Justin Timberlake commemorated his return to the venue where his former group 'N Sync last performed together by dedicating one of their songs to bandmate Chris Kirkpatrick, who was in the audience to support his pal. The Suit and Tie hitmaker brought his The 20/20 Experience tour to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida's BB&T Center on Tuesday (04Mar14), and the fact it was the place where the boy band ended its last tour in 2002 was not lost on him.
During his concert, he said, "This building was the last 'N Sync performance. A lot of history for me in this building."
He added, "One of my very best friends, I've spent so much time with in the last couple weeks, who's come out on tour with me is Chris Kirkpatrick. We've had a blast together (and) he's somewhere in here tonight. Chris, I love you, man."
He capped his nostalgic moment off by surprising the audience with an acoustic version of 'N Sync's 2001 hit Gone.
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March 4, 2014
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March 3, 2014
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February 27, 2014
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TriStar Pictures via Everett Collection
An hour and change into Pompeii, there's a volcano. You'd think there might have been a volcano throughout — you'd think that the folks inhabiting the ill-fated Italian village would have been dealing with the infamous volcano for the full 110 minutes. After all, volcano movies have worked before. Volcano, for instance. And the other one. But for some reason, Pompeii feels the need to stuff its first three quarters with coliseum battles, Ancient Rome politics, unlikely friendships, and a love story. But we don’t care. We can't care. None of it warrants our care. Where the hell is the volcano, already?
To answer that: it's off to the side — rumbling. Smoking. Occasionally spiking the neighboring community with geological fissures or architectural misgivings. Pretty much executing every trick picked up in Ominous Foreshadowing 101, but never joining the story. Not until Paul W.S. Anderson shouts, "Last call," hitting us with a final 20-odd minutes of unmitigated disaster (in a good way). If you've managed to maintain a waking pulse throughout the lecture in sawdust that is Pompeii's story, then you might actually have a good time with the closing sequence. It has everything you’d expect — everything you had been expecting! — and delivers it with gusto. Torpedoes of smoke running hordes of idiot villagers out of their homes and toward whatever safety the notion of forward has to offer. Long undeveloped characters rising to the occasion to rescue hapless princesses who thought it might be a good idea to set their vacation homes at the foot of a lava-spewing mountain. The whole ordeal is actually a lot of laughs. But it amounts to a dessert just barely worth the tasteless dinner we had to force down to get there.
TriStar Pictures via Everett Collection
To get through the bulk of Pompeii, we recommend focusing all your attentions away from the effectively bland slave/gladiator/hero Kit Harington — sorry, Jon Snow (he's actually called a bastard at one point) — and onto his partner in crime: a scowling Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje — sorry, Mr. Eko (he and Snow actually trade valedictions by saying "I'll see you at another time, brother" at one point) — who warms up to his fellow prize fighter during their shared time in the klink, and delivers his moronic material with a sprinkle of flair. Keeping the working man down is Kiefer Sutherland — sorry, Jack Bauer — as an ostentatious Roman senator, doling out vainglory in Basil Fawlty-sized portions. When he's not spitting scowls at peasants, ol' JB is undermining the efforts of an earnest local governor Jared Harris — sorry, Lane Pryce (he actually calls someone a mad man at one point) — and his wife Carrie-Anne Moss — sorry, Katherine O'Connell from Vegas (joking! Trinity) — and finagling the douchiest marriage proposal ever toward their daughter Emily Browning — sorry, but I have no idea what she's from.
But questionable television references and some enjoyably daft performances by Eko and Jack can't really make up for the heft of mindless dullness that Pompeii passes off as its narrative... until the big showstopper.
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In truth, the last sequence is a gem. It's fun, inviting, and energizing, and might even call into question the possibility that Pompeii is all about how futile life, love, friendship, politics, and pride are when even the most egregiously complicated of plots can be taken out in the end by a sudden volcanic eruption. But you have to wade through that egregious complication to get there, and you shouldn't expect to have too much of a good time doing so.
