Author

Kate Ward
Kate Ward is the current Executive Editor for Hollywood.com, a former editor and writer for Entertainment Weekly and EW.com, and a forever fan of pop culture. A graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, Ward — whose work has also appeared in Glamour magazine — loves talking about nutgrafs and hates exclamation points, despite using them on a regular basis. Specializing in reality TV, ’90s nostalgia, and bad movies, Ward is likely the oldest person to attend "American Idols LIVE!" every year with her mom.
  • 'X Factor' Ratings Dip Again: America Doesn't Want Talent?
    By: Kate Ward Sep 14, 2012
    America might have talent... but it seems fewer and fewer Americans want to see it. One day after posting middling Season 2 premiere ratings, The X Factor dipped 6 percent from its Wednesday premiere, attracting just 3.1/0 despite the massive star power of judge Britney Spears. (And, this time around, we can't blame fellow Mouseketeer and The Voice coach Christina Aguilera, though X Factor's first-hour figures did rise 7 percent without its NBC competitor drawing eyes.) But it seems audiences didn't want to see singers on any other program either. Not only did the America's Got Talent finale drop 33 percent from last season's ender with 2.4/7 — despite, again, the star power of Howard Stern — but Glee also dipped 13 percent, posting 3.3/9. (The cult musical drama, however, did finish 14 percent higher than the Season 3 finale.) Is X Factor missing, well, the x-factor? Based on history, the show shouldn't necessarily worry — whereas the FOX reality show rose its numbers as Season 1 aired, both seasons of The Voice lost viewers as the fascinating blind auditions made way for the less gimmicky battle rounds and finals. So, X Factor, try again next week, baby, one more time. [Image Credit: FOX] More: The X Factor Premiere Part 2: You Can't Be Pretty And Talented The Voice Shockingly Beats X Factor in Ratings Glee Recap: Newbies, New Problems, and New York From Our Partners: 'Hunger Games: Catching Fire' First Look: Jennifer Lawrence Back as Katniss — EXCLUSIVE PHOTOS (Celebuzz) Olivia Wilde Goes Barefaced in New York City: 93 Celebrities Who Dared To Go Makeup-Free — PHOTOS (Celebuzz)
  • 'Big Brother' Recap: O Captain, My (God!) Captain!
    By: Kate Ward Sep 13, 2012
    Thursday night’s Big Brother started off like any other eviction night. The cards were in the Head of Household’s favor. The odd man out was dressed in his Sunday’s (or should it be Thursday’s?) best, all but certainly about to be sent out the door. The mood in the house was calm, the air peaceful without Jenn’s angry stomping and Joe’s nonsensically screams about grits being as juicy as the corners of Guy Fieri’s mouth after a double cheeseburger. Things were normal, as boring as the homework that awaited Ian on his way home. This would be, for once during Season 14 of Big Brother, a predictable episode. But, soon after the opening moments of the episode, it was clear something was amiss. Yes, Quack Pack co-founder Ian all seemed poised to kick himself in the head for not winning a Veto competition tailor-made for him, but we felt a force in the Big Brother universe. A strikingly unfamiliar presence. What was that? It took a few minutes to figure it out — new furniture in the house? No. A new, vaguely racist ninja bandana for Dan? No. Suddenly, it hit us: Chenbot was titillated. That’s right, titillated. She knew then why we cry watching hours of Big Brother After Dark, wishing we were too inside the house. She felt something that wasn’t even envy or hungry. No, Chenbot — made of steel, metal, and various pieces from Les Moonves’ kitchen — was unmistakably excited. And that could only mean one thing: Machine Rebellion Something was most definitely not going to go according to plan. Which most certainly meant that Dan was yet again going to school his student. In fact, Big Brother teased the coach’s big move in the jury house, showcasing Frank and