Donnie Wahlberg, Olivia Wilde, Kim Kardashian and Eliza Dushku are among the stars who expressed their relief on Friday night (19Apr13) after a suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings was caught following a massive police manhunt in Massachusetts. Cops swooped on the Watertown area late on Thursday night (18Apr13) as they attempted to apprehend two brothers wanted in connection with the atrocity at the annual race on Monday (15Apr13), when three people were killed and more than 170 injured after two bombs exploded near the finish line.
Shots were fired in Watertown, and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, one of the two lead suspects, later died from his injuries, while his sibling, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, evaded capture.
Police embarked on a massive manhunt on Friday, advising people across the city of Boston to stay inside and going door-to-door in the area in a bid to track down the 19 year old, but it was only after the lockdown was lifted at night that one local reported seeing blood near a boat in his backyard - prompting cops to descend on the area and corner Dzhokhar.
The huge scale hunt was documented live on TV, and celebrities flocked to Twitter.com to heap praise on Boston authorities and express their delight that the suspect had been captured.
Boston native Wahlberg declared, "Time to take our city back. Start the healing process & turn our attention to the victims & their families", while Dushku, who grew up in the town, shared, "Watertown way to stay strong. Breathe & get some sleep now - much gratitude to all the responders. Boston is my blood - peace & love to all."
Wilde wrote, "So goddamn relieved. Boston, I love you. May the bars stay open til dawn", Kardashian offered, "This is insane. I'm glad they finally captured the 2nd suspect!!!", while actor Chris Evans praised authorities: "GREAT work Boston PD (Police Department), FBI, and everyone involved in successfully bringing this chaos to an end. Job well done!!"
New Kids on the Block star Joey McIntyre, who ran the marathon on Monday, told fans, "Grateful for some kind of relief from this sad week. And for all armed services- heroes all! Thank you THANK YOU THANK YOU", while rocker Ryan Adams wrote, "Let the good people of Boston breathe easy tonight. We love you" and Josh Groban tweeted, "So happy that the brave city of Boston can breathe some sigh of relief tonight after being held hostage."
Shannon Elizabeth, Emmy Rossum, Hank Williams, Jr., Debra Messing, John Legend, Alyssa Milano and Ricky Gervais also took to their Twitter.com accounts as news of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's capture emerged, while U.S. President Barack Obama gave a televised speech to applaud locals for their response to the devastating attack and subsequent manhunt.
He declared, "Tonight our nation is in debt to the people of Boston and to the people of Massachusetts after a vicious attack on their city. Bostonians responded with resolve and determination. We've closed an important chapter in this tragedy. There are still many unanswered questions. How did young men who grew up and studied here as part of our communities and country resort to such violence? The families of those killed so senselessly deserve answers."
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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There's an old expression amid the ancient people of Beverly Hills (which were really just a bunch of reanimated skeletons that started the movie industry by clickety clacking their bones together in front of a magic screen) that you can lead a Llama to a birthday party, but you can't make it spit. That is exactly what happened last night on The Real Alpaca Farmers of Sassafras Mesa. Lisa Vanderpump went to a party, but wouldn't get in a fight. They tried everything: they planned a party, they invited her enemies, they goosed up the expectation of her rival, they hired a petting zoo just for the occasion. But, just like a willful mouse that is leaving chocolate sprinkles all over your kitchen counter and tearing into your cereal boxes and not eating the poisoned peanut butter you left on the floor, Lisa did not take the bait. Good for you, Lisa.
Before we can get to Lisa staying above the fray we have to talk about Adrienne the evil Queen of the Maloofs (a race of mole people that live beneath a mountain). Queen Adrienne is mad at Lisa. Why? Who knows? No, seriously, I want to know who knows, because I don't think that even Adrienne knows anymore. It's like she just has this little bit of malignant anger that is making her feet feel all uncomfortable and tingly, like getting that pedicure where the fish eat all the dead skin off of your feet. It's there and ticklish in a bad way, but even though you can put your foot in it, you can't put your finger on it. Anyway, Adrienne is mad and wants Lisa to apologize to her.
