The fashion designer was in town to open a new branch of dessert shop franchise Millions of Milkshakes, but not all residents welcomed her with open arms - more than 50 demonstrators gathered outside a shopping centre near the capital of Manama to picket her presence.
One activist referenced her infamous sex tape with a sign which declared, "None of our customs and traditions allow us to receive stars of porn movies."
Riot police were then called in to contain the area and clear the angry mob before the TV beauty's arrival, according to the Associated Press.
It appears the incident didn't put a damper on Kardashian's trip - in a post on Twitter.com, she wrote, "Thanks Sheikh Khalifa for your amazing hospitality. I'm in love with The Kingdom of Bahrain".
Over on the E! network, drunk socialites claw at each other's wigs while a family whose entire 15 minutes (and counting) can be directly linked to a sex tape hawks perfume and idol worship. It's a whole programming ecosystem founded on SHOCK and CONFLICT. Meanwhile, on The Amazing Race, one team truly agitates over whether to impede another team's progress while the host offers the second-to-last place finishers a chance to sacrifice themselves for the friends they just beat to the finish line. Everyone's so… thoughtful. And pleasant. In a reality TV landscape where people basically fart on each other for money, to watch competitors actively help one another out (or even take time, as Josh and Brent did, to consider the moral ramifications of their failing to do so) is honestly sort of amazing. We're not all terrible fame whores with no discernible human qualities! We can rise above!
With the Rockers finally, finally eliminated after what felt like the many deaths of Rasputin, this leg kicked off with five teams left in the race. Let's refresh our knowledge of who they are and what they're racing for:
Jaymes and James: Southern boy Chippendales, the more loudly spelled Jaymes of whom hopes to give the prize money to his father's cancer treatments. Can you root against that? You monsters.
Natalie and Nadiya: Sri-Lankan-American twins who did rob James and Abba a few legs ago but have made up for their theft with, I don't know, enthusiasm. They've also for the most part stopped discussing what a remarkable feat their being women is, though statistically speaking they are in rare company. No all-female team has ever won the Race. Their victory would shatter the glass ceiling Hillary Rodham Clinton put so many cracks in in 2008.
Trey and Lexi: Dating UT graduates. I mean they're fine. Racing for… love?
Abbie and Ryan: Abbie's a dance instructor. James is hard on himself. Together they're divorced and dating! Stuck toward the back of the pack these past few legs, in many cases for events outside their control, they're just trying to claw they're way toward the front. That is, if a WOMP WOMP cloud doesn't once again rain on their parade…
Josh and Brent: Also known as the BEEKMAN BOYS, these guys have had seemingly no luck in any of the physical challenges to date in the 8+ countries they've visited. Yet their knowledge of farming and Renaissance-era art has managed to keep them afloat this long. Playing at this point for their own sense of pride, they'll make it into the Top Three but won't win.
The best episodes of Race tend to go light on challenges and heavy on the real drama of travel, and last night's episode was no exception. At the Moscow airport, teams weighed the different flight options to their next destination, Amsterdam. One direct flight offered an assured arrival… but then another, with a connecting flight through Frankfurt, looked as though it could get teams in an hour earlier. It's these roll-the-dice decisions that have nothing to do with strength or intelligence and everything to do with divine luck — exactly what real travel is like! Twins came out on top here with the earliest arrival in Amsterdam, followed by Chippendales and Trey and Lexi. Which left B Squad, or as we've come to know them Josh and Brent and Abbie and Ryan.
Let's be clear: neither is (was) a bad team. Josh and Brent more often than not just lack that killer edge to send them into the top tier. And Abbie and Ryan, well — just seem to have stumbled into Abbie and Ryan and the No Good, Terrible, Very Bad Trip. Delayed flights. Mechanical trouble, as they experienced on their Frankfurt transfer this episode. U-Turns. RAIN. Even the sad trombone following them around the world eventually got so depressed it had to leave. Anything bad that might happen to a team, short of passport loss, has happened to Abbie and Ryan. And on Race that less often leads to character-building than it does inevitable elimination.
In Amsterdam, Natalie and Nadiya were the first to read the Fast Forward and, as such, the first to complete it. Could you eat five herring fillets in seven minutes? Probably! Twins finished their meal just under the allotted time. But The Amazing Race: Friends 'Til the End Edition isn't about competition; it's about friendship, and Twins embraced just that when they let a hot-to-trot Chippendales know they'd already completed the Fast Forward. In previous seasons a team wouldn't hesitate to lie about something like that. But everyone's just a choir boy this go-around.
Non-Twinnies slogged through the regular detours, here "Back in Time" or "Organ Time." The latter did not involve efficient hospital delivery of someone's heart, but rather asked teams to work a giant street organ while peddling for tips. Just as in last week's Russian Dance event, this was no real challenge — the remaining teams all have theatrical flair (personally or, in the case of the Chippendales, professionally) and could easily make money. Chippendales and Trey and Lexi both barreled through this. The other, more interesting challenge involved recreating Rembrandt's "The Night Watch" by arranging actors dressed as the painting's characters. No harder than "Organ Time," but for the liberal arts crowd watching at home — what a treat! You could feel the chiaroscuro come to life.
What I love about Race, and this season in particular, is the way all the silly "wear this while dancing this" challenges pale in comparison to those moments where teams are actually forced to make real decisions. On any other show, even Survivor, something like last night's Double U-Turn would have amounted to almost a foregone conclusion. Everyone wants the strongest, most potentially threatening back-of-the-pack team — Abbie and Ryan — gone? They're gone. But we watched the Chippendales wrestle with the decision for what felt like 30 minutes. In the airport: "I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings." At the U-Turn: "Are we really those people?" Part of you wants to scream YOU'RE WEAK, DO IT and part of you wants to pat them on the back for feeling human things. It's emotionally complicated! Ultimately they went forward with the plan (which Trey and Lexi completed by U-Turning the already passed Chippendales, a null move), but you could tell it ate at them. They were damn near tears at the Pit Stop mat.
