Kate Ward
Kate Ward is the current Executive Editor for, a former editor and writer for Entertainment Weekly and, 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.
  • 'Celebrity Apprentice': Sorry, Clay. Lisa Doesn't Hate Dayana Because She's Beautiful
    By: Kate Ward Apr 16, 2012
    I’m not a fan of Lisa Lampanelli. Though I can respect her crude brand of comedy, any goodwill I would have towards someone who has made a respectable living being known as “The Queen of Mean” has disappeared over the course of this season of Celebrity Apprentice. As I mentioned after last week’s installment of the NBC series, the comedian is brash, irrational, and so offensive, even a roast audience watching this season of Celebrity Apprentice would find her grossly unfunny. She’s TV’s ultimate mean girl, but lacks any ounce of charm that would make her watchable, much less likeable. Even reality TV public enemy No. 1 Omarosa was at least fun in her villainy. But if there’s anything I dislike more than Lampanelli, it’s the belief that women dislike other women purely because of their looks. So while I found myself simply scoffing at Lampanelli’s disturbingly harsh treatment of Dayana Mendoza during last night’s show, I found myself fuming at Clay Aiken’s statements as to why the two had a longstanding feud: Lampanelli, said Aiken, is simply jealous of Mendoza’s “stunning beauty.” There’s no doubt Mendoza is, in fact, a stunning beauty. But to allege that the comedian dislikes the former Miss USA because of her high cheekbones? Well, that is a sexist statement that might just force me to revoke my Claymate membership. (And I don’t want to have to do that, mostly because there isn’t enough time in my day to delete my shameful collection of Aiken tunes.) I’ll admit it might be difficult for an outsider like Aiken to truly understand why the comedian harbors such hatred towards the beauty queen. After all, Mendoza had won a challenge as Project Manager. But it’s offensive to women everywhere that he would automatically leap to looks, ignoring the intricacies of the women’s teams’ issues with the admirably willing, but disorganized contestant. Lampanelli might hate Mendoza because the beauty queen is not an effective leader or because she offers up suggestions that typically do induce eye rolls. (And her staying power on the show might be confusing to someone who contribute far more to each challenge.) But let me set it up plain and simple for folks as shockingly clueless as Aiken: Women do not irrationally hate beautiful women. We are simply not that shallow. And Lampanelli, despite all of her flaws, is not that shallow. Sure, women could covet other women’s looks. We could appreciate another woman’s nice figure. But if I disliked every beautiful woman I saw, I would have no friends at all. And I’m guessing Lampanelli herself has plenty of gorgeous pals — just see Aubrey O’Day.  I’d give Aiken a free pass if this were his first offense. (After all, I did wear his face on my t-shirt to season 2 of American Idols LIVE!) But, previously on the show, he claimed O’Day ganged up on Mendoza because of her looks. To accuse women of being so simple that they would vilify a woman only for their beauty is an allegation as offensive as any of Lampanelli’s pointless rants. Not to mention how it pigeonholes poor Mendoza — is she incapable of having any qualities besides her looks that would lead to her being disliked? Sorry, Aiken: She’s much more than a pretty face. I’ll reiterate again that I’m not in any way defending Lampanelli’s behavior over the course of this season. In fact, her Latin “impression” during Stuffed and Unstrung rehearsal was downright despicable. But just as despicable is the belief that we hate women because they’re beautiful. Lampanelli might be the “Queen of Mean,” but Aiken is proving to be the “King of DeMean[ing Statements].” Okay, so that label didn’t quite work, but let’s just say that when you make Donald Trump look like the gentleman of Celebrity Apprentice, you know you’re doing something wrong. Follow Kate on Twitter @HWKateWard More: ’Celebrity Apprentice’: How Has Lisa Lampanelli Lasted This Long? Aubrey O’Day: Always a Cast Member, Never a Superstar
  • 'American Idol' recap: Ditch the Judges' Save!
