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“Sex and the City” Saturday: The Carrie, Miranda, Samantha and Charlotte take a trip to LA

http://blogs.coventrytelegraph.net/passtheremote/sex-and-the-city.jpgThe trip to Abu Dhabi in Sex and the City 2 was not the first time our girls left the Big Apple for adventures elsewhere.

There is interest in making a movie out of Carrie’s newspaper columns so she flies to LA with the girls for a meeting with Matthew McConaughay (Sarah Jessica Parker’s future Failure to Launch co-star). He wants to be Mr. Big!

Here are some scenes from that trip which takes place shortly after Aidan and Carrie have broken up for the first time (She was cheating on him with Big). I love when Samantha and Carrie go “to some place called The Valley) to buy fake Fendi bags.

Enjoy!


FILE UNDER: Sex and the City

Will Elaine Stritch replace Angela Lansbury on Broadway in “A Little Night Music”?

http://www.insidesocal.com/outinhollywood/,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,elaine.jpgIt would seem to be impossible to replace five-time Tony winner Angela Lansbury in a musical on Broadway.

Unless that replacement is Elaine Stritch, a theater icon herself.

Stritch has confirmed to the New York Times that there are talks about her stepping into Lansbury’s role of Madame Armfeldt in A Little Night Music.

“Committing to eight shows a week would be a big thing for me, so it’s something that I have to carefully consider,” said Ms. Stritch, the Tony and Emmy Award-winning actress (“Company,” “A Delicate Balance”), who is 84.

“You can’t say it’s gonna happen, it has been talked about but I don’t know what’s gonna happen,” Ms. Stritch said in a telephone interview. “There are a few conditions, and they have to be met. And I’m not talking about money. But I won’t commit to eight shows a week without a few principles being met. It’s not really a negotiation; I’ve just explained what it would take for me to do it.” She declined to specify the conditions, and declined further comment.

In addition to Ms. Stritch, Bernadette Peters (“Gypsy,” “Annie Get Your Gun”) is under consideration to replace Catherine Zeta-Jones as Desirée Armfeldt this summer, according to a report on Friday morning on Playbill.com.

Elaine Stritch AND Bernadette Peters?

It’d be a sell out every night!

FILE UNDER: Stage

Happy Birthday to Melissa Etheridge!

http://outtakeonline.com/uploaded_images/melissa-753772.jpgThe Grammy winning and Oscar winning musician turns 49 years old today.

Melissa Etheridge can celebrate this birthday with a new album but she’s also going through a very public split with Tammy Lynn Michaels in which she has not come off very favorably.

But we wish them both the best and their children.

Here is Melissa singing her biggest hit Come to My Window:

FILE UNDER: Birthdays, Lesbian, Music

Saturday Morning Man: Eddie Redmayne!

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EDDIE REDMAYNEEddie Redmayne is a 2010 Tony Award nominee for his performance in the play Red. He originated the role on the London stage and won the Olivier Award for his stellar work.
He’s a beauty with brains: The 28-year-old English model and actor attended Eton College and went on to study art history at Cambridge and graduated in 2003.
By that time, he had made his professional stage debut for Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in Twelfth Night.
The photogenic Eddie became a model for Burberry in 2008 and he has been juggling his stage career with film roles in such movies as The Other Boleyn Girl, Savage Grace, The Good Shepherd, Powder Blue and The Yellow Hankerchief.

He recently shared some of his Broadway memories with Vanity Fair as part of a photo gallery of this year’s Tony nominees:
Earliest Broadway memory: “I came to New York when I was about 13 years old, and I was taken to see The Fantasticks.Most terrifying Broadway memory: “Walking down the stairs for the gypsy-dress-rehearsal, opening the door to the back of the theater, and hearing this absolutely terrifying sound of 800 people seated in an audience. My heart sank.”

