Meet the Black Barbie of the BK: Kelly Linton of ‘Brooklyn 11223′

•April 16, 2012 • Leave a Comment

It’s all about taking sides and talking trash on Oxygen’s Brooklyn 11223 (Mondays, 11/10c) with breaks taken to have a bit of fun.

It began with the breakdown of the relationship between former besties and Bay Ridge party girls Joey Lynn Tekulve and Christie Livoti. Christie accused Joey Lynn of getting down with her ex-boyfriend. Joey Lynn swears on all that she holds holy and dear that she’s not the kind of girl to do something like that.

Now, it’s she said versus she said with the whole ‘hood talking about what may or may not have happened. And everyone has taken to asking, “Whose team are you on?”

Kelly Linton and Angelina Favuzza, friends and partners in fun from their Catholic school days, are Team Christie. Fashionista Kelly, who Angelina calls the “Black Barbie of Brooklyn,” is always ready to take it to the streets on behalf of the team.

Recently, The Ride chatted with Kelly about being on Brooklyn 11223, beefing with Joey Lynn’s crew and Black Barbie style.

The Ride: Hey Kelly! How’s it going? Thanks so very much for taking the time to chat. What has the response been to you being on the show? Has there been a lot of love or have the haters come out of hiding?

Kelly: So far it’s been a mix of both — good and bad. There has, of course, been haters but really who cares about them! I’m just loving all the fans and people who take the time to really show their support for the cast.

The Ride: How did you become involved with the show in the first place?

Kelly: I was playing online randomly and just came across this casting. I wrote in about me and my crazy Brooklyn friends and it took off from there.

The Ride: I have to say, you seem to always be beefing with someone (namely Valona) from Joey Lynn’s crew. Why do you always seem to be running into them and having run-ins with them?

Kelly: These areas are very close, so most of the time we are gonna end up in the same places. I try to avoid the drama but sometimes it just happens and as we can see, I never back down from saying what I feel.

(Left to Right) Christie's Crew: Christie Livoti, Carla Cozzolino, and Kelly Linton of 'Brooklyn 11223' (Photo Courtesy of Kelly Linton)

The Ride: Can you even considered that Joey Lynn might be telling the truth?

Kelly: Yes I have considered at one point that Joey Lynn might have been telling the truth just ’cause it’s gone for so long and who would lie for this long?…But I’ve also learned that people will always shock you and would do anything to save themselves. So I guess we will see what happens.

The Ride: Okay, I have a confession to make…I may have made some snide comment hinting at you being…How shall I say this?…Okay, I’ll say it. How does it feel being the only chocolate chip in the cookie? (As someone who’s been there and done that, I should have known better). And how do you react to “less than informed” (i.e. ignorant) comments like mine?

Kelly: Yes I always get this question [laughs]. Being they only Black girl has never bothered me. I don’t look at it like that. I’m just out with my friends having fun like everybody else. If people think it’s weird or have something to say about me having all white friends, then that’s their issue and shows the type of person they are. I never let negative comments like that get to me ’cause you can’t change ignorance. If that’s how they feel, then good for them.

The Ride: What’s one major misconception about you?

Kelly: One major misconception about me is people sometimes think I’m a bitch because I always stand up for myself and say whatever I feel. But I don’t think that makes me bitchy at all. I am really nice and chill and just love to have fun, joke around.

The Ride: I loved it when, in one episode, your girl Angelina called you the “Black Barbie of Brooklyn”! I’ve been called many names but none ever so cool. Why do you think she gave you that name? And what is “Black Barbie” style?

Kelly and Angelina of Oxygen's 'Brooklyn 11223' (Photo Courtesy of Kelly Linton)

Kelly: Angelina gave me the nickname because I love fashion and I love to dress up all the time even when we are not going anywhere special. I’m like a doll. [laughs] So that’s where that name came from. I guess, “Black Barbie” style is a lot of skirts and dresses, always heels or like really fabulous flats. And of course, the best accessories — earrings, statement necklaces, 3 finger rings. Fun pieces like that!

The Ride: By the way, how long have you been friends with Angelina? Do you remember the first time you met?

Kelly: I have been friends with Angelina for 10 years. We met, freshmen year of high school at Bishop Kearney, on the B9 bus. I just remember her being crazy and funny in the morning on the way to school, and I’m like thinking she’s just like me loud and all about fun! Perfect partner in crime and we have been friends ever since.

The Ride: What’s cool about partying in Bay Ridge?

Kelly: What’s cool about partying in Bay Ridge is how close it is and if you don’t feel like going all the way to the city one night, but you still want to go out and have a drink or do dinner, you can.

(Photo Courtesy of Kelly Linton)

And now,  A Bit of Randomness

Favorite Fragrance

BEBE Sheer.

If you could create a nail polish, what would you call your color?

I would call it Barbie Fab.

Wig or Weave?

Girl, weave always!

Nicki Minaj or Lady Gaga?

Nicki Minaj, of course. I LOVE her!

Justin Bieber or Justin Timberlake?

Justin Timberlake. I will forever love ‘NSync I don’t care how old I get.

Your Personal Club Anthem

Rihanna, “We Found Love

Up or Down?

Up…The sky’s the limit.

_______ is a girl’s best friend.

Fabulous shoes are a girl’s best friend.

Brooklyn is all about that ____________

Loyalty and Respect.

The Ride: What’s your favorite part about being on Brooklyn 11223? Free drinks at the club and other goodies?…Oh, those would be my favorites.

Kelly: So far my favorite part is really all the fans of the show. It’s nice when people come up to you and tell you how great they think the show is and how nice and real we all are.

Kelly Linton and Angelina Favuzza of 'Brooklyn 11223' (Photo Courtesy of Kelly Linton)

The Ride: What can we hope to see from you during the rest of the season? Will we ever get to the bottom of this mess between Joey Lynn and Christie?

