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.
  • 'American Idol' Recap: Auditions #6     
    By: Kelsea Stahler Feb 04, 2011
    S10E6: One thing is for sure, the L.A. auditions were definitely the opposite of the Austin ones. Instead of a slew of boring, yet decent singers, we saw the absolute worst of the worst. By the end of the episode, I found myself afraid to go outside because I’d surpassed my quota for crazy and looped back around so many times that my brain was starting to melt. I guess that’s what you get when American Idol starts accepting auditions from MySpace. Yep, this is the episode where they finally did something with those internet auditions they’ve been pushing since late summer. Too bad all it did was prove that the Rupert Murdoch-owned (hello, shameless self promotion of the Murdoch empire) dying social networking site can’t even get a jump start from an endorsement on the show that has millions of Americans watching intently every time it hits the tube. There’s a reason The Social Network wasn’t about Tom Anderson. “Talk about delusional people.” –Randy “Well, this is L.A.” –Steven First up was the initial sign that the volume on my television should have been on mute and should have stayed there for most of the episode. Victoria Garret showed up onscreen touting that God brought American Idol auditions to L.A. specifically for her so she could win. Yes, because God has favorites, you’re one of them, and American Idol is clearly his first priority. Has this girl ever even seen a newspaper? There’s really shit going down out there; God is not worried about Idol. Trust me. With an intro like this, we knew she wouldn’t be good. Her voice was just painful, yet Steven is taking his spot as the new Paula very seriously and took a moment to tell her that her voice was “sweet.” Yeah, if by sweet you mean one of those ridiculous jalapeño lollipops with a dead cricket in the middle. “It lacked balls.” –JLo To give our poor ears a rest, the next contestant sang like a human – a rare occurrence during the L.A. auditions. Tim Halperin sang a beautiful version of “She Will be Loved” that lacked a bit of power (or balls) – did anyone else notice how close his name is to Jim Halpert, or am I just obsessed with John Krasinski? Don’t answer that. Anyway, Randy tells the cutie pie “nope,” leaving the deciding vote on JLo’s shoulders. It also happens that Tim’s been in love with Lopez since he was a young boy, and here we go again; Idol lets someone’s idol be the one to save their ass. Is it Hollywood week yet? This is becoming obnoxious. Of course Tim had more balls than Justin Carter, whose name happens to be a hybrid of monumental late 90s pop music royalty. If you don’t know who I’m talking about, you should get reacquainted with Google. Try it. "Late 90s boy bands." Go. “It’s almost like you’re relatively tone deaf.” –Randy Yeah, it’s almost like that. Idol continued its couple-happy trend, but this time with two best friends. One half of the duo, Issac Rodriguez, has been duping his poor mama (and himself) by dropping out of college to be the next American Idol. It actually broke my heart to see his sweet mother bragging about her son being in college. Both Rodriguez and his friend Daniel Gomez were some of the worst singers we've seen all season. What I want to know is how they’re best friends but Gomez let Rodriguez drop out of college with that awful voice. Usually tone-deafness only applies to hearing your own voice, but there’s something wrong when you can’t tell someone else is off key. Yikes. Someone needs to get some of those balls JLo was talking about and reiterate Randy’s instruction for neither of them to ever sing again. Ever. (Pardon the crappy recording below.) “I’ve had the pleasure of meeting other artisses.” –Contestant Now for the MySpace folks. There were two yeses from this bunch; Karen Rodriguez from New York who apparently sang to Lopez once on TRL and Heidi Khzam who wiggled her way to a golden ticket. THIS IS NOT AMERICAN RUMP SHAKER. Randy and Steven need to keep it in their pants and stop voting for these hot girls with zero talent. Now for the moment we all anticipate from the second we learned Idol would be using MySpace for auditions. Tynisha Roches wasted 400 bucks to fly out to L.A. from New Jersey to stumble through the words to her own “Frank Sinatra Tribute.” Not only were her creepy fake eyebrows and intense bangs scary, she was just plain crazy. She wouldn’t stop singing and ended up chasing Randy around the room until he wrested her mic (which she brought from home) away from her and called security. This BS went on for far too long; we know this girl is just egging it on, let’s not reward her okay? “I’m a freelance music producer.” – Contestant “Who do you produce?” –Randy “I produce for millions- uh, a bunch of artists.” – Contestant And this is where the