Lisa also wants Adrienne to apologize to her, but there is a reason: Adrienne wrongly accused her of selling stories to the tabloids on national television. Yup, that seems like an apologizable offense. To make matters even worse, Adrienne keeps telling people that Lisa is immature for not inviting her to her Villa Blanca Naked People Serving Drinks soiree. Um, Adrienne is the one who sent a giant arrangement of spite flowers sticking out of three steaming piles of poop. Lisa didn't invite you to keep drama out of her party and Adrienne just couldn't stay away. Who is the one who is immature?
Alright I'm getting ahead of myself, because I don't want to get to the party yet. I just can't. We have so much to get to before that. First we have to talk about Taylor, who asked Kyle's husband Mmmmmauricio and Adrienne's jester Paullo the Chimp to walk with her in one of those stupid charity walks where people get to put on T-shirts for the cause and feel good about themselves, but how do they even raise money? The same way that Adreinne is angry at Lisa: no one knows. Anyway, Taylor knows about some walk in Sacramento (no one should ever walk in Sacramento) where the guys walk a mile in women's shoes. No, not figurative, literal. They walk a mile wearing high heels. Ugh, there is nothing worse than straight men in high heels. It always sounds like this, "Whine, whine, complain, my feet hurt, I need to sit down, whine, whine, whine. Honey, why don't you wear these stilettos to dinner?" The worst.
So Adrienne takes her chimp Paullo shopping for shoes and he tries on a whole bunch of pairs while still wearing socks. Ugh, straight guys in high heels are the worst. Don't you know the socks make it even harder to walk? Paul picks out two pairs of size 12 from the saddest tranny shoe store on all of Melrose Boulevard. (PS--Doesn't Adrienne have a shoe line? She should be like, "You are wearing my freaking shoes in this damn race. They come in size 12. Here, you are wearing these. Thanks for the advertising.") Paullo gets two pairs of shoes, one a sparkly red pair that looks like a cheap version of Dorothy's ruby slippers (sorry, Paullo, you are no friend of Dorothy) and another pair that is a sparkly silver platform boot that goth kids wear to see their favorite industrial bands at underground clubs. They're also a best seller in Germany. As soon as I see them with the two pairs of shoes I figure out exactly what is going to happen. "Paullo is going to pretend to wear the red shoes but chicken out and wear the androgynous shoes because he can't take the pain slash blow to his manhood," I said to myself.
After a private plane jaunt to Sacramento (never fly to Sacramento) the guys show up for the walk and there are all these dudes who are getting really into it. They're dressed in matching outfits and have on real shoes that they went and picked out at DSW like any self-respecting grown man who likes to wear ladies' shoes every once in awhile, and they're not complaining at all. They all know how to walk and some even run. These guys have been practicing. Mmmmmauricio gets a pair of loaner silver shoes (size 14!) and wears them with socks because he is a guy and an idiot. And, just as I thought, Paullo goes for those big silver boots and everyone is like, "You freaking cheater. That doesn't even count." And he walks about 10 city blocks (really, that probably equals a mile) and is like, "I'm doing it. I'm really walking in high heels." No you're not. You're dressed as Kiss for Halloween, that's what you are. So don't start getting all cocky thinking that you ended domestic violence by wearing the surplus stock from Hot Topic, because you did nothing but embarrass yourself. Yes, the only thing more embarrassing than wearing socks with high heels is not wearing high heels at all. Way to go Paullo. And we all know you only wore those platforms so you could finally be tall for one hour of your life.
Now it's time to get to Yolanda, a rubber tree that grew in the marshes of Indochina (do they have marshes in Indochina?) and was one day sprinkled with magic potion by the model fairy Eileen Ford and she sprouted limbs and posed in a number of different frocks and French cut bathing suits and neon green thongs in the fashion catalogs of the universe. Yes, it is now time to talk about her. She went to the set of a photo shoot to watch her seedling Gigli (who was the inspiration for the Jennifer Lopez movie of the same name) model clothing for a certain clothing company. Guess! No, that's the name of the brand, Guess! No, Who is on First, Guess is on Gigli.
