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.
  • Andy Samberg: Yes, I'm Leaving 'SNL'
    By: Kate Ward June 01, 2012 5:48pm EST
    "Lazy Sunday" performer Andy Samberg will now get the chance to enjoy lazy Saturdays. The actor and comedian has confirmed to The New York Times that he is in fact leaving Saturday Night Live, where he spent seven years as a cast member. "It's an incredibly emotional and strange moment in my life," he told the publication. "Obviously, it's not a huge shock, but I did decide not to come back." Indeed, it's not a shock to Samberg and SNL fans. The actor's exit has been rumored for months, especially since Samberg's in the midst of promoting his movie career with films like June 15's That's My Boy. And SNL's Season 37 finale appeared to mark the end of Samberg's seven-season run — one week after airing his 100th Digital Short with the show, the cast member released a follow-up to "Lazy Sunday," the first sketch that catapulted his Shorts into viral territory. The sketch teased his possible exit with lyrics like: "On these New York streets I hone my fake rap penmanship / That's how it began, and that's how I'm-a finish it." Of course, the most ardent fans of Samberg and the comedy troubadours that make up the actor's Lonely Island might be frustrated with the bow. After all, Kristen Wiig, who also finished her run with SNL this season, boasted an emotional send-off complete with the Rolling Stones and a cast singalong. Was there a reason Samberg didn't get a similar tribute? (And can we expect Jason Sudeikis, the other rumored exiting cast member, to follow suit, especially after his dejected look during Wiig's final sketch?) If his talk with The New York Times is any indication, the cast member had yet to commit to his exit. Said Samberg, "[Wiig] kept saying it just feels like her time ... I connect with that. Something about it just feels like it's the moment. My contract's up and I did so much more than I ever thought I would ever even do." That includes characters like Shy Ronnie, Rick Santorum, and a Color Me Badd-esque "Dick in a Box" singer. These, of course, are all roles that seem silly to mention when you consider how much Samberg revitalized the long-running series. Sure, the sketch comedy show had TV Funhouse and other pre-taped segments under its belt before the cast member arrived, but Samberg, with his Digital Shorts, was the first to foresee and take advantage of a generation committed to viral social sharing. And they were influential enough to score him an Emmy award for the aforementioned "Dick in a Box."  Still, a New York Times interview doesn't seem enough of a bow for a "Motherlover" who made such a splash on the SNL scene. Thankfully for fans, we might see Samberg again on the small screen — the actor told the New York Times he hopes to work with the NBC series on Digital Shorts in the future. And that's news enough to make fans, well, let's just say dry clean their pants?   More: Saturday Night Live: How Will They Tackle The Election? Kristen Wiig Says Goodbye on Saturday Night Live Saturday Night Live Recap: Mick Jagger Rocked, Kristen Wiig Bowed OutAndy Samberg
  • 'American Idol' Recap: The Winner Is...
    By: Kate Ward May 23, 2012 6:02pm EST
    I predicted it. You predicted it. Even Charles H. Duell could have predicted it. In fact, all were so sure that a Phillip Phillips win was on the horizon, I wrote this first paragraph before American Idol's finale even began. But it turns out it's true: Our laid-back growler Phillip survived the pain of kidney stones and the torture of awkward group performances to be crowned Season 11's American Idol. And though he might be the unconventional choice (despite the prevalence of rock-inclined male winners of the past), it was a deserved victory — the singer only experienced one vocal setback, "Time of the Season," and is the only Idol since Kelly Clarkson and Fantasia to make a victory song even slightly listenable. Sorry, Jessica Sanchez. Broken Hearts go to this link. But you’d be cold-hearted to not love the finale’s final moments, during which an overcome Phillip was reduced to happy (or relieved?) tears, unable to sing more than a verse of his first single, “Home.” It’s a great reminder of the artist’s dedication — no matter how many funny faces or sardonic comments he makes at Ryan Seacrest, Phillip Phillips was hopelessly devoted to Idol. Just as much as at least half of 132 million voters were to him. No doubt, however, the singer has a struggle ahead of him. It’s no secret that Idol’s male rockers have tried hard to tow the difficult line between rock legitimacy and being on a reality series that forced them to dress in funny costumes to