So yes: Abbie and Ryan, beset upon by both Murphy's Law and God, I think, arrived last at the Pit Stop in Amsterdam. You're sad to see a team go that clearly had fight left in them, whose major issues weren't so much mistakes as they were unfortunate accidents. But the Beekman Boys in the Final Four (I don't even know if this is a Race "thing," but let's make it one?) presents a more interesting assortment of racing styles and strengths to watch. If these final three legs are all painting identification? Beekman's got this on LOCK. If not, they will probably be eliminated next episode. But it will be holding hands with all the other teams in a Kumbayah singalong, right before an hour of trust falls. "All you need is love." -Phil Keoghan
[Image Credit: CBS]
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Well folks, the Thanksgiving season is officially upon us, which means we’re in for a solid 24 hours of holiday feasting and family bonding, followed by copious amounts of drinking (those reunions can be taxing!). But before this annual display of merriment commences, The X Factor provided fans with an X-tra special array of holiday-themed performances (you know, because nothing says “let’s give thanks” like watching Simon Cowell creepily wink at you from your television screen). Happy Holidays, everyone!
The Top 10 contestants belted out a variety of heartfelt tribute songs, all centered around people they are most thankful to have in their lives. Warning: massive amounts of crying ahead. Proceed without tissues at your own risk.
Tate Stevens (Over 25 — Team L.A. Reid): Once again, Tate found himself the leader of the pack, earning the highest number of America’s votes for the second week in a row — and this week he made sure not to live up to his reputation. Dedicating his performance to his dad, Tate kicked off the night by singing “I’m Already There” by Lonestar — a classy song for a classy guy. His vocals were a little shaky at times, but only because it’s such an emotional song, so we can’t really fault the guy for that. Demi and Simon felt it wasn’t quite up to par with his previous performances, but Simon assured Tate that there’s “not a cat in hell’s chance” that he’ll be going home because of it. Comforting!
Diamond White (Teens — Team Britney Spears): Next up came Diamond’s dedication to her mother where she sang a powerful rendition of Celine Dion’s classic hit, “Because You Loved Me.” Talk about an emotional overload, this girl’s outstanding vocals had everyone reaching for one or two (or twenty) tissues. She believed every word she sang, making the performance all the more powerful. The judges were stunned; everyone was crying — basically, she nailed it. Hands down, the single best performance of the night.
Emblem3 (Groups — Team Simon Cowell): Then came our favorite future boy band, Emblem3, who opted to give thanks to their Youth Leaders by singing “Secrets” by OneRepublic. It’s nice to see a different side to these guys — something slower and a little more tame. L.A thought that it lacked emotion, but, as always, the crowd went wild and loved everything about them. Needless to say, their performance gave Simon (and millions of young girls across America) something to be very thankful for.
Arin Ray (Teens — Team Britney Spears): In keeping with this week’s Thanksgiving theme, Arin chose to pay homage to his older brother by singing “Hero” by Enrique Iglesias. Like many of the other tributes this week, his performance was incredibly moving, however, the song choice didn’t seem to sit well with the judges. Demi found it boring while Simon remarked that it still doesn’t feel like Arin’s singing the songs that he wants to sing — almost like he’s being trapped in a cage by someone (in other words…it’s all your fault, Britney! Let the boy sing what he wants!). But don’t worry, Arin — Mario Lopez wasn’t without some words of encouragement: “Good job, buddy!” Because everybody is apparently now 11 years old.
CeCe Frey (Young Adults — Team Demi Lovato): Continuing this weep-a-thon was CeCe, who dedicated her performance to her deceased older sister by singing Bette Midler’s “Wind Beneath My Wings.” Yup, definitely another tear-jerker. Seriously, I was crying way before the first note was ever played (those package reels really know how to pull at your heartstrings). Emotionally and vocally, it was a sensational performance. Forget criticism — anything beyond absolute praise would’ve seemed cruel.
Fifth Harmony (Groups — Team Simon Cowell): Fifth Harmony decided to pay tribute to God for bringing them all together by singing “I’ll Stand by You” by the Pretenders. There was lots of swaying and even more harmonizing, which left the judges with nothing but good things to say (because, come on, who’s going to criticize a group singing a tribute to God?). Well done, ladies.
Beatrice Miller (Teens — Team Britney Spears): Beatrice was up next and sang Snow Patrol’s hit song, “Chasing Cars” in honor of her younger, twin sisters who mean so much to her. It was yet another great performance that left fans emotionally drained and full of tears. And while Demi felt like Beatrice isn’t really progressing with her performances, the rest of the judges seemed perfectly content to keep things as is. We’ll just have to see if America feels the same.
Vino Alan (Over 25 — Team L.A. Reid): Vino dedicated his performance to the military and appropriately sang “God Bless the USA” by Lee Greenwood. As always, his vocals were extraordinary, which led to him receiving a standing ovation from both the audience and the judges. But even if it wasn’t a top notch performance (which it was), how do you impart criticism to someone paying tribute to our country? Especially on the day right before Thanksgiving? You don’t — well done Vino.
Paige Thomas (Young Adults — Team Demi Lovato): Paige paid tribute to her adopted mother by singing “Everytime” by Britney Spears. Simon felt her performance was moving, but might not be enough to get her out of the No. 10 spot this week, making her in danger of elimination. Even Demi found Paige’s performance a little pitchy and off-key at times, but again — that’s only because she’s singing about such a sensitive topic. Don’t make them sing emotional tributes if you don’t want them to get affected by it.
