December has been a month filled with holiday cheer, love, and newly engaged couples.
Ariana Grande, Casey Cott and Kelianne Stankus all got engaged, within the past week.
Kelianne Stankus is a social media influencer, with over 10 million combined followers. She’s also a member of the infamous Hype House, and she’s best known for her gymnastic stunts, positivity, and her genuine friendship with other Hype House members: Tayler Holder and Nate Wyatt.
Stankus has been in a relationship with fitness model, Chase Mattson, for quite some time now. Along with being a fitness model (and now, current influencer), Mattson is also a father to his two adorable daughters: Nora and Hazel. Mattson recently corrected an article published by Seventeen, which stated that his daughters were from a previous marriage.
According to Mattson, he had never proposed, until Kelianne.
The proposal was so romantic, though. Mattson guided Kelianne on a romantic helicopter ride into the mountains. While overlooking a beautiful, mountainous view, he proposed.
Although we don’t know the exact date of when the two started dating, their relationship was made public on June 4th, via Instagram.
Fellow TikTokers and social media influencers were quick to congratulate the two:
The next couple to get engaged was Riverdale’s very own, Casey Cott. Cott plays the role of Kevin Keller on the hit series.
Although not much has been revealed, pertaining to his relationship, he did take to Instagram, to make the official announcement.
Cott posted a picture of him and his new fiancé, looking smitten with one another. The ring looks absolutely beautiful as well.
We’re so glad to see him happy, and I greatly admire the fact that he prefers to keep his relationship private.
His “Riverdale” family rushed to the comment section, to declare their happiness for Cott and his new fiancé:
The most recent celebrity to get engaged is none other than the “Positions” queen herself, Miss Ariana Grande.
Grande has been openly dating boyfriend, Dalton Gomez, for about eleven months. The two first connected through a mutual friend group. Though Gomez is now a realtor, he used to have a career as a dancer.
While details of the engagement have yet to be revealed, there’s no doubt that these two look so happy and in love with one another.
Celebrities have also left heartfelt comments towards the newly engaged couple:
Ariana & Dalton, Kelianne & Chase, and Casey & fiancé, we wish you nothing but the best in life, and we hope for a lifetime of happiness and love between you and your loved one.
In August of 2019, Hilary Duff excitedly announced her newest collaboration with Disney+, to bring back the 2001 iconic television show, “Lizzie McGuire”. The show was set to follow the original “Lizzie McGuire” cast, years later.
However, there was just one problem. With Disney’s “family friendly” brand, the new “Lizzie Mcguire” reboot would have had to maintain certain restrictions, and the reboot wouldn’t have been authentic to present day life.
Nonetheless, the cast attempted to film the reboot in November of 2019 —
with Hilary Duff, Jake Thomas, Hallie Todd, Adam Lamberg, and Robert Carradine reprising their original roles. They all seemed so excited about venturing out into a new adventure together, and bringing back all of the nostalgic, early 2000s feelings.
Unfortunately their moment of triumph didn’t last too long. In February, Duff reposted a headline article, pertaining to the Hulu smash hit, “Love, Victor”. The show is a television adaptation of the 2018 LGBTQ+ coming of age film, “Love, Simon”. The title revealed that due to Disney’s ‘family friendly brand’, “Love, Victor” would no longer be airing on the Disney+ streaming service. Rather, it was pushed to Hulu’s platform.
Duff captioned the re-post “sounds familiar…”.
The reboot began to fall apart, shortly after showrunner, Terri Minsky (creator of the original “Lizzie McGuire” show), was laid off back in January. They were only two episodes into filming by that point. Production was halted soon, thereafter.
According to an interview with Variety, Minsky admitted that, “Hilary has a grasp of Lizzie McGuire at 30 that needs to be seen. It’s a wonderful thing to watch. I would love the show to exist, but ideally I would love it if it could be given that treatment of going to Hulu and doing the show that we were doing. That’s the part where I am completely in the dark. It’s important to me that this show was important to people. I felt like I wanted to do a show that was worthy of that kind of devotion.”
On February 28th, Duff pleaded with fans to help her convince Disney to allow for a transfer of platforms — from Disney+ to Hulu.
Since then, we haven’t heard much about whether or not the reboot would continue on a different platform… until recently.
On Wednesday, December 16th, Duff broke the mystery by posting the following statement to her Instagram:
While so many fans of the original series are heartbroken, they’re also very supportive and understanding of why Duff decided not to go with the “PG” version of the reboot. She stuck up for herself, her cast mates, and the character of ‘Lizzie’ that inspired so many young adults, still to this day.
