Kelsea Stahler
Celebrity Editor Kelsea Stahler was born in a pile of dirt. Okay, she was actually born in an old Naval hospital in San Diego, which then became a pile of dirt and remained as such for a number of years before becoming a parking lot perfectly sized for circus tents, and finally a museum. She eventually left San Diego to attend New York University, where she studied Journalism and English literature — two less-than profitable liberal arts degrees about which guidance counselors warned her. Against all odds, she now resides in Brooklyn, where she fights the constant fear that the locals will soon discover she isn’t quite cool enough to live there, and makes a living writing absurd, pop culture features about Batman, zombies, vampires, funny people, and Ron Swanson.
  • 'Girls' Season Finale: Why the Last Five Minutes Ruined Everything
    By: Kelsea Stahler Mar 18, 2013
      Up until the last five minutes of the Season 2 finale, Girls' polarizing second run has been a mentally and emotionally stimulating ride. It hasn't always been a pleasant experience (Hannah's "sex" with a teenager in the woods in Upstate New York and Adam's forceful sexual encounter with Natalia come to mind), but every episode this season gave us the satisfaction of deeply exploring the forbidden nooks and crannies of the twentysomething (and in Ray's case, the early thirysomething) psyche. It's been dark, it's been more brutally honest than we've liked, and yet it's been a worthwhile experience that drove our thoughts inward — not in the way that Sex and the City drove us to figure out which of our best friends was the Samantha, but in a wholistic, almost therapeutic sense. Girls, while eschewing the traditional (and Season 1-tested) trajectory of a comedy/drama storyline that moves along a traceable path, was giving us intimate, robust musings on life. Where one circumstance stretched our ability to suspend our disbelief, reality would follow with a drop so resolute that the balance was set back in place. But in the last five minutes of the Season 2 finale, Girls upset the balance and it's got me feeling wildly off-kilter.  RELATED: 'Girls' Season 2 Finale Recap While some skeptics may disagree, as a twentysomething woman living in (go ahead and groan) Brooklyn, I can attest the the reality of Girls' first season was so uncanny it actually scared me and the four friends with whom I shared each episode. Yes, many of the occurences in Hannah's Season 1 sex life didn't venture into the daily routine of my life or my immediate friends' lives, but the psychology behind Hannah's reactions to and acceptance of such actions wasn't unfamiliar. Even when Jessa wound up ridiculously married to Chris O'Dowd's oafish finance guy at the end of Season 1, her friends' reactions (annoyed, indignant, unperturbed by Jessa's latest of a long string of "surprising" stunts) made it work. But Season 2's big surprise ending didn't come with nearly the same packaging.  After wallowing around in her apartment all day, her anxiety heightened by the pressure of having to write her (e)book in a single day on pain of a potential lawsuit to take back her advance (and the slap in the face from her father, who refused to lend her money and bail her out should she not turn into a miracle worker in a mere 24 hours), Hannah truly begins to break down like the body whose fate she so furiously Googled just hours before. (No, the Q-tip incident was not the true mark of a breakdown in the world of Hannah Horvath.) She hops on the phone to call Jessa and berate her for leaving her alone with no friends (including "anorexic" Marnie, who just took the time to come to Hannah's apartment to check on her simply because she hadn't heard from her in a few days, and who knows Hannah well enough to know she was hiding from Marnie somewhere in her Greenpoint abode). RELATED: How Hannah's Bloody Q-Tip Unravelled Adam Hannah's grating, screeching whine serves as a manifestation of her real problem: her inability to accept adulthood. As we watch her wrongfully tell her neighbor Laird that he should back off because she doesn't have the strength to fight him off "like last time" (you know, the time she used the recovering drug addict to get her cocaine and then threw herself at him and told him it was only "for work"), her overwhelming narcissism and victim complex is looming so heavily overhead it's stifling. Suddenly, the unrealistic appearance of this magical book deal had purpose: this downward spiral is her wake-up call to come back to reality where she's an adult who's responsible for the direction of her life, the strength of her friendships, and whether or not her book is turned into the publisher on time. This is her rock bottom. Last season, we left her sitting on a beach alone eating her only worldly possession (day-old wedding cake after her purse was stolen on the F train) and letting Adam's words about her selfishness and her self-imposed helplessness wash over her, and this season, surely we'd find in her an even lower ditch to dig herself out of. But that's not what happened.  She selfishly called Adam, her lovesick lapdog who was driven off the wagon by a mere chance encounter with a pantsless Hannah just last week. Adam, who uncharacteristically and suddenly has an iPhone (no doubt the work of Natalia, who is somehow still around and has since decided to keep Adam's sexual habits on a severe leash) receives an "accidental" Facetime call from Hannah, which facilitates the moment when he witnesses her OCD symptoms acting up. She needs him, and he immediately runs out of his apartment like the hero at the end of a romantic comedy, keeping the Facetime call running the whole time (sorry, reality-checkers, if Adam has an iPhone 5 on AT&T, this is actually possible) but forgetting to put on a shirt before sprinting to the subway to Hannah's apartment. Once there, he breaks down her door, sweeps in, pulls her out from under the covers, lifts her up like a knight in shirtless armor and passionately kisses her seconds after we watch Marnie in settled bliss with her future "brown babies"-daddy Charlie, and moments after Shoshanna excercises her newfound emancipation from Ray by making out with a stranger in a dive bar. It was an ending straight out of Sex and the City, not Girls.  RELATED: 'Girls' Recap: Hannah's OCD Returns Yet, we're believers. We're certain this picture-perfect ending, which felt like a series finale in which Hannah's book deal no longer matters, has a purpose, and maybe when we reach the Season 3 premiere, it will all become clear. But there's still one glaring issue with this ending: reality. We can accept one improbable circumstance begetting a series of realistic circumstances, like the fallout at Jessa's surprise wedding. (Say what you will, but I've witnessed versions of almost everything in the final moments of that episode.) But just as unlikely as it was that Hannah, Adam, Marnie, and Shoshanna would all implode on the same fateful night as the characters did in Season 2's penultimate episode "On All Fours," it's far more unlikely that just a week later, against all odds (and logic and conceptions of reality) the pieces would all come back together, like the two-episode version of a child's collapsing finger puppet. Last week, they pushed the bottom in, and all the characters fell down; this week, the button was released everyone snapped back into their colorful, happy spots, like the colorful beads of a wooden giraffe's legs. It doesn't feel right, and that's greatly because the emotional tone of the episode was crafted to feel incandescently cheery. If I wasn't so confused, I may have been won over by the emotional satisfaction of Adam's romantic lift.  But the fact of the matter is that we bought into Girls on the promise of brutal reality. We came here for something imperfect and at times ugly. And even if these last five minutes exist to make a point and as a way of entrusting viewers enough to know that something is amiss in the lives of Hannah and her friends, the point is made at the high cost of every single shred of the series' requisite layer of reality, and I can only hope that when we return to Hannah's Brooklyn next season, it will have been worth the sacrifice. Follow Kelsea on Twitter @KelseaStahler [Photo Credit: HBO] You Might Also Like:14 Movies Thshiat Are, Surprisingly, Not PornStars Who Have Lost Roles For Being Too Hot (Celebuzz)
  • Is Beyonce's Hype Train Slowing Down?
