Since you were just complaining how you never get to experience multiple things you love at the same time (don't deny it... we can hear you), we've got some news to cheer you up. No, it's not the long awaited melding of ping pong and Dance Dance Revolution, but it is in its own right exciting and worthy of a dance party. Tina Fey, that person you love, will be joining the sequel of The Muppets, that 2011 movie you loved. Go ahead, rejoice. Just keep it to a reasonable volume, please.
Reps for Fey have confirmed that the actress is coming on board as the female lead, who is described inscrutably as a "Russian gulag prison guard." Quite a leap from Fey's usual neurotic, put-upon showrunner shtick... but then again, the Muppets already have one of those. Her casting would pit her opposite Ricky Gervais — her The Invention of Lying costar from whom she takes the Golden Globes torch this year — as well as Ty Burrell and, of course, a whole bunch of Muppets.
But this will not be Fey's first foray into the world of Muppetry. Although she'll be exhibiting her human form in the Jim Henson franchise feature, Fey (or at least, a Fey likeness) has donned the bobbling eyes and melon-shaped mouth on two previous occasions...
Once, on an episode of 30 Rock, as seen through the whimsical perspective of NBC page Kenneth:
And once, on an episode of Sesame Street, parodying her 30 Rock character Liz Lemon:
Seems like she'll be right at home... just as long as something like this doesn't happen again...
[Photo Credit: NBC]
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This episode marks the last night of this season’s blind auditions. I, for one, am profoundly disappointed by the utter lack of blindness puns in the songs our hopefuls have chosen — no “Blinded by the Light,” no “I Can See Clearly Now,” nor nearly enough selections from the catalogs of Blind Melon, Third Eye Blind, and Stevie Wonder. Maybe our last crop of contestants won’t disappoint.
Natalie Hernandez skipped both her prom and her brother’s graduation — guess they filmed this at least three months ago — to audition for The Voice, making this the climactic scene in the teen movie that is her life. (Then again, when you’re 15, every day is the climactic scene in the teen movie that is your life.)
Her earthy, distinctive voice shines on “White Horse,” turning around Adam, Blake, and Christina.
Natalie’s Result: Team Christina
The producers offer yet another defrosted pop star in Rod Michael, whose boy band B3 won fame in Germany — on a scale of 1 to Hasselhoff, maybe a 2.5 — but no recognition back home. You know a group didn’t make it too big when it doesn’t appear until the third page of Google search results for its name. (Coincidentally, were you aware that B3 is the vitamin niacin, as well as the name of a city bus route in Brooklyn? The More You Know™.)
Rod’s adequate version of “Please Don’t Go” has the ladies in the house screaming, but overall, he’s simply not a standout.
Rod’s Result: Team Nobody
Caitlin Michelle says that she discovered she could sing at the age of five, which raises the question, “What 5-year-old doesn’t think he or she can sing?” A victim of intense anxiety attacks, she has found solace in music throughout her life. But I don’t know, man. When I hear “panic disorder,” I don’t think “career in show business.”
I like her retro microphone tattoo and winged eyeliner, a look perfectly complemented by her male friend backstage (siblings, or dating?) and his handlebar mustache. Caitlin brings a dramatic, bold flair to Florence + the Machine’s “Cosmic Love,” though it doesn't seem like an ideal song to showcase her voice.
Caitlin’s Result: Team Adam
A modern-day Mozart, Nicole Johnson wrote her first song at age seven (her mom doesn’t go into detail, but I think we can safely assume it was a full symphony).
Her family moved to Nashville from Louisiana so she could better pursue her music career — listening to Nicole’s buttery-smooth “Mr. Know-It-All,” it seems like that might not have been a huge mistake.
Nicole’s Result: Team Blake
Kameron Corvet, a middle-school French teacher, sings — surprisingly — something other than “Frère Jacques.” Self-accompanied on guitar, he offers a cover of “Crazy” (not the Gnarls Barkley “Crazy,” unfortunately) that’s good, but not good enough.
Kameron’s Result: Team Nobody
Chevonne sang back-up on Lady Gaga’s Monster Ball tour, which is impressive, but it’s this video that I just found on YouTube that’s led me to declare myself a Little Chevonnester (the first ever?).
