Monday, August 5, 2013

Diogo Custodio - The Man Behind the Armor

When I saw the man get out of the limo in a suit of armor for The Bachelorette Season 9, I was intrigued. I know the producers encourage the contestants to find a "gimmick" that will make them stand out. But as I watched Diogo's quiet and humble demeanor, it didn't seem to match the elaborate steel sportcoat he was wearing.

I knew I wanted to know more about the man hiding behind the body shield. In doing this interview I only asked one thing...will the real Diogo Custodio please stand up? And he did...

Tell us about yourself...
I’m just so passionate about living. After having been through so much in life, I am now living a dream. Being in California, with this solid educational background and career, is even beyond all I have desired. 
 I was so poor in Brazil when I was a child. My family and I had tough times, where we had no food or shelter. It is painful thinking of the past, a past I don’t wish for anyone. It was so hard growing up that way.
On my 10th birthday my father came crying, saying that he couldn't afford a birthday cake for me to take to school. He looked inside my eyes and told me something that changed my life forever. He said, “Son, you can be the man you want in life, if you dream big, believe in yourself, have faith in God and work hard!”  That message stuck in my mind so strongly. It was a wake up call.

Since then, through scholarships, I joined private school, then graduated Bachelor’s, Master’s and PhD Degrees, in European and US at very-well accredited institutions. I wrote two books and a thesis, I am going for my third book after a few more missions in Africa. I have been to 32 countries and I can speak five languages.

Back in Brazil, my family is now provided with a good life. Mom takes care of less-fortunate people in our hometown. She is always moving like crazy trying to feed the hunger and find opportunities for people to have their lives back on track.  My sister is in law school. I am very proud of her and for providing her with the opportunity.

I spend my time engaged with the social cause. I have this need to help hungry people because I know well that hunger hurts so much.
A perfect Sunday is making sandwiches and baking cookies and taking them, with a smile and a hug, to my people less fortunate at the beach, at the park. I dream to share this with my wife and kids, in the future. I want them helping me to help more people. Life is a gift. Life is good. 
Love is the only thing missing in my life now. I need a woman who will allow me to make her the happiest girl on earth. Because I will!

Three words to describe you...
Blessed, Dreamer, Faith

Current project you would like to share...

I just want people helping people. If we all do just a little bit, we could save so many lives. Buy an extra bread, a few extra apples and give to people at the park. 

Teach your kids that people need help. Be thankful for the life you have, for the food you have on your table every day. Promote life, peace, happiness.  

Having once weighed 400 pounds, I also want to help over-weight people. I know how hard and sad it is to be so heavy. I’m still thinking about it and putting an action plan together...

What is the reason for your upcoming trip to Africa...

I will be volunteering in Mozambique. When I was in Europe I was fortunate to meet these grad school friends from Africa. They introduced me to the experience of helping kids in that continent.

I guarantee you, there’s no way to describe the amazing feeling of feeding, playing and holding a little angel in your arms. You could only understand what it's like being there and doing that. I feel so blessed that I can be part of their story. They sure have my heart. When I’m there, we bake cookies, play soccer, have fun... They won’t sleep before a kiss on their forehead, a very strong hug and a prayer. I can’t wait to be back there with them!

Person dead or alive you would most like to meet and why...

Mother Teresa of Calcutta, St. Francis and Nelson Mandela. They all inspire me with their life stories and their passion for helping others.

What is your 5 year vision...

I want to be married. In fact, my wife will have to accept two wedding parties, one here and one in Brazil! I want to have a little blessed and caring family and a dog. I'd like to live in California and take my family to visit my family in Brazil often. I want to teach my wife and kids many languages, travel the world, work hard and help people... I really don’t ask for much more than being happy and making people happy.

Tell us your story of how you came to be on The Bachelorette...

It all happened so suddenly and unexpected. I was in the middle of a very hectic work schedule, stressed out and missing my family. I was in Santa Cruz, CA, chilling at the beach one weekend and some people came to me and invited me for a meeting to talk about the possibility of being part of The Bachelorette.

I’ve always liked and believed in the show. I remember watching some episodes of Jason’s season with my mom in Brazil and telling her that maybe The Bachelorette would be the only reality show that I would say 'yes' to be part of. But I thought there’s no way they would look at me!

