Saturday, June 30, 2007

Audra McDonald To Replace Merrin Dungey on Grey's Anatomy Spin-off

Michael Ausiello over at is reporting that four-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald will replace Alias star Merrin Dungey as Dr. Addison Montgomery's (Kate Walsh) best friend on the Grey's Anatomy spin-off Private Practice. Apparently the decision was made after Dungey didn't "pop" with the audience. As much as I loved Dungey on Alias, I can't say I disagree with the decision -- she didn't work for me.

I love Audra -- I've seen her in shows and in concerts and I have no doubt she is going to be fantastic playing Taye Digg's ex-wife on Private Practice. With her, Walsh, Diggs, Tim Daly, Amy Brenneman, Paul Adelstein, and Chris Lowell, not to mention Shonda Rhimes, there are certainly enough reasons to watch this show. My only fear is that we will have lost Audra to TV-land, and it will be awhile before she returns to the Great White Way. I had heard rumblings that she was considering returning to Broadway as early as this fall, but I'd imagine that is now impossible.

Take Hollywood by storm, Audra - but don't forget about New York and the theater!

Click for more Television News/Commentary

Friday, June 29, 2007

Another Shocker: Jesus and Jessi Eliminated from So You Think You Can Dance

Another week, another shocker on So You Think You Can Dance.

I'm not surprised that Jessi Peralta was given the boot last night -- in fact I predicted she would be eliminated even if she was well enough to dance, which she was. Her performance with Pasha was fun to watch (although, to be honest, I preferred the version he danced with Bette Midler the night before), but what was up with that solo? She dug her own grave on that one, as she barely moved during her 30 seconds of performance time. To be fair, none of the girls (save, perhaps, Anya) was especially impressive during their solos, but Jessi was definitively the weakest. She seemed shocked that she had been eliminated -- she shouldn't have been. All she had to was read Idol Thoughts and she would have known she was going home!

While Jessi's elimination didn't ruffle me, it was the elimination of Jesus that got me a little emotional. Granted, he was facing off against Neil and Danny, two of the competition's strongest dancers, so despite the fact that he hasn't misstepped once throughout the competition, the judges did make the right choice. It's just a big ol' bummer that we're stuck with Cedric for one more week, while a beautiful dancer (with a beautiful spirit) is sent packing.

I guess all is not fair in So You Think You Can Dance.

Also not fair (or right) -- Fergie's outfit and obviously lip synched performance. Enough with Fergie on these shows -- she was on the SYTYCD finale last season, she showed up on Idol. I'm over her.

Remember, no show next week -- the Top 14 will be back to dance on July 11 at 8PM.

Click here for more So You Think You Can Dance, including my recap of Wednesday's show.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Veronica Mars' Logan Will 'Moonlight' This Fall

For all those Veronica Mars fans still mourning the fate of the beloved series, take note -- Logan lives!

Jason Dohring, who played the rich, troubled boyfriend of the private detective on the late CW series, will appear this fall on the CBS series Moonlight. According to Reuters, Dohring will play ancient vampire Josef, a "young, mischievous hedge-fund trader."

What would Veronica think?

Summer TV Midterm Report Card

So, it's been about a month since the crowning of Jordin Sparks as the new American Idol signaled the end of the regular television season. Summer TV is always a mixed bag -- there are some unexpected gems, and also some high-profile stinkers. With that in mind, here's my midterm report on Summer TV.

Lovin' It

So You Think You Can Dance
Obviously. Love this show. Sometimes I think I love it even more than Idol (scandalous, I know). I haven't fallen for anyone quite as hard as I fell for Travis last season, but the overall talent pool is so deep that it's a blast to watch. Love, love, love it.

Rescue Me
There is nothing else like this show on television. Brutally funny, and then scarily moving, and then just scary, this show deals in extremes -- and I love it. If Denis Leary doesn't wind up with an Emmy nomination next month, something is seriously wrong with the television academy.

The Starter Wife
This show is the equivalent of a good beach read -- light, fluffy, and totally entertaining. Sure, it's a little ridiculous, but Debra Messing is luminous, and the hour flies by. How about making this into a weekly series next summer, USA?