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Actor Eddie Redmayne attends the 76th Annual Drama League Awards  ceremony and luncheon at the Marriot Marquis on May 21, 2010 in New York  City.
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The critic-proof “Sex and the City 2″ grosses $14.2 million on its first day in theaters

http://image3.examiner.com/images/blog/replicate/EXID15166/images/satc2(1).jpgI’ve been reading more scathing reviews of Sex and the City 2. Ouch! Just withering words for the flick. But fans don’t seem to care: the film earned $14.2 million on opening Thursday and should rake up some BIG numbers by the end of the Memorial Day weekend.

The day one figure is the sixth highest Thursday opening ever, edging out the $13.4 million grossed on the same day a year ago by Terminator Salvation.

Two years ago, the first Sex and the City feature film grossed $26.8 million on its first day but that was a Friday and it was showing on more screens so it’s tough to make real comparisons. It went on to gross $57 million in its first four days.

If the numbers for the second film hold up, we certainly can expect a third film in the franchise which originated as an HBO series that lasted for six seasons and remains popular in syndication.

2004′s Sex and the City film was a blockbuster grossing $152.6 million domestically and another $262.6 million in foreign markets for a worldwide total of $415.2 million.

In Hollywood, money speaks a lot louder than reviews!

Sex and the City 2
FILE UNDER: Box Office

“Idol” champ Lee DeWyze and runner-up Crystal Bowersox pay visit to Ellen’s show!

http://images.buddytv.com/articles/20100526-aiwgh.jpgStill not quite satisfied with the American Idol results because runner-up Crystal Bowersox was so clearly the superior performer in the finals.

But Lee DeWyze is no slouch and I guess his talent and modesty just won the day in the end.

Either way, they are both basking in the glow of the season and joined Idol judge Ellen DeGeneres on her talk show to talk about their futures – and Crystal shared some details of how she and her boyfriend broke up the morning of the finale.

“We were having breakfast and he just decided he’s a small-town guy and I don’t blame him for anything,” she said diplomatically. “He’s been amazing. He’s been my rock through all of this. It’s alright.”

Well, she hardly seems broken up about it! What kind of jerk doesn’t see their significant other through one of the most amazing experiences of their life? He couldn’t wait a few days?

It reminds me of a close friend who’s husband decides to leave her the day before her father’s funeral! True story!

Anyway, Lee reflected on his ups and downs throughout the season: “There have been ups and downs for everybody, but for me it was actually really good when there were down moments. It really helped me figure out myself a little bit more because I was able to figure out how to get over those kind of things and really let the fears go…”


FILE UNDER: Music

Video: Liza Minnelli asked Michael Jackson, after she divorced David Gest, “Why did you let me marry this IDIOT?”

http://www.treehugger.com/liza-minelli-wedding.jpgI think this is one of the most delightful Liza Minnelli interviews I’ve ever seen!

Maybe Liza was at her best and feeling dishy because she was sitting down with fellow 60-something force of nature Joy Behar on her HLN talk show.

Joy very candidly started asking Liza about her extravagant wedding to creepy David Gest and I’m so glad that Liza has a great sense of humor about that trainwreck time in her life.

We all remember how Gest, who later alleged on Dateline NBC that our Liza beat him during the marriage, rammed his tongue down Liza’s throat at the wedding. She looked embarrassed at the time and now reveals that she was thinking: “WTF?”

Michael Jackson was best man at the wedding, Elizabeth Taylor the maid of honor.

Years later, Liza asked Michael: “Why did you let me marry that IDIOT?”

Michael: “I thought you liked him! You looked so happy!”

FILE UNDER: Uncategorized

Noah’s eyesight returns just in time to see Luke and Reid sharing some passion on “As the World Turns”

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7LQ3dU6L59c/RsiJ_7CiPyI/AAAAAAAAADU/WsN2_bDVU4U/s400/jakesilbermann4.jpgNoah is not only unaware that Luke has feelings for Reid, he doesn’t even know what a hunky number his doctor is. When Noah’s friend Richard comes to pick him up from the hospital, he remarks on Reid’s looks and Noah says, cluelessly, “Dr. Oliver’s hot?”

