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Robbyn Mitchell, Times Staff Writer

Robbyn Mitchell

Robbyn Mitchell covers pop culture, entertainment, night life, local events and arts for tbt* and the Times. She is a native of Washington, D.C., and a 2007 graduate of Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University in Tallahassee.

Phone: (813) 226-3373


Twitter: @RMitchellTimes

  1. Where to watch the Women's World Cup Final Sunday


    Local bars and restaurants are looking forward to an extended celebration of the red, white and blue this weekend.

    After the bombs burst in air on Saturday night, folks will be right back out on Sunday to watch the U.S. Women's Soccer Team play to win its third FIFA Women's World Cup.

    The Lady Yanks have been battling their way across Canada to get to Sunday's game in Vancouver. It's a rematch against 2011 Women's World Cup champs Japan's Big Pink....

    USA fans celebrate during a men’s World Cup soccer game watch party at MacDinton’s Irish Pub in Tampa in 2014.
  2. Sesame Street's Maria, Sonia Manzano retires after 44 years on the show


    The woman who taught you to sing and count in Spanish is moving away from Sesame Street after four long decades in America's friendliest neighborhood. 

    Sonia Manzano, 65, who played Maria, will retire from the series she joined just after leaving Carnegie Mellon University in 1971. She was many people's first on screen Latina, and her acting, writing and general awesomeness got her many awards and accolades through the years, says the Washington Post. ...

  3. Disney dumps poop shaped candy from new Animal Kingdom shopping area


    Disney's Animal Kingdom isn't selling anymore candies shaped like animal dung at its new Harambe Market shopping area. 

    The theme park flushed the idea after only two weeks of selling the desserts made of chocolate, peanut butter and caramel, the Orlando Sentinel reports. ...

    "All 4 poo brownies from Zuri's in Harambe Market" WDW News Today tweeted on @WDWNT.
  4. The Bachelorette, Season 11, Episode 8 --€” Tears of a clown


    The moment that will define Kaitlyn Bristowe's legacy on The Bachelorette isn't the hook-up with Nick Viall. 

    It isn't being chosen over Britt Nilsson in the most sexist season opener in Bachelorette history. It won't be the any of the flameouts that happened before the rose ceremony. 

    We will always remember the moment Kaitlyn cried tears of relief when she realized Shawn B. didn't know she had slept with Nick. She wept with joy, despite supposedly not feeling guilty about having sex with Nick. To those who rushed to Kaitlyn's defense when the world judged her for jumping in the sack with the possible worst person in the world, I ask, if she's free to have sex with whomever she wants, why can't she own that? Why not just say, I was feeling it, I did it, what of it?...

    Chris also known as "Cupcake" tries to calm himself down after being dumped on the Cliffs of Moher.
  5. Tampa's Jeff Weldon, an alum of The Amazing Race, joins the cast of Big Brother Takeover


    Some people try to strike it rich with a big idea or some undeniable talent. 

    Jeff Weldon, 27, of Tampa will make do with winning at least one of CBS' game shows. 

    One of the newest members of Big Brother's 17th season may look familiar to The Amazing Race fans who saw him compete on that show this spring.

    Originally from Hampton in Hernando County, Weldon went on his first trip out of the country for The Amazing Race. He told the Times then that he always wanted to travel and he left his job to join the race....

    Houseguest Jeff Weldon plays pool in the backyard of the Big Brother house, on BIG BROTHER, Sunday.
  6. Transgender star Esme Russell spends a life learning to love drag

    Human Interest


    Esme Russell glides through a packed Hamburger Mary's in Ybor City during her second show of Saturday night.

    Her skin-tight, flesh-colored tube dress embellished with tiny mirrors reflects the faces of the crowd. She pauses and homes in on a young man who had leaned away during her lip-synch of a Gloria Estefan song.

    "What did you think was going to happen if I touched you?" says Esme, 54. "It's not contagious, honey. You can't catch this. You won't wake up one morning and want to put on a dress."...

Sonia Esmerelda Torres, whose stage name is Esme Russell, looks through her "drag jewelry" before her shows later that evening at Hamburger Mary's in Ybor City on Saturday, June 20, 2015. Torres changes her jewelry several times throughout the night with her costume changes.
  7. Alex Newell of 'Glee' talks Coachella, shoes before performing at St. Pete Pride


    Alex Newell doesn't have awesome memories of the summers he spent in the Tampa Bay area visiting family.

    "It always rained every day; we'd go out to go right back in," said the actor/singer who lives in Massachusetts. "Every day."

    He's hoping for sunnier climes at 7 p.m. Friday when he headlines the outdoor show 27/82: The Concert for St. Pete Pride.

    "I've done so many Prides now, I've lost count," he said in a phone interview this week....

    Alex Newell performs in 2014.
  8. Streets will light up for this year's St. Pete Pride parade


    Leave the flashlights at home and don't worry about squinting to see the outrageous costumes and epic dance routines on Central Avenue Saturday night. Parade entrants in this year's St. Pete LGBT Pride Parade have figured out how to do it in the dark.