The Closer
This show could so easily be CSI: Los Angeles, but Kyra Sedgwick totally saves it from the land of humdrum procedurals. She's brilliant! The cases this season so far have been strong, as well, particularly the season opener featuring Veronica Mars' Kyle Gassner. No wonder this show is breaking records -- it's freakin' good!

Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List
I'm not a huge fan of stand-up comedy, but this bitch makes me laugh and laugh and then laugh some more. She's hysterical! Last week's episode, in which Kathy's beloved father passed away, caught me off guard, but it handled the serious subject manner in a uniquely moving (and real) way. To be honest, I can't remember the last time I saw such honest emotion about the loss of a parent on any tv show. Just another dimension to the red-headed wonder.

Top Chef
The formula works -- and I'm hooked. The only thing wrong with this show is that I can't taste the food!

Good -- but not obsessed

I love this show -- I love Vince, I love E, I love Ari...heck, I love them all. So why aren't I that into this season? The first episode's documentary feel was clever, but not particularly funny, and this past week's episode was also noticably missing in laughs. Here's hoping the boys get their mojo back soon.

Army Wives
Ok, this is a little white lie, because I am kind of obsessed with this show, I just don't think I should admit it. It's on Lifetime, people! But I'm three episodes in, now, and I can't stop watching. I'm lovin' Kim Delaney and the girl who plays Roxie, but I could do without Joan (the tortured soldier) and Catherine Bell (the victim of domestic abuse by her son). Still, I'm kinda hooked.

Making the Band 4
Watching Danity Kane's creation last season was pure pleasure -- so far, the boys are providing a little less excitement. But I trust P Diddy (and the fierce Lori Ann) to amp up the drama as the season goes on, so I'm stickin' with it.

The premise is genius. The boys (especially the delectable Matthew Bomer) are gorgeous. So why aren't I obsessed? Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I know there is 0% chance of this show returning, making it a little hard to get invested. Still, watching cute boys run around is not a terrible way to spend an hour.

Still Watching and I Don't Know Why

On The Lot

This show had so much promise -- and is so painful to watch. What went wrong? Just about everything, quite frankly. The host is terrible, the judges are worthless, the contestants don't seem to have much talent, and the show is produced in an almost embarrasinly sloppy fashion. For some reason I'm still watching...but I don't know for how much longer.

Tivo'ed -- but haven't watched yet

John from Cincinnatti (the buzz is so bad, I'm not sure this one is gonna get watched)
The 4400 (I still have a couple of episodes from the end of last season to catch up on)

Tivo'ed -- then deleted
(These are shows I had been looking forward to, but then lost interest in, and never got watched)

Pirate Master
The Flight of the Concords (watched the first episode -- just didn't get it)
Armed & Dangerous

Still Looking Forward To...

Big Brother

Burn Notice

Hey Paula
Saving Garce

Click for more Television News/Commentary, including my predictions for the Emmy nominations

So You Think You Can Dance Top 16 - Who is Going Home Tonight?

Another Thursday, another elimination. After two straight weeks of surprises (Ricky and Faina, we hardly knew ya), who's it going to be this week?

You can read my full recap and rankings of last night's show here.

Bottom 3 Couples:
Sara and Jesus
Neil and Lauren
Shauna and Cedric

While it's entirely possible Danny and Anya could slip into the Bottom 3, I'm guessing the fact that Sara and Jesus performed first might put them in jeopardy tonight, along with the still underperforming Neil and Lauren, and the trainwreck that is Cedric. What could save Cedric? Mia Michaels' brilliant choreography, for one, along with the fact that about five minutes of time last night was devoted to debating the merits of keeping him in the competition. Will Debbie Allen's generous offer to provide him with a scholarship to her dance academy mean people won't feel bad about sending him home, or will it mean that they'll want to keep him around for his uniqueness and the drama he brings to the show? If somehow Cedric and Shauna manage to avoid a Bottom 3 showing, expect Danny and Anya to fall to the bottom.