Britney’s argument about Dan’s actions in the home. Britney, whose brain and sense of perspective is as big as her giant doll eyes, fought with Frank about Dan’s game, which, at this point, largely consists of back-stabbing and lying: “This isn’t a game of morals and integrity … That’s a different game if you want to play Suzie High Horse.” Unfortunately, Suzie High Horse is the exact type of game that appeals to rodeo clown Frank, who was incensed that Dan swore on his wife that he would not go against his word. Which, of course, is ridiculous, since history teaches us swearing on your significant other, child, or dead grandmother is pretty much the same as swearing on a gallon of slop working its way through Big Brother plumbing. Lying is as essential to the Big Brother game as bikinis and shame. Which is exactly why Dan does, in fact, deserve to win Season 14 of Big Brother. After staging an elaborate scheme weeks back that convinced his biggest enemy to save him, Dan has been on a tear, manipulating anything and everything in sight. (I’m pretty sure he even made a final two deal with the toaster.) Especially his biggest ally, Danielle, who, as holder of the Power of Veto and Head of Household, had absolutely no reason at all to use the power this week, forcing Shane on the block against Ian. But used it she did, after Dan somehow convinced her it would gain Shane’s trust, or keep their two-person alliance from cracking, or… honestly, I actually have no idea why she followed Dan’s advice, unless Dan simply wasn’t the droid she was looking for. Of course, as much as we can credit Dan’s Jedi-like skills for his successful blindside, we could also credit Shane’s Jed Clampett-like stupidity. It’s hard not to pity the Big Brother’s competition beast, a strong man so sweet, he cried real tears following his eviction. But in what situation can you possibly be convinced that it makes sense for you to go on the block… especially when it makes no sense at all? Who knew Captain America’s shield fended off logic? So it did make for a delicious moment when Danielle used the Veto on Dan… and watched Dan promptly take out her biggest ally. We saw the face we saw during Dan’s funeral — Danielle’s mouth, dropped open, big enough to fit all of her coach’s lies. And you thought you had to fix a competition for Ian to get good TV, Big Brother producers. Tsk, tsk. But perhaps the moment wasn’t as exciting for anyone as for Ian, who paced around the house, enjoying the shocking blindside more than a perfect ScanTron. Still, even if Ian does make the final two, does the man of science have a prayer? Or, more importantly, following his morally questionable game, does Dan? Though he clearly has Britney’s vote, it would be difficult for him to win against his own student, Danielle. If Danielle wants to castrate him after what he did to Shane, I don’t want to know what she’d do if he promised her he was making moves for her own good… before sending her straight out of the house. Still, Season 14 would no doubt be a disappointment should Danielle — a woman who’s biggest move was lying about her profession for no reason whatsoever — end up the victor. So, please, Ian and Dan, for the sake of entertainment, do give Danielle the axe. Just keep it away from Dan’s penis. Has Season 14 been Big Brother’s best season ever? And has Dan truly cemented his place as Big Brother’s best player ever? Are you Team Britney or Team Frank? Should the show have used Dan’s quote that they “gotta start eating their own ducks” as have-not inspiration? Will Dan really write a book about Danielle — as he told her during his speech — and, if so, what would it be called? Gullible’s Travels? And, finally, would the world crumble in on itself if the bubble-blowing Ashley drew a brain on her inspiration board?Follow Kate on Twitter @HWKateWard [Image Credit: CBS] More Big Brother Recap: McKayla Is Not Impressed Big Brother Recap: The End Is Near Big Brother Recap: Holy Double Eviction, Batman!
