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Stagliano steals hearts

Derek Shuck, Staff Reporter - November 7, 2012

Music events at Central often appeal to a wide variety of students. Looking at any concert in the SURC Pit, there is normally no clear gender division.

However, this was not the case last Friday, when Michael Stagliano, of The Bachelorette and Bachelor Pad fame, played a set of songs to an audience that was about 80 percent female.

Stagliano was a contestant on the fifth season of the popular reality show The Bachelorette, and won the second season of the Bachelor Pad.

“I want to see him because he’s super hot,” said Mary Gamino, junior chemistry major, who was highly anticipating the event held in the SURC Theater.

Gamino was not the only one looking forward to seeing Stagliano, as the theater was packed a full 15 minutes before the event began.

After being introduced by his sister, Stagliano appeared before the crowd to a series of applause and cat-calls.

Bringing just an acoustic guitar to the stage, Stagliano used his sense of humor and enthusiasm to keep the crowd reeled in.

“It’s the greatest thing ever if people sing along, so please help me out,” Stagliano said before beginning to play. Stagliano also took every opportunity to personalize the song he was playing, adding in phrases like “Central,” or “Wildcats.”

Setting the romantic mood, the stage was decorated with roses and comfy living room chairs, a perfect complement to Stagliano’s acoustic performance.

Like most people with an acoustic guitar, Stagliano had a lot to say about love, and the audience had a lot to say in response. They gave particularly loud cheers during a song called “College Love,” in which Stagliano pondered finding love at Central Washington University.

“Don’t fight, just make babies. That’s my stance on it,” Stagliano said of his song subjects.

Stagliano’s songs approached love from several different angles, including lamenting about finding girls on Facebook, long distance relationships, and just wanting to get home to your family.

While a majority of the songs Stagliano played were his own material, he also sang his own special rendition of Rick Springfield’s “Jessie’s Girl” and Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance with Somebody.”

“I didn’t know how I felt about acoustic music before I came to see him, but I ended up really liking it,” said Katie Beaird, sophomore psychology major.

Not afraid to break up the songs with personal anecdotes, Stagliano used his humorous life stories to keep the audience entertained while taking a break from playing guitar. A notable example included giving a child he was supposed to babysit a completely frozen pizza to eat, not realizing he was supposed to cook it.

“Everyone has a super embarrassing story. If you don’t have one yet, you will,” Stagliano said after sending the audience into a fit of laughter.

Once Stagliano was finished with his set of about 10 songs, he fielded several questions from the audience.

He also gave periodic shout-outs to members of the audience who had conversed with him on Twitter.

While a couple questions were asked about his time on “The Bachelorette” and “Bachelor Pad,” many got a little more personal.

When asked how he spent his $125,000 prize money from “Bachelor Pad,” Stagliano claimed he split it with another contestant, bought a guitar, and saved the rest.

The audience held its breath as one questioner asked if Stagliano had a lady in his life, to which he gave a resounding “yes.”

“I think you could literally hear every girl’s heart break when he said he had a girlfriend,” said Cody Werner, a senior anthropology major who attended the event.

When asked if he regretted becoming a reality TV star, Stagliano said the experience was “overwhelmingly positive,’ and allowed him to travel the country and do what he loves.

After thanking the audience and leaving the stage, Stagliano made one last encore appearance outside the theater at his merchandise table. Selling everything from T-shirts to panties with his name on them, Stagliano had no problem appealing to his female fan base.

Willing to give free hugs and sign whatever anyone wanted signed, Stagliano faced down a line of people that stretched all the way around the upper level of the SURC.

Before he ended the night, Stagliano thanked all of his fans that came out to support him, and made one last promise:

“I’ll definitely be back. It’s so warm and cozy.”

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