Latest Blog Posts

<p>Rihanna and Chris Martin perform during the 54th Grammy Awards.</p>

Rihanna and Chris Martin perform during the 54th Grammy Awards.

Credit: AP Photo/Matt Sayles

Live Blogging the 2012 Grammy Awards

Does Adele take it all? What about Nicki Minaj, Foo Fighters and Taylor Swift?

7:56 p.m. It's almost time!!! Let's make this fun. Chime in whenever you want and I'll reply to comments as I can. We're a few minutes away from the opening of the Grammys (Bruce Springsteen is the first act, by the way), but we anticipate the whole tone of the Grammys to be affected by Whitney Houston's death yesterday. In addition to the tribute featuring Jennifer Hudson and Chaka Khan, expect a number of winners to mention Houston.

As you know, most of the awards are handed out before the telecast, which focuses on the biggest awards and performances. So far, Skrillex has already won three, which could mean he will take Best New Artist over The Band Perry, J. Cole, Bon Iver and Nicki Minaj. Foo Fighters have grabbed every category they are up for that has been presented so far (four). We still think Adele's "21" is a lock for album of the year, but Foos could pull of an upset... though unlikely. Kanye West has three Grammys, while Tony Bennett, Taylor Swift and Adele already have two. A small piece of trivia: Tony Bennett won his first Grammy in 1962, meaning he has a 50-year span of winning (he just snagged more Grammys tonight).

7:59: We were at rehearsals for Springsteen and he was awesome. Very excited to see if it translates on TV. Who are you excited about seeing? 

8 p.m. BRUCE!!! I'm totally in the tank for Springsteen and I have to say he's bringing it on "We Take Care Of Our Own." It's a straight rock opening. There's not a lot of bells and whistles, but he's never needed them and never will. Big productions are not his thing: it is always about the music.   Similarly to when U2 opened a few years ago, this is solely a ratings play and a promotional play. "Wrecking Ball" comes out March 6, so he's not up for anything. Hottest, fittest 62-year old on the planet. Oh my: They just flashed to Lady Gaga in a black veil. Like me, she loves herself some Bruce. GRADE: A-

8:06: My goodness. Host LL Cool J is leading Staples Center in prayer for Whitney Houston. We're now seeing video of  Houston killing it with "I Will Always Love You" from the 1994 Grammys. No disrespect, but that clip and her voice just got me much, much closer to Heaven than the prayer. Really breathtaking, pure voice. OK, I admit it, that clip made me tear up.

8:10  Taylor Swift and Nicki Minaj are holding hands. Sweet. This is the first year in seven that the Grammys has had a host and thank God because there's no way they could have pulled off this opening without one.

8:12: Bruno Mars just told the audience to get off their rich asses and move it to "Runaway Baby."  He looks like Richie Valens, but he's channelling James Brown right now. This is his second year performing at the Grammys and he's brought it each year... last year he was in the great number with Janelle Monae.  I am a big Bruno Mars fan and I love the retro stage and the gold jackets.  This is a production. Is it possible he just got a bigger hand than Bruce? Yes, I think it is... GRADE: A

8:21: I love and miss Whitney, but I'm hoping not every performer feels like he/she has to give a shout out. Alicia Keys just did so as she and Bonnie Raitt go into "Sunday Kind Of Love" in a tribute to Etta James. Oh God, Keys is awesome, but Raitt gave me chills when she started. I was talking to Raitt on Friday at MusiCares and she looked incredible. Can't wait for the new album in April. GRADE: A-

8:23: Best pop solo vocal performance. It's going to Adele, as will everything tonight. Pink's so sure she's losing, she's not even there. And... there we go. Adele wins for "Someone Like You," which is going to become a standard. Mark my words. Given that it's a vocal performance, she wisely thanks her doctors.. and he co-writer Dan Wilson.

8:27 I'm trying to judge Chris Brown's performance on its face value and not let my feelings that a three-year Grammy ban for smashing Rihanna about is hardly long enough. I think it's safe to say he's lipsyncing: Hey Chris, real mean don't lip sync or hit women. Okay, I had to get that out, because the dancing is nothing short of magnificent  as he flips all  around a set of colored blocks and then disappears off the end. Some people, not many, are even giving him a standing ovation. It's going to take a lot more than that to get one from me. Plus, I think "Turn Up The Music" is just a rip off of  LMFAO's "Party Rock Anthem," though I do like "Beautiful People."  GRADE: A (dancing)  C (everything else)

8:36 Fergie and Marc Anthony give Jay-Z and Kanye West the best rap performance for "Otis." And SHOCKING, neither one is there. I'm guessing that West is so pissed off that he didn't receive a best album nomination (which he really deserved) and Jay-Z didn't want to leave his baby mama, who goes by the name Beyonce. However, when I was at rehearsals on Friday, there was a seat marked for Jay-Z, so his absence may have come as a surprise to NARAS.