Eliminated Boy: Cedric
As long as he and Shauna are in the Bottom 3, he's going home, no two ways about it.

Eliminated Girl: Jessi
Who knows if baby oil girl will have recovered enough to make it back for tonight's elimination show? Even if she does, I'm guessing she's going to get the boot tonight. If, somehow, she manages to recover in time and save herself, prepare to say goodbye to Ms. Shauna.

Read my full recap and rankings of last night's show here.

Click for more So You Think You Can Dance.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

So You Think You Can Dance Recap and Rankings: Top 16

Another evening of great dancing on So You Think You Can Dance, with some drama thrown in on the side. Gotta love Wednesday nights!

Debbie Allen is on the panel tonight, and she's got lots to say. No seriously, a lot to say. Is it just me, or did the woman go on and on? No matter, really, since (a) she was in Fame , (b) she was pretty entertaining, and (c) she even offered Cedric a scholarship to her dance academy (although something tells me he reamed Nigel out for prompting her to do so on the commercial break).

As a side note, I kind of love the judging panel on this show. Choreographers are used to having to explain what works and what doesn't work, so there is an eloquence that is completely lacking on American Idol. So bravo, Nigel, loopy (but remarkably coherent) Mary, and the rest of the gang.

As for the drama -- Jessi Peralta has been rushed to the hospital, and Nigel, in a weird, sinister way, reports that her EKG was not normal. Oh yeah, and if she isn't better in 24 hours she's cut from the competition. This is the dance world, people -- no time for feelings.

Here's my rankings and comments...check back tomorrow morning for my prediction of who will go home.

1. Pasha and the old fat lady
Ok, to be fair, she's probably not fat, she just seems rotund compared to the Barbie dolls on this show. But enough about her -- how about that Pasha? Ooh baby, baby. He was clearly in his element here, and was sexy as all get out. I was never really into Dimitri last year (the European ballroom archetype), but I am most definitely into Pasha. And I hope Jessi is better by tomorrow -- as much as she is not my favorite, this would be a pretty shitty way to leave the competition.

2. D-Trix and Sabra
Ok, I am officially on the Dominic bandwagon. That rumba was hot! And D-Trix looked mighty fine filling out those tight pants, I must say. I can't figure out what to make of Sabra -- I love her when she is dancing, but I can't connect to her when she's not. Regardless, this rumba hit all the right spots.

3. Hok and Jaimie
Last week these two were my least favorite couple -- tonight, they blew me away. Shows what a different style of dance and a fierce choreographer can do. Wade Robson said he wanted to create his own kind of ballet, and he did -- it was pretty genius. Hok was spellbinding, and Jaimie, who is probably my least favorite in the competition, was, I must admit, beautiful to watch. Can Wade just choreograph all the dances?

4. Shauna and Cedric
Actually, Wade can choreograph half of the dances and Mia Michaels can choreograph the other other half. Loyal Idol Thoughts readers know I am kind of obsessed with Mia Michaels (I even signed up for her mailing list at, so any dance she has created I am most likely going to love. And she did not disappoint tonight, bringing a beautiful story of goodbyes to the stage. Shauna was luminous (I even had visions of last season's Allison while she was dancing), but Cedric once again dropped the ball. He was emotionally moving (his crying moment was quite nice), but he just didn't match the energy and level of technical prowess Shauna was bringing to the stage. All in all, though, a beautiful piece.

5. Lacey and Kameron
Quickstep is boring. Yeah, I said it. However, for a quickstep, this performance was surprsingly enteraining. Both Lacey and Kam looked especially dashing tonight, and I am starting to think that while Danny and Anya may have the most technical prowess, these two are the most versatile -- they haven't faulted yet.

6. Sara and Jesus
I expected Sara to excel at this style, but Chuy was a very nice surprise. I bought him as a crumper, and I enjoyed this performance. I'm worried that because they performed first in the evening they may get lost in the shuffle, though, and find themselves dancing for their lives tomorrow night.

