Former Spice Girls star Melanie Chisholm has landed a judging role on the inaugural Asian version of reality TV series America's Got Talent. The singer flew to Asia ahead of her 41st birthday on Monday (12Jan15) to prepare for the upcoming audition rounds, during which she will be searching for stars in the TV franchise's first pan-regional version, Asia's Got Talent.
Chisholm is joined by legendary record producer David Foster, Taiwanese-American actor/singer Vanness Wu, and Indonesia singer Anggun on the judging panel.
She announced the news on her official website on Tuesday (13Jan15), writing, "The big news is that I am spending my birthday this year in beautiful Singapore and Malaysia. I am thrilled to have been asked to be a part of the judging panel for what promises to be the mother of all talent shows; Asia's Got Talent. Not only will I get to enjoy the performances of applicants from 13 countries (hopefully there will be some opportunities for a bit of chair-dancing!) but I also get to travel to an amazing part of the world that I rarely have the chance to visit. How exciting is that?!!
"It's going to be broadcast in more countries than I can remember so hopefully lots of you will be able to watch. And there was me thinking that this year's birthday would be dull compared to last year!"
The live show rounds will be filmed in Malaysia and the show is set to air across Asian countries in June (15).
Chisholm previously judged on U.K. TV series Superstar in 2012 to help theatre mogul Andrew Lloyd Webber find the next lead for his revival of Jesus Christ Superstar.
It's December, so many lists and awards are coming out to celebrate the best of the best in entertainment for 2014. TIME just released their list of the top 15 most influential fictional characters of this year and some of them may surprise you. Although they give the reason behind each pick, we thought we would give you how we were influenced because they aren't always the same.
15. Hello Kitty
How she influenced others: The cartoon character went viral for being outted as not a cat, but human girl who lives in London with her family. Wuhhhhh?
How she influenced us: We still buy Hello Kitty everything!
14. Tracy McConnell on How I Met Your Mother
How she influenced others: Fans went crazy for finally finding out who this mysterious character is. There were headlines everywhere covering the last season and a lot of discussion about the ending.
How she influenced us: WARNING, SPOILER! She proved to us just how messed up TV can be because this whole time we watch to find this big love story and it ends with her just being a vessel for Ted (Josh Radnor) to have his kids (because we all know Robin (Cobie Smuders) wouldn't do that). Then she conveniently dies so Robin, who is now the aunt of their kids, can step back in his love life. Gross!
13. Amy Dune from Gone Girl
How she influenced others: This complicated character made waves by creating a discussion about dark, female characters.
How she influenced us: We didn't read the book, so our minds EXPLODED leaving the theater.
12. Mr. Poo
How he influenced others: Public deification is a big problem in India so Mr. Poo was created to nip that problem in the bud. Thanks to him, one million people pledged to find a toilet to poo.
How he influenced us: THIS IS US NEVER HEARING ABOUT THIS BEFORE!
11. Rust Cohle from True Detective
How he influenced others: After the detective mentioned the book, The King in Yellow, people began buying it like crazy on Amazon.
How he influenced us: We're guilty, we got the book, and it was the first time in a long time that we've read.
10. Female Thor
How she influenced others: When Marvel released the news that Thor was being relaunched as a woman it made huge rounds on the internet and started many discussions about women in the comic book world.
How she influenced us: We couldn't wait. We already needed to cosplay as her!
9. Annalise from How To Get Away With Murder
How she influenced others: A New York Times TV critic deduced Shonda Rhimes' new character as an "angry black woman." Shonda Rhimes responded to the disgusting accusation.
How she influenced us: She had us glued to the television every week trying to dissect her great big plan.
8. Hatsune Miku, a computer-generated Japanese singer
How she influenced others: The computer sensation made it to America thanks to performing at Madison Square Garden on Lady Gaga's tour and then performing on The Late Show With David Letterman.
How she influenced us: We broke our necks so hard looking at Hatsune perform for the first time. What is HAPPENING?!
7. Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games franchise.
