Zack Tirana


Unpolished: Long Island’s Latest Reality Show Debuts Sunday on TLC

L. to R.: Jennifer, Bria, Lexi, and Foxy Martone. Courtesy of TLC

Get your popcorn. The latest Long Islanders to take a turn on the reality show roller coaster is the Martone family, who run a salon in East Northport. The show, Unpolished, debuts Sunday on TLC.

The series follows Lexi, a nail artist who specializes in over-the-top 3-D nail art, her hair colorist/makeup artist sister/business partner, Bria, and their mother, Jennifer, who keeps them organized, and the sisters’ stylist grandmother, Foxy. Together they run Salon Martone while juggling some TV-worthy drama along the way.

“Long Island women: Everything always has to be the biggest and the best,” Lexi says in a 10-minute teaser that TLC posted on its website. “And they are tough to please. There’s a lot of pressure on us because we want to be Long Island’s go-to salon.”

Prior reality shows shot on LI include the 2013’s Princesses: Long Island about six Jewish girls in their 20s who live with their parents, and 2014’s Secrets and Wives about a half dozen married women, both of which lasted one season on Bravo. Logo has aired Fire Island, about six gay men summering in Cherry Grove, for two seasons starting in 2017. And most notably, Growing Up Gotti, following the lives of late mob boss John Gotti’s daughter, Victoria, and her three kids, lasted three seasons on A&E, while Long Island Medium is pushing season 14 of Theresa Caputo communicating with the dead.

As for the Martones, the web teaser suggests there will be no shortage of colorful familial tension fueled by plenty of meatballs and the contents of jewel-encrusted flasks. And, of course, plenty of salon talk.

“There’s really no other salon on Long Island that’s like us,” Lexi says. “Everything is over the top. Nothing is subtle. Extra is our middle name.”

The hour-long premier of Unpolished airs at 10 p.m. Nov. 17 on TLC.

Jimmy Kimmel Turns Bagel Boss Guy Video Into ‘Musical’

L. to R.: Jimmy Kimmel, Michael Alexander, and Chris Morgan.

Chris “Bagel Boss Guy” Morgan may have chickened out from his planned internet celebrity boxing match last month, but thanks to Jimmy Kimmel, the viral video star is making his Broadway debut — sort of.

Friday’s episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live! featured a “Fraudway” segment in which Jason Alexander of Seinfeld fame played Morgan in a mock musical based on the events of the infamous video.

“You’re not god, or my father, or my boss,” Alexander quotes Morgan on stage while surrounded by dancing bagels in a shop full of exceptionally tall people making fun of his short stature — the topic of his July rant heads round the world.

Just then, God, played by Tracy Morgan, appears and makes a deal with Morgan.

For those with better things to do than follow the latest with this stupidity, Bagel Guy was slated to box Dustin Diamond in September but never showed up. He later got arrested and complained about the food served in jail.

As for the musical, we won’t spoil it for ya. Just watch the damn video. And be nice to your bagel shop workers.


George To The Rescue Transforms Lindenhurst Warehouse Into Sensory Gym

George To The Rescue

George to the Rescue is helping yet another group of Long Islanders in desperate need of some benevolent carpenters in the next episode of the reality show airing Saturday on NBC.

In the fourth episode of the tenth fall season, host George Oliphant transforms an enormous warehouse space into a vibrant sensory gym and literacy center in Lindenhurst.

“It is a privilege to work hand-in-hand with the volunteers, neighborhood leaders, and so many others to make change happen in our communities,” said Oliphant. “They give with their heart and do not rest until the project has finished.”

The home improvement series follows Oliphant and his team of contractors and designers taking on perplexing home improvement projects for families facing their own personal challenges within their homes or work spaces that they can’t address on their own.

It has featured many Long Islanders over the years since the show launched in 2013, with Saturday’s episode marking the fourth locally shot edition this year alone.

On Oct. 12, George lead a massive first floor accessibility renovation for an inspiring teenage girl with cerebral palsy in Farmingdale. In March he did a life-changing renovation for three Garden City sisters and their father, who is battling Parkinson’s disease. And in April he rescued a Hewlett-based community resource center for individuals and families affected by cancer.