Hilary, we see you and we support you. Maybe one day, Disney will come around and allow the reboot to be streamed on a more ‘adult’ platform. Until then, keep doing you, and keep standing up for what you believe in. Your supporters aren’t going anywhere.
Last night was hometowns. Tayshia got to meet the families of the final four contestants: Ben, Ivan, Brendan, and Zac.
Unfortunately, due to the current pandemic, things had to be switched around a bit. Rather than Tayshia traveling to each of the contestant’s hometowns, their families were flown to La Quinta Resort.
Brendan was up first, and he did NOT disappoint. First, he surprised Tayshia with a mini carnival that reminded him of his small hometown aesthetic: carnivals, county fairs, and Brendan’s adorable little niece, Aliyah. The three of them played the ring toss, basketball, and Tayshia got the opportunity to truly bond with both Brendan and Aliyah.
Brendan had even admitted that he could envision Tayshia as the mother of his children, and stated that she would be a great aunt to Aliyah.
Later, it was time for Tayshia to meet the rest of Brendan’s family. Brendan introduced her to his brother, sister-in-law and re-introduced her to Aliyah. Immediately, Tayshia got along with all of them. According to Brendan, his brother knows him better than he knows himself. So, when Brendan’s brother admitted that he saw sparks between Brendan and Tayshia, his worries fizzled out.
When Tayshia spoke one-on-one with Brendan’s brother, he spoke to her as if she was already a part of the family. He was so kind and honest with his words, and he made Tayshia feel validated in her relationship with Brendan. Shortly after, Brendan and Tayshia reluctantly parted ways, and Tayshia was off to the next hometowns date.
The next day, it was time for Tayshia to meet Zac’s parents. Before the official meeting, he took her on a ‘trip’ around New York City. During their first conversation together, Tayshia admitted to Zac that she had thoughts about moving to New York City. Since Zac’s hometown is in New Jersey, he’s been to NYC a handful of times. So, he took her in a fake taxi around different backdrops of the city.
First, they went to a bagel shop — where Tayshia got a blueberry cream cheese filled bagel. Next, they arrived at a pizza shop. Zac wanted Tayshia to try a slice of authentic New York pizza. Then, they submerged in a fountain, where they basked in an intimate moment.
Several hours later, it was finally time to meet Zac’s family. He introduced her to his mother, father, and brother. Right off the bat, Zac’s brother asked Tayshia the dreadful question: “Where are you at with Zac, in relation to the other men?”. Unfortunately, she couldn’t answer that question directly, which appeared to leave an awkward moment between the two. However, his brother was just being protective of Zac’s heart, which is understandable.
Zac’s father was such an angel. He admitted to Tayshia that he hadn’t seen Zac smile that much in a while, and that he could see how smitten the two of them were. They were both so polite and sweet to one another. It warmed my heart to see their interaction.
Zac’s interaction with his mother was incredibly emotional. He thanked her for saving his life, and his mother thanked Tayshia for making her son happy. Zac walked Tayshia out, and she got ready for her next hometown date.
The next morning, Tayshia went to go meet Ivan’s family. Similar to Zac and Brendan, Ivan had something special planned for Tayshia. He prepared a bunch of ingredients for the two to cook together. The recipe that they followed was a special one — courtesy of his talented 4 year old niece, Kehlani.
The dish was a family tradition, and honestly, just seeing their final product made me rummage through my refrigerator… Unfortunately, all I found were eggs and a slice of cheese. Yikes.
Anyways, Ivan admitted that Tayshia is only the second woman to ever meet his family. Naturally, that made her even more nervous to meet them. Although Ivan had reassured Tayshia, his parents still had some questions.
Ivan’s mother was still skeptical and weary of how “The Bachelorette” process works. She stated that she felt like everything was going too fast, but that at the end of the day, the only thing that she cares about is Ivan’s happiness.
After they were done talking, Ivan’s father pulled Tayshia aside. He brought up the fact that she had been married before, and admitted that he has as well. He also posed the question of whether or not she had thought through getting married again, to which she answered, “I wouldn’t be here if I wasn’t ready”.
In the end, both of Ivan’s parents approved of their relationship. For a majority of the day, Ivan brought up his brother, and the fact that he wished he was able to see him. According to Ivan, his brother was the person that impacted him the most, and had the greatest influence on him.
Well, just when Ivan and Tayshia were ready to head out, Ivan’s brother, Gabriel, appeared out of thin air — surprising both Tayshia and Ivan. After speaking with one another, Gabriel approved of Tayshia being Ivan’s potential wife.
