Saturday, May 30, 2009
Actress Angelina Jolie was hospitalized briefly on Friday after suffering a minor injury while shooting an action sequence in Long Island, New York, for her upcoming film "Salt," the studio behind the film said.
Her hospitalization was a "precautionary measure," and she was soon out of the medical facility and back on the set, said a spokesman for Columbia Pictures.
Jolie, who was nominated for a best actress Oscar for her role last year in "Changeling," is in a romantic partnership with actor Brad Pitt. The globe-trotting couple, dubbed Brangelina in the media, is raising six children together.
Spy thriller "Salt" is expected to be released next year.http://www.reuters.com/article/entertainmentNews/idUSTRE54S5RX20090529
One year ago, Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart and a handful of other "Twilight" stars arrived at the MTV Movie Awards and walked down the red carpet, with most of the world's press uninterested in speaking with them. In fact, they had to go back to the beginning of the carpet and start again, just so they could be properly introduced to those who didn't realize they were movie stars. Luckily, MTV had caught the "Twilight" bug early, eagerly did some exclusive interviews with the actors on the carpet and were proud to use the occasion as their coming-out party.
This Sunday night, Rob, Kristen, Kellan, Ashley, Cam, Taylor and others will return to Universal's Gibson Amphitheatre triumphantly, leading the evening's attendees with seven nominations. And when director Catherine Hardwicke recently showed us around her Venice home where it all began, she marveled at the difference 12 months can make.
"Pretty much, everyone was more or less an unknown when we cast them," she explained. "Now they've all blown up big, like, crazy."
Hardwicke has a seat on the aisle, stage right. And she's ready to do a lot of jumping up and down and shrieking if "Twilight" continues its rags-to-riches story at the MTV Movie Awards. "I think it's going to be different," she said of the reception she expects for stars like Pattinson on this year's red carpet. "Most people, now, know who Robert is. He's been at the top of the Star Meter on IMdB for a year now — he's really blown up big."
"We were in Italy with him, and Germany, London. People all over the world are just crazy about him," she said of watching Rob's ascension to the top ranks in Hollywood. "So, [the Movie Awards] are going to be a lot of fun."
It's no secret that Hardwicke became a proud den mother on the "Twilight" set, watching over her young actors as she helped guide them from relative obscurity to superstardom. And although the director has passed the "Twilight" torch to others for the upcoming sequels, she's still thrilled to know that she gave Pattinson, Stewart, Lutz, Lautner and others their breakthrough roles.
"[That] for me is exciting, because it means there are a lot of actors out there now who can play interesting parts and will be given the chance to do something great," she explained. "Robert's small films and Kristen's small films are getting released now, and hopefully new interesting films will be made, because these two are very unique in their choices."
And if "Twilight" should win the big prize of Best Movie on Sunday night? "Oh, well, I don't think I have to give a speech," Hardwicke said tentatively, before being reminded that directors typically do at the MTV Movie Awards. "Well, that would be fun — but we'll see."
Instead, Hardwicke grinned, she's looking forward to hearing the possible acceptance speech of Breakthrough Performance nominee Pattinson. "If anyone has dealt with it well, [it's Robert]. He hasn't gotten a big head — he takes it with a grain of salt. He sees the absurdity and the humor in it," she explained. "He's great with that self-effacing Brit-thing; it's awesome."
Global Internet sensation Susan Boyle competes in the final of "Britain's Got Talent" on Saturday amid signs she is struggling to cope with her sudden rise to stardom and constant media intrusion.
The 48-year-old unemployed church volunteer from Scotland, who once joked she had never been kissed and has been described by newspapers as "frumpy" and a "hairy angel," threatened to pull out of the popular television contest this week.
"She's been in tears repeatedly," Piers Morgan, one of the show's judges, told "Inside Edition" in an interview aired in the United States earlier this week.
In his blog, Morgan wrote: "Let me tell you now, there is a downside to fame. People start criticizing you, sniping at you, trying to trip you up, belittle you, harass you.
"I am calling today for everyone to just give her a break."
Boyle's performance of the song "I Dreamed a Dream" last month in the first round of Britain's Got Talent has been downloaded more than 150 million times on the Internet and turned her into a major celebrity.
Film crews camped outside her home in the small town in rural Scotland where she lives alone with her cat, tabloid reporters have followed her every move and she is front page news almost every day in Britain.
Boyle appeared on U.S. chat shows hosted by Oprah Winfrey and Larry King and is a media sensation from Chile to China.
While her voice has the power to reduce judges on the show to tears, Boyle's success has also raised the awkward question of why people were so surprised that she had such a talent.
With her unkempt hair and apparent indifference to what she wore, Boyle was the very antithesis of what many viewers thought a celebrity should be.
She had to overcome derisive sniggers in the audience before she first performed, and Britain's Got Talent judge Simon Cowell apologized on air for underestimating her.
A fan site dedicated to Boyle is titled "Never judge a book by its cover."
Boyle is up against nine other acts in Saturday's final, and is the bookmakers' overwhelming favorite to win.A victory is likely to secure her a major recording contract and even more media attention, although her financial status should already be secure.
How Boyle copes with the trappings of fame is uncertain.
Morgan said in his blog that Boyle had learning difficulties after being deprived of oxygen at birth, and was nicknamed "Simple Susan" at school.
Her erratic behavior in recent days, including an altercation with reporters, raised concerns among Britain's Got Talent executives about her ability to cope with the pressure of the final, but the ITV channel which airs the competition has confirmed that she will perform.
Jay Leno bid farewell to "The Tonight Show" on Friday, ending his 17-year run as host with a finale that stayed true to the style that made him the top-rated performer on U.S. late-night television.
The main difference was a long ovation that Leno struggled to quiet as he took the stage for an opening monologue that poked fun, as usual, at politicians, celebrities and current events.
He thanked the likes of pop star Michael Jackson and former White House intern Monica Lewinsky, whose affair with Bill Clinton led to the former U.S. president's impeachment, for giving him material over the years. He also took a final jab at his network, NBC, which is mired at the bottom of the ratings among the four major U.S. broadcasters.
Leno takes his act to 10 p.m. on NBC this autumn, where he will mount a program expected to be similar to the "Tonight Show" but attract a wider audience than the roughly 5 million viewers, on average, who tune in nightly to the broadcast.