Carly Rose Sonenclar (Teens — Team Britney Spears): Closing out the show was Carly Rose who sang “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” in tribute to brother. I’m not exaggerating when I say that it…was…incredible. I’m never going to get over the fact that this girl is only 13 years old. She’s just too good! L.A. called her a force of nature while Demi referred to her as an alien (but it’s okay because she loves aliens). Simon said she’s blown the completion wide open and could very well end up winning this whole thing altogether. No doubt about it, this girl can sing!
What did you think of this week’s round of performances? Who runs the greatest risk of elimination and who deserves to stick around? Sound off on your thoughts in the comments below and tune in for Thursday night’s results show where two more acts will be shown the door.
Follow Kelly on Twitter @KellyBean0415
[Photo credit: Ray Mickshaw/FOX]
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Take a break from assembling your anti-stampede Black Friday gear (may I suggest camo, combat boots and a thick layer of full-body bubble wrap?) and give thanks for The Voice. On last night’s episode, the top 10 were trimmed to eight — it’s time to separate the turkey from the giblets.
Carson Daly announces that Cassadee Pope’s wonderful cover of “Over You” has hit No. 1 on the iTunes charts — dethroning “Gangnam Style,” which Carson delightfully pronounces as “Gagnam.” Please, please, please let this somehow mean that the top eight will have to sing in Korean next week. Anyway, I’m fairly sure that The Voice is the last network TV show that Psy has yet to appear on.
As The Voice relentlessly continues to promote Xtina’s new album, Dez Duron and Sylvia Yacoub join her for “Let There Be Love,” a likeable dance track. If you ever find yourself wondering how many weeks of The Voice remain in this season, just count up the number of songs from Lotus Christina has yet to perform on the show.
PHOTOS: TV's Best Bitchfaces (PHOTOS) When Adam Levine compliments Daly’s ability to project over the crowd, Carson chalks it up to his time hosting TRL. “Those were the days,” Adam comments in passing, before continuing to talk about something else — just as, in one of the sad-funniest funny-sad moments in recent television, Carson answers almost inaudibly: “They were.” These one-hour results episodes always feel like an exercise in killing time — after all, if all they did was announce the winners, we’d be wrapped up by 8:02. We open with what feels like a 20-minute recap of the previous night’s show, followed by a cutesy get-to-know-us confessional segment. Allow me to save you the trouble: Cassadee has a fish named Ted. Cody Belew loves it when people fall. Adam’s undershirts cost $600. Terry McDermott does a “dead-on” impression of John Travolta from Grease, which is terrible. Trevin Hunte beatboxes, which is terrible. Cee Lo Greensmells good. Dez once had cornrows. I have lost interest. Speaking of gimmicks, viewers at home are invited to choose if the teams will perform a song by Cheap Trick or Pat Benatarduring this episode by voting with hashtags in their tweets — sadly, you can no longer participate, because we live in the future. The first artists to be saved by America’s votes: from Team Cee Lo, Nicholas David, and Blake Shelton’s adopted daughter (it’s inevitable) Cassadee Pope. Guest stars Rascal Flatts perform “Change,” accompanied by Cody and Cassadee. I keep hoping the lead singer (Rascal?) will segue into “Life Is a Highway” even though that’s already been performed on the show this season. No luck. By the way, frontman Gary LeVox’s last name means “The Voice” in French — coincidence, or Illuminati? Dez is the next artist to move on to the top eight, followed shortly thereafter by Cody.
PHOTOS: 12 Hot (and Horrifying) TV Nude Scenes Teammates Bryan Keith, Melanie Martinez, and Amanda Brown join coach Adam for a nicely ungimmicky cover of Queen’s “Crazy Little Thing Called Love.” I like that there aren’t any background dancers or seizure-inducing lightshows, just four people warmly goofing around on stage. As has become increasingly common on The Voice, Adam ostentatiously holds a guitar that he plays for all of 10 seconds — can’t y’all just let the capable house band get the credit they deserve? The next performer to make the top 8 is — hold up, Melanie Martinez? I assumed she was a goner. This is a game-changer. The Twitter votes are in: Team Blake and Team Christina take the stage for “Hit Me With Your Best Shot.” I’m pretty sure they do a good job, but I can’t really hear them over my own singing, because come on, it’s Pat Benatar. Terry McDermott, pride of Scotland (and Team Blake), is saved next, and — after a cruelly timed commercial break — so is Trevin. Defeating Bryan Keith and Sylvia Yacoub, Amanda Brown is named the final contestant in the top 8. I love Amanda, but I’m bummed that Sylvia’s heading home. She and De’Borahare the only two losing contestants I’ve felt actively sad for. You are beautiful, Sylvia, no matter what they say — oh god, that would’ve been a great song for you. Now I feel even worse. The top 8 return to The Voiceon Monday. Happy Thanksgiving! See you next week — or whenever the tryptophan finally wears off. Follow Molly on Twitter @mollyfitz. More: The Voice Recap: Perfect Ten The Voice Recap: Stayin’ Alive (Until Next Week) The Voice Recap: Hit the Road, Jack From Our Partners: Prince William Shares Personal Snapshots of Royal Air Force Life (PHOTOS)(Celebuzz)
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I never thought I’d actually say this: I felt butterflies in my stomach when tonight’s episode started. We’re so close to the end! After everything that’s happened this season, only three couples made it through tonight’s double elimination to compete in next Monday’s finals.
Shawn and Derek were the first couple to make it safely through to the finals. In other news, the earth revolves around the sun and Taylor Swift is bad at relationships.
After an excruciating delay (albeit one featuring insanely talented New Zealand dancer Parris Goebel), Melissa and Tony were pitted against Apolo and Karina for the first elimination of the night. Ohmygod my nerves. In a tragic – and, honestly kind of surprising — turn, given his vocal fan base, Apolo got the boot, carrying Melissa into the finals. Will this season turn into a true underdog story? I guess we’ll have to wait until next week to find out.