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Britney Spears thrilled the crowd at her Las Vegas show on Monday night (30Dec13) by performing with former 'N Sync star Lance Bass. The pop superstar kicked off her residency at the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Sin City on Friday night (27Dec13), and introduced a section of the show during which a male audience member is plucked from the crowd to perform with the star on stage.
TV host Mario Lopez was the lucky guest during the first concert, and on Monday, Spears was surprised to find her longtime friend Bass had been picked for a turn on stage.
Bass, who worked with Spears' ex-boyfriend Justin Timberlake in 'N Sync, was pictured grinning as the singer serenaded him and she later thanked him in a post on Twitter.com, writing, "Lance Bass So so good to see you!! Thank u (sic) for coming tonight," while the former boyband star added, "Thank you for dressing me up as a kitty and spanking me! It's like old times. Xoxo Love ya (sic)!"
Socialite Paris Hilton was also in the audience with her sister Nicky.
R. Kelly has found himself at the centre of a bizarre concert scandal after fans were allegedly duped into attending a Louisiana party hosted by the R&B veteran, only for an impersonator to take the stage instead. Attendees at the Ced's All Black Affair event in Monroe, Louisiana on Saturday night (26Oct13) were left outraged after claiming the man promoted as the Ignition hitmaker was just a local doppelganger attempting to lip-sync his way through the show.
He was booed offstage by angry devotees just minutes into the gig and they have now bombarded event promoter Cedric Johnson with demands for refunds.
Johnson has promised to explain all later on Monday (28Oct13), but the incident has been further complicated by the fact that Kelly's official website also lists the Monroe Civic Center appearance as part of his tour.
The singer has yet to comment on the controversy.
Justin Bieber has fallen foul of music critics who have branded his performance in New Jersey on Wednesday (31Jul13) "sluggish", "bored" and "lazy" and accused him of lip-syncing large portions of the show. The teenage superstar took to the stage at the Prudential Center in Newark as part of his ongoing Believe world tour, but his lacklustre performance prompted criticism from reviewers in the audience.
Mesfin Fekadu of the Associated Press has written a scathing report about Bieber's show, insisting the singer was "not in pop star form", while also accusing him of lip-syncing most of his songs and failing to keep up with his dancers.
He writes, "He seemed to be lip-syncing and his sluggish, lazy dancing didn't match the oomph of the beats... Bieber phoned in a good amount during his show; at some moments, he even appeared bored. He was clocking in - another day, another sold-out concert... When performing the hit Beauty and a Beat, he couldn't keep up with his background dancers.
"He was lip-syncing again... During She Don't Like the Lights, Bieber barely moved to the track's futuristic beat (maybe it was the leather tights?)."
Chris Jordan of local newspaper the Asbury Park Press was also disappointed with the 19 year old's performance, insisting the star did not deliver during the few moments of the show when he actually attempted to sing.
He writes, "As for Bieber the performer, well, there's not a whole lot to believe in. His voice is thin and reedy... Unfortunately, his dancing isn't any better than his singing. His turns are loose and his body control is sloppy. He seemed divided as to whether he should join his team of dancers full force or just let them do most of the work."
Michael Jackson's ill-fated comeback shows in London would have featured a lookalike onstage and lip-syncing from the legendary performer. The Thriller hitmaker was booked for a string of 50 sell out shows at London's O2 Arena in 2009 but passed away in June that year (09) just weeks before the run of gigs was due to begin.
The star's mother Katherine has brought a wrongful death lawsuit against bosses of concert promoters AEG Live, who were behind Jackson's This Is It shows, alleging they were negligent in ignoring her son's life-threatening health issues as he was not well enough to perform.
Now the hearing in Los Angeles has been told Jackson was so out of shape he planned to lip-sync some songs and use an auto-cue machine to prompt him on his lyrics.
A jaw-dropping stunt in which Jackson appeared to leap through a pane of glass would have featured a lookalike to fool fans.
Choreographer Travis Payne told the court on Tuesday (14May13) he received an email from another worker on the This Is It shows stating: "Michael Jackson is not in shape enough yet to sing this stuff live and dance at the same time."