8:39: Jason Aldean and Kelly Clarkson are performing their country smash, "Don't You Wanna Stay," on a stage that has sprockets from a watch on it. Not really sure the stage set up... unless the inner workings of a watch symbolize staying for "a little while." OOPS, our first malfunction, and it's not Clarkson's very low cut dress. Jason Aldean's microphone goes out just as he and Clarkson are supposed to be wailing at the end. Better his mic than Clarkson's... Nice performance, but nothing awesome. I've just decided that I'm going to go back and grade the performances. Feel free to do so in the replies if you'd like.  GRADE: B

8:48: Jack Black keeps his indie cred by staying outside and introducing Foo Fighters, who have already won four Grammys tonight. Frequent readers of The Beat Goes On know that I love Springsteen mostest of all, but Dave Grohl is not too far behind. The Foos are tearing into "Walk." I wish I could turn up my computer (I'm having to watch an east coast feed) because they are bringing it and drummer Taylor Hawkins is doing his best Animal imitation. Oh Dave, I never want to die either.  Little side story: The Foos played "Jet" at the MusiCares salute to Paul McCartney on Friday night, which was  one my favorite music nights ever, especially with McCartney closed the night with the "Golden Slumbers" medley.  I was talking to Dave before hand and asked if he was excited about playing before Sir Paul (he's played with McCartney before). He just looks at me, and as loudly as he could without drawing too much attention to himself in the banquet hall, goes "F***********CK Yeah!" He will always be a fan and that makes me love him even more.  GRADE: A  (there is no way that they can keep up this level of performances... )

8:57: Coldplay and Rihanna time. We open with  Rihanna singing "We Found Love" solo. (The song made my list of top singles of 2011) Just a side note: we're going to go the whole first hour with only one Grammy being handed out.  Oh snap, it looks like Rihanna is lipsyncing... I have to deduct for that. Maybe I'm wrong... Loving the blond hair way more than the red she spotted awhile ago. Nice dance number, but generic. Did she just say "Make some noise for Whitney?" Really?  Straight into high energy of "We Found Love" to Coldplay's Chris Martin strumming an acoustic guitar. Now he's been joined by Rihanna for "Princess of China." She seems to be singing live here, whereas she absolutely was not before. This is not working. It was a horrible segue. So after a verse of that, we now go into Coldplay performing "Paradise." So basically that was two individual artist performances tied together with a small snippet of their duet so the Grammys could promote that Rihanna and Coldplay were performing together. Okay, NARAS, is that really the way you're going to play it? 

9:05:  Yes, seven minutes later we're still in the Rihanna/Rihanna & Coldplay/Coldplay performance segment and all the air has left the room. Big Coldplay fan, but this performance is not working for me. Chris Martin's pitch is way off (my cat's ears are pinned back), but he's very obviously singing live.  GRADE: C

9:12: The Foo Fighters win best rock performance Grammy for "Walk." Of course they do... they deserve it, but they were also the only REAL rock song in the category (though I love every song in that grouping). Dave Grohl has been touting everywhere he can, and he's doing so again, that this album was made in his garage with "some microphones and a tape machine." And that's all it takes to make really great music. "Singing into a microphone, playing an instrument, and learning your craft is most important." Oh Dave, I just keep thinking I can't love you more, but I do... and to play off Grohl, who screams "Long Live Rock and Roll." they play LMFAO's "Party Rock Anthem," which has no sign of a live instrument anywhere... hmmm (and a little side note, LOVED the version of "The Scientist" by Willie Nelson in the Chipotle commercial. Way better than Coldplay tonight.

9:18: Maroon 5 kicks off the Beach Boys tribute with a servicable "Surfer Girl."  Foster The People seemed like they were going to be headed for greatness with their very sweet homage-- striped shirts, suits, surfboards, and all--with "Wouldn't It Be Nice," but lead singer Mark Foster's voice isn't totally cooperating. I loved the spirit, the styling and their whole respect for the Beach Boys though. Now we have the real deal. Everyone in the audience has to act like they are loving it, when the truth is Brian Wilson looks lost and Mike Love looks like he just strolled in off his boat (and he most be getting a cut of the merch since he's sporting a Beach Boys hat) and creepy. However, Al Jardine, Bruce Johnston and the backing band (I'm figuring it's the Wondermints, who have beautifully backed Wilson for years) are keeping the harmonies righteous. Adam Levine just looked at Mike Love like, "get your hand off me, grandpa." But you know what?  A world with Brian Wilson is just a better world (even if he can't wait to get off the stage the second the song is over)  GRADE: B-

