What should I be doing instead of this?
by Jac Kern 03.21.2013
Posted In: TV/Celebrity at 10:50 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Beardwatch 2013

Weekly 'Survivor' recap featuring Cincy's Matt Bischoff (and sometimes Reynold Toepfer)

Watch this week’s episode of Survivor: Caramoan – Fans vs. Favorites, "Operation Thunder Dome" here. It’s been two weeks since the survivors first stepped foot on the island, and after the elimination of a couple wildcards, both teams finally feel something of a sense of unity. Perfect time for a tribe swap! At what the tribes believe to be an immunity challenge, Jeff Probst gives everyone an “egg” to smash on their bodies. The color of the egg’s insides will determine the new tribes.The Gota tribe is now: Reynold (fan), Eddie (fan), Andrea (fave), Malcolm (fave), Sherri (fan), Erik (fave) and Brenda (fave). The new Bikal tribe is: Matt (fan), Corrine (fave), Philip (fave), Michael (fan), Cochran (fave), Julia (fan) and Dawn (Fave). Our Cincinnati boys are split up once again — this time not by alliance, but by tribe. The new tribes are sent away with a fresh bag of rice and another flint. By strength alone, it looks like Gota now has an advantage, but our dude Matt has moved to the luxury camp, so maybe he and the others will be able to recharge and rebound. The Gota tribe, specifically Eddie and Reynold (from this point on referred to collectively as Reddie), is ecstatic with the switch-up. They new tribe describes themselves as “gods” and “the young, attractive tribe,” very confident that they will win any challenge that comes their way. Reddie immediately throws Sherri under the bus, explaining to the favorites on their team that she aligned with everyone on the original tribe besides Reddie. But the faves are smarter than to buy into whatever he says — Eric describes Reynold as a “used car salesman — He’s got his beautiful baby blue eyes and he’s talkin’ the talk, but it’s definitely not what it seems.”                                                       “What’s it going to take to put this car in your garage today?” Sherri also blabbed to the faves about her issues with Reddie, giving the favorites something of an advantage. When the favorites know the previous team's weaknesses, it makes it much easier to eliminate them one by one. The favorites also appear to be running the show over in the new Bikal tribe. Corrine is giddy about having “a gay” (Michael) on her team, but keeps a firm stance on staying true to the faves. Philip approaches Julia (who, bless her heart, has barely gotten five minutes of screen time in this whole series) about “flipping,” meaning to turn against her original tribe to join the favorites alliance, which comes off a bit too strong — to Julia and to the other favorites. At the immunity challenge, Bikal is clearly the underdog, lagging behind from the start. Or as Jeff explains, “Bikal appears to be on some kind of medication, they’re so slow.” Thanks, dude. It's no surprise when they lose and have to go to tribal council. Michael and Matt approach Philip to see what his plans are for the elimination. He wants to vote off “the girl,” (Julia) and spouts off a bunch of cray about "Stealth R Us." Matt and Michael agree to vote her off and eat up the secret agent bullshit — anything to keep Philip on their side.                              "Yes, this totally makes complete sense. Go on."When the favorites convene, they decide to vote off either Julia (the weakest, in their eyes) or Matt (who they are convinced does not have an immunity idol, and who is close to another fan, Michael). “God save the gay!” Corinne says, happy that Michael is safe. She knows either Julia or Matt has to go, but says Matt shouldn’t be punished for being open and friendly, when all Julie has contributed is a “nasally voice.” Ouch. In the end, it was Matt’s honesty that bit him in the ass. The Bikal faves were most concerned about a hidden immunity idol and they knew he did not have one. He was voted off 4-3.                                 And with this, 'Survivor' proverbially takes a razor to its beard, shaving away all of my reasons to watch the show Beardwatch may be coming to the end, but this is surely not the last we’ll see of Matt “The Beard” Bischoff. Maybe we're biased, but we think he’d make an awesome candidate for a future favorite! May the force of the beard be with you all.
by Jac Kern 03.14.2013
Posted In: TV/Celebrity at 11:47 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Beardwatch 2013

Weekly 'Survivor' recap featuring Cincy’s Matt Bischoff (and sometimes Reynold Toepfer)