Kelly: You’ll get to see me just having fun and being my normal, crazy self! As for the Joey Lynn/Christie drama, everyone is just gonna have to sit tight and see how it all unfolds!

Thanks so very much, Kelly!

Feel free to like Kelly on Facebook, or follow her on Twitter (@MissKellyKelz)

Related Posts

This Girl Just Wants to Have Fun: Angelina Favuzza of Oxygen’s ‘Brooklyn 11223′

Talking that Talk.Walking that Walk: Joey Lynn Tekulve of Oxygen’s ‘Brooklyn 11223′

All Class and No Sass: Heidi Dillon of Style Network’s ‘Big Rich Texas’

•April 6, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Heidi Dillon is the kind woman I want to be if I ever decide to grow up.

Featured on this season of Style Network’s Big Rich Texas (Sundays 9/8c), which should be called, “Clash of the Country Club Titans,” Heidi heads up The Fashionistas, a non-profit organization that champions fashion — the art and industry — in Dallas, Texas.

Tiring of the country club brouhaha with fellow cast members Leslie Birkland and Bonnie Blossman, Pamela Martin Duarte sought, and was awarded, a seat on The Fashionistas’ board of directors. And of course, now social climber Leslie wants to join too.

All that haymaking nonsense that goes on at the country club, Heidi is having none of it in her organization. If your mama didn’t teach how to behave, Heidi will be happy to school you.

Ms. Heidi knows that real women don’t throw fists because throwing shade is much more effective.

Confident and comfortable in her own skin, she lets her work speak for itself and what impressive work it is. In addition to serving as CEO and head of the Board of Directors of The Fashionistas, she is also an executive producer at and partner in Morning Dew Pictures, a television production company.

The Ride caught up with the grand fashionista of The Fashionistas who talked about Big Rich Texas, The Fashionistas, and the one thing she never leaves home without.

The Ride: Hello Heidi! Or should I call you “Ms. Dillon”? By the way, I love me some BRT (Big Rich Texas).  At times, it leaves me speechless. At other times, I find myself screaming, “Oh no she didn’t,” at the TV as if it, or they, could hear me.  What has the Big Rich Texas experience been like for you? Have you had any of your own, “Oh no she didn’t” moments?

Heidi: You can call me Heidi, but I kind of like it when people call me Ms. Dillon. It makes me think that your mother raised you well.

Heidi Dillon, of The Fashionistas and 'Big Rich Texas' (Photo Courtesy of Heidi Dillon)

Filming BRT was incredibly fun. The scenes that I was in were all about being with my marvelous friends who are in The Fashionistas. We shot scenes at Fashionistas’ events and local hot spots. Because the producers have to tell a specific story, viewers do not get to see much of what actually transpired.

So far, the only “Oh no she didn’t” moment happened in episode 6 when Bonnie crashed Pam’s book event wearing a Bebe sweat suit(!), hurled a cheese platter and stormed out saying, “This party sucks!” I was at once shocked and bemused. But, hey, I guess that’s what it takes to be a “reality star”.

The Ride: How did you become involved with the wonderful madness that is Big Rich Texas?

Heidi: The original iteration of the show was called Dallas Divas and Daughters. The producers came across The Fashionistas website and contacted me. I worked with them on casting — drawing talent from the organization and our student group The Fashionistas Two.

Divas only did one season and last fall was rebooted as Big Rich Texas. I was not involved in season one of BRT, but as season two was about to get underway, Pam called me and asked if I would be interested in coming on the show. Pam wanted to get away from the country club set and get back into the swing of the Dallas social scene, so she thought that joining The Fashionistas board of directors would be a good way to do just that. I told her that after speaking with the show’s producers, I would think about it and talk it over with my family, my business partners at Morning Dew Pictures and my manager.

I had several conversations with the producers of BRT, who gave me the usual spiel (as a producer myself, I am very familiar with what to say to talent to get them on board), and then discussed it with the important people in my life. My husband felt that I would be remiss and regret it if I didn’t at least give it a try and my partners and manager felt that having experience in front of the camera would give me valuable insight as a producer on the other side of the camera.

The Ride: The Fashionistas seem like a very cool organization, I can see why LeeAnne Locken and Pam wanted to be a part of it.  How is The Fashionistas different from an organization like the CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America), or is it not so very different?

Heidi: Here’s our Mission Statement: To be an international champion of the fashion arts through exhibitions, scholarships and educational programs, positioning Dallas as a portal to the global fashion community.

Here is what The Fashionistas do: We are a non-profit organization that has launched the careers of emerging Dallas fashion designers — to date Nha Khanh, Shirin Askari, Prashi & Elizabeth Anyaa. We also provide scholarships to local fashion design students and have a lecture series entitled Fashion talk that has featured local and international luminaries including Hamish Bowles of Vogue, Dr. Valerie Steele from the Museum at F.I.T., and Vince Camuto, to name a few. We have also helped sponsor major fashion exhibitions including Balenciaga and His Legacy: Haute Couture from the Texas Fashion Collection at the Meadows Museum of Art and Yeohlee: Design for Now at the Crow Collection of Asian Art. Michael Kors serves on our Advisory Board. The Fashionistas is open to everyone who shares our fervor for fashion.

LeeAnne Locken and Heidi Dillon of The Fashionistas and 'Big Rich Texas' (Photo Courtesy of Heidi Dillon)

The Ride: Most people (or maybe it’s just me) don’t normally associate Texas with fashion outside of 10-gallon hats and cowboy boots. Forgive me, but I had no idea that Dallas even had an art institute. How challenging has it been educating the underinformed and misinformed like myself? And were you met with any resistance from fellow Texans when starting the organization?

Heidi: You are right about the perception of Texas, but I have never seen anyone in Dallas wearing a 10-gallon hat, and, everyone I know wears Louboutins! A stereotype that has been so deeply ingrained in people’s minds by the media and television shows like Dallas will never be undone.