Her “Brass in Pocket” — oh my god, I love this song, y’all — is a lot of fun, and not unlike Gaga in style.
Chevonne’s Result: Team Cee Lo
Seventeen-year-old Kayla Nevarez credits her father for fostering her interest in soul, R&B, and “doo-wops and stuff.” Sadly, he isn’t here to cheer her on because he’s ailing from a serious liver disease — a crisis that has placed financial and emotional stress on their family. She sends a tearful greeting to him back at the hospital, and because I am a horrible person, I find myself considering the possibility that he may have died since this episode was recorded.
The coaches go crazy for Kayla’s “American Boy,” and rightly so. I love this song (although I have to ask — it might just be that I’m a freakish giantess — but whose ideal man is 5’7”, Estelle?), and Kayla masterfully handles its fast, conversational pace.
“I’m your coach,” Christina informs her, seemingly unwilling to take no for an answer — too bad, because a no it is.
Kayla’s Result: Team Adam [and he’s full!]
Still only 16, Celica Westbrook was offered a place on a Bieber tour two years ago, but it didn’t pan out — we’re never told exactly why, so I can only guess that it’s because she got Justin pregnant. Also, “Celica?” It’s like her parents picked a first name out of a hat full of Toyota models, and a last name out of a hat full of prominent NBA players.
Camry Durant’s mature, effortless cover of “A Thousand Years” sets off a feeding frenzy among the three judges with spots remaining in their teams.
Celica’s Result: Team Christina [and she’s full!]
Jessica Cayne, a full-time musician from Georgia, has struggled all her life with insecurity and weight issues. She brings a bad-girl twang to “Good Girl” (honey, why you insecure when you pretty and you sing real nice?), but she goes unchosen. I have to say I’m actually bummed that no one picked her (ahem, BLAKE).
Jessica’s Result: Team Nobody
(Suddenly, Cee Lo’s cockatoo is perched on his head. I wish I could tell you what he’s saying, but I have no idea, because as I said, Cee Lo’s cockatoo is perched on his head.)
Forty-six-year-old Rudy Parris began playing music in the 1970s, but took a step back from his career to raise his daughter. Now a grandfather — though his long, jet-black hair might have you doubting that — he’s ready to give it another try.
A cover of “Every Breath You Take” reveals his full-bodied country vocals, and I’m not surprised to hear that he’s toured with Hank Williams III (whose real first name, Blake hammily points out, is Shelton).
Rudy’s Result: Team Blake [and he’s full!]
Cody Belew, the improbably (and charmingly) flamboyant son of a bull rider, believes that he must have been “an elderly black lady” in a past life. Of all the coaches, Cody prefers Cee Lo, admiring his innate sense of crazy.
His better-than-competent cover of “Hard to Handle” earns a last-second button-press from Cee Lo. Cody at first doesn’t realize that Cee Lo has chosen him, so when he finally does, he lets loose with a joyful barrage of (heavily bleeped) celebratory cursing. Cody might not win The Voice, but he’s certainly No. 1 in terms of s-grenades launched on air.
Cody’s Result: Team Cee Lo [and he’s full!]
Tonight, The Voice is back with The Best of the Blind Auditions. The battle rounds begin next Monday; I’ll be preparing myself by reading books of World War I poetry and quietly weeping. Dulce et decorum est pro patria cantare.
Find me on Twitter @mollyfitz.
[Image Credit: NBC] More: The Voice Recap: That’ll Do, Pig The Voice Recap: Ain’t That Some Shhh? The Voice Will Keep Singing for Two More Seasons, Gets New Judges
Top Story: Race Narrows at Cannes for Palme d'Or
The race for the Palme d'Or--the top film prize at a 2004 Cannes festival--is heating up, and with director Quentin Tarantino heading the jury, movie industryites are prepared for just about anything. Reuters reports that leading contenders are French director Agnes Jaoui's Look at Me, about an angst-ridden 20-year-old desperate for the attention of her egotistical father and longing for the figure of a fashion model, and Brazilian Walter Salles' The Motorcycle Diaries, which traces the political awakening of a young Che Guevara on a Latin American odyssey. Variety executive editor Tim Gray told Reuters the 2004 festival is proving a refreshing change from last year' lackluster showing, with a political edge that is reflecting what is happening in the world. He also added the top prize is still up for grabs: "With Quentin Tarantino head of the jury, I have no idea." Many critics predict Tarantino could be swayed by the Korean revenge pic Old Boy in which the distressed hero cuts off his tongue after finding out he has slept with his long-lost daughter. Winners for the 2004 Cannes Film Festival will be announced Saturday night.
