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POP INTERVIEW: “Real Housewife of Miami” Lea Black

This Saturday, Lea and Roy Black, the dynamic duo starring of Bravo’s The Real Housewives of Miami, will host The Blacks’ Annual Gala. The charity, which benefits The Consequences Foundation, is headlined by Flo Rida. The always gracious Mrs. Black talks about her reality show and why the charity is so important to her.



This Saturday, Lea and Roy Black, the dynamic duo starring of Bravo’s The Real Housewives of Miami, will host The Blacks’ Annual Gala. The charity, which benefits The Consequences Foundation, is headlined by Flo Rida. The always gracious Mrs. Black talked to me via about her reality show and why the charity is so important to her.

Arteamerica Galeries 2010

The setting plays a huge role in a good show, scripted or not. Problem is, we aren’t introduced to anything but Atlanta, New York and LA as far as every reality show and film goes. When we were introduced to Miami as a setting, what do you think the producers did well?
It captured Miami – showcased it as an international world class destination. Made it fun and fabulous.

A gala needs to be intricately planned. It would be nice if it were like in movies, and the gorgeous scene shows up, or “Gossip Girl,” hello “instant it girl charity and cut!” but life doesn’t work that way. What is new for this year’s visual point of the event? What about the experience overall?
We have an over the top ending to the night. “Whi5ker5 rages with the illbots”, an incredible dj is doing a fabulous sound and light show. And Flo Rida will rock the house. Celebrity guests will make the red carpet beyond spectacular! And of course it’s the people that make the party! And, stay tuned – we may announce a HUGE surprise talent!

What’s going on with the performances?
Fortunately, Flo Rida has a big heart and wants to help the kids. And we have some major talent including Dj Irie and Dj Trouble.

How did you arrange for all of that successfully? You may have interested younger people with Flo Rida.
I spent months working on it !!!! The talent is always the biggest challenge because most of these artists donate their performances and they live big and have busy lives.

So much of reality TV is about women who don’t do very much. The fact that you are involved with society is absolutely lovely. I like that you’re super ladylike in a century where people believe tackiness trumps all and care about now “odd” traditions like giving back to the community. Please talk about your role in helping people through charity and how you got started!
I started it 19 years ago. I did it because it’s the right thing to do and before everybody was doing charities. We’ve been able to keep lots of kids out of jail and in school. I’ve seen what happens when a parent or family member goes to jail. So many of these kids don’t know there’s a life of possibility out there. It’s our responsibility to show them and help them live productive lives. It’s about second chances and offering kids possibilities, education and hope.

Is there a natural tendency for a bunch of women to have disagreements without cameras?
I think whenever you get strong minded people together men or women, you’re always going to have disagreements. Unless someone is doing you or someone wrong – then the best solution is to agree to disagree and respect a difference of opinion.

Why do you think women create so much conflict on reality TV? Looking back, I can’t think of one moment on any show where conflict was created by men. And why do you think viewers like watching conflict?
I think men have also contributed to the conflict. But, I think generally speaking women are more emotional than men so it shows up in a more dramatic way. And women are more inclined to show their emotions and speak their mind. I think viewers watch conflict because they can relate to it and because they usually are invested in a point of view.

When you have reunions at Bravo, are you ever scared? It seems like the women get really mean at those, and some viewer questions can be downright rude.
You’re right that they can be mean and many times desperate for attention. It brings out the best and worst of people. The scary part is that some people have absolutely nothing to lose – those are the dangerous ones.

“The Real Housewives of DC” went off the air. Being a part of the franchise doesn’t guarantee instant success. At one time, a critic I read said the market was over-saturated with the shows, and look, you are still strong in ratings! Congrats. Why do you think your show is still popular, years after the very first “Orange County?”
I think the producers have done a good job, the girls have brought the hot looks and the drama and Miami is a city everyone wants a glimpse into and a piece of.

On a really ditzy turning point for a second, I saw you have great bangs. How do you keep them from getting greasy? It’s my major pet peeve, and if I don’t have bangs, I look like Fiona the green ogre in “Shrek,” all baldish and green. :/ OK, I’m not really pea green, but you get my point about flattering my forehead!
Me? Great bangs – who knew ? If you use my Sudden Youth facial available at you won’t have greasy skin and therefore you won’t have greasy bangs. ( How’s that for a shameless plug ? )


Who Is This Brian Balthazar Guy, Anyway?

Did you see Brian on TV today? Wondering who he is? Here’s much more than you wanted to know. They leave the part out that he loves a well mixed Dark And Stormy, but let’s keep things professional…




You may have seen Brian Balthazar on television this morning, heard him on the radio, or read about some recent developments in the world of media and pop culture. But who the hell is this guy? Brian Balthazar leads a double – triple – okay, maybe quadruple life. Part journalist, actor and comic, he appears on many TV shows as a guest, but is also a developer and creator of several television shows behind the scenes. This when he’s not renovating homes and making snacks for his websites, and

After launching the fourth hour of the Today Show with Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb, he turned his attention to cable television, overseeing the direction and development of several shows on HGTV, including Flip or Flop, Love It Or List It, Christina On The Coast, House Hunters, Hit Properties with Nathan Morris, Flea Market Flip and dozens more.

As a comic he served as the opening act for Russell Brand In New York City and the MTV series Man and Wife featuring hype man Fatman Scoop.  He has performed at The Comic Strip, Caroline’s On Broadway, Gotham Comedy Club and more.Wendy Williams Show Feb 2013

In addition to being a frequent guest on “The Wendy Williams Show,” (he co-hosted several times during Williams’ three week break) and appearing on the “Today” show, where he guest co-hosted with Jenna Hager-Bush,  Brian has frequently been seen co-hosting the syndicated TV gossip show Page Six TV.

