September 30th, 2009
06:56 PM ET
Not everyone in Hollywood supports Polanski
When we cover an event in Hollywood, sometimes we are tasked with asking celebrities questions about much more than just the event they're attending or their latest project. This week we've been asking folks their take on Roman Polanski, who was arrested Saturday in Switzerland on a warrant relating to 1977 child sex charges. He admitted to having sex with a 13 year old girl but fled the country before his sentencing.
A petition signed by such Hollywood notables as Martin Scorsese, Pedro Almodovar, David Lynch, Jonathan Demme, John Landis and Tilda Swinton which urges Polanski's release has enraged many people who feel he should not be getting a pass. It's one thing to sign a petition and many of the celebrities we posed the Polanski question to demurred, but some were willing to share their opinions on camera.
Allison Sweeney, host of NBC's "The Biggest Loser," Jillian Michaels a trainer on the show, Tom Morello of "Rage Against the Machine," actress Lisa Kudrow, and Patricia Arquette star of "Medium" tackled the question.
September 30th, 2009
06:15 PM ET
Jon and Kate: A family in shambles
I thought I was done with the Gosselin posts - really, I did. I was done being frustrated; done trying to figure out what was going on; done trying to offer advice; done trying to just “get it”; just done. But I need to get a few things off of my chest; share a few thoughts with my blog readers who I know share these frustrations with me.
Let’s start with Jon since he seems to be making all of the headlines the past few days—or the past few months I suppose. Jon, I have run out of cliché’s to throw at you. ‘Enough is enough’; ‘stop the madness’; ‘get it together’; I just don’t have words for you anymore - and as all of you readers can attest to, that is a problem I seldom have.
I personally think that Jon getting dropped from “Jon and Kate Plus 8”was his plan all along. He never liked being on the show and as much as he protests, I feel that it contributed to the decline of his marriage. I also think that it is a calculated move for him to have halted his divorce proceedings; he has to have some ulterior motive, whether it be for press, public perception or something else, I haven’t quite put my finger on it yet.
Let’s be honest here folks - there is no way that he thinks he is going to reconcile with Kate. This is the guy that told ABC’s Chris Cuomo a few weeks ago that he “despised” Kate, so I am pretty sure that all hope of another vow renewal is all for naught.
Alright Kate, it’s your turn. Let’s not pretend that you aren’t coming out of this smelling like roses. You have a great PR team - good job on that one. Here’s the thing though, all of the PR in the world can’t hide the fact that you aren’t without blame here. You bear some responsibility - and I am not just talking about your constant verbal abuse of Jon.
Do you really think that it was a good idea, while your marriage was in the midst of crumbling, to continue your book tour? I know that it’s always been about building the “Gosselin” brand but talk about bad timing! You had plenty of cash coming in, money certainly wasn’t an issue; perhaps that time would have been better spent at home with your husband and children.
So you managed to get yourself some great press - you’ve made the talk show rounds, going everywhere from “The View” to our very own “Larry King Live”. Now that you are on the winning side of the PR battle - how does it feel? Was it everything you hoped for? Tell me Kate, have you seen what some of the tabloids are saying lately about the father of your children? You are a smart woman Kate, and clearly a savvy business woman - take a look and then you tell me if you think all press is good press.
Jon and Kate, you have made a mockery of your family. Parents are supposed to set examples for their children to look up to and emulate; look in the mirror - is this the example you want to be setting?
September 30th, 2009
02:46 PM ET
Adam Lambert fans help students in need
Adam Lambert's fans made him last season's "American Idol" runner-up - now they've answered his call to help struggling schools. The singer's online fan groups competed to see who could raise the most money for DonorsChoose.org, which lets people give money directly to classroom project requests submitted by teachers around the U.S.
The month-long challenge raised $229,000 for arts- and music-related learning resources and supplies, benefiting nearly 88,000 students - many in high-poverty schools.
According to DonorsChoose, U.S. school teachers spend $1 billion out of their own pockets each year, trying to make up for seemingly endless cuts to school budgets. The Web site, founded in 2000, allows teachers to describe specific projects for their students; donors can then select which projects to support, either in part or in full. YouTube: Lambert thanks his fans
So far, 109,000 public and charter school teachers have used the site to obtain $38 million for books, supplies, technology, and other learning resources, helping some 2.5 million students. The Lambert competition is over, but fans can still donate in his name at DonorsChoose.org/AdamLambert. And whether you donate in his name, or on your own, I can tell you: the photos and thank-you notes you'll get from the kids you help make it even more rewarding.
