Ryan Welton

Sports + Digital + Music + Life

Monthly Archives: February 2018

Celebrity Big Brother: Why Ross’s loss sucked for ‘superfans’ everywhere


Well, color me surprised.

When I saw who had won Celebrity Big Brother Sunday night, my first reaction was that the jury got it wrong. So wrong.

However, by definition, in this game, the jury never gets it wrong because they hold the power. Each season, they come up with different reasons for how they vote, and one of the things house guests have to do is convince those going out that they deserve their votes.

With that said, Ross Mathews got hosed. He 100 billion percent deserved to win Celebrity Big Brother, and while I love how gracious he’s been, I feel for the guy. It’s not about the money for many of the celebrities; it’s about the game. Many of these folks are genuinely living out a reality TV geek’s dream in playing Big Brother.

On ET tonight, winner Marissa Jaret Winokur theorized that while she played Celebrity Big Brother, Ross played actual Big Brother. And while I love that soundbite, the truth is that the jury’s vote reminded me a lot of both of Paul’s losses as well as Dan’s loss to Ian a few seasons back.

Well, except for the fact that Josh totally deserved to win last season.

As an aside, I didn’t root for Josh at all during Big Brother 19. I found him to be annoying, overly-emotional, periodically unstable — and by the time the game ended, an amazing Big Brother player. Once my favorite is eliminated, and once we get to a Final 2 or 3, I’m all about wanting the best player to win.

Most Big Brother ‘superfans’ are the same way.

I’ve got nothing but love for Marissa, who is incredibly likeable, but she genuinely played a ‘Friendship’ strategy, as opposed to Paul Abrahamian, who schemed under the cover of ‘friendship.” Lowercase ‘f’.

In fact, I think we could safely say that Marissa might be the nicest Big Brother winner ever.

Julie Chen told Entertainment Weekly that Winokur won because of the “mom vote,” a conspiring of votes from other house guests, presumably female. The only votes Ross got were from Metta World Peace, who basically flipped a coin and randomly chose a key, Mark McGrath and Brandi Glanville.

Juries can vote however they’d like; however, I’m especially disappointed in Shannon Elizabeth and Omarosa, both of whom knew better. I get that Keisha Knight Pulliam and Ariadna Gutierrez, whom I liked quite a bit, might not have a clue about how Big Brother worked. But Shannon was a superfan, who in this case played the role of the bitter juror.

EW’s writer and Survivor finalist, Aubry Bracco, put it brilliantly, so brilliantly that I shall not even try to write it myself. She wrote:

As someone who went to the end of Survivor, only to come up short, I’ve got to be candid — my heart broke when Ross asked if he was the bad guy. I waited over a year to hear the result I knew was coming at the end of my season. I dreamed about Survivor every single night. I convinced myself I was a terrible person to my fellow tribemates. I’ve come to terms with it, and that’s a whole other thesis, but man, I felt for Ross.

Ross played, and he didn’t do it in an overly vindictive manner like Paul. He didn’t just go on his favorite show in the world to inflate his ego. He went to play the game he loves. Was he a bit messy in the process? Sure, but sometimes that’s life, and that’s certainly the fun of competition reality. When his back was up against the wall, he found a way to save himself, and he built a resume of wins in the process. Most upsetting to me is the fact that many players said they saw Ross as a huge threat and sang his praises when they were evicted. I underestimated just how fragile these celebrity egos could be — bring Ross back in a season of average Joes. I’m pretty sure he’d slay.

Maybe I’m a little too serious about this, but it disappoints me as someone who’s given up weeks of my life to play a game I love. By awarding Marissa the win, it sends the message that when you give up your life to entertain American television viewers for free, the best strategy is to be a follower. That sucks.

Read all of Aubry’s piece here.

Celebrity Big Brother will be back.

The best news of all is that Celebrity Big Brother was a ratings hit. It fared well against the Olympics, and Chen says it “definitely” should be back next year. My hope is that they’ll turn it into a two-month affair, just like regular Big Brother. My other suggestion would be to vet celebrities a bit further to make sure none of them will bolt from the house early a la Keisha and Metta.

I understand why they left, but I think a lot of that could have been discovered before casting them.