    By: Kate Ward Apr 13, 2012
    I’ll admit it: I’m not a huge fan of the judges’ save. And that is coming from someone who named Jessica Sanchez’s incredible performance of “Stuttering” the best of Wednesday night. There’s something about a shocking elimination that makes for fantastic television — you immediately pick up your cell phones and computers and angrily text and type like the boyfriend you loved and trusted walked out on you without warning. (And, in a way, he did. Boy, this is how I’m beginning to think of Idol? They told me not to get this involved... ) But, with the judges’ save hovering over the entire competition on American Idol, it’s difficult to become truly invested in the competition from a week-to-week basis. Unless you’re, well, no one and are rooting for Erika Van Pelt, it’s safe to say your favorite front-runner is going to going to sail straight into the Top 5. Yes, our hearts fell when Michael Johns was cut after Top 8 night in Season 7. And, yes, we were all shocked and outraged when Jennifer Hudson was deemed by audiences less worthy than the crocodile rockin’ John Stevens. But last night, when Jessica was named the bottom vote-getter, I’m guessing America was as calm as Tommy Hilfiger seeing Phillip in a primary color. Because we all knew what was about to happen: The judges only had one more week to use their save, and, unless Hollie was sent to go-lightly-away, J. Lo, Steven, and Randy were going to use it. And, lest you believe they had any plans otherwise, the Aerosmith rocker was sure to void the episode of any suspense whatsoever upon seeing the bottom three. “We’re going to use our card,” he told Ryan after seeing Jessica, Joshua, and Elise in the bottom three, as an angry Nigel Lythgoe growled, ran onstage, and tried to press Colton and Skylar’s faces together. So the second Jessica was named the lowest vote-getter, we all might as well have picked up our remotes and finally started watching Sunday’s Mad Men so we could stop running out of the room when friends and co-workers started talking about Joan and — la, la, la, la, la I can’t hear you! Look, I’m ecstatic Jessica is sticking around at least another week. And, yes, I’m confused that the “contrived” Hollie (according to Jimmy… and myself) is still sticking around in the competition, no doubt thanks to a power-dialing bot named Tate. But what good TV we missed out on! Front-runner Jessica Sanchez, sent home with six weeks to go? That’s a water-cooler moment The Voice would envy. Instead, last night simply turned out to be the most predictable shocking evening in Idol history. (Right down to their annual Top 7 tradition that forces the competition’s nicest contestants to choose who he or she thinks is the top or bottom three. Ryan, we know exactly what’s going on, and it’s getting old.) And, sure, we can all be outraged to see that Jessica received the fewest votes, but it makes complete sense how she ended up there: Why would her fans pick up the phone to save her when they know she'd be saved by the judges? In fact, I enjoyed the far less “suspenseful” moments of the show much more Thursday night. Colton’s adorable “strong maybe” response to the prom invitation. Ryan’s recognition that Colton has yet to receive a standing ovation while the contestant stood next to Joshua, who sees more standing ovations than Coke cans in CBS Television City. And James Durbin’s wedding story that featured Stefano Langone as the best man and Casey Abrams as the goofy late arrival, which is pretty much how I wrote it in the fan fiction screenplay I wrote during Season 10. That’s entertaining television. An annual Idol safety net? As much as I love Jessica and Casey Abrams (and tolerated Michael Lynche), with The Voice hot on its heels, it’s time that Idol start playing dangerously. Were you shocked with the results? Or did you, like me, predict the judges’ save tonight? Who in the world does Hollie dazzle? Did you enjoy James Durbin? More importantly, did you enjoy James Durbin’s bleach-blonde hair? Do you wish you looked as good as Jennifer Hudson? (Hot damn, girl!) Do you love that this week is full of Idol callbacks? (Not only did we see James and Jennifer last night, but songs from Kellie Pickler and Kelly Clarkson were performed Wednesday night as well.) And were you surprised that when Elise received her mail, it wasn’t a brand-new copy of the heart-warming We Bought a Zoo, now on DVD? Follow Kate on Twitter @HWKateWard More: American Idol: A Predictable Surprise Phillip Phillips Backstage at Idol: Colton Rivalry 'Just For Show' American Idol recap: No More Drama
  • 'American Idol': A Predictable Surprise
    By: Kate Ward Apr 12, 2012
    Remember what I said last night about drama? For the second night in a row, American Idol made sure to bring plenty of it to our TV screens. But tonight, it was hardly manufactured. (Well, unless you count Idol’s annual Top 7 group separation technique, in which they force the nicest contestant to choose which pack of three is flirting with danger. Is it really a surprising move anymore?) No, in the bottom three tonight was made up of two of the three judge favorites — Joshua and Jessica — joined by the stellar but perennially struggling Elise. So was the end result at all shocking? Sure, none of us expected Jessica Sanchez to be named the bottom vote-getter, but with the save still in their pockets (for one more week), why wouldn’t the three judges use their save? The end of the episode — in which the judges didn't even let Sanchez finish her song before saving her — was about as predictable as Steven's "beautiful" critiques. But were you shocked by the results? Talk about it here, and come back tomorrow for my full recap of (dramatic pause) #TheSave.  Follow Kate on Twitter @HWKateWard More: Phillip Phillips Backstage at 'Idol': Colton Rivalry 'Just For Show' American Idol recap: No More Drama Idol Top 7 Preview: For the Love of Seacrest, Avoid These Songs!