September 30th, 2009
10:06 AM ET
'Rock a Little, Feed a Lot'
It had the charm of a community theater production put on by a group of pals - only in this case, everybody happened to be famous. Tuesday night, actor David Arquette and some of his family members and "Friends" - namely wife Courteney Cox-Arquette, Lisa Kudrow, Sheryl Crow, Christina Applegate, Ben Harper and more - staged a benefit concert to raise money for the Los Angeles Regional Foodbank and Feeding America.
It was a roughly staged event where microphones went dead, teleprompters messed up and everyone in the audience seemed to know each other. At one point, the director came over the P.A. system and asked Cox and Kudrow to stretch - so Kudrow grabbed a guitar and played a couple bars of "Smelly Cat," the tune her character made famous on an episode of "Friends."
AEG Live donated the Club Nokia in downtown L.A., while others donated their time and talent. Garry Shandling did a little stand-up comedy. Crow wrote a sing-along reggae song especially for the event called "All We Need" - which she recorded as a duet for iTunes with Jason Mraz. It'll be available in about a week or so, with all proceeds going to Feeding America.
As Crow performed, Allison Sweeney (soap star and host of "The Biggest Loser") snapped photos on her cell phone from the balcony. Harper raced over on a rare night off from his tour with Pearl Jam. Katharine McPhee, Jonny Lang and Good Charlotte's Joel and Benji Madden also performed live, as did Tom Morello from Rage Against the Machine. His mom, Mary, watched from the side of the stage, dressed in sensible shoes and a grandma cardigan. Speaking of which, Morello and his new wife are expecting their first child next month. It's going to be a boy!
This wasn't some Hollywood fundraiser where the celebrities involved had no personal stake in the charity. Cox told us her husband, David, has been spending two days a week packing lunches and helping out at the neighborhood foodbank in Venice. Sometimes their daughter, Coco, joins him. Crow couldn't help giving Arquette a special shout-out during her set. "I love David Arquette so much, man!" she exclaimed. "Who else would put himself out there like this?!"
September 30th, 2009
09:02 AM ET
Music artists return to YouTube
Leonardo Dicaprio says "hello" to "Goodbye," Madonna and other Warner Bros. music artists return to YouTube and a memorial service is scheduled for actor Patrick Swayze. CNN's Jennifer Wolfe has more on these tidbits in today's buzz:
September 30th, 2009
08:29 AM ET
Twins offer double the 'Dance' talent
"So You Think You Can Dance" went down south for the fourth set of auditions this season, and after one of the first hopefuls, Billy Bell, showed some of the best leg extensions any guy has had on this show, things soon started souring in Atlanta, Georgia.
First, Amber Jackson, an extremely talented dancer, didn't have much to show the judges in the way of performance and Nigel Lythgoe and company let her have it, describing her performance with a word that tends to be frowned upon by network TV censors (she did, however, get sent to Las Vegas after getting to the choreography round). After that, one dancer after another got a tongue-lashing from Nigel, who really seemed to be having a rotten day.
Their mood was brightened somewhat by two of my favorites from the season four auditions. Twins Anthony and Antwain Hart showed up towards the end of the day and their synchronized hip-hop routine once again won raves from the judges. When it came to choreography, however, Antwain just couldn't pick it up, so I'll have to pull for Anthony alone during Vegas week.
Day two kicked off with ladies' man "Boogie Links," master of pop-and-lock "joint-tortionism," as Lythgoe put it. He definitely has personality to spare, and as we've seen that can get you a long way on this show. However, he didn't make it past choreography this go-round.
The judges were in awe of Jessica Jensen who lost her hand to cancer. Her luminous performance, which especially inspired the famously-verbose Lil' C, got her through to choreography, but sadly, she wasn't able to pick it up and was invited to come back next year.
The final audition in Atlanta was certainly one of the most incredible we've seen this season: Thomas Hamilton, who was taught to love contemporary dance by choreographer Mia Michaels, was powerful, emotional and uplifting. And once we saw a glimpse of how he handled the salsa choreography, I was sold. This guy needs to be in the top 20.
Tomorrow, my colleague Debra Alban recaps the New Orleans auditions. In the meantime, tell us what you thought of the talent in Atlanta. Were you as floored as I was by Thomas? Heartbroken that only one of the Hart twins went through? Do you want to see "Boogie Links" or Jessica Jensen try out again next year?
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