 Time passed by. I kept getting phone calls from producers and then I was invited for the first casting weekend in LA. I was incredibly sick that day. I could barely speak. I had an awful flu and fever and I couldn't even do the on-camera interview. That also explains some of my crazy answers in my bio (laughing). I was answering that huge questionnaire at 3 a.m., dying with fever.

I left LA certain that I had no chance with the opportunity. Really, I could not deliver at all that day. But my phone kept ringing.  
They sent me the contract and had me on the show. I still don’t know how/why. I am sure there were thousands of other contestants with a much better background and much better look, but they chose me.

My winter schedule is working 7 days a week (not joking), from a.m. to p.m. The ski industry is heavy in Tahoe, and I have a lot on my plate. So I had no chance, like the other guys, to watch the past shows, or to do any ‘home work’. I went to the show open-hearted, very naive, not expecting anything, without any strategy. I just wanted to be myself.

What were your thoughts behind the suit of armor...

I was told Des wanted to live a fairytale during her journey. We share a quite similar life story, both came from nothing. I was also living my fairytale in meeting such a princess. I thought it would be remarkable if I was bold enough to make an epic first impression.  I believe ANYTHING is valid when expressing love. Wellll...things did not work as well as we expected... (laugh)

By the way, we found the suit of armor in Hollywood, and I am not joking, it took 3 men to carry the entire costume. They estimated that the whole thing weighs 150 lbs. It was a real deal. God knows how painful it was to walk with that! (laugh)

Do I regret it? Yes and no. I wish I wasn't so nervous and could express myself better in words. I speak five languages, English is not the top one. But I promise you, normally I do much better than what you saw.

What I don’t like at all is the bio/official pictures. Man, I look bad. Really bad... (laugh) I am far from being handsome, but I have much better pictures than those by ABC...

Share one experience we didn't get to see...

Well, you guys really couldn't see anything, I left so quickly. Some people say, "I wish you would've stayed more, so we would see more of you". Well, I don’t know. When I first looked at Des’ eyes, I immediately didn't feel chemistry between us. It was right away and I am good with reading feelings. So, what’s the point of staying longer, you know what I mean? 

Every little thing happens for a reason. And I mean it. 
I cannot explain how I ended up being on the show, and why I thought that entrance was the best way to approach. I just know that all will make sense at some point in life. I also know that all went bad and wrong, ha ha. 

Something you guys don’t see at all, and I HATE it so much? Make-up. Man, I felt so uncomfortable every time I had to meet with a make-up artist... (laugh)

Which guys from the show are you most connected with and why?

-Jonathan is such a cool guy. Really, don’t judge the Fantasy Suite thing. The show put us in so much pressure and stress. The first night is so starts around 8 p.m. and ends around 6 a.m. next day.

-I’m a big fan of Brooks. We had great chats in the mansion. He has really genuine and good heart!

-Drew and Chris deserve only good things! They are really good guys.

-Zak W. is great! I want him to be the next bachelor!

-Among other great guys, I wish I was friends with everybody, but clearly not everybody wants to be my friend. Funny how they don’t even know me and they judge me. I tried chatting and approaching some after the show, but they thought I was too freak to hang with (their words). (laugh)

Three words to describe Des...
Blessed, Dreamer, Faith
(Yes, these are the same three words he used to describe himself.)

Prediction for this week...

I’m just praying and hoping Des will have a happy ending. We all deserve happiness and Des seems to be so special. I hope Brooks comes back for her and they have us all in joy! 

Then I hope Chris and Drew are now okay, with their minds at ease. A broken heart is really painful.

And I am hoping for Zak W. to be the next bachelor. He is such a cool guy, friendly, not arrogant at all, humble and fun. The real guy America wants to see in the next journey of love.

Anything else you would like BachelorNation to know about you...
My intention on the show was to find love. I have so much love to share. Hey, I’m not embarrassed repeating the “explosion” of feeling I have inside of me. 

I will keep dreaming with the opportunity to find my soulmate, my best friend, the woman that will allow me to make her just the happiest girl on this entire Universe! And this is gonna happen. There was never anything impossible for me, nothing I couldn't make happen :)

Bachelornation, thank you so much for all love and support. Every little follower on my twitter counts, and makes me smile. 
Just please promise me that you all will believe in your dreams, will believe that anything in this life is possible when you have faith in yourself. Never let yourself down, as there is always a way. 
Life is about miracles happening all the time. See the beauty in others, and PLEASE help the people struggling in life. Feed the hunger! Smile and hug others, expand love. 
Many blessing to all of you! :)

-Diogo Custodio
The guy with the suit of amor...