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Typically, I glaze over the guest dances that get performed each week – let’s be honest, they’re pretty much just time fillers that are more annoying than interesting. But this week Derek choreographed a modern routine and holy live-action slow motion, Batman! Between the splash pool, the aforementioned slow-mo, the strobe lights and the insane choreography, this was definitely the best dance of the season. Although I’m a little concerned: didn’t Derek, like, need to practice with his actual partner? I guess that’s not as important when you’re a pro.
In the show’s final act, Kelly and Val went head to head with Emmitt and Cheryl for the last spot in the finale. And with that, all became right with the world. Everyone’s favorite lovers made it through to next week, and Emmitt “Hips Don’t Lie” Smith got the axe. Tom did make a good point in saying the show has lost a lot of its charisma – no one ever accused Kelly of being interesting – but with Melissa, Kelly and Shawn competing for the Mirror Ball Trophy next week, it looks like it’ll be almost like a real talent competition! Or at least, it’ll be as close as we’ll get to one on Dancing With the Stars. Who’s going to take home the trophy? Who’ll be left picking up the pieces of their faded career? Only six days to go until we find out!
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Oh, young love. There is nothing like it. And there is nothing as strange as it, at least on the greatest sociological experiment of our time. The Situation finally gets himself a girlfriend and now he is utterly repulsed and embarrassed by her. He can hardly stand to look at her or be seen with her in public. What is to do? Not follow Deena's lead, of course. Or Sammi and Ronnie's because, man, we don't need to see people fight in a vicious circle that will never end. No, The Situation has to forge some new territory of his own, and that's the most frightening place to be.
But before we can get into all that, we have to look at some new terms we learned from the guidos so we know what they're talking about.
CTC: This is the latest in the long line of guido acronyms (think GTL, DTF, MVP) and it stands for "control the crazy," which is what a guy has to do when in a relationship with a woman. She will inevitably be insane and his whole purpose in life is to try to mitigate that batshittery. The scary thing is that guidos make things that are intrinsic to their life into acronyms, so the very presence of these letters means that this believe is an intractable part of the culture.
Sneaky Dickens: A man who is in a relationship with a woman but tries to get away with inconsequential, slightly sexual acts when the woman is not around. These acts can include grinding, boob grabbing, finger licking, ab rubbing, or something as innocuous as hug that lingers like Jessica Simpson around a free buffet. This is behavior that is disparaged by both men and women and is often shut down by a female friend of the Dickens by telling the targeted woman about the girlfriend. While it is now spelled "Dickens," more information about the word's etymology can be gleaned from its more archaic form "sneaky dick-ins" which describes the man who is surreptitiously trying to force his penis into an unsuspecting female. Ironically, slipping a penis into the vagina is the only activity that is "technically" cheating, and the rest of this overt flirting is, in the mind of a such a man, totally acceptable. This term can also be applied to the behavior as well as it's practitioner.
Chalk It Up: This doesn't seem to be a guido term as much as something The Situation made up himself and the definition continues to change. While "chalk it up" usually refers to someone assigning blame for something, The Situation has transmuted it into meaning taking the blame for something onto himself. When Paula, his new girlfriend, says something sexually inappropriate in public, he just tries to forget about it and stomach it. I'm not entirely sure what this consists of other than ignoring it and shaking your head and trying to wish it would go away, but now at least it has a name.
The Dolphin: This is one of several sexual situations that Paula informs us of. That is not an endorsement, just a description. The Dolphin is when a guy tries to stick his dick in a girls butt and she shakes her head and says, "Nah-uh" in a voice that sounds like a dolphin.
Carpet Surfing: This is when a person puts their butt on the ground and then drags it across the floor. This does not seem to be sexual. Should not be confused with the euphemism for the oral sex act popular with lesbians.
The Superman: A sex move that is so offensive and mysterious that its specifics can not be recorded by science. When a person speaks it, all that is recorded is a series of beeps. We do know there is a blanket involved. Yes, The Situation has a Paula problem and I believe that there are two parts to it. It's the Two Pronged Paula Problem. First is what The Situation is going through himself. He has never really been in a relationship before and being in a relationship means giving up his alpha dog status. The guido's place in their little pack is determined by how much sex he can score with a woman. Now that The Situation is no longer on the prowl, he has fallen in rank. He doesn't like this, which is why he continues to hunt for women while at the club so that everyone else will think he's his old self. Well, that and boredom because he's not drinking and needs something to do with his time. He's trying to maintain as much of his old life as he can while still trying to embark on this new venture. It is destined to fail if this continues. Maybe that is what he is searching for, he wants to push Paula so far away that either she'll break up with him, proving that she never liked him in the first place, or she'll put up with it, which means she really does love him. Either way, he gets to have his cake and eat Paula two.
The second part of the problem is Paula herself. Well, I can't seem to determine how much of it is Paula specifically and how much of it is the guidette approach to life. Guidettes are programmed to believe that sex is natural and fun and that they should not be shamed for having as much of it as they can with as many different partners. However, they are stung by our society's double standard that being promiscuous will get you plenty of dates, but not a lot of marriage proposals. Just like The Situation can not mitigate his behavior at the club, Paula can not change the way she interacts with men, which is by making herself sexually available in very overt and verbal ways. The Situation wants her to be a "lady on the street and a freak in the bedroom" but, at least for Paula, these seem to be mutually exclusive. Also, shouldn't he excuse some of her more frank talk considering that he engages in such dirty behavior himself?
At one point, The Situation even says that he would rather Paula just sit there and smile rather than say dirty things. All guidettes agree that, if their boyfriend said that to them, they would hit him in the face either with a fist or a clutch or some other nearby object. This is meant to rewire the guido's brain so that he will no longer think such awful thoughts or at least put him into such a state of confusion that he will be rendered speechless.