competition dove head first into plain old overdone exploitation of delusional people. Maybe there’s too much sunshine in L.A., because the crazies are out in full this episode. One of the craziest is MSFP, or Matthew Scott Frankel This guy was not only delusional about how cool he was but also the fact that he was (not) a famous music producer and his ability to rap as his “Sasha Fierce” character: Big Stats. His rap name may as well have been T1-83 Calculator. Big Stats? What’s your signature rap? Compiling the number of people who are dumb enough to believe you’re really being serious about this? Needless to say, the dude couldn’t sing or rap and Randy’s truthful commentary left him bitter. “(Randy) You and I are beefin.’” Something tells me Randy’s okay with that. After MSFP practically burned down the stage with his mad crazy rhymes, we got to suffer through a montage of more insane people attempting to communicate with dogs through song. One guy pulls his pants down; another girl pulls a muscle doing the splits. Of course, if you got all the way to the end like I did, you know it got so much worse. “It was god-like, the way you guys sing.” –Steven He’s definitely being a bit hyperbolic, but compared to everything else that came through Los Angeles (which, if you remember correctly is a city FULL of talent, supposedly) was so dismal that I’d have been praising the lord for these guys too. Brothers Mark and Aaron Gutierrez mark the only “couple” audition that hasn’t been so sickeningly sweet that I wished I’d swiped the barf bag from my last flight to California. They sang a duet of “Lean on Me” and everything about it was completely adorable, down to their cleverly matching outfits. Let’s just hope they’re just as adorable when they each sing solo or it’s sayonara for these dudes. “My name is Cooper Robinson and I’m here to take your city from ya.” –Contestant I didn’t think there could be a worse way to end one of these episodes than with another tear-jerker, but I was wrong. In the vein of the “hey look at these assholes” show that seemed to take over the entirety of the L.A. auditions, Idol ended on its most demoralizing note yet. In an attempt that I can only guess was a failed attempt at finding the 2011 version of “Pants on the Ground” guy, who was genuinely funny and knew he was on the show attempting to become a YouTube sensation, Idol brought Robinson into our homes to make fun of him and make the rest of us incredibly uncomfortable. He was clearly not in the best mental state, donning Mardi Gras clothes and attempting to channel James Brown while shouting complete nonsense. At one point, Ryan Seacrest ran from him. Not only did this go on too long, but it made me feel like an awful person for watching it. I already question the idea that the show deludes people into second auditions only to show tear them down once they meet the judges, but this was just sad. Auditions are always the most monotonous part of this show, but they just solidified themselves as the most disrespectful and distasteful part of the Idol process. Hollywood week can’t come soon enough.
  • Sneak Peek at Tonight's D&D Episode of 'Community'
    By: Kelsea Stahler Feb 03, 2011
    One of the stars of Community, Danny Pudi, says tonight's episode is going to be scary, and from the looks of this clip from Vulture, that tone will come with a little Lord of the Rings flavor. Does that mean Chang will be Gollum-esque? Come on, Ken Jeong channeling Gollum would make for a great chang of pace. Okay, I totally constructed that sentence in hopes of getting a chance to chang things up, but it's just too much fun. All that business aside, this episode looks to not only tickle every nerdy bone in our bodies but also give Abed an opportunity for more awesomely strange moments like this. Enjoy. Community airs tonight on NBC at 8 p.m. Source: NY Mag
  • Sheen Will Return To 'Two and Half Men' at the End of the Month
    By: Kelsea Stahler Feb 03, 2011
    Although fans of the show have been wrestling with the recent announcement that they'd have to wait until March for their favorite belligerent TV character to get back to running amok on the set of Two and a Half Men, his rep just announced that Charlie Sheen plans to return to work at the end of February. That's right; it's the shortest month of the year and we're already three days in. This is good news, anxious Two and Half Men fans! Go celebrate; break a priceless chandelier, lock someone in the closet, and call some hookers because the drought has an end in sight. Sheen released a statement about this incident, and while he apologized and thanked his fans, he still managed to compare himself to one of the greats. "Like Errol Flynn, who had to be put down his sword on occasion, I just want to say, 'thank-you,'"said Sheen. Right. Just because you both led destructive personal lives doesn't mean you're on that level. Sorry, dude. Even with his early return, CBS looks to take a $250 million bath and many of those folks who work on the crew for the show will likely have to go without pay for the month that production is at a stand-still. Yet, the other stars of the show will still get their paychecks. Yeah, that sounds fair. Hopefully, Sheen's at-home rehab plan will work so he won't continue to cost other people their hard earned money. Source: Hollywood Reporter, The New York Daily News