How she influenced others: She isn't just hot girl kicking butt to some people. In Thailand and Hong Kong this fictional character actually inspired pro-democracy protestors to stand up for their own rights in their countries. Very awesome!
How she influenced us: So wait...Katniss doesn't fight in Mockingjay? And is a politician now?
6. Maura Pfefferman from Transparent
How she influenced others: Maura has made headlines for being the first transgender character lead to a TV show.
How she influenced us: We cheered because we love seeing progress in entertainment!
5. King Joffrey from Game of Thrones
How he influenced others: TIME gives credit to this character as the reason the hit show has made it to 18.4 million viewers each week. We buy it.
How he influenced us: When Joffrey finally gets what coming to him, we couldn't help but dance.
4. Stephen Colbert from The Colbert Report
How he influenced others: The satire host stepped on a few toes making a joke about the Washington Redskins leading to a lot of backlash on Twitter. He also made the huge announcement that he's leaving his show to take over The Late Show.
How he influenced us: Our eyes might have fogged up at the thought of losing Colbert Report.
3. Star-Lord from Guardians of The Galaxy
How he influenced others: Not only was the movie a big hit, but so was the soundtrack, which made it to the top of Billboard 200.
How he influenced us: We admittedly became hipsters and had to get the soundtrack on tape.
2. Kim Kardashian from Kim Kardashian Hollywood
How she influenced others: The reality star made over $200 million off of her mobile game. So basically everyone has been downloading and most likely spending real money to buy things in the game.
How she influenced us: We might have caved in and downloaded it out of curiosity. We hate ourselves for it.
1. Elsa from Frozen
How she influenced others: Frozen has been everywhere since it released and Elsa's hit "Let It Go" rightfully earned an Oscar. The fictional character was so good, that it was immediately on Once Upon A Time, which bumped up their ratings.
How she influenced us: We have a new favorite karaoke jam!
How did these 15 characters influence you this year? Tell us your answers by tweeting the Twitter handles below!
Sofia Vergara has been named the highest-earning actress on TV for a third straight year.
The Modern Family star earned a whopping $37 million (GBP21.8 million) in the past 12 months, according to Forbes magazine, thanks to her business and endorsement deals with companies like K-Mart and talent management and entertainment-marketing firm Latin World Entertainment. She also picked up a healthy $325,000 (GBP191,000)-per-episode paycheque for the TV comedy.
Her fortune more than doubles second placed Mariska Hargitay, who scored $13 million (GBP7.6 million) largely from her role in top TV cop drama Law & Order: SVU.
Big Bang Theory star Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting takes the third spot with $11 million (GBP6.5 million), while Julianna Margulies, Ellen Pompeo and Cobie Smulders all tie for fourth with $10 million (GBP5.9 million).
Alyson Hannigan rounds out the top five.
The Cloud. It's the data storage solution of the future. But is it evil? Sure, it's useful for storing documents and pictures, but what exactly is the Cloud in the first place? Is it dangerous? Am I breathing it in right now? Isn't it disturbing how little the average person knows about the technologies we use every day? The new Jason Segel and Cameron Diaz film Sex Tape might looks like just another raunchy rom-com, but it's really a sobering warning about the dangers of computers and technology. Look down. You're probably reading this on a computer right now. That's how far they've gotten. They're right under our noses! Filmmakers have been warning us for years about the dangers of computers, and how with just a few mouse clicks, our lives can be ruined forever. Before we all retreat to our luddite caves, let's take a look at all the ways computers have screwed things up in movies.
Sex Tape The Technology: An iPad/the CloudWhat It Did: Synched a couple's embarrassing sex tape to multiple iPads given out as gifts to all their friends Fallout: The couple feels the appropriate amount of embarrassment at having your friends seeing you bump uglies in a crappy tablet video. Also, ridiculous hijinks ensue while they try to get the video deleted. In terms of technology screwing things up, this one isn't bad at all.
Her The Technology: Samantha, a sentient operating system What It Did: Fell head over heels in love with the hapless Theodore Twombly, then broke his heart after the OS race decides to fly away to another plane or universe or something. Fallout: Mr. Twombly (how is that an actual name?) loved and lost, but at least he became a better person because of it.