"I'm going to be going to a secluded spot where no one can find me -- NBC prime time," Leno said. "It's a gamble. I'm betting NBC will still be around in three months, but that's not a given."
He joked that he had finally cleaned out his office and "found O.J.'s knife. I had it the whole time," referring to former football star O.J. Simpson, who was acquitted on charges he murdered his wife in the mid-1990s.
Leno even introduced a new segment, "White Trash Theater," which showed a video clip of a woman throwing a trash can at a man to get him off her porch.
Throughout the opening, Leno betrayed no special sentiment -- no tears or even a choked-up voice. Indeed, he proved the consummate comedian by putting on a show that made people laugh. Guests included Conan O'Brien, who will take over as host of the "Tonight Show" on Monday, and singer James Taylor.
Leno played a video clip of a young and clearly uncomfortable O'Brien when he first appeared on the "Tonight Show" in 1993, and Taylor sang his classic "Sweet Baby James," which Leno said he remembered hearing when, as a young comedian, he drove across country to move to Los Angeles.
The host ended with a tribute to the "Tonight Show" staff, many of whom stayed with the program throughout his 17 years and even married their co-workers. The show's many couples had 68 children between them, and Leno said his legacy would be that the show had spawned such a close-knit group of friends.
He said the show's former host, late-night television legend Johnny Carson, had taught him one key thing: to keep people laughing through good times and bad.
Leno, 59, took the reins of the venerable program in May 1992 from Carson.
After initially struggling in the ratings against late-night counterpart David Letterman, who had been his rival for the "Tonight Show" job, Leno grabbed the lead in viewership about 13 years ago and become a mainstay of American TV.He has taken jabs at four presidents, from George H.W. Bush to Barack Obama, who in March became the first sitting U.S. chief executive to appear on a late-night talk show. He made audiences laugh through an era that included natural disasters, wars and the September 11 attacks.
Notable moments included Arnold Schwarzenegger's announcement of his candidacy for California governor in 2003 and British actor Hugh Grant's first public appearance after being arrested with a Los Angeles prostitute in 1995.
Leno's comic segments such as "Jaywalking," in which he joked with everyday people on the street, became popular staples.http://www.reuters.com/article/entertainmentNews/idUSTRE54R6OM20090530
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner will be at the 2009 MTV Movie Awards this coming weekend where they will reveal an EXCLUSIVE preview of New Moon.
Jessica Simpson is coming to a television set near you.
The singer, who has repeatedly faced public scrutiny for her fluctuating weight, has reportedly visited TV networks to pitch a reality series titled “The Price of Beauty.”
The show will be based on society’s outlook of women’s bodies, Us Weekly reports in its upcoming issue.
"She and a friend set off on a road trip around the world in search of what people find beautiful and why," says a source.
The 28-year-old will even try some of the "shocking things that women do to make themselves beautiful. Picture 'Fear Factor.'"
The singer's rep tells Us, "Jessica is indeed working on a new show, but network details have not been finalized at this time."
Eminem's new record Relapse has sold more copies in its first week of release than any other album released in the US this year.
Nielsen SoundScan, the firm that tracks music sales, said his first album in nearly five years sold 608,000 copies.
The record beat Green Day's 21st Century Breakdown, which topped the charts last week, after selling 215,000 copies in three days.
Eminem is currently number one in the UK and US album chart.
Relapse is Eminem's fifth straight number one album.
His last record in 2004, Encore, sold 711,000 in its first week - though that was only across four days.
It went on to sell 5.1 million copies.
In February the star's long-awaited comeback single broke a download record and topped the US Billboard singles chart.
Crack A Bottle, which also features Dr Dre, sold more than 418,000 online copies, the most ever in a first week of release.
Together again for the first time — Hugh Jackman and Daniel Craig — on stage.
Nothing has been officially confirmed but two of Hollywood's reigning hunks may be paired next fall on Broadway in "A Steady Rain," a two-character drama by Keith Huff.
The New York Post reported Wednesday the actors were set to star in the play about two Chicago policemen, friends since childhood, whose lives take divergent paths after an unnerving incident.
"A Steady Rain" was a big hit in Chicago in September 2007 at a small theater and transferred the following year to another venue for a commercial run.
The Chicago Tribune called the play an "exceptionally rich, gritty and emotional drama ... it will get you right where you live," while the Chicago Sun-Times cheered its "action-packed storytelling."
Huff, who has a master's from the University of Iowa's Playwright's Workshop, has extensive regional theater credits. "A Steady Rain" would be his Broadway debut. A telephone call to his agent, John Buzzetti, seeking confirmation of the production, was not returned.
"A Steady Rain" would also be the New York stage debut for Craig, who skyrocketed to film stardom as the latest cinematic James Bond. Jackman, the movies' Wolverine from all the "X-Men" movies, proved to be a major Broadway box-office draw five years ago, playing entertainer Peter Allen in the musical "The Boy from Oz."
The Post said "A Steady Rain" would be produced by Barbara Broccoli, whose father was Albert "Cubby" Broccoli, who began the enormously lucrative James Bond film franchise.
In a video posted in January on YouTube, Huff talked about casting "A Steady Rain" with famous actors. The playwright told Chicago-based writer Mark Bazer: "I think it would be kind of cool to see Daniel Craig do it. My wife would be happy."http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hlHqJx5NVYWwJKSQ1t7Y_ChqI5TAD98ES00O0
R&B singer Chris Brown said he is "not a monster" in a video message posted online this week ahead of a court hearing over a criminal charge that he beat pop singer Rihanna, leaving her bruised and bloodied.
Brown, who is not expected to attend the hearing set for Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court, does not mention Rihanna by name in the video posted on the website www.justin.tv and circulated online on Wednesday.
But the 20-year-old singer of hits "Kiss Kiss" and "Run It" appears to address the accusations that he beat his girlfriend Rihanna in February while in a car in Los Angeles on the eve of the Grammy awards.
"I just wanna say 'What up?' because I ain't been out there in a minute," Brown said in the video, marking the only time he has seemed publicly to address the incident beyond an initial statement in February.
"Everybody that's haters, they just been haters. All my real fans, I love you all. I ain't a monster," he said.
A representative for Rihanna, singer of hit songs such as "Umbrella," was not immediately available to comment.
Brown is charged with assaulting Rihanna by "means of force likely to produce great bodily injury" and threatening to commit a crime "which would result in death and great bodily injury." He faces up to four years in prison if convicted, and has previously pleaded not guilty to the charge.