  • 'American Idol' recap: No More Drama
    By: Kate Ward Apr 12, 2012
    Apparently, the naturally built-in drama of American Idol isn’t enough. Perhaps it’s because the reality series now has to compete with series both flashier and fresher (see: The Voice, The X Factor). Perhaps it’s because the series is attempting to spice up its formula, despite the fact that that same formula has continued to deliver delicious drama year after year. (Seasons 3, 6, and 9 notwithstanding.) But between Idol’s ridiculous introduction packages that make us feel like we already live in a Hunger Games-esque dystopian society (that might explain J. Lo’s electrical tape dress. Fashion survival guide!), and the clearly manufactured romance and rivalry talk, the series is starting to feel like a soap opera fit to air on daytime television (before, of course, being replaced by a horrible, lazily produced talk show). It’s funny, because, quite honestly, this season doesn’t need any sort of heightened drama. Minus one contestant (ahem, Hollie), the remaining Idols of season 11 are offering up performances as tasty as Godiva-filled Hostess cupcakes. (And on a night, Songs of the 2010s, featuring relevant music no less!) And enthusiasm for the crop of contestants shows, based on audience reaction — the crowd at CBS Television City was so excited to see Ryan Seacrest descend the staircase last night, you would think he offered everyone in the audience their own show on E!. And, look, I don’t blame the riled-up crowd — as a 11-season Idol fanatic (yes, I’ve seen almost every season live on tour. And yes, I’ve seen almost every season live on tour… with my mom), I literally get the shakes waiting for my favorite contestant to take the stage. This is not a healthy reaction, coming from an almost 30-year-old woman. But even with The Voice’s A-list clout, and The X Factor’s Simon Cowell factor, it’s hard to deny: American Idol’s still got it. (And proof is in the paper — Idol topped The Voice in ratings last week.) At least, that’s what I’ll continue to tell myself until the day the network replaces Idol with a show in which Snooki’s baby competes with Courtney Stodden for the love of a pawn star while sitting on spinning chairs on a deserted island. So, Idol, don’t feel the need to pretend your contestants love or hate one another. I’m going to watch anyway, my similarly Idol-obsessed mother (who texts me wonderfully mom-like insights about the contestants week in and week out) in tow. But before my love for the show gets as out of hand as guest mentor Akon on stage, let’s get to the performances! Here we go, from worst to best! Hollie Whether we like it or not, yes, Hollie is still around. And whether we like it or not, yes, Hollie still relies on The. Big. Note. And, yet again, Hollie still seemed unable to connect with her song, despite Jimmy’s insistence that she would score the Last Note of the Night Awards. (Which is an honor with about as much weight as the Jimmy Iovine Sunglasses During the Day Lifetime Achievement Award.) I find it difficult week in and week out to concentrate on Hollie’s performances — her tendency to exclusively sing melodramatic tunes that are better fit for a dentist’s office elevator than the Idol stage only drives me to focus my attention on her horrible clothing choices, or the fact that I should become one of those people who brush their teeth midday in the office bathroom. This time around, rather than honing in on her vocals, I couldn’t help my mind from shifting straight to the rose floating in the backdrop, which brought my mind straight to Beauty and the Beast, which brought me straight to my DVD shelf… until I remembered I had a recapping job to do. I would say Steven agreed with me, but I’m not sure whether “it kinda laid there for me” is a good thing or not in the Aerosmith rocker’s world. Texts From My Mom: She sucks. Ugly ugly dress. She’s awful.  