My other suggestion would be to increase the winnings from $250,000 to $500,000 with a full-season run. If they could make it $1 million, I think you’d get a great cast and fantastic season, fantastic in a Big Brother fan sort of way.

Who benefited from Celebrity Big Brother?

Even in this inaugural season of #CBBUS, there are winners and losers beyond the Top 2. For example, I think Ariadna Gutierrez benefited immensely from her appearance. Nobody knew who she was beyond being the victim of Steve Harvey’s gaffe at Miss Universe.

Turned out that Ariadna was a fun and competitive house guest, who I thought stood a real chance to win toward the end. The #HashItOut game doomed her.

In my opinion, and I might be the only person who thinks this, but I thought Brandi Glanville got a big PR boost from being on Celebrity Big Brother. I thought she was awesome, funny and genuine and I particularly liked how she was especially vulnerable with Julie upon eviction, noting that despite her Teflon-like exterior, stuff gets to her.

To Big Brother superfans, Ross Mathews has earned ton of respect, while Shannon Elizabeth might get a bit of undeserved scorn. I say “undeserved” only because I genuinely think she’s a superfan who, in the end, voted out of revenge.

It’s been done before.

Mark McGrath played a quintessential floater’s game, and I think, in the end came off as well as he entered — although for a guy who’s only two years older than me and who sang rock songs not that long ago, he sure does seem old.

Or maybe I’m old, too. Mark, I’m rockin’ the Metamucil right there with you.

However, as a superfan, I have to say: respect to McGrath. Being a floater is absolutely a legitimate Big Brother strategy. It’s not my favorite, but for some folks who might not be as good competitively as others, it’s their only shot.

Omarosa is as clever and sly as ever, a villain’s villain. She’d make any reality competition worth watching. The fact that “Dancing With The Stars” hasn’t scooped her up is stunning and, frankly, silly.

Metta World Peace came off as genuine and sweet and goofy, nothing like the Ron Artest that got caught up in that Malice at the Palace incident from 2004. That kid was only 25. Metta is a grown-ass man who loves his girlfriend, Maya Ford, to the point of tears.

Who’s ready for Big Brother 20 (#BB20) this summer?

I have no idea what the twist might be, although I do have some thoughts as to who might get re-cast into this summer’s season. The thought had been that either Cody Nickson or Jessica Graf might re-enter the house.

Despite how ‘The Amazing Race’ ended for them, I suspect it’s still a possibility. They’re competitive, and they were terrific for ratings.

The other house guest that could return, in my estimation, if any do, is Christmas Abbott, the fitness instructor who played well but was hobbled by a foot injury that kept her limited competitively. She still almost won.

And then how about Paul Abrahamian? Third time’s the charm?

Look, Big Brother doesn’t re-cast house guests every season, so there are no guarantees that anybody is being let back into the house. Our summer guilty pleasure returns in June, and so shall I with updates and columns, and probably some other Big Brother tidbits between now and then.


The 3 basics of 21st Century digital public relations


The biggest purpose of this blog post is to help small businesses that have zero idea on how to navigate a communications or public relations strategy. Sure, you could hire a firm, but cash flow is king. You might prefer to try to do it yourself.

And you can.

It isn’t easy.

But it’s not rocket science.

This is your guide to 21st Century digital public relations with a focus on what will help those of you who own or manage small businesses.

The first thing you’ll want to do is to learn the media landscape of your community or city. Start liking, following, getting to know your local reporters. Be active on media sites so that stations and reporters know who you are. Establish yourself as being friendly to the grand media complex, and provide value when you can.

I can tell you from first-hand experience that name recognition and respect is your first step in capturing attention with media entities. That can backfire, too, especially if what you eventually submit to a newspaper or TV station isn’t regularly on point.

Your action items: Create a list of all your local TV stations, newspapers, influential blogs, etc. Go like them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Be a regular commenter with quality takes or value-added information.

The second thing to do is to learn how to craft a press release. Many marketers will tell you that content marketing is king in 2018, and it’s definitely important — but your first and best opportunity to capture the attention of reporters, editors and producers is to know how to put together a killer press release.

What makes a great press release? I’d say the most important thing is to be sure that your press release isn’t merely a collection of words. It needs to have a quality hi-res photo and other multimedia, such as a link to video or b-roll that the newspaper or station can use. First, a high-quality photo captures the attention of newsroom folks who have to sift through hundreds of emails. Second, multimedia provides a station or paper with art they can use in their story. You’re doing them a solid, and it’s appreciated.