Ha!

Before leaving the hospital, Noah puts in some eye drops and presto! His eyesight comes back totally! Richard notices that he wants to tell Luke and Noah confesses that even though he’d been pushing him away since the accident, he still loves Luke.

But Luke is developing feelings for Reid and I love how this episode allows them to spend some time together playing chess and talking, almost like a first date. It’s so sweet and the actors, Van Hansis and Eric Sheffer Stevens play it so well that the sexual tension that builds up between them is palpable.

Reid: “I feel like some dorky high school kid and all I can think about is if you like me and if you want me as much as I want you.”

They start to make out. Let’s be sure to point out that this is the HOTTEST same-sex kissing in the history of daytime television. These actors are committed to their characters and don’t have hang-ups or feel the need to hold back.

Oh yeah, back to the plot. Noah, of course, shows up at Luke’s house and sees it all through the window.

The triangle is on!


FILE UNDER: Daytime Soap Clip

Greg’s Review of “Sex and the City 2″

Sarah Jessica Parker stars as Carrie Bradshaw in Warner Bros.  Pictures' Sex and the City 2 (2010)
I’m sure glad I didn’t read all of those scathing reviews of Sex and the City 2 before seeing it last night. The reviews would not have stopped me from going but they may have detracted from my giddy mood as I settled in with friends to catch up on the latest adventures of Carrie, Charlotte, Miranda, Samantha and the men in their lives.
We had a blast. It’s not like a SATC fan can be impartial, we are so invested in these characters that we go with them wherever they are going – this time to United Arab Emirate of Abu Dhabi!
I’m not used to seeing the actresses on the big screen since they are usually the size of my TV screen but they are gorgeous. And the clothes, good grief.
Say what you will about the film’s plot etc. but you gotta say that Sarah Jessica Parker is, as always, glorious as Carrie Bradshaw. Carrie is married to John Preston (aka Mr. Big) and into her 40s trying to navigate marriage and realizing that kids are not for her.
Big (Chris Noth) at one point says to her that as a couple, they are simply “too much” to expand their family. I like that they address this and that they make a decision that is right for them even if some people don’t understand – or approve.
Kristin Davis, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall and Cynthia Nixon  in Warner Bros. Pictures' Sex and the City 2 (2010)
Kim Cattrall stars as Samantha Jones in Warner Bros. Pictures' Sex  and the City 2 (2010)
The four main characters are essential to any SATC outing but it’s a no-brainer why the movies were held up until Kim Cattrall was ready to step back into the pumps of Samantha Jones. God, I love her. Samantha is my girl, she’s what I aspire to be in my life as a gay man.
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_4VHe1TY8C6k/StoAhj1lmyI/AAAAAAAACg4/-rMiQKHcHSQ/s400/miley-cyrus-gira-sex-and-the-city-2-15.jpgSamantha is still take-no-prisoners but this time around, she’s fighting menopause big-time and this gives Cattrall some fun scenes to play. Past 50, she insists on looking and feeling good no matter how many vitamins and hormones she has to take. And when  a salesgirl remarks that the dress she picks out to wear to a movie premiere might be a little young for her, Samantha says emphatically: “I’m 50-fucking-2 and I’m gonna rock this dress!”
You go girl.
I love Samantha’s wit when she’s interacting with the girls and flirting and having sex with the men and making no apologies for it.
I’m so not tired of her horny schtick!
But beware, a big chunk of the film takes place in a Muslim country and Samantha’s antics do not go over well with the locals.  She finds it awfully hard to reign it in and it gets her into some trouble in the end.
A scene from Warner Bros. Pictures' Sex and the City 2 (2010)
The film has a really fun feel-good female empowerment scene when the girls go out to a karaoke bar in Abu Dhabi and Miranda signs them up to sing I Am Woman, the Grammy-winning feminist anthem that was a number one hit for Helen Reddy in the early 70s.
Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis, Sarah Jessica Parker and Cynthia Nixon  in Warner Bros. Pictures' Sex and the City 2 (2010)
While Samantha is a mess without her hormones and vitamins (they were not allowed into the country), Charlotte is freaking out over leaving her hubby and daughters back in NYC with the braless nanny and Carrie is distracted by the appearance of Aidan (John Corbett) and a bad review for her book in The New Yorker, Miranda has done a lot of research on Abu Dhabi and planned several outings for the girls beyond shopping and eating. Here they are on their way to a camel ride.
Kristin Davis stars as Charlotte York and Cynthia Nixon stars as  Miranda Hobbes in Warner Bros. Pictures' Sex and the City 2 (2010)
From the early days of the series, the one thing Charlotte York has always wanted was children. Now she has two and even though she has a supportive hubby and a nanny, she’s finding it awfully tough to not have a meltdown – especially with the younger daughter on an endless crying jag. This heart-to-heart with fellow mom Miranda is one of my favorite scenes because it touches on the deep friendship between these women and how they are able to open up to each other – with the help of a little bit of booze!
John Corbett stars as Aidan Shaw and Sarah Jessica Parker stars as  Carrie Bradshaw in Warner Bros. Pictures' Sex and the City 2 (2010)It’s taken me a long time to realize that even though Aidan Shaw is my dream man, he’s not Carrie’s. I always felt like it was the biggest mistake of Carrie’s life to let this sweet-natured, low-maintenance hunk of a man go – twice! But this movie revisits the relationship when Carrie and Aidan happen to bump into each other in Abu Dhabi. Their attraction to each other is undeniable but as we see Carrie in her life now, we realize that Aidan never would have been enough for her, would not have been able to keep her stimulated and interested. Heck, Big barely can!
If you are a fan of the show and of these characters, you’ll have a good time. The first movie was better because the Carrie-Big wedding plot was a lot to deal with. But I consider this a fun middle movie in what I am certain  will at least be a trilogy.
Sarah Jessica Parker stars as Carrie Bradshaw and Chris Noth stars  as Mr. Big in Warner Bros. Pictures' Sex and the City 2 (2010)
FILE UNDER: Greg's Reviews

