“It’s certainly not a relationship at all, it’s barely even a date,” Michael tells Wetpaint Entertainment. “She’s just become a pretty fast friend and she’s so cool and — let’s face it — breathtakingly hot, so yeah, we’ve just been talking, that’s all.”
Take note, gentlemen. It’s good to get dumped on TV. First, a pre-Bachelor Ben Flajnik fields advances from Jennifer Love Hewitt, and now So You Think You Can Dance vet Chelsie Hightower — who, fun fact, was Jake Pavelka’s pro partner on DWTS Season 10 — is at least good friends with Michael Stagliano. We’d be jealous if we didn’t totally wish the best for The Stag.
And even after Stag says he regrets bringing up the Chelsie thing, he still pretty much describes the petite 22-year-old blonde to a T when asked about his perfect girl.
BUT...she may have to contend with the other significant other in Michael’s life, his BP2 bestie Graham Bunn — whom he calls the “most gentle, wonderful man” — and date for twin brother Stephen Stagliano’s upcoming wedding to Season 4 Bachelorette DeAnna Pappas.
One thing this Chelsie gossip is good for — besides making Stag uncomfortable — is it may let him off the hook with The Millionaire Matchmaker Patti Stanger. Patti just told Us Weekly she wants to set him up — hey! Get in line, Patti! — despite the fact that he is, by his own admission, only “1/8 of a millionaire” and still waiting for his half of the $250,000 BP2 jackpot.
In the meantime, Michael is focused on his music, with three new songs recently released and getting major fan attention. He has a show coming up on Friday, Sept. 30 at the Roxy on Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood. And he’s trying now to get booked as a musical guest on Ellen, so if fans want that they should tweet @TheEllenShow, stat!
Read on for a lot more from Michael — including his thoughts about dating fans, the other reality TV shows he’d consider being on, his TRUE feelings about some of his BP2 costars...and his surprising(ly geeky) talent.
Wetpaint: First of all, do you prefer Michael, Mike, Stag, Stags, Dr. Whaow? What do you go by? Michael Stagliano [laughs]: Dr. Whaow. Michael is good.
What’s it been like in the last week or so since the Bachelor Pad finale? So good. Just so happy. So good. But it’s also, the company that I run [Stesso Sports], we organize after-work social sports leagues and all of our fall leagues have started this week and that makes my life ridiculously busy. … In terms of like Facebook and Twitter and getting outside and recognized, that’s just all been cream on top and so much love and so much support and something I’m completely humbled by and thankful for. I haven’t even gotten the check yet from ABC and life is still pretty good.
I heard you are heading on a plane to New York tomorrow [Sept. 23]. Is that for Graham Bunn’s Lemonade Stand event for pediatric cancer research? It is. He is my friend and lover. Yeah, I’m so happy to go out there and support his charity. It’ll be great. And I used to live in New York for three years so I’ve got some really good friends that I haven’t seen since I moved and I’m excited to see them, too.
Did I just see that Patti Stanger of The Millionaire Matchmaker wants to set you up? Right? I just got that tweet too, literally before this call I read that, and I tweeted back at her and said “Well I’m only an ⅛ of a millionaire” so I don’t know if I count.
[At this point, Michael’s PR rep mentions she is friends with Patti’s executive casting producer so they might be able to make it happen. Michael jokes that he would want to date the millionaire, though, instead of being the millionaire who picks the girl.]
Actually, before I say that, though, I’ve got a date next week with Chelsie Hightower so I don’t want to cheat on her.
Jason Merritt/Getty Images
What? Wait a minute, you do? From Dancing With the Stars, you do? Are you joking? What’s happening? Oh no. Yeah, I’m not joking. … We’ve been talking a lot. It’s not — well, it’s kind of an actual date, it’s dinner...
[At this point his PR rep jumps in and asks if he wants to disclose this information just yet. Michael kicks himself for bringing it up, but come on! Chelsie is lucky to spend any time with him that she can get.]
This is all that’s happening: She, you know, we’ve been talking a little bit and I told her that I organize sports leagues and our biggest sport is co-ed dodgeball and she was like “That sounds amazing.” And I was like “Here’s the thing, it is amazing. Do you want to come?” And she said yes so we’re just grabbing dinner really quick beforehand and then she’s going to come play in, I think, our Sherman Oaks dodgeball league.
OK, so she’s definitely doing your dodgeball league. ‘Cause it’s just cool news, even if it doesn’t turn into a wedding later on. It’s certainly not a relationship at all, it’s barely even a date. She’s just become a pretty fast friend and she’s so cool and let’s face it, breathtakingly hot, so yeah, we’ve just been talking, that’s all.
We’ll get off the Chelsie subject for a minute. Your brother is getting married in a month. I do. October 22nd he’s getting married to DeAnna Pappas. It’s going to be — I’m really already drinking ‘cause I’m so excited.
Who are you taking? Now it’s going to get even worse! My date is Graham Bunn.
Everyone’s wedding date should be Graham Bunn! That’s a good one. Honestly, it should. He is the most gentle, wonderful man. Full-on bromance.