The next day, it was time for the final hometowns meet and greet: Ben’s family. Since Ben’s hometown is in Venice Beach, he made the hometown date “beach themed”. First, he took her for a walk on the boardwalk… but there’s a twist. They had to put on roller skates and skate around. They stopped at a juice bar for some wellness shots, and then went ‘shopping’ for sunglasses and a hat.
Later, Ben lead them to a caricature of the two of them, and then they set camp on a blanket by the ‘beach’.
A few hours later, Tayshia got to meet two of the most important people in Ben’s life: his close family friend, Antonia, and his sister, Madalyn.
Tayshia and Madalyn got to talk, and they matched each other’s energies so well. Tayshia asked Madalyn more about Ben, and she admitted that while he wasn’t hiding anything, he did have his guard up from being hurt in the past.
Meanwhile, Ben admitted to Antonia that he was in love with Tayshia. Although he was able to admit that to Antonia, he couldn’t admit it to Tayshia. It was obvious that after walking her out, his guard was completely up.
During the rose ceremony, Brendan, Ivan, and Zac were given roses. Ben was eliminated.
Although Tayshia gave Ben the opportunity to express himself to her, he held back once again.
Well, that’s about it for this week. Stay tuned next week to find out who the final two men will be.
Although they’ve been dating for a little over four years, a few days ago, Dove Cameron issued the following statement to Twitter:
Our hearts are broken, but we’re glad to see that Dove and Thomas will continue to support one another in their future endeavors.
The two began dating in December of 2016, when they met on the set of the Disney Channel Original Movie, “Descendants 2”.
Dove played the lead role of Maleficent’s daughter, Mal. Meanwhile, Thomas played the “sidekick” role of Harry, alongside Descendants villain, Uma (played by China Ann McClain). He and Mal were ex-lovers in the trilogy.
According to an interview with On Demand Entertainment in 2017, Dove admitted that it wasn’t ‘love at first sight’ with Thomas. She had no idea who he was, prior to their encounter on the “Descendants 2” film. Rather, she was focused on her character of Mal and perfecting the role.
Although she couldn’t remember when she first fell in love with him, she did remember that it was an overwhelming and terrifying feeling — similar to going down a steep rollercoaster drop.
“I just remember being there like, ‘oooh. Nobody else could break my heart like he could'”.
Since they first started dating, the two were always posting affectionate photos/videos together on social media. It was very apparent that they brought so much genuine love and happiness into one another’s lives, even though they lived thousands of miles away.
While the “Descendants” trilogy was filmed in Canada, Dove has a permanent residence in Los Angeles, California, and Thomas (although born in Scotland) currently resides in London, England. They would constantly visit one another, in between projects and whenever they had the chance, and it’s so incredible that they were able to make their long distance relationship work for so long.
Although they’ve decided to keep the reason for their breakup private, we wish nothing but the best for the former couple, and we’re so glad that the breakup was amicable.
Last week, we left off with Bennett’s return. As predicted, he wanted to come back to get another chance at love with Tayshia.
However, Bennett didn’t appear in last night’s episode until much later.
In the mean time, Tayshia went on her one-on-one date with Blake. It was a very indigenous and spiritual related date, involving crystals, meditation, and symbolic representation.
Each exercise represented an important key factor, in what makes a relationship effective. The crystals represented communication, the meditation provided an insight into how each person was feeling, and the physical touch exercise allowed Blake and Tayshia to “look into each other’s souls”.
Unfortunately, Tayshia didn’t see any sort of validation or chemistry in Blake’s eyes. According to Tayshia, Blake didn’t feel like the right fit for her.
So, in an emotional and heartfelt goodbye, she sent Blake home.
Afterwards, she went into the room of contestants and broke down. She admitted that it was such a tough decision for her to send Blake home, and then she called Riley outside to ‘talk’. She ended up having to send him home as well.
Then, there were 5 men left… well, 6, if you include Bennett.
Speaking of, shortly after was the cocktail party. This one determined who would be heading to ‘Hometowns’. As if the other men weren’t nervous enough, that’s when Bennett walked into the room. The contestants were so taken aback by his surprise appearance. According to Bennett himself, “it looks like you’ve seen a ghost”.
Instead of Tayshia walking into the room, Chris Harrison appeared. After a week long hiatus to drop his son off at college, the “Bachelor Nation” host has returned. Although seeing Harrison is always such a joy, seeing him appear before Tayshia during a cocktail party? Yeah… that’s usually never a good sign.
