After a season of intentionally provoking our contestants into the most deliciously awkward, humiliating and shameful of situations, the producers of Idol have clearly lost all sense of restraint. On last night?s American Idol, the songs of musical theater composer Andrew Llloyd Webber served as the ?music of the night.? Throughout the season, anecdotes and baby pictures have painted pictures of our contestants? childhoods. Tonight we learned who had friends in middle school (Brooke, Carly and Jason Cook), and who spent most of afternoons organizing collections of Broadway revival programs (Syesha Mercado, David Cook). While Carly, Jason and Brooke all seemed reluctant about the theatrical challenge of this campy composer, Cook, Archuletta and Mercado were clearly up to the challenge.
Though Mariah Carey topped the charts this week with her latest E=MC2, she may be feeling the heat from the new batch of talented singers, particularly Leona Lewis, who occupies the number two slot after dominating the charts last week. Mimi?s been asked about the similarities, and as you can see from the photo above, they do bear more than a slight resemblance.
In an interview, Mariah responded to the constant comparisons that have plagued her for the length of her twenty-year career, and also to Ms. Lewis specifically. “Honestly, there has been so many, this is the new her, and I’m like, OK, show me the new her?I’m not particular talking about this girl Leona, because I only heard her once and I didn’t really hear a true similarity, particularly in the style of music.”
Sounds like Ms. Mimi?s a bit defensive there. She went on to say that she prays to lose ?the spirit of jealousy.? We bet knocking Leona out of the chart?s top spot helps with that, but as for her ?no similarity? claim, really, Mariah? Not the hair? Not the young age you both started at, the multi-octave voice or the fact that you came up in difficult circumstances? OK, Mims. Whatever you say.
Mariah Says No To Babies
The Butterfly-loving chart-topper isn’t interested in having kids. Probably best for someone who considers herself “eternally 12.” [NYD]
Bey & Jay Confirm What You Already Knew
The first couple of hip-hop filed their marriage license. In Scarsdale. Jay then caught the 5:17 back to the city to play racquetball. [People]
Paris & Benji: Two Months and Counting!
The terrible twosome have made it through eight weeks already. They celebrated with dinner, a movie, and laser tag [Ed: WTF?]. [People]
Natalie Portman Gets Pissed [On]
Check out the bitch who did it. [Huffington Post]
You’ve already seen the tour de force video for Madonna‘s single “4 Minutes to Save the World” featuring Justin Timberlake — now see what the duo got up to behind the scenes. Follow Justin and Madonna around on the set in the clip above, and find out who’s got the dirtier mouth, and which George Michael song Justin spontaneously starts singing.
Janet Jackson never been the type to shy away from a good ol’ chat about sex (heck, she even told us her favorite songs to hypothetically make babies to), so when E! asked her who her girl crush was, Janet seemed eager to answer. Can you guess who the “Feedback” singer would want as her sapphic duet partner? Hint: she’s one of the singers pictured below.
Take the jump to find out.
Why is it that rich people can’t afford to pay someone to give them good ideas? Paris and Nicole are allegedly plotting to marry their twin boyfriends in a ceremony together, followed by a honeymoon in a pile of cash earned from the publicity wedding stunt. A source says, “Paris is doing it all for attention, as usual. It?s a publicity stunt, just like everything else.”