shill Ford’s latest model. Of course, luckily (or unluckily) for Phillip, his poor health forced him to skip most of the Ford Music Video shoots, sparing him any future humiliation, but few in his position and genre have surged onto the music charts like Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood. That said, it certainly doesn’t hurt that his first single is far more listenable than other victory songs of seasons past, which tended to focus too much on rainbows (David Cook), dreams (Kris Allen), and childish grammatical errors (Scotty McCreery), concepts that don’t quite meet Daughtry-esque standards. Instead, “Home” is actually a radio-ready track, something you would feasibly want playing in the background this summer as you sit barbecuing burgers and drinking Old Style Genuine Draft. But Phillip’s inability to sing more than the first minute of his new track wasn’t the only proof that the finale wasn’t about the music after all: Though the series’ finales typically serve us an Idol ice cream sundae — mixing together all the best elements of all the season’s best singers, with a celebrity guest singer cherry on top — Season 11’s bow served us a popsicle, offering plenty of non-musical stickiness that was no less delicious to ingest. I’m speaking first, of course, of the best surprise of the night: The emergence of diva catsuits. If there’s anything I expected less than Phillip dressed up as a Marshall Applewhite follower at the outset of the episode, it’s Fantasia and Chaka Khan rocking Jennifer Lopez’s 2010 wardrobe. Look, I’m not a fan of body-snarking. And I’m hardly an expert fashionista, seeing as shirts covered in cat pictures occupied most of my closets until I was 15 years old. But not since Nutty Professor have I seen anyone so enthusiastic about Spandex. I hope I’m confident enough at 59 to dress like our “Tell Me Something Good” singer, but I sure hope I’m dead enough before someone slaps Fantasia’s bedazzled Batsuit on me. NEXT: Indecent proposalSo while Fantasia and Chaka Khan’s wardrobe made it impossible to pay attention to the former’s “Take Me To the Pilot” duet with Joshua and the latter’s “Ain’t Nobody”/”I’m Every Woman” medley with the women, it was impossible not to stare wide-eyed at another terrible/awesome non-musical moment: Idol’s segment inside Steven Tyler’s dressing room. Between the Playboy bunnies, the sloth, and the rocker’s supposed sister aggressively making out with someone right in front of him, I felt like I had stepped into an episode of Mad Men through Roger Sterling’s LSD-fueled psyche. Or New York’s hottest club, Meth Nightmare. But the night’s most uncomfortably entertaining non-musical moment came courtesy of Diana DeGarmo and Ace Young, an Idol power couple I found out about just days ago, despite the fact that they’ve been dating for two years. (I’m enraged! Why do I not get such important inter-Idol dating news sent to me via text alert?! #CNNFail) Now, I’m as big an Idol fan as they come, and watching two alums get engaged on the finale stage is a bigger jackpot than watching Paula and Simon’s Season 2 kiss on a continuous loop. Unfortunately (or fortunately for us viewers), Ace’s proposal was the equivalent of a jackpot at Atlantic City’s Trump Taj Mahal: As tacky as Tara Conner in daisy dukes. (Excuse me for a minute — I’m short-circuiting on metaphor overload. Beewwwwwwwwop! Okay! Rebooted!) It’s true every woman wants a romantic proposal set in a meaningful location, but, last I checked, “Will you marry me?” typically isn’t paired with, “With the help of David Webb jewelry… “ Let’s just be thankful it wasn’t Coke, Ford, or Bravo? Aww, shucks, I’m still a sucker for Idol romance — good luck to those kids. Here’s hoping they have a long, happy life, and many healthy babies who come out of the womb singing “I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing” or “Against All Odds.” Of course, all these unexpected diversions only partly distracted from the fact that there were a few quality musical performances throughout the finale. Though Season 11’s bow didn’t boast the star power of seasons past (though I get miffed when big acts — ahem, Rihanna and, yes, Jennifer Lopez — show up to the reality series finale, only to not perform with any members of our Top 12), a few helped show off our young contestants’ abilities. Take Reba McEntire, who sang alongside Skylar Laine while sweetly still allowing the young country hopeful to step into the spotlight. The two singers were nearly indistinguishable during “Turn On the Radio” — not only did they look alike, but Skylar managed to brandish an on-stage presence that rivaled the country star spitfire. No wonder our fifth place finisher dressed