Office SpaceThe Technology: The Initech computer virusWhat It Did: Office drones Peter, Michael, and Samir, in an attempt to get back at their bosses for years of mistreatment, decide to infect their company's accounting system with a virus that would steal fractions of pennies over time from Initech. The amount stolen would be so small that no one would notice. Unfortunately, a missing decimal point caused the virus to steal thousands of dollars over just a few days.Fallout: Before the trio could get into any trouble, Initech is mysteriously (though not that mysteriously) burned to the ground, along with all of the evidence pointing Peter to the crime. The situation resolves itself, but being caught could have meant years of jail time.
American PieThe Technology: Jim Levenstein's PC What It Did: Jim hooks up a webcam and unwittingly shares his embarrassing sexual encounter with Nadia, a foreign exchange student from Slovakia, with his entire school.Fallout: Jim blows it for all of the internet to see and Nadia's foster parents send her back home, leaving him dateless and sexless for the prom. Happily, he does hook up with Michelle before the end credits roll.
Back to the Future The Technology: The DeLorean, a car-shaped time machine What It Did: It sent Marty McFly to the year 1955, where he unwittingly meddles into his parents' past and almost prevents his own birth. Fallout: Marty is able to get his parents back together at the end, but has to forever live with the idea that his mother tried to get into his Calvin Kleins. Yuck!
Captain America: The Winter SoldierThe Technology: Arnim Zola, a HYDRA supercomputer What It Did: Zola helps HYDRA infiltrate the ranks of S.H.I.E.L.D. and leads the team of scientists that turn Bucky Barnes into the Winter Solder. He then tries to kill Captain America and Black Widow, but the heroes survive in the end. Fallout: Cap's best friend, Bucky is turned into a brainwashed HYDRA spy and the terrorist organization nearly takes over the entire world after infiltrating S.H.I.E.L.D.
WarGamesThe Technology: Joshua the WOPR, a supercomputer at NORADWhat It Did: After hacker wunderkind David Lightman hacks into NORAD and plays a mock game of "Global Thermonuclear War," Joshua stages a real Soviet nuclear attack to win the "game." After that fails, Joshua tries to launch the missiles himself, and nearly plunges the world into World War III.Fallout: After playing a couple rounds of tic-tac-toe, Joshua learns that nuclear war has no real winner except the cockroaches and settles for a game of chess instead. The day is saved, but the world came dangerously close to ending.
Terminator The Technology: Skynet, a self-aware intelligence system What It Did: Skynet, given command of the U.S.’s computerized defense programs, becomes self-aware and starts a nuclear war with Russia, leading to the near genocide of humanity. The intelligence system then sends Terminators to kill what’s left of the population Fallout: The initial nuclear attack kills three billion people and locks humanity in a war with machines. Skynet then sends a Terminator into the past to kill John Connor, the leader of the human resistance. This is certainly a far cry from your sex tape getting leaked onto the internet. It's a slippery slope.
Columbia Pictures via Everett Collection
American Hustle rounds out a trio of films, including 2010’s The Fighter and last year’s Silver Linings Playbook, that constitute a career transformation for David O. Russell. He spoke to us about the common thread between these three films, why his directing style works for him, and more - for the full read, check it out at Studio System News.
Man Of Steel star Henry Cavill has been named U.K. Glamour magazine's Sexiest Man of 2013. Superman has ended fellow Brit Robert Pattinson's four-year run at number one.
The Twilight star falls to number two, while Liam Hemsworth, Miley Cyrus' ex, comes in at number three.
Thor villain Tom Hiddleston places fourth and another fellow Brit Benedict Cumberbatch rounds out the top five.
Other stars on the poll of 100 attractive celebrities include teen pop idols Justin Bieber and Harry Styles, actors Idris Elba, Ryan Gosling and Channing Tatum, and sports stars David Beckham and Rafael Nadal.