“I Love Lucy” Friday: Lucy and Ethel want a vacation from marriage from Ricky and Fred

http://vintageradioplace.com/pictures/actors/i_love_lucy_cast.jpgIt seems like a lot of my posts today are going to be Sex and the City 2-related – even I Love Lucy Friday!

In SATC2, Carrie is starting to feel like she and Big are in a marital rut after two years and after she spends two days away in her old apartment to do some writing, he suggests that they have two days apart every week.

In this I Love Lucy episode, Lucy and Ricky and Fred and Ethel experience a similar rut. Lucy says to the gang: “Do you all realize that we’re in a terrible rut? The four of us have allowed ourselves to deteriorate. We have become stuffy, moldy and musky. We are knee-deep in a pool of stagnation. Now what are we gonna do about it?”
Fred: “Well, I don’t know about the rest of you but I’m gonna go take a shower.”

They decide to take a week away from each other with the girls living in the Mertz’s apartment and the boys upstairs at the Ricardo’s pad.

My other favorite line comes later when Lucy looks at Ethel and says: “Nothing personal but I’m sick of the sight of you.”



FILE UNDER: I Love Lucy Friday

Friday Morning Man: Max Ryan!

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http://images.eonline.com/eol_images/Entire_Site/20100309/293.ryan.max.lr.030910.jpgWhen Max Ryan first appeared on the screen during Sex and the City 2 last night, my friend Lorna turned to me and said, “I think we have a Morning Man!”

We so do!

The British actor plays Samantha’s latest paramour in the flick and he is sizzling! His final scene requires no wardrobe and he reveals a hall of fame rear end! Must be seen to be believed.