NEXT: Colton vs. Phillip? Joshua, Hollie, Jessica Sigh. These three. Just no. I don’t have the energy, guys. I’ll let my mom describe the trio’s performance of “Stronger.” Texts From My Mom: Stronger not good. Weaker. Elise I’m not sure where to begin with Elise’s performance of “Yoü and I.” First, there was the cringe-inducing Jeff, Who Lives at Home advertisement, complete with a Jason Segel cameo that made me wonder whether I should continue defending Bad Teacher. Then there was that cringe-inducing outfit that made her look like Cher after a trip through the washing machine. Then there was the fact that Elise had planned to pull a Reed Grimm (I shudder just writing the name) by beginning the song on drums, before Jimmy wisely(!) talked her out of it. And, on top of all that, there was a note at the song’s crescendo that was so butchered, even the umlaut wanted to run out of CBS Television City. Sure, Elise’s “Yoü and I” was passable, but during Top 7 week, should passable be considered acceptable? It’s undeniable that Lady Gaga, love her or hate her, slays that song like its one of Daenerys’ dragons. Elise merely pinched it, denying its lyrics their deserved ardor. And that’s disappointing, considering Elise actually boasts a voice much stronger than Gaga’s. For someone who’s constantly teetering on the edge of Idol glory, Elise seemed more fatigued than fabulous, even after being rewarded the coveted pimp slot. Elise, this is how it’s done. Texts From My Mom: Ugliest clothes of the night. Violin players kept busy tonight. Saloon-y, like a local band chick. Colton As if Elise’s pre-performance segment — brought to you by Jeff, Who Lives At Home and Embarrassment, Inc. — wasn’t manufactured enough, Idol attempted to stir up trouble between the competition’s two good ol’ boys, Colton and Phillip. And Jimmy perfectly played the part of that s**t-stirrer you don’t know why you befriended in 7th grade, who told you that your friend Hillary was telling people you look terrible in those butterfly clips while telling your friend Hillary that you told people she hadn’t washed her low-rise jeans in two months. Or something like that. And, boy, did Colton take the bait — after Jimmy told Colton that he thought he was “behind Phillip,” while simultaneously telling Phillip that Colton has the girls on his side, Colton decided he needed to overtake his male competition. And how does an Idol contestant become the Idol Alpha? Through uncomfortable, inappropriate, smoldering stares at the camera during “Love the Way You Lie,” that’s how! (Didn’t hurt that leftover smoke from Skylar’s flaming hobo pails helped enhance the drama. More on that later.) After all, without Colton’s Blue Steel, I would have said his performance was infinitely more passionless than any of his previous numbers. I would have said it lacked oomph. But then, during that final note, he looked at the camera… and straight into my soul. Suddenly, he transformed my opinion about the ho-hum performance like water into wine. And then transformed my wine into more wine. Oh wait, I did that. (Hey, you do what you gotta do 20 minutes through a two-hour show.) Texts From My Mom (who typically fears Colton because of his lack of a defined derriere): Meh for me. He’s a good guy. Elise and Phillip For me, for you, for me, this duet didn’t feel like the Phillip and Elise I used to know — at least, the duo that performed last week’s awesomely rockin’ “Stop Dragging My Heart Around.” Rather, their ho-hum Gotye rendition only got me (get it?) checking to see if I needed a refill of wine. Of course, perhaps that’s what the backdrop’s subconscious-burrowing psycho-hypnotic spiral was trying to make me think: Boring! There can be no final two outside Joshua and Jessica! Well, I don’t know, my sweet little id. Elise and Phillip did have good harmon — But, OMG, remember when Jessica sang “I Will Always Love You?” But Phillip and Elise DO have marketable voic — Need to kill the Prime Minister of Malaysia! (Apparently, my subconscious can’t avoid making continuous Zoolander references.) If nothing else, though, at least the performance gave Steven the opportunity to share his Idol fan fiction by suggesting the two contestants enjoy a romance. Of course, Elise’s supposed harassing and headband-wearing ways make them a bit less Hepburn and Tracy and more Minnelli and Gest. Texts From My Mom: Duet better than the original. NEXT: Colton and Skylar aren't dating. I'm not sure how many times I can tell you after you in no way asked. Colton and Skylar You guys, Colton and Skylar aren’t dating. No way, no how. I’m not sure how many times I can tell you after you in no way asked. So don’t you dare start believing they are a couple, not even when the two contestants constantly remind us that they aren’t together. And come on — whatever you do, don’t start thinking they have feelings towards one another because they sang “Don’t You Want To Stay” to each other. It’s just a song — why would you jump to conclusions? And, please, whatever you do, don’t talk to your friends and fellow Idol fans about their possible romance next week when they duet on “Let’s Get It On” and Lil Wayne’s “Lollipop,” okay? Not. Dating. Texts From My (Indecisive) Mom: I hate that song. Great gun line. Skylar sounds better than Kelly. Overproduced. Joshua Moving on to the contestant who often makes me the most uncomfortable. And not because his Twitter fan group is named #jjewels. (I’m sorry. I don’t really want to see J’s Jewels.) No, I’m uncomfortable watching Joshua week in and week out because it’s almost embarrassing how badly Idol wants him to win. Not only did the possible Season 11 winner get a special shout-out from Season 3 winner Fantasia, but Ryan even went so far as to invite Joshua’s dad on the stage to give him a post-performance hug. Look, he ran away with Bruno Mars’ “Runaway Baby,” sure, but even Randy had to peer pressure J. Lo and Steven to give Joshua their weekly standing ovation. That being said, this week Joshua was more fun than his bright white-and-pink ensemble. How refreshing to see the contestant ditch the tired gospel choir act for a fabulous go-go dancer and the whitest group of trumpet players I have ever seen! Unfortunately, Joshua’s charm doesn’t quite pop off the screen like Bruno Mars’, but that won’t stop the judges from attempting to force him to sing a terrible victory song in May — Randy said he’s “gotta have it” like a Birthday Cake Remix, and Steven told Joshua, “You can sell a song like a work of art.” Tell that to Van Gogh. Texts From My Mom: Good voice no Bruno. I don’t think he deserves the Standing O. Bruno killed that song on Grammys. Skylar Funny what a difference a year makes. Last season, the judges’ panel tore into poor Haley Reinhart for choosing a then-unknown future hit, “Yoü and I,” by a very famous artist, Lady Gaga. This season, the judges’ praised Skylar for selecting a now-unknown song, “Didn’t You Know How Much I Loved You,” by an artist most famous for her Idol ties, Kellie Pickler. (Or, as Steven Tyler said, “The crows may crow, but the hen delivers the goods.” I think a man just left his apartment to hand an unmarked manila envelope to a Russian spy.) Perhaps the judges didn’t want to knock a former contestant. Perhaps this is just a continuation of their country ignorance. But I’m hoping they’re simply older and wiser and have begun to understand that choosing an unknown song is actually an intelligent strategy on the Idol stage — especially when an artist like Skylar, whose only struggle is being compared to Reba McEntire, can make virtually any song sound like it belongs on top of the country charts. Now, anyone hearing “Didn’t You Know How Much I Loved You” will immediately associate it with Skylar, much like how her stage boyfriend Colton will be associated with White Lion’s “Broken Heart.” Even Akon couldn’t help but love Skylar’s rendition. “Your voice is stupid,” he told her. And you know what else is? Trying to enhance the Idol stage atmosphere with a series of garbage cans on fire. The only downside to Skylar’s performance this week was the ridiculous stage flair, which only got worse since that flaming hawk attacked our TV sets last week. Garbage cans on fire? Surrounding Skylar on a guitar? Really? When Skylar is singing “Didn’t You Know How Much I Loved You,” is she talking about fingerless gloves? Texts From My Mom (apparently channeling a critical Frankenstein who quickly changes his opinions): Fire dumb. Why the guitar? It doesn’t add anything. Very good. Country star.  NEXT: Jessica endangers species. Phillip There’s no hiding it, friends. I’m a #philatic. There’s something about his Dave Matthews-esque growl that takes me back to junior high, and something about the way he sells turkey statues that takes me back to my Minnesota home state’s Prairie Chicken monument. He’s TV comfort food, serving up warm, wonderful plates of musical mac and cheese, complete with a smile and a wink that says, “Fine, Tommy Hilfiger. I’ll add some beige to my wardrobe, but only because of fans like Kate.” So I couldn’t help but devour his performance of Maroon 5’s “Give A Little More” last night, sexy sax woman and all. J. Lo might confuse his consistency for banality, but fans know exactly what kind of album to expect from Phillip post-Idol. (And that’s more that you can say for some of the season’s most confused contestants. Ahem, Hollie.) Here’s hoping he continues to give us a lot more. Texts From My (Also Philatic) Mom: Me likey. Jessica Jessica is a contestant that defies all Idol logic. Over the past 11 seasons, all Idol performers under the age of 18 have been passionless. (See: Jasmine Trias.) All Idol performers under the age of 18 have been precocious and cloying. (See: Sanjaya.) But Jessica