By Jessica Allen - Friday, February 8, 2013 - 0 Comments
No word on whether or not Cher just called Bob Mackie and said, ‘Let’s do this.’
On Feb. 5, 2013, CBS sent out a memo, which was–thankfully–obtained by Deadline. The brief asks “all talent appearing on camera” at the 55th Grammy Awards Show to adhere to the network’s policy concerning wardrobe.
Here are some of the details for the ceremony’s dress code:
- Please be sure that buttocks and female breasts are adequately covered. (Presumably exposed male breasts are fine.)
- Thong type costumes are problematic. (You’re telling me.)
- Please avoid exposing bare fleshy under curves of the buttocks and the buttock crack. (Chris Brown is probably trying to sell his Grammy ticket right now.)
- Bare sides or under curvature of the breasts is also problematic. (Justin Bieber is breathing a sigh of relief that he’s not nominated this year.)
- Please avoid sheer see-through clothing that could possibly expose female breast nipples. (Chris Brown is probably trying to sell his Grammy ticket right now.)
- Please be sure the genital region is adequately covered so that there is no visible “puffy” bare skin exposure. (I have no idea what this means.)
According to the Washington Post, “CBS says that it sent the same fashion guidance memo last year before it broadcast the live music-industry trophy show,” which apparently Fergie didn’t get. Or Rihanna.
Because there is nothing on the grand scale of a Whitney memorial or an Adele ‘Grammygeddon’ to look forward to at this year’s show, this memo may have just upped the excitement ante. Nobody tells Katie Perry and Lady Gaga to cover up and then expects them to put on a (bejeweled) cardigan.
The source of the leaked memo told Deadline in an email that “I assume that my lovely colleagues do not get this same email for the Oscars, ” to which the Washington Post replied, “But when was the last time you saw Helen Mirren in a bedazzled turquoise thong-onsie with Imelda Marcos sleeves and Tinkerbell wings, like Lady Gaga wore to perform at the 2010 Grammys?”
By Jessica Allen - Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 8:28 AM - 0 Comments
The people have spoken. And they love The Hunger Games, and Zac Efron.
Here are the highlights from the 39th People’s Choice Awards, which allows fans to vote for their favourite films. This gives actors like Zac Efron the chance to win Favourite Dramatic Movie Actor. (Winners are highlighted.)FAVORITE MOVIE
FAVORITE MOVIE ACTOR
- The Amazing Spider-Man
- The Avengers
- The Dark Knight Rises
- The Hunger Games
- Snow White and the Huntsman
- Channing Tatum
- Johnny Depp
- Joseph Gordon-Levitt
- Robert Downey, Jr.
- Will Smith
By macleans.ca - Thursday, July 19, 2012 at 2:20 PM - 0 Comments
The Vatican’s whistle-blower, Katy Perry’s lingerie hazard and yet another gaffe from Tony Clement
Pray for deliverance
The old saw that “no man is a hero to his valet” would seem to apply to Paolo Gabriele, the butler to Pope Benedict XVI, who appears to have serious doubts about the Vatican’s business dealings, if not about the pontiff himself. Gabriele is locked in a 3.5-by-four-metre police “safe room,” accused of stealing and leaking documents to Italian media that expose dubious dealings by the Vatican bank, rivalries among cardinals, and alleged corruption. A prosecutor refused his request to be moved to house arrest while the investigation continues, Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi told reporters. “Paolo is serene and finds comfort in prayer,” Gabriele’s lawyer, Paolo Fusco said. He is already charged with aggravated theft. Offences such as revealing state secrets are under consideration.
And 99 per cent rat-free
After a sale fell through on a “lovely little home” on Douglas Avenue in St. John, N.B., real estate agent Jake Palmer faced the challenge of reintroducing it to the market. With the agreement of the owners, he attached a “rider” sign under his ReMax lawn sign reading “indoor plumbing.” That drew attention and chuckles, so Palmer upped the ante with a rider that said: “not haunted.” The stunt went viral online. “The truth will disappoint those of you hoping that the house had recently undergone an exorcism or deliverance,” said the website Extraordinary Intelligence. Sorry, never was haunted, said Palmer, who just hopes the next buyer doesn’t dematerialize.
By macleans.ca - Friday, October 1, 2010 at 8:00 AM - 0 Comments
K’naan is the Teflon man, Hillary Clinton’s hair makes waves, and Elmo opens up about that Katy Perry fiasco
A big week for Hillary’s hair
“Oh Hillary, that hairstyle just doesn’t cut it,” carped the U.K.’s Daily Mail, bemoaning U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s “lanky locks.” “Hillary Clinton wears hair clip to the UN: ‘Do or don’t?” asked the Huffington Post. Hill’s hair, object of fascination throughout Bill’s presidency, had the fashion police on high alert at the UN. Meanwhile, its owner quietly intensified U.S. efforts in the fledgling Mideast peace process.