Just in general, what kind of girl are you looking for? If you had to put the word out, to Patti or whoever, how would you describe your perfect girl? Ooh. I probably should put more time into this, into thinking about this. But I’d say the Cliff Notes answer — ‘cause let’s face it, there’s a lot that I would ideally wish for — I’ll start with physical, not that that’s what’s most important but it’s the easiest: blonde hair, blues eyes, or green eyes. I like 5’5-ish. I like shorter girls. And then, I mean, I’m a one-woman kind of guy so I would want a one-man kind of woman and just someone that reciprocates love and gets that and loves themselves. Because it has become surprisingly more and more true that you’re really not ready to love someone else until you love you. And I’m not talking about “Oh yeah I’m so hot, like I’m the greatest thing that’s ever be.” I’m not saying that. Just comfortable with themselves and ready to love someone else. ‘Cause I’ve done my fair share of dating people that weren’t necessarily ready for that. And I’m a lover. Like, I love on the girls that I’m with and I’d love to find someone that reciprocates that, you know?
Mmm. Now would you ever date one of your fans, or would that be kinda weird? Umm. [pause] That would be kind of weird. That sounds so harsh! You know what, the only reason I say that is it’s because it’s just a weird hump to get over. But, yes, oh my God if the right girl watched the show and the right girl wanted to meet me and we did meet, I certainly wouldn’t be like “Oh gosh you’re a fan, oh that’s off limits.” If anything, the fans — I can’t even say “fans,” I don’t even feel like a celebrity, but the people that watch the show that tweet at me or on Facebook and say nice things, are ridiculously nice and … supportive and, you know what, that’s a pretty good way to start meeting someone, right?
I feel like on both Bachelorette and Bachelor Pad I got a pretty honest edit, you know what I mean? I say that and as I say it I realize that means I’m just a giant crybaby on national television. Awesome. But, yeah, I’m a pretty in-touch-with-my-emotions guy and I’m very good at running up 100-foot walls. So, you know, it would be a pretty reasonable way to start dating someone, I guess.
What’s the sweetest or weirdest fan comment you’ve gotten so far? Probably the most consistent and, at the same time, the strangest is just flat-out, right in the face, no holding back “Will you marry me?” Those are my favorites ‘cause it’s like, what if — and this is mostly on Twitter and a lot of Facebook messages — what if, just play this out, what if I reply back “Yes.” What’s the next step? Where do you live? Do we have the wedding where you live, you know what I mean?
Yeah. Besides — I’m going to say her name again! — besides Chelsie, who would you say is your celebrity crush, if you have one? I’m so bad at this answer. I don’t have a celebrity crush and I need to come up with one, because people are surprisingly asking me that a lot. And now it is kind of Chelsie because she’s just so hot and so cool and she’s a dancer — I mean there’s a long list of reasons why she’s a good celebrity crush, but yeah, I don’t.... Oh! This is so bad. Lauren Conrad? I don’t know what it is, but she’s a hottie. She’s successful and, I don’t know, she’s also from Laguna Hills, that show. [Actually, Laguna Beach and The Hills.]
All right, you’ve been all over Twitter talking to fans and promoting your three new songs. What is your goal for the music? You know what, it is a strange evolution with what my wants are. Honestly, getting out of the show which — let’s face it, was pretty hard and emotionally draining ... I’ve always been writing songs, since I was like 18 and had a band. I’ve done albums with the band, solo albums, albums with my brother, and every time we’ve recorded it’s just this space to create and release and that’s honestly what these three singles were. So I called up some buddies that I knew that played music out here, as well as my brother, and we just went in and jammed it out and got everything out — and it felt so good. And, yeah, I wanted to share it with people. So I put it up on Twitter and now we’re kind of at the point where the songs are just blowing up, you know what I mean? Especially “Take Me To Her” has gotten really, really good feedback and response. It’s kind of funny … a week ago I was like “I don’t want to be a musician. I don’t want to tour. I don’t want to blah blah blah.” But I mean, just the amount of tweets and Facebook messages where people are like “Please come play here, please come play here, please, I love your music, please.” You know what? I would totally love to do some shows. I’m sure I’m not going to be selling out giant venue spaces. But yeah like 100, 200-people venues, I would love that. We love playing music so much, so I’ll take it wherever it’s going to go, how about that?
Are you writing new songs right now? I am. It’s so — wow — I literally wrote a new song yesterday. And, you know, I’ve got, like, three or four other tunes that we didn’t record. We just wanted to do the three singles, again, just for the emotional space of it and weren’t thinking in terms of an album or releasing a ton of singles. At the show [Sept. 30 at the Roxy] we’re going to do five or six songs and we’ve got two or three other ones that we’re kind of looking to record in the near future and release some more singles. I don’t know about an album yet, but certainly some more singles.
You have a lot of interesting talents, from singing to breakdancing, you wrote a book — what else can you do? Can you share another secret talent? Yeah, I don’t know if it goes in the talent category, I think it goes in the giant nerd category. My brother and I develop board games. We have three board games that we’ve developed. One’s like a super nerdy, like, RPG Dungeons and Dragons, casting spells kind of game — not actually casting spells, but super nerdy game. One is called Mice and Dice, it’s kind of like a family kid name, kind of like Yahtzee meets Uno, it’s really fun it’s really crazy and fast. And another game’s called Musicality and it’s kind of like Glee meets Cranium, so it’s kind of like a singing competition game. That’s a really fun hobby that Steve and I just love dumping hours into and creating games.