9:32: Stevie Wonder gets a standing ovation just for coming onstage and that is how it should be... he introduces Paul McCartney who is performing "My Valentine" from his new album, " Kisses On The Bottom."  Let's all admit it, there are about 492 songs we'd rather hear Macca singing right now, but it's a pleasant enough song  and is the best thing on the new album. I'm just hoping he rips into something else from here.  I've never heard Joe Walsh play so tastefully before (well, he played with McCartney when they did this song on Friday night, but other than then... ) OK, standing O because he's Paul McCartney: Great. Standing O because of that performance: No.  GRADE: B-

9:37: Chris Brown just won the Grammy for best R&B album for "F.A.M.E. He thanks God and the Grammys for letting him "get on stage and do this thing." I'm going to give him credit for keeping it short and sweet and humble. And that's all I'm going to say about that, but please note the Grammys keep is classy and don't show a reaction shot from Rihanna.

9:40: The Civil Wars, who won two Grammys in the pre-telecast, tear into "Barton Hollow." I know his suit is part of his stage persona, but John Paul White looks like a 35-year old  Colonel Sanders. They introduce Taylor Swift, who goes into "Mean." If you're not aware of the song The Civil Wars and Swift did together for "The Hunger Games," the link might not make sense... Anyway, Swift is using a broken down, old-timey set that was probably built from scavaging the dumpsters in and around Staples Center and downtown.  She may not get to play Eponine in "Les Miserables,", but Swift makes a perfect Depression-era character. Maybe she can play Scout in a remake of "To Kill a Mockingbird." Just kidding... Oh, every time she gets to the line about "how I can't sing," I die a little inside. I'm loving this version of the song though (which is similar to how she performs it on tour. Overall, I would have liked more Civil Wars and less Swift. GRADE: B

9:52: Adele and Paul Epworth win song of the year for "Rolling In The Deep," which is no surprise, but lovely none the less. Was Adele chewing gum the whole time? She's adorable. I'm telling you, the only act that can beat the Foo Fighters this year is Adele. If you're keeping count, The Foos have won 5 (including pre-telecast) and Adele has won 4.

9:55: Katy Perry may be delivering the biggest F*CK YOU ever delivered on the Grammy stage. She opened with "E.T.," which was written about her love for now ex-husband Russell Brand, but now she's launched into new single "Part Of Me." The lyrics include "Cause you chewed me up and spit me out, like I was poison in your mouth...But you're not gonna break my soul. This is the part of me that you're never gonna ever take away from me."  She's in a space-age gold outfit with blue hair. Not a great performance singing wise, but in terms of a woman trying to reclaim her life back and send a message, a total home run. GRADE: B

9:59: We've just hit the two-hour mark and Lady Antebellum just won best country album for "Own The Night," besting Taylor Swift, Eric Church and Blake Shelton. The trio won big last year, snagging song and record of the year, but couldn't get any general category noms this year. However, those wins from last year probably loomed large when voters got ready to mark their ballots.

10:05: Who does it take to bring Adele back the stage? Oscar winner Gwyneth Paltrow, that's who. Get ready for the performance of the night. Oh chills. She's singing "Rolling In The Deep" a capella. Yep, she's back.She sounds incredible and at full power and resonance. She also looks beautiful, even if she looks, quite frankly, like she's a tiny bit tired of singing this song. I, on the other hand, will never, ever get tired of hearing it... Get ready for the biggest standing ovation of the evening. That sound you hear is the .001% of the world that wasn't already in love with Adele falling so, so hard. That air blast you feel is the collective exhalation and sigh of relief by Columbia Record execs. GRADE: A+

10:16: Taylor Swift, who's literally gone from rags to riches since her performance, introduces the Glen Campbell tribute, which stars with the The Band Perry, who are singing "Gentle On My Mind." What kind of furry skirt is Kimberly wearing? No matter, this is a fun, uptempo version of the song. Campbell's "Ghosts On The Canvas" was my No. 1 album of 2011. I'm feeling a little nervous for Campbell. TBP tosses to Blake Shelton, who's singing "Southern Nights."  Let's not even pretend that these songs are as great as the Jimmy Webb/Campbell collaborations, but since the Country Music Assn. Awards' tribute to Campbell snared all those, maybe the Grammys felt they had to do something different. Shelton is slowing down "Southern Nights" and there are cheesy backing vocals. Not digging it. Now Campbell, in a rhinestone jacket, is singing "Rhinestone Cowboy." He sounds really strong and you can feel everyone in Staples pulling for him, whether it's McCartney who's singing along or Joe Walsh, who's dancing along. He's riding out on a horse in a star-spangled rodeo. First F*** You of the night went to Russell Brand. The second F*** You of the night? To Alzheimer's Disease. 