Much of the rest of the action on last night's dispatch was, well, a little boring. Mostly we focused on The Situation's romance and Deena's drunkenness and visit from her parents, which, well, we've been over that territory time and again. Deena's mother, the guidette Judge Judy, is still amusing, but, blah. Whatever.
That does not mean we don't have things to talk about. On the contrary. First we need to discuss Snooki stealing a stuffed animal from the claw machine on the boardwalk. All of the guidettes are obsessed with walking around carrying these stuffed animals that are won by tossing a ring on a Coke bottle, squirting a clown's mouth full of water until a balloon pops, or knocking a bunch of milk cans off of a stand with a ball. Oh, and Skee Ball, do not forget the ancient contest of Skee-Ball! These women love to carry these prizes around in a plushy hug and store them in their rooms for the entire summer, adding to the massive mountain of detritus that is their lives. Snooki even sleeps with one, the famous Crocodilly.
What is the point? Well, as we know, the guido culture is rather primitive and the guidettes are attracted to men who are "gorillas." They are large, powerful hunters who will provide for and protect their women. But we live in the age of chicken cutlets and over-sized hot dogs (don't even get me started on the phallic implications of DJ Paulie D talking about Vinny's wiener) so that men no longer need to go out and strangle small animals with their hands. Instead, they go out to the boardwalk and impress with their skills at these games and provide trophies for their women, large, annoying, brightly colored trophies that they have to parade around all night in front of the other women and men, showing off their ultimate prowess.
That brings us to Snooki and her pilfering of the cheetah from an open vending machine. Like any woman who is about to be a first time mother she is nervous. She's doesn't know what life has in store for her, if she'll be able to be a good influence on her little Lorenzo, and just how she's going to change a diaper while drunk. She is also questioning her man Jionni's ability to provide for her. She is clearly the stronger personality in the relationship and the breadwinner and she has anxiety about Jionni giving her the life to which she's become accustomed. Rhinestone encrusted sunglasses are not cheap! She acts this anxiety out by providing a stuffed animal for herself. By parading it in front of all Seaside Heights without a man in tow shows everyone that she does not need a man. She is single and independent and if her son wants a stuffed toy, well she will go out and freaking get one for him, the legality of it be damned.
Speaking of Snooki and her future, the strangest thing happened at Karma during this dispatch from our scientific experiment. Deena and JWOWW were out having themselves a great time when they encountered an older woman in a printed top and tight white pants with her hair piled on top of her head. She seemed to recognized Deena, even though she had no idea who this woman was. They started dancing and, while a bit rickety, this woman had the moves. Deena told her to do a Jersey Turnpike and not only did she get her ass in the air and hands on the ground, she then stood on her head and did dance moves that no one had ever seen before. She was the best dancer in the whole club, and everyone stood around and clapped and screamed for her.
When it was all over. This woman got up and hugged Deena. "Oh, my meatball," she said. "I didn't think I'd ever feel like this again. Thanks Deena."
"Wait, how did you know my name?"
"I know everything about you, Deena. Are you with Chris right now? You should dump him because you're going to meet another Kris in a few years who is going to make you very, very happy. You'll love her as much as you loved me."
"Lady, what are you talking about? I don't love you. I don't even know you."
"Yes, you do Deena. It's me, Snooki!"
Deena just laughed and laughed. It couldn't be Snooki, she was at home in bed with a baby growing in her belly. She certainly wasn't this old lady. "Oh, lady," Deena said when her guffaws slowed. "I don't know what you're on, but I'd sure like some."
"No, Deena, it's really me. I'm here from the future. I had to come back one last time."
"Alright, now you're just getting fucking crazy."
"Deena. Remember that weekend in Italy? You know, that one where I got so drunk I charged the bushes like a bull? Well, I also know the thing that I put in your thing that weekend. Yes, I do. Do you want me to say it out loud?"
"Holy shit! Snooks?"
"Yes. I came from 2062 a year after they invented time travel. I have a lot of money in the future after I did a few terms in the Senate and I was one of the first people to buy a commercial flight back in time. I just had to see it one more time. Karma, the Shore, all you guys. You don't even know it, but this club won't even be standing in a year. There will be a hurricane and...Wait, none of that matters. What matters is that I am young again. I'm here and I can tell you that you're going to be happy. It's all going to work out for you. And Jenni. Even Sam and Ron. Mike, well, it's tragic, but you can't say anything."
"About what? Snooki, you have to tell me everything!"
"My time is almost up, Deena. I had to come tonight because this was the only night for sure I knew that I wasn't at Karma and I can't run into my former self. If I stay any longer, I'm really going to fuck up the future."
"Wait, Snooki. What about..."
"Shhh," she said, hugging Deena tight. "I can't really tell you about anything, but know this. It's going to be alright. You're going to be alright. It all works out. And when you doubt it the most, remember this, I'll always love you. I'll always love you, Deena. Thanks so much for tonight. The future isn't always easy, but growing old is great. Especially now that I know that I still got it. Party's here!"
She let go of her meatball and walked away into the crowd, the beats closing in on her body as it started to get lost in the gloom and swirling lights of Karma. Deena stood stunned, not sure if what just happened was real or if she imagined it all or if someone had put LSD in her vodka and Red Bull again. But finally she snapped out of it, after just a second, and ran off after her. "Snooki, wait!" she shouted as everyone looked at her strangely. She was gone. Gone forever. Deena stood there, with the black light turning everything around her a little unfamiliar and she felt warm and weird, like she was floating in a bath of warm salt water. But she also felt safe, very safe indeed. And loved.
