Interview: “Britain’s Got Talent” Duo Jonathan and Charlotte Debut New Album “Together”

Earlier this year Jonathan Antoine and Charlotte Jaconelli not only took Great Britain by storm, but the entire world with their beautiful rendition of Andrea Bocelli and Celine Dion’s hit song “The Prayer” on Simon Cowell’s Britain’s Got Talent. The 16 and 17 year old opera singers came extremely close to winning Britain’s Got Talent, and their loss raised an uproar with music lovers throughout the U.K. The duo released their debut album, Together in the U.S. today (October 30th) and I had the privilege of speaking with the notable singers on their experience on Britain’s Got Talent, what fans can expect on their new album, and much more!




Candace Rose: Thank you both for speaking with me! It’s such an honor. For those that don’t know, how did you both meet?

Charlotte Jaconelli: “We met in secondary school (which is high school), and we were doing an exam for music. We got put together for a performance and kind of ever since then we’ve sang together – since we were about 14. So for a good three years we’ve been friends singing together.”

Candace Rose: Jonathan, you’ve been dubbed by fans as the “British Pavarotti”, and Charlotte your voice is just as powerful and beautiful. You both narrowly missed winning Britain’s Got Talent. Can you tell us about your experience on the show?

Jonathan Antoine: “It was a lot of fun. It was very intense process for learning all the songs, and a lot of waiting for things to happen. But when they do happen, it’s incredible. Alongside that, we were working with great people, and I feel really privileged to have had the opportunity to work with great people now and back then.”


Candace Rose: Who decided to audition for Britain’s Got Talent? Was it a decision you both made?

Charlotte Jaconelli: “That would have been me! I originally applied without actually telling him. But before I pressed the Send button, I did inform him that I was applying for the show. It was a very spontaneous moment, applying. There wasn’t really much thought that went into it. It was all ‘look, Britain’s Got Talent application form – let’s do it!’ And that was kind of it really.”


Candace Rose: How would you say your life has changed since auditioning for Britain’s Got Talent?

Jonathan Antoine: “How hasn’t it changed? Everything’s turned upside down really. It’s incredible. We’re here. We get to do all these amazing things, and the album is releasing in the states right now. It’s just incredible.”

Candace Rose: What’s it been like working with Simon Cowell?

Charlotte Jaconelli: “It’s the coolest thing ever! To know that you’re working alongside somebody who has worked with a lot of credible amazing artists over here and in the U.S., you couldn’t want to work with anyone else. It’s just a great opportunity and amazing for us.”

Candace Rose: I read that neither one of you have ever been to an opera, but you both sing it beautifully. How did you get involved in singing opera music?

Jonathan Antoine: “For me, it just sort of happened, and for Charlotte it happened when we started singing as sort of this job that we do now – if you can call it a job!

Charlotte Jaconelli: “It kind of began for me on Britain’s Got Talent because I’ve still, to this day never had intense classical training. And I think for me it was kind of the show and the album was the first time for me to sing classical music. It’s amazing, and I love doing it. We both love doing it! It’s great.”

Candace Rose: Well, you’re both extremely talented. Can you tell us about your new album?

Charlotte Jaconelli: “It’s this mixture of classical classics and more popular music that we’ve kind of put our Jonathan & Charlotte sprinkle on. We tried to create this new genre of classical crossover popera sound, and tried to reach out to as many people as possible and get everybody to like this kind of music and listen to it and enjoy it, and share the experience with us.”

Candace Rose: What can your fans expect on the album?

Jonathan Antoine: “Sweeping orchestral music accompanied by us doing a bit of singing.”

Charlotte Jaconelli: “Explosion of music!”


Candace Rose: Do either of you have a favorite song on the album?

Jonathan Antoine: “It’s a difficult choice to make.”

Charlotte Jaconelli: “There’s so many on there that we both love. I mean there’s “The Prayer” which is an obvious choice for us because it’s the one we did on the show. “Canto Della Terra” which is a more classical classic; “Rule the World”; First Time Ever I Saw Your Face (“La Prima Volta”); “Everybody Hurts”. There’s just so many tracks on there that we’ve kind of emotionally connected to and put our heart and soul in if you like.”

Candace Rose: Do you have any additional information you’d like to share with your fans?

Charlotte Jaconelli: “We try to match clothes!”

Jonathan Antoine: “All the time.”

Charlotte Jaconelli: “We wore spots and stripes and realized it wasn’t matching so that was a bit of a disaster at the end of the day – so that’s a fact!”