Ultimately, your press release has to communicate newsworthy information that goes beyond promoting your business. Aside from the grand opening or your restaurant or store, there aren’t many promotions that are strictly one-way that will truly capture the interest of folks in the Fourth Estate.

Don’t take it from me. Heed the advice of one of the most respected folks in the industry, Serena Erlich. I got to know her during my time in corporate communications with Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores. She always has top-notch advice, and she’s a staunch defender of the press release, as am I. If you’re going to “be a media company,” you have to know how to capture the attention of newsies.

There’s no better way than to master the basics of a 21st Century press release.

Your action items: If you don’t have the cash to spend on a quality public relations firm with pros who have their APR, then learn the basics of writing a press release. Brush up on your photography skills, and learn how to create and edit video. I’ll put together a blog on the basics of writing a press release soon. However, there are also a ton of resources out there.

The third thing to do is to not depend on the press to amplify your message. Let’s say you create that press release, and you get no traction. You need to know how to amplify it yourself through social media, social advertising and content marketing.

That doesn’t mean posting your press release to Facebook and expecting magic to happen. That means crafting some verbiage in concert with an appealing image or images or video and styling it to work with Facebook and Instagram. Twitter is nice with its 300M users, but if it’s me, you’d be focused on Facebook and Instagram with a combined 2.8B users.

Your action items: After you send that press release to your media list, re-create that same message in the form of social posts, blogs, you name it and amplify using organic and paid mechanisms. Spread the word yourself.

Those are the three basics of 21st Century digital public relations. However, I’d add this: Any given story or event or promotion has a life cycle unto itself. There is pre-promotion. There is the event. There is post-mortem. Creating a press release and sending it to your media peeps with a little bit of amplification on your own ahead of the event and then calling it a day is a recipe for disappointment. You need to master the press release, but you can’t stop there.

Ideally, you’re seeking the help of media to cover your business. However, you’re prepared to do it yourself — and you start well before and end well after, making your piece of news feel less like a one-time thing and more like an event that demanded attention throughout because it was so compelling.

Again, I’ll take this manifesto of sorts and break it down over the coming weeks. But if you’re a small business owner or manager who intends on doing this yourself, this post gives you a sense of the scope of everything you’re about to undertake.

Photo credit:
Paolo Negri, link here:


Celebrity Big Brother down to Final 5, but only 2 can win


Spoilers are ahead, so if you don’t want to know who won the Celebrity Big Brother Final 5 Head of Household or Power of Veto, do not continue. There are five house guests left, but in my estimation, there are only two who can win.


With only one more TV episode left, Celebrity Big Brother is down to its Final 5, but really it’s down to its Final 4 because we’ve learned that Ross Mathews has won HOH and nominated Omarosa Manigault Newman and Ariadna Gutierrez. We also know that Ross won the POV and, almost assuredly, isn’t going to use it.

With Marissa Jaret Winokur and Mark McGrath left to vote, it’s almost a certainty that Omarosa is going home first on Finale Night. If not a 2-0 vote, surely Ross would be sending the reality television villain to the hot seat with Julie Chen. I always feel like when I mention Omarosa and “reality villain” that I should also note her credentials as a Trump and Clinton administrator. However, that’s only because she talks about it so much.

She’s been a good Big Brother player, but Ross has been a better player. I think he wins the first-ever Celebrity Big Brother. His social game has been terrific, and he’s won competitions when it counted, both the cerebral and the physical. The most recent HOH competition involved house guests hanging on to snow skis.

Ross managed to be part of two big alliances that covered every house guest except one, I believe. There’s nobody in that house who thinks Ross is a bad player, and I suspect they’ve all fancied him a favorite from the outset. Favorite as in “could win.” So, what each of these alliances did was associate themselves with a guy who would have both social and competitive power.

Smart by them. Good on him.

Yet the power moves in this game came from the women. Ariadna was responsible for the CBB demise of Shannon Elizabeth, who is sure to win America’s Favorite Houseguest. She pledged to donate the $25,000 to her charitable organization, Animal Avengers. Likewise, Omarosa is responsible for the eviction of James Maslow.