  • 'American Idol' Recap: Auditions #5
    By: Kelsea Stahler Feb 03, 2011
    S10E5: I’d like to start off by saying thank goodness last night’s Austin auditions episode was only an hour because holy crap was it a snooze. Steven Tyler was behaving, Randy was unimaginatively mean to the contestants, and there were only a handful of crazy people to offset the slew of decent singers. If I wasn’t so concerned with trying to make early bets about who will fail or succeed once the contestants reach Hollywood, I would’ve turned off last night’s episode, put on some re-runs of The Office and knit a sweater for my dog. That’s right, you heard it here first: last night’s Idol was less exciting than KNITTING. “Do you know what rhymes with ‘Muck?’” –Steven “Duck?” –Contestant “Read my lips…(he mouths ‘fuck’).” –Steven Apparently this little gem is a source of intense controversy because this week the show opened with a black screen with a message stating that Steven has apologized for his outrageous and inappropriate comments before giving us a glimpse of the crime. First of all, this was frankly not that bad. Second, I don’t know how much of a serious apology it was when they put that cheesy elevator music in the background. Whether or not they took the opening seriously, it seemed throughout the episode that Steven had indeed found himself a chill pill because the ridiculousness that I’ve come to expect by the fifth episode was completely gone last night. It may have been inappropriate, but it was entertaining and I want it back. “My whole life I’ve been told I have a JLo booty.” –Contestant First up this week were two people who were actually pretty good singers. They were boring, but they could sing. Corey Levoy told his story about growing up 15 minutes away from his biological sister for years before ever meeting her. He brought his best friend and sister to the audition and she sat alongside the judges while he sang one of my favorite Bonnie Raitt song, “I Can’t Make You Love Me.” The kid has a decent singing voice, but did anyone else notice that he had a very lady-like quality to his voice? If he makes it through, it will be interesting to see how he takes on the weekly challenges of the actual competition. That being said, his voice may not be strong enough to get all the way through, but then again that Tim kid made it up through the ranks and he COULD NOT SING. Next came young Hollie Cavanagh, who moved from Liverpool, England to Texas with her parents. She made a delusional attempt to sing one of the hardest songs out there, “At Last” by Etta James. Because she, and almost every other person ever, doesn’t have the pipes for the tune, she jumped back and forth between keys making for a disjointed melody. Randy turned her down, so of course she pulled out the waterworks. THIS IS BECOMING A PATTERN and I don’t approve. Then suddenly, the producers discovered a technique that every other reality show ever has used: the commercial break to create suspense out of thin air. Too bad we already knew what would happen. She got another chance to sing an easier song and they all changed their tunes and sent her to Hollywood. Whoopdie-frickin’-doo. “The singing, honestly, was terrible.” –Randy “So it’s a no?” –Contestant No, Rodolfo Ochoa, your singing was terrible, so welcome to Hollywood! NO. Use your brain please. Rodolfo was the tail end of a montage of failed contestants crying and saying they’ve failed their friends and family – or “everyone” if they’re really dramatic – and he attempted to sing “Circle of Life,” but he sounded like he needed to be put out of his misery. Even so, we’ve seen way worse on Idol; like I said, this episode lacked a punch. “Completely and utterly heterosexual; just wanna put that out there.” – Cowboy contestant Being that the auditions were taking place in Texas, we had to endure a montage of over the top cowboys who couldn’t carry a tune if the fate of their horses depended on it. Out of this buncha wailers, came John Wayne (Shulz). He’s beautiful and he’s doing Idol for his mother who’s recovering from breast cancer. And the cherry on top? He’s legitimately a good singer. Obviously they call in his mother to witness the moment he gets sent to Hollywood and she cries. Wait, isn’t this type of thing supposed to come at the end of the episode? Look at you, American Idol. Shaking it up. You