Is there anything else about you that might surprise people? Let’s see — oh! I am the 2002 NADA National Dodgeball champion. I was on the National Dodgeball Championship team.
Wow. And you still play... ? Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. I don’t play, my company just organizes the leagues. Dodgeball is easily our biggest sport. It’s just an insane amount of fun and we play with these no-sting balls so it’s not like junior high — you’re not getting welts from one of those playground balls. It’s super friendly, it’s super recreational, it’s great.
On a slightly different note, you’ve done The Bachelor, Bachelorette and Bachelor Pad. If you could go on any other reality TV show, what would it be? It’s a very close tie between Amazing Race — ‘cause it’s just a giant adventure and I’m an adventure hound — and Minute to Win It. Have you seen this show? Oh my gosh! My family — I’m Italian so on Sundays we always get together for family dinner and we play the games. We try to go to the grocery store and recreate it as best we can. I love that show so much.
If anyone from Bachelor Pad, besides yourself, could get their own TV show, who do you think it should it be and why? One hundred percent, with zero hesitation, Erica Rose. [He’s not the only person to think so.]
She’s just the most entertaining human I’ve ever met. You know, she’s incredibly smart — and sometimes not so smart — and just has no filter and loves life, is totally honest with people and truthfully is one of the most entertaining people I’ve met. So 100 percent, give her her own Judge Judy — Judge Erica show. It would be amazing. Her robe would be pink. She would just crush it. It would be awesome.
Can you share a funny moment from Bachelor Pad that we didn’t see? Any one moment that stands out? There’s a lot. [pause] On the fly I’d have to say, the “Ka” challenge [in Vegas] was crazy fun and we actually did the routine twice. So Kasey [Kahl] and Vienna [Girardi] go and their second routine was actually really good and that’s pretty much the entirety of what aired on the show, but their first attempt was a trainwreck and there was this moment where — OK, so the “Ka” performers are all 5’1, 5’2. I’m like 5’9, Graham and Kirk [DeWindt] are a little bit taller, but Kasey’s like 6’5. So his giant ass gets up on the wall and he does this thing called an angel fall, which is where you start up high, jump off the wall and then fall backwards and then kind of catch yourself and land. And he just — I don’t know what he was thinking — but he jumped off the wall, started to fall back and then his feet came up, like over the wire and so he was just literally stuck for a full 9 seconds, which is an eternity on a 100-foot wall hanging upside down. We were laughing so hard. So he got the wire all tangled ‘cause he was stuck and he kinda did that scream, he was kind of like [does goofy scream]. It was so — I mean, I dropped to the floor I was laughing so hard.
Oh, poor Kasey. Yeah, poor Kasey.
So what advice would you give people going on Bachelor Pad Season 3? For the game, you need to play the game and duck the radar. You can’t seem like a threat, you can’t seem like you’re being divisive and trying to manipulate people — and you have to. Like, you have to do those things, you have to form your alliance, get your alliance, but Kasey was kind of great in terms of taking all the heat. ... In terms of the love side of it, oh God. I didn’t do so well at that part. I mean, I wouldn’t say don’t fall in love, like I wouldn’t say that at all. If you find it, go for it. But just be careful.
If Holly hadn’t been on this season, were there any girls in the house that maybe something could’ve happened with? No, and I loved all the girls, honestly. Michelle [Money] was probably the — I love that girl, I literally love her to death, but she was like, very motherly to me. And she was also with Graham, and Graham was my boy, so I didn’t have any romantic feelings for Michelle. But if you were going to break my leg and say “Marry a girl,” it would be Michelle.
I have to ask about Holly. Are you guys friends now or do you see a time when you guys can be close friends again? [Pause] Honestly, it’s yes and no. I don’t think Holly and I will ever be friends, I think we’ll always be more that that. I don’t mean that in a depressing way, like “I still love her, she still loves me, but it can never be.” Not that. But we were engaged. She knows me better than anyone else on the planet and maybe besides Blake now — maybe, even though it’s only been like three months — I think I probably know her better than anyone else on the planet. The whole blindsided from the engagement thing, that really sucks and I haven’t even really gotten a direct apology from them yet so that makes it a little hard to want to be friends. And, honestly, right now the best thing for both Holly and I is space, you know what I mean? It’s been so great that she’s gone out of L.A. She used to live two minutes away from me so to have her gone is very much out of sight, out of mind and it’s great. And I’m sure she would say the same thing.
Is there anything else you want to get out there, anything else you want to share with people? No, I mean, the music stuff is cool — I’ve got some shows coming up. But, honestly, thanks for the love. I don’t know how else to say it. It has been overwhelming, very humbling and, yeah, I just love love. I love getting it, I love giving it back. So just at the bottom of the page just a giant “I LOVE YOU GUYS.” Just “thank you and I love you.”