Candace Rose: In the United States that’s the latest thing, so come on over! We’d gladly welcome you!

Charlotte Jaconelli: “We want to come with our spots and stripes, and crazy patterns and we’ll be there singing.”

Candace Rose: Well, you’re welcome anytime!

Charlotte Jaconelli: “Thank you.”


Jonathan & Charlotte Together album cover. Image courtesy of Twitter.

Jonathan & Charlotte Together album cover. Image courtesy of


Candace Rose: Your album “Together” is being released in the U.S. today. Where can your fans pick up a copy?

Charlotte Jaconelli: In all local stores, and music stores, and supermarkets, and you can pick it up online- We heard it’s third in the states in the classical charts at the moment, so there’s many, many different places for people to purchase the album.


Interview: Fall Fashion & Accessory Trends with Celebrity Stylist & TV Personality Bobbie Thomas

Now that fall is officially upon us (Happy first day of fall!) it’s time to start thinking about putting away the shorts, mini dresses and tank tops, and move towards fall attire! Celebrity stylist Bobbie Thomas, who many know as the Style Editor for NBC’s Today show, joined me last week from Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in New York to chat about fall fashion trends, give us a sneak peek at what we’ll be coveting for spring 2013 straight off the runway, dish on the must have accessories, and talk about the fabulous new contest where one lucky winner will get to spend Fashion Week with Bobbie next spring!

Celebrity Stylist and TV personality Bobbie Thomas with the must haves in fall fashion!





Candace Rose: What are some of the hottest trends you’re seeing on the runway for spring (2013) at New York Fashion Week?

Bobbie Thomas: “There are lots; some I like, and some (I have to be honest) I’m cringing over, but you’ll see Mercedes Benz Fashion Week behind me (please see video above), there’s more white on the runway. We saw white for fall, there’s also black and white graphics; and something I’m not so excited about, but I have to be honest – bare midriffs. Jason Wu, Marc Jacobs, and a bunch of others are really trying to bring back the bare belly trend, and I have to get the ab roller out; and I don’t even know even if I had a fabulous stomach if I would do it. But that’s definitely what we’re seeing on the runway. I actually had more fun seeing what other people at fashion week are wearing. It’s a really fun place to watch people.”

Candace Rose: What is the one style secret that all the fashionistas have in common?

Bobbie Thomas: “Handbags are a hot commodity. They’re your BFF, they hang on your shoulder so I think that fashionistas, and I think all women like making a statement with their handbag. But I think it’s what is in the handbag that is probably the secrets, and how smartly you pack your bag to get through the day. Girls here at fashion week that are going from show to show, they go from the breakfast meeting to the show to lunch, it’s just like a mom out there that’s dropping her kids off at school and running her errands through the day so she wants to make sure she has the right accessories that can not only help you transition from summer to fall, but it also can help get you from day to night. I personally love scarves.

  • Scarves are my adult blanket, I don’t leave home without them. But I think that there are really inexpensive ways to take on a new trend.
  • Leopard is a fun look we’re going to see for fall. You don’t necessarily have to get a leopard jacket just yet or a dress, you can get it in a scarf.
  • …And your white jeans instantly have a pop of fall.
  • I tend to want to switch the flip flops out for some fun flats, and the ladies at fashion week, just like women everywhere, you want comfortable shoes that are cute to help get you through the day.
  • Loafers are really great, they’re in style. They’re polished, but something studded is a little more fun. Women of all ages should really try this trend out. It’s not just for a trendy 20-something; it’s chic, especially with an all black look or just your jeans and a t-shirt.
  • Also, have fun with your fingertips. We’ve seen the pastel colors all summer, and we’ve also seen the neons; go for a richer color- something like this purple plum here (see video above). This is a velvet manicure that’s adding another layer of fall, but shimmery nail polish is really a hot trend.
  • And just statements in general, like statement earrings, some arm candy, broaches and even barrettes are back. And what’s great about these is they’re small but mighty. You can stash them in your handbag so when you leave the office, it makes a big impact or when you get out of the PTA meeting you can put on some fun bling and you’re ready to go to dinner.