A lot has changed for the children of the '90s since our Trapper Keeper toting days. Most of us are in our 20s or early 30s. We may be married, starting our anti-aging battles against gray hairs and facial lines, or even have kids of our own. And like us, pop culture has changed. No longer do we tape our favorite shows on a VHS cassette and turn on the radio to hear our beloved Britneys, Christinas, and boy bands. Until now. Prepare yourself for nostalgia overload, as some of our favorite ‘90s boy bands are poised for a major comeback.
This summer, the kids within us will be reawakened as a major boy band summer tour featuring New Kids on the Block, 98 Degrees, and Boyz II Men kicks into full gear. And in celebration of this epic event, it’s time to put the former boy bands to the test. Jeff Timmons of 98 Degrees judges the ultimate boy band death match. Who will hold the spotlight in this faceoff?
RELATED: Jeff Timmons: Joey Lawrence Better Get Ready for Chippendales
The Boy Band Death Match Begins:
Round One: The Dance-Off
Winner: ‘N Sync. “‘N Sync would kill us all,” Timmons tells Hollywood.com. “Those guys are the dancing troop. They are amazing.”
Round Two: The Fistfight
Winner: 98 Degrees. “That’s us, easily,” Timmons says. “We are a bunch of brawlers. We’re Ohio guys, blue-collar guys, all sports guys that ended up doing music, not music guys that went into sports. So, we would win a fistfight easily.” And Timmons thinks that New Kids on the Block would be their fiercest competition. “The Boston guys are pretty scrappy,” he says. “They might give us a run for our money.”
Round Three: The Jeopardy Test of Wits
Winners: 98 Degrees or NKOTB. “It would be a toss-up between us and the New Kids,” Timmons says. “The Lache brothers are pretty cerebral —those guys are pretty smart — so we might be pretty good. Although the New Kids [have] Donnie Wahlberg [and] he’s pretty quick-witted. He sounds pretty educated.”
Round Four: The Fashion Face-off
Winner: Boyz II Men. “They are always pretty savvy with fashion,” Timmons says. “They would win. 'N Sync does a little more of space age, kind of out there, funky style. And we’re always kind of conservative. Boyz II Men are the most fashion [forward] looking group out of everybody.”
Round Five: The Shirts-Off Contest:
Winner: New Kids on the Block. “The New Kids are in pretty good shape,” Timmons says.
Round Six: The Sing-off
Winner: Boyz II Men. “Boyz II Men wins that hands down,” Timmons says. “It’s not even a competition when it comes to live singing. We can kind of hold a candle to them, but Boyz II Men is amazing. They sound just like a record in person. We’re pretty good with the harmonies and everything, but, no question about it, Boyz II Men are high above anybody else.”
Next: Timmons Shares the Scoop on 98 Degrees' New Album
New Album and Tour
Timmons may list his competitors as winners in the boy band death match, but in real life, 98 Degrees may be coming out on top this year. They've got a new album in the works and a hot summer tour lined up.
While a release date has yet to be set for the new album, the boys (or men, now) have already returned to the studio to start recording. Timmons tells us that the album will be all new tracks and will incorporate “some new sounds.” “We’re R&B guys at heart, so it’s going to have some R&B flavor to it,” he says. “[And back in the ‘90s,] primarily, we were known as balladeers; [We’d] sing slow songs. Nowadays, it’s all up-tempo songs on the radio, so we’re trying to see how we fit in that.”
Timmons is hoping that one song in particular makes the cut for the new album. “It’s called ‘Microphone,’ and I actually hope it is the first single," he says. “It’s pretty kick ass. It’s definitely radio friendly and a big hit." Timmons feels that the single really shows off his band’s talents. “We all sound great on it,” he says. “The production is amazing, the writers are cool, [and the] song is pretty killer.”
RELATED: 98 Degrees Reuniting
But don’t worry, 98 Degree fans, the band will be bringing back some of their more popular tunes when they hit the road this summer with Boyz II Men and NKOTB. And concert-goers will get a good taste of all of the bands’ flavors. According to Timmons, 98 Degrees and Boyz II Men will each perform a 40-minute set before New Kids takes to the stage for their headlining act.
