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Project Runway's twists; Sam Champion marries partner
Entertainment news: Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2012-12-26

This article shared 5505 times since Wed Dec 26, 2012
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Project Runway will throw in a couple of twists when it returns Jan. 24 on Lifetime, according to a press release. The 16 designers find out they will compete in the series' first-ever team challenge; the contestants must work together for every challenge while ensuring their own garments stand out on the runway. There will also be new judge Zac Posen replacing Michael Kors; in addition, guest judges will include Bette Midler, Joan and Melissa Rivers, John Legend and Susan Sarandon, among others.

ABC News weather editor/Good Morning America anchor Sam Champion and partner Rubem Robierb wed in an intimate ceremony at Champion's New York City apartment Dec. 21, according to Yahoo! News. N.Y. State Supreme Court Justice George J. Silver conducted the ceremony; Robin Roberts also played a part in the nuptials, reading an Elizabeth Barrett Browning poem. The newlyweds plan to have a party in Miami New Year's Eve to further celebrate their nuptials. (The full story is at gma.yahoo.com/blogs/abc-blogs/sam-champion-and-rubem-robierb-wed-215804617.html .)

Angelina Jolie is in talks to direct the World War II drama Unbroken for Universal Pictures, according to The Wrap. The film is based on the Laura Hillenbrand 2010 bestseller Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption, which looks at the life of Olympic athlete Louis Zamperini. The Japanese navy captured Zamperini and detained him at a prisoner-of-war camp after he suffered a near-fatal plane crash and survived on a raft for 47 days.

The Spice Girls are looking to reunite—but without Victoria Beckham (Posh Spice), according to the Independent Online. The British girl band—which also includes members Emma Bunton, Mel Chisholm, Geri Halliwell and Melanie Brown—is reportedly set to announce its reunion within weeks. When asked to comment on the speculation, a spokesperson for Beckham said, "Victoria respects all of the girls and will always support them all personally and professionally."

New York Mets player Noah Syndergaard has apologized for an anti-gay tweet, according to Gay Star News. On Dec. 9, the baseball player posted, "@DMarze89 nice crocs fag lol." The tweet from the 20-year-old has since been deleted; Syndergaard later stated, "I had a mishap on Twitter that was brought to my attention this morning. I apologize for anything that was said. My buddy and I were having some fun and it was a poor attempt at humor."

Football player Chris Kluwe—known for his pro-marriage-equality stance—has become the first pro athlete to join the Athlete Ally Ambassador Program, Gay Star News noted. The program encourages athletes, coaches, and fans to fight homophobia in sports. "This is about extending respect and sportsmanship to everyone," the Minnesota Viking said of joining the group. "It's a basic American idea, like football itself."

Singer Ke$ha has apologized for the lyrics of her single "Die Young" in the wake of the Sandy Hook school tragedy, according to the Sun. Radio stations pulled her song—which had been number three on the Billboard singles chart—after the Dec. 14 mass shooting. Ke$ha later tweeted that she understood why the song has been deemed inappropriate—because she herself was never happy with the lyrical content of the track: "I had my very own issue with 'die young' for this reason. I did NOT want to sing those lyrics and I was FORCED TO."

A beauty queen from Pennsylvania who claimed this year's Miss USA contest was fixed has been ordered to pay Donald Trump's Miss Universe Organization $5 million for defamation, according to Post-Gazette.com . In a 17-page opinion, retired U.S. Magistrate Judge Theodore H. Katz, who served as the arbitrator in New York, found that "there was virtually no possibility that the judging was rigged." Monnin, 27, was crowned Miss Pennsylvania USA in December 2011 and competed in the Miss USA pageant in Las Vegas in June; she said the top five finalists had been pre-selected.

Will & Grace alum Sean Hayes will star in an NBC father-daughter comedy written by Better Off Ted creator Victor Fresco, according to Deadline.com . The untitled comedy, from Universal TV as well as Hayes and Todd Milliner's Hazy Mills, will feature Hayes figuring out how to parent his 14-year-old daughter, who just moved in, while dealing with a temperamental new boss at work.

Out producer Bryan Singer closed a deal to develop, executive-produce and possibly direct a reboot of The Twilight Zone, Deadline.com reported. The drama series project, now in early stages, is set up at CBS TV Studios. The original Twilight Zone series ran on CBS 1959-1964 and 1985-1989; a reboot also ran on UPN in 2002.

In an LA Weekly post entitled "Gay Marriage is Punk Rock," rocker and LGBT ally Henry Rollins celebrates marriage equality in Washington state and wonders when same-sex nuptials will be called simply "marriage," with no prefixes or other additions, according to Towleroad.com . In part, he writes, "Marriage equality is a term so ridiculous on its face that when you hear it mentioned, you would think you were in Riyadh. Years from now, perhaps we can lose the equality part, the same-sex part and call it what it is—marriage."