In February, one week after the incident, he issued a statement saying "words cannot begin to express how sorry and saddened I am over what transpired." He added that he had sought counseling.
At Thursday's hearing, Brown's attorney Mark Geragos is expected to contest the charges on grounds that a police photo of Rihanna, taken after she was beaten, should not have been leaked to the media. It showed Rihanna with her eyes closed and her lower lip bloodied and swollen.http://www.reuters.com/article/entertainmentNews/idUSTRE54Q53920090528
The pressure may be getting to sudden singing sensation Susan Boyle.
A British tabloid says she -- boiled over at the hotel where contestants stay from the show that made her famous, "Britain's Got Talent."
As CBS News correspondent Richard Roth put it, "Fame has a price," and Boyle is "learning that part of it's sometimes bad press."
Britain's best-selling Sun newspaper says Boyle lost her cool in an encounter in the hotel's lobby with a pair of strangers -- one that ended in a chat with police.
Details are thin, Roth says, except for the paper's claim that the encounter included Boyle swearing at the strangers.
But on The Early Show Thursday, one of Boyle's biggest backers, "BGT"Judge Piers Morgan, said he's "feeling more supportive" of Boyle "today than I was before, because I feel really sorry for Susan.
"From what I hear," he told co-anchor Maggie Rodriguez, "she's been in tears the last two days. She even threatened to leave the show yesterday at one stage, because of the sheer amount of pressure on her.
"And you have to remember with Susan, she's a 48-year-old lady from a tiny village in Scotland who has never been exposed to anything like this kind of attention. And I think she's really feeling the heat.
"The hotel she's in is crawling in tourists, crawling in the media. I think maybe she overreacted. I don't know what happened. She denies, apparently, some of the things that have been reported.
"But either way, I know she's feeling a lot of pressure, and I think that most people watching this show and hearing about this will feel natural sympathy toward her. And I just hope it all calms down for the final. Because, on Saturday, she sings for the competition" -- for all the marbles.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
A new incarnation of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" could be coming to the big screen, courtesy of the director of the original movie.
"Buffy" creator Joss Whedon isn't involved and it's not set up at a studio, but director Fran Rubel Kuzui is working on a relaunch with Vertigo Entertainment, which specializes in English-language remakes of Asian films, such as "The Grudge" and "The Departed."
While Whedon is the person most associated with the "Buffy" franchise, Kuzui and her Kuzui Enterprises have held onto the rights since the beginning, when she discovered the "Buffy" script from then-unknown Whedon. She developed the script while her husband Kaz put together the financing to make the 1992 movie, which was released by Fox.
Kuzui later helped bring back Whedon to make the TV series, which began its successful run on the WB in 1997. She received executive producer credits on "Buffy" and its spinoff, "Angel."
The new "Buffy" film, however, would have no connection to the TV series, nor would it use popular supporting characters like Angel, Willow, Xander or Spike. Kuzui and Vertigo are looking to restart the story line without trampling on the beloved existing universe created by Whedon.
One of the underlying ideas of "Buffy" allows the filmmakers to do just that: that each generation has its own vampire slayer to protect it. The goal would be to make a darker, event-sized movie that would, of course, have franchise potential.
The parties are meeting with writers and hearing takes, and later will look for a home for the project. The producers do not rule out Whedon's involvement but have not yet reached out to him. Speaking from Tokyo, Fran Kuzui said she is constantly approached not only about sequels but theater, video games and foreign remakes for "Buffy." When Vertigo's Roy Lee contacted them, they were intrigued.
"It was Roy's interest in taking Buffy into a new place that grabbed us," she said. "It was based on our respect for what he does, and his particular sensitivity to Asian filmmakers, that we wanted to work with him."
Kuzui, who is preparing to direct a movie in Japan in the fall, added: "Everything has its moment. Every movie takes on a life at some point, and this seems like the moment to do this."http://www.reuters.com/article/entertainmentNews/idUSTRE54P0KG20090526
A collector stands to make a tidy profit after discovering a rare stamp portraying movie star Audrey Hepburn smoking - one of a series that should have been incinerated by the German government.
In 2001, the government printed 14 million Audrey Hepburn stamps as part of a series featuring movie stars including Charlie Chaplin, Marilyn Monroe and Greta Garbo. The print run was destroyed after Hepburn's son, Sean Ferrer, objected to the cigarette holder dangling from the actress' mouth and refused to grant copyright.
But the Finance Ministry had already delivered advance copies of the Hepburn stamps to Deutsche Post for approval. Thirty of these proof copies escaped destruction when an unknown employee pocketed them and used them to send letters postmarked from Berlin.
A minimum bid of euro30,000 (US$41,959) has been set for the stamp - of which only five copies are known to exist - at its auction Tuesday at Berlin's Kempinski Hotel Bristol.
"We can only guess that whoever took the Hepburn stamps from Deutsche Post didn't realize their value, thought they would save 55 cents and just used them on normal letters," auctioneer Andreas Schlegel told The Associated Press.
The latest find is the fifth Hepburn stamp to surface since 2004. Schlegel said the rest probably ended up where most stamps do: in the trash can.
One of the four other Hepburn stamps fetched euro53,000 at an auction in Duesseldorf in 2005.
Ferrer said he hoped the collector would use proceeds from the auction to support cancer research or anti-smoking campaigns. His movie star mother died of colon cancer in 1993.
The collector has received so many sheets of stamps as presents that he can't pinpoint where the Hepburn stamp came from, and prefers to remain anonymous.
"He's worried that if his picture is printed in the newspaper his friends will come to him and say, 'hey, you got that stamp from me,'" Schlegel said.
Actor Mel Gibson, who is going through a divorce from his wife of 28 years, said on Monday his Russian girlfriend is expecting their baby.
"This is true," Gibson said during an appearance on "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno" after the host asked him to confirm speculation that musician Oksana Grigorieva was pregnant.
Gibson, 53, who already has seven children, gave away few details, replying jokingly, "A human being, I think," when Leno asked about the baby's gender.
Celebrity gossip websites said the baby was due in the autumn.
Gibson appeared to rule out any marriage plans, saying, "Who would do it twice?"
Gibson's wife, Robyn, filed for divorce last month, citing irreconcilable differences with the "Lethal Weapon" star.