Photo's courtesy of The Bachelorette ABC, The Bachelor and Bachelorette Fans Forum and Diogo Custodio's Twitter.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Jeremiah James Korfe Interview and BOB-FM Part 2

Country Rockin' in the USA 

Jeremiah James Korfe, gifted singer, songwriter and musician, shares about his life and music career one year post reality TV show, Sweet Home Alabama. 

In part 2 of the BOB-FM interview, Jeremiah talks about the farming connection to his latest release, "Sun Up to Sun Down", his upcoming plans for writing music in LA and Nashville and tells fans about an opportunity to be in the filming for his music video, "Fearless Gal".

Looking to the future BOB FM Part 2:

Here are a few "behind the scene" tidbits about what Jeremiah is currently working on:

What inspired you to write this song Jeremiah? 
The song, "Sun Up to Sun Down", I was just in the combine and all of a sudden I'm like, 'sun up to sun down, me and my old man turn the ground' and then the melody just came to me, the hooky progression. And off that, I started writing the rest around the chorus. The song features instrumentals by the guys in the country group Big and Rich.

Exactly what is a hooky progression? 
A hook is a musical or lyrical phrase that stands out and it's catchy and memorable. It's often the melody that grabs the ear of the listener. It's a pretty essential part of writing music.

How can I hear this amazing song? 

For a free download, click here:

Once you hear it you will have to add it as part of your music collection! 

You can get it from iTunes here:

What else are you currently working on?
We're going to be shooting film for the "Fearless Gal" video.

How did you come up with the idea for the song, "Fearless Gal"
I was contacted by Don at Kruger Farms to write a song for his women's clothing line, KF Fearless. I actually started with the chorus because I had a list of words that he wanted in the song. I have a couple of cousins that are really cute and fun and love being out in the country and doing country stuff. I also have a couple of buddies of mine, their wives and girlfriends are the same way and I was dating Paige at the time. So I looked at the whole grand picture of what my family does and what a country boy would want in a fearless woman and wrote the song around that. The song was actually recorded in Rascal Flatts studio.

Tell me about the "Fearless Gal" contest:

People would submit their pictures to Kruger Farms and tell us why they are fearless in the outdoors, it's like, tell us your story. Then people voted basically on the pictures. The girl that won is a Minnesota girl, she was in the military, likes to hunt and fish, stuff like that. 

So the winner will be featured in your "Fearless Gal" music video?
Yeah. I'm writing the treatment for the music video to basically fit around her personality, who this fearless gal is, what makes her fearless. Then we're going to start filming the video on the 25th and finish it on the 27th.

Pictures courtesy of Kruger Farms and Jeremiah James Korfe's Facebook page.

To see Part 1 of the BOB FM interview, click here:

Follow Jeremiah James on Twitter here:  @followjeremiah
Like his facebook page here:
Download his amazing music on iTunes here:  Jeremiah James Korfe on iTunes
Listen to his music, on here:  Jeremiah James Korfe music on CMT

Monday, July 22, 2013

Jeremiah James Korfe - A Journey Back to Light

The ‘real’ reality of falling in love on reality TV, is that sometimes love isn’t enough. Despite best efforts,
there are times when responsibilities, goals, living locations, and yes, even unwillingness to compromise, get in the way of living happily ever after.

These challenges are not exclusive to reality TV. It happens to people all over the world, every single day. 

It happens to people in the privacy of their lives and it's shared within their intimate circles of support. 

One bitter cold Minnesota day the end of November, Jeremiah James Korfe 
and Paige Duke made a difficult decision to privately end their very 
public relationship. And so begins the task for Jeremiah of how to live this new and unwelcome life. 

Change is inevitable and it comes without invitation. It’s how we embrace that change that shows the true integrity of our character.

How do we find a way to break through the vast landscape of heartache and start living again? 

The lessons we learn along the way will eventually make us stronger.

When faced with the darkest of nights, 
even during the brightest of days, it 
was difficult for Jeremiah to see the light. 

For a writer of beautiful songs and melodies, the words and notes were locked deep inside. The steel walls that were erected to protect a healing heart had also blocked the ebb and flow of creativity that was dying to be set free.

Surrounded by friends with a shared passion for writing music, 
a phrase or thought would come to Jeremiah's mind. Helping other people 
write, was a safe place for him to start over, taking it one small step at a time. 