If a medley of throwback jams isn't enough to entice you, maybe the possibility of some '90s fashion will be. Timmons tells us he will never say never to breaking out some of the band’s old school costumes to liven up their performances. “It might be cool! It might be something we do... but I don’t know. Everybody nowadays is too cool for school to maybe take that risk,” he says. “We had silver jumpsuits at one point. We can just rock that sh*t and then see what everybody does.”
But all joking aside, the summer tour holds a special place in Timmons’ heart, as it was Boyz II Men who helped inspire Timmons and his band to break into music. “I was singing their songs in the shower in college,” he says.
RELATED: Jeff Timmons: On Nostalgia and More
98 Degrees even crashed a concert to get Boyz II Men’s attention. “We were like, ‘Okay, Boyz II Men got discovered singing backstage at a concert,’” Timmons says. “'We’re going to go to their concert and do the same thing.' We bought tickets to the show, went to the show, sang our way backstage, and got on the radio,” he says. “Then we got discovered back there and we ended up getting signed to Motown just like Boyz II Men did.”
Because of their history, 98 Degrees is excited to take the stage with Boyz II Men, and they're thrilled to be touring with NKOTB as well. “New Kids on the Block, despite what people say about them, sold more records than any of us,” Timmons says. “They had a tremendous amount of success. They are great guys and they are talented. To be on a bill with both of those legendary acts, I’ve got to pinch myself. I’m lucky to be here."
“We’re all just lucky to be in the business still after this many years and having the opportunity to go on tour,” Timmons adds.
Follow Lindsey DiMattina on Twitter @LDimat
[Photo Credit: Dan Jackman/Wenn]
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For a series slated for another season of confusing plots that will allow all of the New Directions’ graduates to arbitrarily pop back into our lives, Glee sure did make its third season finale feel like a series finale. It was practically a character solution sandwich made with sweet slices of Season 1 bread.
We open with Will walking into the choir room where the original New Directions members (Rachel, Kurt, Merdedes, Tina, and Artie) are resurrecting their first ever “ghetto” performance: “Sit Down, You’re Rocking The Boat.” And while this recapper resisted the urge to shout “Sit down, you’re freaking out, Will Schuester” all of the Schue’s Season 3 sadness finally made a little more sense. These graduating seniors were the kids who resurrected the show choir, and that’s why they mean so much to him. Okay, I get it. I’ll stop going on infantile-themed tirades. However, I will hang on to the notion that moving your wedding to better fit the glee club’s schedule instead of your future wife’s was a moment of temporary insanity. Schue seals up his goodbye for the season with a sappy song that seems to be making even his costars a little uncomfortable. Let’s hope departing seniors does not spell more heartfelt droopy solos from Will.
Kurt’s farewell comes courtesy of his two rocks, Blaine and Burt. Burt’s goodbye is significantly less moving than anything the character has done on three seasons of the series, but it still slightly worked because Mike O’Malley has magical properties that make him feel like he’s our television dad. After Burt bops around in a cutesy attempt at recreating the first time he caught Kurt dancing to “Single Ladies” with Tina and Brittany, Kurt has to make his peace with leaving Blaine behind because clearly, as soon as you graduate high school, the principal drags you out by your hair, kicks you in the keister and says, “Y’all don’t come back now, ya hear?” Is summer not a thing in Ohio? If so, please remind me to never move to the land of eternal fall and show choirs. Anyway, Blaine and Kurt decide they’ll figure it out and Kurt says something about becoming the couple from The Notebook, minus that pesky dementia problem. And again, I ask: Is this a season finale or a series finale? Why all the riding-off-into-the-sunset speeches?