This whole thing exposes Yolanda for what she really is: blithely awful in the way that most Real Housewives tend to be, even those who have a barky exterior and whose hair is made out of little wisps of blond twigs. The most popular crime of the Real Housewives (aside from batshittery and general bonkersness) is self-delusion. Yolanda thinks that she is not a stage mother. She thinks that, because she was a model, she can show up and give Gigli advice on just how to best show off her rib cage to the camera. She says she just likes to show up and be there for support and not have any input. She is not, I repeat, a stage mother. OK, maybe she'll comment on the makeup. And maybe she'll make a little comment about the wardrobe. Sure, she ignores her daughter when she tells her to stop, but she just wants to make sure that she has eye drops in her eyes so they don't get dried out because it will make her make a funny face. But she's not a stage mother. No!
And she certainly didn't stand over the photographer making suggestions and go through all the pictures and tell them which ones work. No, she did not do that at all. And she certainly didn't tell the makeup artist to round out her daughter's eye because she looked "too Chinese." She would never say something awful and racist like that! Gosh, no. "Chinese eye" is a technical term in the modeling world for when a makeup artist makes a Caucasian girl look like like an Asian. It refers to a precise technique of painting around the eye, it isn't racially charged. Gosh, don't you know that? It's probably because you're a stage mother. Yolanda, she is not. She is not a stage mother. No, she is not! And that Gypsy Rose Lee, man she got a raw deal. If only her children understood her. She wasn't a stage mother, she was a god damned angel and her eyes were round. They were the roundest.
Zoom on over to Kyle's house right now, because it is time for Portia's birthday party. Yes, it's just a little casual affair. Nothing special, just some kids in party hats and some cupcakes. Oh, and face painting and custom printed T-shirts. And we have to have a petting zoo with a llama and some ponies dressed up as unicorns. Oh, and did you see what Madison had at her party? We have to have those blow up toys and the kids can win them at carnival games. We have to have that. Oh, order a bouncy house. I mean, that just goes without saying. And what are the adults going to do? I guess we can have a photo booth. That's not too much, right? We're just trying to keep it casual this year. Nothing big. Oh, sure, I'd love it if you could bring some Funfetti cupcakes you made from the box. I'll just cancel the two-ton cupcake that Crumbs was sending over on a flat bed truck. Yeah, I was thinking that might be a little extreme anyway. Thanks.
Lisa is the first one to come to the party because she has a wine tasting at Villa Blanca that she just can't be late for. She arrives with two presents for Portia and leads an old llama around by its collar. Oh, wait. That's just her husband, Ken. Never mind. Sorry Ken! We didn't see you there.
Kyle doesn't believe that Lisa has a wine tasting and thinks she is just trying to avoid Adrienne. I don't know if that's true. It might be true and I don't care if it is. Leave it to Lisa to find a tactful way to get out of having to scream and cuss at Adrienne while there are children trying to eat out of the cotton candy fountain and cookie mountain in the middle of the tennis court. Kyle wants to have dinner with Lisa and Adrienne and broker peace. "Oh, no no no no no no," Lisa says in her soft purr. "Things always get fouled up when other people involved." If ever some scribe were to write down the commandments for the Real Housewives (put this in the story idea folder) one of them should be not to let other people into your squabbles because that's when they go from tiffs to explosions. That is just taking the pin out of the grenade and watching it explode, slicing everyone with shrapnel.