manages to be as powerful and poised as a President Barbie, without the rigidity. She might be a young diva in training, but she’s still as approachable as that nice girl in your social studies class your mom keeps telling you to hang out with. And the singer was no different Wednesday night — Jessica appeared on stage, wearing a dress reminiscent of M.C. Escher’s House of Stairs, which is appropriate, since this contestant is just as confounding. How is it possible that she can sing absolutely anything? How is it possible that she can wear absolutely anything? How is it possible that we still like her? Where does the staircase end? And will Ryan Seacrest walk down it? Gracefully sitting atop a piano while performing Jazmine Sullivan’s “Stuttering,” Jessica, like Skylar, transformed an unknown song into a viable hit, sending me to my iTunes faster than J. Lo to her bronzer. And I’m not the only one who found Jessica effervescent — according to Randy, Jessica was so “dope,” she’ll appear on the next season of Whale Wars. If only J.Lo was likin’ it, Danny Noriega-style — the judge oddly told Jessica she was hoping to see a “Joshua-level” impact performance, a bizarre request for a contestant who so regularly gets the dramatic spotlight treatment, she might as well take up residence there. What more could Jessica have done for impact? More hobo garbage pails on fire? Texts From My Mom: Magnificent. J. Lo was wrong. Whale is not a fish. Thoughts, fellow Idol fanatics? Were you pleased to see that our contestants actually can perform hits in our era? Do you like American Idol: Soap Opera Edition? Which aquatic animal do you think Jessica killed? And was it in self-defense? Follow Kate on Twitter @HWKateWard  More: Idol Top 7 Preview: For the Love of Seacrest, Avoid These Songs! American Idol Recap: Oh Yes, It's '80s Night IdolRankings: Mentor Gwen Stefani Lights a Fire Under the Top Eight
  • 'American Idol': We Rank the Top 7!
    By: Kate Ward Apr 11, 2012
    It’s really no surprise — our seven remaining American Idol contestants fare best not when singing dated Stevie Wonder tunes or terrible disco hits, but current tunes that actually prove they could be relevant artists. Thank you, American Idol, for finally letting a season of contestants showcase their clout in the current music industry! Of course, the show wouldn’t let its audience walk away only focusing only on what matters, the music — it was easy to walk away from Wednesday’s show thinking you had just seen a soap opera. Concocted rivalries! (Colton vs. Phillip!) Manufactured romances! (Skylar and Colton!) The latter two performers might claim they don’t love each other, but who did you love? My rankings for tonight below (scandalous!) — and check back tomorrow morning for my full recap! 7. Hollie 6. Elise 5. Colton 4. Joshua 3. Skylar 2. Phillip 1. Jessica Follow Kate on Twitter @HWKateWard More: Idol Top 7 Preview: For the Love of Seacrest, Avoid These Songs! American Idol Recap: Oh Yes, It's '80s Night IdolRankings: Mentor Gwen Stefani Lights a Fire Under the Top Eight
  • Hey, Celebs: You're Not Makeup-Free in a Photo If You're Not Make-Up Free
    By: Kate Ward Apr 09, 2012
    We get it, celebrities. You are gorgeous. More gorgeous than we could ever dream to be. In fact, even in our dreams, we’re not half as good-looking as you. (But that’s okay, since our good-hearted husband Jon Hamm always tells us he loves us anyway. And then he does the dishes! Joy.) So we only ask one thing of you, beautiful celebrities: When you agree to makeup-free photo shoots, or post a picture of yourself along with the tweet “no makeup,” please be sure that you actually are makeup-free. So, sorry Demi Lovato: You might claim you look like this naturally when going to bed at night, but no one I know boasts fuchsia-shaded lips without the help of lipstick or a raspberry slurpee. And I hate to tell you, Audrina Patridge, but it’s hardly brave to appear in a picture sporting heavy eyeliner and blush. Please, we only ask that you play fair — if we have to live up to your impossible beauty standards in our day-to-day lives, at least give us a reason once in a blue moon (thank you, Katy Perry!) to make us feel like we’re catching up. Now, carry on about your fabulous lives. We have to go anyway — Jon Hamm just offered us a new kitten and a backrub. Follow Kate on Twitter @HWKateWard More: Lady Gaga’s Shocking Makeup-Free Look Demi Lovato Tells ‘Seventeen’ She Used Drugs and Alcohol to Self-Medicate
  • 'Celebrity Apprentice': How Has Lisa Lampanelli Lasted This Long?