10:30: Time for best new artist, but first we get a performance from Carrie Underwood and Tony Bennett, who got some more Grammy hardware tonight. Between Springsteen, Beach Boys, Glen Campbell and Tony Bennett, it really is your parents' Grammys, but I imagine Skrillex's upcoming appearance will send all the oldsters off to bed. In the meantime, Bennett and Underwood are singing "It Had To Be You" from "Duets II."  Bennett's flubbing up a bit and it was much better in the rehearsal I saw on Friday.   Here comes Best New Artist, which I thought The Band Perry would get, but Skrillex may take it. He's already won three... Well, I was just wrong all the way around. It's Bon Iver. Only Justin Vernon is accepting the award, which I guess makes sense since he is basically Bon Iver. He looks like a teaching assistant at University of Wisconsin or something. So he's talking about being uncomfortable accepting an award because he makes music for its own sake. As you may have read this week, he turned down an offer to play because he had to play with other folks.  For someone who's feeling uncomfortable about winning, he has so much to say, he gets played off. Bon Iver wasn't my choice to win, but it's a fine win, nonetheless.

10:38: I'm totally believing that you don't need for me to comment on NARAS president/chairman Neil Portnow's comments or the In Memorium section. Man, a lot of great folks died this year...BIG MAN!!!

10:43: Jennifer Hudson is singing "I Will Always Love You" a capella. I teared up during Campbell's performance and I can see i'm going to tear up again. Hudson deserves some kind of special MVP Grammy Award for stepping in with less than 24 hours notice. Wonderfully done.  There had been some reports today that Chaka Khan would also pay tribute to Houston (and obviously sing "I'm Every Woman), but it looks like that isn't happening. As it was, this was the perfect tribute: sad, but not overly maudlin. I'm not grading this or Campbell's segment.

10:51: Here comes a dance segment with David Guetta, Chris Brown, Lil Wayne,  Foo Fighters and Deadmau5.. It opens with Guetta and new Grammy winner Chris Brown on "I Can Only Imagine." Out comes Lil Wayne who is also on the track. I always feel a little sorry when I watch Guetta because he looks like he really wants to bust a move and dance to his own music, but he has to keep paying attention to those two turntables. Then again, he has lots and lots of dough coming in, so it's probably a fair trade.  And here are the Foos for their second performance of the night (did you hear in the promo that McCartney is also coming back). They're replicating the "Rope" video with the white room. It's wild and woolly but a little off. Look who just showed up in the white room next door? It's Deadmau5 to chime in on his remix of "Rope."  Now Deadmau5 is doing his thing and you can hear TVs clicking off across America, or, at the very least, people are turning the the 11 p.m. news. There's a reason the Grammys kept this until almost 3 hours in.  May not be quite mainstream enough for CBS's Tiffany viewers, but points for trying to be hip. The men don't know, but the little girls, they understand. (And while we're quoting the Doors --well, actually Willie Dixon--we'd like to put in a plug for the new documentary, "Re:Generation," which pairs DJs such as Skrillex with veteran artists such as the Doors to create something altogether new.) GRADE: B-

11:07: Who does Nicki Minaj think she is? Lady Gaga? Okay, anyone over 25 who wasn't turned off by the EDM segment is totally tripping over this Minaj performance of "The Exorcism of Roman."  If this is really what we're in for with the new album, we're in trouble. It's theater and there's lots of video and monks in hoods and Minaj levitating, but it is a holy mess. I can't find a song in there to save my life. I run hot and cold on Minaj.  I salute her adventurousness here, but adventurousness does not equal good. I join everyone in Peoria going, "What the hell was that?"  GRADE: C-

11:11: Adele wins the Grammy for record of the year for "Rolling In The Deep."  As Lady Antebellum, who presents the award, says, "No surprise here." It's nice that they are presenting because Adele loves Lady A. Adele's keeping her speeches short and sweet. She may be saving it all for her album of the year speech.

11:20: It's album of the year time. Let's guess... of course, it's "21." That makes it a clean sweep for Adele. Some years are like that, like when Norah Jones swept in 2003.  Sweet hug between Adele and LL Cool J. Even though she's just won, Adele looks a little afraid to hug Miss Ross. Well, here comes all the emotion that she's been holding in. She's thanking Rick Rubin, whom she's kind of dissed before.  Has anyone since Fleetwood Mac ever gotten so much mileage out of bad relationships. Adele is the most real person ever.. she just made a comment about snot. Everything is real about that girl, except her fake eyelashes.  Lady Gaga dressed in black appropriately tonight.

