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Hudson, Clarkson and 'American Idol'; Mr. Gay USA on reality show
Entertainment news: Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times

This article shared 7749 times since Tue May 28, 2013
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Former American Idol finalist Jennifer Hudson may be in negotiations to be a judge on that very show (and has reportedly signed a deal)—but Kelly Clarkson is not, according to Digital Spy. Recent rumors suggested that Fox executives are considering a new panel composed entirely of former American Idol contestants, with Clarkson said to be high on the list. However, Clarkson's spokesperson confirmed that the singer will not be a judge on the show. Meanwhile, out gay former finalist Adam Lambert is said to be very interested in a spot.

Mr. Gay USA 2011 Michael Holtz will be among those competing on the new TNT competition series 72 Hours, according to a press release. Holtz's episode, entitled "Lost Coast of New Zealand," will air June 13. Dropped in a stretch of untamed coastline, three teams composed of three strangers must navigate thick forests, limestone cliffs and sand dunes to locate a briefcase full of cash in 72 hours. All they have to accompany them in their quest for $100,000 are their teammates, the clothes on their backs, a GPS and one bottle of water.

Albany, Ga., might soon have The Paula Deen Museum, according to ABC News. The Southern chef's museum would be housed in her childhood home. B.J. Fletcher, an Albany businesswoman, and Deen's former husband, Jimmy Deen, are leading the venture. The controversial chef found herself embroiled in controversy when she announced in January 2012 that she had Type 2 diabetes, a condition she had known about for some time.

In town to receive the Library of Congress' Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, songwriting pioneer Carole King, 71, was the first singer to take the stage in the East Dining Room at a recent White House concert, singing songs such as "Beautiful" and "You've Got a Friend," according to the Washington Post. King, the woman to receive the prize, joined a list of honorees that includes Paul Simon, Stevie Wonder, Paul McCartney, and Hal David and Burt Bacharach.

In an interview with Billboard magazine, Janet Jackson discussed the 20th anniversary of her groundbreaking album, janet., which included the songs "That's the Way Love Goes" and "If." Of the album—which featured her nude on the cover with a man's hands over her breasts—Jackson said it "was sexual and I was beginning to really discover that side of me." Jackson also said she is working on a new album: "I am working on a new project now. We are creating the concept and initial thoughts on the music."

Speaking of Jackson, she is now officially a billionaire, according to Yahoo! News. Jackson has earned $458 million from concert tours; $304 million from acting roles in films like ;The Nutty Professor; $260 million in album sales; and more than $81 million from tour sponsorships and licensing fees. Jackson recently married Middle Eastern retail tycoon Wissam Al Mana, who's also worth more than $1 billion.

When a dying boy's wish to meet Queen Elizabeth was rejected, Dame Helen Mirren, acting as the queen, stepped in to have tea with the youngster, according to ABC News. Mirren paid for 10-year-old Oliver Burton and his parents to attend her London show, where she plays the queen. Afterward, she invited them backstage and had her butler serve them tea, while Oliver played with her corgis and Mirren stayed in character.

Good Morning America's Robin Roberts will tell the story of her battle with a life-threatening illness in a new memoir, ABC News reported. Grand Central Publishing said the anchor will write the as-yet-untitled book for publication next April. Roberts underwent a bone-marrow transplant last September to treat the blood and bone-marrow disease. She was off work for five months before returning to the morning show in February.

Jennifer Lopez announced plans to open a chain of 15 cellphone stores and a website under the Viva Movil brand; the goal is to sell Verizon phones and services to Latinos, according to the New York Post. The first store will open in the Big Apple on June 15, while others will open in Los Angeles and Miami. Lopez is the majority owner and "chief creative officer" of Viva Movil.

As the show Dancing with the Stars is being retooled, ideas that are being tossed around that include having a fourth judge and asking former President Bill Clinton to be a contestant, according to the New York Post. ABC is scrapping the original Tuesday-night results show, the start of the show's first extreme makeover in eight years. Current judges Carrie Ann Inaba, Len Goodman and Bruno Toniolo reportedly do not have contracts for next season yet. As for Clinton, producers have openly solicited him for years.

A film at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival is said to have "the most explosively graphic lesbian sex in recent memory," according to Digital Spy. Blue Is the Warmest Color premiered May 23, and has been described by critics as "show-stopping." The erotic film follows a love affair between a Frenchwoman and a teenage girl, and vied for the Palme d'Or prize.

Before the HBO movie Behind the Candelabra premiered, actress/singer Debbie Reynolds (who played Liberace's mother in the movie) talked about the real piano man, according to . Of Liberace (whom she called "Lee"), Reynolds said, "We all knew he was homosexual. That was a friend: You know what they love and the people that they love, and what they are." She continued, "I don't want him to be remembered just for being homosexual. ... He should be remembered as a great entertainer and loved by so many—and this picture does that."