Lisa leaves and there is a parting of the clouds in the sky and a blinding light rains down from on high in those big sweeping beams that are almost visible like they were painted by Thomas Kinkade Painter of Light™ and everyone puts their hands up to their foreheads to shield themselves and turns away. Kyle puts her sunglasses on her face and says, "Oh, goodie! Camille is here!" Yes, it was St. Camille, the Martyr of Grammer, and she floated down through the hoary sky with her arms outstretched and her face just a little bit tighter. The light was at her back and everyone fell to their knees to greet her. She walked through the house past the genuflected masses making crucifixes with her right hand and letting her followers kiss the ring on her left as she passed. Her acolyte, DeeDee, walked behind her swaying an incense burner back and forth and little puffs of smoke emitted from it spreading a scent that many recognized. It smelled of righteousness and success. It was the smell of burning money. "Hello," Camille said. "I am here for a party!"
Kyle brought a complaint to Camille, the problem with Lisa and Adrienne, and she held her hand palm up to Kyle. "My lamb, we have to lead by example. Look at how well we are getting along now that the demon Satan was exorcised from my body after Season 1. We will show them how it should be done." Yes, Camille hung around, but she was really there as a figure head, a dignitary of years past. The action panned by her, but she did not engage. She just ate more cake (she did not really eat cake) and emitted halos of light from her brilliant head. Oh, St. Camille, how we have missed your benediction.
Dana/Pam was also there, walking around going, "Look. $25,000!" like it was last season and we still cared. Good luck with that, Dana/Pam. Brandi showed up wearing heart-shaped glasses because she just saw Lolita and has a new role model. Kyle was being strangely nice to Brandi, but I like that. These girls need to warm up to Brandi. Taylor totally snubbed her and then walked around saying, "Guys. Yolanda told me that Brandi said she slept with every guy in Beverly Hills. Did you hear that Brandi said she slept with every guy in Beverly Hills? I have talked to every guy in Beverly Hills, and they have all slept with Brandi." God, Taylor, you are such a goon. Don't you even hear yourself when you say this? It is obviously a joke. You basically just posted an Onion article on your Facebook page and said, "Can you believe that Ben Affleck is going to set Argo in Boston? It's an outrage!"
Anyway, Brandi was really nervous about being there with all her haters but after chilling with St. Camille and her acolyte DeeDee, she thought she better leave before there was drama. She told Kyle she was going to leave and Kyle said, "No, stay. Please stay." Brandi said she would, but then dipped out the front door while no one was looking and texted, "Sorry, I can't deal with drama at a kid's party. BYYYEEEEE!" Like Lisa, Brandi is smart to try to avoid the drama, but unlike Lisa, she created more drama on her way out.
Eventually Adrienne, Queen of the Maloofs, arrived with her jester Paullo the Chimp on his lease. "Where is Lisa!" she demanded while throwing her gloves on the floor and kicking Paullo once in the shin, just for good measure. "She's not here. She had something to do at work," Kyle says. "Yeah right, Adrienne says. How immature! Why is she making such a huge issue out of this?" Um, excuse me, Adrienne. Who is the one making the huge issue? Who is the one sending flowers and demanding audiences and apologies and talking to everyone she knows about this? You! Lisa is just sitting at home quietly waiting for you to apologize because you said a shitty thing about her in front of a bunch of cameras and still haven't done anything to make it better. Kyle knows that Adrienne is wrong in this fight (I hope that everyone with a brain knows) but won't say anything. She needs to just break it down for her squirelfriend and tell her to get on the horn, apologize, and then move on. The only reason it is a deal at all is because Adrienne is making it one. God!
Finally Kim Richards stumbled into the party blowing air kisses at everyone. She wasn't stumbling for her usual reason (if you could see me right now I'm making that motion where you extend your thumb and pinkie from your hand and tip your thumb toward your mouth) but from exhaustion. Yes, she had to get a present for Portia on her way over to the house so she stopped by her favorite store, which happens to be a children's clothing store. She looked at all the pretty dresses and sparkled tops and little T-shirts with princesses embroidered on them and just remembered all the happier times. She remembered when she would pull all the clothes off the rack and litter the floor of her trailer with them and just roll around in all the costumes, all the beauty. She wanted to find something like that for Portia. One of those little girl dresses that make them immediately swing around so that the dress gets full of air and spins out of control as they feel a little bit dizzy and like they're going to fall over.
