Try out for 'X Factor' on YouTube
June 2nd, 2011
03:15 PM ET

Try out for 'X Factor' on YouTube

Ready, set, upload.

For one week, beginning today through June 9, those wishing to audition for "The X Factor" can upload their auditions on YouTube, the show and its partner Pepsi announced.

Solo artists and vocal groups 12 years of age and older can submit a video of an a capella performance no longer than 2 minutes with a 30 second introduction explaining why they should be allowed to appear on "X Factor." Participants will be up for a chance to win a $5 million recording contract with Syco/Sony Music.

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'Showbiz Tonight' Flashpoint: Is Rihanna playing us to sell albums?
June 2nd, 2011
02:06 PM ET

'Showbiz Tonight' Flashpoint: Is Rihanna playing us to sell albums?

So many people are outraged today over Rihanna’s violent new music video for her single, “Man Down.” In the graphic clip, Rihanna shoots a man point blank in the head. We even see the man lying on the street, bleeding.

We know about Rihanna’s own personal experiences with abuse. In fact, Rihanna just tweeted that her song had a “very strong underlying message 4 girls like me.” But some say she’s crossed the line with this “Man Down” video – and that she’s just playing us to sell albums.

Personally, I don't think Rihanna’s playing us. She's expressing herself. It may be in a provocative way, but this is her art. What do you think? Post below.

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The return of 'Jem'
June 2nd, 2011
01:16 PM ET

The Throwback: Jem is back!

"Showtime, Synergy!"

Perhaps we should be saying, "Showtime, Hub!" instead. This week, the Hub network began airing reruns of '80s cartoon "Jem" in all its "truly outrageous" glory.

While it may be grammatically incorrect to use a noun to describe a noun (unless you're talking about CatDog), the theme song does just that (adjectives be damned!). Also, "the music's contagious" and our heroine is not just "truly outrageous," she is "truly, truly, truly outrageous." A triple threat if there ever was one.

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Filed under: Music • television
‘Top Chef: Masters’ blinded me with science
June 2nd, 2011
12:35 PM ET

‘Top Chef: Masters’ blinded me with science

After taking a week off, “Top Chef: Masters” was back last night and feeling a little formulaic. Of course, that formula was Chefs + Science x Cooking Difficulty = Intensity. Or at least, that’s the hypothesis the episode was hoping to prove.

For the Quickfire challenge, our five remaining contestants had to prepare a breakfast dish using a culinary tool that’s nowhere near their daily repertoire. Introducing… the microwave! (Dun dun DUN!)

I get that chefs of this caliber don’t use microwaves very often, but the derision they all seemed to show for using one started to get a little annoying. Dear chefs: While a microwave might be beneath you guys, this is how many of us do prepare some of our foods.

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'Rocky' musical's a go, creative team says
June 2nd, 2011
12:10 PM ET

'Rocky' musical's a go, creative team says

You may soon be able to sit ringside on the Great White Way: a musical adaptation of “Rocky” is headed first for Germany in the fall of 2012, and then possibly to Broadway, the New York Times reports.

According to the NYT, the musical has been in the works for the past 8 years, and after the creative and production teams gathered recently for a reading, the crew is hoping to bring “Rocky” to Broadway in the spring of 2013.

Tony-winning songwriting team Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty (“Ragtime”) have joined forces with another Tony winner, writer Thomas Meehan (“Hairspray”; “Annie”), to hammer out a stage musical adaptation to the film.

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Filed under: theater
Gwyneth Paltrow joins the 21st century
June 2nd, 2011
11:22 AM ET

Gwyneth Paltrow joins the 21st century

The celebrity Twitter-verse just got a new member: Gwyneth Paltrow. The actress/singer/frequent ”Glee” guest star joined the social networking site as well as Facebook on Wednesday.

Thus far she’s said nothing more than “this is my first tweet!” and “M+A at coldplay secret gig new songs=genius,” along with a photo of her kids with husband Chris Martin, Apple and Moses, but Paltrow’s already amassed more than 71,000 followers.

In addition to posting a photo of herself in a gigantic outdoor kitchen (she cooks, remember?) she’s also given us an in-the-moment account of her trying to catch a cab.

“I’m trying to join the 21st century, so it’s me,” Paltrow says in the video. “I’m on Facebook and Twitter,” she said. “But not right now, I’m walking down the street looking for a cab.”


Filed under: Celebrities • Gwyneth Paltrow
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