Related Story: George To The Rescue Makes Home Accessible for Merrick Dad

Related Story: NBC’s George to the Rescue Helps Massapequa Mom

11 Reasons Why Not To Move to Long Island

Long Island

11. Schools too good
Nobody likes a know it all. And with LI schools ranking among the best in the nation, there’s bus loads of smart-aleck-y kids running around shoving their science fair trophies and writing scholarships in your face. Thanks a lot, future of America.

10. Beaches too nice

A woman carries her surfboard from the beach in the Hamptons.

There’s nothing worse than a nice relaxing day at the shore. Sure, a beach nap and dip in the ocean is great, but eventually the sun goes down, everyone has to leave, and the painful existence of work and/or school resumes.

9. Property too good an investment
Don’t you just hate making the biggest investment of your life by purchasing a home to a raise a family and the value of that property constantly rising year after year because demand for housing is so high? Equity is exhausting.

8. Nightlife too fun 

Greenport’s downtown has been lively since the LIRR first stopped there in the 19th century. (photo credit: Joe Shlabotnik/Flickr)

Uhg, between having to decide between an Islanders game, a concert at one of numerous local live music venues, or a night out at one of the many downtowns on LI, it’s enough to make you want to just stay home and do nothing instead.

7. Too many celebrities 

“Piano Man” Billy Joel bids Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum farewell on Aug. 4, 2015.

You know what really grinds my gears? Bumping into some big-name movie star, TV host, supermodel, or music icon while out and about trying to live my life. Go back to Hollywood, famous people!

6. Scenery too beautiful 

A dramatic sunset at a Sayville marina. (Shutterstock)

Did you know there’s a place on Fire Island where people gather to watch the sunset and they’re so inspired by the colorful celestial show reflecting off the Great South Bay that they all applaud when it’s over? Makes me sick.

5. NYC too accessible 

Times Square on a rainy night in New York City

Who wants to be about an hour train ride from the greatest city on Earth and all of the excitement to be had there? Not me.

4. Food too delicious
Don’t get me started on trying to decide what to eat. Yes, everyone knows about our pizza and bagels. But what about all the other cuisine, from five-star fine dining hot spots to acclaimed eateries run by celebrity chefs? Why not just microwave some Ramen?

3. Too many destinations

Visitors at Montauk Point.

You mean it’s not bad enough that we have to live here, but we also have to vacation here? And amazing getaways like the Twin Forks, Shelter Island, and Fire Island are a short drive or boat ride away? Gross.

2. Too many beverages

Blue Point Debate Beer
Blue Point Brewery debuted Colonial Ale, a beer recipe created by President George Washington, at the 2016 Hofstra Debates (Timothy Bolger/Long Island Press)

Then there’s all the delicious craft beer and wine that local brewers and wineries are pouring. I’ll stick with my box wine and cheap water-down, mass-produced beer, thank you very much.

1. Too much history

The William Floyd Estate in Mastic was home to one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. (Photo by Xiomaro). .

On top of everything else, this wretched sandbar also played a key role in pivotal moment’s of our nation’s history, from the Revolutionary War to the Moon landing? Get me outta here!

Long Island Girl Appears on Kids Say The Darndest Things

Tiffany Haddish hosts and executive produces a new iteration of the classic variety show “Kids Say the Darndest Things.” (ABC/Mary Ellen Matthews)

A 6-year-old West Babylon girl gave comedian Tiffany Haddish some hilarious advice Sunday on the second episode of ABC’s newly rebooted variety show Kids Say The Darndest Things.

Lauren Rao and two other 6 year old girls sipped Shirley Temples with Haddish, who asked the kids for help reconciling with an estranged friend in a segment dubbed Six in The City. Their conversation was interrupted when the friend texts a bunch of emojis to Haddish, who asks the kids to translate the message.

“It means that there’s a party for you, nerd,” Rao told Haddish, drawing laughs from the live studio audience. When Haddish asks the group if she should still should reconcile after the friend intentionally posted an unflattering photo of the comedian on Instagram, Rao replied: “Don’t even be her friend anymore. She’s trying to bully you!”