He notified all six men that Tayshia would be skipping the cocktail party. Per “The Bachelorette” host, Tayshia already knew exactly who she wanted to choose, and who she would be eliminating.
Ivan, Zac, Brendan, and Ben were each given a rose. Bennett and Noah were eliminated.
Well, that settled it… until later tonight, that is.
For the remainder of the episode, Harrison hosted the “Men Tell All” segment, and WHEW — the drama was intense.
Let me first start off by saying, poor Chasen. He was getting ragged on by Ed and a few of the others, but he wasn’t physically present at the MTA to defend himself. However, he was active on social media, and made a point to thank Demar for sticking up for him.
Noah and Bennett resurfaced their drama, and they wouldn’t let the other person get a word in. Riley intercepted the argument by giving his opinion: “To tell a man that he has a ‘0% chance’ with somebody is 1) disrespectful to him and 2) is disrespectful to Tayshia”. Kenny then decided to gang up on (and verbally attack) Noah — citing him as the reason that Kenny was eliminated that night.
Eventually, Harrison had to end the conversation and move on. This segment was all over the place, but Blake’s part was absolutely hilarious. Harrison showed a deleted scene of what happened during Blake’s one-on-one date with Tayshia. Not only were his chakras aligned, but something else was “aligned” as well, if you know what I mean…
Harrison then brought out an extremely controversial guest: Yosef Aborady.
He showed a recap of how blatantly disrespectful Yosef was to the first Bachelorette of the season, Clare Crawley. The entire time, he was being very defensive towards anyone that was trying to express their own opinion.
Yosef was not sympathetic or apologetic, and he stood by his words of negativity. To reiterate, he had called Crawley “classless”, and said some pretty brutal and hurtful things to her. Lastly, Yosef admitted that he wouldn’t mind his daughter’s future husband speaking negatively towards her, in the same manner that he spoke towards Crawley.
After that fiasco, Tayshia came onto the stage, to speak with the other men. Soon thereafter, Harrison showed the private conversation between Tayshia and Bennett — in which Bennett had professed his love towards Tayshia.
In real time, Tayshia admitted that although she didn’t want to say goodbye to Bennett when he returned for a second chance, she wasn’t able to get there with him in time.
Tayshia then faced Blake and Riley, and explained more about why she had to send them home. It was very apparent as to how guilty Tayshia felt for hurting them, and having to eliminate them.
Luckily, she was able to utilize her time on the MTA to make amends with both Riley and Blake.
To end the “Men Tell All” special, Harrison showed a compilation of “The Bachelorette” bloopers:
Of course, as with any episode of “The Bachelorette”, this week’s episode ended in a cliffhanger. Harrison premiered the promo for tonight’s episode, and YIKES.
After two months of making fans wait, Dixie D’Amelio finally gave in, and uploaded the most highly requested video on her YouTube channel: The lie detector test.
The video premiered earlier today, as the segment for “The Dixie D’Amelio Show”. D’Amelio began her talk show as a joke, but it didn’t take long for the show to become a success. Since then, D’Amelio has interviewed many social media stars, such as her sister (and biggest TikTok star) Charli D’Amelio, Noah Beck, Larray, Dillon Francis, Lil Huddy, FaZe Rug and more.
Today, she hired John Grogan to put her and boyfriend/Sway House member, Noah Beck, to the test. John is a Polygraph Examiner. You may have seen him in various YouTube videos, featuring Shane Dawson, the Sway House, The Try Guys, James Charles, David Dobrik, and numerous other celebrities.
First, it was Noah’s turn to ask Dixie ten questions. The questions he asked were as follows:
Are you in love with me? (Dixie said yes)
Do you love me? (Dixie said yes)
Can you see yourself marrying me? (Dixie said no)
Am I wasting my time? (Dixie said no)
Are you embarrassed to post about our relationship? (Dixie said no)
Would you classify yourself as a drama queen? (Dixie said no)
Are you purposely mean to me? (Dixie said no)
Have you ever thought about breaking up with me? (Dixie said no)
Do you like snails? (Dixie said yes)
Are you really, really, really, really sad? (Dixie said no)
Do you think that you wear the pants in the relationship? (Dixie said yes)
All of Dixie’s answers were verbatim and correct, except for three. Dixie lied about liking snails (which many of us already knew, if you follow the D’Amelio Family on YouTube), she lied about not being able to see herself getting married to Noah, and she lied about never wanting to break up with Noah. According to D’Amelio, she wanted to see if she could trick the lie detector by providing the false answer of ‘never being able to marry Beck”.