One unexpected moment, while alone with a trusted friend, the floodgates opened. An outpouring of each carefully guarded feeling and emotion flowed from Jeremiah, until there was nothing left but complete emptiness.

The dawn of a new day begins and the lesson is a simple one; it isn’t until we are completely empty of ourselves, that we can be filled with light.

True happiness cannot come from others, it must come from within.

A glimmer of hope starts to shine in the pictures of sunsets. and with each sunrise, comes a new beginning.

During the everyday tasks of living, a melody or rhythm alights in Jeremiah's mind. On the bike riding, in the field planting, or at the house working, a thought or story line takes root. 

Time soothes like a balm and life goes on.

The daily routine brings a healing of sorts and a new journey is on the horizon. 

Let the journey begin...

Follow Jeremiah James on Twitter here:  @followjeremiah
Like his facebook page here:
Download his amazing music on iTunes here:  Jeremiah James Korfe on iTunes
Listen to his music, on here:  Jeremiah James Korfe music on CMT

Pictures courtesy of Jeremiah James Korfe's Twitter and Facebook pages, BuddyImages and CMT.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Jeremiah James Korfe USA Cup and BOB FM Interview Part 1

Rockin' in the USA 

Despite the sweltering heat index of 100 degrees, Jeremiah James Korfe gave the performance of his life at the USA Cup 2013 Soccer Tournament in Blaine, Minnesota.

With over 10,000 people from all over the world, the night was full of dazzling color. From diverse flags and rich skin tones, to a rainbow of fireworks in the sky, it was a feast for the eyes.  

But what still remains with me four days after the show, is the beautiful music that is floating and swaying in my mind like a lily pad in a pond. 

This was my first opportunity to hear my favorite From Joyce and brand new Jeremiah James Korfe songs performed by his full band. 

Every note was played with enthusiastic precision, while every melody was sung out with gut-wrenching passion. The rhythm of the music beats with your heart, until it feels as if they are one in the same.

If I'm being completely honest, the thing that impressed me the most was Jeremiah's ability to connect with others. Whether it's patiently signing autographs, posing for pictures or singing a song, each person felt his exuberance for life.

The audience
Jeremiah jumped up and down from the stage to sing at their level. The warm twinkle when making eye contact, made it feel like they were a friend. He joked with kids and elders alike, as if the 20 years that separated them never existed. 

It's this down-to-earth humbleness that sets him apart from any other performer I've seen. 

Not the intense heat, failing equipment, pesky mosquitoes, or pure exhaustion stopped Jeremiah from making sure the very last person that left the stadium had a smile on their face and a heart that was full.

With only a few hours of sleep and no morning coffee, it was clear that we were both riding the wave from the night before. Jeremiah was excited to share his passion for music at the BOB-FM morning show. We were there bright and early, along with the birds. I think we were "Tweeting" right along with them! 

It was a familiar setting, a comfortable place, but the atmosphere felt more serene. Circumstances had changed in the year since we had last been there. I couldn't help feeling a bit nostalgic and even a little sad. But it's how we embrace change that shows our true integrity. 

BOB-FM Interview Part 1

This will give you a brief glimpse of the bumpy path Jeremiah has worn out his oldest pair of comfortable leather boots on. 

It will also give you a glimpse of his brand new pair of Corral boots to start a new journey on familiar, yet uncharted paths. 

You won't be able to hear it in his words, but it's there if you look for it.

Twitter: @followjeremiah

Pictures courtesy of Jeremiah James Korfe and me!
Permission granted from BOB-FM to post the interview to YouTube

Don't forget to watch part 2 of the BOB-FM interview and pieces of my personal conversation with Jeremiah. 

Saturday, June 22, 2013

The Bachelorette Desiree Hartsock Episode 4

When I heard Des Hartsock was going to be the next Bachelorette, I was thrilled. She was a fun, bubbly and enthusiastic contestant on Sean Lowe's season. I wish we were seeing more of that this season. Show us the Des we fell in love with, please!

I'd like to give a special shout-out to Love_Me at Bachelor and Bachette Forums, for not only allowing me the use of her screencaps, but for making special pics at my request, solely for your viewing pleasure! Thanks, Love!

Life and Love on the Jersey Shore

They guys wait with baited breath to 
find out the first stop on their world tour.

I need a cuppa jo.

I need to flex my abs in the shower.

Did Chris Harrison just say Atlantic City? 