Follow Brian Moylan on Twitter @BrianJMoylan
[Photo Credit: MTV]
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The polls open in just a few short hours, at which time the fate of the world — well, the country at least — will be in the hands of the people. That means us. We, the people of the United States of America, will be able to cast our vote for the President of the United States. And the person that we (and, let's be honest, the Electoral College) choose to fill that seat in the Oval Office will determine the next four years, and beyond, of life in this country. Feeling power hungry yet? You should be! Because the only way this Democratic Republic of ours works is if us common folk actually exercise our right to choose the leader of the free world.
If you are one of those cynical types who loves to chorus, "But I live in New York, it's always a blue state" Or, "Texas will vote Republican whether I make it to the polls or not," I'm here to say — STOP! That kind of thinking only leads to trouble. You know what happens when you assume that your favorite is safe and fail to vote? He or she gets voted off! I mean, doesn't get elected to political office! If you need further convincing of voting's importance you need look no further than your own television. Reality TV is, once again, life in a microcosm.
A quick look back at Dancing With the Stars frontrunner Sabrina Bryan leaving the series in tears all too soon (twice), is a heartbreaking reminder of what happens when you don't vote. For more motivation, check out this list of reality show contestants who were sent home too early, all because America assumed they were a shoo-in. Don't let your presidential candidate of choice follow in their footsteps!
JHud may be an Oscar- and Grammy-winning artist now, but back in the day she was the girl that didn't win American Idol. Actually, she didn't even come close. On Idol's third season, Hudson sailed into the Top 10, and after the Top 9 performances earned the most votes. Just two weeks later, she was done for. Hudson came in seventh. Eesh. She deserved so much more.
On Season 2 of So You Think You Can Dance Allison wowed the judges and the crowd week after week thanks to her amazing technique, raw emotion, and strong connection with her partner, Ivan Koumaev. Unfortunately, Allison didn't make it past the Top 8. The show's producers clearly saw the error of their ways, however, because they brought Allison back as an All-Star for Seasons 7, 8, and 9.
Brandy's experience as a performer without a doubt helped propel her to the top of DWTS' 11th season, but that doesn't mean a win was guaranteed. Brandy and her partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy were on the top of the scoreboard consistently — they scored the second highest points of all the teams overall — and yet, they didn't even make it to the finals. Brandy was sent home instead of Bristol Palin just before the final round.
No one could believe it when Chris Daughtry was eliminated from Season 5 of Idol. No one. After his elimination, Daughtry himself expressed shock at his elimination. He, like most of America, thought he was practically guaranteed a spot in the finale.
Amelia was an early favorite on SYTYCD Season 9. Her retro style earned her some choice highlights in the Vegas episodes and things only got better from there. However, fan favorite Amelia was eliminated in Week 4's shocking quadruple elimination. Yes, it was the judges who ultimately sent Amelia home, but it was America's (lack of) votes that put her in the bottom. The poor girl didn't even make the Top 10!
Jesse's elimination from Season 2 of The Voice remains the show's most controversial move. Granted, it was Christina Aguilera — not the public — who decided to let Campbell go. But that only goes to demonstrate the danger of a dictator. Do not let one person's opinion control the fate of a nation reality competition!
During his first time in the Bottom 3 on Idol's seventh season, Australian singer Michael Johns was sent home. He left the stage amid boos from disgruntled fans. Well, you know what, fans? It's your fault this happened.
Pia was a frontrunner on American Idol Season 10. When she was sent home in ninth place, judges Randy Jackson, Jennifer Lopez, and Steven Tyler were all visibly and vocally upset. By failing to pick up a phone, America inadvertently made a choice the judges never would have.
If there were to be a poster child for voting, it would be X Factor contestant Rachel Crow. The pint-sized powerhouse was eliminated by the show's audience only after judge Nicole Scherzinger decided to forfeit her vote. These tears are on your hands, Nicole.
Follow Abbey Stone on Twitter @abbeystone
[Photo Credit: Fox (7); ABC (2); NBC]
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Fans of Country Strong, Crazy Heart, Friday Night Lights and I Love You Beth Cooper rejoice! Nashville is here and it's a battle of the hair for Connie Britton and Hayden Panettiere. The new drama is one of the most-talked about series this season and for good reason. All the things you love about a good country singin'/beer-drinkin'/floozy-hating' show are here... and the first episode starts off with a loud glittery bang. Of course, it's been scrutinized for being nothing new, and so I'm diving deep into cliché history to rank the moments (from 1 to 10) that deserve an eye roll, and those that actually stand out. Let's get started. Shall we?
Welcome to Nashville: Big Fancy Homes
We start off with a panoramic view of Nashville's fancy green pastures and straight into the fancy-schmancy home of our beloved Tami Taylor Rayna Jaymes (Connie Britton). Paintings on the walls, football on the big-screen, two little girls running around like adorable animals, kisses all around! How fun it is to set the scene of a drama -- we all know s**t's about to get cray, but for now things are nice. Really nice. Rayna's husband, Teddy Conrad (Eric Close), who we learn is a stay at home dad (for now), even takes some time to teach his kids about the family's assets. "We're a different kind of rich, called 'cash poor,'" he proudly says as they all hug and play in the narrow hallway. He is no coach Taylor (moment of silence, please). Not at all.
Rating: 5, because family life of a country star is quirky, Rayna doing her own hair in her room(?!?), lessons about money.
Bright Lights, Shiny Clothes
Connie hits the stage decked in so much glitter she looks like a Powerpuff Girl. Her voluptuous wavy locks bounce to the beat of her catchy tune as she gives a soft nod to her band leader, Deacon Claybourne (Charles Esten). Bingo. We've got a new man one minute in and he seems like the perfect smoldering hunk for our dear Rayna. "Thank y'all!" she hollers to the crowd, and we fade to black.