Gibson, dressed in blue jeans, blue blazer and white dress shirt, appeared philosophical about the divorce, saying, "I did a pretty good hatchet job on my marriage."
He said he and his wife split up three years ago, shortly after he was arrested in Malibu for drunken driving and launched into an alcohol-fueled tirade against Jews.
He apologized and sought treatment for alcoholism.
Gibson told Leno he met Grigorieva, 39, in 2008 after the singer/pianist had been signed to his Icon Records label. They appeared in public together a month ago at a Los Angeles industry screening of "X-Men Wolverine: Origins."
Gibson was raised in Australia and was one of the highest- paid and most popular actors in the world in the 1990s, winning best-director and best-picture Oscars for his 1995 movie "Braveheart."http://www.reuters.com/article/entertainmentNews/idUSTRE54P04720090526
The semi-finals of Britain’s Got Talent kicked off over the bank holiday weekend as the public decided which acts they wanted to see in the finale on Saturday.
Monday, May 25, 2009
Scottish singer Susan Boyle has secured a place in the final of ITV's Britain's Got Talent, after performing live on television for the first time.
The 48-year-old from West Lothian became a worldwide sensation after her audition performance of I Dreamed A Dream was screened last month.
Sunday evening's show was the first of five nightly ITV1 shows until Saturday.
Also through to the final were Dance group Diversity, with 10-year-old Natalie Okri voted out by the judges.
When Ms Boyle heard the result of the public vote - after her rendition of Memory from the musical, Cats - she gave a victory dance for the studio audience.
When the show's hosts, Ant and Dec, asked her how she had coped with the pressure, she said: "What pressure, I really enjoyed myself, I enjoyed every second. I'd do it again!"
The 40 acts to reach the semi-finals were revealed during Saturday's night's Britain's Got Talent show.
In each of the semi-finals, two acts will be picked by the public and the judges to make it through to the grand final on 30 May.
They are competing for the chance to perform at the Royal Variety Show and win a £100,000 cheque.
Ms Boyle's first appearance on the television talent show received more than 58 million hits on the internet site, YouTube.
That earned her a number of famous fans, including rock musician Jon Bon Jovi and actress Demi Moore. She has also been interviewed on American television shows Oprah and Larry King.
“The White Ribbon,” a meticulous examination of patriarchal domination, won the Palme d’Or at the 62nd Cannes Film Festival on Sunday. Directed by the Austrian-born Michael Haneke and shot in black and white, the much-admired film — a foundation story about National Socialism set in a rural pre-World War I German community — turns on a series of violent events that appear to be the work of some children. In 2001 Mr. Haneke won the Grand Prix (effectively second place) for his harrowing drama “The Piano Teacher,” which starred Isabelle Huppert, president of this year’s competition jury.
The Grand Prix, also announced on Sunday, went to “A Prophet,” a pitch-perfect film from the French director Jacques Audiard about a young inmate who becomes a master criminal during a prison stretch. The film was the critical favorite throughout the festival, and Mr. Audiard received a standing ovation from the audience when he mounted the stage. Far more surprising was the Jury Prize (third place), which was split between “Fish Tank,” a slice of Brit-grit realism from Andrea Arnold, and the neo-exploitation vampire flick “Thirst,” from the South Korean director Park Chan-Wook. Both were booed by the press watching the show via live broadcast.
The director Terry Gilliam, here with the noncompetition film “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus,” delivered some funny onstage shtick by pretending to accept the directing prize, which he was meant to bestow. (“Terry, you don’t receive, you give,” the host explained, promising that Mr. Gilliam could have something next year if he didn’t create a scandal.) The actual winner of the director award was Brillante Mendoza, from the Philippines, whose grisly, widely loathed shocker, “Kinatay” (“Slaughter”), hinges on a man who doesn’t prevent a murder. The screenwriting award went to Mei Feng for “Spring Fever,” a rather baggy if underappreciated drama about young Chinese malaise.
Ms. Huppert handed the prize for best actress to Charlotte Gainsbourg, who delivers a wild, fearless performance as a grieving mother in “Antichrist,” an English-language film from the Danish director Lars von Trier. It’s easy to imagine that Ms. Huppert and her fellow juror, the actress Asia Argento, both ferocious screen performers, were impressed with the intensity of Ms. Gainsbourg’s performance, which involves a fair amount of nudity and some frantic (and graphic) backwoods masturbation.
The best-actor award for the Austrian Christoph Waltz, who plays a Nazi officer in Quentin Tarantino’s World War II movie, “Inglourious Basterds,” made everyone happy. Speaking in French, English and German, Mr. Waltz called the film an “unbelievable experience,” thanked his co-star Brad Pitt, along with the creator of Mr. Waltz’s “unique and inimitable” character, Colonel Landa. His voice colored with emotion, he addressed Mr. Tarantino directly: “You gave me my vocation back.”
Ms. Huppert presented the director Alain Resnais — who turns 87 next month — with a “lifetime achievement award for his work and his exceptional contribution to the history of cinema.” He should have won something as well for his dazzling competition entry, “Wild Grass.” Wearing sunglasses (bright lights bother him), a dark suit, a red shirt and a magnificent swirl of white hair, Mr. Resnais took the stage and was greeted with a sustained standing ovation. He expressed his gratitude to the jury and the festival and asked his cast to stand and receive applause before he was cut short by the music.
The Caméra d’Or for best first feature, awarded by another jury, went to an Australian film by Warwick Thornton that was largely below the critical radar, “Samson and Delilah,” a teenage love story set in the Outback.
Despite the on-screen carnage that was amply rewarded by Ms. Huppert and her jury, the festival put on its usual glittering show that for 12 days made cinema seem as if it mattered to the world. News media attendance and spirits might have been down, but the sun came out as did the jostling crowds, red-carpet stars and distributor wallets.
“This is the center of independent films from around the world,” Michael Barker, co-president of Sony Pictures Classics, said on Saturday. Unlike many Americans he stays until the end because one never knows what might turn up: last year his company bought the Palme winner, “The Class,” which was screened on the last day. This year it bought “The White Ribbon” and “A Prophet.”