I have met with resistance in certain circles from the moment I founded The Fashionistas. Dallas is a small town in many ways and is, at times, resistant to change and new ideas. In spite of a few naysayers, we have prevailed for seven years and have many more supporters than detractors. We are incredibly proud of the work that we have done for Dallas’ fashion community. I want to take this opportunity to give a shout-out to all of the tremendous, dedicated people on The Fashionistas Board of Directors.

The Ride: I also read that you have a production company, Mountain Dew Pictures. Go ahead with your bad self.  So, will there be Heidi TV coming to our flat screens soon?

Heidi: Morning Dew Pictures. The story of the journey that led me to becoming a partner/executive producer in a Los Angeles-based television production company is probably too lengthy of a tale to tell here. Suffice it to say that my partners, Sheri Maroufkhani and Michael McNamara, are extremely talented, respected and seasoned TV veterans. We first met three years ago when their company was named MCFilmworks. After the birth of their baby girl Jahel (which means Morning Dew in Farsi) Sheri and Michael decided to rename the company Morning Dew Pictures.

Our company produced season one of The Real Housewives of Miami, Baldwin Hills, Harlem Heights, and many other documentaries, music videos, television shows too numerous to list. We are currently in development on over a dozen show for various cable networks. Feel free to visit Sheri and Michael’s IMBb profiles: Michael McNamara and Sheri Maroufkani.

The Ride: Back to BRT: I love how you are so very calm and collected amid the mayhem. What’s your secret to keeping above the fray? Every once in a while, I’m tempted to go *there* (as in “go off”). Please school me on how to keep my cool.

Heidi: To be honest with you, I don’t really care about the silliness that goes on in the show. When I decided to come on as a cast member, I promised myself that I would not be dragged into the quagmire that surrounds Pam’s country club acquaintances. Those girls are a little too high strung for my taste and I completely understand why Pam wanted to separate herself from that mess. Working with Pam, our dear friend LeeAnne Locken, my personal assistant Linnea Thulin and my girl Connie Dieb was a pleasure.

Pamela Martin Duarte and Heidi Dillon of 'Big Rich Texas' (Photo Courtesy of Heidi Dillon)

The Ride: What is your impression of Lying Leslie…I mean Leslie Birkland? You look like you have a great nose for B.S. and can sniff it out from a mile away.

Heidi: While Pam and I have been friends for five years, we had never discussed her country club “friends”, so I had no idea who Leslie was. When Leslie arrived at the Kendra Scott event Pam became very agitated. Pam then proceeded to tell me the very emotionally charged history of their unpleasant relationship, which definitely raised a red flag for me. However, I always give people the benefit of the doubt and a Fashionistas’ event is not the place to incite drama. Leslie seemed sweet when I met her and I felt very uncomfortable when she and Pam got into a nasty little tiff.

In subsequent episodes Leslie’s scheme for getting involved in The Fashionistas becomes clear. I have to confess, I definitely suspected her of doing a little social climbing, but never suspected that her intentions were nefarious.

Grace Dieb, Connie Dieb and Heidi Dillon of 'Big Rich Texas' (Photo Courtesy of Heidi Dillon)

And now, A Bit of Randomness

How many olives do you like in your martini?

I only drink champagne.

Guacamole or salsa?

I’m a Norwegian from Minnesota, so it’s butter and cream for me.

I never___________

Go to bed angry.

A lady always ____________

Says please and thank you.

A woman can never have too many _____________

Black shoes.

I never leave my house without my ______________

A good attitude.

If you weren’t you, who would you be?

A taller, thinner version of me.

Barbra Streisand  or Celine Dion?

Kaskade and Young Jeezy

Your favorite designer?

Ann Demuelemeester, Rick Owens, Masion Maison, Martin Margiela

The Ride: Back again to BRT: What can we expect to see from you this season?

Heidi: Me being me.

The Ride: Finally, I’d like for you to leave us with some words of wisdom.

Heidi: Reinvent yourself. I do it about every seven years. Never listen to popular opinion. Be a contrarian.

Heidi Dillon (Photo Courtesy of Heidi Dillon)

Thank you Heidi. You’re the best!

To learn more about and connect with Heidi, visit her on Twitter and The Fashionistas on Facebook.

Related Posts

Back on Style: Catching up with LeeAnne Locken

Locked and Loaded: A Q&A with Straight Shooter Pamela Martin Duarte of ‘Big Rich Texas’

This Girl Just Wants to Have Fun: Angelina Favuzza of Oxygen’s ‘Brooklyn 11223′

•April 5, 2012 • 1 Comment

A soap opera set in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, Oxygen’s reality series, Brooklyn 11223 centers around the beef between former friends Christie Livoti and Joey Lynn Tekulve, with Christie having accused Joey Lynn of having relations with (i.e. banging) her ex-beau Roberto. An allegation, Joey Lynn vehemently denies.

Supporters and friends have taken sides in the matter, with each girl now rolling with her own crew. And the girls who constitute Team Christie and Team Joey Lynn don’t play, going hard for their respective crew “chiefs”.

If you want soft and cuddly, get yourself a teddy bear.

On Team Christie is Angelina Favuzza, a big tawker, who likes to have big fun, which often involves partying with one of her best girls from Team Christie, who she describes as the Black Barbie of Brooklyn, Kelly Linton.

If you can’t find Angelina in the club or at a cool house party, you can find her in popping bottles of Corona poolside, getting some sun on her face…or perhaps getting in the faces of some Team Joey Lynn members during what has become regular confrontations.

Ready for the ride that is reality TV, Angelina is armed with an ample supply of one-liners and a personality that just won’t quit.

The Ride caught up with Angelina to chat about the show, why Team Christie is cooler, and what she’s got to say about giving Bay Ride, BK (Brooklyn), a “bad name”.