    By: Kate Ward Apr 09, 2012
    Any girl who has gone through high school has experienced Mean Girl Association Syndrome. You know what I’m talking about — it’s an (entirely made up) type of Stockholm Syndrome, in which those within close proximity of a Mean Girl appease, ignore, or encourage one’s societally inappropriate behavior. And Mean Girl Association Syndrome has never been more rampant than on this season of Celebrity Apprentice. I’m not talking about Aubrey O’Day, who has proved to be a shrewd creative force with a biting tongue, no matter how many “stripper pole” jokes Clay Aiken can drop about her in one episode. I’m talking about comedian Lisa Lampanelli, who has done little more throughout the series than aggressively harass both teammates and competitors. Now, it’s no secret Lampanelli is known for this behavior — her harsh sense of humor has made her a must-see at Comedy Central roasts. But in the context of a series rooted in charity (by “charity,” I mean “feeding into Donald Trump’s ego”), Lampanelli’s words seem displaced and illogical. Illogical mostly because it’s unfathomable how she’s lasted so long in the competition. True, most of her staying power could be attributed to Trump’s desire to trump drama-makers, rather than personality DOA contestants like Patricia Velásquez. In Trump’s world, mean and obscene is much better than pristine (… but not lean, which is why the gorgeous Dayana Mendoza is still a force in the competition). And it’s also true that Lampanelli has driven the creativity of her teams… even if that led to her teams losing six times. But what’s most surprising is her teammates’ tendencies to ignore or allow her constant barbs — in fact, with the exception of some lame call-outs during the board room, last night was the first time we saw someone (Lou Ferrigno) attack Lampanelli for her tongue. (And I don’t count Lampanelli’s short feud with Arsenio Hall, in which she actually showed some nobility, standing up for Hall’s borderline-sexist insults directed at O’Day.) As a viewer, it’s almost uncomfortable watching the way Lampanelli lambasts Mendoza, consistently calling her variations of stupid and useless while the rest of the cast — including Mendoza herself — watch idly nearby before praising the comedian in the boardroom following a loss. (And that's coming from a Celebrity Apprentice fan that craves drama more than Michael Andretti craves a personality.) Even Mendoza herself couldn’t bring herself to throw Lampanelli under the bus last night, even though the comedian could have easily been blamed for a creative-driven loss. Add to Mean Girl Association Syndrome the fact that Lampanelli has a 0-1 record as Project Manager, and it’s hard to imagine why she still chugs along, support of the cast in tow. Of course, based on the promos for next week’s show, the self-professed bitch herself might be forced to face her actions, breaking down in tears in the boardroom. But lest we think that will lead to her firing, let’s not underestimate Trump’s dedication to drama. No matter how many “useless,” “loser,” or “stupid” insults Lampanelli tosses around, odds are the bitch will be back. Could she even win the whole shebang? It’s doubtful — sorry, Queen Bee, but karma is far bitchier than you could ever be. Anyone else surprised Lampanelli has lasted this long? Follow Kate on Twitter @HWKateWard Image Credit: NBC More: Aubrey O’Day: Always a Cast Member, Never a Superstar
  • Mike Wallace, '60 Minutes' reporter, dies
    By: Kate Ward Apr 08, 2012
    Mike Wallace, the Emmy-winning CBS journalist most well-known for his work on 60 Minutes, has passed away, according to CBS News. Wallace, who died at the Waveny Care Center in New Canaan, Conn., was 93 years old. Though the exact cause of death has not yet been released, Wallace had a history with heart problems, undergoing a triple bypass surgery in 2008.  Though heralded for his work in news, Wallace began his career as a game show host for programs like The Big Surprise. In the late 1950s, he moved into journalism, hosting The Mike Wallace Interview on ABC before jumping to CBS, where he became one of the first correspondents for 60 Minutes. While working for 60 Minutes, Wallace developed a reputation for his tough interviewing style, grilling some of the world's most influential leaders and taking on some of politics' biggest scandals, including Watergate. In fact, Wallace's interviews with the likes of John Erlichman helped the then-ratings challenged 60 Minutes gain traction. Wallace's famous interviewing tactics were also seen on the big screen — Christopher Plummer portrayed the CBS newsman in the 1999 film, The Insider, which chronicled 60 Minutes' report on Brown & Williamson whistleblower Jeffrey Wigand. Jeff Fager, CBS News chairman and 60 Minutes executive producer, released the following statement about Wallace's passing: "All of us at CBS News and particularly at 60 Minutes owe so much to Mike. Without him and his iconic style, there probably wouldn't be a 60 Minutes. There simply hasn't been another broadcast journalist with that much talent. It almost didn't matter what stories he was covering, you just wanted to hear what he would ask next. Around CBS he was the same infectious, funny and ferocious person as he was on TV. We loved him and we will miss him very much." [CBS News] Image Credit: CBS News