like a pirate — girl stole the show! (Not to mention outshined Season 10 runner-up Lauren Alaina, who boasted a “moment” with the song during semifinals. Yarg.) NEXT: Diva Duel!And how could I forget the epic diva duel between 16-year-old runner-up Jessica Sanchez and Jennifer Holliday? Reba and Skylar’s number might have been collaboration, but Jessica and Jennifer’s was a friendly competition. There was no word that Jessica could enunciate that Jennifer couldn’t over-enunciate harder. There was no note Jennifer could sing that Jessica couldn’t sing louder. There was no hair Jessica could flip that Jennifer couldn’t flip faster. It was thrilling; it was awe-inspiring; it was revenge against any voter who didn’t call AT&T for Jessica. It was also aggression we haven’t seen from Jessica in weeks. It's obvious the young contestant performs much better when she’s actually having fun on the stage. Getting the opportunity to match vocal chords with one of her idols does more for her on-stage spirit than forcing her to rehash a tired Whitney Houston ballad for the umpteenth time. (Yes, “I Will Always Love You” repeat performance, I’m looking at you.) And how lucky was Jessica to go out on such a powerful note with Holliday? Idol’s introduction might have insisted that both our final two’s “stories will end very differently,” but is that even remotely true? Last I checked, both Phillip and Jessica were a lock for recording contracts — and perhaps the young, sheltered Jessica is better off enjoying hers out of the high-pressure Idol spotlight. But if Jessica and Phillip deserve contracts, so do Skylar, Colton — the only consistently on-key performer in the rest of the best — and Joshua, if only for simply shrugging his shoulders and moving on after an embarrassing fall during the Top 12’s “Runaway Baby” group performance. (A number far more entertaining than the boys’ ill-advised Neil Diamond medley. Diamond himself sounds so karaoke singing “Sweet Caroline,” I couldn’t help but immediately go on karaoke autopilot, getting up to go to the bathroom to bide time until the song was finished.) And Jimmy Iovine himself deserves a contract… to sit on the judges’ table. Especially after learning that the producer consistently calls Jennifer Lopez “Jessica,” we cannot possibly pass up the opportunity to watch the diva gradually fill with pent-up rage throughout the season. Idol, it’s worth whatever number Jennifer’s currently floating your way. But there we have it — another season come and gone, allowing us Idol fans to finally get some Vitamin C and a life. That is, of course, until the American Idols LIVE! tour comes to our town… Ugh, I'm already going through withdrawal! Forget barbecues and the beach — is it January 2013 yet? But tell me, friends: Were you satisfied with the Season 11 conclusion? Or did Jessica’s numerous appearances throughout the finale make her seem more worthy of the win over Phillip, who only sang with CCR’s John Fogerty and, later, his runner-up? Does anyone else wonder if the living legends who agree to sing with our contestants feel peeved hearing the audience scream louder for someone else covering their own song? Are you jealous that Phillip somehow managed to get 10 hours of sleep and you didn’t? Did Ryan’s declaration that “We look forward to making many more memories next season” in front of the judges’ table mean that Jennifer might indeed be returning to us in Season 12? Do you, like me, get angry when unpopular dark horses like Hollie Cavanagh get more singing time than unfairly eliminated musicians like Colton? Oh my god, remember Jeremy Rosado? Did you too have a five-minute conversation with your dad about how Dean Cain was not, in fact, on Early Edition? And, finally, what am I going to do now on Wednesday and Thursday nights?! Read books?! Help. Follow Kate on Twitter @HWKateWard [Image Credit: FOX] More: American Idol: Dream Duets For the Finale Phillip Phillips Backstage at Idol: 'I Was Scared to Death' American Idol Recap: Opposites Attract
  • 'American Idol': Dream Duets for the Finale
    By: Kate Ward May 23, 2012 10:02am EST