Rating: 9, because sparkles, potential lover, a blessing on stage.
Backstage, a doll-like creature who goes by Scarlett O'Connor (Clare Bowen) comes running over to her uncle Deacon with her boyfriend Avery (Jonathan Jackson), and she genuinely praises the show and the goodness that is Rayna Jaymes. We quickly find out Scarlett works at the Bluebird, the town's honky-tonk, and that she's not a songwriter (she just writes poetry, okay). Scarlett is all doe-eyed and dying for a shot! But she can't, because she's scared. She only writes poetry! It's not her time… yet.
Rating: 7.5, because innocent young girl who doesn't know the force of her talent, clueless boyfriend, Deacon connection.
The Competition: A Pretty Young Sassy Thing
We're introduced to Juliette Barnes (Hayden Panettiere), the twentysomething country hit who's bound to take Rayna's hair by storm. She's trouble, all right. More trouble than Leighton Meester in Country Strong, that's for sure. All glittered up and popping out, Juliette makes some demands concerning testing her new fragrance and spirals into total diva mode when a phone call comes through from her mother. She's asked to introduce herself to Rayna and to "be nice" but this sassy-act wouldn't dare do such a thing. Juliette doesn't know how to fake it, apparently, which could be detrimental in the country world. "I'm always nice," she shoots back, puffing up her hair-sprayed bird's nest. Walking over to Rayna's dressing room, she sees Deacon and must, JUST MUST introduce herself by giving him intoxicating come-hither eyes. And he's hooked. Lord help us. She's on a mission to show everyone she's not to be messed with, and she makes that very clear to Rayna when she says her mom used to listen to her music before she was even born. Burn.
Rating: 10, because a PYT with an attitude with a mission to seduce and take on a legend.
Trouble for Rayna
It has come to the country Queen's attention that she may not still be, in fact, the Queen. Her new tour isn't selling half as well as her last one and her music isn't grabbing the attention of enough younger things. According to her managers, she is left with the option of collaborating with Juliette on a joint tour of sorts, or shutting down her current one. The words "co-headline" has her in a furry, and she really goes mental when she finds out she wouldn't just be combining acts with Juliette, she would be opening for her! Blasphemy! Will she sell her soul to the minx or stand her ground as a class act? Welp, she has a few days to decide. The suspense, it's killing us all!
Rayna confides in her husband about this mess and he thinks the whole thing would be GRAND. Go ahead, lie about liking Juliette, he insists, "You've lied about much worse!" He apologizes for letting the family down, not sure what that's about yet, but says if worse comes to worse they can always borrow money from her dad. Now, this really gets her goat. Rayna would rather wait tables than be like her sister. Hell, she'd sell her damn soul on the street! They're clearly on different pages, but ultimately she says she's just going to have to figure something else out. With that, she runs to her producer Randy's (Burgess Jenkins) house and asks if there's a way to get her a new hit song. There, she bashes the young Juliette, only little does she know the vixen is wrapped in silk sheets like an oil painting on his bed, hearing every scorn-laced word. "It sounds like feral cats to me! Why do people keep pretending she's good," a fiery Rayna shouts. Game on.
Rating: 7, because the career problem, husband's unsupportive nature, family resentment, sex.
Nashville has a wealthy, powerful local politician who seems to rule everyone and, of course, that man is Rayna's father, Lamar Wyatt (Powers Boothe). Rayna comes running into an event that's proclaiming "Lamar Wyatt Day." (No, that is not a joke. Her dad is such a big deal, apparently, that there is no other way to convey this except for giving him his very own day!) Her sister Tandy (Judith Hoag) sits by his side, clearly the more-loved daughter. Ah, the family drama is a-brewin'.
Later, Lamar has a manipulative sit-down dinner with Teddy, where he suggests he run for mayor. What a fabulous idea! Teddy has no political background — according to Rayna he doesn't even like politics! — but it's a way for him to get back in the spotlight and take control of his family. Teddy is totally drinking the Kool-Aid his opposite-of-cash-poor father-in-law is feeding him. Lamar says something about destiny and fate and makes passive aggressive digs at Teddy's submissive father/husband current status. Just days later Teddy makes the announcement he'll be running, with Rayna next to him smiling widely at the crowd.
Rating: 6, because controlling father, easily convinced husband, supportive wife.
Every good country tale has its bar. You know, the one bar that exists in all the land, where everyone comes to drink and sing and stir drama and find love. For Nashville that bar is the Bluebird. And no surprise here, Deacon finds time to sing some of his sweet tunes on the mic amidst touring and being all famous and everything. His niece Scarlett waits tables and Oh! Wait! There's Juliette! She may have a No. 1 hit song, but she can also casually sit back and listen to her biggest crush (apparently) strum the guitar like she's got nothing else on the agenda. (By the way, Juliette cries REAL TEARS while watching him play so we know she's not actually Satan.) After his mini-performance, Deacon finds Juliette standing up against his car, working her seduction magic. She asks him with heavily glossed lips to record a song with her, batting her brown eyes and assuring they could have "a lot of fun on the road." It's safe to assume she means sex.
Rating: 10, because the bar provides exactly what it always does: a thickening plot line and the best music.