The Ride:  Hey Angelina! Thanks for taking the time to talk to me. How are excited are you about being on Brooklyn 11223? Have you always wanted to be on TV? And have you always wanted to be on reality TV?

Angelina Favuzza and Christie Livoti of 'Brooklyn 11223' (Photo Courtesy of Angelina Favuzza)

Angelina: I’m actually really excited to see with this opportunity can bring for us. You never know,  it’s sink or swim. I love being center of attention and I don’t get nervous easily so it’s cool. I actually always wanted to be a teacher because I love children, it’s a great feeling.

The Ride: The question always is, ‘How real is any reality TV show?’ You all look pretty real to me. Do you think things get a little too ‘real’ on the show?

Angelina: We are def [initely] real. I mean it’s crazy because the whole time we are natural on camera as if were born for this, but we totally are a big family and like any family the siblings fight. Nothing can ever be too real because we aren’t acting we are being the crazy bunch of 20-somethings that hopefully the world will love.

The Ride: How long have you known Christie and do you think Christie’s crew is the cooler of the two crews?

Angelina: I’ve known Christie I’d say 4 to 5  years and yeah, we are totally cooler. [laughs] We are a big puzzle and all our personalities click. We feed off of each other. None of us are the same, but together, we fit and make sense.

The Ride: I see it now, folks are going to be talking about how Brooklyn 11223 is giving Bay Ridge a ‘bad name’. What would you say to someone who’s talking that talk?

Angelina: They should be happy that they are getting attention and people will wanna come there and give the Bay Ridge community a piece of the pie attractions-wise. Why not take the free publicity?

The Ride: I love you girl, but you do seem like you have a lot of time on your hands. What’s your day job besides drinking a few Coronas and lounging about the pool?

Angelina: I’m a waitress in a luncheonette in my neighborhood Bergen Beach and I babysit. Also, I am trying to finish getting my degree in early childhood education. But during the summertime, I do like to enjoy lounging around with the girls in my pool for some Coronas.

Carla and Angelina of Oxygen's 'Brooklyn 11223' (Photo credit: Patrick Harbron/Oxygen Media)

The Ride: You also seem to like the boys…a lot. What three qualities do you like in a hottie?

Angelina: [laughs] I just get along well with boys. l like my boys meaty (big boy), fun and respectful.

A Bit of Randomness

Favorite club song?

Right now my favorite song is ‘Wild Ones’ by Flo Rida. I can listen to it on repeat and just sing and dance in the car.

Favorite Candy

Sour Straws strawberry

Favorite Italian Ice Flavor


Bay Ride boys are _________


Madonna or Rhianna?


The Ride: What can viewers of Brooklyn 11223 hope to see from you this season?

Angelina: I’m a ball of fun always down for a good time and I always speak my mind. I have a lot of good one-liners

The Ride: Give me three words that you would use to describe Brooklyn 11223?

Angelina: Real, unscripted, friends.

Thanks Angelina!

Check out Angelina on Twitter (@linababieee) and Facebook. And for more about Brooklyn 11223, visit the show’s Facebook page.

Related Post

Talking that Talk, Walking that Walk: Joey Lynn Tekulve of Oxygen’s ‘Brooklyn 11223′

Talking that Talk, Walking that Walk: Joey Lynn Tekulve of Oxygen’s ‘Brooklyn 11223′

•April 2, 2012 • 2 Comments

What’s better than watching some badass gals from the BK (a.k.a. Brooklyn) battle it out? Not much if you are a crazy connoisseur of tumultuous reality TV like me. That’s why I couldn’t resist catching Oxygen’s Brooklyn 11223 (Mondays, 11/10c)

The combination of characters make for some compelling TV. You’ve got Christie Livoti who can’t seem to believe that former BFF Joey Lynn Tekulve could be telling the truth about not having been with, in the biblical sense, Christie’s ex-boyfriend.  And you’ve got Joey Lynn, who wants to clear her name and wash her hands of the whole mess.

To complicate matters, each girl has her own crew whose members aren’t afraid to go at it on behalf of their respective “leaders”.  And to top it off, the whole community can’t seem to stop taking sides and talking about what could or could not have taken place.

It’s like West Side Story — not on steroids, but estrogen.

Brooklyn 11223 is what happens when keeping it real on reality TV goes very right. These former forever friends are for real enemies and not trying to fake it for the cameras.

Recently, The Ride chatted with Joey Lynn who talked about the show, Christie, codes of honor, and something she keeps very much a secret.

The Ride: Hey, Joey Lynn! How are you doing? Thanks for taking the time to chat. Watched the show. Great stuff. You already have people up in your business, what made you decide to get involved in reality TV and now potentially have untold millions in your business?

Joey Lynn: I was never interested or had a thought to get involved in reality TV. The opportunity came which is rare, and I took it and ran with it. I don’t care that millions are in my business because I have no regrets about anything I’ve ever done and I am proud of the person I am. The only opinions that matter to me are my friends and family and they support me 100 percent.

The Ride: What has the experience been like for you?

Joey Lynn: This experience has been a crazy one! It brings up feelings from the past, memories from the past — some being good and some not. It’s a crazy adventure but I’m glad I did it. If it takes off, good for us. If it sinks, it was fun while it lasted. It does hurt to hear these girls talk so much crap about me and call me names. But when a person judges me, it doesn’t define who I am, it defines the type of person THEY are.

The Ride: Is your relationship with Christie really done for? Can’t believe you (the both of you) would let a guy get in between you.

Joey Lynn: The relationship has been done with me and Christie and it’ll stay like that. Even if there was a possibility for us to put the baby stuff aside, her friends would never let it happen and would never stop gassing her head up with nonsense. Me and her don’t physically or verbally fight ever. It’s her friends that cause most of the drama.

The Ride: Guys seem to have a code of honor. Is there a code of honor among girls?