Haddish hosts and executive produces a new iteration of the show in which she interacts with real kids and plays off their innocently entertaining points of view. The new version features a mix of in-studio segments and taped pieces from across the country.

Bill Cosby hosted the prior version of the show from 1998 to 2000. The show is based on a feature of the same name that appeared on Art Linkletter’s House Party from 1945 to 1967.

Kids Say The Darndest Things airs 8 p.m. Sundays on ABC. Episodes can also be viewed on ABC.com, the ABC app and Hulu.

Deer Crashes Through Ronkonkoma Salon Window

The buck took off with a flat iron in its antlers.

Oh deer! Here’s something you don’t see everyday. 

A deer crashed through the window of Be.you.tiful Hair Salon on Portion Road in Ronkonkoma and trashed the place before taking off with a hot iron wrapped around its antlers at 12:30 p.m. Saturday.

Judging by the woman screaming in the video, the buck did not appear to have an appointment and was not welcome for a walk-in new do.

In all seriousness, a woman waiting her her turn in the chair was treated at Stony Brook University Hospital for non-life threatening injuries after the rogue deer clipped her while bursting through the window.

And now the salon owner now has to shell out for some big repairs. They at least have gotten over the initial shock and posted the video to their Facebook page, generating both concern and jokes from well wishers.

As for the deer, it was gone upon police arrival and is still on the lam.


Billy Joel ‘Arc-thology’ TV Series In Development

"Piano Man" Billy Joel bids Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum farewell on Aug. 4, 2015.

In a sign that Hollywood has finally run out of old TV shows and movies to reboot, they’re reportedly planning a TV series based on the lengthy music catalog of Billy Joel.

The idea being shopped around to networks is billed as the first time that a musician’s entire discography may be turned into a TV show, according to The Hollywood Reporter, which first reported the story.

The working title? Scenes From an Italian Restaurant, one of The Piano Man’s most popular songs, of course. 

“This series is going to focus less on Billy’s life and more on the stories inside his catalog of classic songs,” Steve Stark, MGM Television president of development and production, told THR, which reported that the series is termed an “arc-thology.”

It’s sort of like Movin’ Out, the jukebox musical based on the 70-year-old Hicksville native and Centre Island resident’s hits, except instead of dancing on stage to live covers of Joel tunes strung together by a thin plot, actors will bring to the small screen episodes based on his rearranged lyrics and song characters.

Writers will have plenty of material to work with from the sixth-best-selling musician of all time, who released more than a dozen albums between 1971 and 2001. Diving deep into Joel’s songbook to openly pitch songs that producers could potentially into future episodes of “Scenes” are the folks over at The A.V. Club.

The series development come on the heels of mostly well-received musical biopics Bohemian Rhapsody about Queen and Rocketman, telling the story of Elton John. 

MGM TV and Universal Music Publishing Group are developing the project with creator Kevin Fox, a producer and writer for Law & Order: SVU. Fox and Joel are both executive producers. 

When will this show actually see the light of day? Who knows. Surely he’ll mention it between songs at his monthly Madison Square Garden residency. 

Long Island Teacher Competes on Survivor: Island of The Idols

Tommy Sheehan on SURVIVOR: Island of Idols. Photo: Michele Crowe/CBS Entertainment ©2019 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Long Island elementary school teacher Tommy Sheehan will try to outwit and outlast the competition to win $1 million when he appears on Survivor: Island of The Idols, which premiers Wednesday on CBS.

The 26-year-old Bayville native and Long Beach resident is a fourth-grade teacher, surfer, and multi-sport athlete who believes he is primed to be the Sole Survivor on the 39th season of the show.

“I am physical and can win challenges, but that won’t win Survivor,” he said in his bio. “What wins Survivor is the time spent opening up and connecting to people. When you have real connections with people they will keep you around longer … I see myself finding idols, making moves, and leading blindsides.”

He is one of 20 contestants that will appear when the Emmy Award-winning series that returns with a special 90-minute premiere starting 8 p.m. Wednesday.

This season features two legendary winners, Boston Rob Mariano and Sandra Diaz-Twine, who return to the game to serve to mentor the group. During the 39 days, some castaways will have the opportunity to visit the Island of the Idols to learn skills and strategy from these “idols.”