7. Anya and Danny
Last week's number one couple took a dive this week, finishing just outside of last place. What happened? They weren't bad, per se, they just were completely un-believable as a hip hop pair. Danny's dancing was beautiful, but I didn't buy for a second that they weren't a contemporary and Latin dancer attemting hip hop. I don't think they are in danger of going home, but I also think they've shown they are fallible.

8. Neil and Lauren
I want to love them so bad -- Neil is absolutely adorable, and Lauren clearly has tons of potential. So why haven't they dazzled me yet? Neil showed signs of life last week during hip hop, but this tango, while technically well-danced, was far from sexy. And it wasn't for lack of trying -- they were making the faces, but the soul of the dance wasn't there. They need some contemporary, so they can show what they can do. Otherwise, I'm afraid they might not last.

Individual Rankings:
1. Pasha
2. Dominic
3. Hok
4. Shauna
5. Sabra
6. Jaimie
7. Lacey
8. Jesus
9. Kameron
10. Sara
11. Danny
12. Lauren
13. Neil
14. Anya
15. Cedric

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Bon Jovi Tops Album Chart

Bon Jovi grabbed it's first-ever #1 debut on this week's album charts, moving around 285K copies. Not bad for a few guys from New Jersey!

They were followed by The White Stripes and (212K) and Brad Paisley (197K).

Daughtry (#17) dropped 34% for a total of 37K albums sold, while Carrie Underwood (#21) fell 23% for 31K albums sold.

Next week Kelly Clarkson enters the chart...hopefully at #1!

SPOILERS: Dance Styles For So You Think You Can Dance Top 16

You know the drill -- if you want to be surprised, stop reading now!

Here are the dance styles for tomorrow's Top 16 show:

1. Jesus & Sara: Krump
2. Cedric & Shauna: Contemporary
3. Kameron & Lacey: Quickstep
4. Danny & Anya: Hip-Hop
5. Dominic & Sabra: Rumba
6. Neil & Lauren: Tango
7. Hok & Jaimie: Jazz
8. Pasha & Jessi: Cha Cha


Happy Kelly Clarkson Day! Kelly's Album In Stores Today

After what has seemed like years of controversy, Kelly Clarkson's My December is available for purchase today!


Check back later for a full review of the album. Here's a preview of my's different, and I love it!

Support the artistry! Buy Kelly's CD!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Isaiah Washington Has Lost His Mind

The following quote is from former Grey's Anatomy star, and certifiable maniac, Isaiah Washington, to gay activist Keith Boykin, about the circumstances surrounding his firing:

“I’m not firing back at anybody else in the cast but T.R. Knight and Katie Heigl because they both know as well as Chandra Wilson knows that T.R. Knight was very tactical in trying to remove me from the show because he knows that I know, and I was gagged, that he has been working on a conspiracy to get Patrick Dempsey and myself off the show for the last year and a half. I know Patrick Dempsey has supported me by stating that if there is anyone that needs to be fired it is T.R. Knight because he has created such a negative environment on that set because he felt like he has not been treated and given the same leading man kinds of story lines. This is something that T.R. Knight has been trying to do and using the incident of the so-called F-word that was targeted at him, which is a flat out lie, to blackmail the writers into doing his bidding, and it’s not working. The producers are not happy about it, and quite frankly, they all think that something has gone awfully awry with the stability of T.R. Knight. And I can freely say this now because I am no longer a Disney employee and I am no longer gagged. But everyone there, including the producers, all the way up to Touchstone, are very disappointed in the behavior of T.R. Knight. All of this I’m saying to you has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that he’s gay. [T.R. Knight] he came out October 19 as purely a tactical move to do exactly what it did, get public opinion in an outrage to lead them to believe that he is being picked on because he is gay. He could care less about the gay community.”

This is wrong on so many levels, and only confirms that ABC made the right choice in choosing to terminate this lunatic's contract. His words here actually make my skin crawl. I'm sure T.R. Knight would like nothing more for than this whole gross incident to go away, but it looks like the more Washington tries to smear his reputation, the more likely it is Knight will have to respond in some way.