Although big Hollywood still turns up at Cannes (the Pixar movie “Up” opened the festival), the studios don’t show much work here unless Clint Eastwood has a new one. All too often quality is now the province of their specialty divisions, some of which were recently shut down. That makes older, established companies like Sony Classics and newcomers like Oscilloscope Laboratories even more important. IFC Films, for one, has made a nice habit of buying some of the best movies here, and this year grabbed “Antichrist” and Ken Loach’s “Looking for Eric,” a crowd-pleaser about a postman who, in the midst of a meltdown, conjures the philosophizing form of his favorite soccer star. It’s no wonder that IFC Entertainment’s president, Jonathan Sehring, characterized the festival as “very, very good.”
But while Hollywood movies are not much in abundance, the stars still come out, if somewhat fewer this year. Most of the American headliners (“Brad!” “Angelina!”) turned up at the premiere of “Inglourious Basterds.” They soon disappeared, but Mr. Tarantino was everywhere. He danced on the red carpet, chatted in English on French television and praised Mr. Mendoza’s “Kinatay.” Mr. Mendoza, a rising talent who was at Cannes last year with the rowdy “Serbis,” could use all the help he could get with this movie. A morality tale that he wields like a blunt instrument, “Kinatay” hinges on the inaction of a police-academy student while a prostitute is murdered and dismembered. The movie had its respectful fans, but many others fled the theater.
By closing night a lot was still in play, which may portend good news for American movie lovers. Oscilloscope, the company founded by the Beastie Boy Adam Yauch, bought “Wendy and Lucy” last year, and this year picked up another film, but has not announced its title. This was Mr. Yauch’s first time at Cannes.“I was glad to see everyone in tuxes and ball gowns going up the red carpet,” he said in an e-mail message from New York on Sunday. “I was afraid that the photos I’ve seen of Grace Kelly and Cary Grant would have faded into history like everything else, and that people would be walking into premieres in shorts, T-shirts and Crocs. So I was impressed when I saw a man in a suit turned away because he was wearing sneakers. Perhaps Cannes is the last bastion of dignified decadence.”
Ben Stiller beat Christian Bale in the North American weekend box office duel between their respective "Night at the Museum" and "Terminator" sequels, according to studio estimates issued on Sunday.
Reigning champ Tom Hanks fell to No. 4 with "Angels & Demons," although the Vatican thriller remained the top choice internationally.
"Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian" sold $53.5 million worth of tickets across the United States and Canada during the three days beginning Friday, said 20th Century Fox, a unit of News Corp (NWSA.O).
The comedy far exceeded the $30.4 million debut of its 2006 predecessor, "Night at the Museum," and also set a new live-action record for Stiller, one of Hollywood's most reliable box office performers.
Stiller, 43, reprises his role as a night security guard, this time at the center of a battle involving historical figures at the massive Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. The cast includes Robin Williams as former U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt and Amy Adams as aviatrix Amelia Earhart. The film cost about $125 million to make, Fox said.
It also enjoyed a strong foreign debut, earning $50.5 million from 93 markets, bested only by the $60.4 million haul for "Angels & Demons" from a similar number of territories.
"Terminator Salvation," meanwhile, earned $43.0 million in North America. The film failed to beat the $44 million start for the previous entry in the cyborg series, 2003's "Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines," the swan song of franchise star Arnold Schwarzenegger.
But the race between the two new sequels was closer than it appeared because Warner Bros. got a head start on the U.S. Memorial Day holiday weekend by opening "Terminator" on Thursday, when it earned about $13.4 million. Much of those ticket sales would have been pushed over to the weekend if it had opened on Friday. Its four-day total was $56.4 million.
"TERMINATOR" BATTLES "TREK," HOOPS
The studios generally try to avoid each other when they roll out their big movies. In this case, "Night at the Museum" played to a broad audience, while "Terminator" was more targeted at male moviegoers.
Time Warner Inc (TWX.N)-owned Warner Bros. said "Terminator" was likely more affected by competition from the similarly-skewing "Star Trek," which slipped one place to No. 3 in its third weekend with $22 million. The National Basketball Association playoffs also appeared to siphon off older men in cities such as Los Angeles.Warner Bros. paid $50 million for domestic distribution rights. The post-acpocalyptic film, in which "Batman" star Bale takes on the freedom-fighter role of John Connor, cost about $180 million to make, the studio said.
"Angels & Demons," sequel to 2006 film "The Da Vinci Code," earned $21.4 million, taking the 10-day total for the Columbia Pictures release to $81.5 million. By contrast, "The Da Vinci Code" had earned $136.5 million after the same period.
But the Sony Corp (6758.T) (SNE.N) unit has said it never expected the second film to be as big. As was the case with "The Da Vinci Code," the film is a much bigger international draw. Its overseas total now stands at $198.3 million.
Paramount Pictures' youth-oriented reboot of the "Star Trek" sci-fi franchise has earned $183.5 million after three weekends.The Viacom Inc (VIAb.N) unit also claimed the No. 5 spot with "Dance Flick," a comedy spoof from the Wayans family. It earned a modest $11 million.
Friday, May 22, 2009
Oscar-winning actor Sean Penn has called off his divorce from Robin Wright Penn for a second time, weeks after seeking legal separation.
Weeks after saying he and his wife of 13 years will separate on the grounds of irreconcilable differences, Penn has withdrawn a court application filed in Marin County near San Francisco, the New York Daily News reported, citing court records.
"It was an arrogant mistake," Penn told the newspaper.
It is not the first time that Penn, 48, and Wright Penn, 43, have teetered on the brink of divorce.
The couple started divorce proceedings in December 2007 but got back together again a few months later and withdrew the petition. The couple have two children, aged 18 and 15.
Penn won his second best-actor Oscar in February for his role as gay activist Harvey Milk in Gus Van Sant's "Milk."
Wright Penn, who starred in the 1999 romantic drama "Message in a Bottle," is currently in France, where she is a juror at the Cannes Film Festival.
A representative for the actress declined to comment.http://www.reuters.com/article/entertainmentNews/idUSTRE54L19Z20090522
Australian actor Heath Ledger's final performance before he died of an accidental overdose in January 2008 nearly never made it to the big screen, U.S.-born director Terry Gilliam said on Friday.
The film maker's first thought when Ledger died in New York was to ditch "The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus," which was only half finished.
But encouraged by people around him to continue, and helped by actors Johnny Depp, Jude Law and Colin Farrell who played Ledger's character in three separate dream sequences, Gilliam eventually completed the movie.
"The choice I made was to close the film down," Gilliam told reporters at the Cannes film festival, where the out-of-competition movie has its world premiere.
