June 19th, 2009
04:02 PM ET

Red Carpet Karaoke

A karaoke right of passage is to sing “Livin' On A Prayer” by Bon Jovi. As a self proclaimed karaoke queen, I indulge in that right of passage frequently. So imagine my delight when I was asked to cover the red carpet for the Song Writers Hall of Fame Awards (SHOF) red carpet in New York where Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora were honored as inductees! I was thrilled!

This is the SHOF’s 40th anniversary so I knew the event was going to be star-studded. I was in awe of being in the presence of so many great musicians. The Young Rascals and Crosby, Stills & Nash all walked the red carpet with as they are inductees this year. Sir Tom Jones, Jason Mraz and Andy Williams were also there as special honorees. Clint Black, Bebe Winans, Chris Daughtry and James Taylor were among the performers paying tribute to the SHOF this year.

Finally, the duo from Bon Jovi arrived and of course I had to ask Jon Bon Jovi to sing my favorite karaoke song. To my surprise, he pulled me to him and said you sing it. So, in my best karaoke voice, I sang a few words from “Livin on A Prayer.” At this point Sambora noticed the commotion and came over. As I stood there with the duo realizing I had just sung and probably ruined one of their biggest hits, I started to turn red from embarrassment. However, my embarrassment turned to delight when Bon Jovi gave me a kiss on the cheek and said “Thank you very much. Good Job.” Really? He thanked ME! Best red carpet karaoke session ever and it’s all on camera! I’m definitely going to be showing this video to my kids ten years from now.

–Aspen Steib, CNN New York Bureau

June 19th, 2009
04:01 PM ET

Jon and Kate: Enough is enough?

Is it weird to anyone else that Jon and Kate Gosselin seem to be milking the demise of their marriage? Yesterday there was the commercial for Monday’s one hour special where they will make an announcement. In the commercial Kate teased that, “Recently we’ve made some life-changing decisions, decisions that will affect every member of our family, ones that we hope will bring each of us some peace.”

As if that wasn’t dramatic enough, today they released yet another video in which Jon talks about how much he has changed and Kate is seen crying and talking about how they can’t go back anymore.

It seems to me that they’ve veered pretty far off of their original course, back when the goal of the show was to create priceless memories for the family that they wouldn’t be able to capture on their own.  Something tells me that these weren’t the types of memories they had in mind. 

Jon and Kate, maybe it's time to turn off the cameras and focus on the kids.  If your marriage is over, and all signs point to that being the case, you need time to deal and get through it as a family.  You have eight children.  You need to focus on getting them through these tough times. Maybe enough is enough.

June 19th, 2009
10:41 AM ET

Are we being unfair to Kate?

My phone hasn’t stopped buzzing since news broke that there will be a special announcement on “Jon & Kate” Monday night.

Speculation as to whether or not the couple is divorcing is running rampant and I had been expecting that folks would be taking sides.

I was wrong.

Over and over I have been hearing “Good for Jon if it’s true” and “I hope he does get away from her.” My own mother - while doubting that they are actually splitting up - has been known to lament what she perceives as Kate “treating Jon like he is a dog.”

Posters to this blog have also been less than kind, and the brunt of the ire has been aimed at Kate.

Commenting under the name “The Truth Hurts,” one person wrote “[Kate] is a disgusting human being, consumed with image and her own vanity. I hope Jon takes her for everything,” while Valerie Murphy said “She is a publicity whore and will regret the day that she and he chose to subject their minor children to a media circus, never mind the fact there are 8 young children being cared for by a team.”

But is Kate being treated fairly?

Would any of us want to live in a fishbowl, having our every word and action documented for the world to see, judge and comment on even if the financial compensation was hefty?

Life can get pretty crazy sometimes, especially with eight children. How many people who would want to see their lives filmed, edited and packaged for maximum entertainment?

Is the hunger for fame really that vast that people no longer care if the harsh glare of reality television more often than not shines a light on those parts of themselves that are less than flattering?

After the demise of his marriage, former reality star Nick Lachey was quoted as saying he and his now ex-wife Jessica Simpson found themselves in real life slipping into the roles they portrayed on the show: her the ditzy bride, and he the longsuffering groom scratching his head at her antics.

Have Jon and Kate been cast as the henpecked hubby fighting for freedom from his shrew of a wife and, if so, are those roles they can ever escape?

–Lisa Respers France, CNN.com writer

Filed under: Jon & Kate Plus Eight • television
June 19th, 2009
08:59 AM ET

Will Jon and Kate repair marriage or separate?

"Jon & Kate Plus 8" producers are pumping this marriage uncertainty question between couple Jon and Kate for all its worth. Now they are teasing viewers with an announcement to come during a one-hour special on Monday night. We are told that it will be a "life-changing" decision.

Jon and Kate Gosselin

It's obvious the show is looking for a way to bring non-Jon & Kate loyalists back after the producers saw audience numbers drop after this season's premiere. But this so-called announcement better leave jaws dropped or numbers will drop within Monday's special hour show.

Jon is accused of cheating on his wife, who has said she doesn't believe the tabloid accusations. But there is clear tension and unhappiness between the couple.

In all of this, what viewers want most is reality and they want to see how this reality plays out. Don't give viewers something meant to keep them watching for ratings.

Tell us: Will Jon and Kate Gosselin try to piece together their marriage? Or will they announce a separation?

About this blog

Our daily cheat-sheet for breaking celebrity news, Hollywood buzz and your pop-culture obsessions.