Big Brother Bash 2009

The second annual Big Brother Bash was held on September 18-20 at the M Resort in Las Vegas. It was three days of parties and events with hundreds of fans and cast members from BB11. Previous houseguests from other seasons also attended. It was a grand reunion of the best of Big Brother and cast members of Survivor. Niki Congero of Live at the Studio hosted the event and the stars of the BB Bash were Jeff Schroeder and Jordan Lloyd, who won $500,000. America voted Jeff as the most popular houseguest, which won him the $25,000 prize. Jordan is known as Americas Sweetheart and she deserves that title because she is the sweetest person I have ever met. She is exactly as she was on the show, authentic, kind, honest and truly beautiful. It is heartwarming to watch her with Jeff, who I think are now a couple. I told Jeff that I have been hearing from the fans that they would like to have a reality show of Jeff & Jordan in Hawaii. I would love to see that one. Words cannot describe how handsome Jeff is. One of the fans told Casey he was good looking but, Jeff is OMG.

Jeff was so gracious and kind to all the fans that stopped him to take pictures. It was non stop smiles from Jeff, who loved all the attention he was getting and he so deserves it. His handsome looks take your breath away.

Jeff Schroeder & Jordan Llyod

Jeff had many kind words about Jordan. Jeff said she was a friend from the beginning and he saw her big heart and she was a breath of fresh air that kept him calm. Jeff appreciated the coup D’├ętat that America gave him and that changed the game. He knows he wouldn’t have gotten as far as he did without that power. As for Jordan winning, he said she needs the money and deserves it and it was all a game and he is okay with what ever happened.

I see a very promising future for both Jeff and Jordan, everyone’s sweethearts. They both plan on staying in LA for a while and then go home. I am looking forward to seeing them again when they return to Las Vegas.

The M Resort provided a beautiful suite for the meet and greet on Friday Sept 18. The excitement was building as each guest arrived and they were greeted by fans and fellow houseguests. Everyone looked stunning and some even better then they were shown on TV. It was good to see Sheila Kennedy and Adam Jasinski together and sharing their thoughts about BB9. If you recall, they were shackled together as a couple in their season.

Sheila Kennedy & Adam Jasinski

Sheila looked young and gorgeous as usual. Sheila was Penthouse Pet in 1983. She is writing a book “No One’s Pet” and we are anxious to read it. Adam was a ray of sunshine with his great big beautiful smile. I spent time talking to Chelsia Hart and Missy about their BB Lunch Break talk show, where they would cover the daily events in the house and in the chat room every day at noon.

Chelsia, Nikki & Missy

Missy is known as the number one BB fan and in this season she loved Russell Kairouz. Everyone I talked to loved Russell and when I met him for an interview I knew why he was so well loved.

Russell & Yolla Kairouz

Charming, handsome, humerous, intelligent and soft spoken are some of the words to describe Russell. I met Russell and his sister Yolla at the pool for an interview and I was impressed with his gentleness. He shared how he was approached in a bar and asked to audition for BB11. He had the look CBS was looking for and after two auditions he was picked for the show. Russell only saw BB1 so he researched the other shows and saw that it would be a challenge and would need a strategy and a good plan in place. He knew he couldn’t be the guy he usually is so he chose to be both a villain and a charismatic guy to balance it out.

 Jeff & Russell,                                                              Russell & Michelle

Russell said all twelve houseguest are good people and he liked Casey and Michelle the most out of all the people in the house and yes he is friends with Jeff as you can see in the picture. He played the lone wolf at times and then there were times when he needed support because he was the most feared player in the game. Russell had a ranking order of who would win and he was first, then Ronnie, then Michelle.

Casey & Alex Coladonato Ronnie & Michelle Talbott

I asked Russell how he felt about all the attention he is receiving and he said he was surprised, excited and grateful. He did not expect it and thankful and flattered by the attention he is getting. Yolla said his family was very proud of Russell. He goes back to his home in San Francisco after the BB Bash and I know he will be very successful and we will be seeing him in the movies and on TV.

