Here are some of this week's highlights from Flavorwire, VH1, Celebuzz, and Hollywood.com, ranging from books to reality TV.
In true academic form, Flavorwire judges you by your favorite book of 2013.Find out what it means if you liked Jonathan Franzen's new book, or Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's Americanah before Beyoncé sampled her. Check it out at Flavorwire.
Who were the worst reality show villains of 2013? It's a nasty, but varied list, ranging from dance moms to real housewives. Find out if your personal least favorite made the cut at VH1 celebrity.
Tis the season of strange holiday album releases.And Hollywood.com lists this year's best, from Kelly Clarkson to Mary J. Blige. Listen to a sample of them all here.
Find out Kanye's craziest quotes.Celebuzz is listing their year's favorites through the 12 Days of Christmas. You've got six Bieber scandals and, our favorite, seven crazy Kanye West quotes. Find out what they are at Celebuzz.
Mariah Carey's 1994 hit All I Want For Christmas Is You has topped Billboard's first Holiday 100 chart of the year, as it did last year (12). The song, which Carey performed at the 81st annual Christmas in Rockefeller Center tree-lighting ceremony on Wednesday (04Dec13), hit the number one spot with 29,000 downloads and big airplay figures.
Brenda Lee's 1958 classic Rocking Around the Christmas Tree comes in at two and Bobby Helms' Jingle Bell Rock is at three on the first U.S. festive chart of the year.
Ariana Grande claims the chart's top holiday song released this season with Love Is Everything at number 15, while her cover of Wham!'s Last Christmas is at 32. The original takes the 11th spot on the countdown.
Meanwhile, on the U.S. Christmas albums chart, Duck Dynasty stars the Robertsons' Duck the Halls: A Robertson Family Christmas ranks number one, just ahead of Kelly Clarkson's holiday compilation Wrapped in Red.
Mary J. Blige's new album A Mary Christmas is at three, Michael Buble's 2011 release Christmas is at four and Susan Boyle's Home for Christmas rounds out the new top five.
The grey wool suit Gene Kelly was wearing as he splashed through puddles during his Singin' In The Rain dance routine is expected to fetch over $20,000 (£13,000) when it goes under the hammer at an auction in Dallas, Texas later this week (06Dec13). Heritage Auctions bosses are selling the clothing item, which memorabilia collector Gerry Sola bought for just $10 (GBP6) at a MGM studio sale in 1970.
It's one of two iconic wardrobe items set to go to auction this week - Bruce Lee's yellow jumpsuit from his final film Game of Death is among the highlights up for grabs at a Spink auction in Hong Kong on Thursday (05Dec13).
"I got to avoid going to a wedding. I'd rather go to a dentist." Country star Blake Shelton is relieved he did not have to officiate at pal Kelly Clarkson's wedding as she had planned. Clarkson and her new husband Brandon Blackstock, who is Shelton's manager, decided to elope and tied the knot during an intimate ceremony in rural Tennessee last month (Oct13).
Miley Cyrus has gone native American after erecting a massive teepee on the grounds of her Studio City, Los Angeles home. Insiders claim the large tent, which stands on grass adjacent to the singer's swimming pool, was a 21st birthday gift to herself.
Miley's manor was at the centre of a burglary drama on Friday (22Nov13) as the pop star was making plans to celebrate her birthday - thieves broke into her home and made off with a haul of jewellery and personal items reportedly worth over $100,000 (£66,700)
The Wrecking Ball hitmaker turned 21 on Saturday (23Nov13) and celebrated with pals like Kelly Osbourne and Amber Rose on Sunday night (24Nov13) after her show-stopping performance at the American Music Awards.