    After 11 blockbuster seasons of American Idol, it's hard to believe the reality series' Season 1 finale was virtually star-free (of course, with the exception of the gigantic star the show was in the process of creating). We only had Top 2 Justin Guarini and Kelly Clarkson, joining forces with their fellow Top 10 to perform schmaltzy performances that looked as uncomfortable as Ryan Starr's wardrobe. Now, 10 years later, the top-rated series attracts top promotion-minded talent like Lady Gaga, Beyoncé, and Jack Black. (Wait, what?)  While Season 11's finale boasts performers slightly less buzzy, we're still in for a respectable line-up tonight: According to The Hollywood Reporter, Gladys Knight, Gloria Gaynor, Kristen Chenoweth, Thelma Houston, Sheila E., Nelly Furtado, and Jennifer Holliday will be paying tribute to the late Donna Summer, while members of our Top 12 will duet with names like Holliday (Jessica Sanchez), Jordin Sparks (Hollie Cavanagh), Reba McEntire (Skylar Laine), Fantasia (Mantasia), and John Fogerty (Phillip Phillips).  Of course, we Idol fans are a fickle bunch who will never be satisfied until we're given complete power of attorney over the series — so naturally, I have to suggest a few Idol-star duets I'd be dying to see in tonight's finale. For all that is holy (like a Haley Reinhart and Tony Bennett performance of "Steppin' Out With My Baby"), please, Idol gods, find a way for these duets to happen in the next 12 hours (and our thoughts are still with you, likely-not-to-appear Jermaine Jones): Jeremy Rosado: Oh gosh, who to pair with the extremely forgettable 13th place finisher with? Why not throw in Idol MVP Barry Manilow, who's appeared on the series five times? Let's make it an even six! Shannon Magrane: To avoid awkward staging, let's get someone height-appropriate for the tall Idol contestant. The 5'11" Taylor Swift would also help baseball baby Shannon stray away from the too-mature material she seems to focus on. If you build the youth appeal, they will come. (Record companies, that is.)    Erika Van Pelt: Erika turned out to be one of the season's more uneven performers, delivering songs in styles ranging from dance pop to dated soul. And, as Wikipedia reminds me, Erika has a passion for "rhythm and blues, soul, country, jazz, rock, and classical." So what genre-jumping musician could we pair her with? The duet-friendly Kid Rock. Don't laugh — sure, it's as crazy as "Bawitdaba," but it could work. Heejun Han: Billy Joel. So he, too, can take a piss out on "My Life." DeAndre Brackensick: As much as we'd like one of the DeBarge brothers to come to the Nokia Theater to recreate DeAndre's "I Like It," the contestant sorely needs to prove himself as a contemporary, relevant artist. Let's get Robin Thicke to beef up his record sales-friendly profile.  Colton Dixon: Creed. Just kidding — I wouldn't even wish Scott Stapp on Tim Urban. And it wouldn't hurt Colton's accessibility to distance himself from his religion. Instead, let's pair him with another piano-friendly band, The Script.   Elise Testone: I'm tempted to pick Joss Stone for Elise — they both boast a hippie-funk style — but Elise's lack of refinement would make us feel like we're comparing apples to much tastier and shinier apples watching the pair. Instead, why not couple Elise with the ultimate hippie, Willie Nelson, whose laid-back style would allow Elise's powerhouse vocals to dominate the Idol joint (heh)?   Skylar Laine: Cheers, Idol. You actually got this one right, pairing the contestant with Reba McEntire, a star who both looks and sounds so like our fifth-place finisher, I'll be wondering if our finale wine is simply making us see double. That said, I'm still eager to one day hear the "Gunpowder and Lead"/"Diamond-Studded Pistol" mash-up from Skylar and Miranda Lambert.  Hollie Cavanagh: Miley Cyrus might be the obvious choice — Hollie always took up the opportunity to sing "The Climb" faster than she could say "[garbled, confusing British-American statement here]" — but she has far more in common with fellow reality series vet Leona Lewis. Doesn't hurt that Hollie's "Bleeding Love" was one of the few standouts of her season.  Joshua Ledet: The judges insist that Joshua is one of the best singers they've seen in 50 years. So let's test their expertise and couple the third-place finisher with the best singer of the past 50 years, Aretha Franklin.  Jessica Sanchez: Even though holograms are all the rage this 2012, let's not hope for a Whitney Houston duet. (Too soon. Too soon.) Though it's an obvious choice, we'd be crazy in love with the great TV that would come from watching a 16-year-old sing with her own greatest idol, Beyoncé.  Phillip Phillips: No, Phillip should not duet with Dave Matthews Band. Instead, he'd be best served paired with another artist with a distinguishable voice that's distinguishable from his own. The dream duet: Phillip proving he's the Better — nay, best — Man for the Idol crown via a finale performance fellow guitarist Eddie Vedder, who has recreated a song or two in his lifetime. I'm not Hiding My Love Away from that pipe dream! Follow Kate on Twitter @HWKateWard [Image Credit: FOX] More: Phillip Phillips Backstage at Idol: 'I Was Scared to Death' American Idol Recap: Opposites Attract American Idol Recap: Blame the Judges!