As of this writing (Sunday morning), we know that Omarosa is dead-man-walking, which leave us with Ross, Ariadna, Marissa and Mark.

See also: Diary Room Highlights

Omarosa has all but killed Marissa’s chances of winning by elaborately detailing why nobody would win sitting next to her in a Final Two. I do not think Omarosa is correct because both Ari and Ross would win sitting next to her. Even Omarosa might win sitting next to Marissa. The only person who has no shot of winning is Mark.

Heck, if Mark had been more competitive throughout the three-week season, he might have stood a chance. Probably the biggest reason he’s still in the house is because he’s such a fantastic roommate. In Saturday night’s retrospective episode, we see Mark doing all the cleaning.

All this leads me to a prediction: The only two house guests who have a real shot at the $250,000 are Ross Mathews and Ariadna Gutierrez. She’s proven herself to be a good competitor and a strategic player, as evidenced by her willingness to make the season’s first power move in eliminating Shannon.

It just comes down to that final HOH.

If Ross wins, he’s taking Mark McGrath. In Saturday’s episode, we see Ross and Mark talking about this. From Mathews’s perspective, we know why: beating Mark will be easy in a jury vote.

If Ariadna wins, she *should* take Mark, but I don’t know what she’ll do and I could see her taking Ross just because she likes him. I should give her the benefit of the doubt since she ushered Shannon out the door. However, you just never know.

Given the fact that she’s mostly known for having Miss Universe ripped from underneath her by an errant Steve Harvey and the fact that her dad is dying, which the audience saw in an emotional moment a few days ago, I’m rooting for Ariadna to win that final HOH, evict Ross and Marissa and take home the $250,000.

I just think she’s the house guest who could most use a little something good happen to her.

And if she wins that final HOH and makes the cutthroat decision to evict two of the game’s most popular house guests in Ross and Marissa, it will be hard to argue that she doesn’t deserve it as well.

With that said, I think Ross wins. Hoping for an Ariadna upset.

Anything else, to me, would be a big surprise.

Pasta puttanesca sounds fancy, right? It’s super easy, fast and inexpensive


While I enjoy cooking, so does my girlfriend, Kristi. It just so happens that she’s way better at it than I am. Of course, as a blogger, I can churn out content pretty darned fast, so I thought: why don’t I tell you about the meals she creates, how she does it and how much it costs?

Brilliant idea, right? Right. More food posts!

I had a long day covering winter weather for the best TV station in Oklahoma City, and I’m super lucky that I was able to navigate the roads to get home. Subaru magic, baby. Truth be told, if you drive slowly, you can make it (as long as the proverbial ‘other guy’ doesn’t drive like a bat out of hell). But I’m doubly lucky that I’ve got Kristi and that she enjoys cooking. Like I said at the outset, I enjoy it, too. You’ve seen that on my blog, so there’s at least some proof.

Tonight she made us pasta puttanesca, ‘puttanesca’ referring to the sauce, specifically one with tomatoes, garlic, olives and tomatoes. It’s common for folks to add capers and anchovies to the sauce as well. I love anchovies, but Kristi doesn’t love them as much as I do. She doesn’t hate them; she just doesn’t go out of her way to buy ’em.

The grocery list for this dish, as she made it, is as follows (the cost being the first figure, and the second being the estimated amount of product used for the dish):

  • Whole wheat pasta: $1 ($.50)
  • Veggie pasta: $1.48
  • Puttanesca sauce: $2.98 (x2)
  • Sliced green olives: $1.98 ($.75)
  • Black olives: $1.96 (for a 3.8 oz. can)
  • Carrots: $1.38 ($.75)
  • Celery: $1.58 ($.50)
  • Onion: $.79 ($.40)

Total cost: $16.13
Cost of product used: $12.30

We estimate that this dish makes 8 to 10 servings, which comes to between $1.23 and $1.53 per serving. You can’t beat that!

Making pasta puttanesca easily took less than 30 minutes, Kristi says.

Here’s how you do it:

Boil a big ol’ pot of water for the pasta, and add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil to keep the pasta from sticking to the pan.


Chop your onion, carrots and celery and sautee them in olive oil and balsamic vinegar until the celery and carrots are kind of soft. Drain your olives and add those to the veggies. Add garlic salt to taste.