Joey Lynn: Well it isn’t written in stone but there are many girl codes. I, for one, would never date a guy after one of my friends dated them. It isn’t cool to talk behind each others backs. And most importantly to me, you support and defend your girlfriends whether they be right or wrong.

The Ride: Now that you and Christie are no longer BFF’s, you roll with your own crew. What name would you give your crew?

Joey Lynn: I don’t know what name I would call us. Probably ‘The Party Crew’? We all love to go out, dance, drink, and meet guys! When you see the show, you’ll see how each group really is. The other group loves drama and mostly all they talk about is ‘fighting’ people or ‘knocking someone out’.

The Ride: How does one get to roll with you? Is there an application process? Some kind of test that involves being able to take a punch and give one?

Joey Lynn: Requirements include being fun, love to have a good time, and be trustworthy. And no, fighting is not a huge part of my life so being able to take or give a punch doesn’t matter that much. I would hope my friend would take a hit for me if it came down to it, but like I said, I rather hangout with people who like to have fun rather than start drama.

Maria, Joey Lynn, and Valona of ‘Brooklyn 11223′ (Photo credit: Patrick Harbron/Oxygen Media)

A Bit of Randomness

The ‘B’ in Bay Ridge stands for ________

BARSSSS! Def [initely] bars. They are everywhere in Bay Ridge

Bay Ridge girls are ___________

Not us! I’m a Gravesend/Bensonhurst girl! Yes we party in Bay Ridge, but that’s not where I come from. Other than that, I would say the girls who hang out in Bay Ridge def aren’t from Bay Ridge but def loud, like to get drunk and have fun!

Roller Coaster or Ferris Wheel?

Roller coaster 1000 percent. They’re fast, exciting, and I love that feeling when my stomach drops when I’m on one.

Hot or Cold?

Hot! Where it’s hot, there’s sun, which means a good tan for me.

How do you like your burgers?

I’m not a big red meat person but when I do eat burgers they are PLAIN. Burnt to a crisp, just the meat and bread. I skeeve condiments.

You know what really pisses me off __________

People who talk sh** just to be heard when in fact they never have proof of what they’re saying, or don’t even know me on a personal level. Jealousy makes people do crazy things! It’s always ‘Oh, I heard from this one or that one’ or ‘How do you know the truth? ‘Oh, my friends cousin was there’, or some nonsense to that extent.

If you were a subway line (e.g. ‘A’, ‘F’), which one would you be?

The N line! Ever since the first time I took a train that has been MY line. No matter where I have to go, I start out on the N and it gets me there, and the N always gets me home!

Your favorite club song?

I don’t have a favorite club song because I’m in love with so many. I abs[solutely] love house music! The only thing I can say though is when I’m in a diff[erent] city or state and Biggie’s ‘Where Brooklyn At?’ or something related to Brooklyn comes on, I go nuts. I love it.

Mets or Yankees?

Yankees of course! And the Giants hold my heart!

If you could live anywhere but there, where would you live?

I am in love with Miami — the feeling I get when I’m there is incredible. I also love Staten Island and some parts of Jersey.

The Ride: What’s the one thing people might be surprised to find out about you and does it involve having six toes on one foot?

Joey Lynn: Just because I don’t talk about doing good deeds, as no one should, I have a heart of gold. I’m so sensitive and I try to help anyone wherever needed whether it be donating clothes, food, helping some of the elderly people I know, volunteering whenever possible, or even giving a homeless person money or food when I run into one. Helping others in anyway gives me gratification more than anything in this world.

And the one thing I would love to do one day is get involved with an anti bullying organization. There is nothing more than I despise in this world than to see people be bullied. I was bullied growing up and although I have a big mouth, I still get somewhat bullied today. It’s a terrible feeling and breaks my heart to see it done to other people especially at a young age where [there’s more of a crucial impact] on your self-esteem and confidence. So yeah, it’s a secret, I’m a big softy, although I come off with such a hard exterior. Now everyone knows. [laughs]

The Ride: Why should people be excited to see Brooklyn 11223?

Joey Lynn: Any time you watch a show whether it be scripted or a reality show, you always associate yourself with one of the characters. There is so many of us girls with such different personalities, upbringing, and lifestyles, that we are easily relatable. The show is exciting, fun, and drama-filled which people love to see on TV. People who saw the first episode find themselves ‘teaming up’ with one of the groups of girls and to feel involved with a team. Just like in sports, you find yourself rooting for them. It’s real, it’s in your face. And for some reason, people, especially [those] who don’t live here, are fascinated by New Yorkers, by Brooklynites.

Thanks Joey Lynn!

Follow Joey Lynn on Twitter (@JLynnnner) and Facebook. And check out Brooklyn 11223 on Facebook.

Back on Style: Catching Up with LeeAnne Locken

•March 6, 2012 • 2 Comments

The last time The Ride talked to Texas native and model/spokesperson/actress, LeeAnne Locken, she was a contestant on TV Land’s She’s Got the Look where she had to contend with venomous snakes and an equally venomous castmate as she vied for the grand prize — a contract with Wilhelmenia Models.

LeeAnne is back on reality TV in Style Network‘s Big Rich Texas (BRT, Sundays  9/8c), And this time she’s the one putting someone through her paces — Pamela Martin Duarte,  who wants a coveted spot on the Board of Directors of The Fashionistas, the fashion non-profit headed by a don’t-take-no-[bleep] socialite Heidi Dillon, a woman who throws shade with astounding precision.

Wait, I think I failed to mention that LeeAnne is a board member.

Oh, it’s good the be one of the Queens.

The Ride recently reconnected with LeeAnne. She chatted about BRT, what it’s like being back on reality TV and why all the interest in the Big T — Texas.

The Ride: Hey LeeAnne! Thanks for taking time out of your super busy schedule to chat with me. Welcome back to the world of reality TV. What made you decide to do another reality TV show?