  • 'American Idol' Recap: Opposites Attract
    By: Kate Ward May 22, 2012 6:27pm EST
    Apples and oranges. Day and night. Prostitutes and Amish people (as Yahoo answers tells me in a search for “opposite things”). Phillip Phillips and Jessica Sanchez, our final two finishers on American Idol’s 11th season couldn’t be more different if they were named Ryan Seacrest and Brian Dunkleman. One is a low-key growler with a penchant for pissing off famous fashion designers, while the other is a strong-voiced troubadour with a penchant for making you feel like you’ve broken a law just noticing her wardrobe. The main problem with our Top 2? They have no problems. Here, at the end of our Idol road, are two polar-opposite singers so on top of their games, they might as well be battling Bowser. Of course, this makes it quite difficult for us obsessed fans, who are begging for someone to irrationally root against in the finale. But we no longer have an uneven Hollie. We no longer have the favorite son Joshua. And we no longer have terrible cowboy guy. Instead, we’re left with two extremely likeable, extremely talented singers. And, for the first time since the Season 8 finale between Kris Allen and Adam Lambert, it’s difficult to side with one or the other. Not that it’s necessary — after all, at this point, a Phillip win is about as predictable as my projectile vomit hearing an Armageddon song on Idol. Not only was the crowd and history on his side — with the exception of the Illinois-based Lee DeWyze, a male from south of the Mason-Dixon line has won every year since Season 6 — but poor Jessica was saddled with the atrocious original single “Change Nothing,” a name that invites far too many headline-worthy puns. (Jessica, change everything, please!) Holy “No Boundaries,” was that a clunker or what? We’re talking about a contestant who could sing the phonebook, the newspaper, or Fifty Shades of Grey — yet “Change Nothing” managed to change Jessica into a floundering singer with an inability to nail any register. True, it wasn’t as bad as “No Boundaries,” but even hangnails, paper cuts, and James Blunt aren’t as bad as “No Boundaries.” Jennifer Lopez was right — during her one moment of usefulness last night — that Jessica had been given the wrong song to suit her R&B-worthy voice. (“You have to be able to say to someone, this is not me,” the bootylicious one told Jessica, lending advice that all of Idol’s pigeonholed former contestants would have been well-served to hear.) Instead, Simon Fuller was wise in his attempt to transform Jessica into a Whitney Houston incarnate with “I Have Nothing,” the third Houston song Jessica has sung in the past four months. That said, as much as Jessica boasts the powerhouse vocals of the late legend, Idol fans expect more than a note-for-note cover of a song more suited for the days of Season 4. Or should I say almost every other Idol season ever? After all, the song has been performed by the following: Trenyce in Season 2, Leah LaBelle and Jennifer Hudson in Season 3, Vonzell Solomon in Season 4, Katharine McPhee in Season 5, LaKisha Jones in Season 6, and Shannon Magrane earlier this Season 11. Idol needs to retire this song three years ago like it’s Leno. Jessica’s smartest move of the evening was choosing “The Prayer” as her personal choice, reviving a pre-semifinals power ballad that was all but wiped from our memory following her “I Will Always Love You” cover during Top 13. The repeated finale vocal has always been an Idol pet peeve of mine — don’t the producers know that super-fans can recall every twitch and vocal trick of a previous performance, thanks to the wonders of YouTube and workplace procrastination? Still, only David Cook in Season 7 has been able to deviate from the directive, performing new cover “The World I Know” while David Archuleta rehashed “Imagine.” And Cook was better off for it — not only was “The World I Know” one of the most touching and perfect performances of all-time on Idol, but the originality helped bag him the win. (Let's go back to those simpler times with simpler rules, Idol, shall we?) But while our contestants may no longer be given the choice, Jessica did right by allowing us to remember what we had nearly forgotten. And it would have been a shame if we had — Jessica’s “The Prayer” blew my mind harder than the concept of Ace Young and Diana DeGarmo actually being a real-life, bona fide couple. (The American Idol fan fiction file in my brain just imploded. Nikko Smith and Julia DeMato, you better be next.) NEXT: At home with "Home."Sadly for Jessica, she still doesn’t have a prayer come Wednesday evening. Mostly because Phillip, equipped with a pimp slot, actually delivered an original performance that was radio-ready in our contemporary music environment. Randy was right to say “Home” sounded like a Mumford & Sons hit. The friends I watched the penultimate episode with were right to say it sounded like a Dave Matthews hit. And I felt Phillip was right to throw in a little “Dust in the Wind”-esque inspiration for extra flavor. In other words, the song sounded right. It sounded appropriate. It sounded Phillip, which is typically something we cannot say about any schmaltzy victory single. You’re my boy, Phillip! Now, following round 2, I wasn’t so sure of Phillip’s victory — “Movin’ Out” was too recent in my memory for me to be really moved, and the only part of the slowed- and stripped-down “Stand By Me,” Simon Fuller’s choice, was the sweet lick at the end of the song. (That was a gift to you Philophiles: Phillip and “sweet lick” in the same sentence. Sweet dreams.) But following his star-making turn during last week’s “We’ve Got Tonight” and “Beggin’” — and Jessica’s underwhelming “My All” and “I’ll Be There” — it’s difficult to imagine a scenario in which Phillip’s fans don’t beg the AT&T gods for a win tomorrow night. Hell, the dude doesn’t even have to speak actual words anymore to win over fans — just see his nonsensical response to Ryan Seacrest’s “Phillip, how do you feel?” The guy’s like a still-talented Adam Sandler — people will love everything he does, no matter the effort involved. Plus, Rob Schneider, as Randy’s lapel pin! Still, does Jessica deserve to win just for having to sing “Change Nothing”? Do you hate the finale performance repetition like I do? Did you go to YouTube to watch “The World I Know” halfway through reading this? (I did.) Does Steven Tyler belong on The Bachelorette, what with his egg talk? What over-eager intern has been tasked with creating the dramatic opening numbers each Wednesday? Was Jason Derulo’s new America-collaborated song as unlistenable as it was “Undefeated”? And is seeing Derulo’s girlfriend, Jordin Sparks, making you wish Idol would release contestant dolls so you can make them all date other Idol figures? Am I too obsessed? Don’t answer that. Follow Kate on Twitter @HWKateWard [Image Credit: FOX] More: American Idol Recap: Blame the Judges! American Idol Recap: Pick and Miss American Idol: Season 12 Will Boast 'Creative Tweaking'
  • 'American Idol': Who Should Win?