    By: Kelsea Stahler Mar 18, 2013
      Most people's reaction to being shut out while trying to obtain tickets for Beyoncé's Mrs. Carter World Tour vacillate between rage, despair, and helpless weeping. The woman who almost literally runs the world (as she so aggressively prophesied in her last first single off of 4) is so beloved, she can't even hold enough concerts to please all of her fans, also known as the majority of people with a pulse. The downfall of all this love is that this level of hype, however deserved, can't sustain itself. And the widely mixed reviews for Beyoncé's latest musical offering may be the biggest crack in her pristine onslaught of publicity up to this point.  RELATED: What's Wrong With Beyoncé's New Promo? "Bow Down/ I Been On" (listen here) was released the weekend of March 16 to mild, and in many cases disgruntled, chatter. While evidence (including a supposed track list from Mrs. Carter, according to Ne-Yo) suggests this duo of songs parading as one is not the first single off of Beyoncé's highly anticipated new album, but simply a musical journey with the help of producer Hit-Boy, who famously worked on Jay-Z and Kanye's "Ni***s in Paris" and A$AP Rocky's "1 Train." The problem is that the aggressive Beyoncé of these tracks is not the woman we followed blindly into the Super Bowl halftime show. She's not the same woman who made us skip three (yes, three) work meetings to play Ticketmaster roulette for the sliver of a chance to see her perform live (even if it's from the nosebleeds). She's not the same woman we defended for lip-syncing the National Anthem at President Obama's second inauguration. She's not the person we've come to expect after riding the hype rollercoaster for the past three months since she reemerged from her cocoon of motherhood. The songs aren't horrible per se, especially considering the conflicted reception that her somewhat aggressive hit "(Girls) Run the World" first received when it first dropped, but rather, harder than what we've come to expect. It's a jarring effect set up by the three-month praise-fest that started at the end of 2012.  RELATED: What Beyoncé's HBO Doc Was Missing In fact, Beyoncé's over-exposure may have made any successful musical debut impossible. (Perhaps that's why these songs, which collectively feature 40 seconds of Beyoncé's actual singing despite a three-minute and 34-second runtime, were released before the album and in the publicity deadzone of St. Patrick's Day weekend.) While our love for Queen B has swelled, it has also been tested. The inauguration lip-sync incident was a hiccup that  blew over because of the magnanimity of her persona. The God-awful Destiny's Child song "Nuclear" was chalked up to the excuse that the group was simply rusty and little blame fell on Bey. At the Super Bowl, the lower audio on Michelle Williams and Kelly Rowland's mics was schluffed off as a joke instead of a symptom of conflicting egos. The lack of tickets to her shows was blamed on the music industry parasite: scalpers. Even her surface-scraping, self-serving, self-directed documentary Life is But a Dream didn't so much anger fans or critics, but provoke us all to ask for one thing: more.  By the time we got to the thing for which she's actually famous (you know, singing songs), did she even have any hope of emotionally, spiritually, and wholly satisfying our needs? If Beyoncé's newest song doesn't pick us up, envelop us like a baby, tickle our tummies, then gently place us back down on a dance floor constructed purely for our use, if it doesn't excite us to borderline dangerous levels, stripping away all certainty of where we begin and Beyoncé ends, how can we possibly be satisfied? We can't.  RELATED: Beyoncé Vs. Justin Timberlake: Who's Got Better Game? We (and I wholeheartedly implicate myself, the woman who at one point called the singer her religion, in this) have elevated Beyoncé to such unbelievable heights that she appears to us not as a super star, but as a cellestial being. Her presence on television, in photos, in music (and the one time I almost passed out upon just seeing her in person) has become so other worldly that as incredible as she is in a more grounded sense of the word, her talent can't even attempt to match our expectations.  Her hype train is losing some steam, thanks in part to the momentary distraction that was the pre-release of Justin Timberlake's 20/20 Experience, but "Bow Down" may actually be a wise form of damage control. The track has confused us and, for many fans, disappointed us, but it's brought her inflated image back down to a more manageable level. Perhaps, when the first true single off Mrs. Carter finally descends from the throne, our expectations will be level enough to appreciate it as the new work of an innovative, talented artist, and not the prophecies of the human embodiement of perfection.  Follow Kelsea on Twitter @KelseaStahler [Photo Credit: Kevin Mazur/WireImage] You Might Also Like:15 Oscar-Winning Nude ScenesYoung Jack Black Is Totally Unrecognizable
  • 'Spring Breakers': Why James Franco's Britney Spears Moment Is So Disturbing — VIDEOS
    By: Kelsea Stahler Mar 17, 2013