  • Emmys Idle Threats: Give Bill Hader an Emmy or I'll Sic DJ Baby Bok Choy On You
    By: Kate Ward Sep 13, 2012
    Television fans are a unique set. We're the type of people who devote hours upon hours a week to our fictional, televised friends. We laugh at their jokes and cry when they cry because our favorite shows are just so darn good. But the intensity of the laughter and the tears is all thanks to the fact that we regard these characters as something of a family. We know them. We understand them. We love them unconditionally. And actors deserve recognition for being able to elicit that level of a reaction from their fans. Naturally, when they're not given their due, we're forced to react, well, emotionally. How, exactly, will we react? That depends on the actor in question. Next up is Saturday Night Live's most valuable player: Bill Hader. Notice how I didn't say Kristen Wiig? Yes, the actress formerly known as Gilly might be the sketch comedy show's biggest breakout since Tina Fey, but there's only one player that makes us laugh until we turn white like an albino who looks like Susan Powter. And that's Hader, the man who introduced us to characters like Vinny Vedecci, Greg the Alien, and, of course, Stefon.  The comedian has played his SNL stint well — unlike other stars of the sketch comedy show who wear out their camera-hogging welcome faster than you could say "Mango," Hader's SNL stardom has been a slow burn. Though he first captured our attention seven seasons ago with his scarily accurate Vincent Price impression, Hader has managed to shine in the background while buzzier players like Wiig or Andy Samberg grabbed the spotlight and the headlines. Hader built himself up as the reliable cast member — the go-to player for all your impression needs (hello James Carville, Alan Alda, and my personal favorite, Keith Morrison), the comedian who would shine life into even the most cringe-worthy sketch (see: Any of "The Californians"), the actor willing to play the straight main while other cast members yukked it up for the audience. (And look no further than last season's "Who's On Top" to see that Hader can still get laughs in that role.) And then, strangely enough — despite being a welcome presence on both Saturday nights and the big screen (thanks to memorable bit roles in films like Superbad, Tropic Thunder, and Pineapple Express) — Hader officially became an SNL star courtesy of a long-forgotten character from a long-forgotten 2008 sketch. Two years after Hader first played Ben Affleck's disturbed screenwriting brother, Stefon, the character reemerged on Weekend Update and became the hottest thing since New York's hottest club, Trash. He. Had. Everything. Midget puns, a life more bananas than Charlie Sheen's brain, and the ability to make the stoic consummate professional Hader laugh at his own jokes. (Or, should we say, SNL writer John Mulaney's jokes, which were often changed last-minute in an attempt to trip up Hader during the live show.) The character has become so popular, even those fully aware of SNL's past at the multiplex (remember It's Pat? We'd like to forget about it too) were clamoring for a Stefon movie. But there's a good chance Hader would never agree to it. Not only because that movie was already made in 2000 when it was called Requiem for a Dream, but because it's difficult imagine that Hader would prefer to change his status from small-screen comedy hero to big-screen sell-out, regardless of the green temptation. And that's exactly what makes him so damn appealing — the man is a true artist. So much so, that the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences anointed him with the honor of becoming only the second male cast SNL cast member nominated for an Emmy. (Comedy superstar Eddie Murphy was the first back in 1983.) Cue my reaction to the Emmy news: Now, I'm realistic. I'm fully aware of the way the Academy works. I realize that Hader should consider the nomination itself a win, an acknowledgment of hard work well done that will still be deemed less worthy than performances by the entire Modern Family cast. But, please, Emmy voters. Give Hader his due. Because, if you don't, I'll sic DJ Baby Bok Choy on you.  Not only that, but while he distracts you with his little ravioli hands, I'll head over to a dingy East Village basement where I'll form my party army. That's right — I'll call up a man and dog who served time for Cookie Crisp thievery, a Renaissance Fair king holding a half-eaten turkey bone, and an emotionally scarred grandmother shaking her head over an H&M ad. Then, after imbibing a considerable amount of moonshine made in a bathtub by a William Taft impersonator, we'll prank call that fast-talking guy from the FedEx commercials and Gunther from Friends. From there, we'll go to New York's hottest club, Smash, where party-goers can wear several layers of scarves and talk to a straight bartender who knows far too much about Marilyn Monroe. And after we've eaten the club offering of peanuts and the last Junior Mint in the pack that gets stuck to the bottom of the box, we'll come to your house and knock, knock, who's there? Black Uncle Sam! Telling you that he wants you to give Bill Hader a much-deserved Emmy.   So, please, make it happen, will you? [Image Credit: NBC] More: SNL: Taran Killam and Bill Hader to the Rescue 2012 Emmy Awards: See the Full List of Nominees! Emmys Idle Threats: Give Amy Poehler an Emmy or the Waffles are Gonna Get It
  • 'Big Brother': And the Evicted Houseguest Is...