Ronnie Talbott was a BB expert because he has watched every single season. He didn’t want to lay low so he played too hard and too much and became the most dangerous player and the smartest player. Ronnie said at times he was playing for his life and didn’t know he was making head way in the game. There was a moment in the game when he missed his wife Michelle so much, he was moved to tears. We all cried with him too. After his elimination he watched it from home and predicted that Jordan would win.

Nikki Artale & Howie Gordon

Everybody loves Howie from BB6 and the All Stars. The room rang with the sound of “Boobies” and you know that was out of the mouth of Howie. He is so funny and the life of the party and no one takes offense when he calls out “Boobies”.

Adam Gentry, Nikki Erika Landin

Erika was in BB4 and All Stars and she met Adam when she was casting for Survivor13. Adam lasted for 37 days. He lost the game of Survivor but he won the heart of Erika and they are now engaged. Erika has gone on to casting the players for “The Amazing Race”. She has done an excellent job of casting because the participants are outstanding.

Kail, Libra, Laura, Jordan Howie, James, George, Michelle

All the women were absolutely gorgeous and all the men looked handsome. Libra said her season was wild and a once in a lifetime experience. Chicken George is working in an auction house and said he was working for awhile in poker tournaments in Oklahoma City with Boogie. Chicken George said he doesn’t consider himself famous or a celebrity but a lot of people do.

Parker Sommerville, Ollie Zach Swerdzewski, Joe Barber

Houseguest at the pool

On Saturday afternoon everyone met at the pool and had a great time meeting and greeting everyone. Later that evening the party got into full swing with the fans who were so excited to be with their favorite players.

Danielle Donato & Russell               Russell & Krista Stegall

As you can see Russell was having a great time.

 Lydia Tavera & Jessie Godderz,          Ollie, Nikki & Jessie

I couldn’t resist touching and holding Jessie’s muscles. They are for real and he has a great personality and is such a sweetheart. Lydia & Jessie are a couple.

Jeff, Niki, Jordan, Andrea                           Mystic Mona

Mystic Mona was a high light at the pool party with her tarot card readings.

BB Bash was a success because of Niki Congero from “Live at the Studio”. Niki and Andrea had a BB hour every Wednesday on Real Player Super Pass and chatted on the internet to let us all know what was happening in the house and answering questions from the callers in the chat room. . This is the second annual Big Brother party and it keeps getting better and bigger and we have to thank Niki for all the time and effort in putting this event together. A lot of prizes were donated and T shirts were signed by the houseguests which will be auctioned off. The proceeds will be donated to two charities, R.A.G.E. for the disabled and The Poppy Foundation to help cats in need.

Linda Williams & Marcus Williams

Where would our BB houseguests be without the fans? I have selected Marcus and his mom, Linda to represent the fans of America. They have watched BB from season one and are big fans. They thought that Russell would win and when he was eliminated they wanted Jordan to win. Marcus has an application for BB12 at home and plans to send it in. I think he would make a good houseguest. What a joy it was to see them mingling and taking pictures with everyone. They had the time of their life and will take back many memories of the time they spent with everyone.

I will end this with my favorite picture of Jeff kissing me on the cheek. All my family and friends are so envious and jealous that I got a kiss and they didn’t. Thank you Jeff, you made my day.

Vine of the Souls

Vine of the Souls

People say that a plant has no mind but it does have a spirit, it is alive and has magical powers. This vine is known as Ayahausca (aye-yah-wah-skah) and it is a sacred medicine. Once it is consumed you have the ability to talk with the spirits, see visions, predict the future and even cure any illness.

I was intrigued when I first heard about Ayahausca and I knew that I wanted to go to the rainforest in Ecuador and see the Amazonian shaman and drink the brew. I did have some fear of not knowing what would happen but I was drawn to the spirit medicine. I knew that I would be living in a hut with an outdoor bathroom and cold showers for 10 days and that was okay.

Victoria, John and I flew from Las Vegas to Atlanta GA where we met Gordon and then flew to Quito, Ecuador. We stayed overnight and the next morning met the other 5 participants in the Cayman Hotel. Jinny, Josh, David, Leon and Rita rounded out our group of 9 people. Our guide and interpreter Wancho met us at 12:00 noon and we got on a bus to Tena for a 5 hour drive. It was a long drive through the mountains, up and down hills, and many curved roads with lots of potholes. I loved the mountains and the people who walked the roads and most of them had infants snuggled in blankets on their backs.