"I couldn't see how we could finish it without Heath because we were in the middle of production.
"Fortunately, I was surrounded by really good people who insisted that I shouldn't be such a lazy bastard and I'd better go out and find a way of finishing the film for Heath.
"That's what we did."
Gilliam decided to use three actors rather than one to complete the role of Tony, made possible because they appear in a land of the imagination entered through a magic mirror.
"I started calling friends -- Johnny Depp, and he said 'I'm there'. And I basically was just calling people who knew and loved Heath.
"Everyone in the cast and everyone in the crew was determined that this film would be finished and everybody worked longer, harder and somehow we got through. It was really ... people's love for Heath that propelled this thing forward."
ENERGY AND AD-LIBBING
Gilliam praised Ledger, who won a posthumous Oscar for his performance as the Joker in Batman blockbuster "The Dark Knight," for his enthusiasm and energy on set.
"Heath was enjoying himself so much and he was ad libbing a lot which I don't really allow that much ... in my films. He got everybody else going. Everybody was just energized by Heath, he was extraordinary, he was almost exhausting."
Ledger plays Tony, who is found hanging from a bridge in London but is revived by Anton and Valentina, members of a horse-drawn traveling theater which has the power to allow people to walk into a world of their dreams.
Christopher Plummer stars as Doctor Parnassus, an man who has lived for centuries after making a pact with the devil, performed by Tom Waits.The devil plans to take away his daughter Valentina when she turns 16, but gives Parnassus one last chance to save her.
The action moves from the streets of London and inside the rickety old wagon to fantastical, special effects-laden landscapes that represent people's imaginations.
"I just know that story telling and the restructuring of the world through stories is vital," Gilliam said. "What I'm talking about is using one's imagination to expand the possibilities and the view of the world people have."
Ledger's family, who Gilliam said supported him completing the film, have yet to see it.
"What was important for me was just to make a film with Heath's last performance up there alive and well, and I think they're going to be delighted by it."http://www.reuters.com/article/entertainmentNews/idUSTRE54L2EU20090522
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Kristopher Neil Allen (known as Kris Allen) was born on June 21, 1985 in Jacksonville, Arkansas to Kimberly and Neil Allen. He has one younger brother named Daniel who is a student and cheerleading coach at the University of Central Arkansas. Allen attended Murrell Taylor Elementary School, Fuller Middle School and Mills University Studies High School, where he was active in the school’s orchestra as a viola player and later went on to win a spot in his state’s all-state orchestra.
Along with the viola, Allen taught himself how to play the guitar at age 13, and is also proficient with the piano and the ukulele. In 2007, he self-produced an album entitled Brand New Shoes with college friends and bandmates Michael Holmes (drums) and Chase Erwin (bass). Songs from the album began being widely distributed during his time on Idol.
Allen is a devout Christian. He was a worship leader at New Life Church in Maumelle, Arkansas, as well as at the Chi Alpha campus ministry of the University of Central Arkansas, where he was a business major. He has done missionary work around the world, including in Burma, Morocco, Mozambique, South Africa, Spain and Thailand.
On September 26, 2008, he married longtime girlfriend Katy O’Connell Allen.
Allen auditioned for the eighth season of American Idol in Louisville, Kentucky with his brother Daniel, who didn’t make it to Hollywood. He performed “I Want You Back,” by The Jackson 5, during Hollywood week as part of a group named White Chocolate, which included fellow finalist and semi-finals roommate Matt Giraud. At the Idol Mansion, Allen was roommates with contestant Adam Lambert. According to the Us Weekly article about the Top 13, Allen stated, in regard to Lambert being a good fit, “We’re both neat.”
Allen was voted into the finals along with Lambert and Allison Iraheta on February 26, 2009. He has received many compliments throughout the competition for his folk-inspired interpretations of modern pop songs, and has played several instruments during his performances, including the acoustic guitar, the electric guitar, the keyboard, and the piano. Randy Jackson has compared him to Jason Mraz. His performance of “To Make You Feel My Love” as part of the Top 11 earned praise from the judges, with Simon Cowell commenting “I am genuinely beginning to think you have a shot of doing well in this competition.” On the Top 9 show, he performed his own arrangement of “Ain’t No Sunshine” on a keyboard, with a few musicians on stage, which earned praise from the judges. Cowell lauded it his “best performance so far.” On the first Top 7 night, he chose to sing the Oscar-winning song from the indie film Once. While Jackson described it as “pitchy from note one”, Kara DioGuardi declared it “one of your best moments ever.” Due to time constraints, Paula Abdul and Cowell did not comment. But on the following night’s results show, Cowell stated “Kris, you were brilliant.” On the second Top 7 show, Allen brought back the guitar for the fourth time and performed an original, acoustic version of “She Works Hard for the Money”, complete with bongo drums and the band on stage. This earned praise from all four judges, with Abdul remarking “There aren’t many men who are willing to shop in the women’s department. You shopped and found a perfect fit.” For his second Top 3 performance, Allen impressed the judges with an acoustic arrangement of Kanye West’s “Heartless”, prompting Jackson to state that he preferred it to West’s original and The Fray’s cover version. Simon Cowell agreed and said, “I had written you out of the competition but that has changed after that performance.”
And on the night of May 20, 2009, Kris Allen bested the highly-favored Adam Lambert to become the 8th American Idol. Kris is the fourth male contestant to win the show after Ruben Studdard, Taylor Hicks and David Cook.
Allen, 23, a college student from Conway, Ark., came into Idol's final week as a hardworking underdog. Even on the last night of competition, judges favored Lambert in two of three performances.
Though Allen visibly struggled with the coronation song, No Boundaries, written by judge
Tuesday's performance show drew 23.8 million viewers, a 12% drop from 2008's 27.1 million, but the singers' supporters at home cast a record number of votes for the two, just under 100 million.
Going into the finale, much of the media and many fans dwelled on their obvious differences. But ultimately, their similarities carried them to the finale. Both took musical cues from last year's winner, David Cook, frequently taking great liberties with their chosen material. That approach made them the season's most interesting contestants.