LeeAnne: I LOVED being on She’s Got The Look (SGTL) and since coming back to Dallas after that show, this city has taken off with reality shows! I also wanted to help launch a national platform for a group of which I sit on the board and believe strongly in, The Fashionistas.

The Ride: How has this experience been different from She’s Got the Look? I’m thinking no catwalk but still catfights and maybe a couple of crazy castmates.

LeeAnne: This time has been VERY different. I get to come home every night, there are NO BIKINIS and NO MONKEYS! [laughs] Actually, it has been quite pleasant. I don’t shoot every day and they try and work around my work schedule which is GREAT! The director is actually the same one from my season, so that makes me smile. The drama is TOTALLY different since I’m not the target this time — Woo Hoo! It’s actually strange, the relationships between these women are CRAZY! Some of them TRULY HATE each other and hold nothing back! It’s crazy to watch and Heidi and I sit there sipping champagne in awe!

LeeAnn Locken (Photocourtesy of LeeAnne Locken)

The Ride:  I love the intergenerational aspect of BRT — grown women paired with sassy young’uns. What three words you would use to describe the show besides, ‘big’, ‘rich’, and ‘Texas’?

LeeAnne: EMOTIONAL~ DRAMATIC~ CATFIGHTS!!…Watching these women throw daggers at each other is…[a look of shock and confusion]. I thought Shelly behaved poorly on SGTL but OMGosh, some of these women make her look sane! It seems that almost all of them have something to say about each other behind their backs! I have NO IDEA where the loyalty lies or if there is any. This season is going to FABULOUS TV!!!

The Ride: There seems to be a new found ‘fascination’ with Texas. There’s A-List Dallas and Bravo’s Most Eligible Dallas. Top Chef, took its most recent the season to Texas. And there is the new ABC comedy, GCB. What is it about the state that is so appealing to folks?

LeeAnne: Well…Texas folk are AWESOME! We speak our minds, hold our ground and sometimes throw down when necessary! Look you may not like our attitude but you LOVE to watch us on TV! To live in Texas, you gotta BIGGER THAN LIFE! You left out two additional shows, Texas Women on CMT and Texas Multi-Mamas on WEtv. I’m telling you this city is BURSTING with reality TV crews.

As for GCB, [I’m] in the pilot episode as Jo Beth Marie, Annie Potts & Leslie Bibbs ‘personal’ Neiman Marcus shopper. Annie Potts is freaking hilarious!!

The Ride:  Big Rich Texas features attractive, self-assured women of a certain age — grown women who are comfortable in their own skin and with their own sexuality. Some folks in some circles might call them ‘cougars’ or an acronym that begins with a “M”.  When you hear those words, do they sound like nails on a chalk board and make you want to let out a high pitched scream that only dogs can hear? Or are you comfortable with them and all that they connote and are like, “Let the haters hate”?

Lesile Birkland and LeeAnne Locken (Photo courtesy of LeeAnne Locken)

LeeAnne: I have learned a long time ago to NOT value what others think of me but what I THINK of myself. To hold myself accountable to MY STANDARDS. Which are really my grandma’s, God rest her soul. I like how the show is equally balanced with 3 married and 3 single. I choose not to drink anyone’s “hatorade”!! Call me or them or all of us what you like, it won’t change who we are or how we live. That’s the best part about being a woman of “certain age” is you are happy with yourself and that is all that matters!

The Ride: Did you know these women before the show?

LeeAnne: Yes! I knew one of the cast members before and I also happen to be the one who told her she should audition for the show. Since both She’s Got The Look and Big Rich Texas are produced by Allison Grodner, I was asked last year to help them cast Mother/Daughter duos who would be willing to participate in the show. I immediately asked my girlfriend, Melissa Poe, if she would be interested and BAM! She and her daughter Maddie got CAST!! I was so excited for them! I even threw their premiere watching party for them and we had something like 400 people there! It was great!

A Bit of Randomness

Favorite Candy

I wish I just had one, which is why I don’t have candy in the house. Snickers, Twix, Peppermint Bark…the list goes on!! [laughs]

Cabbage Patch Doll or Barbie?

I had a ton of Barbies, but I preferred to build ramps, with the boys in the neighborhood, which we would try and jump with our bikes, which is also how the Emergency Room knew us on a first name basis!

Mimosas or Martinis?

TOTALLY Mimosas!! Every Sunday, well actually if I can get away with it ALL DAY Sunday! Just kidding! [smiles]

Ribs or Chicken?

I’m a rare steak kind of girl. The bloodier the better! Yummmm.

A lady never…

….dates a married man! EVER!

A lady always…

…says PLEASE and THANK YOU! Manners matter most!

Real women…


LeeAnn Locken (photo: courtesy of LeeAnne Locken)

The Ride: I follow you on Twitter and Facebook and you’re always so positive sharing great words of encouragement and wisdom. How did you get to this place of positivity? I’d like a ticket to go there.

LeeAnne: Thank you! I promise you I don’t wake up every morning all butterflies and rainbows. My grandmother was ALWAYS happy and never worried about life and growing up I saw an inner peace in her that I wanted. As I got older, I realized that peace is a choice, a choice we are allowed to make every day. So while I may not jump out of bed singing a happy little song, I choose, before I sit down to Facebook, what I would like to hear for that day. What would help me get inspired or encouraged to keep going. And then I post it to share with others and the dialogue that ensues ends up doing just that! My grandma always said, spread good will and GOOD will come! It’s one of my favorite quotes!

The Ride: Speaking of positivity, you made a positive contribution to the life of Lauren Scruggs, a young woman severely injured when she walked into a moving helicopter propeller. You were instrumental in a fundraiser which helped raise money to pay for her medical expenses. We know what acts of kindness do for the recipients, but what about the givers? What kind of impact had this had on you?