Midway into the ride it started to rain and it got cold. We shut all the windows and bundled up. We finally arrived in Tena and proceeded to the Shaman’s property, up a long dark dirt road. We were almost to the top of the road when the bus got stuck in a huge mud hole. The family came to help get the bus out of the pot hole, but to no avail so we all had to get out of the bus and walk up the hill in the dark and in the rain. Luckily the family took everyone’s entire luggage to the huts. A delicious fish dinner was served to us and it was the first of all the meals that did not have any spices in it. I got used to eating like that and I no longer use salt, sugar or sweeteners in any of my meals now.

My hut was further back towards the forest from the other huts and closer to the outdoor bathroom. It was scary in the middle of the night when I would get up a few times to use it. My bed was comfortable and the mosquito net helped a lot, or so I thought until I got home and saw all the bites I had.

Notice the planks that I had to use instead of stairs. Now that was a challenge when it rained because it was slippery.


The next morning we all got up early and breakfast was served by 2 girls with smiley faces, Ariana and Mariela. A pig and many chickens and 1 strutting Rooster ran around all day long. The rooster woke us up religiously every day at 4:30am. The children were always around us and Jinny and I enjoyed them very much.

We rested the entire day and got to know each other and then the next day we anxiously waited for night time to come and the Ayahausca ceremony would begin. We went into the woods with the Shaman to collect the roots and leaves for the brew and watched Don Luis and his wife Inis prepare it. After many hours it boiled down to a small bottle of thick brown mud. Now the time came to make a circle in the ceremonial hut and Wancho interpreted the Shaman’story of how he as a young boy of 8 was recognized as being a Shaman in the making because he was strong. He told of having hot peppers rubbed on his eyes once a week for 8 years.

I was still a little nervous about drinking the Ayahausca and I asked for a small portion and I’m glad I did because it was the most awful thing I ever tasted. Twenty to thirty minutes later it started to hit everyone. One by one they were leaving the hut to go outside to throw up. My whole life I have resisted throwing up and now I was so nauseous. I endured this feeling for 2 hours and then finally purged and I felt better. I did not have any visions. I just wanted to go to bed and go to sleep. After a while the Shaman did healings on all of us for 30 minutes each. I did feel better the next morning and it was a day to rest and share our thoughts and visions of the night before. We met with the Shaman and he analyzed what visions he saw from the spirits. He told me he saw clouds and angels with me and I would live a long and healthy life. He saw a golden crown on my head.

Afterwards the children came and danced for us.

Before the second ceremony we had individual mist baths. We had collected different leaves in the forest and they boiled them with water and we sat with the pots at our feet and a blanket covered our head and entire body and we breathed the vapors. It was the first time that I can remember taking deep breaths and feeling my lungs expand to full capacity. It was a half hour of breathing and sweating and I felt wonderful afterwards.

At 9:00pm the Ayahausca ceremony began and I still had some fears but I decided to drink it again. The drink tasted better than the first time and within 30 minutes I got nauseous and this time it lasted for 3 hours before I purged. I felt so sick and kept wondering why I would do this again and suffer for all these hours.

I saw visions in the form of a movie, watching everyone and everything. I saw a field of green grass with white balls on the field and as I got closer I saw that they were eyeballs. I saw eyeballs peering out of buildings, stores, trees and many faces and I zoomed into their eyes.

I also had visions of people who looked like spirits walking out of the forest and the sky was full of prehistoric birds and bats. They silently walked past me and I felt very safe.

I asked what I needed to know and I saw images of my family and friends and knew the truth about all of them. That was a powerful experience.

The next morning I felt very peaceful but I did not know if I wanted to do another ceremony again and I rested and waited for the next day. I felt an internal cleansing in my body.

The third ceremony was very different because this time I did not get nauseous. We formed a close bond with the family and felt so loved and taken care of especially by Wancho.