Earlier this month, Max was hospitalized with broken ribs and cracked collarbone after a motorcycle crash but recovered enough to attend the premieres of the film.

I love an interview he did TVGuide.com in which he admits to crying when he watched the first Sex and the City film: “I was like, I’ve got to see what this is about. I need to know what I’m doing. I watched the movie and I was emotionally touched. I actually cried a bit. It’s quite embarrassing but I did. I was happy, I was sad, and I was like, ‘Whoa, this is really good.’”

Despite having never seen the TV series, the 43-year-old actor won the role of architect Rikard Spirit in the franchise’s sequel, which opened last night.

“My character has some tremendous moments that will be remembered,” Ryan teased. “It’s the first chance that I’ve actually played myself in a movie, obviously delivering the lines of a character, but it’s still the essence of me.”

Ryan, whose previous films include Death Race, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and Kiss of the Dragon says he got the part with a little help from his new leading lady, Kim Cattrall, who recommended him to writer-director-executive producer Michael Patrick King.

“I did the first scene and Kim turned to Michael and said, ‘I really don’t need to see any more.’ I was like, ‘She’s so right, Michael,’” Ryan said. “I think she played a massive, massive part in me getting this. You’ve got to have a connection. … With her it’s just very cool, very low key, but still I was turning over inside, for sure.”

Max Ryan in World Premiere of 'Sex and the City 2' - Arrivals
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Video: Cynthia Nixon talks about “Sex” and about that “horrifying” Newsweek article

Saw Sex and the City 2 last night and had a blast. Will have a review posted later today. For now, here is an interview Cynthia Nixon did this week with Harry Smith on CBS’s The Early Show. One of the topics she discusses is the controversial Newsweek article that claims openly gay actors can’t play straight roles. Well, Cynthia is gay and her SATC character of Miranda Hobbes is most certainly straight. Yet somehow, she manages to pull it off.

FILE UNDER: Out Stars

A gracious “Idol” runner-up Crystal Bowersox: “Lee’s got a light inside of him that’s just brilliant and pure”

Photo: Season 9's Final 2, Crystal Bowersox and Lee  DeWyze, during Tuesday's rehearsals for the finale.

As I watched Crystal Bowersox holding her own with Alanis Morrisette, Joe Crocker and anyone else she shared the stage with last night on American Idol, I knew that whatever the results were, this is an artist I love.

What I also love about Crystal is that she is a class act who was quite gracious about finishing as runner up (she was robbed!) and optimistic about the future.

“I’m happy no matter what happens,” she tells Entertainment Weekly. “I’ve got good friends, good family, amazing fans, and my son’s healthy. I really have no complaints in the world.

She says winner Lee DeWyze is her buddy: “He’s hilarious. He’s got good jokes, he’s talented, he sings well. Lee’s got a light inside of him that’s just brilliant and pure. He’s been humble through this whole thing. He’s never once said “I think I’m going to win.” He’s genuine. He’s just completely genuine, and it couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy, so I’m happy for him.”

Crystal-Bowersox-finaleWhat viewers did not know was that on the morning of Tuesday night’s finale, Crystal and her boyfriend broke up. “Big Tony,” as he is called, had been in the audience for just about every show this season.

“He went home,” Crystal told Ryan Seacrest on his radio show this morning. “He wasn’t cool with the lifestyle.”

She was saddened took place on the day she took the stage in her last attempt to win but rather than letting it get her down, she gave an inspired performance that should have been enough for her to win.

“He’s a small-town guy and that’s fine,” she told Ryan. “I’m a small-town girl, but I want this. I want this more than anything, this career, this lifestyle. I didn’t think he was up for it … he didn’t think he was up for it.”

Crystal is certainly up for it. Here she is last night singing with Alanis in one of the best performances of the night:

FILE UNDER: Music

Dixie Chicks’ Martie Maguire talks about moonlighting, lesbian following, Cher, and Reba McIntire

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Martie Maguire — one-half of the Court Yard Hounds and one-third of the Dixie Chicks — talks to Out.com about juggling her two bands. Hounds opens for The Eagles this summer but stresses that Dixie Chicks remains together.