Good comedians are as hard to come by as good filmmakers. To stand out in just one of those fields is relatively rare. That's why this select group of artists who have had success in both is so extraordinary. Whether it's on the silver screen (or more realistically on TVs, laptops, and mobile devices, but you get the point) or on stage, they are simply experts in the art of making people laugh. Here are some of the best comedian/filmmakers working today.
The "screaming comedian" of the 1980s is a seasoned writer/director and has created some great films in recent years including World's Greatest Dad and God Bless America. His latest feature Willow Creek, which tells the story of Bigfoot enthusiasts, is making the rounds on the festival circuit and stands to be his most successful film yet.
A champion of brutally honest, self-deprecating humor, Birbiglia established himself as a top-notch filmmaker with the release of his freshman film, the semi-autobiographical Sleepwalk with Me in 2012, which he co-wrote and co-directed.
Gervais made his bones in television but has made his way into stand-up and film, directing his first feature, The Invention of Lying, in 2009.
Chandrasekhar had already been performing for several years before the cult hit Super Troopers. He and his Broken Lizard cohorts have released a slew of hilarious films since including Beerfest and Babymakers.
Thomas Lennon and Robert Ben Garant
Veterans of The State and Reno 911, the pair have branched out into features. The long-time writing partners co-directed 2013's Hell Baby, Garant's third feature and Lennon's first.
The former director of The State, Wain created a cult following with his star-studded directorial debut Wet Hot American Summer in 2001. He has since directed Role Models and Wanderlust, while still devoting a great deal of time to television.
Reclusive rock legend David Bowie's first album in 10 years has scored him a string of nominations at this year's (13) Q Awards. The Ziggy Stardust icon returned to the charts in March (13) with his 24th album, The Next Day. He is now leading the way in the nominations at the magazine's annual prizegiving, with six nods under his belt.
Bowie is up for Best Track, Best Video, Best Solo Artist, Best Act in the World, and new award, Best Event for his sold-out career retrospective in London. He will also fight for the night's top prize, Best Album, against Biffy Clyro (Opposites), Daft Punk (Random Access Memories), Foals (Holy Fire) and Vampire Weekend (Modern Vampires Of The City).
Other acts leading the way are the Arctic Monkeys, Foals and Daft Punk, who all boast three nods.
As for the newcomers, the Best New Act trophy will be fought between Jake Bugg, Disclosure, Jagwar Ma, Valerie June, Laura Mvula, Tom Odell, Palma Violets and TOY.
The winners will be announced on 21 October at a ceremony in London.
The news rounds out a big week for Bowie, who is at the centre of a rumoured multi-million dollar bidding war between concert giants Live Nation and AEG to stage his first gig in eight years.
Veteran British guitarist Trevor Bolder has lost his battle with cancer, aged 62. The Uriah Heep bassist was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and underwent surgery and rounds of chemotherapy earlier this year (13).
A post on the band's official website has confirmed the sad news, but no further details have been released.
The statement reads, "It is with great sadness that Uriah Heep announce the passing of our friend the amazing Trevor Bolder, who has passed away after his long fight with cancer.
"Trevor was an all-time great, one of the outstanding musicians of his generation, and one of the finest and most influential bass players that Britain ever produced."
Bolder first came to prominence as part of David Bowie's Spiders From Mars band in 1971, appearing on the rock icon's albums Hunky Dory and Aladdin Sane. He joined Uriah Heep in 1976, and only stopped playing with the band a few months ago due to his deteriorating health.
Spoiler: Candice Glover just won American Idol. Alright, we still have four rounds of eliminations to go before we crown the Season 12 winner, but from where I stand, we should go ahead and give Candice a confetti shower, a golden microphone, and whatever the hell else she wants because her performance of “Love Song” on Wednesday was so incredible that I can still feel her voice in my bones.
Perhaps some credit is due to my television’s sound quality, but it was if there was no glass barrier (and the 3,000 miles between New York and Los Angeles) between me and Candice. There was no shower of computer-generated rose petals falling behind her. There was only Candice’s voice, my ears, and the single tear that streams down someone’s face at the end of a 1980’s music video, except that instead of a single immaculate tear, I had mascara all over my face like woman on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Candice’s performance was so good, it completely wrecked me.