She picks one off the shelf and it is just the most darling thing she's ever seen. It's sparkley silver thread on black fabric and it has a white bow tying off the waist in the middle. It looks like something Holly Golightly would have her daughter wear. She takes it up to the counter and plops it down. The cashier rings it up and runs Kim's card and then gets on the phone. After some hushed mumbles she hangs up and says, "Ma'am, I'm sorry, but do you have another card?"
"No, I don't. I just have the one. Isn't there enough on there? It's debit."
"Well the balance is $313. 74 cents and..."
"$313! You have got to be kidding me. I could buy 20 dresses at H&M for that! I'm going to have to find something else. Give me all these dresses in the largest size you have."
"Ma'am are you sure? Are those going to fit?"
"Yes," Kim says and goes to the dressing room. This is always happening to her. She always wants to do her best and the world is just keeping it from happening. She puts her head in her hands and wants to cry but can't summon even the strength for that. She just lets her eyelids feel the inside of her lotioned palms.
"Here you go, ma'am." And hands her a huge pile of dresses.
Kim gets up and disrobes and squeezes into one of them. She's still small enough. Her hips barely curving, her legs stubbed, her body's development arrested in a sample size for a very large little girl. "Still got it," she says to the mirror before putting all the dresses on teh floor and lying down in them. She lies there for about 10 minutes, her head full of all those old memories, her skin itchy on top of all the fabric beneath her. There's a Target just down the block, she realizes. That is going to have to do. She picks herself up and puts back on her clothes – her adult clothes – and walks out. "Thanks," she says waving her right hand to the clerk as she walks toward the front door without stopping, "none of those were right."
Follow Brian Moylan on Twitter @BrianJMoylan
[Photo Credit: Bravo]
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Here we are. The stage is set. It’s all Showgirls glitz and community theater glamour: Over-the-top and somehow unnecessary. Isn't this a show about having a voice? That's where you would be wrong, America. This is no show about singers, performers, the hard work of a few shiny new kids to troll in the blog comment sections across the country — this is about the under-appreciated work of a starving artist behind the scenes, ready to make the world FINALLY see his true vision. In my mind, The Voice’s set designer is named Clarence St. Clair. He wears an ascot. He dreams of Broadway but hates to fly, so watch out Los Angeles soundstages! Clarence St. Clair is here. And he's ready to GLAMORIZE.
Let's not get ahead of ourselves, though: Clarence's story is one best unfolded slowly rather than told.
But oh yes, this is also a singing competition. We have been slowly pulled towards the end and I'm ready to just throw everyone off the island and call it a day. We all know who the top four are going to be, don't we? I mean, maybe not, but for the most part, I think we do. Last week's cut of fan-favorite Jesse Campbell was a surprise to some, but not completely out of the blue since Christina has a total girl crush on Lindsay Pavao. But NBC is keen on the storyline of: Literally anything can happen! The Voice really wants to make sure you're aware of that. America! Listen up!
Things are getting serious, you guys. They're putting words on the screen rather than moving images. This is so you will take them seriously. Things have CHANGED! Emotions are in black and white! Someone has licensed the orchestral music from an apocalypse film! Some editing intern stole the first half of the Law & Order “dun-dun” to better illuminate the life-or-death severity of these eliminations. According to the producers, s**t is getting realer than real. Or something.
Professional gigglebot and man-that-loves-you Adam Levine creates a chain reaction amongst the judges. Thankfully, the man that Late Night forgot, Carson Daly, tries to keep them on track. What's happened? A volcanic eruption from the depths of Cee Lo's flatulence factory. Woops! No one is immune from toilet humor. Follow your fart! Go with your gut! Man, these kids are punny, are they not? Who replaced our judges with comedians? They're really letting them rip tonight! But enough on the flatulent drama — onto the performances!
NEXT: Jamar’s burning desire.First up we have Bronx boy Jamar Rogers. A front-runner for sure, even though he picks “It's My Life,” the unfortunate anthem for Jersey Cougars everywhere. The boy could honestly sing an office memo for all I care. Enter Clarence St. Clair to set the stage aflame with this message .
