October 7th, 2009
08:43 AM ET

Clooney a hometown hero, well star

The state of Kentucky is proud of its hometown star George Clooney and told him as much at the 2009 Kentucky Governor's Award in the Arts. He received top honors. Also, Motown is celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Jackson Five's first single. Find out more here:


Filed under: Celebrities • George Clooney • movies • Music
October 7th, 2009
08:28 AM ET

Ballroom talent spices up 'Dance'

As if season six of "So You Think You Can Dance" wasn't looking promising enough, the judges were wowed by what they saw when they swung by Salt Lake City, Utah, on last night's episode.

judges

Salt Lake has been home to quite a few contenders in the past, like Chelsie Hightower and Brandon Bryant, and there were many candidates there with a good shot at making it to the top 20 this time as well.

After being heartbroken to see B-boy Micah Mixon sent home from the New Orleans auditions last week, I had high hopes for Bryan Boyer, whose jaw-dropping power moves and floor work made him one of the strongest hip-hop dancers to audition for the show, as judges Nigel Lythgoe and Mia Michaels pointed out before sending him on to the choreography round.

However, Micah just couldn't pick up the choreography and sadly called it quits before he had a chance to perform it for the judges. Hopefully, this won't be the last we see of him.

Bouncing back from a major injury, the "strong, uninhibited" (in judge Mary Murphy's words) contemporary dancer Hayley Cloud showed that she could very well be a front-runner this season, getting a direct ticket to the Las Vegas call-backs.

Anyone who recalls season five's auditions will remember sisters Caitlin and Megan Kinney. Caitlin made it to the top 20, but Megan didn't. Megan returned and really went for it in her Salt Lake City audition, getting another shot in Vegas.

It turns out that great ballroom dancers practically grow on trees in Salt Lake City. Lithuanian immigrant Iveta Lukosiute was the first of several to show off her scorching moves onstage there. I can't remember the last time I'd seen anyone audition doing the rumba, a pretty bold choice which paid off big-time. As Mary said, she had "hot tamale written all over her."

Another potential member of the "hot tamale train" was Leigh Asay, who unfortunately ripped off her toenail(!) while auditioning with Josh Murillo. However, the judges sent her to Vegas - with a quick stop at the emergency room first.

And we're off to Vegas next! Which auditions stood out to you the most this season? Any auditions you could have gone without seeing (burlesque dancer Ariana Rowley, spastic Pascal Nayigiziki, and unlucky car passenger Tristy Merci, perhap?) And who are you pulling for most tonight as Vegas week begins?

October 7th, 2009
08:22 AM ET

Jamie Foxx and Gerard Butler: Trading Places

Last night I caught up with Gerard Butler and Jamie Foxx, the two big leading men of the upcoming thriller, "Law Abiding Citizen" at the red carpet premiere at Grauman's Chinese Theater in Hollywood. I've been following both of their careers fairly closely and I don't think I've ever seen either in roles quite like the ones they have in this film.

Butler plays a vulnerable everyman whose life changes dramatically after his wife and child are brutally murdered. Foxx is the slick prosecutor who lets one of the suspects off on a light sentence in exchange for testifying against his partner in crime. I won't ruin it for you, but Butler's character is none too pleased about this...

I found out that there's a reason their characters are a little out of the norm for them: they pulled the old switcheroo. "We swapped roles," Butler reveals, "I was always [going to be] playing the other role and I said to Jamie, 'Do you want to play the prosecutor and I'll play the other one and he went, 'Yeah.' So the second we agreed on that, I actually went sh**, I don't know how to do this. I don't think I can pull this off. So there was that element that we were both out there a little lost."

Foxx was happy to make the switch and thinks it worked out especially well for Butler: "It gives him an opportunity to be vulnerable and also kick butt... I felt it was so right and we knew we made the right decision. When the trailer comes on, it looks like it's a romantic comedy because he's been doing those a lot, but then when that home invasion comes on, people sit up in their seats and they really get excited about it."

"Law Abiding Citizen" opens in theaters October 16th.

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