I just wanna kiss Des. 

Now where did I put those pumps?

Yes! I feel a poem coming on...

I feel a reciting of Shakespeare coming on...

My first time on a plane with 13 dudes!

You're good to go, James Mikey. I got it.
(Thanks for correcting me M!)

Real men don't use Kleenex. 

Who is going to get the catapult?

Just give me a moment to meditate.

Congrats dude. At least you don't have to 
sit around here all day like the rest of us.

Who's walkin' down the 
streets of the city,
Smiling at everybody she sees...

Wow! How did you just happen to be all here waiting for me?

I really wanted some cotton candy.  
Where is Elan?

Maybe not always.

Things always happen on a carousel. 

Des dreams of feeding Brad eating chocolate.

Brad dreams of knocking over the sand castle with Maddex.

Did you say something? All I can hear is crickets chirping.

We're taking the scene when I give you the boot, from the top...literally.

Sorry Brad, I'm not the girl to complete your family.

Let me zip my pants before the suitcase bandit arrives.

I wonder if he can get back to the lighthouse 
before Brad gets back down the 800 steps...

Let the Hodgepodge of Tom Foolery Begin...

Des is excited to see the swimwear competition!

Mikey is excited to meet Miss America! Is she inside?

Drew is secretly hoping for a mankini. 
Will the stars align?

Zak is hoping for another abs shot. So are we...

Chris is hoping for a new pair of stiletto's...

Juan Pablo is hoping to be reunited with his soccer ball...

Practice Makes Perfect

Explore yourselves for a talent that works for you. Huh?

I can't wait to perform this in front of a live audience. Really?

I got this. Serious romanticism. Agree!

Are you smarter than a 5th grader?

Who's got the best set of legs?

Who is the best baton 
twirler in the house?

What relationship skill do you need to improve upon?

Maybe taking her out to dinner a few more times than is necessary. 

Mmmm...this foot in my mouth tastes good. 

What is something that most women don't understand about men?

In my experience, most women see me as a meathead.

Now let me show you why.

A Splash of Color

Sometimes there are just no words...

Sorry, Drew...I got the Speedo, bro. 

Some dudes have all the luck.

Remember to give a wave to the judges...

How's it going Mr. Mayor?

Who's Got Talent?

3rd Runner-up is Chris. Okay, I totally made that up
because this takes guts...or something.

2nd Runner-up, Brooks breaks the mold...or the Ukulele.

1st Runner-up, Zak sings his way to #1 in my book...or blog.

But the winner of  the first and last Mr. America Pageant is Kasey...

...for tapping into his talent to bust a the top of the 11-pack.

Who's Going to Make a Big Splash?

Ben causes a ripple effect for flaunting his connection with Des in front of the guys.

Des makes a splash by playing a little water footsie with Brooks.

Juan Pablo is making waves in the hot tub. Steamy.

Chris dives right into Des' heart with that poem he felt coming on...

...and gets a reward for his efforts.

But it's Zak that drops the cannonball by singing the "rest of the song" in perfect harmony... 

...receiving the coveted group date rose.

Bachelornation Gives Back

Hurricane Sandy Shakes up the Jersey Shore
And viewing it from above shakes up Des and James. 

Heartfelt emotions at seeing the total devastation firsthand.

Manny and Jan: The Epitome of Weathering the Storm

Being allowed a small lens into this very special couple's lives...unbelievable.

Giving Manny and Jan dinner and a private concert with Darius Rucker...priceless.

Seeing Manny's reaction to the generosity of Des and the producers...emotional.

Restoration of the wedding album by the American Red Cross...unforgettable.

Not a dry eye to be found in the 
viewing audience...gut-wrenching.

Every roadblock was a chance to say, take my hand I'm here beside you...true believers.

While eating pizza...

James confesses to cheating on his ex-girlfriend of 5 years.

Did you have to wreck the 
moment with a confession?

But Des says she appreciates James' honesty, 
feels he is trustworthy and gives him the rose.

 Des Knows How to Have Fun ;)

NOT in the Friend Zone

We get it with Chris...
But Michael and Drew?
Who knew?

Who Will Roll Their Way Out of 
the Jersey Shore?

Sweet but Silent Zack!

Sneak peek at next week!

Bryden interrupts Des and Chris on their 1:1 date. 

Group date on a snow-covered mountain.

The dreaded 2:1 in a hottug. Who will stay, who will go?