11:23: Sir Paul is closing the night with "Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight/The End," after LL Cool J ludicrously introduces him as "My homie." No. That's a Beatle you're talking to. He's not a "homie," he's a legend.  "Golden Slumbers" is how he ended MusiCares on Friday night and it was breathtaking. I love watching Abe Laborial Jr. drum. It's like this powerful, gelatinous goo bashing the drums... so fluid. Just wait until he gets to "The End." He'll pummel the hell out of those skins. McCartney has been playing with this band longer than he played with The Beatles or Wings. I'm loving this because it's MCartney, but this doesn't hold a candle to his performance Friday night... and I'm not just saying that because I was in the room. Okay, maybe I am...

11:27: WHAT? There's Bruce Springsteen, Dave Grohl and Joe Walsh up with McCartney... Grohl and Springsteen are going at it. Joe Walsh always sounds like Joe Walsh... He's playing "The End' and he could go straight into "RockyMountain Way." OK, coolest end to the Grammys ever.  "And in the end... " That's really what it's all about. Not so strong start, AWESOME finish.  GRADE: McCartney, Springsteen, Grohl, Walsh on stage together? PRICELESS

SO here are some post-mortem thoughts: Overall very strong show. I don't think Chris Brown should be on a Grammy stage yet. Lots and lots of legends on stage tonight: McCartney, Springsteen, Campbell, Beach Boys, Tony Bennett. Not really sure why we had that Beach Boys performance. I would have liked to have seen Van Halen instead. I still need for someone to explain Nicki Minaj's performance to me. My world is a little bit better  knowing that Adele's voice is okay.

OVERALL GRADE: B

What's your overall grade? Who was your favorite performance? 

Follow Melinda Newman on Twitter @HitfixMelinda

 

Read Full Post
<p>Best Actor Jean Dujardin must have taken the red eye to make it to the BAFTAs in London after his guest appearance on &quot;SNL&quot;&nbsp;Saturday night in New York.</p>

Best Actor Jean Dujardin must have taken the red eye to make it to the BAFTAs in London after his guest appearance on "SNL" Saturday night in New York.

Credit: AP Photo/Joel Ryan

'The Artist' seals the deal for Oscar at the 2012 BAFTA Film Awards

Can Meryl Streep really beat Viola Davis for best actress?

If you're hoping for any surprises or upsets at this year's Academy Awards the chances of that occurring are getting less and less likely.

"The Artist" pretty much dominated the 2012 BAFTA Film Awards Sunday evening winning best picture, best director (Michel Hazanavicius), best actor (Jean Dujardin), best original screenplay (Hazanavicius), best music (Ludovic Bource) and best costume design (Mark Bridges). Considering the film's wins with the PGA and the DGA as well as Dujardin's SAG win for best actor, it's hard seeing anyone yelling over "The Artist's" winning song.

It's somewhat remarkable because the Brits chose The Weinstein Company release over "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy," a massive box office and critical hit in the UK. "Tinker" did win best british film and best adapted screenplay (Bridget O'Connor and Peter Straughan), but a possible win for Gary Oldman over Dujardin didn't materialize and the Frenchman has become the clear cut favorite.  Is it Roberto Benigni pt. 2 all over again?  Well, that's a bit insulting to the fine work Dujardin had accomplished throughout his career, but we'd argue others are more worthy.  Of course, those are the Oscar breaks.

In other categories, Meryl Streep took home just her second BAFTA for her performance as Margaret Thatcher in "The Iron Lady." Including her Golden Globe honor last month that was the second head to head win for Streep over "The Help's" Viola Davis. Even with Streep's win, its still expected Davis will take the Oscar after winning the comparable SAG Award just two weeks ago.  BAFTA did show love for "The Help" bestowing the best supporting actress honor to Octavia Spencer.

And, somewhat comfortingly, Christopher Plummer took home the BAFTA for "Beginners," the first nomination and first win for the 82-year-old Canadian.  Some suspect Max Von Sydow could upset Plummer on Oscar Sunday, but that would really be shocking at this point. Especially since Plummer has pretty much run the table this year.

Will that leave any suspense for the big show just two weeks from today?  The Academy always surprises somewhere. This year it just might be in foreign language film, visual effects (perhaps a first statue for the "Transformers" franchise?), documentary or those cagey sound editing and sound mixing categories. Yes, hold back your enthusiasm. It's gonna be one of those shows.  

So, if you're filling out your office Oscar pool or participating in HitFix's own awards pool, go with "The Artist" and take some time guessing just how long this year's telecast will be.  There's gonna be a lot of tiebreakers this year.

Do you think "The Artist" has it all wrapped up?  Share your thoughts below.

Read Full Post
"X Factor"

 "X Factor"

Credit: Fox

Reality TV Roundup: Was Whitney really up for 'X Factor'?

It's been a busy week, so get all your reality news here, now

Welcome to Reality TV Roundup -- a quick look at some of the reality TV-centric stories that have recently popped up across the fine, old Interwebs. Click away, my couch potato friends. But before you do...