As for the breakup question, she admitted that she had talked to Beck, when she initially considered breaking up with him. Beck then exposed D’Amelio, by revealing that afterwards, she had ‘ghosted’ him, and refused to talk to him for days.
Beck had also seemed hurt, at the fact that D’Amelio rarely posts about their relationship. Shortly after the video was uploaded, D’Amelio took to Instagram, to post these pictures of the cute couple.
Next up was Noah’s turn to answer the questions that Dixie threw at him:
Are you in love with me? (Noah said yes)
Have you ever said ‘I love you’ and not meant it? (Noah said no)
Would you ever fight someone for me? (Noah said yes)
Do I intimidate you? (Noah said no)
Are you afraid of my dad? (Noah said no)
Do you post about me for attention? (Noah said no)
Am I annoying? (Noah said yes)
Have you ever thought about breaking up with me? (Noah said no)
Would you rather be in the Hype House? (Noah said no)
Are you physically attracted to James Charles? (Noah said no)
Many of Noah’s answers matched his verbal responses… except three. Noah’s intimidation answer proved to be false — to which he matched that answer with, “you’re horrifying”.
Once he was caught in a lie, Beck also admitted that he’s had thoughts of ending the relationship with D’Amelio. He wouldn’t state why, or when those thoughts occurred.
Lastly, John revealed that Beck was lying about “not being physically attracted to James Charles”. This is the second lie detector test, in which Beck answered this question as a ‘lie’. He immediately blushed, and swore up and down that he was being truthful with his answer.
Luckily, Beck and D’Amelio laughed it off as a joke. Although they did seem upset with one another during some answers, hopefully, they were able to talk through their indifferences. After all, solid communication is a key factor to making any relationship work.
We left off last week’s episode of “The Bachelorette” with a giant cliffhanger. We knew that either Bennett or Noah was going home, but the episode was left open ended.
Last night’s episode began with the men agreeing that something needed to be done about this drama.
Well, after some more arguing between Bennett and Noah, Tayshia made her final decision. After attempting to defend himself, Bennett was sent home.
Noah was giddy, thinking that he would’ve been given the rose. However, Tayshia admitted that she wouldn’t be giving him a rose in that moment, because she was still unsure of her feelings towards him.
At the rose ceremony, Demar, Ed, and Spencer were eliminated. Everyone was surprised to find out that Noah received a rose, instead.
With seven men left, things were starting to pick up.
Ben received the one-on-one date card. They went on a fun scavenger hunt to find their destination, but walking wasn’t an option. They were each given their own scooter, in which they used as their method of transportation.
They flipped a pool, filled with tennis balls, hopped into a fountain, and wacked a bunch of piñatas, until they finally reached their destination.
Later on, we learned a lot about Ben, his home life, and his mental health struggles. He’s gone through a lot, but understandably, it was difficult for him to talk about.
Tayshia really appreciated the fact that Ben was able to open up to her, in a way that he had never done before. Therefore, she gave him the rose.
The night ended with a private concert, featuring Adam Hambrick.
The next day was the group date. Noah, Zac, Riley, Ivan, and Brendan were a part of this week’s group date. Blake was chosen for the next one-on-one date.
Tayshia really wanted to put the men to the test, during this week’s group date. So, what better way to do that, than to hook each contestant up to a polygraph test?
To start things off, Tayshia volunteered to be hooked up first. She admitted that she was falling in love with more than one man in the room, and that she has a good feeling that her husband is in the room. However, although she stated that she didn’t regret sending anybody home, the lie detector picked up uncertainty with that question.
Next up was Ivan. He admitted to have been aroused in front of Tayshia, and also that he wants kids.
When asked if someone has ever faked an or**** with him, Noah confidently stated “no”. The lie detector immediately switched to the ‘uncertain’ bulb. He was also asked whether or not he missed his mustache, and although he denied it, even the lie detector knew the truth to that one. When asked if he was excited to meet Tayshia’s family, Noah said “yes”. No lies were detected in that one.
Brendan was extremely nervous to hop into the hot seat, but alas, he faced his nerves. Unfortunately, whether it was the nerves or something else, the answers weren’t what Tayshia would have hoped for. When asked if he was prepared to propose to Tayshia, he responded with “I hope so”. Then, upon being asked whether he was excited to meet Tayshia’s family (and vice versa), he stated that he was excited. Well… the polygraph detected a lie and flickered to the red bulb.
Zac’s first question started off rough. He was asked whether or not he’s ever cheated in a relationship, and he admitted that he has. The bulb turned green.