The One That Got Away
Here we have it, people. It's become crystal clear that Deacon and Rayna used to have something. Who am I kidding, we all know they still have something and it's about to get sticky, but for now we'll just have to live with a bit of the backstory. The two walk slowly and intensely over a bridge, rambling about their hopes, dreams, failures, the whole deal. Deacon tells Rayna that Juliette gave him a job where he'll get to write, and when her asks her why she never played more of his songs. Rayna replies by saying she was worried they were all about her. DING DING DING! Of course they're all about you, silly! He loves you! Country love! As if she needs more assurance, he confirms, "They are." Plain and simple. He seals his forlorn fate by saying he lost the one thing that could make him happy a long time ago. Oh this love runs deep, deep within his stubbled cheeks and distressed flannel. Rating: 9, because the love that could have been and maybe, just maybe, still might be. Family Secrets
It wouldn't be a country show without some more family drama. We already know that Rayna and her dad aren't exactly pals, but this is about Juliette. Juliette and her strung-out druggie mom. Yep! The reason her mom keeps calling is for more cash money to support her drug habit. This is a sad turn of events. Juliette perches in a storage closet or something and cries and cries about her sad momma. Just then Randy appears as if from nowhere and that's enough to turn Juliette on. Randy is all like, HELL YEAH! as she quickly conceals her tears by thrusting her tongue in his mouth. Just when we were starting to feel sorry for the girl. Oh well, baby steps. Rating: 5.5, because showing the young star acting her age, using sex as a manipulative tactic. Game-Changer
Rayna has her meeting with the label and they resurface the ultimatum. She almost begs, going through her resume and allegiance to the record company, but to no avail. And that's simply not good enough for the queen. After 21 years, she stands up, swings her strawberry blonde strands and sways out of the office. Sorry, fellas. WILL RAYNA FAIL? IS SHE DONE? Nope, we find out she is not. Because this episode has enough story lines for 45 Country Strongs. Back at the Bluebird, Scarlett's new local kind-hearted guy friend, who also just so happens to be a wonderful musician, insists they sing her poems on stage. Something they apparently practiced, for hours, because they are damn good. Of course, Scarlett has never sang on a mic. She sings like no one could possibly be watching, because Juliette wasn't just hanging out there or anything, and OF COURSE old-man legendary producer guy Watty White (J.D. Souther) is creepily sitting at the very back of the bar. And he hears something he likes. Oh he likes it, all right. He hears dollar bills and sold-out concerts. He quickly gets Rayna on speakerphone because she can so clearly hear every note that way. It looks like Scarlett's going to have to get over her stage fright because it seems she'll be joining the big leagues very very soon. OH, and I almost forgot, Juliette and Deacon are about to do IT. YES. Ugh, so very disappointed in him. Rating: 9.5, because the sweetest voice is always heard from the underdog and there's always always someone listening. Thoughts on the premiere? Was it everything you dreamed it would be? Will you keep watching? Sound off in the comments below. [Image Credit: Katherine Bomboy-Thorton/ABC/KATHERINE BOMBOY-THORNTON] Follow Anna on Twitter @thebrandedgirl More: Meet 'Nashville,' Y'all: Country's Strong With Connie Britton and Hayden Panettiere TCA 2012: 'Nashville' Stars Connie Britton and Hayden Panettiere Talk Music (City) ABC Debuts Trailers for 'Nashville' and More -- VIDEO
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The Grown Ups star was among the passers-by who stopped at New York's Pier 54 in Chelsea to gaze in awe at Blaine's electric spectacular, in which he wears a chain-mail body suit hooked up to two conductors for 72 hours, and jumped at the chance to control the Tesla coils sending currents coursing through his body.
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Fans worldwide have also been encouraged to participate in the magician's endurance feat by helping to control the power of the surges at various sites around the world.
The three-day exercise, which is being streamed live online, is expected to end on Monday night (08Oct12).
Adele is a six-time Grammy Award-winning artist at the age of 24 and responsible for some of the most heart-wrenchingly beautiful songs of the past few years. Her second studio album, 21, has sold over 23.3 million copies (as of September 2012). In November 2011, Adele underwent corrective vocal surgery for a hemorrhage on her vocal cords, and just three months later she was able to blow everyone away with a show-stopping performance at the 2012 Grammys. She's now pregnant with her first child. And yet, the media continues to focus not on these phenomenal personal and professional feats, but on her weight. And frankly, she is sick of it. Adele told British newspaper The Sun on Wednesday that she uses her talent and not her body to get ahead.
"Exploiting yourself sexually is not a good look," she said of her pop star peers. "I don't find it encouraging." She added, "To sell more records, I don't ned to do that. I just stand there and sing. I'm not worried that I'm a 'plus size' and so much bigger than other artists."
And she's right. All she has to do to wow a crowd is stand at a microphone and sing. Other artists, however, aren't so lucky. Adele doesn't name names in her interview, but I have no such reservations. Rihanna, for one, is not a musician known for her vocal skills. Neither is Katy Perry. Both women can sing, but it is their stage presence, star power and — you guessed it — sex appeal that help them sell out world tours and millions of records.
Adele is without a doubt correct in her assertion that "exploiting yourself sexually is not a good look," but if the artist in question is in control of her costume and choreography choices, is it still exploitation? Lady Gaga, like Perry and Rihanna, has notoriously stripped down on stage (and on her web site), but she always feels in control of her body and her sexuality. Being a sexual being is not synonymous with exploitation — in fact, understanding and appreciating one's own sexuality is nothing short of empowering.
Adele goes on to make a second statement regarding body image that I can get behind, however. "They don't look how they do in magazines or videos. I have seen them up close and they don't even look like that," she said. It's true; the celebrities we admire in the glossy pages of magazines or gussied up in music videos hardly resemble actual humans — makeup and retouching takes care of that. Using these practically-illustrated images of women as ideals of beauty is a dangerous habit, and impressionable girls could benefit from seeing more women like Adele, who embrace their natural bodies, put on a pedestal.
"No matter what you look like the key is to be happy with yourself," Adele concludes. And that, my friends, is the bottom line. Curvy, thin, tall, short — and dare I add, overtly sexy or demure — the key thing is to be happy with yourself. Flaunt what you got, ladies (and gents).
Follow Abbey Stone on Twitter @abbeystone
[Photo Credit: Columbia Records/Sony]
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