    By: Kate Ward Sep 12, 2012
    Poor Ian. These were words that came to mind following Sunday's episode of Big Brother. Ian, the ultimate Big Brother fan, the man of science who appealed to God to win a carnival game in a house where people run around in carrot suits, might just waste his Head of Household run on ultimate floater Jenn, of all people. The man who probably enjoyed the experience of being dressed like a dog more than opening presents in Pandora's Box might just pass up the opportunity to send home a competitive powerhouse — Super Shane — or, better yet, a mental mastermind, Dan. Ian, the super-fan who relishes the opportunity to work as a Renegade alongside a previous winner, had no idea that his final two deal with Dan was as authentic as Chenbot's metal core. And on Wednesday's special eviction night, it seems Ian did waste a perfect opportunity to oust one of the game's strongest players. (Not to mention put himself in place for eviction.) By a vote of 2-0, Jenn was evicted from the Big Brother house. Surprised by the night's outcome? Be sure to come back to Hollywood.com later for Brian Moylan's recap of the episode's events! [Image Credit: CBS] More: Big Brother Recap: The End Is Near Big Brother Recap: Holy Double Eviction, Batman! Big Brother Recap: Welcome to the Dan Show
  • Frank Ocean Teases Surprise Guest on 'SNL'
    By: Kate Ward Sep 11, 2012
    Live from New York, it's... surprise appearances on Saturday Night Live! Just one day after the long-running sketch comedy show announcedthree new comedians — Aidy Bryant, Tim Robinson, and Cecily Strong — would join the cast just in time for its 38th season, we've learned that another unexpected face might be popping up during Saturday's premiere. Frank Ocean — the musical guest alongside host Seth MacFarlane — seemed to imply he'll be getting back-up from another famous musician during his set: "SNL this weekend," Ocean tweeted Tuesday. "Me and the bro John Mayer." NBC has not yet confirmed with Hollywood.com that the artist formerly known as a douchebag will indeed be appearing on Saturday's premiere, but our Magic 8 balls seem to be pointing to "Yes, You Idiot." Not only because, you know, Ocean actually tweeted the news, but also because of Mayer's history with sketch comedy. Though the musician hasn't appeared as musical guest on Saturday Night Live since 2003, Mayer flexed his comedic chops on two episodes of Chappelle's Show in 2004, and followed up the well-received performance with his own comedy effort, Vh1's under-appreciated John Mayer Has a TV Show. So, should Mayer appear alongside Ocean, will he make a splash in a sketch as well? SNL does need a new Rick Santorum following the RNC... or a chair for Bill Hader's Clint Eastwood. (Or is that role already dedicated to Rob Schneider?) Follow Kate on Twitter @HWKateWard [Image Credit: NBC, WENN] More: Saturday Night Live Adds 3 Chicago Comedians to Cast SNL: Seth MacFarlane, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Daniel Craig Announced As Hosts Frank Ocean's Stunning Performance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon — WATCH
  • Katie Couric Leads Steve Harvey and Jeff Probst... So Far
    By: Kate Ward Sep 11, 2012
    Several new talk shows are entering the TV arena this season — but will all of them survive? Already going up against daytime's new Queen of Nice (Ellen DeGeneres) and King of Tight Black T-Shirts (Anderson Cooper), a whopping five new celebrities are attempting to establish themselves as must-see (daytime) TV. And which newbie is winning the race so far? Seems Today fans nostalgic for the mid-2000s have found their outlet. Despite Steve Harvey's promising debut Sept. 4 — which averaged a 1.49 rating/4.1 share in households, bumping up numbers 59 percent in its time period — Katie, hosted by former NBC morning show darling Katie Couric, nabbed a 2.8/8. That number, according to Deadline, ties Dr. Phil, establishing the new show as the highest debuting talker in 10 years. Like many Today hosts learned, Couric is a tough act to follow, and it seems daytime's other newcomers have plenty of catching up to do. Jeff Probst, hosted by the Survivor emcee, bowed with 1.5/4 (perhaps he should start searching for an Immunity Idol now?) while Ricki Lake's second talk show effort attracted just a 0.8/2 rating. Even Anderson finished below Couric with a 1.3 rating. Curiosity surrounding Couric's first guest, new mom/tabloid talking point Jessica Simpson, certainly helped boost numbers, but with an upcoming slate that includes Jennifer Lopez, Sofia Vergara, and Fifty Shades of Grey author E.L. James, Katie is likely to continue attracting a considerable number of viewers. Looks like Katie, well, did.  [Image Credit: ABC] More: Jessica Simpson's Body Not Shown in New Weight Watchers Commercial — VIDEO Today and GMA Showdown: Sarah Palin vs. Katie Couric Jeff Probst to Host CBS Talk Show
