Kelly Clarkson is back on top. The original Idol has just surpassed fellow American Idol winner Carrie Underwood for the spot as the top-selling winner of the Fox talent series. Her single, “Stronger” has officially sold 1,000 more copies than Underwood’s previous title holder “Before He Cheats,” according to Nielsen SoundScan, via The Hollywood Reporter. Clarkson’s single sold 3,510,000 while Underwood’s hit reached 3,509,000. (It’s okay Carrie, those sales will still make that cheatin’ ex of yours green with envy.)
But now that Clarkson is once again Queen of the Idol alums on the charts, we couldn’t help but wonder, is she the Idol Queen in the eyes of the media (and in our hearts)? We pitted the two peppy singers against each other in a battle of pop culture clout. And as Ryan Seacrest would say: Dim the lights, here we go!
Kelly: “Stronger,” 3,510,000 copies sold
Carrie: “Before He Cheats,” 3,509,000 copies sold
As we said, Clarkson is clearly the winner here. Numbers don’t lie, but they are ridiculously close. If Clarkson doesn’t keep it up, an upset could be in her future. Get to work, ladies!
Clarkson may rule the singles charts, but when it comes to making the long term commitment of buying an artist’s entire album, Underwood’s got her fans on the hook. Perhaps after making an impact with “Stronger” Clarkson can pull ahead, but for now she’s playing second fiddle to Miss Underwood.
Kelly: David Hodges (of Evanescence), Graham Colton (The Graham Colton Band), Brandon Blackstock (Reba McEntire’s Stepson)
Carrie: Tony Romo (Dallas Cowboys Quarterback), Chase Crawford (Gossip Girl Star), Mike Fisher (the NHL hockey player is now her husband)
Nice effort, Clarkson, but Underwood played the field a little better. She’s got two big name pro athletes in her little black book (one of whom finally put a ring on it - bonus points!) and she’s got TV star and part-time elf, Crawford. Clarkson definitely showed up, but Underwood’s batting 1000.
Kelly: She’s rocked the same set of hairdos since she wisely retired her Idol-era koolaid streaks; she often opts for figure-obscuring short dresses on the red carpet and flowy tanks and blouses in her casual wear; when she gets glam right, she usually does so with safe choices and flattering colors. Translation: She wears a lot of black.
Carrie: Sparkles. So many sparkles. She too has had the same do for years, but her effortless blonde waves are country music gold. Literally.
Underwood has not been plagued with the same weight struggles as Clarkson has dealt with, but body image aside, Underwood simply finds clothes that fit her shape better than Clarkson does (with a few sophomore-cheerleader-at-a-Texas-prom dress faux pas aside.) While Underwood may want to ask her stylist to cool it on the sparkly dresses here and there, Clarkson needs to find herself a stylist who dresses her shape to highlight her best features instead of trying to mask her body. Every shape is beautiful, it’s all about finding the right fit, and Clarkson simply hasn’t found it yet.
Winner: Carrie Side Projects Kelly: Celeb judge/contestant on Duets on ABC; Owns a ranch in Texas for Unwanted Animals; March of Dimes Ambassador; Supports various charities such as Save The Music, STOMP Out Bullying, and UNICEF. Carrie: Various guest-starring roles on TV; Voted “World’s Sexiest Vegetarian” by PETA; Once saved an injured dog on the side of the road and found it a home; supports various charities including the Human Society of the United States and Stand Up 2 Cancer. We’re not about to compare Underwood’s various charities to Clarkson’s various charities. Who are we to say music in schools is more important than saving adorable little puppies and kitties? It’s all wonderful as far as we’re concerned. Underwood took the time to save a destitute puppy on the side of the road, Clarkson gives destitute animals a home. Even. Clarkson serves as an ambassador for March of Dimes, Underwood records singles and makes appearances for her various charities. Even. Both singers have made incredibly average appearances on television. Even. Damn, that was the only real comparison we had going for us. How does anyone “win” charity, anyway? Winner: Tie Celeb News Scandals Kelly: Supported Ron Paul, was accused of being anti-gay; Rumored to be a lesbian; Accused of losing weight for her boyfriend; Indonesian billboard used her image to sell cigarettes. Carrie: Unfounded claims of nude photos (just like every hot celeb out there); Various relationship rumors. Underwood is basically scandal-free. She keeps to herself, tries to stay out of tabloids unless she’s got herself a new beau, but now that she’s married, that’s no longer an issue. Clarkson, however, is a passive recipient of scandal with the exception of the Ron Paul debacle. Clarkson tweeted her support of the candidate, therefore opening herself up to questions about her political beliefs. All other scandals, however, are issues pressed upon her by outside parties. She just barely squeaks ahead of Underwood this time. Winner: Kelly Awards Kelly: 2 Grammys, 6 Grammy Nominations, 70 total awards, 98 nominations Carrie: 5 Grammys, 9 Grammy Nominations, 116 total awards, 173 nominations Math doesn’t lie, folks. And neither do Grammys. Underwood is a clear winner on this one. Winner: Carrie So who’s the better celebrity? With a score of 5.5 to Clarkson’s 2.5, Underwood is the better celeb, but don't worry Kelly, you will still be our go-to girl for breakup anthems! Ding, ding, ding: Carrie for the win! Follow Kelsea on Twitter @KelseaStahler.
