sparingly throughout the season instead of treating them like a Quick Fire on Top Chef.

The teams get ready to relay.

The teams get ready to relay.

Foundation Challenge: In teams of 3, complete one make-up relay-style inspired by your model’s claws.

Guest Judge: Jill Wagner (I cannot stand her if I’m being honest, but she was surprisingly tolerable and actually had some good constructive criticism.)

The relay itself was kind of complicated. Each artist got two 20 minute shifts on their model and for the first 3 shifts they had to hand off a prosthetic to the next teammate to apply but they weren’t privy to what their teammates were doing until they got to their turn. Ok, maybe not so complicated.

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Dear Susan: The Bachelor goes on (really boring) Hometown Dates!

Dear Susan,

I am losing my mind with so much back-to-back Bachelor and starting to see things. Please send help.

We really didn't see anything of this date with Becca. I mean, I know there's lots of drama to pack in, but from the looks of it, all Becca and Chris did was sit on the couch holding hands.

We really didn’t see anything of this date with Becca. I mean, I know there’s lots of drama to pack in, but from the looks of it, all Becca and Chris did was sit on the couch holding hands.

Monday’s episode starts with Chris’ 4th date in Iowa, a one-on-one with Becca. They literally just go to his rented loft and sit around and chat. It’s really low key which is great, but the producers spent like 2 minutes on it during the show. The big news here is that Becca tells Chris she’s never been in love (she is 25 and also a virgin if you remember) despite a 4 year on and off relationship. He doesn’t seem too concerned – in fact, I think he likes how slow they’re taking things. She got one-on-one dates in back-to-back episodes so there must be something that’s keeping him coming back for more. Continue reading

Dear Susan: That’s a Whole Lot of Bachelor

Dear Susan,

Totally natural setting for two bros talking.

Totally natural setting for two bros talking.

Look, you know I like The Bachelor as much as the next girl, but 3 hours on Sunday and 2 hours last night is just TOO MUCH Bachelor. I’m not even going to bother telling you about the first hour of Sunday’s episode entitled “Chris Tells All” because Chris did not, in fact, tell all. Chris did not really say anything except rehashing what we already knew (except that he alluded to the fact that Ashley S. may have been faking her crazy because she didn’t want to be on the show anymore). We revisited Kelsey who continued to be arrogant, obtuse and totally off-her-rocker-nuts and then we caught up with the last Bachelorette, Andi Dorfman, who recently called off her engagement to her pick from the show, Josh. She says they broke up because they were too intense and similar, I have a sneaking suspicion there’s more to the story and it involves Josh cheating on her, but that’s just cause I think he’s a slimeball. (Ok, so maybe I did recap “Chris Tells All” a little)

Onto the meat and potatoes of this week’s 5 hour marathon of tears, roses, and exotic Iowan locales! Continue reading