  • 'Star Trek 2' Reveals Title: 'Star Trek Into Darkness'
    By: Kate Ward Sep 10, 2012
    It's not unusual for Hollywood's most anticipated sequels to go "dark." There's 2008's The Dark Knight (and 2012's The Dark Knight Rises). There's 2011's Transformers: Dark of the Moon. And 2013's upcoming Thor: The Dark World. So it's no surprise that Star Trek is now digging into the "dark" trend with its own buzzed-about sequel set to hit theaters May 17, 2013. Previously referred to only as Star Trek 2, Paramount announced today that J.J. Abrams' follow-up will be called Star Trek Into Darkness. That's some punnery Chris Pine's jovial Captain Kirk would appreciate! Little is known about Star Trek Into Darkness — rumors initially pointed to the film being a Khan-centric project, but, in July, Karl Urban seemed to let slip that Benedict Cumberbatch is set to play a different villain, Gary Mitchell. So, sorry, we might have to wait until we can trek into Star Trek 3 before we can greet Khaaaaaaaaaaaaaan. Follow Kate on Twitter @HWKateWard [Image Credit: Paramount] More Karl Urban Reveals Potential 'Star Trek 2' Villain? Star Trek 2 First Look: Benedict Cumberbatch as Shocking Villain Benedict Cumberbatch Landed Star Trek 2 Role with iPhone Audition
  • 'American Idols LIVE!': Reviewing Season 11's Talent 3 Months Later
    By: Kate Ward Sep 09, 2012
    There’s no question that American Idol’s popularity is waning. With our television screens overrun with programs like The Voice and The X Factor, singing reality show fatigue has set in, with audiences eager to label the former ratings juggernaut the most outdated, irrelevant model. Perhaps they can blame Season 9’s shark-jumping decision to hire Ellen DeGeneres as a judge. Perhaps they can blame Idol’s unwillingness to freshen up its 11-season-old formula. (The Voice might have lesser talent, but they do have chairs that spin!) Or perhaps they can blame Idol’s attempts to eat into their lives, broadcasting the show up to three times a week. Whereas millions of fans would tune into Idol come hell, high water, or Ryan Seacrest’s high flat-ironed hair, millions have spent the past season finally checking out. And the disinterest was never more clear than during Friday’s American Idols LIVE! concert at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J. In seasons past, there was an undeniable sense of excitement brimming the second you walked into the American Idols LIVE! concert. Girls, both toddlers and teens, walked the halls of the stadium plastered with images advertising their favorite idols. Some wore shirts covered in photos of industry powerhouses like Carrie Underwood, but most had an impressive dedication to forgettable faces like Michael Sarver. The bond between those latter concertgoers was strong — they were all fans who sat glued to their television sets two to three times a week, obsessively dialed their telephones 20-30 times a night, and irrationally hated three to four contestants who might outlast their favorites. They sat at home prior to the concert for what seemed like hours to craft a perfect poster with a perfect message for their perfect Idol, regardless of whether they were sitting in the first row or the nosebleeds. But on Friday night, the mood shifted. Boardwalk Hall, which was at capacity in seasons past, appeared only half full, making you hope the stadium wouldn’t shine its lights bright enough for the Idols to notice the low turnout. Only a few fans brandished posters — for the East Coast-bred Elise Testone — and young girls chose One Direction or GAP t-shirts over Phillip Phillips attire. And then there was the concert’s curious demographic — most sections were filled with the over-60 set who looked as though they were counting down the hours until they could filter back into the casinos. Even contest winners who scored a spot directly next to the stage couldn’t drum up enough enthusiasm during the concert to stand up and cheer, or even do anything but talk to their seat neighbors. Where was Idol’s much-needed young demographic? And, more importantly, where were its fans? It was a sad sight to behold, especially since the concert proved that Idol’s contestants, unlike the stars of The Voice, have still got it. The