    By: Kate Ward May 22, 2012 4:56pm EST
    We've started the finale countdown! After our exhaustive, four-month search full of bossy cowboys, Tommy Hilfiger anger management, and plenty of Jennifer Lopez side-ab, we're almost ready to crown our Season 11 American Idol. Will Jessica Sanchez or Phillip Phillips be granted the warm, cozy confetti shower during tomorrow's show? And will he or she be the next Kelly Clarkson... or the next Lee DeWyze? Choosing between Phillip and Jessica is difficult — Phillip might be the sentimental favorite, but would he be able to avoid the troubles that plague rocker winners of seasons' past? And does Jessica simply deserve the win more, seeing as she fought back from a judges' save with several knock-out performances? I'm torn, friends — Phillip boasted a far better single, but does Jessica deserve the crown just for having to sing the atrocious "Change Nothing"? Help me decide. Who do you think should win? And be sure to come back later for my full recap!  Follow Kate on Twitter @HWKateWard [Image Credit: FOX] More: American Idol Recap: Blame the Judges! American Idol Recap: Pick and Miss American Idol: Season 12 Will Boast 'Creative Tweaking'
  • 'Celebrity Apprentice': Who Came Out on Top?
    By: Kate Ward May 21, 2012 6:22am EST
    I’m not referring to the winner of Celebrity Apprentice, who we found out Sunday night was Arsenio Hall, despite Donald Trump neglecting to give any reason whatsoever as to why exactly he was the winner. (Perhaps it was a pat on the back for claiming he found Lisa Lampanelli attractive? Because it certainly wasn’t based on facts or data — Clay Aiken raised $200,000 more than his competition.) I’m talking about which celebrity came out on top in the image game. Our crop of 18 contestants have spent months attempting to strike an on-screen balance between appearing generous and, as Aubrey O’Day told us last week, making great television . It’s difficult — in order to find success on Celebrity Apprentice, you need to fuel a healthy dose of drama, lest you suffer the same fate as Michael Andretti, who either didn’t attend Sunday night’s finale, or is so boring, he was as invisible as Trump’s hairline. But bring too much drama to the table, and you run the risk of being despised by not only your fellow celebrities, but by the viewing public as well. Still, though Lampanelli spent the majority of her Celebrity Apprentice run despicably insulting the likes of Dayana Mendoza for her supposed stupidity, the comedienne might have just won the image game. Just see the post-Mendoza episodes, in which Lampanelli remained calm and refined, acting much more like the woman who stepped into the game telling the women she hoped to avoid all catty behavior throughout the competition. By the time we reached the finale, our goldfish minds found it difficult to recall her cruelty, especially when the comedienne donated $10,000 to the opposing team, and spiritedly laughed while making fun of her own “menopausal” behavior during the competition. Even when Tia Carrere asked the audience to yell out names of celebrities that were difficult to work with, the response was as muddled as a Debbie Gibson track on fast-forward. The image game’s runner-up? Adam Carolla, a contestant cut early in Celebrity Apprentice’s run after falling victim to the Michael Andretti Curse. (Trump want to fire Andretti. Carolla not allow Trump to fire Andretti. Trump get angry and fire both.) Not only did The Man Show host help ease Hall into a win, but he did it with a sense of humor that made you wonder why Jimmy Kimmel has scored all the success. Bonus points, of course, go to Carolla for getting Teresa Giudice to counter his claim that she’s naïve by stating she’s the exact definition of naïve. And for joking Giudice likely thought “naïve” was a brand of douche. Best line of the season, from Celebrity Apprentice’s best douche! Of course, there are those who didn’t fare so well in the image game: Mendoza, though rightfully still mad about Lampanelli’s treatment of her, appeared bitter and ungrateful for her Celebrity Apprentice run; O’Day tried to talk her way out of her TV-friendly behavior, but managed to not come out as sunny as her newly dyed hair; and runner-up Aiken showed a somewhat controlling and impatient side of him that might alienate Claymates, despite his understandable stress. And I’d say something about Victoria Gotti, but [insert stereotypical joke about being in a car trunk here]. I’d also say Trump himself lost the game — what with his ridiculous interrupting habits, inexplicably claiming Hall didn’t find Mendoza attractive, and naming a winner without about as much rhyme and reason as Giudice — but is that possible after several fake presidential runs, several video arguments with Rosie O’Donnell, three marriages, a bad attitude at last year’s White House Correspondent’s Dinner, his hairline, Success by Trump, a pizza date with Sarah Palin, and Home Alone 2: Lost in New York? Who do you think won the image game? Is the correct answer Andretti, since he didn’t even subject himself to the finale? Follow Kate on Twitter @HWKateWard [Image Credit: NBC] More: Celebrity Apprentice: Lou Ferrigno Calls a Winner, Slams Lisa Lampanelli Aubrey O'Day Talks 'Celebrity Apprentice': 'I'm Just Great at Making Television. Period.' 'Celebrity Apprentice': Are You 'Woot'-ing for Arsenio Hall?
