Sunday, September 16, 2012

New 'American Idol' judges named

Nicki Minaj and Keith Urban (Lester Cohen, WireImage; Ryan Pierse, Getty Images)

Nicki Minaj and Keith Urban join Mariah Carey and Randy Jackson on a potentially firey panel.
photo: Ryan Seacrest's InstagramOn Sunday morning it was officially announced, at the first "American Idol" Season 12 callback auditions taping at New York's Lincoln Center, that hip-hop diva Nicki Minaj and country crooner Keith Urban have finally signed on to be the new "American Idol" judges--joining the panel alongside longtime judge Randy Jackson (who is still on board to give the show continuity, despite earlier reports that he was being demoted) and Randy's star managerial client, Mariah Carey. The odd foursome made their first official appearance at Lincoln Center this Sunday morning.

Nicki Minaj performs on "Idol" [photo: Fox]Although Nicki once claimed she didn't want to be a full-time TV talent show judge, back when it was rumored that she'd been approached by Simon Cowell to join "The X Factor," the split-personality star has apparently since changed at least one of her minds. This is probably due to the reported $10 million (plus additional allowances for hair and makeup) that Fox will be paying her. Or maybe when she once joked about filling Jennifer Lopez's seat with her own equally famous curvy behind, she wasn't really joking after all.

Keith is coming
photo: CJ Hicksin as a relative bargain, since he's reportedly "only" getting paid somewhere around $4 million. But regardless, neither of these two new judges will be getting anything close to the cool $18 million that Mariah is supposedly pocketing.
photo: Jordan Strauss / WireImageRandy will actually be pocketing two salaries--his own as a continuing judge, and a cut of Mariah's earnings, of course. All this for a man who only days ago was supposedly stepping down. I have to give the man kudos for his tenacity--clearly he is in it to win it. Either the man has dirt on Simon Fuller and is blackmailing the show, or "Idol" producers have realized that it's not wise to throw the Dawg out with the bathwater and change up this time-honored show too much. I admit I'm glad Randy still in the mix, if only for branding and nostalgia's sake. Hey, even Randy's former "Idol" co-star Simon Cowell tweeted that this was the right decision on Fox's part!
Anyway, this ought to be interesting--especially where Nicki is concerned. Miss Minaj is certainly a colorful and polarizing figure, and she'll certainly make for some fantastic television. But is she really the right fit for "Idol"? There seems to be at least one person who may not be too happy about this news--Mariah, who according to TMZ was furious to learn that she'd have to share the spotlight with someone as flashy and flamboyant as darling Nicki. I have mixed feelings about this hiring myself, which I'll get to in a moment.
As for Keith, when rumors of "Idol" judge replacements first started circulating following the departures of Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler, the names of divas like Katy Perry, Celine Dion, and Aretha Franklin were mentioned, but no one was speculating that some country-boy-next-door type might land (or even want) the job. However, now that Keith has officially joined the "Idol" cast, I don't think it will be a bad thing for the show at all. In fact, Keith might be just what "Idol" needs.
Here are my thoughts on "American Idol's" new recruits:
She'll bring in an urban audience - Hip-hop and R&B are arguably the biggest genres on the charts right now, and have been for some time...but "Idol" has become increasingly white-washed over the years. There hasn't been an R&B-singing champion on "Idol" in eight years, and the few R&B singers who do tend to go far on the show, from Ruben Studdard to Michael Lynche to Joshua Ledet, usually traffic in a more old-school style. Meanwhile, "The X Factor" has become the singing show of choice for urban music fans, with a judging panel that includes former LaFace Records co-founder/Island Def Jam honcho L.A. Reid and an inaugural season that included many hip-hop/R&B-influenced finalists. "The Voice"--which features hip-hop star Cee Lo Green as a coach and crowned an R&B singer with Alicia Keys connections, Jermaine Paul, as its Season 2 winner--has also siphoned off some urban-music-fan viewers from "Idol." So Nicki, especially paired with Mariah, could definitely draw in a different audience aside from the core viewers that have consistently voted for five guitar-strumming rock/country/folk singers in a row--thus making "Idol" diverse and competitive again. This, of course, is a good thing.

News Source: yahoo

Big wallop in lingerie league game

Nikki Johnson of the Regina Rage turns toward the end zone (Y! Sports screengrab)

This league's women don't get much credit for playing hard, but Nikki Johnson might change your view.
You may think that the Lingerie Football League is all about exploitation and silliness, and well ... yes it is. Let's not fool ourselves. But these ladies do love themselves some football, and if you think they don't take it seriously when they're in the arena, I give you this wallop laid by one Nikki Johnson of the Regina Rage.