    There will still be plenty happening in the light to support the area's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities. Friday, Glee star Alex Newell will headline a free concert on Central Avenue. Sunday, vendors from around the Tampa Bay area will peddle their wares to the tens of thousands of visitors and locals expected to attend the Pride street festival. But the rhinestone in the tiara of the parade and block party is from 5 to 10 p.m. Saturday, the parade stepping off at sunset, about 8:30....

    The Stonewall Democrats of Pinellas County wave to the crowd as their float rides down Central Avenue during last year’s St. Pete Pride night parade.
  9. The Bachelorette, Season 11, Episode 7- Living down to expectations


    You know what's a great way to refute claims that you're a surface-level person who came on The Bachelorette to meet hot guys and hook up?

    Sleeping with the guy everyone has been warning you about in his second week on the show.

    Kaitlyn Bristowe, you never disappoint. Just when we think this season of The Bachelorette has sunk into the depths of network TV depravity, there you are, smiling with arms full of rocks, ready to take us even lower....

    Kaitlyn gave Jared the group date rose and the chance to slow dance to a live performance by The Cranberries in Dublin, Ireland.
  10. The Bachelorette, Season 11, Episode 6: The Elusive 16th Minute of Fame


    This, my friends, is the magic of The Bachelorette.

    From the time Ian got out of the limo, editing had painted him as Kaitlyn Bristowe’s biggest cheerleader, No. 1 fan and the guy who always had her back in every situation.

    In the first episode, he lobbied for her to be The Bachelorette. In Episode 4, he used his last-minute couch rally time to break up team #BrokebackBachelor. When Nick first appeared, he loudly questioned his motives. It seemed like he was protecting a girl he actually liked....

    Ian gives a mariachi performance to Kaitlyn in San Antonio. Who knew those would be the last semi-pleasant sounds to escape his pompous face?
  11. Taylor Swift? Maroon 5? Who will have the song of the summer?

    Music & Concerts

    It's the song you can't escape at your friend's cousin's wedding reception. It's the song you'll hear twice in the car on the way to every cookout, kickback, get-together and beach party, twice at the actual function and three times on the way home. Ubiquity defines the song of the summer, coined by Billboard to give a title to the jam that rules the airwaves and streams between Memorial Day and Labor Day....

  12. Metrocon vendors bring hard-to-get items to anime convention


    Coins will drop all over the Tampa Convention Center this weekend as Tampa Bay anime fans weave through this year's Metrocon.

    It's Tampa's largest anime convention, a place for fans of Japanese animation to gather, dress in costume and do some serious shopping. Expanded to four days, organizer Team Dynamite lined up enough voice talent, panels, role-playing games, cosplay contests, parody shows and raves for even n00bs to take a deep dive into the style that has grown a cult following in the past 50 years....

    Eagle Anime of Minnesota will bring a $100 Digimon figure from the Adventure G.E.M. series.
  13. The Bachelorette, Season 11, Episode 5: Friends in low places


    Friends don't let friends mack on their girlfriends.

    This has been biggest and most fundamental misunderstanding among the remaining men in this season of The Bachelorette.

    They turned against Clint because he wasn't friendly. They turned on JJ because he was a bad friend to Clint. They turned on Kaitlyn because she wanted to explore her friendship with Nick. And they will turn on Nick because they don't consider him a friend....

    Kaitlyn and Doug E. Fresh welcome the group daters to the most painful rap battle in human history.
  14. Additions at MOSI will let you ride driverless shuttle, pilot drones and code robots


    Additions to the Innovate exhibit at Tampa's Museum of Science and Industry will allow visitors to ride a driverless shuttle, pilot drones and code robots beginning as early as next week. The intelligent and electric Meridian Shuttle opening June 13 will be the first of its kind open to the general public in the United States, MOSI said. Guests will be able to hop on the shuttle eight at a time in the museum lobby and take a fully computerized spin around the first floor. A docent called a STEAM Punk will ride along with passengers, explain the technology and answer questions, said Megan Haskins, MOSI's marketing director. Starting in July, tech fans will also be able to pilot flying, rolling and submersible drones in MOSI's new Drone Zone. The Idea Zone is also adding a component allowing future inventors to code a robot to explore off-world terrain and navigate a maze. Exhibit organizers say introducing the tech to consumers before it is commercially available gives them the chance to ask questions about the safety and feasibility of driverless vehicles. Admission to the museum is $22.95 adults, $18.95 kids. For more information, visit — Robbyn Mitchell, Times staff writer...

    MOSI is located at 4801 E. Fowler AvenueTampa, FL  33617
  15. G. Bar in Ybor City closes after sale to Orlando proprietor


    YBOR CITY — Brief-clad, male go-go dancers and sharp-tongued drag queens were only a small part of the legacy of G. Bar, which closed its doors on May 30.

    Since its opening nine years ago, the bar at 1401 E Seventh Ave. has hosted countless world-class DJs, dozens of dollar drink nights and a few internationally recognizable pop acts, including Lady Gaga in 2008.

    Owners D. Stephen Moss and Steve Donahue decided to sell the G. Bar property in early May, after an Orlando bar proprietor made a generous offer on the space. ...

    Patrons dance in G. Bar at 1401 E Seventh Ave.