After nine days of living with the Shaman and his family we were ready to leave and go to Otavalo. We said our good byes and knew we would never be the same again. A special thank you goes to Wancho who looked after us with much love and compassion and we will never forget you. He was our angel.

It was strange being in Otavalo with so many people and I was longing to be back in the rainforest. We checked in our hotel and went for dinner and then got up early to go to the market to shop.

We left late afternoon by taxi for a two hour drive to the Quito airport to catch our flight home. I reflected back on the 10 days in the rain forest and I felt so calm, peaceful and pure and I knew I had been healed from some of my illnesses.

It has been thirty days since I left Tena and I have eliminated 2 of my prescription medicines and I have lost 20 pounds. I only eat when I am hungry and I eat healthy foods. I went there to get well and to lose weight and I got what I wanted, thanks to the spiritual retreat and Don Luis. I look forward to returning to Feather crown in Tena again and spending time with the family.

Naked Boys Singing

Naked Boys Singing

At last no tease, you get what you always wanted to see in a male review. Seven men and none of them are named Monty but you get and see the full Monty in this hit musical review.

You would think that you would have to wait until the finale to see the boys in the buff, but the show opens with them naked, belting out “Gratuitous Nudity”. They are so comfortable performing in the nude that for short moments of time you actually are listening to the words, looking at their faces and not paying attention to the fact that they do not have any clothes on. For someone who does not have the opportunity to see a group of seven naked men, this is a smorgasbord of male organs to peruse. Seated behind me was a row of church going ladies who were having the time of their life and their roars of laughter were contagious. I wonder if they will share this with the church congregation.

It is masterfully directed by Hank Emerson and produced by Michael Morse and Jimmy Emerson. The choreography by Brad Barnes was superb and Spencer Baker at the piano was splendid. Spencer has a master of music degree from UNLV and has won the Liberace Professional Competition Star Award. He is also the principle pianist for the Nevada Opera.

Front Row: Paul, Jeremy, Mark
Back Row: Allen, Daryl, Ivan, Nolan

The cast consists of Daryl Roth who has appeared in many Broadway and Las Vegas shows. He studied Russian ballet and theatre dance, had stints as a go-go dancer in New York and his years of experience was evident in his performance.

Nolan Christopher was in the Chicago production for two years and is now streaking here in Las Vegas. If you can’t get enough of Nolan here, you can go to Planet Hollywood and see him in Tony’n Tinas Wedding.

Ivan Hardin is a native of Las Vegas and is outstanding in his first professional production. He is a graduate of the College of Fine Arts at UNLV. He kind of resembles David Beckman.

Paul Pratt was recently in the Chicago production of naked boys and he has brought his dancing and acrobatic abilities to the Las Vegas show. He is skilled in many facets of dance and has performed on cruise ships, theme parks and Broadway productions.

Mark White is a graduate of the Las Vegas Academy of Performing Arts with a major in musical theater. Mark has been a resident of Las Vegas for 22 years and has performed in many theatres in the area. When Mark is not performing in Naked Boys Singing he can be found at the Venetian as Marco the Singing Gondolier, with his clothes on.

Allen Merritt is a charming multi-talented performer with an emotional powerful voice. He has appeared in a slew of musical Broadway productions, West Side Story, The Music Man and Oklahoma, to name a few. I loved his solo “The Naked Maid”. Another favorite was the outrageous and unique song “Beat Your Meat”.

Mitchell Johnson is part of the talented cast. Mitchell studied with the Hollywood Performing Arts Academy and is active in the entertainment field.

Naked Boys Singing is 90 minutes of pure joy, great entertainment and lots of flesh to feast your eyes on. The cast is so comfortable on stage that after a while the audience feels right at home with the nudity. Kind of makes you want to go home and walk around nude to get liberated.

Everyone should see this show at the Onyx Theatre at 953 E. Sahara in the Commercial Center, inside the Rack Store. Shows are Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 10pm and Sunday at 3pm. Call 702 732-7225 . The Onyx Theatre reminds me of the off Broadway theaters in New York City where the feeling is close and personal.

I leave you with the words of Kelly Ripa. The three greatest words in the English language are “Naked Boys Singing” Go see the show. You will love it.