  • Billboard Music Awards: See the Winners Here!
    By: Kate Ward May 20, 2012 7:22pm EST
    Just three months ago, Adele swept up a whopping six awards at the Grammys for her 2011 album, 21. And, Sunday night at the Billboard Music Awards, the artist looked to have similar success, being nominated for an unbelievable 20 awards. She had stiff competition (hello Lady Gaga and Lil Wayne!), but the singer still picked up wins for Top Artist, Top Female Artist, Top Hot 100 Artist, Top Billboard 200 Artist, and more. Who else had a big night during the Billboard Music Awards, which featured performances from the likes of Katy Perry and Carrie Underwood? See below for the full list of winners!  Top Artist Adele Top Hot 100 Song"Party Rock Anthem," LMFAO Feat. Lauren Bennett & Goonrock Top Duo/GroupLMFAO Top New ArtistWiz Khalifa Top Male ArtistLil Wayne Top Female ArtistAdele Woman of the YearTaylor Swift Top Touring ArtistU2 Battle of the BandsPatent Pending Top Rock ArtistColdplay Top Social ArtistJustin Bieber Top R&B ArtistChris Brown Top Dance ArtistLady Gaga Top Rock Song"Pumped Up Kicks," Foster the People Top Hot 100 ArtistAdele Top Billboard 200 ArtistAdele Top Billboard 200 Album21, Adele Top Country ArtistLady Antebellum Top Digital Songs ArtistAdele Top Radio Songs ArtistAdele Top Streaming ArtistRihanna Top Digital Media ArtistAdele Top Pop ArtistAdele Top Rap ArtistLil Wayne Top Country AlbumMy Kinda Party, Jason Aldean Top Latin ArtistShakira Top Christian ArtistCasting Crowns Top Pop Album21, Adele Top R&B Album4, Beyoncé Top Rap AlbumTha Carter IV, Lil Wayne Top Rock AlbumMylo Xyloto, Coldplay Top Alternative AlbumMylo Xyloto, Coldplay Top Alternative ArtistColdplay Top Latin AlbumFormula: Vol. 1, Romeo Santos Top Dance AlbumBorn This Way, Lady Gaga Top Christian AlbumCome to the Well, Casting Crowns Top Digital Songs"Party Rock Anthem," LMFAO Feat. Lauren Bennett & Goonrock Top Streaming Song (Audio)"Rolling in the Deep," Adele Top Radio Song"Give Me Everything," Pitbull, Feat. Ne-Yo, Afrojack, and Nayer Top Streaming Song (Video)"Super Bass," Nicki Minaj Top Pop Song"Party Rock Anthem," LMFAO Feat. Lauren Bennett & Goonrock Top Country Song"Dirt Road Anthem," Jason Aldean Top R&B Song"Motivation," Kelly Rowland, Lil Wayne Top Alternative Song"Rolling in the Deep," Adele Top Latin AlbumDanza Kuduro, Don Omar & Lucenzo Top Dance Song"Party Rock Anthem," LMFAO Feat. Lauren Bennett & Goonrock Top Christian Song"Blessings," Laura Story Top Rap Song"Party Rock Anthem," LMFAO Feat. Lauren Bennett & Goonrock Spotlight AwardKaty Perry [Image Credit: ABC] More: Lady Gaga Is Banned From Indonesia Happy Birthday! Adele Turns 24 Today: 24 Reasons Why 23 Was Amazing Katy Perry and Katy Perry Duet in 'Part of Me' Poster — PIC
  • 'Celebrity Apprentice': And the Winner Is...