    Warning: This post contains minor spoilers from Harmony Korine's Spring Breakers. "Every time I try to fly/ I fall without my wings/ I feel so small/ I guess I need you baby." For anyone who was young in the early 2000s, those lyrics evoke the twinkly, yet disheartening innocense of Britney Spears' song about loss and heartbreak. The light quality of the piano on "Everytime" evokes a sense of youth and inexperience, something we can chalk up to Spears' musical style and the wide belief that this song was a response to her breakup with Justin Timberlake, whom she'd known since she was a child. But when this song makes its debut in Harmony Korine's dislodging film Spring Breakers, courtesy of James Franco's Alien, and it takes on a whole new life. RELATED: Should James Franco Get an Oscar for Spring Breakers? Alien sings the song as he tickles the ivory on his outdoor piano, three corrupted young spring breakers twirling around him in pink ski masks adorned with unicorns, sparkly pink tiger bathing suits, sweatpants with "DTF" on the rear, and shotguns in hand. Eventually, the song transitions from Franco's growly version to Spears' sweet original; the scenes flash from the waltzing teen deviants to scenes of them assisting Alien as he ties up and tortures other vacationers while he steals all their earthy possessions. It's jarring, it's terrifying, it's heartbreaking. It's a technique that appears often in film, but in Korine's raucous movie, the concept of soundtrack dissoance is used to such perfection, that "Everytime" practially takes on a new meaning for those who've witnessed the extraordinary scene. The video from the film isn't available online, but for some context, here's the song itself: It's no surprise that this moment takes place in Spring Breakers, a film that relies on music just as heavily as it does on visual elements. But, it's not the first to make use of the counter-intuitive practice of soundtrack dissonance. From A Clockwork Orange, to Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds, to every Tim Burton movie, and even Disney/Pixar's Up and ABC's Lost, the selection of the "wrong" music has served to force out an emotion, be it sadness or laugher or some other feeling. By forcing a distance between the viewer and the subject, a greater emotional reaction is achieved.  RELATED: Lots of Dudes Had to Rub Up on Selena Gomez for 'Spring Breakers' The most similar example to Spring Breakers' Britney ballad comes courtesy of A Clockwork Orange, when Alex leads his droogs into a robbery and eventual rape. The scene is violent, with the gang picking up and tying up their victim F. Alexander's wife while they merilessly beat Alexander himself and prepare to rape the woman. The whole time, Alex (Malcom McDowell) is cheerfully crooning "Singing in the Rain." (Be warned, this clip is very NSFW.) With even greater brutality, but slightly more humor, comes this scene from American Psycho, in which Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale) switches on "Hip to Be Square" by Huey Lewis and the News before hacking  Paul Allen (Jared Leto) to bits with a sinister grin on his face. It adds an element of comedy, but one that still has us so disturbed, we're a little afraid to actually laugh.  And you can't talk about violence paired with cheery music without including this scene from Reservoir Dogs, in which Vic Vega (Michael Madsen) rips up his victim while singing along to "Stuck in the Middle With You." RELATED: 'Spring Breakers' Clip Introduces Us to James Franco's Alien The trope exists on television too, where "Mama" Cass' "Make Your Own Kind of Music" became synonymous with the terror of the unknown on Lost. We first encounter the song when Desmond makes his first appearance as the mysterious threat in the hatch. He's got food, running water, some sort of terrifying vitamin injections. And as he's waking up with his mysterious routine, his very existence threatens our heros Jack and Locke as they peer down into this strange, unnerving new setting. Suddenly, the happy morning tune is one of imminent danger instead.  In Tim Burton's films, it's almost always certain that something terrible is about to happen when children begin cooing in his Danny Elfman-scored soundtracks. One example exists in this Sleepy Hollow scene, which showcases a moment of calm between young Ichabod and his mother before the nightmares of her awful torture come back to the grown Ichabod (Johnny Depp). The use of singing children, of course, isn't unique to Elfman and Burton. A classic use of the innocence of children juxtaposed with the danger of an agressor comes from Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds, in which Tippy Hedron witnesses the deadly crows gathering on playground equipment in front of a schoolhouse as the children sing a school days tune together. There's virtually no action, but the suspense born out of the children's song is incredible. Then, there's the use of terror-to-pleasant-music juxtoposition that influenced so many films after it: the scenes of exploding nuclear bombs set to "We'll Meet Again" at the end of Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb.  And while this technique is most often used in situations of terror or violence, it can also be used for a laugh. In Up, after the first few minutes of the film render us weeping balls of mush, we're given a little comic relief at the hands of Carl in old age. The famous aria from Carmen, "L'amour Est Un Oiseau Rebelle." The pairing of Carl's stale, boring old man routine with the oppulence of the iconic tune evokes a sense of sad comedy, but one that helps us get into the lighthearted action of the rest of the film.  Follow Kelsea on Twitter @KelseaStahler [Photo Credit: A24 Films] You Might Also Like:Topanga's Revealing Lingerie Shoot: Hello '90s! Stars Who Have Lost Roles For Being Too Hot (Celebuzz)
