by (@shalapitcher)

New Celebrity Apprentice Cast: A Hulk, A Mob Wife, A Beauty Queen And More

NBC is promoting season five of Celebrity Apprentice as the “toughest season yet,” and we can kind of see why. I mean, who would want to mess with the likes of George Takei, Clay Aiken and Debbie/Deborah Gibson?

Oh, wait, there are also a couple of intimidating folks here: Victoria Gotti, Real Housewives of New Jersey’s Teresa Giudice and American Chopper’s Paul Teutul Sr. Not only do they know their way around reality TV, but they also probably know a guy. And Lou Ferrigno may not be the Hulk anymore, but we wouldn’t test him. Also, former Miss Universe Dayana Mendoza was once kidnapped in Venezuela, so running a business or five should be a piece of cake, right?

Also competing for the chance to win back their fame, er, win $250,000 for the charity of their choice are a slew of “Where have they been?” folks: Aubrey O’Day, Arsenio Hall, Tia Carrere, Adam Carolla and Cheryl Tiegs. Magician Penn Jillette, racecar driver Michael Andretti, actress Patricia Velasquez comedian Lisa Lampanelli and the always-entertaining rocker Dee Snyder round out the cast.

“It’s amazing the abuse they take and the kind of work they put in,” Donald Trump told The Hollywood Reporter. Well, that remains to be seen, Donald. I mean, what counts as “amazing” for reality TV these days?

[Photo: Getty Images]

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Taylor Lautner Fake Isn’t Joining These Awesome Coming Out Covers

You have to feel sorry for Taylor Lautner. No, not because someone faked this People magazine cover story in which he apparently comes out of the closet and is “more liberated, and happier than I’ve ever been” as a result. (Just in case you didn’t smell a rat about such a story being a “special double issue,” a People rep confirmed that it was fake to GossipCop.com. Also, that quote should seem mighty familiar to some of you … more later.) But because he’d be in some really great company if he were gay and chose to come out in this manner. So many celebs have been announcing their sexual preference via their own websites or TV interviews, but the tradition of the heartfelt magazine cover story interview — whether it’s a shocking revelation or confirming years of rumors and speculation — has a warm place in our pop-culture hearts. Scroll down for some classics:

Back in 1976, Elton John’s first admission in print that he was bisexual isn’t even mentioned on the cover of Rolling Stone. In fact, it isn’t discussed until the very end of the article. We’re not sure if that’s because it was too shocking or not shocking in the least. “There’s nothing wrong with going to bed with somebody of your own sex,” the singer declared. “I think everybody’s bisexual to a certain degree. I don’t think it’s just me. It’s not a bad thing to be.”
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Anna Paquin Announces Bisexuality In PSA

Well, here’s a new twist on the Hollywood coming out party. Joining familiar faces like Wanda Sykes, Elton John and Clay Aiken in a new equal-rights PSA for the True Colors Fund is Anna Paquin, who helps introduce the clip by announcing “I’m bisexual and I give a damn.” While this is presumably not news to fiance (and True Blood co-star) Stephen Moyer, Paquin’s statement was reportedly unplanned and a surprise to the folks making the clip (homosexuality was not a prerequisite; the clip also features straight dudes Jason Mraz and Eric Roberts). Not to be crass—we definitely applaud her convictions—but we have to say that such a detail could only help True Blood‘s ratings in the future. What, you think they won’t try to exploit it?

See photos of Paquin and Moyer in the gallery below.

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Clay Aiken Not A Fan Of Adam Lambert

clay aiken

Whoever said Clay Aiken wanted to tour with Adam Lambert was wrong, wrong, wrong. The season 2 runner-up revealed to his fan club today that he is not a fan of the raven-haired shriek machine.

I only turn the show on once a season, and only to see what the set looks like each year. This year, I happened to turn it during the minute that Adam Lambert was singing “Ring of Fire” and, at that moment, thought my ears would bleed. Contrived, awful, and slightly frightening! I wasn’t really a fan and found myself surprised whenever folks told me that they liked him. Granted, I never saw another performance (and many folks who I trust said that he was great) but I can’t imagine I would have enjoyed it. Just not my cup of tea at all. To each his own.

He then went on to explain the victory of underdog Kris Allen over Lambert as “a battle between David and Goliath—my money is on David!”

Those votes for Kris were also votes to return the show to its roots of finding “real” contestants with undiscovered talent and giving them the chance to grow and shine. They were votes that said “we’re tired of seeing contestants who already seem to know it all.”

Is Clay right, or is he just sore that Glambert won’t make that album of duets?