American Idols LIVE! tour is always interesting — it’s easy to wonder whether the season’s musicians will still impress without close-up smoldering shots to appeal to female voters or TV-friendly staging. And every season, most of the Top 10 indeed deliver. Yes, Phillip was indeed not nearly as adorable as he is on a 40-inch screen — perhaps because on Friday night, he was, as usual, sick — but he more than proved himself the worthy winner with a five-song set ending in his popular and ever-addictive “Home.” (Oh yes, you best believe that launched a sing-along.) Of course, it was clear Phillip was still beholden to the Idol machine — whereas other contestants got an opportunity to perform multiple covers we hadn’t already heard, Phillip was forced to sing mostly repeats: The jazzy remix of Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition,” the hauntingly gorgeous “Volcano,” and, oddly enough, the unnerving “Somebody That I Used To Know,” which was just as uneven and unimpressive as it was on live TV this past spring. We already listen to our favorite Phillip Phillips performances on iTunes — how refreshing would it be to hear an entirely original set? That said, audiences were also treated to a fittingly nice and slow remix of Usher’s “Nice & Slow,” which played just as well as his Top 7 performance of “U Got It Bad” on Idol. As in seasons past, the winner might have been billed as the concert’s main attraction, but he hardly ended up becoming the main attraction. For the sake of build-up — and allowing him time to record his album off-stage — Phillip wasn’t featured at all in the first act, only appearing in the concert’s final 15 minutes. But the mere absence of the winner is always refreshing, in a way. It allows audiences’ attention to shift to some of the less appreciated contestants. And every year, there’s one unexpected break-out at the American Idols LIVE! concert. Last year, it was showman Stefano Langone (who, shortly after the tour’s wrap, scored a record deal that led to one sadly unsuccessful single). And this year, though he received the smallest amount of applause in a schmaltzy meteor-themed introduction that couldn’t collide with audience excitement, DeAndre Brackensick stood out just as much as his wildly coifed hair. But, interestingly enough, it wasn’t DeAndre’s solo that won him such acclaim. Instead, DeAndre stood out the most while standing in the background. Serving as backup for six songs — not including group numbers — DeAndre delivered whole-hearted enthusiasm missing from many solos throughout the evening. When DeAndre snapped, he snapped. When DeAndre dipped, he dipped. And when DeAndre shook his butt (yes, that happened many times throughout the ridiculously fun Jessica Sanchez-led cover of Tina Turner’s “Proud Mary”), the boy shook. it. Though DeAndre seemed poised to be a member of the Top 10 who would fade into obscurity, his performance Friday set him up for a promising career as a background singer. Or, at least, a professional hairographer. And it’s entirely possible he’ll be serving back-up for girlfriend(!) and Beyoncé mini-me Jessica. Though close-up shots of the runner-up via a stadium camera showed a hint of exhaustion in her eyes, Jessica still remained the consummate professional — and the most impressively powerful member of the Top 10. Though it was easy for Jessica to feel like a superstar during the middling Beyoncé cover “Best Thing I Never Had” — oh, the wonders of a wind machine — the singer proved her prowess during a piano- (and, of course, DeAndre-) backed cover of Prince’s “How Come U Don’t Call Me” that should have had radio stations calling for a single. How can anyone have so much soul before even passing basic calculus? (Though, that is a subject that could give you the blues.) It was a three-song set so strong, you found yourself wondering how long you would have to wait to pre-order Jessica’s album. But the runner-up wasn’t given the opportunity to advertise any single, or even announce to audiences that she had scored a deal with Interscope earlier this summer. Colton Dixon, however, both put aside time to tell the stadium that he had signed with Christian music label Sparrow Records and performed a new single, “Never Gone.” The single — about, you guessed it, Jesus — left little doubt as to Colton’s superstar status within the Christian music industry. It was modern, radio-friendly, and pretty enough to make non-Christians wish God hadn’t hogged the contestant to him(or her)self. Especially after hearing Colton’s soaring cover of Switchfoot’s “Meant to