crazy. It may seem like Schulz has some sort of deal with the devil, but TMZ uncovered his dirty little secret: he's actually already a professional recording artist. Whoops. Apparently his record deal hit the skids when he had to leave for two years to do his mission for his Mormon church, so his participation with Idol is a-okay, but at least he's not as perfect as the show made him seem. And the world makes sense again. “Ryan Seacrest is the sexiest man alive.” –Contestant And now for some real fakers. This is where I deviate from the order of the actual show, but I’m in control so deal with it. (Insert evil laugh here.) The first faker could actually sing, and she was decent but probably not strong enough to win (thank you, Randy for being the only one to recognize that). Her problem wasn’t her voice though, she faked this whole obsession for Ryan Seacrest saying she will someday marry him before doing a chicken impression at her audition. Come on. My friends in high school were in the drama club; I can spot a ham when I see one. This girl was just goofing off to make sure she was on TV and her disingenuous style was just plain obnoxious. Save room for the real singers, people. Our second faker came later in a lackluster montage of the baddies. Yeah that was some girl dressed as an eagle queen (maybe?) but the lady in the armadillo costume earned the brunt of my wrath (though this week, my wrath is more of an apathetic grumble than a roar). She gave her rejection interview in the suit which tells me she just wanted to show her friends at home that she could get Idol to broadcast a chick in a critter suit. NEXT. The one benefit of all these fakers is that Randy finally got mean. I just wish he would have practiced some better insults on his way to Texas because, boy, was his commentary stale. I mean, “Is there a song called ‘Watch Me Leave?’” My six year old cousin has more creative insults than that. Step it up, dawg. “Wow. Fucking great day. Shit.” –Steven Apparently, profanity wasn’t part of the apology contract Steven made because by the end of the day, it was free flowing. He still lacked that inappropriate spark and he re-used his little pitchfork devil comment; WHAT is going on here? I’ll say it again, step up the creativity, judges. After a charming little Texas pride montage we got into even more good contestants – where were all the baddies this week? After a few Hollywood bound folks got their tickets in rapid succession, we get another doctored cheesy back story. Oh joy. Jaqueline Dunford and Nick Fink are in love and they’re auditioning together. It seems Nick is perpetually stoked about it too, because that smile is permanently attached to his face. You’d think his face would get sore from all of that, but nope, he even kept it going as he sang “Sunday Morning.” Incredible. That’s commitment. Nick sounded a bit like Michael Buble, but his range wasn’t that impressive; his girlfriend on the other hand, has some pretty good pipes. Of course they both go to Hollywood where they’ll compete with that couple from Nashville for who’s the most annoyingly cute pair. After that schmooze fest, Janelle Arthur hit the audition room to prove the world wrong about “country folk” and to blow us all out of the water with “Syrup and Honey.” Though she could not manage to pronounce the word “syrup” correctly, she sang beautifully. Still, for the rest of the evening I was thinking over and over again to myself, “Sarap? Why would she say Sarap?” Maybe I’m just an ass. That’s probably the real issue here. “Some people think I look like Seth Rogen. What do you think?” –Contestant “Fraggle Rock.” –Cameraman Casey Abrams was the final contestant of the evening, and I have to agree, he looks nothing like Seth Rogen. He’s got the hair, but come on, anyone can grow Seth Rogen hair. It’s called the unattended fro with a bushy beard. Despite his inability to look in a mirror, Casey can really sing. He’s got a soulful, robust voice that I just hope makes it all the way to the top 12 because it will be nice to see a real man up there instead of the Nickelback-sound-a-like Lee Dwyze from last year. I’m aware that America voted him in as the winner, but I don’t have to like it. As this recap comes to a close, I’d like to commend Idol for not ending with yet another tear-jerker. It’s nice to feel a little upbeat when these episodes end. I actually had motivation to get up and accomplish things after last night’s auditions. Of course, that could have been because I was so bored watching them that I felt the need to escape as far away from the television as possible. Thank God there are only a few more audition episodes left; I’m ready for the competition and major cuts in Hollywood. Is it mean that I’m looking forward to seeing who gets sent packing? Maybe I can find some old reruns of The Weakest Link to tide me over for now. Goodbye.