Note that, above, I included the cost of each ingredient along with the cost of what Kristi used, so in the case of the sliced green olives, it looks like she used about 40 percent of the can.

Warm your puttanesca sauce. Doesn’t get much easier.


Boil your pasta. Kristi likes her puttanesca with anything-but-spaghetti, and in this case, she chose whole wheat and veggie pastas. Thumbs up from me!

Mix it all together, and serve with a veggie. Kristi roasted some asparagus for us, and it was all delicious.



The bonus is that I’ve got lunch for Thursday, when once again the Oklahoma City area will be dealing with wintry precipitation and bad road conditions. This dish is delicious and easy, and if you’ve got a big crew to feed, it’s super inexpensive.

If you enjoyed this post, give me a follow — or find me on Twitter (@ryanwelton), Instagram (@ryanwelton2013) or Facebook (/welton). I’m also a YouTube content creator at YouTube.com/RyanWeltonMusic. Come find me online!







The story behind, “Dear OG&E,” & remembering the 2007 Oklahoma ice storm


We had ice in central Oklahoma today, but I’m not sure we can call it an ice storm. Back in 2007, we had an ice storm.

And it was an ice storm of epic proportions.

I was in my third year of work at the ABC affiliate in Oklahoma City, and I spent my days writing stories and sending out alerts via email — digital tactics that were pre-Facebook. It’s bizarre to think about. There were no push alerts. There was no Facebook really, yet. Not for anybody but college students. Definitely no Twitter, no Instagram, no Snap.

We just wrote stories, posted video and sent out a lot of emails to subscriber lists.

It was late November. Freezing temps and a big patch of moisture converged on the Sooner State, and we knew it was coming. It dropped a ton of freezing precipitation, enough that trees in Norman bent over quickly. Ultimately, the city of Norman lost a bunch of historic trees — and those trees pulled out a bunch of electricity meter boxes from the sides of homes.

Everybody in central Oklahoma was without power, some for days.

Others for weeks.

I didn’t have electricity for two weeks. The station put me up at the nearby Best Western on Santa Fe and 63rd in Oklahoma City. I spent so much time at that hotel over the years that it’s officially my most-visited hotel, although the Omni in Dallas comes close. Editor’s note: I love the Omni in Dallas. Best. Hotel. Ever.

The reason I didn’t have electricity for so long was because the fallen tree pulled out my meter box. My electricity provider was backed up with thousands upon thousands of power issues, and my neighborhood was super low priority.

But I got homesick quickly.

One night, I skipped the hotel and drove back to Norman, determined to sleep in my own bed. It was 26 degrees in my house because it was 26 degrees outside, and I had no heat. I slept in my winter coat and a hoodie and pants and sweats and probably a gorilla costume. It was so damned cold, but I was in my own bed, and I was thrilled.

I got up the next morning and took the world’s quickest shower.

The whole experience led me to write a song called, “Dear OG&E,” which I posted to my YouTube channel. It’s gotten 3,300 or so views over the years, and it got the attention of some of OG&E’s communications team, whom I had the pleasure of meeting and getting to know over the years while I worked at Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores. Fantastic people.

What made the video, however, wasn’t me or my creativity or even the timing of the song with the storm. Nope. It was my late cat, Finley, who meowed on cue at the end of the tune. Her timing was impeccable.

So, as Oklahoma dealt with its dose of winter Tuesday (with me now at the CBS affiliate in Oklahoma City, I should note), I shivered and bemoaned the fact that it’s not baseball season yet.

However, I didn’t complain.

It could have been a whole lot worse. Believe that!


Celebrity Big Brother Power Rankings: New HOH, nominations and Veto twist revealed (Sunday recap)


As we left our TVs on Friday night, our beloved celebrity house guests were sitting on stadium seats, hanging on for their HOH lives.

On Sunday night, we learned that after an hour and a half, Omarosa Manigault Newman won Head of Household. It came down to her and James Maslow, and he acknowledged that he wasn’t long for the game. Omarosa told the Big Time Rush star that he’d be safe this week if he dropped, and she swore on the Word of God.

That’s a heavy promise. James bought it, too.

Strategically, this apparently came down to Omarosa’s “big booty.” House guest words, not mine. Hey, maybe she is just in good shape, aside from that asthma thing.