Riley was asked a similar question: “Are you ready for Tayshia to meet your family?”. Unfortunately, Riley stated that he wasn’t sure if he was ready for that step.
Tayshia confronted Zac about his cheating incident, and after much suspense, Zac admitted that he cheated on his first girlfriend… in the 6th grade. That broke the tension between the two, and they turned their night around.
Brendan opened up about his fear of proposing to someone else, after having gone through one failed marriage. Tayshia reciprocated those feelings towards Brendan.
Finally, Riley admitted a lot about his troubled past with his father, and how he’s so close with his mother. He also revealed that he got a legal name change, with his mother by his side.
After each one of the men opened up to Tayshia, she admitted that she was going to take some time to ponder who she was going to give the rose to.
As she was walking back to her suite, however, she was greeted by an old flame… Bennett was waiting in front of her door to speak to Tayshia, and boy, was she surprised. It was most likely the producers’ doing, but she was so taken aback, that the gate slammed into her.
Bennett wanted to speak to Tayshia about coming back to the show. He admitted that he still has feelings for her, and that he’s “willing to do anything” to get another chance at love with her.
Tayshia was speechless, confused, and stated that she needed time to think about her decision.
Once again, the episode ended on a cliffhanger, featuring Bennett.
The LGBTQ+ community has expanded so much, throughout the past few years. In 2015, Barack Obama legalized same sex marriage, and ever since, people have never been prouder to attend the annual LGBTQ+ pride parades — which typically take place towards the end of June.
Although the LGBTQ+ community still faces discrimination on a daily basis, it’s become more widely accepted, amongst society. On social media, more and more people have come out, and often times, they’re flooded with acceptance and love.
Darianka Sanchez casually came out about three days ago, through a series of snapchat stories:
While most of her comments on TikTok were positive, quite a handful had a negative reaction towards Darianka’s announcement. According to Hype House member, Olivia Ponton (Darianka’s best friend), a lot of people unfollowed her on all of her social media platforms, upon seeing the news.
Luckily, the positive comments appear to outweigh the negatives.
“Congrats on coming out bby, I love you!!”, one fan said.
Two more social media stars have also come out as bisexual. Singer/TikToker, Nessa Barrett, posted a video to TikTok on November 20th. In the video, she’s lip-syncing the lyrics to “Sweater Weather” by The Neighbourhood. The song is a well known LGBTQ+ coming out anthem.
So, naturally, people began to speculate in the comment section. Well, it wasn’t officially confirmed until November 24th, when Barrett uploaded a slower version of “Sweater Weather”. She captioned the video, “Mhm ya”.
People began commenting, “Welcome to the bi-community baby”, and she ‘liked’ many bisexual-related comments.
Although both Barrett and Sanchez have received a lot of public backlash in the past, it’s really comforting to know that social media has a positive, more embracing side. These two deserve to feel comfortable in their own skin, and we congratulate them for revealing their true self to the world. Coming out is a lot harder than simply stating, “I’m bisexual”.
The fact that they posted about their sexual orientation on a public platform takes so much courage and bravery.
If you thought that we were done congratulating social media stars for coming out, you’re greatly mistaken.
Two days ago, Hype House member, James Wright (1/2 of the Wright brothers) posted a video onto TikTok. Can you guess which song he was lipsyncing to?
If you guessed “Sweater Weather”, you’d be correct. Wright looked so excited to finally be himself. He captioned the TikTok, “plz don’t hate me, I have my whole life but i’m finally starting to love myself”.
Luckily, his comments were overloaded with encouragement and congratulations from friends [and fans].
Sienna Mae Gomez, Willy Wonka, James Charles, Avani Gregg, Jack Wright [and more] showed their support for the 17-year-old.
It’s taken so many years, but it’s amazing that people are able to feel comfortable enough to express who they are on social media. There are always going to be homophobic trolls, but at the end of the day, the positive will always outweigh the negative.
Congratulations to James, Darianka, Nessa, and anyone else that have chosen to come out this year.
If you’re still ‘in the closet’, please don’t ever feel like you have to come out. It’s a process, and you deserve the opportunity to come out when you’re comfortable and ready. Until then, keep being your incredible self, and we’re all proud of you.
Having money and fame can be such a wonderful thing… but at what cost? Justin Bieber, Shawn Mendes, Eminem… All of them have written songs about what fame can do to to one’s mental health.
Well, recently, I caught up with up and coming artist, Annika Grace, to discuss her latest single, “Chasing Clouds”. The song dives deep into the world of fame, and how ‘numbers’ are all that seem to matter now.