Of course, the series also has to get the rest of the glee club’s fates out of the way and Santana is our guide, walking us through the hall of everyone's accomplishments: Mercedes is a back-up singer studying at a UCLA extension, Mike got a scholarship to a Chicago dance school, and Brittany is failing and she’s going to be a Super Senior. (Which is treated pretty mildly considering that the girl just flunked her senior year of high school. Hilarious.) Santana is disappointed that everyone is off to some big city while she’s headed to be a cheerleader in Kentucky. Her mom, the also magical Gloria Estefan is the fairy godmother counterpart to Santana’s homophobic grandmother. EsteMom says she always knew Santana was a lesbian and she eventually parlays that into her blessing for Santana to skip out on college and move to New York to seek fame. So, there’s one Season 4 connection down. It’s a good thing Santana and Rachel became friends so they can completely unravel that and fight with only each other and not the other millions of desperate wannabe actresses in New York next season.
Quinn sews up Puck’s story and makes us all a little confused about her own when she very clearly sits on Joe’s lap during a choir room performance and then winds up kissing Puck during a last minute study session for his make-up geography test. Joe is left staring into space in the choir room while Quinn’s magic kiss helps Puck pass his test and Rachel’s starry-eyed hormone-infused words (“You and Puck are meant to be”) resonate through Quinn’s pretty little head. Is this a cliffhanger? It doesn’t feel like one. It just seems like the final word on Quinn is that she still hasn’t learned how to stop kissing all of the boys.
Next: We play the "Who's Not a Graduating Senior?"game.And in a fairly succinct clever little motion, the seniors sing “You Get What You Give” and by process of “These people are standing and those people are sitting” we learn that Blaine, Sam, Joe, Tina, Artie, Brittany, Sugar, and Rory are sticking around for the rebuilding phase of the now first-place New Directions. No one seems to notice the elephant in the room: Sam clearly looks like some 21 Jump Street twentysomething who’s gone undercover at a high school. He’s a junior? Right.
But what about Finn? ...is the question that doesn’t seem to have as much weight as it should. In a brief cameo, James Lipton officiates Finn’s acting audition for the Actor’s Studio in New York and when we weren’t shown the precious footage of Finn royally botching Antony’s mutiny monologue from Julius Caesar, we knew he wasn’t getting in. His disjointed “solution time” continues when he asks Will to write “some son-I-never had or little-brother something” in his yearbook and instead, Will confesses that he planted pot on Finn in order to blackmail him into joining the glee club. And that’s when it becomes official: Finn is the human version of an elderly golden retriever. He’s just happy Schue is talking to him and they have a play fight because that’s what high school graduates do, of course. Like the perfect trusty pup, Finn leaves, telling Schue “You’re so much cooler than I ever thought.” Stockholm Syndrome says what?
After graduation and the disappointment of finding out that both Kurt and Finn were rejected and only Rachel got into NYADA, it’s time for this dreaded wedding. (The one we hoped would just disappear by graduation like a pesky pimple that totally ruined my grad party pictures.) Luckily, Finn kidnaps Rachel and takes her to the train station, where he promptly breaks up with her, says he’s joining the army and shoves her on a train to New York. Sure, he says something sweet about how she deserves to be a star and he loves her enough to let her go do that, but let’s be honest: This was a good old fashioned heist. And now, Rachel is on a train halfway to the Big Apple, see. The episode ends with the entire glee club and Wemma waving at the train as Rachel sing-cries all the way to New York, where she arrives, dressed like some Doris Day reincarnate as she roams the streets of the big city with no particular direction.
We get it. Three years of hard work have led little Rachel Berry to Broad-way (pronounced with the same affected accent as cam-er-ah), but did we have to jump back in time to 1962? Glee has spent so much time practically screaming at us “We’re modern, we are, we are!” that reverting back to this old-timey conclusion is cute and perhaps somewhat optimistic and glossy for a series finale, but totally out of sync with a series that promises to keep churning out seasons for the next couple of years.
The final scenes also present a perplexing promise for next year: Either Glee is acknowledging that the series is in fact The Rachel Berry Show and they may as well stop fighting it, or it’s the series’ sunset moment for Rachel and next year will focus more heavily on the remaining New Directions. All of the chatter coming from the actors and Ryan Murphy seems to indicate that Lea Michele and Chris Colfer’s star power shall not be wasted come Season 4, and if we’re being frank, the other glee club members never broke out like Santana and Brittany because they don’t have the star quality of their seniors. I had hoped the season finale would wipe the Glee slate clean so the series could start anew upon its return, and in a way, that’s true. But the cleaners simply came through with a dusty old broom and scattered the pieces of the series to the edges of the room and under the rug. It’s still a bit of a mess. It’s almost impossible to fathom how the continued journey of the McKinley set will manage to squeeze its way into our television sets come fall. But no matter how it all shakes out, the show we’ve been watching for three years (however reluctantly post-Super-Bowl episode) is over. Say goodbye.