Also, the first three to fall from their chairs against the wall were subject to Big Brother slop. This is slop’s first-ever appearance in Celebrity Big Brother — and its consumers are Metta World Peace, Ross Mathews and Mark McGrath.

Once Omarosa assumed her throne, the attention turned to the lone vote to save Shannon Elizabeth. That one vote came from Brandi Glanville, who admitted her transaction to outgoing HOH Ariadna Gutierrez. Her reasoning was that she knew Shannon was about to be evicted, and she didn’t want her to be ousted unanimously. Brandi felt sorry for her.

What’s so strange about this game is in developing opinions about celebrities. For example, Brandi’s sudden show of sympathy makes me like her. I just never imagined that I’d like a Real Housewife.

Metta, too. What a teddy bear of a guy. I thought he was supposed to be some kind of jerk. That’s what I was led to believe throughout his basketball career.

Omarosa starts using her HOH power to develop one-on-one deals with all the guys. Except Ross. He’s her target.

First, she approaches the Sugar Ray frontman and promises safety this week for his guarantee to her next week. She then talks to Metta but doesn’t get specific about any deal — I think — because there’s no real chance of him winning anything. Last but not least, Omarosa and James talk, leading the heartthrob to express his amazement that he’s working with the legendary reality villain.

With nominations looming, and with Omarosa targeting Ross, she and the former Tonight Show correspondent talked politics again.

Did you know that Omarosa not only worked in the Clinton administration, she worked in the Ready for Hillary pre-2016 campaign — that is, before the Donald asked her to join his team.

Omarosa then decided to do what she called opposition research and chat with Marissa Jaret Winokur and Gutierrez about who she should put up against Ross.

They both quickly sold out Brandi, which Omarosa saw as sketch. However, in the end, Omarosa went that direction and nominated Ross and Brandi, the former for his nomination of her earlier and the latter for her singular vote to save Shannon.

Brandi should never have revealed that. Incredibly stupid game move. Argh. Was pulling for you!

There are some hijinks with this week’s Power of Veto competition with America being allowed to trick it up. Here are our options:

Diamond veto: Veto winner can take themselves off the block and name the replacement.

VIP veto: Veto winner can use their veto twice in one ceremony, meaning that they could remove one nominee (themselves, e.g.) and then remove another after the replacement has been named.

Spotlight veto: Veto winner is obligated to use the POV.

You can vote up to 20 times until noon ET Monday. Live eviction happens on CBS Monday night.

My hunch is that if noms stay the same, the house guests will eventually keep Ross, which I think is a mistake. Alas, with these veto options out there, who knows.

My current Celebrity Big Brother rankings as of February 18. My pick is first. Kristi’s pick is second.

1. James / Ariadna

2. Omarosa / James

3. Ariadna / Omarosa

4. Marissa / Marissa

5. Mark / Mark

6. Ross / Ross

7. Metta / Brandi

8. Brandi / Metta

Beauty Queen Reigns Over Celebrity Big Brother House + Nominations


With Keisha Knight Pulliam headed home to feed her baby, frontrunner Shannon Elizabeth felt confident that her alliance would be able to send home Omarosa.

However, the rest of the house (with the exception of James Maslow) was gunning for the American Pie alum.

We’re in Day 9 of Celebrity Big Brother, and it already feels like we’ve been here for weeks. The drama has been as advertised, but the game play is only now starting to heat up.

And the HOH battle this week was crucial if anybody had sights on the ice queen, as Brandi Glanville calls Elizabeth.

The game was golf (putt putt with a giant fan to throw them off) and as the house guests took to the links, the hope was that anybody but Elizabeth or Maslow would win. The former was able to displace Glanville from the top of the leaderboard quickly.

And then house guest after house guest failed to keep up — until Ariadna Gutierrez bested Elizabeth by more than a minute on her quest to get three holes in one. It spawned a celebration that rightfully drew concern from the frontrunner.

McGrath threw the competition, and Maslow nearly knocked her out of the top spot. But in the end, the 2-second former Miss Universe won the third Head of Household competition and is the fourth HOH overall.

Immediately, Shannon suggests to James that they work to convince Ariadna that she should nominate Omarosa and Metta World Peace. However, Elizabeth is unable to get access to Gutierrez in her HOH because they brilliant place Metta in there as a buffer and a barrier.