It should be noted that after the original "incident," Knight gave one (just one) statement to the media, and that was to People magazine -- "I hope the fact that I am gay is not the most interesting thing about me." It was only after Washington used the f-word again at The Golden Globes that the situation spiraled out of control. To suggest Knight orchestrated the whole thing to further his career is simply absurd.

Wrong, wrong, wrong.

You can read Boykin's interview with Washington here.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Faina Savich and Jimmy Arguello Eliminated From So You Think You Can Dance

Another elimination, another surprise on So You Think You Can Dance.

Last week I was shocked when Ricky was sent packing, but this week it was the ouster of Faina Savich that left me perplexed. After a sensational performance on Wednesday night of the fox trot marred only by the shaky performance of her partner, Faina was shown the door last night after a less-than-stellar solo performance. Is it fair that she was eliminated when the only reason she was in the Bottom 3 couples was Cedric?

And speaking of Cedric, the judges certainly do seem to like him, despite the fact that he hasn't shown even the least bit of promise when it comes to partner-ing. Is there really any doubt he won't bring Shauna down next week as well? I mean, his freestyle is good, sure, but that's not all this competition is about. As a result, Jimmy was the sacrificial lamb. I feel a bit sad for the guy, but the truth is he wasn't going to get much further in the competition anyway, so if someone was going to have to take the hit for Cedric, it might as well have been Jimmy.

As for Shauna, she really did go balls to the wall in her solo last night, literally dancing as if her life depended on it. I haven't been a big fan of hers thus far, but I have to say she impressed me. Let's see if she can keep it up next week.

Click for more So You Think You Can Dance

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Predicting the Emmy Nominations: The Comedies

There's still about a month until this year's Emmy Award nominations are announced, but since the 2006-2007 television season has come to an end, I thought it would be fun to try and predict who will and won't make the cut.

This list actually includes two sets of predictions -- who I think should be nominated, and who I think will be nominated. Last week I looked at the Drama prizes, now it's time for the comedies -- the prizes for Best Comedy, Best Actor and Actress in a Comedy, and Best Supporting Actor and Actress in a Comedy. Here goes...

Best Comedy Series
Which of NBC's stellar comedy line-up will make the cut? Will Desperate Housewives sneak onto the list, despite a creatively uneven season? Will Entourage snag a nod?

Should Be Nominated:
30 Rock
The Office
Ugly Betty

Will Be Nominated:
30 Rock
Desperate Housewives
My Name is Earl
The Office
Ugly Betty

Best Actor in a Comedy
I would love to see Entourage's Adrian Grenier snag a nomination, but is it really likely to happen? Multiple winner Tony Shaloub, last year's champ Steve Carrell, and tabloid magnet Alec Baldwin's nominations seem like foregone conclusions, but will Extra's Ricky Gervais or Scrubs' Zach Braff make the cut?

Should Be Nominated:
Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock
Zach Braff, Scrubs
Steve Carrell, The Office
Ricky Gervais, Extras
Adrian Grenier, Entourage

Will Be Nominated:
Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock
Zach Braff, Scrubs
Steve Carrell, The Office
Jason Lee, My Name is Earl
Tony Shaloub, Monk

Best Actress in a Comedy
America Ferrera has to be considered the frontrunner in this category, although you can never rule out a Desperate Housewives onslaught (in my opinion Eva Longoria and Felicity Huffman are the worthiest contenders). I think we can also expect a first-time acting nod for Tina Fey, and a return nomination for Mary Louise Parker and last year's winner Julia Louis Dreyfus.

Should Be Nominated:
America Ferrera, Ugly Betty
Tina Fey, 30 Rock
Felicity Huffman, Desperate Housewives
Eva Longoria, Desperate Housewives
Mary Louise Parker, Weeds

Will Be Nominated:
Julia Louis Dreyfus, New Adventures of Old Christine
America Ferrera, Ugly Betty
Tina Fey, 30 Rock
Felicity Huffman, Desperate Housewives
Mary Louise Parker, Weeds

Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy
This category is packed full of deserving fellows, including the boys from Entourage and most of the cast of both The Office and Scrubs. With all of the competition, will Neil Patrick Harris get recognized for his hysterical work on How I Met Your Mother?