Watch this week’s episode of Survivor: Caramoan – Fans vs. Favorites, "Persona Non Grata" here. Warning: It's almost week two on an island for these guys and watching this episode made me really itchy. (Skip to the last minute to check out a preview of next week’s ep, "Operation Thunder Dome") What a brain-numbingly dumb episode. Since, last week, Reynold played his immunity idol and the majority Gota alliance voted off one of their own (Laura), the fans seem a little more evenly matched and less divided post-council. This week’s reward challenge requires two members of each tribe to keep a net elevated by holding a rope. The rest of the survivors must then try to throw coconuts into the nets of their opponents. The heavier the nets, the more difficult it becomes to hold them off the ground. Matt and Michael take on the nets for the fans while Brandon and Phillip hold it down for the faves. The reward is a barbeque, complete with meats, veggies, bread and wine. As the coconuts pile in, the nets become extremely heavy. Once again, Reynold excelled, not seeming to miss a single throw. Brandon was the first to let go, then Matt and Michael, giving the favorites yet another win. Back at Gota’s camp, the search for the hidden immunity idol begins again. And because the number one rule of Survivor is that it pays to be attractive, Reynold found it again! And so “the bulge” returns. "This is how you play Survivor!" Reynold says, noting he needs to keep it more of a secret this time. But he immediately tells his homegirl, Eddie.                                                              #prettypeople4lyfe! Over in Bikal, a dumb egotistical tiff between Brandon and Phillip ending with Brandon expressing that he hopes he doesn't lose control... So who can guess what happens later?! The weather on the island has been pretty rough, with heavy rains continuing for two straight days. Cut to Matt’s gnarly feet:                                              "My feet just look like a dead person's feet" The other tribe has received multiple rewards that have helped bolster their shelter, but all of the fans’ possessions are completely soaked. Matt wishes upon a raindrop the something good come their way… Over at the favorites tribe, Phillip decides the team should throw the upcoming immunity challenge in order to get rid of Brandon. Word gets around faster on this island than a junior high cafeteria, so Brandon gets wind of the plan almost immediately. And HE PISSED. Because, logically, you’re more of a man if you sabotage yourself than facing the challenge at hand, Brandon storms the team’s shelter and dumped their pots of beans and rice onto the jungle floor, shouting completely sane things like, “I’m the author of my fate!” and “What now, bitch?” Later that day, as the tribes meet for the immunity challenge, the omniscient Jeff Probst asks Brandon how things were going. Brandon requests to address the other tribe. He rambled a bunch of hard-to-follow smack about how the fans will have an opportunity to make this a real game, and to not let Phillip get too far. Corrine interrupts to announce that Bikal would like to forfeit the challenge, and handle this issue in tribal council. Jeff invited the visibly unstable Brandon to join him on neutral ground, where B rants on about controlling his own fate — despite the obvious outcome of any scenario is Brandon going home — and Jeff proceeds to give him what appeared to be a deep tissue massage. After minutes of childlike bickering, escalating accusations, Jeff awards immunity (albeit by default) to Gota and holds tribal council right then and there. With a farewell shoulder rub, Jeff sends Brandon off (not allowing him to return to the camp).Cue the music:   Next week: Philip plans to take out Corrine and vice versa, but is a team switch-up on the way?
by Jac Kern 03.08.2013
at 10:17 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Beardwatch 2013

Weekly ‘Survivor’ recap featuring Cincy’s Matt Bischoff (and sometimes Reynold Toepfer)