Playbill has announced the all-star roster for its fourth annual Broadway on the High Seas cruise, which will visit Tahiti, Bora Bora, Moorea and the surrounding French Polynesian Islands March 20-29, 2014. The fourth edition of Playbill's cruise series will feature five-time Tony winner Audra McDonald; Tony winners Brian Stokes Mitchell and Lea Salonga; two-time Tony winners Sutton Foster and Christine Ebersole; and Tony nominees Rebecca Luker, Will Swenson and Danny Burstein. The cruise will only take in 150 cabins, and will include a two-day stay in Tahiti with a seven-day cruise to the surrounding islands.

Lea Michele (TV's Glee; Broadway's Spring Awakening) has signed a book deal with Harmony Books, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group at Random House, to publish the memoir Brunette Ambition, according to . The book—expected in spring 2014 in print and as a digital publication—will be part memoir, part how-to and part style guide. Currently, Michele is voicing the lead role for an animated 3-D musical Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return, set for release May 2, 2014.

Out actor Cheyenne Jackson (Glee; Behind the Candelabra) will star alongside such actors as Ally Sheedy, David Boreanaz (Bones), Billy Campbell, Kate Walsh (Private Practice) and Keke Palmer (the film Akeelah and the Bee) in the upcoming DIRECTV drama Full Circle, according to a press release. The 10-episode series—which marks the television debut of screenwriter/playwright Neil LaBute—focuses on a series of conversations between 11 people whose lives, unbeknownst to them, are intertwined.

New York City's Classic Stage Company has announced an extension (through June 23) of its current production of Bertolt Brecht's The Caucasian Chalk Circle, which will welcome Lea DeLaria to the cast for the final two weeks of the run, noted. Directed by CSC artistic director Brian Kulick, the production features songs by Tony winner Duncan Sheik (Spring Awakening).DeLaria will take over for Tony nominee Mary Testa; Christopher Lloyd heads the cast.

Two men who were part of the national tour of "Blue's Clues Live!" (based on the Nickelodeon TV show) fell in love and are now engaged, according to the New York Times. Tom Mizer was playing the role of Steve when Travis McGhie joined the production as Mizer's understudy. "We always have this thing that we can laugh about together. How funny that the two Steves were getting together on the road," Mizer said.

Gomer Pyle actor Jim Nabors returned to sing "Back Home Again in Indiana" during pre-race ceremonies at the racing event the Indianapolis 500, according to the New York Post. Nabors missed last year's race due to heart surgery but he's performed there in person 33 times. Nabors recently made news when he married partner Stan Cadwallader in Hawaii, noted. The couple met in 1975, when Cadwallader was a Honolulu firefighter.

Sarah Silverman, Seth Meyers, Eddie Izzard and Joan Rivers are part of the initial talent lineup for Montreal's Just For Laughs comedy festival in July, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Rivers will perform at the July 27 gala in Montreal, after Just For Laughs perennial Izzard will host a July 24 gala to feature international acts.

Actor Tim Curry—known, in part, for his role as Dr. Frank-N-Furter in The Rocky Horror Picture Show—suffered a major stroke at his L.A. home on Thursday, May 23, according to US Weekly. "Tim is doing great," agent Marcia Hurwitz told the Daily Mail, shooting down a rumor that the actor and singer is struggling to speak after the medical incident. Curry pulled out of a British 2011 production of Rosencrantz and Gildenstern are Dead, citing asthma attacks and a chest infection.

Three months after coming out as gay and stepping away from soccer, Robbie Rogers has signed with the LA Galaxy, according to a Yahoo! News report. The Chicago Fire owned the Major League Soccer (MLS) rights to Rogers, but he didn't want to play for that team. Rogers is now the first openly gay player in MLS—and is reportedly is also the first active openly gay male athlete to compete in a U.S. professional team sport.

Transgender MMA (mixed martial arts) fighter Fallon Fox improved her professional record to 3-0 May 24, defeating Allanna Jones via submission with what was called a "modified North-South choke," according to Bleacher Report. Jones fired the night's first salvo, walking out to Aerosmith's "Dude Looks Like a Lady" while boos greeted Fox's entrance. Fox will face Ashley Evans-Smith in the CFA women's 145-pound tournament final, on a date yet to be announced; the victor will win $20,000.

WingSpan Pictures' controversial film Love Is All You Need was leaked on YouTube by a cast member and has gone viral, garnering more than 2 million views on YouTube and WingSpan's website in seven days, according to a press release. The short film is set in a world where homosexuality is the norm and heterosexuals are criticized for who they love. WingSpan is currently seeking investors for the feature-length version of the film starring Kellan Lutz and Camilla Belle.