  • Unhappy Hour: Lil Wayne Death Hoax, 'Veronica Mars' Backlash and 9 More Reasons to Drink
    By: Kelsea Stahler Mar 16, 2013
    Each week, Hollywood gives us something to whine about, and the week of March 11 was no different. We could make a drinking game out of this week, but that would be too dangerous. Instead, we'll stick to the usual formula: varying levels of alcoholic respite depending on how bothersome the week's issues are. Is your biggest complaint this week a flimsy one? How about a light cocktail to take the edge off? Got a real bone to pick with a celeb or entertainment entity this week? Go ahead, grab a drink that'll put hair on your chest. Here are the week's entertainment stories that are forcing us to seek a bubbly or boozy refuge. And maybe an idea or two about how you should wash them down. Take a Break With a Brewski The Great Gastby Just Lost Its Swag: Apparently, Jay-Z isn't actually scoring the movie. Julianne Hough and Ryan Seacrest are Kaput: But it's been two years! That's practically a common law marriage in Hollywood. Bret Michaels is Blind: Or something. Dude, this is not Eva Longoria. We've Spent Way Too Much Time Wondering About Miley Cyrus Getting Married: When it comes to former teen stars and their relationships (and possible breakups) let's just stick with Hakunah Matata, okay? Get Laid Back With a Sidecar Carnival Cruise Lines, Just Stop: You are the Fung Wah of cruises, only with more poop. People Are Pissed About the Veronica Mars Movie: How dare fans pay for the movie they've been begging for when the star is a "millionaire"?  And Now Every Old TV Show Wants to Copy Veronica Mars: Look, it was cool and revolutionary when Rob Thomas do it. The moment has passed, go home, Pushing Daisies. Someone FIRED a Sweet Little Corgi: And all because his cute, little face was too dumb to come when Helen Mirren called him. What about the cuddly factor, Helen? Huh? What about the part where he's an adorable little butterball? Screw It. Bring Me Your Finest Scotch, Garçon Timberweek is Over: (Inconsolable weeping) Charlie Sheen, Still the Worst: How did he respond to his daughter being bullied almost a year ago? By bullying the nine-year-old girl and flinging (okay, sending via Twitter followers, but still) feces at the school.  Someone Has a Whole Lot of Us Believing Lil Wayne Was on His Death Bed: And that someone was outdone by Twitter. Twitter won over old fashioned (tabloid) journalism.  Follow Kelsea on Twitter @KelseaStahler [Photo Credit: David Santiago/Getty Images] You Might Also Like:Topanga's Revealing Lingerie Shoot: Hello '90s! Stars Who Have Lost Roles For Being Too Hot (Celebuzz)
  • Katy Perry to Pen Autobiography: Divorce, John Mayer, & 8 Other Things We Need to Know
    By: Kelsea Stahler Mar 15, 2013
    Katy Perry is writing a book, and word has it, the dots over her is will not be in the shape of hearts. This time, it's serious. Her autobiography, Part of Me, will delve into her marriage to and divorce from comedian Russell Brand much like her concert film of the same name, The Sun reports. Perry plans to release the book soon, presumably to combat Brand's followup to My Booky Wook, which will also recount the divorce. But the real game changer here is the fact that Perry is reportedly going to include details on her relationship with John Mayer, which suggests that his presence in her life isn't as fleeting as we all thought. Ending the book about your divorce with details of your new romance? Yeah, that doesn't scream "revenge plot" at all.  RELATED: Katy Perry and John Mayer: Old Married Couple? But what else do we need to see from Perry's personal book? 1. How does she get into those dresses? Is there olive oil involved? 2. Was she able to get tickets the Beyoncé's tour? Or is she just as frustrated as the rest of us? 3. What's it like being friends with Allison Williams? Is it safe for both of them to smile at the same time? Or do they risk blinding entire rooms of people? 4. Where does she keep her Reddi-Whip can bra? Is it refillable? RELATED: John Mayer Likes Girls in Bikinis: Well Played, Katy Perry 5. Why does her dad wear so much leather? 6. How does John Mayer feel about the fact that she once dated Gym Class Heroes member Travie McCoy? (Maybe it will help us process our own feelings about it.) 7. Okay, but really: Are you in the Illuminati, Katy Perry? You can tell us. And if you're in the Illuminati, does that mean Rihanna is, too? 8. Does she know that Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber are beating her on Twitter as the first and second most popular users (Katy is third) and how does she plan to vanqish them? (Pro tip: Free candy works.) 9. Girl, I know you think they're pretty and make great set pieces, but do you really eat cupcakes? There's just no way, right? Otherwise, you really need to explain question number one.  10. Honestly, do we really need to hear about the Russell divorce details again? I already got teary watching your movie with a bottle of wine and my roommate, can't we just get to the part where you somehow find redeeming qualities in John Mayer, of all people? Follow Kelsea on Twitter @KelseaStahler [Photo Credit: Kyle Rover/Startraks Photo] You Might Also Like:Topanga's Revealing Lingerie Shoot: Hello '90s! Stars Who Have Lost Roles For Being Too Hot (Celebuzz)
  • 'American Idol': Did the Judges Use the Save on The Weirdest Results Show Yet?