Watch this week’s episode of Survivor: Caramoan – Fans vs. Favorites, "Kill or Be Killed" here. (Skip to the last minute to check out a preview of next week’s ep, "Persona Non Grata") With Reynold’s alliance down to just him and Eddie, the duo was pretty pissed that Matt’s alliance has turned on them twice. “[The Gota tribe] got rid of Hope tonight because she was the prettiest one here and she was a threat to everyone because of that,” Eddie said, angry that Laura, who performed poorly in the last challenge, was not up for elimination. In a reward challenge, tribes competed for a chance to hang with a local bushman (later described as a “Filipino Gollum.” Nice.) who will show the survivors how to live off the land, then cook them a meal. The competition ended with all eight tribe members having to balance on a tiny platform in the water. It appeared everyone on Gota was on the platform except Matt, who was never quite able to get his foot above the line. Fans lost for the third time in a row Andrea from the victorious Bikal tribe recognized that this reward would have been especially helpful to the down-and-out fan team, and that "really boosted the morale of our tribe even more.” Back at the Gota tribe, Shamar continued his narcoleptic behavior and insisted that in order for him to continue the team must serve him rice every day. Once again, Shamar’s bad attitude and laziness gives both Gota alliances something to agree upon — dude has got to go. But would they actually follow through? The night just got rougher as storms and a flock of rats made their way through the camp. By morning, it appeared Shamar was ready to throw in the towel — for real this time. He claimed some sand had scratched his eye and after some dramatic scenes of Shamar holding his head in his hands, host Jeff Probst and a medical team came to his aid. As a medic checked for abrasions on Shamar’s eye, holding his lids open and poking around, Probst found it was a perfectly good time to have a heart-to-heart and discuss Shamar’s “ups and downs.” After a quick examination, the medic discovered multiple abrasions on Shamar’s cornea that would affect his vision. She advised him to leave the island to get his eye treated by a doctor at home. The tribe was called in to get the news and everyone pretended to be really sorry the big baby would be leaving. In a separate immunity challenge, the fans got off to a slow start, but Matt definitely pulled his weight.                                                                           Go Go Gadget Arms! © CBSIt was a close finish, thanks to Reynold’s carnival game skillz, but the team’s lagging start caused them to lose. Again. Although Reynold and Eddie are on Matt’s opposing alliance, Matt recognized that they are the two strongest players. He approached members of both alliances to suggest they all vote off the weakest player, which is obviously Laura. The women are nervous that, in turn, they will be picked off one-by-one and Eddie and Reynold straight up don’t trust Matt. Did our dude just become a target? At tribal council, Reynold finally played the hidden immunity idol he found a couple episodes ago. But it turns out he didn’t even need to, because at least four out of the seven members voted for Laura, sending her home. Hopefully this is a smart move that will help the Gota tribe win a damn challenge.One thing Survivor is sorely missing is more one-on-ones with Matt. Check out this unaired gem: Be sure to follow Matt "The Beard" Bischoff on Facebook for previews, episode photos and info about watch parties with The Beard himself.
by Jac Kern 02.28.2013
Posted In: TV/Celebrity, Is this for real? at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
bischoff 2

Beardwatch 2013

'Survivor' recap featuring Cincy's Matt Bischoff (and sometimes Reynold Toepfer)

Survivor: Caramoan – Fans vs. Favorites airs every Wednesday at 8 p.m. on CBS. Watch this week’s episode, “There’s Gonna Be Hell To Pay” here. (Skip to the last minute to check out a preview of next week’s ep, “Kill Or Be Killed.") This recap primarily follows the fans because the local Matt Bischoff and ex-Cincinnatian Reynold Toepfer are part of that tribe and I pretty much fast forward through all other scenes. Even though Matt's alliance (six of the 10 Gota "fan" tribe members) voted off Allie last week, this week's episode opened with a very livid Shamar leaving tribal council. The Iraq War vet who seems to rub everyone the wrong way was angry that his name (voted by the four pretty people) was even on the chopping block. But his fury wasn't just directed at the three remaining cool kids. All of Gota felt his wrath, including Cincy's favorite beardo.                                   Matt shaking his finger in Shamar’s face — something he was not allowed to discuss in a previous interview Reynold continued his reign of douchiness by calling the vote to send Allie home "revenge of the nerds." Hey, Reynold: less bullshit, more bulge. Thanks. Sherri talked about how she owns fast food franchises so she knows how to deal with awful teenagers, and hence, Shamar. Despite his apparently unbearable demeanor, she wants to keep him around. Shamar mentioned wanting to quit the game for about 30 seconds, but later decided he's "not gonna be the angry black man on Survivor." His revelation included an emotional story about being a a veteran and adjusting to life post-war. Everyone quickly dried their tears and headed to the Immunity challenge, where the reward was "comfort" (beach chairs, a couple throw pillows, tarp and rope). It was a very close race, but the fans lost once again. At council, Shamar pulled out the classic reality show line — "They're trying to throw me under the bus!" — when the tribe pretty much collectively said that Shamar is a big old asshole. The votes came in: three for Shamar, three for Hope and three for Eddie. You know what that means? It's time for a #revote! (WHO is seriously live-tweeting Survivor?). Hope was voted out. Looks like Matt's alliance won't even turn on the utterly deplorable Shamar! Next week: Rat hurricane! I really can’t believe people watch this regularly.
by Jac Kern 02.27.2013
Posted In: TV/Celebrity at 09:12 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