Court Denies Media Request To Lift Jackson Gag Order
The California Supreme Court said Wednesday it will not consider arguments from news organizations trying to end a gag order in the Michael Jackson child molestation conspiracy case, which bars anyone connected to the case from talking about it. According to The Associated Press, attorney Theodore Boutrous Jr., who represents a coalition of media organizations, had argued that a blanket gag order imposed by Santa Barbara County Superior Court Judge Rodney Melville was an unconstitutional restriction of freedom of speech and press and added that lifting the gag order would "ensure that more accurate information will be disseminated, and will reduce the amount of rumors, speculation and gossip about which the District Attorney complains."
Psycho's Movie Death Best of All Time
According to a critics' poll published Thursday in Total Film magazine, Janet Leigh's shower scene in Alfred Hitchcock's 1960 thriller Psycho is the "best movie death" of all time. "Knowing that the blood is Bosco's chocolate syrup and that a pulped casaba melon stood in for the stabbing noises does nothing to reduce the impact,"Total Film deputy editor Simon Crook notes. The runners-up: Slim Pickens riding an atomic bomb in Stanley Kubrick's 1964 comedy Dr. Strangelove Or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb comes in at No. 2; the big ape's fatal plunge to earth in the 1933 actioner King Kong comes in third place; terrorist Hans Gruber's fall from a 30-story building in the 1988 thiller Die Hard places fourth; and the killing of the two ruthless bank robbers in the 1967 crime drama Bonnie and Clyde rounds out the top five.
Fox Picks Up Kelsey Grammer Sketch Comedy
Frasier Kelsey Grammer may have left the building, but the actor is quickly moving on. Just one week after Grammer ended his 20-year stint as TV's neurotic psychiatrist Dr. Frasier Crane, Fox said on Wednesday it has picked up a new sketch comedy co-produced and hosted by the actor for its fall slate. A Fox Broadcasting Co. spokesman told Reuters the network had ordered six episodes of The Kelsey Grammer Sketch Show--an American version of a British program from the ITV network. Fox said Grammer will serve as its host, with performances delivered primarily by an ensemble of players, in the vein of Drew Carey's Whose Line Is It Anyway? on ABC.
Cosby Does TV Stints for Philly's Schools
Bill Cosby is helping out his community by appearing in several shows and spots on the Philadelphia School District's local access station, as well as volunteering as a creative consultant, AP reports. The creator of The Cosby Show said Wednesday the programming will reinforce lesson plans and give parents the opportunity to talk with their children about education and will feature some student-produced segments as well as include messages on homework, SAT preparation and vignettes about students and their communities. "This can become a friend to the kid who finds that he or she is a bit shy or a bit slow in the classroom," Cosby said. "The student can turn to that station to get help, even the student who may not know why he or she needs to be studying."
Role Call: Sandler Goes Longest Yard; Witherspoon, Ephron Do Sammy; Sin City's Cast Expands
Adam Sandler is set to remake the football drama The Longest Yard for Paramount Pictures, also starring Chris Rock and Burt Reynolds, who starred in the 1974 original. The story revolves around a former pro quarterback, now serving time in prison, who must contend with a sadistic warden and his idea to pit a team of inmates against the guards in a football game. The film is shooting in New Mexico to take advantage of tax rebates and location incentives offered by that state ... Sony Pictures has picked up Delia Ephron's romantic comedy spec Sammy, with Reese Witherspoon attached to star. Witherspoon would play a woman who can sense what animals are thinking. She crosses paths with a man who claims to have the same relationship with dead people ... Clive Owen and Benicio Del Toro have joined the cast of Robert Rodriguez's Sin City, a screen version of the graphic novel series by Frank Miller. Others in the cast include Bruce Willis, Josh Hartnett, Mickey Rourke, Nick Stahl, Jessica Alba, Elijah Wood and J