    By: Kelsea Stahler Mar 14, 2013
    It was a night of firsts on American Idol on Thursday. Ryan Seacrest delivered the specific order in which voters chose the top 10 contestants, Nicki Minaj got so upset that Keith Urban and Randy Jackson had to console her, and judge favorite Curtis Finch Jr. was voted off by America.  But, Curtis sang "I Believe I Can Fly" and made us believe that for the first time, the judges might expend the Save this early in the competition. Nicki was so adamant that Curtis should stay that she exclaimed, "If you go home, I go home" to the eliminated singer. Unfortunately for Nicki, she couldn't convince her fellow judges to give Curtis the shot and the gospel singer was sent home. After all, if America votes a singer out this early on, the Save is practically a waste because they'll likely just vote the rescued singer off again next week. Randy and Keith were right to reserve the save for another day. RELATED: Is Candice Glover the Next Jordin Sparks? Of course, this potential Save situation was only the most important of the strange occurrences on Thursday's wildly different Idol results show. The second most mind-blowing change was the detailed reveal of voters' choices. Not only did Ryan dole out information about whose state gave each singer the most votes, but he revealed the top three (in no particular order) and the subsequent fourth through tenth place singers in a very deliberate and numerical order, down to the eliminated contestant Curtis. RELATED: Why Was Nicki Minaj Late for the Top 10? How America Voted: Top 3: Candice Glover, Kree Harrison, Angie Miller 4: Lazaro Arbos 5: Amber Holcomb 6: Janelle Arthur 7: Burnell Taylor 8: Paul Jolley 9: Devin Velez 10: Curtis Finch, Jr. ELIMINATED But the weirdness didn't stop there. They also brought in the Mayor of Kree's hometown in Texas to give her the key to the city, something Hollywood taught me can only happen on the steps of City Hall in that town. Producers brought on your mom's favorite band Bon Jovi to turn the Idol stage into a New Jersey dive bar for four minutes after bringing the Idols on to sing the new single from Dreamworks' The Croods like participants in a theme park parade. (Phillip Phillips' performance was expectedly awesome, but that doesn't really help this freaky narrative.) The final slice of oddity, during the hour-long broadcast was the young man who proudly told Nicki "I glorify weirdness," Charlie Askew, and fellow Top 20 cast-off Aubrey Cleland. The two singers returned to vie for a sponsored spot on the Idols Live! Tour (thanks, cell phone service I'm not going to name on principle!), singing their respective tunes in hopes of attracting votes from the Idol public. It's sweet, especially considering the way in which Charlie, the talented yet fragile songwriter, was cast off last week, but the presence of this extra moving part during the results show just contributes to the disjointed feel of the televised hour. Were we finding out who our Top 9 are? Or were we paying a visit to the American Idol variety hour and ho-down? For a while, I wasn't sure. I half expected to people eating cotton candy and holding giant stuffed Tweety Birds in the audience like they were at some sort of summer carnival. Strangeness aside, the first Season 12 elimination proved a few very important points. First: don't try to pull one over on the Idol audience. We are a cutthroat group with photographic memory. Curtis is far more talented than some of the remaining singers (ahem, Paul Jolley, Devin Velez, and Lazaro Arbos), but just as I was turned off by his behavior towards Charlie during group week and allowed it to color my season-long opinion of Curtis, voters appear to be spurned as well. On this show, anything can happen and now that voting has been made easier, all it takes is one false move to take down an otherwise talented contestant. The second takeaway is an exciting one: The top five consists of four incredible ladies and Lazaro, which means Idol's dream (and I'll admit, my own hope) of seeing a woman win American Idol this year just might come true, especially since voters don't seem to be taking to dynamo Burnell Taylor who is wasting away in seventh place. That disappointment aside, no one deserves those top three spots more than Kree, Angie, and Candice, but now that they've already hit the right notes for both the judges and the voters can they keep this game up? Did America get it right with Curtis? Were the judges right not to use the save this early? Follow Kelsea on Twitter @KelseaStahler [Photo Credit: George Holz/Fox] You Might Also Like:14 Movies That Are, Surprisingly, Not PornStars Who Have Lost Roles For Being Too Hot (Celebuzz)
  • President and Michelle Obama's 'Vogue' Interview, Or Why It's Healthy to Obsess Over the First Couple
    By: Kelsea Stahler Mar 14, 2013
    Could we be any more in love with President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama? Yes, as a matter of fact, we can.  Thanks to an interview with the impossibly charming First Couple in the April issue of Vogue, we get a candid glimpse into the lives of the POTUS and the FLOTUS so heart-wrenchingly perfect that an audible "aww" is the requisite response to half of the article's content — especially that picture-perfect photo above. And while President Obama's mentions of his beautiful wife through his 2012 Presidential campaign and numerous images of the handsome couple thoroughly enjoying each other's company have made us swoon since Obama became president in January 2009, nothing's given us quite the right amount of evidence for our fervent obsession until now, as the couple explains just how they keep their rock solid marriage so solid. RELATED: Someone Doesn't Like Michelle Obama, Inconceivable! "As I joked at a press conference, now that [our daughters] want less time with us, who knows? Maybe you’ll see us out in the clubs," says the President, speaking about what he and Mrs. Obama will do now that their girls, Sasha and Malia, are growing up. "Saturday night! ... The kids are out with their friends. Let’s go party!" jokes the FLOTUS. If the image of Mr. and Mrs. Obama shaking their groove thangs (they are still over the age of 45, after all) at what we can assume is a jazz club (they're not exactly going to be hitting up Karma on the Jersey Shore) isn't making your heart flutter and giggle all at the same time, you should probably check that your heart is still in good working order. As the interview continues, the sense that Michelle and Barack are the Beyoncé and Jay-Z of the political world only heightens (in part because the President refers to Michelle as his Beyoncé, because she "upgraded" him). But because it's not yet Friday and we all need a reason to have our faith in romance restored, here are five reasons, straight from the president and first lady themselves, that we just can't stop loving the First Couple: RELATED: Is It Sexist to Worship Michelle Obama's Look? Michelle Still Teases Him About His Crappy Old Apartment: "That place caught on fire ... And I was like, I told you it was a