Former Facts of Life star Lisa Whelchel didn't win the grand prize on Survivor, but she did OK, People.com reported. After tying for second place with Mike Skupin (prize money for the tie: $87,500), she received an extra $100,000 for being crowned the player of the season—an award chosen by the viewers. In addition, she got an extra $10,000 for attending the live finale. Denise Stapley won the million-dollar top prize.

In Chile, a group of smoking fans got Madonna heated, according to the Huffington Post. The "Express Yourself" singer was conducting a sound check when she noticed some people had lit cigarettes. After suddenly cutting off her performance of "Human Nature," she said, "No smoking. If you're going to smoke cigarettes, I'm not doing a show. You don't care about me, I don't care about you. All right?" Footage of the incident was reportedly posted on YouTube and later deleted.

Jane Fonda still looks great at 75, and she shared her secrets for lookinggood, according to US Magazine. The On Golden Pond actress joked to Access Hollywood, "It takes good genes and a lot of money. I don't know if I have a lot of money. I think I have the good genes part!" She added that she's gone under the knife—but only "to lose the bags under my eyes." However, she said "the most important thing comes from the inside and in that sense, exercise and yoga, in particular, helps with that."

VH1's hit series Mob Wives returns Sunday, Jan. 6 (7 p.m. CT), according to a press release. Season three finds fan favorites Renee, Karen, Drita, Carla, "Big Ang" and Ramona struggling to maintain their hard-won independence—but the mob drama continues to pull them back in. Also, there will be a new cast member: Love Majewski, who has a "notorious past."

A famous image of Marilyn Monroe with her skirt billowing atop a New York City subway grate is on display outside the Times Square subway station, according to the Huffington Post. The supersized version of Sam Shaw's well-known picture is part of an exhibit (up for a year) that features eight other images of the late sex symbol that the photographer took. Shaw shot the subway grate photo for the 1955 film The Seven Year Itch.

The new action series Banshee kicks off its 10-episode season Friday, Jan. 11 (10-11 p.m. ET/PT), exclusively on Cinemax, according to a press release. The series stars Antony Starr as Lucas Hood, an ex-con and master thief who assumes the identity of the sheriff of Banshee, Pa., even as he's hunted by the shadowy gangsters he betrayed years earlier. Among the other stars is Hoon Lee as Job, a dangerous cross-dressing computer hacker who assists Lucas in his criminal enterprises.

Fox show So You Think You Can Dance has been renewed for a tenth season, according to Deadline.com . Fox also announced that the Emmy-winning "Dance" would begin auditions for season 10 in Austin, Texas, on Jan. 18. It will then move to Detroit Feb. 11, Boston on Feb. 21, Memphis on March 14 and Los Angeles on March 22.

A video featuring out actor George Takei reading the best-seller Fifty Shades of Grey has gone viral. The Huffington Post reported that Takei—best known for playing Sulu on the original Star Trek TV series—took in a fresh cup of tea and E.L. James' bondage-themed book in a video posted on YouTube. "Skin against skin ... moving slowly at first ... easily, testing me, pushing me," Takei reads dramatically, before adding, "Oh my!"

Reality star/talk-show host/Skinnygirl creator Bethenny Frankel and husband Jason Hoppy have separated after almost three years of marriage, according to People.com . On Dec. 23, Frankel tweeted, "I am heartbroken. I am sad. We will work through this as a family."

Singer Rihanna, 24, has donated $1.75 million to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Bridgetown in her home country of Barbados, according to USA Today. The donation is for equipment to be used at the Clara Braithwaite Centre for Oncology and Nuclear Medicine; the center is named after Rihanna's grandmother, who died in June.

Quentin Tarantino cut Frank Ocean from the Django Unchained soundtrack; however, the out singer made the track he wrote and recorded for the film available through his Tumblr site. "Frank Ocean wrote a fantastic ballad that was truly lovely and poetic in every way, there just wasn't a scene for it," Tarantino said of the song. "I could have thrown it in quickly just to have it, but that's not why he wrote it and not his intention. So I didn't want to cheapen his effort."

Speaking of Ocean, USA Today named his CD, Channel Orange, album of the year. In part, the publication said that, on the CD, Ocean "hifts moods and tempo and speaks in metaphors in songs about love, disillusionment, decadence, social status, drugs and betrayal." Ocean is up for six Grammys and Orange won a Soul Train Music Award for album of the year in November.

Scissor Sisters lead singer Jake Shears is on a new record by the rock band Queens of the Stone Age, according to a Rolling Stone item. The out Shears originally tweeted he was doing "something insanely cool with some fierce Queens," and followed it up with a picture of him with that band. Queens frontman Josh Homme appeared in a promo clip for the Scissor Sisters' Magic Hour earlier this year.

Actor Jack Klugman died Dec. 24 at age 90, according to ABC News. Klugman, who lost his voice to throat cancer in the 1980s and trained himself to speak again, starred in TV's The Odd Couple (with Tony Randall) and Quincy, M.E. When Randall died in 2004 at age 84, Klugman told CNN, "A world without Tony Randall is a world that I cannot recognize."


This article shared 5505 times since Wed Dec 26, 2012
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