SPOILER ALERT! SPOILER ALERT! SPOILER ALERT! One more time: SPOILER ALERT. If you watch "The X Factor," "Survivor," "Top Chef," "Project Runway" or any other competition shows, the latest elimination for each show is probably revealed in the text below. The hope is that, if you missed this week's program and would rather clear out your DVR than watch the episode, you can get a quick hit here. But don't come crying to me if you find out something you didn't want to know. You've been warned. Also note: lots of non-competition reality info lurks below, too. 

COMPETITION REALITY SHOWS 

THE VOICE

The blind auditions are underway and we learn that the judges have a soft spot for clapping

Judge Adam Levine starts a record label with a "Glee" star. It's a match made in television!

THE BACHELOR

Wondering why Casey S. was shown the door on "The Bachelor" when Wesley wasn't on "The Bachelorette"? Chris Harrison reveals why. 

 

Dumped bachelorette Jennifer reveals that, now that she's watching the show, she hates Courtney even more

 

Blakeley, Casey S. and Jamie just aren't all that to Ben. But dammit, Courtney's STILL around. 

 

THE X FACTOR

 

It seems the late Whitney Houston had plans to judge the show, though Simon Cowell will only say he was meeting her on Monday. 

 

Simon Cowell says Beyonce, Mariah and Elton won't be judging next season - but he has a few people he would like to fill in the available slots. 

  

We have our own ideas about which stars should be filling in Nicole and Paula's chairs, however. 

 

AMERICAN IDOL

 
Brace yourselves. It's group night! Read this recap for more. 
 

Nigel Lythgoe talks about fading ratings, "The Voice" and why people who aren't prepared for Hollywood Week are just plain stupid. 

 

Adam Lambert says it's just a rumor that he's going to formally step into Freddie Mercury's shoes to front Queen. 

 

TOP CHEF


Bev is back, but Ed is packing his knives to go. Nooo! 

 

The show will be back for a tenth season, of course. 

 

The First Lady guest judged a new "Top Chef" spin-off. Go figure. 

 

PROJECT RUNWAY ALL STARS


Even though Austin had the ugliest look and Kara's was the most boring, Rami somehow gets the boot

 

THE BIGGEST LOSER

 

Adrian is the latest cast-off on the show and admits he made excuses on a season that's all about "no excuses."

 

 

NON-COMPETITION REALITY TV SHOWS

 

 

THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF BEVERLY HILLS

 

Expletives, feuds, jealousy and suicide -- it's part two of the "RHoBH" reunion!

 

THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF ORANGE COUNTY


The girls are back -- but they're boring, at least for now. 
 

THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF ATLANTA

 

You know things are bad when NeNe is the voice of reason. Watch out for Marlo!

 

MISC.

 

Jeffrey Fraza, a fighter on 2005 reality show "The Contender," is hit and killed by a commuter train.

 

"Survivor" winner Richard Hatch can't catch a break from the law. 

 

Read Full Post
Kristen Wiig, Jean Dujardin, Taran Killam and Zooey Deschanel on "Saturday Night Live"
Kristen Wiig, Jean Dujardin, Taran Killam and Zooey Deschanel on "Saturday Night Live"
Credit: NBC

Jean Dujardin and Kristen Wiig cut a rug on 'Saturday Night Live'

The 'Artist' star ups his profile a little more

Fresh off "The Artist"'s BAFTA dominance earlier today, we might as well post last night's "Saturday Night Live" riff on Michel Hazanavicius's film. Hey, when you hit SNL, you've really made it.

Jean Dujardin stopped by 30 Rock for a bit of shenanigans with gust host Zooey Deschanel and cast member Taran Killam for that French bit, "Le Jeunes de Paris." It's not particularly interesting and I'm sure any number of people across the country were thinking, "Who's that guy?" But they'll all remember back on this sketch when "The Artist" wins Best Picture in a couple of weeks.

Kristen Wiig made a quick appearance as Bérénice Bejo's Peppy Miller, so I guess it was kind of neat to see her and fellow Oscar nominee Dujardin cut a rug. It's not as good as Dujardin's Funny or Die thing a few days ago, but it'll do. Check out an embed of the sketch below. Meanwhile, here is HitFix's Ryan McGee with a recap of the entire show.

Read Full Post
<p>Meryl Streep backstage at the BAFTA&nbsp;Awards after winning Best Actress for her performance in &quot;The Iron&nbsp;Lady&quot;</p>

Meryl Streep backstage at the BAFTA Awards after winning Best Actress for her performance in "The Iron Lady"

Credit: AP Photo/Joel Ryan

'The Artist' cleans up at the BAFTAs

Seven wins for the French silent, including Best Film, Director and Actor

Well, quelle surprise. While its hometown advantage and impressive haul of 11 nominations gave “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy” the appearance of a fighting chance in the BAFTA race, I think we all knew that the Brits, like pretty much everyone else, would fall in love with “The Artist.”