    By: Kate Ward May 20, 2012 7:00pm EST
    Woot! Woot! Woot! Am I cheering for the just-announced winner of Celebrity Apprentice? Or for the fact that we will no longer be tied to celebrity-driven stupidity two hours every Sunday night? Column A, column B, friends. But that's right: After three months of watching Lisa Lampanelli roast her teammates, Teresa Giudice struggle with an ability to pronounce syllables, and Aubrey O'Day take credit for the Treaty at Versailles, Donald Trump has "hired" a celebrity apprentice. And who has "won" the "honor"? Sorry, Clay Aiken. Late night legend Arsenio Hall. Surprised by the outcome? Surprised by Arsenio's ability to keep up with Clay during a performance of "Lean on Me"? Surprised that Lisa has somehow managed to make herself look generous and fun-loving at the end of the season? Surprised that Teresa combated talk that she's naive by stating she's the exact definition of naive? Talk about the two-hour extravaganza below! Follow Kate on Twitter @HWKateWard [Image Credit: NBC] More: Aubrey O'Day Talks Celebrity Apprentice: 'I'm Just Good at Making TV. Period.' Celebrity Apprentice: Are You 'Woot'-ing for Arsenio Hall? Celebrity Apprentice: Did Donald Trump Get the Final Three Right? Celebrity Apprentice
  • Robin Gibb: Friends and Fans Mourn Disco Legend on Twitter
    By: Kate Ward May 20, 2012 4:18pm EST
    Last week, the music industry mourned the loss of Donna Summer, who passed away at 62 following her battle with cancer. And, on Sunday, the genre must say goodbye to another legend, the Bee Gees' Robin Gibb, who died after being diagnosed with colon and liver cancer. Following news of the loss, famous friends and fans have logged onto Twitter to pay tribute to the Bee Gees singer. Read below to see what some celebrities are saying about Gibb.  Duran Duran: "Sorry to hear about the passing of Robin Gibb of the BeeGees. Our condolences to his friends and family." Kris Jenner: "Rest In Peace Robin Gibb...you brought us so much joy what an amazing talent!!" The Script: "R.I.P. Robin Gibb. We met Robin + Barry in NY. Such a lovely guy. Prayers 2 his family. 2 many Legends being taken away from us 2 early. :(" Fred Willard: "Oh, man, Robin Gibb died today. What a voice. Rest in peace, Robin.  Dannii Minogue: "'We start believin' now that we can be who we are - Grease is the word...' RIP Robin Gibb" Bruno Mars: "R.I.P Robin Gibb" David Boreanaz: "R.I.P. Robin Gibb. The Bee Gees, one of the most successful groups in pop music history. Pure genius." Yvette Nicole Brown: "Wow. Another. :(" Mario Lopez: "R.I.P Robin Gibb.. Big Bee Gees fan! Wrote so many great songs too..Our Disco stars are off to perform in the big club upstairs!" Carson Daly: "Sad to hear about Robin Gibb. Cancer is robbing us of our loved ones way to often. We gotta beat this thing. Breakawayfromcancer.com" Michelle Branch: "R.I.P. Robin Gibb." Lance Armstrong: "RIP Robin Gibb. Continues to sadden me to see cancer take our loved ones. Gotta put a stop to it." More: Robin Gibb, Bee Gees Co-Founder, Dies Robin Gibb Wakes From 12-Day Coma Bee Gees' Robin Gibb Is In a Coma
  • Cannes Chatter: Harvey Weinstein Has Found the New 'Artist'
    By: Kate Ward May 20, 2012 9:17am EST
    The 65th Annual Cannes Film Festival is officially in full swing, with nearly everyone in Hollywood transported to the prestigious French fest for a week and a half of wheeling and dealing. Catch up on all the goings-on with Cannes Chatter. Much like Cannes' jarring 2011 breakout, We Need to Talk About Kevin, The Hunt, from Danish helmer Thomas Vinterberg, is inspiring talk across the festival about a hot-button issue: Child abuse. The film — about a nursery school teacher (Mads Mikkelsen) wrongly accused of sexually abusing a student — was screened to applause, and, interestingly, a few boos at the festival. Despite its detractors, Vinterberg and several critics are standing behind the film, which looks to explore the danger of false rumors. [Associated Press] Marion Cotillard has already built up plenty of Oscar buzz for her performance in Jacques Audiard's Rust and Bone, but the director is also hoping chatter surrounding the film will help revive the B movie. Despite having an Oscar-winning star leading the cast, the film does have some elements of the long-forgotten genre: Without spoiling anything, let's just say there's an unfortunate killer whale incident (paging Orca!) and a scene scored with a Katy Perry song. [Reuters]  Speaking of Oscar buzz, it looks like Harvey Weinstein is hoping to start the awards season early. After picking up Australian comedy The Sapphires, about a group of Vietnam-era singers who find notoriety singing for U.S. troops, Weinstein was heard telling a reporter at a party for Lawless, "Have you seen The Sapphires? The Artist just happened again." [L.A. Times] More: Cannes Chatter: Kanye West to Debut 'Cruel' Short Film Cannes 2012 in the Can: How to See the Fest's Biggest Movies Cannes Chatter: Marion Cotillard Already Building Oscar Buzz