1. Tell us a bit about how your passion for music first came to fruition.
“When I was growing up, I was the super shy kid and was bullied in middle school. When I first started playing and writing music at around that time, it became this outlet for me to say whatever I needed to say through music. My parents also always played music like One Republic, Five for Fighting and Carolina Liar throughout the house in the mornings, and I loved the lyrics, and how honest and vulnerable they were. It inspired me to want to write lyrics like that. My godfather was a composer for T.V. and film. So, for Christmas one year, he brought over some of his equipment and from there, I was hooked. Those first few years of finding my passion for music was really shaped by those experiences.”
2. You’ve collaborated with Jack Fruit on “Never Have I Ever”. Was that your first collaboration, & what was the songwriting process like?
“It was! It was my first duet and it was so much fun to create together. It was actually the first song we ever wrote together, and our first time meeting each other. Our friend had set us up to co-write and instantly, we just clicked and wrote ‘Never Have I Ever’ in like 20 minutes. It was one of the fastest sessions I’ve ever been in. Once we got the lyrics and melody down, we actually sat on the song for a few months until we found the right producer for it, which was Taylor Wilzbach. After that, we all got together at his studio in Calabasas and finished up the vocals, and that was that. It was a pretty organic process.”
3. Out of all of the songs that you’ve written thus far, which song contains the most sentimental value to you, and why?
“That’s a really hard question, but I would say ‘Red Lights’ — which is my oldest song on Spotify… And the first song I ever put out when I was 17 years old probably holds the most sentimental value, because it was where it all started. But, I’d say the song that holds the most value, message wise, would be ‘Anybody Out There’, because it’s a super personal song to me, and the lyrics are the most honest and vulnerable version of myself and who I want to be. The song is all about feeling lost, and wondering if there is ‘anybody out there’ who feels the way you do and/or has the same values.”
4. Once the music scene returns to normal, post-pandemic, where do you see yourself performing your music?
“I would love to do more shows in LA and New York, at my favorite venues like Madame Siam, Hotel Café and Rockwood. I really miss those stages. Shows like Sofar Sounds I can’t wait to have back as well, because you can really interact with the audience, and it’s super intimate. What I miss most about the music scene is just meeting new people and actually getting to know the people who come to your shows. It’s always so special. Also, a big goal and dream of mine is to perform at some festivals. I think once music comes back, outdoor shows are going to be really popular.”
5. “Chasing Clouds” is your most recent release, and the lyrics are so incredibly powerful. What inspired you to write that song?
“Thank you! I remember when I got into the writing session with Spencer, Mark and Sam, we all were talking about social media and how much it has taken over our lives. I have grown up in LA and I’ve seen first hand how fame can lift people up as fast as it will take people down. We put people on pedestals to be chased by others who want to be up on that pedestal too. It becomes an obsession of who can get higher in the social ladder. That’s what really inspired the whole concept of ‘Chasing Clouds’ — like how we chase ‘clout’, as we call it. It’s sad that I feel sometimes we see follower numbers, instead of people.”
6. The music video for “Chasing Clouds” contains a prominent, visual storyline. Were those visual effects planned far in advanced, or was it a spontaneous decision?
“I always had this vision when the music video was first a conversation, that I wanted it to be animated. I felt it was the best way to explain the message. From the start, I planned out that I wanted all things social media cluttering up the screen in a way, to show how it can control us sometimes. Whitney, the animator and videographer, did such a great job of taking that vision and running with it.”
7. For someone who’s never written a song before, what advice could you give them on how to get started in the music industry?
“I’d say, don’t be afraid of rejection. It will happen. Not everyone will like your music and that’s okay. I think just being true to your vision and sticking with who you are and want your music to sound like is the best advice I can give. A lot of people will try to make you sound more ‘commercial’ or more ‘sellable’, but in the end, it’s just the good music that breaks through and that everybody loves — whether that be commercial or not.”
8. Where can the fans keep up with all of your upcoming projects?
“I’m super active on Instagram, so all the juicy details will be posted there before anywhere else! My Instagram is @annikagracemusic! You can also check up on my music and videos on Spotify and YouTube under Annika Grace. I finally downloaded Tik Tok during COVID, and I post all my upcoming projects there as well. You can check me and all of my more embarrassing content there, under @annikagracemusic .”
It’s now Week 8 at the La Quinta Resort. Noah and Bennett still have some clear tension, but we’ll get back to that later on.