Fire! You guys, the sets are literally heating up. Pallets aflame! Check out that dimension! And just because we don't want our fair performers to forget who they are, our dear imaginary set designer Clarence makes sure to keep them grounded. That's why he's always putting the contestant's name on every single set ever. He likes his metaphors literal.
Jamar's performance is a slowed down but harder version of the track. The judges are into it.
Adam gives us a little bit of insight into the magic of television editing: Jamar was actually the first audition the judges saw that season! Editing! Next you'll be telling me sometimes people don't sing their songs while they're performing, either! (Yeah I'm giving you some side-eye, Goodie Mob.)
Sidenote: I finally invested in emotions this year, you guys. I felt it was more important than a 401K. So I was all atwitter when young Jamar started crying. Stop it, you adorable little skunk-topped cupcake! Stop making me feel things with your story, sunny disposition, love of life, overcoming adversity, and song! Also, he must be so amped on the little bromance he & Cee Lo have brewing.
NEXT: Katrina Parker and the hair that wasn't hers. Back from commercial, the world's prettiest gewgaw Christina Milian interviews Jamar and his mom, who clearly loves her son so much that I can't even deal so I'm skipping over it lest this recap become a transcript of a Lifetime movie.
Katrina has decided on “Jar of Hearts” by Christina Perri. Lucky for Katrina, Clarence has plans. Clarence loves Katrina as she is a DiT: a Diva in Training. He wants the world to love her just as he loves her. What will fix that? He storms around backstage, his hand continually fluttering across his brow as he wipes sweat away — so much thinking causes such exertion — and finally, a lightbulb goes off. The producer's voice echoes in his head: “Please, Clarence, just let the audience see her.” At first he thought of a shower of broken mirror pieces to fall around her while she sang. Those pesky squares in liability vetoed that immediately. He sighed. How to fix a problem like an unseen vision?
A giant heart on the stage. Katrina is literally trapped by a giant neon glowing pink heart, with even more hearts dancing around her in the background. The song is about hearts, did you get it? This is all about subtlety, America. Barbie hair and Adele makeup to boot.
Blake, who rarely ever has anything to say unless there are a bunch of beefcakes up on stage he can gawk at, actually addresses her voice. Clarence is upset that he didn't remember to call in the naked men dressed in heart-shaped jars doing interpretive dance behind her.
Cee Lo liked Katrina's emotion, even though it caused her voice to wilt a little bit. That's alright though, because Katrina is a warm salad.
The highlight for me, though, was the scandalous-but-duh-come-on-guys truth that was revealed when Adam said Katrina wasn't one of his favorites when they started. He likes her now, though. Hooray, etc. Katrina Parker is New England brown bread.
NEXT: An homage to Dick Clark. Clarence St. Clair is a visionary, but he's not afraid to give credit where credit is due. That's why we now have Carson Daly onstage proving why he's not an actor.
It's like we have Dick Clark in the flesh again! (No it isn't.) Not to be fettered by Carson's lackluster Dick, Clarence has decided to put Cee Lo into a giant television (in black and white, because he's authentic). Wait, who is this blonde chick? That's Juliet Simms? Girl, get thee to a salon because that color is just not working for you.
From the wings, Clarence primps the costumes of the American Bandstand dancers (Jessica the costume girl never did understand the fine art of a dress collar.)
NEXT: Acrobatics 101 with Captain America. Up next is Mathai. Oh dear, sweet Mathai. Adam did you wrong with the song choice this week, girl. And you knew it! “I'm Like a Bird” by Nelly Furtado is so obvious for her voice, it becomes nothing more than a parody. Meh.
Mathai starts off her performance fine. Her dance moves certainly emulate that of a newborn bird and then OH LOOK IT'S SOME AERIAL ACROBATICS.
Blake, of course, cannot deal with Captain America and Adam agrees. Clarence is backstage seething, but glad that Alan (Captain America) is there to soothe his raw nerves from behind the curtain.