Not so big in Iran, then
When Mahmoud Ahmadinejad stirs trouble abroad, it’s a safe bet he faces problems back home. This week, the Iranian president was in full diversionary mode, suggesting the U.S. played a role in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, then mocking Western media for spotlighting cases like that of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, an Iranian woman sentenced to death for adultery. (Hossein Derakhshan, an Iranian-Canadian blogger, also faces the death sentence for creating online forums Tehran considered a political threat; a similar campaign is building in his favour.) The uproar over Ashtiani, complained Ahmadinejad, is far greater than that over the plight of Teresa Lewis, a borderline mentally challenged woman executed in Virginia on Thursday. His remarks didn’t stop U.S. media from looking past the bluster to the real story: growing divisions among Iran’s conservatives over the election 15 months ago that gave Ahmadinejad his second term. No wonder he wants to change the channel.
C’aan the man do no wrong?
What does K’naan have to do to be criticized? After organizers of a Vancouver-area charity concert fell short of his $40,000 fee, the Somali-Canadian musician refused to take the stage, leaving fans and the charity in the lurch; Simon Fraser University, where the benefit was being held, reportedly offered to pay the difference, to no avail. Yet event organizers, including charity chief Clement Apaak, fell on their swords, accepting full blame, and offering refunds. The Teflon star’s cred is unblemished by even a summer spent touring for Coke, to whom he sold his hit, Wavin’ Flag, for its World Cup marketing campaign, the corporate giant’s biggest ever.
A homer odyssey
If you hadn’t heard the name Jose Bautista before this fall, don’t feel bad. The Toronto Blue Jays slugger had hit fewer home runs in his three previous seasons combined than he has in 2010, and there was nothing to presage the power surge that this week lifted him into the company of legends like Willie Mays and Mickey Mantle. Having surpassed the Jays’ team record of 47 dingers, Bautista cracked his 51st and 52nd over the weekend, giving rise to inevitable questions about the source of his unaccustomed power. Bautista swatted aside queries like so many hanging curve balls. “I understand because of the [sport’s] history,” he said when asked if he’d used performance-enhancing drugs. “But those days are gone.”
The devil is in the details
With his bald head, sinister black Van Dyke beard and dark sunken eyes, it’s hard to forget that Scott Robb, who’s running for Edmonton’s city council, is a practising Satanist. Still, religious issues aren’t a big part of the message for the founder of the Darkside Collective. Rather, the 31-year-old security guard’s platform focuses on opposing a plan to shutter Edmonton’s City Centre Airport, and proposes to run downtown light-rail transit lines underground. Robb eschews political donations and is spending his own money—$400 so far—on his campaign. Which would mean his name isn’t the only eerie similarity he bears to Toronto mayoral candidate Rob Ford.
Elmo loves Katy Perry—but not inappropriately. “We had a good time,” the Sesame Street puppet told Good Morning America. Elmo’s talk-show appearance was meant to help defuse reaction to his onscreen play date with the pop singer, whose low-cut, cleavage-revealing costume irked parents and led the show to cut the segment. “We’ll have another play date,” Elmo told host George Stephanopoulos, who until recently hosted ABC’s Sunday political show This Week, where he interviewed powerful world leaders. In other news Perry- and puppet-related, the pop queen will appear in a special live-action episode of The Simpsons this Christmas. “In the wake of Elmo’s terrible betrayal, the Simpsons puppets wish to announce they stand felt-shoulder-to-shoulder with Katy Perry,” said Simpsons executive producer Al Jean.
How many women does it take to make a cabinet?
With the election of Simonetta Sommaruga to the Swiss cabinet, the conservative country crossed an unlikely threshold: with Sommaruga, a Social Democrat, as transport minister, Switzerland, which until 1971 barred women from voting, now has a majority-female cabinet—three men, four women—what Social Democrat chair Christian Levrat called an “essential, decisive step.”
A real guitar hero
Vancouver’s Don Alder entered the sixth annual Guitar Superstar competition on a whim—the top 10 finalists, he’d heard, get a nod in Guitar Player magazine, the enthusiast’s bible. Not only did the 54-year-old win, he earned the night’s only standing ovation. Judges deemed his performance “flawless” and “transcendental,” with one adding: “The world needs to hear you.” Alder took up the guitar at the urging of Rick Hansen, a childhood friend (they were together when Hansen was injured after being thrown from the back of a pickup). They were out fishing eight years ago when Hansen said, “Why don’t you get back to your music?” Alder told the Vancouver Sun. “He told me failure is not trying—ever since it’s taken me down this amazing journey.”