I Just Can't Get Enough

Jac's roundup of pop culture news and Internet findings

Beardwatch 2013 Last week on Survivor, most of the episode was devoted to the Bikal tribe, aka the Favorites. Our homeboy Matt Bischoff didn’t get a ton of airtime, but was selected to join an alliance with Sherri, Laura, Julia, Shamar and Mike. The other alliance, referred to as “The Lovers,” is comprised of the four attractive people who bonded early on their collective attractiveness. When Gota got their buts kicked in the immunity/reward challenge, Cincy-born Reynold Toepfer immediately addressed his issues with Shamar. The Iraq War veteran, who started a tiff with Matt last week, prefers to “conserve energy” and do crazy Pilates stretches over wasting time fishing, securing the shelter or doing pretty much anything else.                                                               Feel the burn!After Reynold spoke his peace, he proverbially slipped in an extra chair at the popular kids’ lunch table and asked Matt to join the pretty people’s decision and vote Shamar off, going against Matt’s original alliance. Later, Reynold found a hidden immunity idol (which is a thing?) that protects whoever’s in possession from elimination. After hiding the object in his pants, trying to keep it secret, Laura immediately noticed a telling “bulge” and knew the plan to eliminate one of the Lovers was foiled. Clearly, this was all just a producer’s plot to get people to talk about Reynold’s “bulge.” Success! Unfortunately, Reynold did not give his immunity idol to cuddle buddy Allie, and the blonde got six out of 10 votes (Matt stuck with his original alliance). Looks like there’s more space at the popular table! Speaking of locals on TV, it looks like Cincy has their own Sons of Anarchy (I wish). You know how at the end of every Law and Order episode, a message states that the stories are not based on actual events? Well, we all know that’s a bunch of bullshit, and this week’s upcoming episode of Special Victims Unit couldn’t make that any more clear. Via Dlisted: A famous young Hip Hop couple in a physical dispute screams “Chris and Rihanna!” but, in SVU world, the abuser done gets killt! People love it when local products make national news. The latest: BuzzFeed’s list of “Cincinnati Foods That Are Better Than Yours.” Sure, you’ve got the ubiquitous Skyline and Montgomery Inn (yawn, sorry), but there are some fresh Cincy exports like Tom + Chee’s grilled cheese donut, Kings Island’s blue soft-serve and portable yums from It’s Just Crepes. Check nearly any humor blog/Internet recreation site and you’ll likely find a list of the “Worst Tattoos EVAR” complete with misspellings, poor drunken decisions and unfortunate portraits. Also, you’ll probably see this picture. Well, not anymore — Scott Versago of Akron’s Ohio Ink Studios fixed the butchered tat! Channeling my guilty pleasure crush Oliver Peck (panel judge on Ink Master and ex-husband of Kat Von D — don’t judge me), I have to say the “new” tat has entirely too much dark shading, but it’s certainly an improvement and looks much more like the original woman who passed away. The Oscars were kind of fun this year. Seth MacFarlane didn’t attack us with his arsenal of voices (though many saw his jokes as misogyny at its finest) and the awards were pretty spread out among the films (as opposed to the usual one or two favorites). But after watching Saturday’s Film Independent Spirit Awards, no other movie awards show will match up. The much-funnier-than-MacFarlane Andy Samberg hosted, the show is uncensored on IFC and the evening was brought to us by Jameson, an apparently magical ingredient for a high-larious evening. And, yes, independent films are way cooler than Lincoln. The night kicked off with the award for Best First Screenplay (See what I mean? What a cool award.) As the camera panned around to all the nominees, Derek Connolly (of the perfectly surreal Safety Not Guaranteed) took a giant swig of what appeared to be a wine glass full of Jameson (each table had a half gallon!). To his surprise, Connolly won and went on to make a speech that stumbled along for more than six minutes (this was what appeared to be the only time the show was cut/censored), ending with a fabulous moment with the one and only Bryan Cranston. Check out this moment and more highlights: And one last Oscars gripe: I was enraged to see Channing Tatum perform an entire dance sequence onstage without tearaway pants, Ginuwine's "Pony" or a single pelvic thrust. They totally overlooked a potential Magic Mike nod and I don't appreciate it.