And boy, did they fall hard: with seven wins, including Best Film, Director, Actor and Original Screenplay, the French silent phenomenon completed the most comprehensive BAFTA sweep of the top categories in many a year. (Octavia Spencer, who added yet another Best Supporting Actress trophy to her mantel tonight, must be thanking her lucky stars that BAFTA voters correctly placed Berenice Bejo in the lead race.) “Tinker, Tailor,” meanwhile had to be content with the consolation prize of Best British Film, as well as Best Adapted Screenplay – a distant runner-up if ever there was one.

Read Full Post
<p>Kevin Smith (center)&nbsp;and the cast of AMC's &quot;Comic Book Men,&quot;&nbsp;including good friend Walter Flanagan (right), who manages Jay and Silent Bob's Secret Stash.</p>

Kevin Smith (center) and the cast of AMC's "Comic Book Men," including good friend Walter Flanagan (right), who manages Jay and Silent Bob's Secret Stash.

Credit: AMC

Interview: Kevin Smith talks 'Comic Book Men'

Director's career comes full circle with new AMC reality show about his comic shop
Kevin Smith owes his career to comic books. When he needed the money to finance his low-budget debut film "Clerks," he sold his entire comic book collection to the owner of his favorite local shop, Comicology. And when Comicology's owner decided to get out of the business a few years later, he offered to sell the store to the now rich and successful Smith, who bought it, renamed it Jay and Silent Bob's Secret Stash, and put the management in the hands of his good friend Walter Flanagan. In its current location on Broad Street in Red Bank, it's become a tourist attraction and as much of a memorabilia museum from Smith's movies as it is a place to buy the latest issue of "Superman."
 
Now Flanagan, and the Stash, are the subject of a reality TV show, "Comic Book Men," debuting on AMC tonight at 10, and showing how Flanagan and friends Bryan Johnson, Mike Zapcic and Ming Chen deal with the customers and the business.
 
I spoke to lifelong comic book fan — and, on occasion, comic book author — Smith about his own history with comic shops, how and why he came to own this one, his expectations for the show and why Walt didn't want to be Snooki.
Read Full Post
<p>Zooey Deschanel and Karmin</p>
<div id="myEventWatcherDiv" style="display:none;">&nbsp;</div>

Zooey Deschanel and Karmin

Credit: NBC

Recap: 'Saturday Night Live' - Zooey Deschanel and Karmin

Did a former Oscar winner and a future Oscar winner save the show?
Here’s my solemn promise to you, “Saturday Night Live” fans: Not once during tonight’s recap will I use the word “adorkable” to describe anything related to Zooey Deschanel’s performance as host. Not gonna do it. No way, no how. I can’t say I’m a huge fan of “New Girl,” but that doesn’t mean 95% of the material written tonight for Deschanel will appeal to her manic pixie dust girl persona. Right? Right? (Please say I am right or I’m burning this site down to the virtual ground.) Tonight’s musical guest is Karmin, whom I’ve literally never heard of because I’m old and lame. If “SNL” started booking Huey Lewis and The News, maybe I’d have a shot at having pre-determined opinions on the show’s musical acts. OK, second promise: no “don’t squeeze the Karmin” jokes in tonight’s recap. We good? Good.
 
Onto tonight’s recap!
 
Read Full Post
<p>Whitney Houston</p>
<div id="myEventWatcherDiv" style="display:none;">&nbsp;</div>

Whitney Houston

Credit: AP

Thoughts on Whitney Houston's voice and life

Memories of interviewing the superstar

As I heard about Whitney Houston’s death late this afternoon, I thought it had to be a hoax. I had breakfast yesterday with a friend from her record label at the Beverly Hilton and my friend brought up that she’d seen Houston the day before. She brought up Houston’s name in such reverential terms for good reason: regardless of all the tragic circumstances of the last several years surrounding Houston and the toll her addictions and lifestyle had taken on her voice, there was such an undeniable legacy of richness and wonder to draw upon.

Like Aretha Franklin, Houston grew up in the church and that gospel training influenced everything she sang. It was a voice that soared to the skies as if God handed it to her himself. In the early years of her stardom, with her voice still potent, it was a wonder to behold. Fully unleashed, it had a resonance, a pitch, and a power that was unmatched. There was nothing she couldn’t do, but, as a fan, it was her ballads that moved me the most. From the start, there was a pain that she summoned up even in her earliest heart breakers. Though she didn't write many of her songs, she sung them as if she had lived every note.