dump," says the first lady. They Actually Go To Sasha and Malia's Games and Performances: "Sasha plays basketball with her little team at a community center in my neighborhood ... there are no bleachers or anything—parents are just standing on the sidelines. And that’s an experience that the president has, just like all those other parents," says former White House communications director Anita Dunn. The President Thinks Michelle is a 'Good Mom,' But Not in a 1950s Way: "But I think it would be a mistake to think that my wife, when I walk in the door, is, Hey, honey, how was your day? Let me give you a neck rub. It’s not as if Michelle is thinking in terms of, How do I cater to my husband? I think it’s much more, We’re a team, and how do I make sure that this guy is together enough that he’s paying attention to his girls and not forgetting the basketball game that he’s supposed to be going to on Sunday?" says the POTUS. RELATED: Michelle Obama's New Look - PICS They Learn From Each Other: "Well, patience and calm I’m borrowing,” says the First Lady. “Or trying to mirror. I’ve learned that from my husband, that sort of, you know, ability to not get too high or too low with changes and bumps in the road . . . to do more breathing in and just going with it," says Mrs. Obama. And Because It's Amazing, Let's Just Think About That Beyonce Reference One More Time: "Michelle’s like Beyoncé in that song ... ‘Let me upgrade ya!’ She upgraded me," says the president. Follow Kelsea on Twitter @KelseaStahler [Photo Credits: Annie Leibovitz/Vogue(2)] You Might Also Like:Topanga's Revealing Lingerie Shoot: Hello '90s! Stars Who Have Lost Roles For Being Too Hot (Celebuzz)
  • 'Veronica Mars' Movie: Why the Character's Return Is a Big Deal
    By: Kelsea Stahler Mar 14, 2013
    "Who is this Veronica Mars chick and why is she all over Twitter?" It's a question that must have struck many Internet-savvy folks after Wednesday's Kickstarter project to raise money for the former UPN/CW crime drama's followup film took over social media. But Rob Thomas' Veronica Mars isn't just "some chick" all over Twitter, the teen series is an important piece of television history, and one whose light was snuffed out far too soon after being cherished by too few TV fans back in 2007. To put it simply, Veronica Mars is wildly significant, whether or not you were lucky enough to experience its magnificence.  RELATED: 'Veronica Mars' Movie Already Getting Backlash I get it. Not everyone was glued to UPN on Wednesday nights, clamoring to see what bad assery Veronica (the impossibly loveable Kristen Bell) would pull this week to solve the next piece of a season-long mystery. If they were, we'd probably still be following Mars through her post-collegiate sleuthing adventures. The San Diego-based teen sleuth wasn't your cheesy caricature of a young detective, like some schlocky version of Harriet the Spy hits puberty. She was a complex, dark character who towed the line between the dark recesses of gang life and petty crime worlds and the equally dark realm of high school, and one who did so with all the pithy charm of Lauren Graham's Loreli Gilmore. In a landscape of teen dramas where the biggest problems were parents' rules and moody boyfriends, Veronica Mars gave us a series about high school that didn't talk down to us, that trusted its young audience with a truer, gritty depiction of the hell that is teen life.  Veronica Mars: Feminist Hero? It wasn't just the realm of high school drama on television that got a boost from Veronica Mars. The realm of pop culture heroines got a bit of a payout from her entry into the television lexicon too. True, Veronica had her share of boyfriends - including rich boy with a heart of gold Duncan Kane (Teddy Dunn), rich boy with a penchant for bad behavior Logan Echolls (Jason Dohring), and for a short time the persistent young cop Leo D'Amato (Max Greenfield) — but even when that romantic drama was drawing us in (and leaving us gasping in terror when the final episode ever left the Veronica-Logan question unresolved), Mars' true draw was her wit, wisdom, fearlessness, and intelligience. Veronica really could do anything, and not because of some super power or element of uncanny access (if anything she had a lack of access as she and her private eye father lived in a cheesy San Diego apartment building on the wrong side of the tracks), but because of her lightning-fast brain and street smarts.  RELATED: Why Isn't There a Female James Bond?  Veronica is a character who solves the age-old problem of a strong lady sleuth overwhelmed by elements that undermine her abilities in many of the same ways Buffy Summers' vampire aggression did for teens in the horror genre. Even Alias' Sydney Bristow (Jennifer Garner) occasionally fell prey to the sexy femme fatale element of sleuthing that Bell's character manages to sidestep. Yes, Veronica was a sexually active character, but she is truthful to the truth of the teenage experience without wearing her sexuality on her sleeve. Her clothing of choice was a light jacket over a t-shirt and jeans, leather boots and her ever-present messenger bag. Even while her high school cohorts were tempting boys with short skirts and low-cut tops, Veronica was all business. At the end of the day, she was more concerned with helping her school mates and finding the truth than wearing the right clothes to attract some drooling dolt (one of whom was played to perfection on the series by the ever-present Ryan Hanson).  It's an element that allowed Veronica, who was very much a high school student, to feel relevant to more than just teen audiences. The gritty reality of Veronica's character was something that could appeal to viewers from every demographic, even if the cheesy promos didn't do their best to draw those folks in.  Is that Veronica, or Phillip Marlowe? One thing that drives careful TV viewers crazy is a mystery for the sake of a mystery. With the sheer number of crime shows on television, it's impossible not to be a whiz at solving a CSI or Law & Order mystery halfway through the episode (or if you're really good, five minutes into each episode). The beauty of the season-long and one-off mysteries on Veronica Mars is that they truly were mysteries and oddities. The answers were never predictable, but without the big reveal dropping in like the world's most obnoxious red herring. Mysteries on Veronica Mars didn't carry the schlocky feel that the word itself seems to contain; they felt real and immediate and most importantly, there was never a moment in which Veronica's journey ever felt safe. At any moment, our spunky blonde pixie could find herself in a world of hurt at the hands of Irish gangsters, weathly crooks, or even serial campus rapists. Veronica's uncovering of the truth never stopped short of the uncomfortable reality of her education-adjacent profession, the series consistently presented a more truthful reality for Veronica's chosen life. Critics and even horror writer Stephen King compared the critically acclaimed series to beloved mystery writer Raymond Chandler and Thomas' teen sleuth to Chandler's hero Phillip Marlowe (famously portrayed by Humphrey Bogart in The Big Sleep). For any work of fiction aimed at mystery-solving, this is just about the highest compliment anyone could pay.  