  • Hey 'Idol': Cool It With the Gospel Choirs
    By: Kate Ward Apr 05, 2012
    We used to see it only once or twice a season. And, when we did, we cried with joy, soaking in a rare treat that helped transform a simple episode of American Idol into absolute must-see TV. No, I’m not talking about the creature that is Deliriously Tired Ryan Seacrest, who made his triumphant return last night after a whirlwind day that included a disappointing appearance on morning television. (Deliriously Tired Ryan Seacrest was last seen in season 9, dancing with Michael Sarver in the audience during Tim Urban’s performance of “I Can’t Help Falling In Love.” Welcome back, man!) I’m talking about the American Idol Gospel Choir ™. The Fox reality series has enjoyed quite a history with the AIGC (as the kids, or rather, I calling it these days) — completely absent during the course of the low-rent season 1, the AIGC made its first appearance during Ruben Studdard’s finale performance of “Flying Without Wings.” As a devoted Claymate who still sings “Always and Forever” in her head while watching Clay Aiken sell sandwiches on Celebrity Apprentice, I angrily assumed Studdard’s gospel backtrack meant Idol was literally backing the contestant before he had even picked up the crown — until Aiken was granted the same glorious AIGC treatment during “Bridge Over Troubled Water.” Ever since, the AIGC has been employed for Idol’s biggest finale moments, capping off long, stressful seasons (for us fans!) with dramatic emotional swells fit for the finest of Sister Act scenes. But, like Randy Jackson’s wardrobe, the AIGC has gotten out of control this season. We saw it last night not once, not twice, but three times — not only did both Elise Testone and Joshua Ledet get the gospel treatment with their renditions of “I Want To Know What Love Is” and If You Don’t Know Me By Now,” but Ledet enjoyed it again alongside Sanchez with their duet of “I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me).” And the AIGC has been used two other times during the course of season 11 by the worst offenders: Ledet was bizarrely backed by the choir during Top 10’s “She’s Got a Way,” while Sanchez enjoyed their help that same night during “Everybody Has a Dream.” Clearly, after last night, we’ve learned that the AIGC is paid by the episode. Part of me still years for the old days of Idol — back when a piano was the only instrument backing the contestants during the semifinals. Sure, the series was void of the dramatic lighting and graphics that attempt to make The Voice shake in its boots, but all of Idol’s bells and whistles have simply become on-stage clutter. Joshua, Jessica, and Elise’s voices can be awe-inspiring (with the right song choice) — why do we need a gospel choir to alert us that we’re seeing a performance worth praising? Even the AIGC’s “surprise” entry onto the stage has become laughably tired. It’s difficult to gasp in delight seeing the choir emerge from backstage when you already know there’s a 50/50 chance they’ll appear during one of Ledet’s performances. Don’t get me wrong: I love a good AIGC moment. I bawled enough tears to fill many troubled waters during Aiken’s final performance. Fantasia’s “I Believe” sent me into hysterics that had me believing I belonged in an asylum. But the gospel treatment worked with those performances — it was an exciting addition to a climactic moment of television. But three AIGC appearances during a 1980s-centric Top 8 night? Idol, there’s still a long road ahead — I pray you learn to save the gospel choir for when you speed into the finale. Otherwise, I’ll sic Deliriously Tired Ryan on you. Follow Kate on Twitter @HWKateWard More: American Idol Top 8 Recap: 80s Night is Time to Trim the Fat American Idol Rankings: Gwen Stefani Lights a Fire Under the Top 8 Elvis Costello Slams American Idol
  • Crazy Town's Shifty Shellshock in Coma
    By: Kate Ward Apr 03, 2012
    "Crazy Town" musician Shifty Shellshock, né Seth Brooks Binzer, is in a coma, according to TMZ. The site reports Binzer, who became famous for being part of the group that produced the 2000 hit "Butterfly," is currently checked into an L.A. hospital, where he's been in ICU since Thursday.  Details are not yet known as to why Binzer is in a coma.  RELATED: Does Celebrity Rehab Really Help? Along with being part of "Crazy Town," the musician is also known for being a cast member on the first two seasons of Celebrity Rehab and Sober House. He's had trouble since being treated by Dr. Drew, however — Binzer was arrested earlier this year for cocaine possession.