My personal favorite thing to make sure I always have is a snack. I love keeping my Fiber One Bars in my handbag. My only problem was that my bars would always get smashed at the bottom of my bag under my cellphone and wallet. I’m sure other women have had this problem! But I came up with the idea to take an old eyeglass case, and what I did was put a little glue, and for $2, poured some shimmer and beads into the Ziploc bag and voila, I came up with what I call a SnackCessory. It’s not only fun to pull out because my girlfriends (or whoever) it’s a conversation starter, it’s a great thing to talk about, but I am so excited and proud to have partnered with Fiber One to give away two tickets to one lucky winner to come hang out with me here in New York City for Mercedes Benz Fashion Week for the spring and what’s so exciting is it’s a couple dollars. You could even spend nothing if you go into your junk drawer. You don’t have to be Martha Stewart. I promise that it’s easy. I want anyone, even if you’re not a crafter to just try something. Use spray paint, nail polish, Wite-Out, tape – anything you can think of, ribbons and just show me your design because I’d really love to give you these tickets, and I really want to hang out with some new girlfriends here at fashion week.”


Candace Rose: How do we enter the contest?

Bobbie Thomas: “It’s really easy, you can find out more information at I’ve even got inspiration photos up there of my project, and lots of others, in case you’re stuck. We’re accepting entries until September 30th, so you’ve got some time. And of course if you need any more help, I’m at But really, check out, and on my Pinterest page I have a folder with all the ideas for the Snackcessory Challenge.”


Candace Rose: Do you have any additional tips or information you’d like to share?

Bobbie Thomas: “Just be yourself. I know it sounds really generic, but it’s really important. It doesn’t matter what you accessorize with. If you start the day beating yourself up, you’re not going to feel cute and that doesn’t look cute. Make sure you be nice to yourself, and then accessorize accordingly.”

Interview: Today Show DIY Expert Lou Manfredini Shares Cost Effective Ways to Fix Up Your Home for Fall and Winter!

As hard as it is to believe, fall and winter are right around the corner. Is your home ready for rain, sleet, snow and colder weather? Hiring a professional to take care of projects around the house may not be in your budget, but that doesn’t mean these projects aren’t doable and can’t be done, by you guessed it…YOU! I know what you’re thinking, “I can’t paint, DIY anything to save my life” (I know, because I’ve said this way too many times myself), but Today show DIY and Home Improvement expert Lou Manfredini thinks otherwise. He was kind enough to join me recently to share all the tips you need to get started on adding insulation to your attic, restoring items you have laying around the house, tips for staying safe while attempting these projects, and much more!

DIY and Home Improvement expert Lou Manfredini shares do it yourself tips for getting your home ready for fall and winter!





Candace Rose: With fall and winter fast approaching, what are some DIY projects to get our homes ready for fall and colder weather?

Lou Manfredini: “The biggest thing that anyone can do to really give them the most bang for their buck on saving energy and being more comfortable is adding insulation to their attic space. This is something that a DIYer can do- whether it’s a rolled insulation like I have right here on my counter (see video above) or it’s a blown in insulation, this is really one of the most inexpensive ways to make a difference. It is something that people can do themselves, but what I want to stress with any kind of home improvement that people are going to do is that they’re keeping safety in mind. Now when you’re doing things like blowing in insulation, it’s really important to wear some type of mask to protect your lungs from sucking in the fibers that are going to come through there. 3M makes a bunch of different masks, but they have this innovation with a cool flow vent on the front. What’s nice about this vent is when you exhale, all of the air goes out of the vent. When you inhale, this vent actually closes so that you don’t suck in those fibers, and the filtering on the mask helps protect your lungs. Trust me on this, Candace, if you don’t wear some type of mask when you’re doing insulation, you’ll be coughing for a week and then you’re never going to want to do this project again.”

Candace Rose: Do you have any tips for those of us who are beginners trying to take on a DIY project?

Lou Manfredini: The safety part of it is paramount. First of all, you need to know your limitations. I want to make sure you’re wearing some type of eye protection. On any project you do, it should be second nature that you grab a pair of safety glasses when you’re working and you stick it on to cover up, to do whatever- you’re running a piece of wire, you’re doing some painting, whatever it is that you’re doing.

     When it comes to the projects that you’re going to do, you want to make sure that you know your limitations. You want to start out on littler stuff. Don’t tackle ‘you know, today I want to build a deck’. I tell people when it comes to any kinds of home improvement or maintenance projects, it’s sort of like a train ride. You have different stops along the way, and the very first stop is painting, because anyone can do it, and if you make a mistake the worst that happens is that maybe you didn’t put the right finish on the wall or maybe you chose a bad color, or maybe you spilled some on the floor- it’s not life or death if you make a mistake so that’s the very first thing that you try. And then from there you go to maybe light carpentry. For instance maybe you want to change the door knobs in your interior doors or you want to change the handles on the kitchen cabinets, and then maybe a little bit of plumbing after that and your very final stop is any kind of electrical repair because that takes a solid understanding, a solid respect for the electrical system in your home is before you try to tackle on those projects.”