LeeAnne: A HUGE impact! I said YES before they could even finish asking me to emcee the event. I thought about what it must be like to wake up every morning and just for a quick second think, that was a horrible dream, and then remember — it’s real! My prayers continue to go out to Lauren and her whole family! I can’t imagine the emotional struggles not to mention the physical loss! I truly believe that with the amount of FAITH the Scruggs family has, Lauren will not only make a full recovery she will come back STRONGER and make a bigger difference in the world! God won’t bring you to it without bringing you THROUGH it!! I LOVE charity work! I love to help make a difference! I LOVE to HELP others!

The Ride: Back to the show: What should we expect to see from you this season?

LeeAnne: Confusion in who to believe, who to trust, who’s being truthful, and who to side with! It’s just good old fashioned DRAMA!! [grins]

The Ride: Finally, fill in the blank: My life is like__________

My life is like a box of chocolates! Every day I hope a fudge filled one and not a coconut cream one! Yuck!

Thanks so very much LeeAnne!

Follow LeeAnne on Twitter at @LeeAnne_Locken, on Facebook, and check out her website,
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Pretty Wild: Talking with Whitney Whatley of ‘Big Rich Texas’

•March 2, 2012 • 2 Comments

Style Network’s Big Rich Texas (BRT) pulls back the curtain on the country club set to reveal that the rich are just as messy as you and me. But much more fun to watch. (Sundays at 9/8 c)

On BRT, MILFy mothers, who appear on the show with their daughters, do battle with one another over one thing or the other. One of the dynamic mother and daughter duos is that of Bonnie Blossman and Whitney Whatley.

Bonnie, a self-described “Botoxian”, is more than familiar with the inside of a plastic surgeon’s office. But don’t let her Barbie-fied looks and Bettty Boop voice fool you into thinking that she isn’t working with the brain God gave her. It’s Dr. Bonnie to you, not in M.D., but PhD.

As for daughter Whitney, she’s a pre-med student who isn’t so sweet on school. So Mama B made a pact with Whitney  — if she gets all A’s, she gets a set of surgically enhanced…breasts.

Okay, so maybe the rich aren’t really like you and me.

A bit kooky and carefree, Bonnie and Whitney clash with the more conservative types at the club. Bonnie battles with Pamela Martin Duarte, “Queen P”, as I affectionately call her. And Whitney, well, let’s say she sincerely believes rules are meant for other people to follow and couldn’t quite understand what was so wrong with sporting a tattoo that rhymes with “punt” but is spelled with a “c”  or bringing a gun in her purse to the club.

I don’t see any problem with that, do you? But hey, forget country club, I’m not even a member of Sam’s Club.

Recently, The Ride stopped to chat with the fun fireball that is Whitney about BRT, her tattoos, her tatas, and why people should take her mom seriously.

The Ride: Hey Whitney! Thank so very much for taking the time to chat with me. Congratulations on the new season of Big Rich Texas. Despite some drawbacks of being on reality TV, like having your business out there giving folks a chance to give you the business, I’m sure one of the perks is having fun fans. What’s the nicest thing a fan has ever done for you?

Whitney: I have a lot of awesome fans! I absolutely love when there are people bashing me online (for no reason) and my fans have my back!!! That shows a lot in a person!

Whitney Whatley and Bonnie Blossman of Style Network's 'Big Rich Texas' (photo: Style Network)

The Ride: Your mom, Bonnie, and cast member Hannah’s mom, Pamela are not the best of friends to say the least.  What do you think is really at the bottom of their beefing?

Whitney: Who knows? [laughs]…If I did, then I would totally try to fix the problem!

The Ride: And how have you and Hannah remained friends through it all?

Whitney: We try to not let it get between us! At times it is really hard because we both have our mothers’ back!

The Ride: Okay, I have a confession to make: I may have at some point said something about your mom being a…”bubblehead”? I know she’s a PhD, because she told us so — as she should because how would we know? Why do you think folks like me, the underinformed or misinformed, have such an impression of your mom?

Whitney: I don’t know why…but very smart people come in all different ways. You don’t have to look or act like what we have stereotyped as a nerd! I also have two pictures for everyone to shut up about this topic!

Bonnie Blossom's Credentials (Photo Courtesy of Whitney Whatley)

Bonnie's Blossom's Diploma (Photo Courtesy of Whitney Whatley)

The Ride: What’s the best advice your mom ever gave you?

Whitney: Once a cheater always a cheater!

The Ride: Which other BRT mom would you have as you mom?

Whitney: None, I love my mom!

The Ride: Another confession, I may have also called you a “wild child”.  Am I way off base with that description?

Whitney: Well, I’m not a child but I do like to have fun!

The Ride: I love that you love tattoos. What was your first tattoo? Which one is your favorite? And how many DO you have?

Whitney: First tattoo was my Bamboo! My favorite tattoo is the Bamboo or my bows…[How many?] That’s a hard one! I have 15 and counting!  [smiles]

The Ride: I have to ask, why the obsession with getting new tatas, chichis, chesticles? Why can’t being fairly flat be where it’s at?

Whitney: [laughs uproariously] “Chesticles”… Love it! I have a one track mind and once I get it in my head I want something…I WANT IT! I won’t stop ’til I have it!

The Ride: Let’s talk Tyler, who at the request of his BRT mom, Leslie, took you for a ride in order to get a free ride into your mom’s social circle. He’s alright as far as young handsome boys go but why do you think you were so wildly attracted to him?

Whitney: I have no clue…I guess you can say new guy in town.

The Ride: What cool qualities would you like in a guy you’d like?

Whitney: I like a guy who is creative.

A Bit of Randomness

Favorite cookie?

Hmm…I don’t really like sweets.

Coffee, tea or something else altogether?

5hr Energy

Cats or dogs?


Love or lust?


I couldn’t live without my_______

Cell phone

I was born to _________

Parttyyyyy!!! Just kiddding.

What three words would you use to describe you?