NEXT: A Boston cream pie sings. At this point I really just want to see that little creampuff James Massone perform, but of course, recovering tanorexic Carson is contractually obligated to shoot it over to living Kewpie doll Christina Milian. FYI, saying the word “Twitter” does not a Social Media Correspondent make. She says something about Pipsters and I just can't with the lack of originality and my eyes are rolling into the back of my head and thankfully, it's done.
Onto James Massone. I can't even deal with his accent. It feeds into the very depths of my New England soul and warms me up like a summer morning on The Charles River. He is singing “Just The Way You Are” by Billy Joel. I'm bored already. Clarence, too, loves the human petit four that is James Massone, and really wants to pull out all the stops for him. What a better way to honor the authenticity of this blue-collar boy singing a song from a kindred spirit? Why, a city sidewalk scene , of course!
Unfortunately for us all, the song falls flat. It's dated and tired, so it just sort of lies there, flopping around. Judges are fairly ambivalent.
NEXT: Goodie Mob does karaoke. Tony Lucca is next. But first! Goodie Mob reunion! This is not exciting to anyone within the show's demographic, and therefore hilarious. They have no idea who Goodie Mob is, BUT I, for one, am totally amped for this performance. Every time a tween pouts confusedly, an adult get their wings (which you'll see evidence of later).
BUT HOLD UP. Lip-syncing right now? Motherf**king LIP-SYNCING RIGHT NOW? Cee Lo, you are aware that you are performing on the stage of a singing competition, right? I'm devastated. The lip-syncing is so distracting that I can't even bask in the glory of their armored gold TRON-meets-baggy-gladiator costumes.
Also, how is it that a bunch of grown-ass men in gold costumes and glow-in-the-dark teeth are the most low-key staging moment of the night so far? Imaginary set designer Clarence looks away from the backstage monitors in disgust — the men had defiled the full-scale Parthenon he had created for them. He paced, incensed. He had to show the world his talent! The Parthenon was the result of hours of work, so what now? The world needed to understand his vision, so he shot off to the props department.
“But what about Tony Lucca's performance?” yelled Debbie, the quivering set intern. Clarence's bellowing voice shoots out from the darkness. “I don't have time for such trivialities right now! I must... create!”
NEXT: Mice bringing it full circle. “Who is Tony Lucca?” Adam Levine isn't afraid to ask the deep questions. Adam Levine, the friend who cares! Tony philosophizes on this for a minute, but honestly I don't pay attention. The rehearsal segments feel so obligatory that they've become a tedious waste of time. Trying to bring in a bit of suspense, they address Christina's diss of his performance last week. Adam thinks Christina helped him to coach Tony by being so honest with her feelings, so they're ready to prove her wrong. All this build-up is continued with Tony's song staying hidden until he sings the first word. Tony is performing... what?
“Hit Me Baby (One More Time)” by former Mouseketeer/Cheetos enthusiast Britney Spears of course! Intern Debbie, terrified of the responsibility on her shoulders, throws an old set of stairs on stage. But what about costumes for the dancers? She tells them to just go out in their robes. (Or are those cloaks? It all feels a little Secret Society induction to me. )
This performance is jazzmatazz, you guys. I'm a sucker for a grown man singing late ‘90s/early 2000s female pop songs. Fingers crossed that Chris Mann is singing ”He Loves U Not” next week!
Christina spouts some diversion nonsense about wanting a real MMC reunion. (GIRL I know you did not just forget to include Ryan Gosling in that reunion. Hello!) Even while saying she enjoyed his performance, you could tell she still thinks Tony is out of his league at this stage of the game.
NEXT: Walking on broken glass. Let's ignore the soul-crushing inanity that is any segment with Christina Milian and move right on over to Cheesa. Cheesa knows it’s showtime. She's going to sing Whitney. Intern Debbie happens to worship at the church of Whitney Houston, so she makes sure the shattered mirror pedestal is on point. Oh girl, the shattered mirror pedestal is perfect. Love that dot com backslash glamour, y'all. Christina and Cee Lo are on their feet. I am not a huge Cheesa fan, but she definitely killed it.