Vallery Jean/GettyLady Gaga's ARTPOP, Katy Perry's Prism, Eminem's The Marshall Mathers LP 2: most of the big-hitters have now hit the shelves in time for the Christmas rush, but there are still several albums that will only see the light of day in December that are worth getting excited about. Here are five of the biggest.Britney Spears – Britney JeanThe first two singles from Britney's eighth studio album haven't really struck a chord outside her loyal fan base. But featuring collaborations with everyone from William Orbit to T.I. to her younger sister Jamie Lynn, her self-described most personal record to date also sounds like it could be the most intriguing.R. Kelly - Black PantiesFollowing his unlikely alliance with French synth-pop outfit Phoenix and his first US Top 20 hit in seven years with Lady Gaga collaboration "Do What U Want," the self-proclaimed Pied Piper of R&B looks like continuing his musical rehabilitation with a typically sexually-charged studio effort which he's described as "the new 12 Play."Leona Lewis – Christmas, With LoveLast year's under-rated but hugely troubled Glassheart didn't even get a US release so The X-Factor UK's most gifted vocalist will now be hoping to revive her career with a carefully-chosen collection of Christmas classics ("Winter Wonderland," "White Christmas") and original festive compositions.Rebecca Ferguson – FreedomPoised to take over from Lewis as The X-Factor UK's biggest soul star, 2010 runner-up Rebecca Ferguson follows up her Billboard Top 30 debut album, Heaven, with another effortlessly elegant array of heartbreak anthems co-written with the likes of piano man Aqualung and Jay-Z cohort Mr. Hudson.Childish Gambino – Because The InternetThe Community star has had to fight to get his second studio effort released in time for Christmas following record label concerns that it would get lost amongst all the blockbuster releases. Featuring guest appearances from Jhene Aiko, Chance The Rapper and motormouth Azealia Banks, Because The Internet might not be challenging for the number one spot but it could be a late contender for hip-hop album of the year.
A man who was set to testify against an associate accused of stealing computers from Nicolas Cage's ex-lover has been arrested in connection to the burglary himself. Darwin Vela had reportedly teamed up with main suspect Ricardo Orozco and approached representatives for Charlie Sheen with information about the whereabouts of a sex tape belonging to the Platoon star earlier this year (13).
Police managed to link Orozco to the theft of items from Cage's former girlfriend, actress Christine Fulton, after learning he had worked as her handyman. Detectives believe the swiped computers contained the Sheen footage.
Orozco was taken into custody and charged with burglary, and Vela had been recruited to give evidence against his alleged partner in crime during a preliminary court hearing in Los Angeles on Thursday (21Nov13).
However, Vela went missing two days before his scheduled testimony, only to resurface on Friday (22Nov13), claiming he had been kidnapped.
Cops launched an investigation into his disappearance and the drama took another turn on Monday night (25Nov13) when Vela and his girlfriend, Kelly McLaren, were both arrested and charged with breaking into Fulton's home and stealing four computers, among other possessions.
According to TMZ.com, authorities are convinced Vela's kidnap tale was made up so he didn't have to testify against Orozco and they now have reason to believe all three people committed the theft.
Singer Kelly Clarkson was forced to announce her pregnancy early after a bout morning sickness prompted her to cancel a promotional appearance. The Since U Been Gone hitmaker was hoping to keep the happy news to herself until closer to Christmas (13), but she was too ill to hide the secret.
She tells U.S. breakfast show Today, "I don't know why they call it morning sickness because it's like all day and all night.
"I was just dying to tell people, but we were trying to wait until the end of my first trimester... but everybody kept talking about it and I had to cancel something because I've been so ill. I didn't want people to think that I'm cancelling because I'm lazy or something. So, we just told people. But we had a really good reason."
Clarkson, who wed Brandon Blackstock last month (Oct13), announced she was expecting her first child earlier this month (Nov13), and although it is too early to tell, she is convinced she is having a girl.
The 31 year old already has a name picked out, but refuses to reveal it.
She continues, "We're not saying because I don't want someone to steal my baby's name."
Kelly Osbourne found herself unable to get home on Monday night (25Nov13) as a security corden around a fundraiser for President Barack Obama shut down the area surrounding her house. Obama held a gala on Monday night at the home of basketball icon Magic Johnson in Beverly Hills, California as part of the president's three-day tour of the West Coast, and security was tight.