Candace Rose: Is there a simple way to spruce up our old stuff?

Lou Manfredini: “There’s a category of products you can find at the hardware store and the paint store called a wood amalgamator. If you have a dining room table that has some scratches on it that doesn’t look that nice; maybe you have a heat ring on a coffee table that somebody put a pizza box down on, this wood amalgamator along with quadruple zero steel wool (the more zeros, the finer the steel wool), you’re going to take that and go across the surface of the wood amalgamator. It’s essentially like giving your furniture a facelift. It’s the secret of the antique world, and then you take a cotton rag and then you wipe it away, and you’ll be amazed at the results. Know that those products are petroleum based, so you want to make sure it’s well ventilated- open up the windows in there, and then again, eye protection, lung protection with a mask.”

Candace Rose: Do you have any additional tips or information you’d like to share with us?

Lou Manfredini: “Sure! If you have children, chances are you have some of that plastic furniture that they use outside. This is great, because you know that old car that the kids push, like the Little Tikes car? It gets kind of beat up and it doesn’t look that great, and people toss in the garbage can. Millions of pounds of this plastic go into the landfills every single year; manufacturers now make paints that you can repaint that product like we did here with this one (see video above). You can either match the color or you can change the color, and you can bring this thing back to life. It’s a great project to do in the fall- you get it all cleaned up, you wrap it in a plastic bag and put it away for next year. You saved the landfill, you saved some money and you did it yourself.”

Candace Rose: Where can we go for more information?

Lou Manfredini: “For more information on keeping yourself safe with do it yourself projects, you can go to”


Interview: Redbook Magazine’s Morgan Thompson Shares The Top Breakfast Options in Honor of Better Breakfast Month!

According to the USDA, Food and Agricultural Organization 44% of Americans eat breakfast every day; 22% of breakfast skippers are obese; and of the 80% of children who eat breakfast regularly, only 59% of them eat at home, while 31% eat at school. Are you one of the 56% who doesn’t eat breakfast every day because you can’t find the time? Well, Redbook magazine’s Morgan Thompson stopped to discuss just that and share the top healthy breakfast cereal, Greek yogurt options in time for Better Breakfast month!


Redbook magazine’s Morgan Thompson with her top 3 healthy breakfast options just in time for Better Breakfast Month!





Candace Rose: With September being Better Breakfast month, what’s the secret to creating a delicious healthy meal?

Morgan Thompson: “Well, we’re going to start with cereal because that’s always a breakfast staple. There’s a great new option from Nature’s Path called Qia. This has in every bite, sustainable energy and optimal nutrition. Each serving has about six grams of protein, four grams of fiber, and is between 130 and 140 calories. Now, Qia contains a lot of nutrient rich super foods like chia, hemp and buckwheat. All of these you hear about, but may not know how to make sure that you’re getting these nutrients and Qia has them. They’re excellent sources of plant based Omega 3. Qia is organic, it’s vegan; there’s no added added salt or sugar, and it’s Non-GMO Project Verified. This means that it’s not genetically modified at all. It’s a great option if you want to have it alone. You can have it with milk or a milk substitute or even water. You simply add some liquid in, wait five minutes and it creates a healthy breakfast cereal. It comes in this great small package which is convenient; you can even take it on-the-go as a snack. You can even throw it into a protein or a smoothie, or have it on top of a salad as a topping. And like all Nature’s Path products, Qia is USDA certified organic. This means there are no additives, no preservatives, no pesticides. It’s delicious and healthy.

Candace Rose: Are there any other breakfast options we should know about?

Morgan Thompson: “We’re going to move onto Greek yogurt, which is a breakfast option that a lot of people enjoy, and Yoplait has created the Greek 100, which is a 100 calorie strained Greek yogurt. It has 100% of the same great rich and creamy taste of regular Greek yogurt and it’s the only Greek yogurt to be endorsed by Weight Watchers. It has a Weight Watchers points plus value of two points. It comes in six delicious flavors and it packs two times the amount of protein as your regular 5.3 ounce cup of yogurt.”

Candace Rose: Do you have any additional tips or information you’d like to share?