Sure, it could be argued that a hell of a lot trouble came upon this teenager, but much like Walter White asks for every bit of drug world drama he finds himself in, Veronica relentlessly goes looking for deeper, darker, and more dangerous mysteries. Also, her father is a P.I., so it's kind of her God-given mode of operation.  Most Importantly: It's Fun Ideas of feminist progression and the high-minded praise of the series' eye for mystery aside, Veronica Mars is simply the best kind of entertainment: the fun kind. It combined the entertaining class-warfare of Fox's The O.C. with Chandler-level mystery and quippy dialogue that would make Amy Sherman-Pallidino (Gilmore Girls, Bunheads) proud. The audience draws were stacked, so much so that I still can't understand why more viewers weren't tuning into the impeccably-written drama.  Veronica's cohorts including her father (Enrico Colantoni), her best friends (Percy Daggs III and Tina Majorino), her nemeses (Ken Marino, Steve Gutenberg - yes, really - and Michael Muhney), and even guest stars (including Greenfield, Jessica Chastain, Amanda Seyfried, Krysten Ritter, and Dianna Agron, to name a few) were all fantastically complex characters too with their own mysterious backstories and skeletons in their respective closets. And some of them, namely Daggs, Marino, and Greenfield, were almost as hilariously witty as Veronica herself.  RELATED: How to Make the 'Veronica Mars' Movie Happen Naturally, when this fantastic, teenage-experience-defining series ended abruptly with a cliffhanger and no hope of future resolution aside from a disappointing faux-trailer on the final season's DVD that teased Veronica heading off to join the FBI, fans were left writhing in withdrawal. If you can't understand the fervor from a place of experience, we understand, many a Veronica Mars fan was lonely in their praise of the short-lived series. But hopefully, with a little context, the outpouring of joy all over the Internet after the Veronica Mars movie met its $1 million goal in just a day finally makes sense. And if we (and Warner Bros.) are lucky, it just might give you the push to accept Veronica Mars, the incomperable spitfire, into your life too.  Of course, if all this pontificating isn't enough to convince you, you could always enjoy this compilation of great Veronica moments, complete with the full Dandy Warhols-provided theme song and everything: Follow Kelsea on Twitter @KelseaStahler [Photo Credit: The CW]  You Might Also Like:Topanga's Revealing Lingerie Shoot: Hello '90s! Stars Who Have Lost Roles For Being Too Hot (Celebuzz)
  • 'American Idol' Goes on Without Nicki Minaj & 7 Other Live TV Disasters
    By: Kelsea Stahler Mar 14, 2013
    Ah, the wonders of live television. How fragile is the barrier between great moments and disasters when the safety net of a pretaped show is removed. And no show knows this better than American Idol, which has witnessed not one but two uncomfortable live moments this season. RELATED: Why Was Nicki Minaj Late to 'Idol'? First was Charlie Askew's incredibly uncomfortable moment of distress after his Top 20 performance failed to impress the judges. Second was Nicki Minaj's reenactment of your hungover coworker showing up an hour late to the morning meeting. After having "traffic issues" (something Randy wasn't buying at all) Minaj arrived for the show in a T-shirt and hoodie, sheilding her eyes from the viewing public with her cat-ear-adorned sunglasses. Really profesh, Nicki.  But this isn't the only instance of live TV serving up an awkward surprise — that's practically the reason any network airs something live: the possibility of weirdness and, sometimes, even disaster. Minaj shouldn't feel too bad; she's just taking part in an age-old tradition, really. RELATED: 'American Idol' Top 10 Recap The Rachel Crow Tear-Fest At the very least, Idol can hold its head high that it's not the show that has become infamous for unleashing the saddest four minutes of live television (possibly ever) onto the viewing public. The X Factor made a nation weep when judge Nicole Scherzinger failed to save young Rachel Crow from elimination towards the end of the first U.S. season. The result was tears... everywhere. Rachel broke down on stage. America broke down. Nicole broke down, and Paula Abdul had to pick her back up. Nicki's psuedo hangover was nothing compared to this.  Sports Stars Behaving Badly The world of competitive sports is no stranger to an unexpected moment of live television. At this year's Super Bowl, we witnessed the Ravens' Joe Flacco dropping the F bomb and the Super Dome lost its lights, both of which became fodder the next day. Then there's Shaq, who famously forgets the part where live TV interviews generally need to be given without cursing, and continues to do so as a commetator for TNT. And of course, Kobe Bryant's uncomfortable outburst in 2011, when the camera panned a little too close and captured the Lakers star dropping a homophobic slur.  The Famous Oscars Streaker Nothing says style and grace like a guy with long hair and a mustache running naked across the stage at Hollywood's biggest awards ceremony. In 1974, David Niven was barely even bothered by a streaker running across the Oscars stage. But it's a live TV moment no one else has managed to forget. RELATED: Can a Girl Win 'American Idol'? The Jig That Killed a Career You can't talk about TV mishaps without bringing up Ashlee Simpson's famed lip-synching failure. In case you forgot (and you probably didn't), Simpson's vocals played back on the SNL stage before she started lip-synching (or singing along, as she claimed). Realizing the jig was up (sorry, I couldn't resist), Simpson danced around the stage before exiting altogether. Gee, I wonder why we haven't heard any new music from her since that happened? Walking Is Hard: Hilarious Awards Show Edition It's simple: Bret Michaels was performing a Rock of Ages number at the 2009 Tonys, when the backdrop came down too early and he smacked right into it. Hilarious.  Walking Is Hard: Adorable Jennifer Lawrence Edition Not all live TV disasters have to be awkward. Case and point: Jennifer Lawrence's charming princess tumble at the 2013 Oscars. She faltered, got back up, and adorably told the audience to sit down because they were only giving her a standing O for her ability to miraculously continue after the horrible embarrassment of having difficulty with a dress 10 times her size. And people wonder why the Internet is so convinced that she's the epitome of perfection. Janet Jackson and the Infamous Wardrobe Malfunction How could we not? Jump to 5:26 if you're feeling pervy.  Follow Kelsea on Twitter @KelseaStahler [Photo Credit: Fox] You Might Also Like:14 Movies That Are, Surprisingly, Not PornStars Who Have Lost Roles For Being Too Hot (Celebuzz)
  • 'American Idol' Recap: Candice Glover — The Next Jordin Sparks?