Osbourne spent several hours trying to get around the police perimeter and took to her Twitter.com account to complain about the delays and worry about her house pets.
She wrote, "Been driving around for over an hour trying to get home because the 'president' is at a party on my street the police won't let me go home! I can't get back to my dogs and I'm starting to freak out! Why is Obama at a party on my street?"
The Fashion Police star even tried contacting the president directly to ask to be allowed through the corden, writing, "Dear Barack Obama please can I go home to feed my dogs & go to bed I promise I pose no threat to you. I just want to go home. I come from a county of real royals and they don't even pull this s**t for the Queen!"
She added, "I am 1 block away from my house and they won't even let me walk home! The president is at a party 2 f**king miles away! Even the mayor of Beverly Hills... I had no idea BH was big enough to have a mayor regardless they won't even let her go home!"
The residents were eventually allowed back into the area, and Osbourne concluded, "Yaaaay we are finally moving!!! If one good thing came of tonight it's that I got to meet all my neighbours!"
Last night was the 2013 American Music Awards, which means that all anyone is going to be able to talk about this morning is Miley Cyrus. For her performance of "Wrecking Ball," Cyrus decided to change things up a bit and skipped all of the twerking and outrageous antics in favor of giving a simpler, more emotional performance and ensuring that everyone just focused on her voice and the giant, floating cat behind her. That's right, Cyrus turned her latest single into a duet with a massive, animated cat who cried diamonds during the song's emotional climax. We're not sure where the inspiration for the performance came from, although it's probably some combination of all of the cat videos on YouTube and Kanye West's recent "Bound 2" video, but what we're really impressed with is the fact that even though she put in the least amount of effort when it came to staging last night, her weird, singing cat managed to make it the most talked about performance of the night.
Considering the 2013 AMAs included Lady Gaga arriving on a horse made up of people, Katy Perry building an elaborately-choreographed replica of a Japanese garden, and Justin Timberlake recruiting all of the Tennessee Kids to throw a boozy party onstage, it seems odd that Cyrus should be the most memorable part of the awards show. But Cyrus simply tapped into the most powerful PR resource in the world: the Internet. Let's face it, there's absolutely nothing that the Internet loves more than cats. Sure, seeing R. Kelly perform is always entertaining, and everyone is excited for the TLC comeback, but when it comes to cats, there's simply no competition.
It's the laziest and yet smartest move that Cyrus as made in the past year. Likely worn down from the combination of promoting "Wrecking Ball" and her recent 21st birthday, when it came time to plan her AMAs performance, the singer was probably too tired to come up with anything too elaborate. But she knew that people were expecting something that would top her infamous VMAs performance and her recent EMAs stunt, so she had to come up with something that would hold people's attention, and yet still allow her to fit a nap into her schedule. "Let's just throw a giant cat up there and call it a day. People love cats. Make it cry diamonds or something, that'll be weird," she said to her management team, and then ran off to dye her eyebrows. And so, simply by hitting the right mix of bizarre and adorable, Cyrus managed to still make the headlines without actually trying.
In fact, when you think about it, the Internet probably inspired most of Cyrus' recent performances. "Blurred Lines" became the biggest hit of the summer thanks, in part, to its video going viral, so Cyrus simply took all of the buzz surrounding it to a new, weird level. There's nothing gossip sites love more than tween stars behaving badly, and nothing embodies that whole "wacky and out-of-control" vibe better than Cyrus smoking a joint onstage. If her next performance involves a screaming goat and tons of '90s nostalgia, then there will genuinely be no stopping the buzz that surrounds her. (Feel free to use that idea, Miley, no credit necessary.)
So, Gaga, Katy, Justin, and anyone else who might have another big performance coming up, skip the rehearsals and the pyrotechnics and just stick a cat in the background. People will talk about you for weeks. Check out the video of Cyrus and her feline friend, below, for inspiration.