Russian Vasily Klyukin, who lives in Monaco, bid $1.5 million to jet into outer space alongside U.S. actor Leonardo DiCaprio, according to Gay Star News. The ticket was one of many offers on auction at the 20th annual Cinema Against AIDS gala—held during the Cannes Film Festival—to raise money for the Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR). The event raised a total of $32.3 million for the foundation.

Singer Lauryn Hill is stirring controversy in the LGBT community with the lyrics to her latest single, "Neurotic Society (Compulsory Mix)," according to a commentary. Monica R. Miller writes that "part of 'Neurotic Society' proclaims that Babylon is falling—thanks in part to people like 'girl men,' 'drag queens' and the lies of 'social transvestism.'" Miller adds, "Beyond intention, these sorts of statements suggest that society is in a shambles because it's been taking too many cues from the LGBTQ community, acting like 'girl men,' 'drag queens' and 'transvestites.' ... As she tries to 'figure out how to pay her own tax debts,' may she also realize the expense imposed by her 'existential catharsis' on LGBTQ individuals as they continue to fight for justice for their lives and partnerships."

The Cannes Film Festival's top award, the Palme d'Or, went to Abdellatif Kechiche's Blue is the Warmest Color, according to a USA Today item. Director Steven Spielberg led the nine-member jury that chose the winner of one of cinema's highest honors. The erotic film, which follows a love affair between a Frenchwoman and a teenage girl, is said to have "the most explosively graphic lesbian sex in recent memory," according to Digital Spy.

Angelina Jolie's Aunt Debbie has passed away after a battle with breast cancer, according to a item. The news came just weeks after the 37-year-old actress shared her decision to have a preventative double mastectomy to lower her risk for the disease. Debbie is the sister of Angie's late mother Marcheline Bertrand, who died of ovarian cancer in 2007.

Robbie Rogers made history May 26 when he became the first active openly gay male athlete to compete in a U.S. professional team sport, according to the Huffington Post. The 26-year-old Rogers, who plays for Major League Soccer's Los Angeles Galaxy, entered the game as a substitute. The NBA's Jason Collins came out of the closet in April, but is not currently active, as he's a free agent.

I Dream of Jeannie's Barbara Eden dressed up in the 1960s sitcom's iconic costume during the Life Ball 2013 in Vienna, Austria, on May 25, according to Yahoo! News. The 78-year-old actress stepped out on the City Hall stage sporting the famous pink crop top, harem pants and braided blonde hair, as former President Bill Clinton stepped out on the stage and greeted Eden with a big smile on his face. Life Ball—which featured an appearance by Sir Elton John as well as Adam Lambert debuting his new song "Love Wins over Glamour"—raises money to promote HIV and AIDS awareness.

NFL superstar running back Adrian Peterson is sorry marriage-equality advocate Chris Kluwe is no longer on his team (the Minnesota Vikings), even if he disagrees with Kluwe on the issue, according to an article. On Sirius/XM NFL Radio, Peterson said, "To each his own. I'm not with it. But I have relatives that are gay. I'm not biased towards them. I still treat them the same. I love 'em. But again, I'm not with that. That's not something I believe in."

Calvin Klein, 70, has apparently reconciled with ex-boyfriend Nick Gruber, 23, whisking the younger man on a romantic break in Mexico, according to the New York Post. Former erotic model Gruber and Klein split in January 2012 after two years, following Gruber's infamous incident punching a political intern and being arrested for cocaine possession after a night of partying at his Greenwich Street apartment. After the breakup, Gruber announced he was working on a tell-all titled Obsession: My Life With Calvin Klein, but later pulled the plug on the project.

Behind the Candelabra—Steven Soderbergh's look at the tempestuous love affair between Liberace and on-stage driver Scott Thorson—hit some high notes for HBO, according to . Approximately 2.6 million people saw "Candelabra" May 26—the most viewers an HBO movie premiere has garnered since 2.6 million watched Something The Lord Made in 2004. Based on Scott Thorson's 1988 memoir, "Candelabra" starred Michael Douglas as Liberace and Matt Damon as the much younger Thorson; Dan Aykroyd, Scott Bakula and Rob Lowe also appeared in the two-hour biopic.

A fan apparently slapped the Beyonce's derriere while she performed in Copenhagen, Denmark, May 27, Digital Spy reported. She threatened to have the man removed, saying, "I will have you escorted out right now, alright?" She'll conclude the European leg of her tour with stops in Oslo, Norway; Stockholm, Sweden; and Antwerp, Belgium before headlining the June 1 "Sound of Change" concert in London that will also feature Jennifer Lopez and John Legend, among others.

In her latest video, RuPaul's Drag Race alumna Manila Luzon covers the Murray Head classic "One Night in Bangkok," according to a press release. The video is unique in that it's in 3-D—which Luzon did because, according to her, "I wanted everyone to see how great my boobs look in person!!!" This video coincides with the release of Luzon's latest T-shirt line, which she illustrated and designed herself.

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