I'm not sure what the formation is here, but it's a standard quarterback option, and Ms. Johnson would not be denied. Veering around the left side in the direction of the end zone, Johnson took out defender Davine Burton of the Toronto Triumph to score with a hit that Cam Newton would be proud of -- if Cam Newton ran over scantily-clad women on an indoor football field. And we're not suggesting that he would.
Ms. Johnson is quite the passer in her league -- through five games in the 2012 season, she's completed 41 of 73 passes for 384 yards, 12 touchdowns and one interception. Her hero is Peyton Manning (at least that's what her Facebook page said when she played for the Las Vegas Sin), but we doubt that Peyton could put a crusher on Darrelle Revis like Johnson did on Burton.
And for that, Ms. Johnson, we salute you.

News Source: Yahoo

Palace fights back over Kate photos

Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge (Samir Hussein, WireImage)

Lawyers for the royal family are going after publishers who ran revealing images of the Duchess.
Britain's Prince William, left, and his wife Kate prepare to sit for a meal at Government House in Honiara, Solomon Islands, Sunday, Sept. 16, 2012. The royal couple is on a nine-day tour of the Far East and South Pacific in celebration of Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee. (AP Photo/William West, Pool)
LONDON (AP) — Lawyers for Britain's royal family will go to court in France on Monday in a bid to stop further publication in that country of topless photos of William's wife Kate, the prince's office said Sunday, as the owners of an Irish newspaper criticized it for running the pictures.
St. James's Palace said lawyers would seek an injunction in a Paris court against Italian media group Mondadori, which publishes France's Closer and Italy's Chi gossip magazines.
The palace also will seek damages from the publisher, which is owned by former Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi.
Last week Closer published paparazzi snaps of Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, sunbathing during a holiday at a relative's chateau in Provence. Chi says it will publish 26 pages of the images — taken with a long lens from hundreds of meters (yards) away — on Monday.
The Irish Daily Star reproduced the Closer photos on Saturday, but no British publication has run them, and Britain's tabloids have lined up to denounce them as an invasion of the duchess' privacy.
The palace condemned publication of the images and said it was considering "all proportionate responses" against Chi, though no decision has been made on legal action against it or the Irish Daily Star.
The strong response stands in contrast to the reception of naked photos of Prince Harry partying in Las Vegas, which appeared online last month and were later published in Britain's Sun tabloid. The palace shrugged off the photos, snapped during a game of strip billiards, and took no action against those who published them.
Some see British papers' reluctance to run the Kate photos as a sign the country's once-rambunctious tabloids have been cowed by a scandal over phone hacking and other wrongdoing, which brought public opprobrium and an ongoing media-ethics inquiry.
The incident also has evoked memories of the paparazzi hounding of William's late mother, Princess Diana. A coroner's inquest found that pursuing photographers were partly responsible for her death in a Paris car crash in August 1997.
In bad news for the Irish Daily Star, both its owners criticized it for publishing the Kate photos.
British company Northern and Shell, which co-owns the tabloid with Ireland's Independent News and Media, or INM, said it was "profoundly dismayed" the Dublin newspaper had run the pictures. Its chief, Richard Desmond, said he planned to pull out of the joint venture that runs the tabloid.
Independent News and Media chief executive Joe Webb offered his "deepest apologies," and said the company would be "launching an internal inquiry to ensure there will never be a repeat of this breach of decency." But Webb said in a statement he hopes to preserve the Irish Daily Star and its 70 employees.
The storm over the photos erupted as William and Kate made an official tour of Singapore, Malaysia and the South Pacific. They arrived in the Solomon Islands on Sunday and will end their trip Tuesday in the island nation of Tuvalu.

News Source: Yahoo

How women want to be kissed

How women want to be kissed (Thinkstock)

Ladies reveal the smooches that sent shivers down their spines, or totally turned them off.
Kisses are more than a meeting of the lips. When done well, they’re a form of communication, a surefire way to tell a woman “I want you” and “I love you.” When done badly, kisses can be... well, the kiss of death for a new relationship. So, forgive us for asking, but how do your kisses rate? You’ve probably been smooching for so many years that you take your skills for granted. Stop for a moment and think about it, though: Are you really good at it? Could your repertoire use some refreshing?

To help any man become an even better kisser, we went on a fact-finding mission. Below, nine women reveal what makes them go weak at the knees. (Is some of this information contradictory? Well, yes; what can I say? One woman’s thrill is another woman’s turn-off. Love is like that sometimes.) Now go ahead and read their stories, and then put these insider insights to work for you.

Put some passion in it
“We want to be kissed slowly, constantly, and passionately, all over... like you really mean it! We want to be kissed long, slow, deep and hard — all at once.”
– Cynthia Garrett, actress/television host and  

News Source: Yahoo