Let’s see, just like her other two(three?) engagements, her lost dog, her sex tape, her album, her perfumes, her various reality shows, her hair extensions, her jewelry line, her nightclubs, her book, her feud with Nicole/Lindsay/Britney, and her stint in jail? Yep, sounds like Paris! But haters beware – she’s been spotted wearing some sort of ring on her finger! Maybe it’s a purity ring! Paris Hilton taking a vow of chastity? Now THAT would be a publicity stunt. [DListed]
Squeaky clean singer Miley Cyrus talks about having “the best of both worlds” in one of her songs, and it appears she’s taking her own lyrics to heart! The Disney starlet and her reps spend a lot of time emphasizing her good girl image, but the internet is constantly telling us otherwise in the form of candid pics. The latest snapshots to appear in our browser show Miley showing off her neon green bra and cuddling with a young male friend who looks ready to jump her viriginal (maybe?) bones. One instant she’s the queen of the tween world, living the pure life that BritBrit couldn’t handle, and the next instant she’s trying out her boob flashing skills. Seems like the best of both worlds to us! [A Socialite’s Life]
The controversy over Nas‘ forthcoming ablum, Nigger, is growing more intense with news that one of its songs subverts the old Dr. Pepper jingle by replacing the word “Pepper” with the N-word:
“I’m a nigger, he’s a nigger,
she’s a nigger, we’re a nigger
Wouldn’t you like to be a nigger too?”
- From Nas’ “Be A Nigger Too” (Listen here)
Before this latest shocker, a lot had been written about who is in support of Nas’ album title (Jay-Z, Common, Alicia Keys, Don Imus) and who isn’t (NAACP, Jesse Jackson, 50 Cent). 50 Cent, among others, says Nas is going for “shock value.” The fact that rappers have embraced the word and rendered it less hurtful and more banal through overuse for at least two decades may lend some credence to his claim. Maybe this is why Nas’ earlier statement seemed kind of weak:
“I wanna make the word easy on muthaf***ers’ ears. You see how white boys ain’t mad at ‘cracker’ ’cause it don’t have the same [sting] as ‘nigger’? I want ‘nigger’ to have less meaning [than] ‘cracker.’”
But Nas’ new song could pull more people into his corner and back up Jay-Z’s earlier statement: “I know he’s very intelligent and there’s a reason behind what he’s doing.” Pairing a once-omnipresent commercial song that is childlike in its simplicity with one of the most incendiary words in the English language raises so many questions that it could make heads explode. Could Nas be commenting on how big business packages and sells just about anything to kids — from soft drinks to gangsta rap? Could he be attempting to hit back at the very commercialization that has damaged hip-hop as an art form? Could he be doing all of the above and stirring up controversy to sell albums, too?
Nas’ intentions may not yet be totally clear, but we’re all waiting to hear more. — Matt Muro
[Photo: Getty Images]
Kanye?s Ex Wishes Him the Best
Alexis Phifer confirms that Kanye kicked her to the curb, possibly to focus on his new tour. It will only make her stronger, right? [Us]
LiLo Blocks Ashley Olsen from her Gal Pal
Linds got pissed when Ash tried to greet DJ – and Lohan lover – Samantha Ronson, and freaked when Sam paid more attention to her DJ gig than her. Romantic! [NYP]
Tom and Nicole?s Son to Debut on Big Screen
Connor Cruise will make his movie debut in an upcoming Will Smith flick. [People]
Jess and Tony Romo Lick, Suck Face
Wanna see Jessica Simpson lick cake of her boyfriend’s face? Yeah, me neither. [Us]
Suri Celebrates #2 Like a Normal Toddler!
Tom and Katie threw their baby a small birthday party where guests colored on a giant card and went bowling. It’s the first normal thing they’ve done since her birth! [MSNBC]
Oh gross. It’s the biggest mistake the world’s ever seen since, well, they first got together: Britney and Kevin may be on the road to reconciling their love. They recently shared a kiss – their first since they split – when Kev arrived to pick up Sean and Jayden after a visit with their mom. “They were discussing the boys and how they’re doing,” said a source in the know, “when she suddenly got in close and kissed Kevin. She did it because she felt so close to him at that moment.”
Who are these insiders who just happen to be right there when Britney and Kevin lock lips and why aren’t they trying to stop this obvious disaster?! The spy also reported that K-Fed was possibly a bit shocked by Brit’s bold move, claiming that he asked her “Should we do this in front of the boys?” We’re sure it’s fine Kev – they’ve already seen their mom hauled off in a police car naked, as well as all that other crazy crap they’ve witnessed for two years. A kiss is child’s play to, uh, your children. It’s how they were made, afterall.? [Star]