Do as he draws, not as he does
What began as a campaign against plagiarism ended as a lesson in irony. Taiwan’s “Protect Copyright” contest launched last year, soliciting entries for a poster campaign. Judges were particularly fond of Wu Chih-wei’s dramatic entry, “Work—Shattered,” featuring a plunging paper plane, words trailing its wings like smoke. The entry earned him a medal and a cash prize, and his poster went up all over Taiwan. Only problem: he’d ripped off Dutch artist Dennis Sibeijn. Wu was stripped of his prize and faced up to three years in jail, but Sibeijn declined to press charges. He would like an apology, though.
Aafia got her gun
Aafia Siddiqui is a 38-year-old Pakistani neuroscientist with degrees from MIT and Brandeis University. Arrested in Afghanistan in 2008, she was found to carry bomb-making recipes and a list of American tourist attractions. When U.S. officials visited her for questioning in jail, Siddiqui grabbed a discarded rifle and began shooting, saying in exquisite English: “I want to kill Americans.” The FBI called her a terrorist. Yet during her trial Siddiqui’s lawyer argued she’s mentally ill. Siddiqui disagreed. So did the judge, who gave her 86 years in prison. That led to riotous protests in Pakistan, where PM Yousaf Raza Gilani called her a “daughter of the nation.”
He hasn’t got a wife to spare
Maybe Ndumiso Mamba figured a man with 14 wives would take a philosophical view of infidelity. But Mamba lost his job as justice minister of Swaziland this week after he was found under a hotel room bed with his king’s 12th wife. Rumours of an affair between Mamba and Nothando Dube, a former Miss Teen Swaziland, had run rampant in the royal court for weeks. Dube reportedly disguised herself as a soldier to sneak out for their trysts, but officials loyal to King Mswati III cottoned on and set up a sting operation to catch the pair. Some predicted Mamba would be allowed to flee. But a long prison term seems more likely. “Mamba knows too much,” said one expert. “If he flees into exile with the royal secrets, that would be a major problem.”
Too mad for Mad Men?
He’s still a contender for Hollywood’s greatest train wreck, but things are looking up for Mel Gibson. News that he’s in danger of losing his house—and his church—to unpaid construction bills didn’t stop Jodie Foster from rising to his defence. “When you love a friend, you don’t abandon them,” she said. Her vote of confidence came as details of Gibson’s ugly split with wife Oksana Grigorieva trickled out: he was apparently willing to cough up $1 million for tapes of his foul-mouthed tirades. But some were buzzing about a comeback. Last week’s hot rumour from Liz Smith had him signing on for a role in the hit series Mad Men, though she retracted after producers demurred.
Catch and release
Captains of Chinese fishing trawlers don’t often trigger diplomatic crises. But that’s what 41-year-old Zhan Qixiong did when, on Sept. 8, while poking around islands claimed by both Beijing and Tokyo, he allegedly rammed Japanese coast guard cutters—twice. Arrested and jailed in Okinawa, he sparked the most serious standoff between China and Japan in recent memory, a dispute closely watched by a world concerned about a rising China. The incident sparked nationalist fervour in both countries, with some in Japan complaining after Qixiong was released on Saturday. Japanese PM Naoto Kan maintained that Tokyo would issue no apologies.
Buck stops here
Last week, Linda Buck, a Nobel Prize-winning biologist who studies how the brain processes odour, retracted two journal articles because they don’t pass the smell test. That makes three times Buck has disavowed papers co-authored with her one-time post-doc Zhihua Zou (who conducted the experiments), because she couldn’t duplicate the findings. Zou, who has reportedly returned to his native China, agreed to the first retraction, but not to last week’s.
By Jaime Weinman - Thursday, September 23, 2010 at 11:25 AM - 0 Comments
The video of the day is the Katy Perry/Elmo duet that Sesame Street decided not to air. Personally, as a lifelong Elmo hater, I think he’s the objectionable part. Replace Elmo with pretty girls who can sing, and the show might be appropriate for children again.
By macleans.ca - Friday, August 13, 2010 at 8:00 AM - 0 Comments
Hugo Chávez’s weird new quest, a flight attendant who’s had enough, and the Judy Garland of the American right
Miss Australia’s technicolour tent
The “national costume” is one of the quainter events at next month’s Miss Universe contest. Trouble is, Australians don’t really have one, so Jesinta Campbell, 18, will represent Oz in what has been called a “national joke,” a “travesty” and a “dingo’s breakfast.” She says she’s proud of designer Natasha Dwyer’s creation, accurately describing it as “incredible.”