But as always, before we say goodbye, we’ve got to get out our wiggles in the form of questions and stray observations:
--Brittany refers to Joe as “she.”
--Schuester sings a sappy song and as much as I hate his rapping, I agree with Quinn’s quip: I really wish he was rapping instead too.
--Burt doesn't know who Elaine Stritch is. (She’s a Broadway legend, Papa Hummel.)
--Kurt and Blaine both sawThe Notebook, which means they can handle long distance relationships.
--Bruce Springsteen’s “Glory Days” is actually a terrible graduation song. It’s about people whose best days were in high school: “Yeah, just sitting back trying to recapture/ A little of the glory of, well times slips away/ And leaves you with nothing, mister, but/ Boring stories of glory days.” What is it about Springsteen songs that seem to perplex people so?
--Rachel goes to New York dressed like a crackerjack flight attendant and no one is scrambling to capture it with their smartphone cameras.
--Nene Leakes wants to take down Figgins, for some unfounded reason, but no one really cares because we’re too busy trying to figure out how we got from minute one to the end of the episode.
--Graduation is a New Directions concert with some faceless losers in the background. When did they suddenly become the stars of the school? Nationals does not a cool kid make.
Follow Kelsea on Twitter @KelseaStahler.
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Many of us remember the 90's in a variety of ways. For some it was the era of technology advancements, such as the creation of cell phones, Tomagotchis, and Gameboys. But for others, it proved to be a pivotal moment in music history: the breakout of the boy bands.
Led by the Backstreet Boys and N*SYNC, these bands climbed the billboard charts and dominated pop culture. Teenage girls transformed their rooms into shrines and waited in countless concert lines just a get a glimpse of their favorite boy groups. It became a huge sensation, yet one that hasn't withstood the test of time. Sure there's been a few reunions here or there, but boy band popularity has drastically declined throughout the 21st century -- until now.
A British boy band by the name of One Direction performed on the Today Show on March 12 and were met with an overwhelming fan base. Hundreds of adoring, screaming fans (made up of mostly young women) blanketed the outdoor stage, bearing signs, cameras, and autograph-ready memorabilia.
But in order to recognize a true boy band craze is to see it from the inside out. Hollywood.com exclusively spoke with Mara Frankel, a coordinator at Atlantic Records who got a front row seat to the madness about experiencing the mania firsthand. When asked if she thinks boy bands are making a comeback, Frankel said, "It honestly felt like Beatlemania. Not comparing One Direction’s music to that of the Beatles, but the fan reaction is so similar. A group of young British boys who play catchy music in matching outfits....boy band mania is definitely back."
And it seems the fans are even more fanatical than during the days of Backstreet Boys and N*SYNC. Frankel said there were "lots of tears" and "lots of screaming," and added, "For awhile, you couldn’t even see the stage over the wall of paper banners and signs in the air." And keep in mind this is all started at 5 a.m.
So who are these new stars that are sending teens everywhere into hysterics? The band was assembled on the U.K. version of Simon Cowell's The X Factor featuring five young men who had originally hoped to win the competition as solo performers. But when that didn't work, they decided to "band" together, so to speak, and start performing as a group.
And it worked. They immediately began breaking records and winning awards with songs like "What Makes You Beautiful." And though they only just started generating an American fan base earlier this month, they're already attracting massive crowds.
And their skyrocket to fame has only just begun. In fact, One Direction is even set to appear as the musical guest on Saturday Night Live on April 7. Get ready girls, there's a new boy band in town and they're not going away anytime soon.
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But if you need any further proof of One Direction's growing popularity, compare their performance with that of NSYNC's back in 2000. Notice any crowd similarities between the two?