[Photo: Getty Images]

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Clay Aiken Wants Adam Lambert, Idol Execs Furious

clay aiken & adam lambert

Clay Aiken‘s still bringing the drama on Idol! According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the 2nd season runner-up crashed the set last week to talk to Adam Lambert. Producers were furious—and not just because of wink-wink nudge-nudge.

“Not only did [Clay] drop [Idol runners] 19 Entertainment,” said the paper’s source, “but everyone knows he also talked Kelly Clarkson into dropping us, too…to say the least, it was tense around here when Clay showed up—and boy, did they hustle him off the premises as fast as possible. If he didn’t get the hint after that—he never will.”

Hard to believe, but Aiken reportedly hopes to record an album of duets with Glambert. We’re not sure why the Idol front-runner would bother—Danny Gokey performing nude in Hair would make more sense. But, looking at his record sales, we can’t blame Clay for giving it a shot.

[Photos: Getty Images]

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Clay Aiken Makeover: Fab Or Fail?

When Clay Aiken hit the second season of American Idol, the four-eyed dweeb of the audition transformed into a spiky-haired superstar by the finals (which he lost). His debut album, Measure Of A Man, was a hit with the Claymates, but his singles failed to dominate the pop chart. And so came some less successful makeovers.

Clay grew his hair into a brown mop for his 2006 album, A Thousand Ways, and by the end of the year he had a full-blown mane. The album was a flop, and for the follow-up he tried on a blond mane (Spamalot’s fault?) — only to be dropped by his label soon after. He’s recently returned to his classic Idol look, but we almost wish he’d stuck with the dye job. Do you?

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Top 25 Greatest Idol Alumni Videos

American Idol as a TV show is about as successful as you can get, but people might not realize just how big the empire is. Okay, some of its former contestants probably realized after it was too late that conquering movies was maybe not their thing (From Justin to Kelly to … nowhere). But if you consider their musical track record, it’s pretty impressive. Since the show started in 2002, there have been more than 200 songs by Idol alums to hit the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart. David Cook even had 11 songs from his self-titled debut hit the chart in 2008 in the same week.

We took into account album sales and chart-toppers and threw in a dose of personal favorites to bring you our list of The Top 25 Greatest American Idol Alumni Videos. Some artists show up a few times (Kelly Clarkson bookends the list) and a certain someone only shows up once because his baby face is just too sweet to stare at for too long (David Archuleta, we’re looking at you…). Our methods aren’t scientific, but they do take things like over-cuteness into account.

25. Kelly Clarkson – “My Life Would Suck Without You”

The latest of Clarkson’s singles, it made our list because while it’s a great song, the video sticks to the Clarkson formula that all other Clarkson videos adhere to – shots of Kelly performing with the band, spliced with shots of Kelly freaking out on/about a guy in a series of dramatic reenactments.

24. Bo Bice – “Witness”

Bice’s hair blows so freely — in the wind, in his convertible, by the sheer power of song — throughout the video, we couldn’t turn away. Viewers loved it too, the song spent three weeks at #1 on the VH1 Top 20 in December 2007.

23. Daughtry – “Over You”

“Hi, my name is Sara. Only it’s not, it’s Jessica Szohr, of TV’s Gossip Girl. I’m sorry I just cried throughout this whole video while wrapped in a towel. Actually nevermind – that was probably pretty hot. You’re welcome.”

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Was Clay Aiken Dropped By His Record Label?

Despite (or because of) the publicity from his recent self-outing, it looks like Clay Aiken is no longer welcome at RCA Records. According to Faded Youth Blog, RCA has deleted his press materials from their website and removed him from the label’s roster in Grammy-related news releases. Aiken’s last album, 2008′s On My Way Here, debuted at #4 on Billboard, but has yet to even go gold (his 2003 debut sold 3 million copies).

Even if Aiken is off the label, there are still plenty of people who love him. He’ll be a guest judge on America’s Next Top Model this season (participating in an “acting challenge” with the ladies), and someone payed $16,000 for a Spamalot bear signed by Aiken last Friday. This isn’t the last you’ve heard from Clay.

[Photo: FilmMagic]

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American Idol: Then & Now

Going from hometown hopeful to Hollywood hottie is not always a smooth ride for American Idol contestants. From haircuts to diets to porcelain veneers, the Idol kids have undergone some extreme makeovers. See who changed for the better, and who changed for the worse. While Carrie Underwood may have become a country music super-babe, Jessica Sierra‘s mugshot demonstrated her damaging lifestyle. Check out the pics below to see the transformations of all your favorite Idol contestants from seasons one to seven.

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