Additionally, he was the sideline reporter for HGTV’s Rose Parade Coverage, hosted the HGTV Special I Bought A Famous House, and has appeared on CBS’s The Talk, HLN’s Showbiz Tonight, MSNBC’s Caught On Camera, The Joy Behar Show, and more.

Brian Balthazar Kathie Lee Hoda

An appearance on the fourth hour of the TODAY show with Kathie Lee and Hoda.

He has also been an emcee for many notable events and sponsors, including work as a brand ambassador for Bombay Company, the co-host of the Miss Tennessee and Miss Mississippi USA pageants, and a red carpet host at the Daytime Emmy Awards.

You may also have seen Brian in some viral videos, most notably a recent parody of Bird Box, and a satirical look at House Hunters’ Writers’ Room.

HGTV – House Hunters Writer’s Room from Buffalo Picture House on Vimeo.

 Brian Balthazar Bombay

Appearing in a series of videos for Bombay Company.


Brian has provided analysis, interviews and helped co-host the Tony Awards backstage show. He also followed all the backstage madness at the launch of Fashion Week in New York City while co-hosting the Red Dress Event. He has been a roving reporter for the Dr. Oz show. Earlier in his career he was a features reporter and contributor on NBC, MSNBC, United Airlines In-Flight Entertainment and more.

For A&E network, Brian appeared in an episode of Biography about Jim Carrey. He also provided play by play of some of film’s greatest car chases for a documentary about, well, car chases. (Ask his family and they will tell you: NO one would have expected to see him in a show about cars. We’ll leave it at that.)


Before ‘finding himself’ professionally, Brian was a singer on a ship, a publicist for a trance medium, an insurance customer service rep, waiter, bartender, activities director, substitute teacher, website programmer, pianist at a camp for spoiled children, and college mascot. None of them worked out. Let’s hope this does.

To contact Brian, email

To check out his video clips from NBC, HLN, and MSNBC, click HERE…

And – become his friend on facebook!

For a more extensive listing of his TV appearances visit his IMDB page.

And he’s apparently getting better about Twitter. So he says. He’s @BrianBalthazar.

Thanks for reading POP GOES THE WEEK!

For his TV Appearances, Click on the TV APPEARANCES page.

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POP in the Kitchen! The Perfect Snack and Cocktail Pairings.



POP Goes The Week’s Brian Balthazar is part of the all new Food Network Kitchen App! Cook LIVE alongside Brian as he makes get party food and the drinks that go perfectly with them!

Hey everyone! I’m so excited for this – I was thrilled to be a part of the new app, which is an all new way to cook with your favorite chefs and cooking experts. In the app, you can get the recipe and ingredients and recipe in advance, check the live class schedule, then cook at the very same time as your instructor!

I was fortunate enough to be invited to do a live snack and cocktail pairing, which you can still watch – and cook along with me! Trust me, these all start out as live, which means anything can happen! (I have an adventure with the broiler in one of them!)

Download the app here.

For my recipes, I made a pulled pork toast with queso, sour cream radishes and green onions, along with a smoky mezcal paloma.

Pulled Pork Toasts with Sour Cream, Queso, Radishes and Green onions, garnished with cilantro. The recipe is literally those ingredients stacked onto baguette slices!

In another class, I make lavender honey that gets drizzled right on top of baked brie with herbs, then use that same lavender honey for my own interpretation of a “Bees Knees” cocktail that I call a “Bees Knees Breeze.” I came up with the variation because the original recipe, simply gin, honey and lemon was just TOO strong for me and I found myself always getting plastered!

Check out the gallery of what I made, all available on the FNK app!

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I hope you can check them out, AND all your favorite instructors like Bobby Flay, Giada de Laurentiis and Ree Drummond!



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‘Saved By The Bell’ Cast Reunited For 30th Anniversary – And I’m So Excited



If you think your high school experience feels like ancient history then it won’t bring you any comfort to know that Saved By The Bell debuted 30 years ago!

Back in 1989, Saved By The Bell hit the small screen and quickly became a television staple. Over the course of its four seasons, the sitcom followed Zach Morris and his unique blend of friends as they navigated the tricky waters of high school. Everyone had a favorite Bayside Tiger and the series spawned many memorable scenes…but you are a liar if you didn’t say your favorite scene was where Jessie broke down crying after coming to terms with her caffeine pill addiction while crying out the most iconic line ever, “I’m so excited…I’m so excited…I’m so…scared”


In any event, some of Bayside’s most memorable students reunited over the weekend to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the hit sitcom. Mark-Paul Gosselaar (Zach Morris), Tiffany Thiessen (Kelly Kapowski), Mario Lopez (A.C. Slater) and Elizabeth Berkley (Jessie Spano) all gathered together to hit us right in the nostalgia. Notably missing were Lark Voorhies (Lisa Turtle) and Dustin Diamond (Screech). Berkley wrote on her Instagram “FRIENDS FOREVER!!!” along with some sweet and fun hashtags. Lopez upped the ante and posted a video recapping the fun time the gang had as they reminisced on the days way back when. WHY WASN’T THIS TELEVISED?!? Many are speculating the reunion to be the beginnings of a reboot or revival but nothing of the sort has yet been confirmed.



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FRIENDS FOREVER #spousestoo!!!❤️❤️❤️#imsoexcited #buddybands #love #friends #family #life #magic

A post shared by Elizabeth Berkley Lauren (@elizberkley) on



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Credit card roulette comin up! #OldSchool

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