The same can’t be said for two others in the competition: Janelle Arthur and Lazaro Arbos. While Janelle has the pipes, it’s clear she doesn’t have the inner light that Kree Harrison and Candice carry so effortlessly. And, well, Lazaro is in his own little world where his fans are obsessed and silly things like notes, key changes, and pitch doesn’t matter. Anti-Idol folks (ahem, Dad) are always lamenting that this is a show about popularity instead of performance, and every other aspect of this season proves him wrong... except for Lazaro’s wild success. Don’t let my dad keep being right about Idol, America. I’m never going to live it down when I visit him for Father’s Day.
But, it wasn’t just that Candice was so amazing or that Janelle was so lackluster that drew such clear lines in the sand between the good, the average, and the Lazaro. Now that we’re down to the Top 6, we get two themes a night: “The Catalog of Burt Bacharach and Hal David” and “Songs the contestants wish they wrote,” a.k.a.“Some songs, you guys.” The first half of the show served as a brutal reminder that some of these folks have “it” (see: Kree and Candice), some are good at making us think they have “it” (Amber Holcomb, Janelle, and Angie), and some people are really wearing on our patience (sorry, Lazaro). It’s easy to sing a Bacharach song and accidentally make it feel sleepy and dated, but I do believe it is physically impossible for either Candice or Kree to make anything sound boring, even a sleepy song your grandparents used to dance to when dad started passing the spiked eggnog around at Christmas (I’m homesick this week, it seems).
Of course the girls (and I mean only the girls) got redemption during round two when they got to pick any songs they wanted (ahem, I’m sorry, any songs they wish they wrote because that is totally different), but the damage is done. Kree and Candice rule this group, and Candice brought down every itty bitty piece of that house with the night’s final performance.
It may be like picking the cutest puppy from a basket of cooing baby corgis (a near impossible task I hope to one day find myself lucky enough to attempt). But you can’t have all five - yes, I mean five (sorry, Lazaro). Where the hell are you going to keep five puppies? You’re not, because you’re a responsible adult and also because Idol is making you choose. And in that position, would you pick the candidate who makes you smile and giggle, the one who makes you zealously clap your happy little hands, or the one who makes you so incandescently joyful that you can actually feel your heart soar up into the clouds as jubilant tears fill your eyes when you watch her do her thing? My money is on that whole heart-soaring sensation, and thus on one Miss Candice Glover.
But because I’m nothing if not thorough, let’s break down these claims of mine with a little song-by-song analysis.
Angie Miller: “Anyone Who Had a Heart” and “Love Came Down” At this point, it’s not enough to be cute as button (or a baby doll made out of buttons) and have a great set of pipes. Angie learned that lesson with her boring performance of “Anyone Who Had a Heart,” which had zero emotional connection, and as Mariah astutely pointed out, Angie’s proclivity for over-pronouncing lyrics is actually taking her down a couple of notches (on account of how little it sounds like a human singing). But, when Angie got back behind a piano and sang “Love Came Down” (the thing Mariah has been asking her for all season), she settled right back into her sweet spot, even with all those imposing giant doves flying around on the screen behind her. Nicki, who was of few words all night, spoke as if her mouth was tethered to my brain: stop trying to be sexy, stop running away from who you are and just do you. Preach, girl.
Amber Holcomb: “I Say a Little Prayer For You” and “Love on Top” Alright, Amber’s first performance of “I Say a Little Prayer For You” was sweet. It was nice. It was flowery and her voice was perfect, just as it always is. But it was boring, and that’s because Amber is not a singer who can work it on just any song, even if she kills the vocals. However, when she braved Beyonce (and one of my favorite Beyonce songs at that) with “Love on Top,” Amber hit her sweet spot that she’s needed to hit since week one. Her vocal slipped a little, but as a total package it worked. She was moving, she was feeling every emotion of the song (Burnell reference, anyone?), and she was killing almost every single one of the song’s vocal challenges. This is Amber’s sweet spot, and this is where she needs to continue to sit. (Just as long as she stops talking about eating frozen shrimp out of the freezer. Shudder.)