First, we learn that there will be two group dates and two one-on-one dates this week. However, instead of Chris Harrison hosting the series of events, he’s taking a temporary leave (to help his son move into college). Serving as his replacement for the week, is none other than Joelle “JoJo” Fletcher. Fletcher was initially a contestant on Season 20 of “The Bachelor”, before becoming Season 12’s new bachelorette.
Fletcher is currently engaged to Season 12 contestant, Jordan Rodgers.
The day began with a one-on-one date. Zac received the date card, and it was off to the races. The date consisted of a wedding photoshoot. Zac and Tayshia both had to dress up, as if they were getting their photo taken on the day of their wedding.
Although Tayshia was hesitant at first, Zac was able to make her feel comfortable enough, to the point where they laughed it off. Later, Zac opened up about why his previous marriage didn’t workout. According to Zac, he had gotten surgery for a life-threatening brain tumor, and post-surgery, he made the impulse decision to marry his [at the time] girlfriend.
He began receiving drugs for the pain, which led to a substance abuse and alcohol addiction. It got so bad, to the point where his wife could no longer be with him. He also revealed that he had stolen his father’s check book, and that when he went to the bank, the bank teller called his father.
Following that incident, Zac got his life together, went to rehab, and became the man that he is today. Tayshia wholeheartedly appreciated the fact that Zac was able to be so vulnerable with her. Zac got the one-on-one rose.
Back at the villa, Brendan read the group date card for the following day. Noah, Bennett, Ed, Spencer, Brendan, Ben, Ivan, Blake, Riley, Demar were amongst the group date candidates.
This meant that Eazy had acquired a one-on-one date with Tayshia.
Zac and Tayshia’s date ended with a romantic ferris wheel ride, and a heartfelt chat. Tayshia even admitted that she ‘hadn’t felt this way’ in a while.
The following day, the men walked into their group date, and were surprisingly greeted by a naked couple. They were embracing one another. Tayshia explained that this group date will consist of ‘using one’s creative mind’ to sketch a portrait of the couple.
Just as Noah went to sit next to Tayshia for the event, Bennett swooped in and claimed his ‘alpha dog’ role. Noah willingly got up and sat somewhere else, while Bennett continued to throw subtle jabs at Noah.
Everyone had to create a clay sculpture, and Bennett’s concoction was very wealthy-based. He showed how many homes he and Tayshia would own — including a massive vacation home in The Hamptons. Noah found that speech to be very ‘privileged’, and even made a comedic jab towards Bennett’s spelling.
The final round of artistry consisted of a self-portrait. As with any professional art piece, each contestant must present their artist statement. The winner of the third round would get to spend some quality time with Tayshia.
Most of the contestants opened up a lot, through their self portraits, and their creativity and honesty was present beyond words. Ben wasn’t sure if he could let his walls down, in the same way that the other contestants had. However, he surprised both him and Tayshia, when he not only expressed himself emotionally, but also physically… I mean, physically, physically… like, buttocks and all.
When the time came to choose a winner, Tayshia decided to choose everyone. She made sure to extend her time with the contestants, and it worked out in her favor. Ben opened up to her about his previous eating disorder, and why he became a fitness/nutritional trainer. Ben received the group date rose.
Just before Tayshia left for the night, she expressed her discontent with Noah and Bennett. Though Tayshia didn’t know exactly what what was going on between Noah and Bennett, she claimed that she was “going to get to the bottom of it”.
The next day was her one-on-one date with Eazy, and let’s just say that it wasn’t your traditional first date. After scaring the living pie out of Eazy, she revealed that their date would consist of ‘ghost hunting’. There were some crazy haunted stories about the La Quinta Resort and its property.
There were a lot of jump scares and screaming from Tayshia and Eazy. It was quite hilarious. They discovered a doll, heard random breathing, and items randomly fell off of shelves. Later on, although they had a wonderful dinner, Tayshia admitted that she wasn’t going to give Eazy the rose. She stated that although he was a great person, she didn’t feel a strong enough connection.
Before the cocktail party, JoJo appeared to reveal that Tayshia would like to meet with Bennett and Noah, and that one of them would be going home before the rose ceremony.
Bennett brought a series of presents for Noah: a pair of used mustache socks, a red bandana to signify ‘no bad blood’, and an ’emotional intelligence’ book… Umm, okay?
Before Tayshia arrived, there was a bit of a verbal argument between the two.
The episode ended in a cliffhanger. No one was chosen to go home in this episode, and although the following episode alludes to Bennett’s departure, when it comes to “The Bachelorette”, you can never be too sure.