Good night, and good luck
After six tumultuous years at the head of the CBC’s English Services division, Richard Stursberg was shown the door late last week. Stursberg was closely associated with the broadcaster’s turn toward more commercial fare, most notably helping bring to air ratings hits such as Little Mosque on the Prairie and Dragons’ Den. But he also oversaw some of the most trying events in recent years, including the 2005 lockout of English-language radio and TV employees, and last year’s wave of layoffs. No reason was given for the departure, which was effective immediately, though rumours have swirled the former head of Telefilm Canada clashed with fellow executives over the Mother Corp.’s long-term strategy. The broadcaster has only confirmed the decision to let Stursberg go “was made by [CBC President] Hubert Lacroix.”
By Aaron Wherry - Thursday, January 28, 2010 at 11:14 AM - 26 Comments
The ‘American Idol’ guest judge counsels a pastor with three young children on the perils of pop stardom
Wednesday night’s episode of American Idol, covering auditions in Los Angeles, was largely unremarkable, save for what might’ve been the most profound moment in Avril Lavigne’s public life to date.
In the lead-up to Ellen DeGeneres’ arrival as Idol‘s fourth judge (replacing the famously incoherent Paula Abdul), the early episodes of this season have featured a series of celebrity guest jurors. Wednesday night’s duties were split between Katy Perry’s cleavage and Lavigne. Perry’s cleavage proved a fair and constructive critic, but it was Lavigne who managed to introduce to the Idol paradigm an entirely original meditation on the precedence and value of the family unit in Western civilization.
We were first introduced to Jim Ranger, a hairy, bearded worship pastor and family man with three young children. He proceeded to sing, not badly, a song he had written himself. Randy asked Simon for his opinion. Simon deemed Ranger’s voice to be “authentic.” Randy asked Lavigne. She was apparently conflicted.
“You know, you have three children and you’re a pastor,” she observed. “To become a pop star, you know, you have to travel and you have to leave everything. It’s difficult out there on the road. But I do think that you have a good voice.”
When asked for her verdict, Lavigne responded in the negative. “I’m sorry I think I have to say no,” she said.
Kara, apparently seeing something in Lavigne’s argument, expressed some trepidation, but ultimately said yes, joining Randy and Simon to advance Ranger to the next round. Mr. Ranger celebrated excitedly.
There are perhaps two ways to look at this.
1. Avril Lavigne, a girl from a small town in eastern Ontario who sang in the church, who signed a record deal at 16, became a global pop star by the age of 18, was on the cover of Rolling Stone before she could legally consume alcohol in Canada, married her rock star boyfriend before her 22nd birthday, had divorced her rock star husband by the age of 25, at some point befriended Paris Hilton and showed up for the taping of this episode, at the age of 26, wearing a hooded sweatshirt with devil horns, is nearly the last person on earth who should be deciding who is and is not capable of maintaining a normal life while pursuing pop stardom.
2. Avril Lavigne, a girl from a small town in eastern Ontario who sang in the church, who signed a record deal at 16, became a global pop star by the age of 18, was on the cover of Rolling Stone before she could legally consume alcohol in Canada, married her rock star boyfriend before her 22nd birthday, had divorced her rock star husband by the age of 25, at some point befriended Paris Hilton and showed up for the taping of this episode, at the age of 26, wearing a hooded sweatshirt with devil horns, is precisely the person to be warning others about the potential perils of pop stardom.
The first option is possibly more ripe for mockery, but also, somehow, less plausible. However emotionally stunted Lavigne may otherwise be as a result of her early accomplishment in the entertainment industry—even by generous standards, the devil-horned hooded-sweatshirt should probably not be worn by anyone over the age of 21 who wishes to be taken seriously as a human being—she seemed genuinely concerned by Jim Ranger’s situation. Or at least the concern seemed too odd to be contrived. And while a deluded pop star might not have noticed the irony of her concern, a truly deluded pop star probably wouldn’t have cared enough in the first place to say so.
So maybe the second option makes more sense. Maybe she meant it. And maybe she knew of what she spoke. And maybe she is one of those few who can know what that life is actually like to live.
Unfortunately, if all that is true then the unavoidable conclusion would seem to be that Avril Lavigne is sort of sad. Or at least that she hasn’t always been all that happy, that she has struggled with her life as we’ve known it. This is maybe not all that surprising. In fact, it’s impossible to believe she hasn’t struggled. But it is still sort of heartbreaking to see it vaguely implied on national television under the guise of warning another human being against pursuing her line of work, lest he somehow damage what she perhaps sees as an already rewarding, or at least important, life. It is entirely possible, in this scenario, that Avril Lavigne sort of envies Jim Ranger.
Granted, it is possible to over-think this. But if one of the defining pop stars of the last decade has just conceded that stardom should not necessarily be the ultimate and all-consuming goal in the life of the vocally talented, then this truly is the end of American Idol.