Free-Spirit, Spontaneous, Caring

The Ride: Back to the show:  What can we expect to see from you this season? You can tell me. I won’t blab.

Whitney: You gotta watch to see!!! [smiles]

The Ride: Hey, you can’t blame a girl for trying, Thanks a lot Whitney! You Rock!!

You can connect with Whitney on Twitter (@WhitneyWhatley). And you can check out her website, here.

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Locked and Loaded: A Q&A with Stratight Shooter Pamela Martin Duarte of ‘Big Rich Texas’

Locked and Loaded: A Q&A with Straight Shooter Pamela Martin Duarte of ‘Big Rich Texas’

•February 15, 2012 • 6 Comments

Big Rich Texas is back and is doing it in style on the Style Network.

For those of you who don’t know and to remind those of you who do, Big Rich Texas (BRT) features country clubbing mother and daughter duos — friends, frenemies and full-fledged enemies — whose personalities are as big as the state itself.  Fans can get a first look at the new season when it begins on Sunday, February, 19 (9/8C).

Back to give them more hell than they can handle, is the somewhat self-appointed Queen of the more cultured set  Pamela Martin Duarte who is joined on BRT by daughter Hannah Gelbert Martin, a college student who just happens to be BFs with Queen P’s nemesis, Bonnie Blossman.

Pam’s clashes with bouncy, somewhat bubbleheaded Bonnie and social climber Leslie Birkland, who may or may not be trying to navigate around the truth, are the stuff of legends.

Whether she’s cutting someone down or cutting them a look, Pam never keeps you guessing as to what she really thinks. This gun enthusiast is a straight shooter who’s a straight shooter.

The Ride chatted with Pam who didn’t pull any punches when it came to talking about the show, her feelings on “the fun police,” and if she and Bonnie could ever be best buds.

The Ride: Hey Pam! Thanks for taking the time to chat. What is it like being on reality TV? Does it feel unreal at times?

Pam: I am having fun with it and yes it does feel unreal sometimes.

The Ride: What’s it like doing this — the reality TV thing — with your daughter, Hannah?

Pam: Hannah and I enjoy doing things together and we like to watch a few reality shows so why not be on one?

Pamela Martin Duarte and daughter Hannah Gelbart Martin of 'Big Rich Texas' (Photo by Kwaku Alston/The Style Network)

The Ride: Now that you’re known, do you get mobbed in the mall? Or do you even go to the mall?

Pam: I get a lot of “looks” and hear from a lot of people that I look familiar [laughs]. I typically tell them yes I have been told I have a familiar face. Some people come up and ask for a photo — which I never say no to any fan.

The Ride: I want to get to the bottom of why you butt heads with Bonnie. Leslie, I get. Bonnie, not so much. Bonnie seems sweet enough in an artificial sugar kind of way. What is it about her that makes you want to go off on her?

Pam: Bonnie drives me insane at times by her immature behavior. I cannot tolerate immature adults especially those that brag about being educated. I like to have fun but there is a time and a place for everything.

The Ride: Could you see yourself becoming best buds with her someday?

Pam: Probably not. Not unless she does an about face with her maturity because at this point in my life I enjoy being around fun, mature, smart, like-minded people.

The Ride: Which Big Rich Texas mom would you want as your mom?

Pam: Me, since I would not want any of the women on the show as my mom.

The Cast of Style Network's 'Big Rich Texas' (Photo by Kwaku Alston/The Style Network)

The Ride: Some might consider you the fun police — locked, loaded and ready to put a damper on a good time. What’s the wildest thing you’ve ever done for a wild time?

Pam: Everyone that knows me knows that I am a lot of fun and always have been. Bonnie and Leslie may have dubbed me the fun police due to the fact that every time I am around them they ALWAYS make a problem with me which in turn leaves me no choice but to set them straight.

I am not getting upset with them because I don’t like to have fun. I have to say that I have done a gazillion wild things in my life — too many to list. When I was in my early 20’s, I drove from Dallas to Denver to attend a Blue Oyster Cult concert. As of late craziness, my girlfriends and I organized a GNO (Girl’s Night Out) where we went to a country bar and rode the bull, drank tequila and danced with strangers!

The Ride: Speaking of locked and loaded, you are more than very comfortable around guns and you’re not afraid to use one — for sport, at least. Is there something cool about gals and guns?

Pam: I think that is it very sexy for a females to know about firearms and how to use them. Firearm knowledge is very empowering for females. I enjoy shooting very much.

The Ride: What’s one thing we’d be surprised to learn about you?

Pam: That I have been to 14 AC/DC concerts.

The Ride: What do you love about living in the Lone Star State?

Pam: So many things. It is a very easy state to live in where we have lots of culture, freedom and Texan pride. Nowhere but Texas baby!

The Ride: What three words you would use to describe the show other than, ‘big’, “rich” and “Texas”?

Pam: That’s a hard one! Hell, I don’t know what else to call it since the name fits very nicely.

A Bit of Randomness

________ is best served cold.


I would never __________

Not give thanks for all of my blessings and family and I would never not help someone if they needed help.

A lady always__________

Wears a memorable perfume.

Minnie Mouse or Miss Piggy?

Miss Piggy has style!

Bette Davis or Joan Crawford?

Bette for sure. Joan was crazy.

How many olives do you like in your martini?

Five and make it dirty and shaken, please.

The Ride: Back to the show: What can we expect to see from you this season? Should I brace myself?

Pam: YES fasten your lap belt because you can expect that there will be much more !#$$%*(*# and a lot more drama. You can follow me on Twitter@bigrichtexaspam.

The Ride: Finally, what is the best advice anyone has ever given you?

Pam: Live your best life and never feel like you can’t do something better than anyone else.

Thanks Pam!

Talk to Pam on Twitter at @BigRichTexasPam and get more info on Big Rich Texas, here.

Also take a peek at this Season 2 sneak peek.


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