The group has been through a lot since lead vocalist, Natalie Maines, told an audience: “Just so you know, we’re on the good side with y’all. We do not want this war, this violence, and we’re ashamed that the president of the United States is from Texas.”

Maines’s words sent shock waves through the conservative country music community and the group was boycotted, dropped by sponsors, and fellow artists turned their noses up at the mention of their name.

So much for free speech!

But the group came back strong winning Grammys for their comeback album and in the process, gained a whole new fan base, including the LGBT community who admired their moxie and echoed Maines’s sentiments about President Bush and the war.

Here is a portion of Martie’s OUT interview:

Out: Before we talk about anything else, we need to talk about the song “Ain’t No Son.” Were you concerned about releasing a song about a gay teenager? How do you think country music fans are going to respond?
Martie Maguire: I really don’t have a gauge on what the country music industry is anymore. After we had our controversy with them, I guess I just felt like I was the redheaded stepchild and kicked out of the inner family of that genre.

Looking back now, how do you feel country music insiders responded to Natalie’s comment about President Bush and the war?
After the documentary [Shut Up & Sing] came out and the Grammys, you could almost look out into the audience and see the country faces that so wished you hadn’t won the Grammy.

http://www.countryuniverse.net/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/reba.jpgLike who?
Reba McEntire. She wouldn’t even clap. Then the camera panned to her, so she mustered a little applause for the camera. That was actually captured on the telecast. She’s been outwardly critical of us. Some of it has been poking fun and that’s fine, because we have been the butt of jokes. However, some of it, and not just Reba in particular, was pretty harsh. I think Natalie, as strong as she is, was really affected. She just got tired of everyone being in her face. It really haunted her for a while, and she feels free from that now.

Didn’t Cher help you overcome your worries about turning 40?
http://img2.timeinc.net/people/i/2008/news/080721/cher.jpgShe almost brought me to tears. My birthday wish was to go see her in Vegas. I’ve got a few connections, so I was able to go back and meet her. I’ve been a fan for so long. Meeting her face to face was such a thrill. She could tell I was kind of down and when she said, “OK, who is turning 40?” I said, “A reluctant me.” She took me by the hand and walked me into the back hallway. She talked to me for about five minutes, which seemed like an hour, about how she felt a psychic premonition that I was going to have the best year of my life. She said it was the best year of her life. She referred to meeting the love of her life and making two of her favorite movies she ever made. That was life-changing for me. I felt like I had a whole new outlook after that.

Emily always says that you get all the girls? Why do you think you’re a “chick” magnet?
I always say that I wink at them. Maybe I appeal. I don’t know. It would just turn out that I would have the female, gay following migrate to my side of the stage.

FILE UNDER: Music

Soap star Thom Bierdz gets recognized as Phillip Chancellor III in the most unlikely places

Thom Bierdz, a talented actor-artist-author who I think the world of, returned to Young and the Restless last year after a 20 year absence not only from the soap, but from acting.

His presumed dead character of Phillip Chancellor III resurfaced with a storyline that mirrored Thom’s life in one way: he was openly gay. Phillip went off to Australia but here’s hoping he will return to Genoa City soon!

Anyway, Thom’s return to the soap has made for some unusual encounters like the one he shared on Facebook earlier today:

it’s been ages since anyone recognized me in the grocery store, but everytime i get tested at the clinic for HIV, all the workers (even in the mobile units) ask me questions from “how many partners have you had in the past 6 months?”, “what kind of sex do you have?,” and then, “is phillip coming back to the young and the restless?” talk about feeling exposed LOL after another HIV negative result last night, i treated myself to french fries.