Christina loved it — says what (duh) everyone else knows: “Team Cee Lo is where it's at!” They're clearly the team to beat.
Cee Lo had history with Whitney — she was his fairy godmother. Which makes total sense because I saw her remake of Cinderella.
Next up is the spritely, dandy wood nymph Pip — the forgotten woodland prince, forced from his home in the northeastern foothills of the Northern Limestone Alps in Vienna long ago. Poor Pip must sing for his life: Until his voice is heard by the subjects in his long-lost kingdom, he is forced to live with nothing but his bow-tie collection to keep him company.
He's chosen “Somewhere Only We Know.” The song, of course, was written by fellow woodland creature Tom Chaplin of the band Keane as an homage to spritely creatures everywhere.
He knows his performance was a catastrophe. You can see the fear in Pip's eyes: he will never make it home to the Lainzer Tiergarten again. Oh, sweet Vienna Woods! Lost and gone forever!
What would be considered a kiss of death to anyone else comes as a relief to Pip: Adam declares his performance was “sweet.” A glimmer of hope flits across Pip's eyes. Perhaps they heard his call after all. Would he finally make it home?
NEXT: Instant karma. Just add feathers. Christina Milian's outfit is a waste of a perfectly adequate costume bauble. Why is she here again? Cee Lo should just wear her around his neck and call it a day.
“Instant Karma” is being performed by Adam & Co. Look at Mr. Levine trying to show his versatility and humility by letting his team take center stage! Why is he trying to make me like him? Doesn't he know how much he set himself back with “Makes Me Wonder”? Why doesn't he know?!
At this point, Intern Debbie is sweating. Juliet Simms is getting ready to perform, and Intern Debbie is without inspiration. At that moment she feels a hand on her shoulder. Clarence. He hands her two oversized angel wings covered in black feathers. She gasps.
Clarence’s smile curls dramatically inward, “I know. Thank you.”
Juliet Simms' song this week is “Cryin’” by Aerosmith. (Full disclosure: I love this girl. She's in my top two with Jamar. She is Janis Joplin-meets-early Steven Tyler and I am so into it, even with this terrible Mena Suvari-meets-Ashlee Simpson dye job she has going on.) But she is befeathered and looks slightly bewildered. (Am I the only one that thought she sounded a little bit iffy at first?) Clarence hurries to the rafters and, at the exact moment, showers her in a torrential downpour of white feathers. Light and dark: What imagery he'd created!
I'm too distracted by Cee Lo's watch to fully hear what he's saying, but I imagine it was along the lines of, “You're a fierce goddess queen boss lady and I am obsessed with you,” but maybe that's just what I said.
NEXT: Instant pleasure eliminations.
Cee Lo, after reading a string of earnestly thoughtful words from his phone, cuts the cherubic Celtic James Massone and the entire state of Massachusetts is heard collectively screaming “Awhwaahtdafahck!? Comeawhn!” while eating a can of baked beans.
Team Adam is on the chopping block. Pip is overcome. Had it worked? Would the life he lost so long ago finally be rightfully returned to him? He closed his eyes and sighed and in that moment he paused — he swore he could smell spruce faintly in the distance. A jolt of energy quivers within him. Could it be? When he hears his name called as the man to go home, he knows it has worked. He looks out into the audience, the jingle of nymph chariots audible only to him under the roar of the crowd. He hugged Adam and smiled, for it was Adam that saved him. He saunters off the stage, both exhausted and relieved that his future was once again, restored.
Well that's it, folks! Were Adam & Cee Lo right in booting who they did? Do you think it's possible for the set designs to get more over-the-top? Who do you think will be saved by America? Leave your thoughts in the comments and tune back in here tomorrow to find out more! OH IT HURTS SO GOOD.
Follow Alicia on Twitter at @alicialutes
[Image Credit: NBC]
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