Matt Bischoff: He's a Survivor, He's Not Gon' Give Up

0 Comments · Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Survivor starts its 26th(!) season this week and the Queen City will see one of its own on the show as local BMX rider, entrepreneur and musician Matt Bischoff joins the “Fans vs. Favorites” showdown.  
by Danny Cross 01.11.2013
Posted In: TV/Celebrity at 04:12 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)
bischoff 2

Local BMX Dude to Appear on 'Survivor'

See Matt Bischoff and his sweet beard in the show's season premiere Feb. 13

Anyone affiliated with BMX in Cincinnati knows Matt Bischoff. The 38-year-old, bearded BMX warrior and all-around good dude hosted one of the region’s best sets of BMX trails in his Anderson Township backyard in the late ’90s.  Since that time, he’s gotten married, had two kids, founded a BMX company called Failure Bikes and built even more backyard trails and ramps. Bischoff has pretty much kept it real, maintaining his BMX lifestyle while growing up and settling down in Cincinnati’s stodgy East Side.  (Full disclosure: The author of this blog has known Bischoff for 15 years and used to shred his trails all the time.) So it only makes sense that his most recent endeavor was to offer his lifestyle to the rest of the world via participating in one of TV’s most popular reality shows (right?). The man who affectionately goes by “Beardo” and “The Beard” is one of 20 contestants on Survivor: Caramoan — Fans vs Favorites, which premiers Feb. 13.  Bischoff couldn’t officially speak with the media on Jan. 11, the day CBS announced the cast, but if he could have he probably would have said something like, “I don’t know, man. Survivor was crazy. It ruuuled.” CityBeat will ask the appropriate CBS PR person for an opportunity to speak with our friend soon.  This particular Survivor format involves 10 new contestants in one tribe trying to out-survive 10 people who previously participated in other seasons of the show but didn’t win. Among Bischoff’s tribes-people are a former Miss Missouri winner, a female racecar driver and former United States Marine Corps Sgt. Shamar Thomas, who is Internet famous for yelling at New York City cops for intimidating Occupy Wall Street protesters. Survivor host Jeff Probst told Entertainment Weekly the weather is a problem during this season and there are evacuations and things “out of the norm.” Probst also said there’s some type of love connection (probably just people infatuated with Bischoff’s massive beard). Here’s Bischoff’s official bio at cbs.com. He answered the question of, “If you could have three things on the island, what would they be and why?” with: “1) My iPod — I constantly listen to music. It is a huge part of my life. I also would want to view photos of my wife and kids. 2) A pen and notebook — to work on song lyrics and keep a daily diary. 3) A video camera — to film myself doing wild stuff!” And here’s 16 seconds of him doing some BMX stunts:
by Mike Breen 02.08.2012
Posted In: Music Commentary at 01:06 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Politics of Inappropriate Campaign Songs

Why do conservatives keeping using campaign music by liberal artists?

There have been an increasing number of examples — especially in the past decade — of conservative politicians using songs in their campaigns by artists who do not want their music used in that way. Recently, a member of Survivor who owns the copyright for the Rocky III anthem, "Eye of the Tiger," asked Newt Gingrich to stop using the song at rallies (the problem being that not only is the song being used in public, but it also ends up soundtracking YouTube clips from the same rally and lives on eternally on the web). Likewise, British Funk/Rock band The Heavy freaked when Newt's people blared their "How You Like Me Now?" hit to rile up supporters. It almost seems like these occurrences happen on a weekly basis now. Usually, when asked to cease use, the politicians' campaigns comply immediately. But, with it happening so frequently, wouldn't a campaign manager be a little more aware of the music they're deciding to co-opt? And if a campaign refuses, are there really any legal ramifications?

Read More