  • Steve Zaillian In Talks to Rewrite Next Jack Ryan Pic
    By: Kelsea Stahler Feb 02, 2011
    For over a year now, we've known that Chris Pine would take on the role of Jack Ryan in the next Tom Clancy-inspired thriller, but the production date seems to keep creeping further and further away. Don't worry though, amongst the set-backs is a little ray of sunlight: Paramount is in the process of cutting a deal with screenwriter Steve Zaillian to rewrite the script for the highly anticipated flick. This will push the March production date back to later in the spring in Budapest. For those of you who are still worried, keep in mind that the studio is willing to shell out the dough for Zallian and they've already nabbed Pine who needs to be finished with this film in time to start production for the Star Trek sequel. Paramount wouldn't spend that kind of money or allow production to delay the release date of their Star Trek cash cow. The move to get Zaillian on the project could signal a return to basics; he was a screenwriter on the Ryan adventure, Clear and Present Danger, back in 1994. Zaillian's also a hot name in Hollywood right now thanks to his work on David Fincher's The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. Inking a deal could mean good things for Jack Ryan fans and Paramount. Source: Hollywood Reporter
  • Donald Sutherland, Elijah Wood Will Star in 'Treasure Island' on SyFy
    By: Kelsea Stahler Feb 02, 2011
    SyFy - a network whose recent name change from SciFi still boggles my mind - is taking a break from pumping out awesome and completely ridiculous monster movies like Sharktopus, Dinocroc Vs. Supergator, and Megapython Vs. Gateroid (starring 80's pop sensations Tiffany and Deborah Gibson) to bring us a literary classic with a host of relatively big name actors. Elijah Wood, Donald Sutherland, and Eddie Izzard have just landed roles in the television adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island. The project will see Izzard as Long John Silver, which frankly sounds like a thoroughtly entertaining casting choice, and Wood as Ben Gunn a marooned pirate and former crewman of Sutherland's notorious Captain Flint. The project is shooting in Puerto Rico and Ireland and will air in two parts in 2012. Sorry, literature buffs, you're going to have to hold your horses for now. In the meantime, I'd seriously recommend checking out one of those hybrid monster movies; bad acting, terrible graphics, and two hours of hilarity. Source: Hollywood Reporter
  • Listen to Songs From 'Glee's' Valentine's Day Episode
    By: Kelsea Stahler Feb 02, 2011
    It looks like the people behind Glee understand our inability to wait for anything. There are only a few days between us and the return of our favorite show that involves teens breaking out into song, often without reason, yet we can't seem to contain our anticipation. I know that right now, listening to these songs feels like a way to put a lid on your anxiety but it isn't. It will just make you even more excited for the return of Glee. I also know that like any good junkie, you're probably ignoring my warning (you may not have even read it) and skipping straight to the goods. Don't worry; I would have done the same thing. Source: NY Mag
  • 'Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part 1' Blu-ray Will Include A Scene from 'Part 2'
    By: Kelsea Stahler Feb 02, 2011
    Attention Potter fans! It's only a matter of time before we can bring the first half of the final chapter of our beloved Harry Potter movie series home. Warner Bros. Home Entertainment just announced that Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part 1 will hit Blu-ray, DVD and digital copy on April 15 - a little something to soften the blow of National Oh Holy Crap I Forgot to File My Taxes Day. In addition to the host of regular DVD features, the real treat here is that Warners is offering up a Blu-ray and DVD exclusive sneak peak at Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2. So there it is, another thing you can wait anxiously for to help soothe the even greater anxiety of waiting for the full-length final feature itself. Enjoy the anticipation, folks! Source:
  • Josh Schwartz Sells Dramas to ABC and The CW
    By: Kelsea Stahler Feb 02, 2011
    Someone needs to open a rehab center for addictive dramas because Josh Schwartz and friends are unleashing two new pilots on the unsuspecting public. If they're anything like his other successful shows - The O.C. and Gossip Girl - our collective will power is sure to be tested. Both ABC and the CW have tapped into the serial television wizard's latest brain children in hopes of nabbing a rabid fan base. First up, the CW grabbed Hart of Dixie, another small town drama to join all the ABC small town shows. It seems a little Gilmore Girls-y, placing a hoity toity New York City doctor into a small practice in a little town full of "eccentric" people. Schwartz has pulled one of his Gossip Girl writers from the team to pen the new pilot and he'll produce alongside his usual partner in television, Stephanie Savage. I'm a little worried that this show is going to bite the dust amongst other similar pilots, but I also said I would never, ever, ever watch The O.C. but was I sitting there, shocked out of my mind when Marisa made her untimely exit? Yes. Yes, I was. Schwartz has also sold a little TV magic to ABC in the form of a new show called Georgetown, which is a Washington, D.C. inspired show that follows the young people behind the powerful brokers of our nation's capital. ABC and the CW have tried to nab viewers with the political, fast-paced feel of D.C. but never managed to sink their teeth in. With the drama king behind this one, they may actually have a chance to make this whole world look sexy and completely engrossing. Source: Hollywood Reporter
  • Watch: 'California Gurls' on 'Glee'
    By: Kelsea Stahler Feb 01, 2011
    Are you one of those people who can't manage to wait until Sunday to see the return of Glee? Do you find it cruel that tonight, in its normal slot will be a dreaded re-run, leaving us fans with nothing better to do than to knit Mark Salling's face into an afhgan to keep us warm until the show actually returns? Well, thanks to magic of the internet, Sunday's opening scene is now available to tide us over. Watch as Sue Sylvester's cheerios shoot fireworks out of their boobs (yeah, you'll take out "Sex on the beach" but firework boobs are cool?) and don blue wigs in honor of what I like to call American Chili cook-off day or the Super Bowl if you're boring. Source: EW