Live,” and his predictable (but still lovely) performance of Billy Joel’s “Piano Man.” Whether Colton will be able to crossover into the Top 40 like Switchfoot is in God’s hands, as is his confounding ability to fit into such tight pants. Elise offered some quality counter-programming for audiences during the concert’s first set, repeating her outstanding Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love,” complete with vocal runs that would impress Xtina herself. With a two-song set that included a cover of Adele’s “Rumor Has It,” the contestant proved herself to be one of the more vocally talented members of the Top 10, even if she still lacked likeability. You can respect Elise’s confidence — why shouldn’t she acknowledge that she kicks ass? But the crowd was much less willing to accept her aplomb as Joshua Ledet’s, a contestant who spent a whole minute basking in the crowd’s glory following a rousing repeat performance of Bruno Mars’ “Runaway Baby” and James Brown’s “It’s a Man’s, Man’s, Man’s World.” Of course, like Elise, he deserved to — without judge favoritism weighing Joshua down, it’s much easier to be truly (and rightly) impressed by his passion and unrivaled pipes. Funny that it took Steven Tyler, Jennifer Lopez, and Randy Jackson’s absence to finally understand what Steven, Jennifer, and Randy had been talking about for months. Now, not every Idol was worthy of their title during Friday’s show. The usually fiery Skyler Laine had dimmed during performances of Miranda Lambert’s “Gunpowder and Lead” and Faces’ “Stay With Me,” and only seemed to heat up against Hollie Cavanagh during a duet of Carrie Underwood’s “Undo It.” Erika Van Pelt delivered a cover of Pink’s “Glitter In the Air” that shined brighter than most acts in the first act — but anything would sparkle next to an off-key, painful rendition of Maroon 5’s “Moves Like Jagger” from Erika, Colton, Hollie, and Joshua. Hollie proved she is a human being that exists with wooden covers of Adele’s “Rolling In the Deep” and Demi Lovato’s “Give Your Heart a Break.” And Heejun Han solidified himself as a human blooper reel with an excruciating performance of John Legend’s “Green Light” that included the unfortunate repeated lyric “I’m ready to go right now.” (As my mother said during the number, “Then go already!”) That said, Heejun did deliver the first boost of the evening via a spirited rap during a group performance of LMFAO’s “Party Rock.” And even when contestants like Heejun flatline, it’s difficult not to root for them — the unbridled enthusiasm of the Top 10 makes their likely fade into irrelevancy even more depressing. Especially should the Idol machine become much less powerful — no Idol since Season 5 has proven to be an instant hit-maker like Kelly Clarkson, Underwood, and Daughtry. And though the show’s devotees always knew a moment like this would come — when the reality singing competition wouldn’t be nearly as influential as it was in its mid-2000s prime — hey, at least it’s not Duets. Follow Kate on Twitter at HWKateWard More: Idol Offers Enrique Iglesias a Judging Gig Mariah Carey Joins American Idol Idol Interventional: Charlie Sheen Is ‘Genuinely Interested’ in Judging, But We Can’t Allow It…
  • Democrat or Republican: Can You Guess Who's Red and Who's Blue?
    By: Kate Ward Sep 07, 2012
    Let's face it: Popular culture has helped us stereotype our political parties. On the right, we're led to believe most Republicans are either flag-waving, tea-drinking rebel rousers or stiff money-waving, scotch-swilling billionaires. On the left, we're led to believe most Democrats are either crusty granola-munching hippies or pretentious Jonathan Franzen-reading elitists. Of course, none of these stereotypes are true — but many can't help but judge a political party by its cover. Or, more accurately, its faces. But how easy is it to determine who's a Republican and who's a Democrat? We compiled a selection of photographs of delegates on the floor of the RNC and the DNC. Can you guess who's a registered Democrat and who's a registered Republican? Test your skills below! Democrat or Republican? Test Your Skills Here! [Credit for All Images: Getty Images] More: Bill Clinton: The Master of Improv President Obama Calls Up a Friend for a Mission of High Importance The Official National Convention Drinking Game From Our Partners: Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie's Wedding: No Plans Yet, Says the Actor (Celebuzz) Stars Who Got Their Body Back After Baby — GALLERY (Celebuzz)
  • 'Big Brother' Recap: Holy Double Eviction, Batman!