[Image: Wenn.com] More: Kelly Clarkson Is Dating Reba McEntire's Stepson Kelly Clarkson Sings Britney Spears: The Best Celebrity Cover Videos Idol Stars Carrie Underwood and Chris Daughtry are Triple Winners at The AMAs Carrie vs. Kelly
Boldly proclaimed on the posters for Ted is a divisive phrase: "The first motion picture from the creator of Family Guy." Seth MacFarlane's kooky profane animated TV show has its diehard fans and vocal dissenters but the the writer's leap to the big screen is an impressive stretch that should suit both groups (or perhaps neither). The tale of a boy and his sentient stuffed bear Ted takes the classic mold of a '50s comedy and stuffs it full of MacFarlane's signature foul-mouthed humor. The result is sweet sick and satisfyingly simple. For a movie about a talking toy with a drug alcohol and sex problem Ted is surprisingly low concept.
Avoiding the over-explanatory storytelling pitfalls of most deranged comedies Ted cuts to the chase. When John (Mark Wahlberg) was a kid he wished for his teddy bear to come to life. Unexpectedly Ted (voiced by MacFarlane) did come to life dedicating himself to becoming John's best buddy forever. Integrating into the real world with the utmost ease (albeit finding momentary fame for being "that toy that came to life") Ted and John's friendship seldom hits a bump even when the human half of the pair finds love with Lori (Mila Kunis). The biggest hurdle comes four years into couple's relationship: Lori feels the urge to settle down; John is waiting to move up the ranks of his dead end rental car job; Ted just wants to smoke pot and watch more Cheers DVD commentaries with John. Real life problems.
Ted is an exceedingly pleasant viewing experience throwing curveballs to the central duo without losing any of the friendship and encouragement that makes both of them so lovable. It's hard to make a "nice" movie that liberally drops cuss-filled borderline-racist and perversely sexual one-liners like a twelve-year-old who just discovered his first George Carlin album but Ted manages it with MacFarlane's sharp ear for dialogue and well-constructed script. The film uses a few of Family Guy's cutaway techniques and more Star Wars references than any film since...Star Wars but it's all employed effectively to best tell the story of life long friends. Ted and John's love for the 1980 Flash Gordon movie is a clear demonstration of their fondness for childhood yesteryears — a memory that becomes the pair's major conflict.
Riding the whacked out success of The Other Guys Wahlberg continues his streak of great comedic performances nailing the everyman without letting John slip into obvious manchild territory (and doing it all with the perfect Bostonian slant). While not as dapper or madcap Wahlberg and the CG-animated Ted have a bit of Lemmon/Matthau rapport. They joke they butt heads they live life through each other's commentaries. It's great fun and wouldn't work without MacFarlane's natural performance and the digital effects to accompany it. The moment when Ted and John's bubbling tension finally brews over may be one of the best "fight" scenes of the year. The sight gags and potty humor won't be everyone's cup of tea but underneath it all is great chemistry that slathers the movie with charm.
A film that could have easily skewed to the Family Guy teen demographic defies expectations thanks to MacFarlane's old school sensibilities. Kunis modernizes the leading lady role with equal doses of spunk and romantic ambition. Surrounding the main trio are a handful of great comedic actors and famous cameos — another Family Guy-ism that feels oh so right in the movie's twisted alternate reality — with Joel McHale hitting new levels of creepiness as Lori's sexually harassing boss. MacFarlane keeps the direction as straightforward as the plotting jazzing it up with a rousing score by Family Guy composer Walter Murphy. Ted's script feels less confident summing the movie up in big summer style sagging when conflict takes priority (an absolutely bonkers Giovanni Ribisi shows up to add some wicked behavior in the second half of the film) but the whole package is a fun romp that delivers on laughs. Ted is stuffed with smiles and booze; see sometimes wishes do come true.
Real Steel – the new sci-fi sports flick from Night at the Museum director Shawn Levy – is set in the year 2020. Its vision of the future looks remarkably similar to the present save for the fact that the sport of boxing has been taken over by pugilistic robots. There are no robot butlers taxi drivers or senators – just boxers. Apparently technology in 2020 has advanced enough to allow for the creation of massive mechanized beings of astonishing dexterity but humanity has found no use for them beyond the boxing ring.
Hugh Jackman plays Charlie Kenton a has-been boxer turned small-time robot-fight promoter. A consummate hustler who’ll do anything for a buck Charlie’s fallen on hard times of late. Opportunity arrives in the diminutive guise of 11-year-old Max (Dakota Goyo) his estranged son who turns out to be something of an electronics wunderkind. Together they work to fashion Atom an obsolete ramshackle “sparring robot” left to rot in a junkyard into a contender.
Anyone who’s seen an underdog sports movie – or any movie for that matter – made in the last half-century can fairly easily ascertain how this one plays out. (The story borrows tropes from The Champ Rocky and Over the Top wholesale.) Atom proves surprisingly capable in the ring compensating for his inferior technology with grit perseverance and an ability to absorb massive amounts of punishment. Under the guidance of Charlie and Max he makes an improbable run through the ranks eventually earning a one-in-a-million shot at the World Robot Boxing championship.
Real Steel was executive-produced by Steven Spielberg; it bears his unmistakable imprint. Levy judiciously deploys Spielberg’s patented blockbuster mix of dazzling special effects and gooey sentiment wrapping it all in a highly polished if wholly synthetic package. Still Real Steel might have amounted to so much glossy hokum were it not for its champion Hugh Jackman. Other actors might eye such a project as an opportunity to coast for an easy paycheck but damned if Jackman isn’t completely invested. The film’s underdog storyline isn’t nearly as inspiring as watching its star so gamely devote himself to selling material that will strike anyone over the age of 12 as patently ludicrous. His efforts pay off handsomely: Real Steel is about as rousing and affecting as any film inspired by Rock’em Sock’em Robots can expect to be. (The filmmakers claim lineage to a short story-turned-Twilight Zone episode but who are they kidding?)