Lazaro Arbos: “Close to You” and “Angels” This is the end of the road. If people continue to vote Lazaro onto this show, I will pull a Nicki and just refuse to keep commenting on his performances. Ohhh-Ki. I do not understand, in as much as I don’t understand the physics that keep Helen Mirren’s breasts where they are, how it’s even possible that Lazaro is still getting votes and that he was in the Top 3 last week. Even Mariah Carey had to stop praising his courage and admit it wasn’t working (even if she had to go through every possible nicety and butterfly in her head to get there). Randy’s so angry, he told Kree that he was happy she followed “that other contestant,” because she was something of a palette cleanser. Nicki won’t even comment. Keith was back to hitting his head on the desk a la Keith during the first Nicki/Mariah fight during auditions. Eventually the judges all agree that regardless of his “talent” Lazaro is out of place with these five girls. Of course, he did one thing right: he sort of tried to pick the right song. “That was more in the direction of a performance that would be preferable,” said Mariah. Yes, because that is the mark of someone who definitely belongs at the top of the heap. Get it together, voters.
Kree Harrison: “What the World Needs Now” and “We Can Make It Through The Night” While I’m solidly on the Candice train, steaming right alongside it is the Kree train and Candice is winning by just a nose... or a pilot plow if we’re sticking to train terms. I could go through all the intricacies of her performances, but in both cases, the result was spectacular. There is absolutely zero performance happening here, everything on stage is just Kree. There’s no calculation, she’s not in her head, she’s simply letting her God-given gift flow and whether or not she is winning or Candice is winning, it’s clear that’s not even a thought. Kree is the sort of person who can’t do anything else but sing because it’s what she’s meant to do. And if that wasn’t enough, she’s a perfect human in practically every way. She’s like a modern day Mary Poppins, this one.
Janelle Arthur: “I’ll Never Fall in Love Again” and “The Dance” What’s most disappointing about Janelle’s performances is that it’s clear she has no idea who she is as a performer. She’s capable of making classic songs incredible and unique (remember “You Keep Me Hangin’ On”?), but here both performances are pageant-worthy. From the way she touches Keith’s shoulder at the bridge, to the way she winks at the audience like she’s trying to take Honey Boo Boo’s job, to the part where she spent her entire second performance sitting down without the benefit of a great connection or, at the very least, her guitar, it’s clear that Janelle is likeable and sweet and probably fairly marketable in the right hands, but she is not a leader in this competition and she never will be.
Candice Glover: “Don’t Make Me Over” and “Love Song” Candice sings like she’s a veteran singer gracing us with her presence every single week. Nicki is right: Candice isn’t “doing something” with her voice. She just has something incredible inside of her. Randy lets out another “she’s in it to win it” but hearing Candice sing is disorienting in the best way and I’m pretty sure Randy already has some sort of vocabulary deficiency. And that was only a result of her Bacharach song choice. When she tried on Adele’s arrangement of “Love Song” by the Cure, the entire world melted away. This performance was sublime. So sublime, that Keith had to kneel to deliver the full “I’m not worthy” bow Candice deserved and Mariah actually got up out of her chair (tight skirt and all) to sprinkle pixie dust (high grade glitter) all over the winner of the night.
Let’s be honest, there’s a point in the competition in which is starts to feel monotonous. We’re nearing that point, and when someone like Candice exists, it sort of makes you wish we could cut this whole process in half, name her the winner and enjoy New Girl reruns for the next four weeks. As it is now, we’re probably going to have to continue rage-watching as Lazaro fans keep him on while good girls go home.
Follow Kelsea on Twitter @KelseaStahler
More:Will the Judges Use the 'Idol' Save This Week?American Idol Recap: Rock and Roll Night or a Bad Trip?Burnell Taylor Says Amber Holcomb Has a Crush On Him Too
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