Read Full Post
<p>Whitney Houston and Jordin Sparks in &quot;Sparkle&quot;</p>

Whitney Houston and Jordin Sparks in "Sparkle"

Credit: Sony

Whitney Houston spoke of race, motherhood, religion for final film ‘Sparkle’

Singer/actress was the biggest loss of many losses for music movie remake

Whitney Houston’s remake of the film “Sparkle” – what has proved to be her final cinematic project – was a personal one. The superstar entertainer served as executive producer, headed up the soundtrack and starred in the musical movie. Those roles were a culmination of her long, legendary career, but her lead character Emma was developed to be, in part, an autobiographical reflection on Houston herself. She said as much. 

The 48-year-old singer/actress was looking good – really good, actually -- when, three months ago, she breezed through the double doors of a Detroit church’s social hall, wearing all white. It was an appropriate setting for her interview with a handful of us journalists: the role of religion was injected into the updated script, which bumped up the story’s time period from the late ‘50s to 1968. Christianity and gospel music was added to inform the tale of a single-parent, African-American family of three gifted daughters who start a girl group during the height of Detroit’s musical influence and racial turmoil in America.
 
“It is presenting African-Americans in a beautiful light. Everybody on camera is just beautiful, and we’re smart and we’re educated and we’re dealing with our time of civil unrest. And raising children at that time as a single parent at that time must have been…” Houston took a hand to her brow. “Phew. That’s why I put church in it, because it’s a foundation. In my life I know -- and anybody who was raised in the church or the gospel or the Word -- that’s exciting, that’s what makes… everybody be able to feel it.”
Read Full Post
<p>Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston at the 1999 Oscars</p>
<div id="myEventWatcherDiv" style="display:none;">&nbsp;</div>

Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston at the 1999 Oscars

Credit: AP

Justin Bieber, Rihanna, Simon Cowell weigh in on Whitney Houston's death

Fellow artists take to Twitter to express their condolences

Fellow artists took to Tweeter immediately as news of Whitney Houston's death spread. Below is a collection of comments from a number of musicians and music executives.

Just heard the news. so crazy. One of the GREATEST VOICES EVER just passed. RIP Whitney Houston. My prayers go out to her friends and family—Justin Bieber

We are so heartbroken to hear of the loss of Whitney Houston. One of the best voices EVER! Praying God's comfort for her family. —Hillary Scott, Lady Antebellum

I'm so sad...whitney houston was so kind, sweet, wonderful, amazing, talented, and a true gift to the world...—will.i.am

Read Full Post
<p>The Gurus o' Gold at Movie City&nbsp;News expect &quot;Hugo&quot;&nbsp;to come out on top with five wins.</p>

The Gurus o' Gold at Movie City News expect "Hugo" to come out on top with five wins.

Credit: Paramount Pictures

MCN's Gurus make their final calls

Prognostication collective foresees a 5/4 split for 'Hugo' and 'The Artist'

The Gurus o' Gold collective of Oscar dorks (yours truly included) at Movie City News have offered up final-ish predictions. I imagine David Poland will give us all an opportunity to change this or that, and certainly, my own picks aren't final until the Friday or Saturday before the show, but for the most part, these are where the chips lie.

No one is betting against "The Artist" winning Best Picture and Best Director at the moment. The only George Clooney holdouts in Best Actor are Grantland's Mark Harris, Entertainment Weekly's Dave Karger and The Wrap's Steve Pond, three smart guys in this game so that raises my eyebrow. Karger's colleague Anthony Breznican, though, is way out on a limb for Demián Bichir. The rest of us are picking Jean Dujardin.

The Toronto Star's Peter Howell and the LA Times' Greg Olsen seem to think Meryl Streep will pull off the Best Actress win over Viola Davis, while everyone agrees Octavia Spencer and Christopher Plummer will triumph in the supporting categories.

Read Full Post
<p>A scene from &quot;Chico &amp;&nbsp;Rita&quot;</p>

A scene from "Chico & Rita"

Credit: GKIDS

GKIDS makes a statement this season with two animated feature nominees

'A Cat in Paris' and 'Chico & Rita' play with the big boys

Somewhat lost or at the very least under-considered this year when it comes to the Best Animated Feature Film category is the success of indie distributor GKIDS in the field.

As usual, the Oscar is expected to go to the most popular film of the bunch, the film that reached the most eyeballs from a powerhouse studio: Gore Verbinski's "Rango." And a very deserved win it will be. But after getting "The Secret of Kells" in back in 2009 and sitting pretty with not just one but two nominations this year, I'd say GKIDS has become a premier destination for alternative contenders in the medium.

"A Cat in Paris" and "Chico & Rita" are gorgeously rendered stories, the latter particularly engaging with its combination of animation and Cuban music. It's a passionate, adult-oriented ode to a time and place.

Read Full Post
BLOGS BY NAME