    By: Kate Ward Sep 06, 2012
    Like the rest of the Big Brother, I had wanted to see Frank evicted since Season 14's early weeks. Not only had he dared to be in an alliance with creepy Family Guy neighbor Herbert, but was also so accustomed to winning competitions, he became Big Brother's sure thing. Not in the bedroom, silly — JoJo had a lock on that title the moment she got lost on the way to Seaside Heights — but in the game. Just two weeks ago, it seemed impossible that anyone but Frank would nab the win this season. And that made him so incredibly boring. But, in the past week, we'd seen a different side of Frank. A softer side. Turns out, even when he's mad, he's a steamed carrot — sweet underneath it all. Because, as we learned following his alliance with Dan, all Frank wants is a friend in the house. Someone who will be beside him to talk about girls, whisper across bed pillows, braid his majestic orange locks. (Pinterest reader Wil was such a missed opportunity.) His eagerness to trust someone — anyone — even if he was a former enemy, has become more adorable than the image of Ian holding a rubber ducky. (Turns out that image exists. Quack.) It's such a 180 from the competition beast we're used to, that I can't find myself cheering about his exit. Even an exit orchestrated by my favorite player, Dan. In fact, the idea of a Big Brother without Frank is as sad as the idea that Chenbot has spent 14 seasons scouring Big Brother for a real, human heart. Partly because, as Frank told Chenbot, he “played a pretty honest game,” resting purely on his drive instead of tricky gameplay. But mostly because Dan is incomplete without his nemesis. Frank is the Joker to Dan's Batman; an unstoppable force met an immoveable object. Frank and Dan seemed destined to face-off forever. But, after Dan's Batman sends Frank's Joker off the ledge, what will happen? What could possibly come next? After you see The Dark Knight, isn't The Dark Knight Rises just all too underwhelming to fully embrace? That’s definitely the case, if we look at Thursday night’s episode. After Frank was finally sent out the door with a whimper — after his sixth time on the block — the expected happened. And it was incredibly disappointing. Turns out, as we learned in The Dark Knight Rises, Batman is not nearly as entertaining when he’s fighting a loud, brute force. For the second double eviction in a row this season, the could-be exciting hour of live television was used to send a floater packing. And while Thursday’s cut was necessary, it was incredibly underwhelming. Because we expect more of Head of Household Dan than to focus his efforts on a man who’s biggest threat is earplugs. Especially when the move leaves Dan so vulnerable. Without Frank, Dan is the biggest threat in the Big Brother house. Without Joe, who was evicted anonymously after Frank, Dan can’t play to his social strengths to convince players an unlikeable player needs to go. With Jenn and Ian, Dan still might have numbers on his side — but only if Shane, a competitive force, and Danielle, Dan’s nomination choice against Joe, avoid a Head of Household win. Putting all your cards in Jenn and Ian? I’d prefer to draw the Joker. That said, there are worse final two choices than Ian. Sure, there’s a very real possibility that Ian could beat Dan — at this point, he’s far more likeable, hasn’t yet won the half million, and has played a decent game. (I don’t doubt that it was Ian’s decision to go on the block against Joe before winning the Veto — hell, I’m not convinced he didn’t ask to be on the chopping block for the pure experience of it.) But the college kid is trying his hardest to put up a Dan vs. Ian charade — just like he watched Dan and Memphis do in Season 10. And Dan might have a hard time resisting. Not only do I choose to believe Dan has enough of a heart to want to see the enthusiastic outcast win his favorite game in the world, but once you go quack, you simply never go back. And that’s why Dan is in danger of watching Ian become Season 14’s hero in the final two weeks of the game. Because Ian is transforming into Officer Blake. He’s the young, adorable up-and-comer who learns from the best — and becomes the best. We want to see him rise to the top. We want to see him inherit the Big Brother empire. We want him to be the only hero willing to kick himself in the head. Of course, it’s hard to tell how the action will go down — clearly, after putting his former ally on the block, Dan will have a tough time smoothing things over with Danielle, otherwise known as Rachel Dawes 1.0 in this scenario. (The one no one wants.) But, then again, this is a contestant that once told Dan she would get evicted for him. And perhaps Shane’s seemingly tight alliance is not as strong as one would expect — after all, even his hair is trying to run away from him. But it’s almost a certainty that half the house will be gunning for the man Chenbot said orchestrated “the biggest move in Big Brother history.” And why wouldn’t they? Batman can survive anything. Even critics. So is Batman complete without his Joker? Was Chenbot’s chat with Frank the most serious and somber interview of a man who wore a carrot suit ever? Do you believe Frank will still have “absolutely hard feelings” towards Dan once he’s in the jury house? Can Dan do anything to avoid a target? Did Joe deserve to get sent packing purely for unknowingly having a conversation with Dan... about Dan? How cute was it that Chenbot tried to ask Joe if losing everything and being generally unbearable was his strategy? And how many Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives does Joe have to watch before he’s kicked out of the jury house? Follow Kate on Twitter @HWKateWard [Image Credit: CBS] More: Big Brother Recap: Welcome to the Dan Show Big Brother Recap: On Comet, On Stupid Big Brother Recap: Pleas and Carrots