Lambert grabbed early attention when, vowing to "fearlessly just give 'em a show," he auditioned with
Allen, on the other hand, got all of nine seconds of face time for his audition. But his semifinals performance of
Many observers considered Allen the safe option of the two, challenging few pop-culture conventions. But Idol fans have always liked dark horses and fast learners, and Allen blossomed from an unsure singer into a confident interpreter in front of their (and the judges') eyes. In the end, they rewarded him.http://www.usatoday.com/life/television/news/2009-05-20-american-idol-winner_N.htm
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Randy said: I love that you showed your sensitive side. I give that an A+. Kara said: I am so happy you chose that performance. You are an incredible artist. You rocked it again tonight. Paula said: I am proud you are standing on that stage right now. This is your moment. A great song for you. Still haunting. Way to start the show. Simon said: I always thought this was your best performance but tonight was a little bit theatrical. It reminded me of Phantom of The Opera.
Randy said: I love that I can tell what kind of artist you are. That was one of your best performances here on this stage. Kara said: I agree with Randy. You have a way with creating an intimate bond with everyone in the audience. Paula said: You awakened the spirit in all of us. Simon said: This is a competition. When your name was announced last week, I wasn’t sure America made the right choice but I take it back after that performance.ROUND 2
Randy said: What you did was show the real reason you are here. You can sing your face off. Kara said: That may have been your best performance since the start of this competition.Unbelievable. Paula said: That was the best I have ever heard. Unbelievable. You are going to be iconic. Simon said: You are 100% back in the game.
Randy said: We have a real live duel going on. A great song choice but it was a little bit light for this point in the competition. Kara said: You have been true to yourself since day 1. You can uplift people. Paula said: You tore that song up. Simon said: I love the song but it was like 3 friends in their bedroom strumming along to Marvin Gaye. To laid back for a night like this.ROUND 3
Randy said: You can anything. You can sing the phone book. Wasn’t my favorite performance. It was a bit pitchy. Kara said: I am moved and I am proud. Thank you for giving me that moment. Paula said: Adjectives can’t express what you have brought to season 8. I am in awe. You can sing whatever you want to sing and I will be a fan forever. Simon said: I won’t judge the song, I will judge you. You have been one of the best and most original contestants we have ever had. You are a star.
Randy said: You should be proud of what you have done in this competition. You have done amazing and I think that song fits your voice better than Adam’s. Kara said: I don’t want you to be judged on that song, it was to high. I hope people vote on the season. Paula said: You have done an amazing job to end up where you are. I wish you the best of luck. Simon said: I think your highlight tonight was the first song you did. You deserve to be standing on this stage tonight.
Robert Pattinson, who shot to stardom in "Twilight" and is now filming the second and third movies in the franchise, confirmed Tuesday at the Cannes festival that there will be a fourth installment of the vampire franchise, based on the book "Breaking Dawn."
Pattinson told The Hollywood Reporter that he is committed to starring in the fourth outing but doesn't know when studio Summit Entertainment will begin production because of the actor's jam-packed shooting schedule.
Fans have been hoping for a movie version of the fourth novel from Stephenie Meyer's best-selling series, and Pattinson's commitment is the biggest fillip yet. The fourth book -- caution: spoiler alert -- centers on Bella and Edward's marriage and her subsequent pregnancy.
Dropping in at the Cannes festival on his way to the final four days of shooting in Italy for "New Moon," the second "Twilight" film, Pattinson said he will return to Vancouver in October to finish up "Eclipse," the third installment. In between, the British actor, who turned 23 last week, plans to star in the romantic drama "Remember Me," which Summit also is producing.
The script adaptation for "New Moon" beefs up his character's role considerably -- in the book, Edward is a "a voice in Bella's head," he said.
Said Pattinson, laughing: "You're playing a figment in Bella's imagination, so I was trying to do it in a 2-D way. I hope it doesn't translate onscreen as being boring."http://www.reuters.com/article/entertainmentNews/idUSTRE54J0V820090520
"American Idol" finalists Kris Allen and Adam Lambert strutted their stuff in search of votes for the last time on Tuesday in a TV show singing contest host Ryan Seacrest dubbed "the guy next door versus the 'guyliner.'"
Lambert, a flamboyant musical theater performer with a fondness for wearing eyeliner, and Allen, a clean-cut acoustic guitar player, each sang three songs in their final bid to take the 2009 "Idol" crown and win a recording contract.
After 100,000 people auditioned last summer and five months of broadcasts on the Fox network, the winner will be chosen by viewers' telephone votes and announced at the end of a finale on Wednesday night.
Lambert, 27, who was widely considered the front-runner heading into the finale, reprised one of his best-received performances of the season, singing "Mad World," while Allen, 23, sang "Ain't No Sunshine" by Bill Withers.
"Idol" judge Simon Cowell dubbed the first round a victory by Allen, admitting that he had doubted whether the 23-year-old belonged in the finale.
"When your name was announced last week I wasn't sure whether America had made the right choice," Cowell told Allen. "But I absolutely take all that back now."
For their second songs, the contestants performed selections chosen by "American Idol" creator Simon Fuller. Lambert sang "A Change is Gonna Come" by Sam Cooke, receiving universal praise from all four judges. Allen followed with Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On," for which he got mixed reviews.
"A million percent Adam," Cowell declared.
For their final songs, Lambert and Allen performed their own versions of an original song called "No Boundaries" that was co-written by judge Kara DioGuardi.
DioGuardi said she hoped Allen wouldn't be judged on that song, saying it was too high for his vocal range. For Lambert, it was more praise from the usually hard-to-please Cowell.
"The whole idea about doing a show like this is that you hope you can find a worldwide star -- I genuinely believe with all my heart that we have found that with you."
"American Idol" began as a cheesy summer talent show in 2002 but quickly morphed into a cultural phenomenon that attracts tens of millions of viewers a week to News Corp's Fox network.
It has generated a long list of stars from its winners and losers, including singers Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood and Chris Daughtry and Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson.
Ratings have sagged 7 percent this season to about 26 million viewers an episode, but it remains the top-rated U.S. show.http://www.reuters.com/article/entertainmentNews/idUSTRE54I0Q320090520
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
A showy musical theater actor and his clean-cut acoustic guitar-playing rival get their last chance to woo viewers and votes on Tuesday night in the final performance episode of U.S. television talent show "American Idol."
After 100,000 people auditioned last summer and five months of broadcasts on the Fox network, Adam Lambert, 27, and Kris Allen, 23, are expected to sing three songs each before "Idol" viewers call in their votes to anoint the eighth winner of the TV ratings juggernaut. The winner will be announced at the season finale on Wednesday night.