FILE UNDER: Out Stars

Video: Novak Djokovic parodies Shakira video, massages the chest of fellow male pro

Whether he’s stripping down to his underwear for a fashion show (pictured, last year in Montreal) or imitating the tics and mannerisms of other players, tennis star Novak Djokovic can always be counted on for some off-court fun.

The Serbian player, ranked third in the world and winner of the 2008 Australian Open, is in character in this parody of the Shakira video Gypsy. Wearing a blond wig and shaking his booty, Novak rubs the chest of fellow pro Victor Troicki then goes in for the kiss.

Darn it though, something gets in the way of the lip-lock!

FILE UNDER: Guy Candy, Tennis, Videos

“Designing Women” Thursday: Suzanne Sugarbaker models fur coat in fashion show and chaos ensues

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_9C0hBP-E884/R6pvgy_YutI/AAAAAAAACOA/6hVuPCnZPxM/s400/Delta_Burke_Suzanne_Sugarbaker.jpgDesigning Women writers had to work awfully hard to top the previous year’s fashion show episode when Julia (Dixie Carter) went down the runway with the back of her dress tucked into her pantyhose – and she wasn’t wearing any underwear.

So in this episode from season four, Suzanne (Delta Burke) is representing the design firm at the annual charity event and she’s modeling a controversial outfit: a fur pullover and matching fur hat.

Right when she takes the runway, anti-fur protesters start heckling her and this little exchange is my favorite:

Protestor: 50 animals died because of that coat!
Suzanne: Wanna make it 51?

Things then descend into chaos and Suzanne ends up injuring her arm after flying off the runway. I think you’ll really enjoy these two clips!


Thursday Morning Man: Marco Chiudinelli!

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Originally posted on May 27, 2010

Well, well. I love that I’m still discovering new tennis hunks.

This beautiful guy’s name is Marco Chiudinelli and he’s the third best player in Switzerland. If I have to tell you who the best player in that country is, you must be hiding under a rock: it’s Roger Federer!

Turns out Roger and Marco grew up playing together but, obviously, their careers have taken very different paths. While Roger has won 16 grand slam titles and been ranked number one for much of the time since 2004, Marco’s highest rank is 54 and he has just one tournament victory.

But he’s been having more success lately and has remained in the fight! After entering the 2009 season with a ranking of No. 603, Marco’s expectations of a successful season were put aside for the sheer pleasure of competing again.

He is a contender again. So much so that his old pal Federer recently presented Marco with the 2009 Comeback Player of the Year Award in Indian Wells.

“It’s a great honor to get this award voted by my fellow players,” Marco said then. “It was a hard time for me to get back and I’m very proud of having achieved a great comeback, and it feels great that other people recognize that effort.”

Marco, 28, is currently playing in the French Open where he won his first-round match and as of this writing, was locked in a tight battle in the second round (Will update later).

I love that Marco has his own website and that I was able to find out all kinds of things like his favorite foods (Sushi, Cordon-Bleu) and music (Dream Theater, Iron Maiden, Queensryche, Metallica, Transatlantic, Porcupine Tree, Coldplay) and hobbies (Music, Sport (Soccer, Hockey, Ski), Internet, playing cards (“Jasse”), enjoying the spare time at home, chilling with friends, FC Basel).

Once Marco is through playing on the tennis tour, I think he should segue right into modeling. This guy is seriously handsome!

Switzerland's Marco Chiudinelli Celebrates

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FILE UNDER: Morning Men, Tennis

Adam Lambert takes to Twitter to clear up rumors: “I was never asked to appear on the finale in any capacity”

There was no Adam Lambert on last night’s bloated American Idol finale.
Guess it was more important to have The Bee Gees, Alice Cooper, Joe Crocker etc (and to let Janet Jackson sing TWO numbers) than to give the stage to one of the biggest stars the show has ever produced and one of the strongest mentors all season.
Adam knows there are all kinds of stories out there so he took to Twitter to clear them up. Here it is, straight from the horse’s mouth:
1. HAHA. I have now just been made aware of more gossip and rumormill: First of all, i was never asked to appear on the finale in any capacity.