Nobody wants Shannon to have access to Ariadna so that she could talk her into anything. Brandi, Ross Mathews and Marissa Jaret Winokur make sure of that.

And as expected, Ariadna puts up James and Shannon for eviction. Live Power of Veto and eviction happens Friday night on CBS.

We’ll see what comes of this power move, but props to the beauty queen. She’s showing some moxie.

If you’re digging the Big Brother posts, consider following this blog. I’ll be posting a ton this summer during BB 20.

Valentine’s Day original song: “Somebody Loves You”


All my music posted to YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/RyanWeltonMusic

Licensing: ryanwelton AT gmail DOT com.

Somebody Loves You (Valentine’s Day Song)
c. 2018
Ryan Welton

Verse 1:
If I bought you flowers
Would it make you long for spring
If I said the magic words
Would they mean anything?

Trust me, you can do it
Tell me what you want this year
Valentine’s Day is special
When the one you love is near

But baby,
You tell me
Wednesday’s just another day to you
I’ll take to
My piano
And my heart will write the words I want to say
Oh, oh, oh, oh

Somebody loves you
And his name is me
And me wants to tell you
That he’s fallen for you completely


Verse 2:
Remember us in Reedsport
Hand in hand along the beach
As recently as three years ago
This kind of love for me was out of reach

And baby,
You tell me
Wednesday’s just another day to you
I’ll take to
My piano
And my heart will write a love song just for you
Oh, oh, oh, oh


Sofi Tukker: My favorite musical discovery of 2018 so far


Six weeks into 2018, and I already have my favorite new musical find of the year.

Keep in mind as you read this that I’m a 47-year-old who loves all-things 70s and 80s and writes and performs yacht rock. I say that because I think you might be surprised. I’m not surprised.

I have a varied and broad taste.

It’s Sofi Tukker, the New York duo comprised of Sophie Hawley-Weld and Tucker Halpern, hence the Sophie Tucker (Sofi Tukker). They met as students at Brown a few years ago. I first learned of them from the song, “Best Friend,” which has a couple of lines that can be heard in Apple commercials.

Yo, you wanna meet me at the bar? (yawp)
Yo, you wanna meet me at the lounge? (yawp)
Yo, you wanna meet me at the club? (yawp)
Yo, you wanna meet me downtown? (okay)

I didn’t put two and two together until an edition of American Top 40 with Ryan Seacrest on I Heart Radio. “Best Friend” was #24 that week, and my first thought was: that’s actually a very cleverly crafted hook.

I think that I’ll keep loving you, way past sixty-five
We made a language for us two, we don’t need to describe
Every time time you call on me, I drop what I do
You are my best friend and we’ve got some shit to shoot

The primary writing credit is given to Alisa Ueno, who is the Japanese MC in the middle of the track. She’s also the creative director for Fig & Viper out of Tokyo. I know nothing about fashion, but I suspect that’s a big deal.

When you get to be 47, everything is a little bit about something you remember from years gone by, and their video reminds me of Len’s “Steal My Sunshine,” which I absolutely loved back in 1999 when I was 29.

Mostly, it’s the riding around that reminds me of the video. Len was on bikes; Sofi Tukker on ATVs.

Sofi Tukker’s sound beyond “Best Friend” is highly creative although not nearly as hook-driven as their hit. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t grow on you. Their sound combined with their look and vibe make them a terrific group for a digital era. Check out their tune, “Drinkee.” I’m not sure it holds up without the video, until you realize that it’s infectious all on its own. It’s like the video is a gateway medium to listening.

Another song that caught me eye was the tune, “F*ck They,” which after a couple of listens came off as incredibly clever although, as a straight-laced kind of dude, I’m probably not adding this to the ol’ in-car playlist. Alas, I can’t think of how many times somebody has said, “They do this,” or “they said that,” and I always want to retort, “I don’t care about ‘they!'” If anything, I would have liked to hear heavier instrumentation in the chorus, maybe a heavy guitar. Really bring the noise right there.

Anyway, it’s a small sample, but they’re my favorite discovery of the year so far. Love their look, their vibe and I love “Best Friend.” I think I’ll love it way past 65.