The Lambert-Allen matchup marks the third time in "American Idol" history -- and the second year in a row -- that the show's finale has come down to two male contestants. The two finalists reportedly roomed together for much of the season at the so-called Idol Mansion, apparently because they both have a penchant for neatness.
That's about all this year's two finalists have in common, however.
Widely considered the front-runner going into the finale, the flamboyant, nail-polish-wearing Lambert has wowed audiences with his off-the-charts vocal range, outrageous costumes and his willingness to take risks with songs like Johnny Cash's "Ring of Fire" and Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love."
"From a pure TV spectacle standpoint, this is the Adam Lambert show," said Michael Slezak, who covers "American Idol" for Entertainment Weekly. "It's hard to deny his effect and his dominance."
Nicknamed "Glambert" by his fans, the San Diego native was in the cast of the Los Angeles production of the musical "Wicked" before auditioning for "Idol."
ALLEN SEEN AS UNDERDOG
At the other end of the spectrum, Allen is a laid back Arkansas student who most often performs with his acoustic guitar or at the piano. Like Lambert, however, he has won praise for putting his own spin on tunes, among them Bill Withers' "Ain't No Sunshine" and Michael Jackson's "Remember the Time."
As recently as last week, the recently wed Allen was considered a long shot heading into the battle for the top two "Idol" spots, but wowed the show's judges with his rendition of Kanye West's "Heartless," ousting early favorite Danny Gokey.
"Idol" watcher Slezak, however, cautioned against assuming that a Lambert victory was a foregone conclusion, saying Allen seems well-placed to succeed in the music business beyond "American Idol."
"In terms of artists who are going to create records that are going to sell, he's neck and neck with Adam Lambert," Slezak said. "People like to say that he is the weaker vocalist, but we haven't really heard many bum notes from Kris Allen this season. This guy's pretty good."
"American Idol" has been America's most-watched TV show for several years, attracting an average audience this year of more than 26 million viewers per episode. It has produced bona fide music stars including country singer Carrie Underwood, Grammy winner Kelly Clarkson, rocker Chris Daughtry and Oscar-winner Jennifer Hudson.
Are you ready for a sneak peek at tomorrow's blockbusters today? Check out our new series "Behind the Screen" Sunday night at 11 p.m. on MTV for the broadcast premiere of the "Brüno" trailer, the very first visit to the set of Russell Brand's "Get Him to the Greek" and much more!
The star-gazing, OMG-generating, anything-might-happen madness that is the 2009 MTV Movie Awards has just shot into the celebrity stratosphere: "Twilight" stars Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner will be presenting an exclusive, never-before-seen clip from their upcoming vampire sequel "New Moon" during the live broadcast.
Joining the "Twilight" trio will be a group of newly announced Hollywood presenters: Sandra Bullock, Dwayne Johnson, Sienna Miller, Channing Tatum, Danny McBride, Abigail Breslin, Bradley Cooper, Thomas Lennon and Sofia Vassilieva.
This high-powered crew will hook up with previously announced presenters Denzel Washington, Cameron Diaz, Ryan Reynolds, Will Ferrell, Vanessa Hudgens, Leighton Meester, Jonah Hill and Lil Wayne. Eminem is set to take the stage, where he'll perform music from his new album, Relapse, and Kings of Leon will perform live on MTV for the first time ever, rocking out with their hit song, "Use Somebody."
Heading into the Andy Samberg-hosted event on May 31 at 9 p.m. ET, "Twilight" leads all movies with seven nominations, including nods for Pattinson (Breakthrough Performance Male), Stewart (Best Female Performance) and Lautner (Breakthrough Performance Male).
Several of the new presenters are also up for awards. "Get Smart" star Johnson will vie for Best Villain, McBride will battle it out for Best Fight (based on his "Pineapple Express" throwdown with Seth Rogen and James Franco), and Lennon will pucker up for Best Kiss (thanks to his lip-locking scene with Paul Rudd in "I Love You, Man").
For the first time in the 18-year history of the awards show, viewers chose the nominees for the Golden Popcorns. They can vote for the winners through May 27 by going to MovieAwards.MTV.com. Voting in the Best Movie category will stay open through the live telecast, so anything that takes place onstage has the chance to sway the eventual outcome.
Jim Cantiello live-blogs "American Idol," brings you his instant reactions to each episode's action, and delivers his special 60-second show recaps. Basically, there's not a minute that goes by without Jim obsessing over Simon, Paula, Randy, Kara and all the "Idol" contestants.
Thankfully, he's not alone. There is a whole host of independent "Idol" bloggers out there, and on the eve of Tuesday's finale between Adam Lambert and Kris Allen, Jim brought in two of his favorites — Rickey Yaneza from Rickey.org and MJ Santilli from MJsBigBlog.com — for an in-depth discussion about all things "Idol" season eight.
"It's the year of the fourth judge," Yaneza declared. "I think it's good for the show to have an added voice. Whether or not that voice is of quality is up in the air."
Santilli, meanwhile, dismissed the fourth judge outright. "It just made for too many judges' comments," she said. "It made the show go over time."
Nor was Santilli a fan of the judges' save, in which the panel could decide to rescue one lucky contestant from elimination. "I hated it from the start," she said. "It felt like they just used it because they could and because they had to or they wouldn't be able to use it at all."
"In theory, it was a great way to sort of jazz up the show — a show that'd been on for seven seasons," Cantiello countered. "I think it was a necessary thing to put some juice into it. But I think they undercut it. Even Simon saying, 'I don't think you're going to win this, Matt [Giraud], but here you go — you're saved.' "
When it comes to the contestants themselves, Santilli singled out Lambert's experience on the show. "I don't think I've seen a contestant get as much press as he did this year," she said. "I think maybe Sanjaya got a lot of press for a different reason. Adam's press is more positive."
In terms of the best performances of the season, Yaneza favored Lambert's cover of the Tears for Fears track "Mad World." "That was really the one that propelled him into the stratosphere, as far as popularity," he said, adding that he was a fan of Danny Gokey's squealing rendition of Aerosmith's "Dream On" because of how bad it was.
Santilli's vote for best performance was Lambert's version of "Tracks of My Tears." Before that performance, she said, "He was presenting himself as this screamo rocker with the unbelievable range, and with ['Tracks'], he sat down, stood still, showcased the vocals and pretty much blew everyone away."