    By: Kelsea Stahler Mar 14, 2013
    There’s a line drawn in the sand for the top 10 contestants on American Idol. On one side, we have a set of singers so perfectly packaged, so talented, so ready for action that picking a favorite is about as easy picking your favorite Internet hedgehog (I’ve tried and it’s impossible. Those suckers are universally adorable). Opposite these fantastic singers are a group of wannabes: people with decent pipes, but no spirit, no direction, and absolutely no ability to compete with the top contestants. The divide has never been more evident and unless a miracle takes place, that’s not going to change. Lucky for the women on the show, they’re all on the more promising side of the competition, especially Miss Candice Glover. RELATED: Why Was Nicki Minaj Late to the Top 10 Performance? For the incredibly loosely defined “Idol Songs” week, Candice chose “I (Who Have Nothing)” which was performed by Jordin Sparks on the show, but is actually by Ben E. King (and if we’re splitting hairs, she did the Shirley Bassey version of the song). However, bending of the theme aside, Candice brings her usual brand of unbelievable vocals to the performance, finally finding the right emotional sweet spot for her voice. In a few minutes, she jumps right to the top of heap and brings the entire panel (except Mariah, who’s trapped in a seated position by her impossibly restrictive skirt) to their feet. Fortunately for us, she’s not the only incredible presence on that stage. Here are my rankings of this week’s Top 10: 1. Candice Glover with “I (Who Have Nothing)” as performed by Jordin Sparks (Duh) 2. Angie Miller with “Surrender” by Celine Dion and as Performed by Kelly Clarkson While Jimmy Iovine may be concerned that Angie looks too much like a beauty pageant winner, this girl is not slowing down. Performing yet another song that feels like it’s her own, Angie has complete control over the stage, over her vocals, over Dion’s classic ballad. Here’s hoping viewers are on board too. 3. Kree Harrison with “Crying” by Roy Orbison as performed by Carrie Underwood Again, Kree turns in an incredible performance. It’s so predictable that the lack of drama is almost annoying. Luckily, Nicki made up for the lack of surprise by comparing the happiness she hears while Kree’s singing to her favorite weekend ritual of toasting waffles, melting the butter on top in the microwave, and then covering them with “buttermilk syrup.” I’m not sure what possessed her to use that description, but am I nuts to think it’s actually kind of accurate? RELATED: Can a Girl Really Win 'Idol'? 4. Burnell Taylor with “Flying Without Wings” by Ruben Studdard Once again, Burnell is adorable. Incredible. Capable. Wonderful. I do miss his glasses and his goofy little baseball cap, but I can see why the stylists have made him a little more slick. The fog machine, however was cheesy. Burnell is already magical, he doesn’t need a misty lagoon to prove that. But visual annoyances aside, this performance is perfection, as usual. It’s easy for him. I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again: If a girl doesn’t win this year, let the winner at least be Mr. Burnell Taylor (even if that means we’ll have to watch Randy throw another parade for “the great city of Baton Rouge” — we get it, dawg, you’re from Louisiana). 5. Amber Holcomb with “A Moment Like This” by Kelly Clarkson I want to say I loved this performance, because once again, we can see Amber’s incredible talent being put to inappropriate use. Jimmy suggested Amber do a more upbeat version of the Kelly Clarkson song, but I think perhaps what he really meant was less Mariah or Whitney Houston in the ‘90s (hey, even Mariah noticed that she stole that fan move from Miss Butterfly herself). Amber continually sings flawless ballads with so little effort it’s infuriating, but she can’t seem to make herself a contemporary artist. Rather than Clarkson’s throwback hit or even Whitney’s hits, Holcomb should try on some Beyonce or even (dare I say it) Adele. She’s wildly talented, but if she doesn’t figure out a way to update her sound, she may slip from voters’ notice. 6. Janelle Arthur with “Gone” by Montgomery Gentry as performed by Scotty McCreery Janelle tries to follow Jimmy’s good advice and find a way to be unique and sort of succeeds, even if her vocals are slightly spotty. She tries to play a bit of the easy going bad girl, and it mostly works (Idol’s own graphics certainly weren’t helping her to lower the cheese factor though). When she’s done and the judges are confused because the big notes in the song just weren’t there, she explains that her mouth went dry while she was singing. It might be an excuse, but her vocal is a little out of whack this round. RELATED: Keith Urban on Why 'Idol' Made Him Cry 7. Curtis Finch, Jr. with “I Believe” by Fantasia Here’s where I draw the line. Despite my overwhelming distaste for Curtis, I can acknowledge that the guy has a good instrument, it’s what he does with it that’s the problem. Jimmy warns him against going too old fashioned, but he can’t seem to change it up too much. He steps onto the stage in a coat made out of a square of the Windsor Castle carpet, with a gospel choir in tow. It’s the same ol’ same ol’ and everyone but Mariah is bored. When Randy comes right out and says it’s boring, it’s usually time to change it up, dawg. 8. Paul Jolley with “Amazed” by Lonestar as performed by Scotty McCreery Paul tries to heed Jimmy’s advice to ditch the theatrics and oversinging, but he only slightly gets it. He starts off his song a little quieter, sitting at the back of the stage and resisting the urge to get to his favorite spot at the front of the stage, but all he’s really done is make his performance more bland. Again, he’s got great parts of his voice, it’s just not adding up to a potential star when he hits the stage. 9. Devin Velez with “Temporary Home” by Carrie Underwood Jimmy tells Devin to stop aiming for old fashioned styles like those of Josh Groban and Michael Buble and unfortunately, that’s exactly what he does with this Carrie Underwood song. The most exciting thing about this performance is the new special effect the Idol set department seems to have discovered this year (where are we? A bubble galaxy? Is Devin still singing?). 10. Lazaro Arbos singing “Breakaway” by Kelly Clarkson Once again, Lazaro proves his biggest weakness is his inability to recognize the great parts of his voice. Since this competition began, he’s never been able to pick a song that really highlights who he is. Jimmy warns him about this, but he still sings Clarkson’s hit and to uncomfortable effect. He doesn’t have the range or the connection to the song. It simply doesn’t work. I want to like Lazaro because he’s adorable and has a great backstory, but the vocals just haven’t been cutting it. Who do you think will go home? Follow Kelsea on Twitter @KelseaStahler [Photo Credit: Fox] You Might Also Like:14 Movies That Are, Surprisingly, Not PornStars Who Have Lost Roles For Being Too Hot (Celebuzz)