2. All i ever heard was:”you’ve not been asked to perform on finale.Would you like to sit in the audience?” Me:sorry-Too much work to do today.

3. Sick of certain journalists and jealous people in the industry trying to stir up bullshit drama. Must not be getting laid. GET A LIFE! HAHA

4. sad that Im forced to defend myself bout situation no one pointing fingers knew any factual details about. Im working so hard on this tour!!

5. Would have loved 2 have been at the Idol Finale to wish Simon farewell and support the finalists, but this tour for my fans is my priority.

6. 2nd: I DID come down w a throat bug most likely caught on my flight back from this past weekends’ concert in Boston.

7. was put on vocal rest yesterday from MY show’s rehearsals which doubled the work 2 do 2day since all equip. had 2 be sent back east tonight.

8. …music programmer, band and dancers and created all day. I’m so excited to get to work w such an amazing team to bring my vision to life!

’9. Im blessed 2 be so busy & thrilled to take my nearly SOLD OUT tour on the road promoting love, diversity, peace, bravery & pride.Oh n’ GLAM

10. :) and thanks for your words of support true fans! :) Dont worry, i just had to get it off my chest (publically) Im totally over it now. :)

FILE UNDER: Controversy

American Idol Recap: Lee DeWyze is crowned and Paula Abdul returns to bid judge Simon Cowell adieu

What did you all think of last year’s American Idol finale?
For the second straight year, the best singer finished second and that hurts the show’s credibility at a time when it needs it the most with ratings falling and judge Simon Cowell departing.
But runner-up Crystal Bowersox will have a big career and, I think, be a breakout star. She’s just too good not to be.
Not to take anything away from winner Lee DeWyze. He had a terrific season and be successful. I just wish he had performed better in the finale so I could feel better about his win. But he felt wonderful about it and his emotional reaction was a beautiful thing.
“Thank you guys so much for everything,” he said.  ”I love you guys. Crystal, I love you. I’m just so happy right now. I’ve never been so happy.”

He then closed the show performing U2′s Beautiful Day, which will be his first single.
Here is Lee’s moment:

The two-hour show was quite bloated then ran long so it seemed like poor Lee was barely given any time to savor his crowning moment. Those two hours were preceded with guest star appearances from The Bee Gees, Alice Cooper, Janet Jackson, Bret Michaels (I worry about his health!), Michael MacDonald, Hall & Oats and Chicago.

Some worked, some didn’t.

But the real cringe-worthy moments were the Simon tributes (except for the last one) which included a buncha disgruntled castoffs doing a seriously went awry bit with Dane Cook. The judges and Ryan should never try to be funny. They are not funny – at all. Except for Ellen, of course. The filmed bits were so silly. Simon and Randy acting horrified when they woke up in bed together? Grow up!

But Paula Abdul seriously made it all right in the end. I thought her participation was going to be limited to filmed clips but there she stood making a grand entrance, looking fantastic, and stealing the show. You realized at that moment how much the show needed her and has missed her.

“‘American Idol’ isn’t going to be the same without you,” she told Simon. “But as only I can tell you, it will go on.

Here is Paula’s speech, vintage Paula:

After that, to say goodbye to Simon, the Idol winners returned — Kelly Clarkson, Ruben Studdard, Fantasia, Carrie Underwood, Jordin Sparks, Taylor Hicks, Kris Allen (don’t know where David Cook was) — to sing Together We Are One. Then countless Idol finalists joined them for the final choruses. I couldn’t see them all but did recognize Ace Young and Jason Castro.

Here is that performance:

“I didn’t think I was going to be this emotional, but I genuinely am,” Simon said after taking the stage. “What Paula says is true: The show goes forward, it will be different, but I just want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for the support, the fun.” And, when it comes to the question of who will replace him as judge, he says, “The truth is, you guys are the judge of this show, and you’ve done an incredible job over the years.”

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