Each player, selected to visit the special island in various ways throughout the season, will have to decide if they should put their knowledge to the test for a chance at a possible advantage in the game, or risk losing something very important in the process.

The show was filmed in the Mamanuca Islands in Fiji, and is hosted by Jeff Probst.

Plainview Woman Secures Spot on The Voice

Marina Chello
Marina Chello

Up-and-coming singer Marina Chello of Plainview made an impression on the coaches of The Voice, securing a spot on Blake Shelton’s team during Monday’s premier of NBC’s music competition show’s 17th season.

During the blind auditions, the 37-year-old immigrant from Uzbekistan performed P!nk’s “Walk Me Home,” drawing interest from coaches Kelly Clarkson and Blake Shelton, who wasted no time making fun of Chello’s hometown.

“Must be a terrible view there,” Shelton joked after Chello said where she’s from. “Like, just a plain view. It’s near the airport, I think.”

Clarkson jumped in, saying, “Oh my gosh, dad joke!”

After they had their fun, the judges got down to business.

“The one thing I was drawn to is how powerful your voice is and how connected you are to the lyrics,” Shelton said. “There’s something about your voice to me that I feel America’s gonna connect with. And that’s what it take to make it to the finale.”

Clarkson also heaped praise on Chello, who’s husband and son were on hand to watch the performance.

“I love that you chose something and pop and rock at the same time,” Clarkson said. “A lot of people come out here and sing their best song right off the bat, and I think you have 80 percent more to give. And I actually like that you chose to do these runs that were lower instead of staying in your upper register the whole time. It showed off your range and that was very smart. I would love to work with you.”

After giving it some thought, Chello said she “had to go with her gut” and chose Shelton as her coach.

Chello and her family moved to New York from Uzbekistan when she was 11. Listening to American music helped her learn the language, overcome cultural differences, and make friends. She got involved in school plays and concerts before pursuing music after graduation.

In 2007, she landed a deal with P. Diddy’s Bad Boy Records, which released her hit single “Sideline.” She later got married and took a break from music to focus on being a mom. While she currently manages a catering hall, she decided to give music another shot by trying out for The Voice.

It looks like her second act is off to a good start.

Emergence: New ABC Thriller Set on Long Island Debuts Tuesday

Fans of the hit Netflix series Stranger Things won’t have to wait for season four to get their Long Island-linked paranormal conspiracy thriller fix with the Tuesday premier of Emergence on ABC.

Emergence follows a Southold Town Police Chief who takes in a mysterious young girl with otherworldly powers who’s on the run from nefarious federal agents following a freak accident that causes a power outage in a small town — a plot not unlike the Montauk Project-inspired Stranger Things.

“The investigation draws [the police chief] into a conspiracy larger than she ever imagined, and the child’s identity is at the center of it all,” ABC said in its show notes hyping the 10 p.m. Sept. 24 premier of Emergence.

The show is written and executive produced by Michele Fazekas and Tara Butters. It stars Allison Tolman as Jo, the police chief, and Alexa Swinton as Piper, the little girl who has amnesia and strange abilities. It’s partly shot on the North Fork, although much of the filming reportedly takes place in New Jersey.

For the uninitiated, Stranger Things similarly follows the story of the telekinetically gifted Elle — short for 11 — who’s been taken under the wing of Hawkins Police Chief Jim Hopper while she’s on the run from evil federal agents following some freaky major mishaps at a local lab. 

As the Press has reported, Stranger Things was originally going to be titled Montauk, its original setting, but the name and setting was changed before it launched. It’s now set in a fictional town of Hawkins, Indiana. The plot has sparked a lawsuit over the creative rights to the work, which is loosely based on the Montauk Project conspiracy theories about government experiments with aliens, time travel, and other oddities out of Camp Hero.

Of course, Montauk doesn’t have a monopoly on East End strangeness. Newsday‘s preview of Emergence suggests that the new series’ mystery has something to do with Plum Island, which is similarly the focus of endless speculation. 

Will Emergence set itself apart from Stranger Things or simply be ABC’s and the North Fork’s answer to the Netflix series? Tune in and find out.