Eviction shocker: Planned blindside goes awry as house guest pleads for compassion


Over the years, I’ve seen a lot of wackiness on Big Brother, but what I saw Monday night in the second Celebrity Big Brother eviction of the season was among the craziest.

Spoilers are ahead, so if you don’t want to know what happened Monday night, look away!


It went down quickly.

If you didn’t know already, HOH Ross Mathews (who won HOH in a game of Celebrity Bowlerina handed to him by James) nominated Keisha Knight Pulliam and Omarosa for eviction for their role in fracturing the big girls’ alliance in Week 1. Keisha and Omarosa were working together under the moniker, “BGM,” black girl magic and they were wanting to send James home straight away.

However, an argument between Omarosa and Shannon Elizabeth prompted the latter to campaign for a script flip that would eventually send home MMA legend Chuck Liddell. After Chuck’s eviction, we learn of a new Final Four alliance between James, Shannon, Ross and Marissa Jaret Winokur.

If you’re asking me, that’s a pretty good Final Four.

However, Ross gets it in his head that back-dooring the highly competitive and talented Shannon would be the big boy move heard around the world, and he would have been right! In a nighttime conversation under the blankets with Winokur, Ross and Marissa plotted. One half of this new Final Four alliance was on board.

Coincidentally, Ross was finding himself part of a few other alliances, including one with Ariadna and Brandi that seemed less serious and formidable than the Final Four with James, Shannon and Marissa. However, those side alliance conversations gave Ross the opportunity to float his idea of back-dooring Shannon.

Except Brandi Glanville spit out the idea first. Hands clean.

Brandi and Ariadna: welcome to the game!

Where’s Mark McGrath and Metta World Peace? Anybody home? Are they interested in playing? Metta was interested in playing to the camera for sure, as one clip showed him in the hot tub with a pair of rubber pink flamingos, between whom he staged a fight.

So much idle time in the Big Brother house.

To be fair to Mark though, Ross revealed the plan to back-door Shannon to the former Sugar Ray star, and he agreed like a total floater that it was an awesome idea. “Sure. Whatever. Sounds like a good plan. You’ve got my support!”

So, I was all prepared for an epic Power of Veto and a colossal Veto Ceremony.

The popcorn was ready.

The house guests selected to play for the Power of Veto played a game of “More, Exactly or Less,” where they’d see pictures and then be asked questions about quantities seen in the images. Were they more, exactly or less than what was there. Both Keisha and Omarosa were in the final three before Knight Pulliam missed her answer, leaving Omarosa and Marissa to duke it out for POV honors.

And Marissa won.

This was a live veto competition, so the caucusing started as soon as Marissa got her congratulatory hugs. Marissa was going to take Keisha off the block, and the Broadway start was letting her know.

But Keisha was crying.

“Don’t mess with me!” she could be heard to say. “You don’t know what I’ve been through!”

Keisha wanted to talk to Marissa alone but much of the rest of the group, including Ross, was right there nearby.

What we since learned is that new mother Keisha Knight Pulliam has been having troubles producing breast milk for her baby. She wanted to go home, and she was asking Marissa to promise her that if they were to keep her safe that they could work to make sure she could leave the Big Brother house by Friday.

As if she couldn’t just get up and walk out at any time. I know there are contractual obligations and such, but it’s not a jail.

Alas, Marissa and Ross couldn’t promise this because they couldn’t promise who’d be in power as of Wednesday. (Geez, this is a fast season.)

So, there we were with Keisha and Omarosa on the chopping block, and Julie Chen telling each house guest they had only a moment to tell their fellow house guests why they should vote to keep them.

And Keisha brought everybody to tears, asking for their collective compassion to send her home. Omarosa brought the TV audience a chuckle when she was like, “Yeah, what she said. Send Keisha home!”

Well, not exactly.

They voted to evict Keisha 7-0, which means Omarosa survives and that Ross can’t be HOH this next week. With Celebrity Big Brother only lasting three weeks total, weeks aren’t really weeks. They’re season-weeks.

Omarosa really needs to win HOH to have any shot of sticking around for much longer. She’ll likely get nominated next to a floater (McGrath, Metta, Ariadna or Brandi) next week.

Here’s to hoping it’s Omarosa vs. Brandi.

That would be some high-drama television as if tonight’s episode wasn’t dramatic enough.


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