Morgan Thompson: “You want to make sure you have a lot of convenient products and our last product to talk about is Planters. Planters NUT-rition peanut butter and it’s exactly as it sounds. It’s really dense, nutritious, full of nuts, bananas, cinnamon, raisins, even granola. It’s a great option if you want to apply it on a piece of wheat toast or a waffle, or have it with a piece of fruit. There’s about six or seven grams of protein per serving, depending on the variety, and at least five vitamins and minerals as well. So these are all great, convenient choices. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so it’s important to start your day on the right foot with a healthy breakfast, and these are all options you can have and you can give to your children, and you can have before work or school every day.”

Candace Rose: Where can we go for more information?

Morgan Thompson: “For more information you can go to


Celebrity Interview: NFL Hall of Fame Cornerback and Cancer Survivor Mike Haynes Talks Prostate Cancer Awareness

According to the American Cancer Society in 2012 “about 241,740 new cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed; about 28,170 men will die of prostate cancer and about one and six men will be diagnosed in his lifetime; family history indicates a higher risk, and African American males have twice as alarming fatalities”. The good news is if detected early, the five year survival rate is an astonishing nearly 100%. NFL Hall of Fame cornerback Mike Haynes knows the statistics all too well, he was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2008 after having his PSA checked at the Hall of Fame, and later visiting his primary doctor. Mike was kind enough to join me for an interview for a second year in a row to talk about early detection, how the National Football League, American Urological Association and the Know Your Stats campaign are doing their part to get men off the couch and into the doctor’s office, and more!




NFL Hall of Fame cornerback and cancer survivor Mike Haynes talks about national prostate cancer awareness month, and discusses how the NFL, American Urological Association and Know Your Stats campaign are doing their part to bring more awareness to the disease. Image courtesy of

Candace Rose: Can you tell us about the Know Your Stats campaign, and the meaning behind this important message?

Mike Haynes: “The Know Your Stats campaign is an awareness campaign, and the whole idea is to increase awareness about this disease. One in six men will be diagnosed with Prostate cancer in their lifetime, and when you compare that to one in eight women that will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime, there’s so much information out there about breast cancer. Everybody knows what to be looking for, but when it comes to prostate cancer- and more men are going to get prostate cancer, no one seems to know anything about it. I talk to men all the time, they have no idea what the prostate gland does, where it is, how many men are going to get the disease. They don’t know anything. And as a consequence, they aren’t looking for it. They’re not looking for different things that they need to know. They don’t know if they’re at risk. This campaign is really designed to change all that. It’s a partnership between the NFL and the American Urological Association Foundation, and we offer free screenings to retired players (that’s part of it); but the most important thing that we do is we educate these gentlemen, and they get out in their communities and they try to help other guys get educated about the disease.

     So far it’s in our fourth year. We’ve got a lot of cool new things this year, such as the NFL auction where people can go and get in the bid process to get some cool memorabilia or get involved in cool experiences. I’m actually asking fans to write us and shoot us an email, let us know what would be a cool event that they might have an interest in participating in, that they would actually pay money to have. One guy today talked about going on a roller coaster ride with me! Things like that. We also created the Mike Haynes fund, and that’s basically money that we’re going to use to help local support groups try to get other guys to come talk to men in different communities and try to help them with their fundraising if necessary, and things like that.

     The biggest thing that we’re doing that’s different this year is more than 500 hospitals have partnered with us to help us get the word out, and so there will be local events in your town and around the country all this month and throughout the rest of the year on educating men on the importance of early detection. If you catch prostate cancer early when it’s treatable, it’s not going to be a major issue in your life.”

Candace Rose: You mentioned the importance of early detection and catching it early, at what age should men talk with their doctors about prostate health?

Mike Haynes: “The AUA is recommending 40. It used to be considered ‘old man’s disease’; I’d say 40 is pretty young. It’s a man’s disease and the more we can start talking about it, the better chance we have in making a difference in men’s lives in regard to getting it.”

Candace Rose: Should men with a family history of prostate cancer get screened at an earlier age?

Mike Haynes: “40 is the recommended age, but I talk to guys all the time, a lot of guys do start getting screened earlier when it runs in their family or if they’re African American and it runs in their family. But definitely by 40.”




Know Your Stats About Prostate Cancer.


Candace Rose: Do you have any additional tips or information you’d like to share?

Mike Haynes: “Everything is on the website, and it’s the best resource for prostate cancer, and different questions you might have. This is the one month out of the year where everybody is focused on prostate cancer awareness, but for us it’s all year round. I’m happy to be on your show, Candace and help increase the awareness for this disease. Most men are going to get this disease. A lot of men are going to die with prostate cancer, and they don’t have to die from it and that’s what we’re trying to do to make sure men are not dying from this disease.”