Should Be Nominated:
Kevin Connolly, Entourage
Donald Faison, Scrubs
Neil Patrick Harris, How I Met Your Mother
Justin Kirk, Weeds
John Krasinski, The Office

Will Be Nominated:
Jon Cryer, Two and a Half Men
Kevin Dillon, Entourage
Justin Kirk, Weeds
John Krasinski, The Office
Jeremy Piven, Entourage

Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy
Several of the ladies from Ugly Betty could hear their names called on July 19th (Vanessa Williams, Becki Newton, and Rebecca Romaijn, among them), but will Nicolette Sheridan get her first-ever nomination? How about Scrubs' hysterical Judy Reyes, or The Office's Jenna Fischer and Melora Hardin?

Should Be Nominated:
Jenna Fischer, The Office
Becki Newton, Ugly Betty
Elizabeth Perkins, Weeds
Judy Reyes, Scrubs
Nicolette Sheridan, Desperate Housewives

Will Be Nominated:
Jenna Fischer, The Office
Elizabeth Perkins, Weeds
Jamie Pressley, My Name is Earl
Nicolette Sheridan, Desperate Housewives
Vanessa Williams, Ugly Betty

Click to read Predicting the Emmy Nominations: The Dramas

Click to read more Television News/Commentary

So You Think You Can Dance - Who Will Be Eliminated Tonight?

You can read my recap and rankings from last night's show here, but here are my predictions for the Bottom 3 couples of the evening, and which male and female dancer will be sent packin'.

Bottom 3 Couples
Faina and Cedric
Shauna and Jimmy
Hok and Jaimie

In my opinion these were the three weakest couples of the night, and will also be the three couples dancing for their lives. There's no doubt Hok has a large fanbase, and it's possible the Hok-ites could have saved him and Jaimie last night, but I'm guessing their uninspiring samba will land them in the danger zone. If Hok's supporters do spare him, it's possible Neil and Lauren could slip into the Bottom 3, or even, despite a surprisingly solid showing last night, D-Trix and Sabra. But one thing is for certain -- Faina and Cedric's names will most definitely be called.

Eliminated Boy: Cedric
Cedric was hands down the weakest individual of the night, and definitely deserves to get the boot, but my beloved Mia Michaels is the wildcard here, as she is sure to fight for Cedric. Will his freestyle save him again? Hok's tricks always dazzle, so if Mia does throw her weight behind Cedric, expect Jimmy to be shown the door.

Eliminated Girl: Jaimie
Faina is in danger tonight -- she was sensational doing the fox trot, and if her freestyle is even half as good as the number she did last week, she'll definitely be around next week. Shauna has given two so-so performances, but she's improving slightly, so that may be enough to earn her another week, which leaves dumb-as-bricks Jaimie as the likely evictee.

Does this sound about right to you? Who do you think will get the boot?

Click for more So You Think You Can Dance, including a full recap of last night's show.

So You Think You Can Dance Recap: Top 18

First, some random thoughts that entered through my mind during the first 5 minutes of So You Think You Can Dance:

-Ya know, Cat Deeley is really growing on me. I'd put her at #3 behind Seacrest and Probst on the list of best reality show hosts. Yeah, I said it, Phil Keoghan -- what are you gonna do about it?

-Yay, Mia Michaels is on the judging panel! Boo, that means no Mia Michaels choreography! But, Yay Mia's brutally honest, unfiltered, brilliant thoughts!

-Really? Their "inspiration for dancing"? Gag me.

Okay, on to the performances...

All in all, it was a pretty fantastic night of dancing, with last week's top teams (Lacey/Kameron and Anya/Danny) repeating their previous successes, and a couple performances that were marked improvements over former showings (D-Trix/Sabra, Neil/Lauren). A couple teams stumbled, but most were so good that it was fairly difficult to rank the performances.

Difficult, but not impossible. Here goes...

1. Anya and Danny (Viennese Waltz)
These two literally took my breath away tonight. Independently they are brilliant -- together they are magical. Okay, that was really dramatic, I admit, but seriously, they were dazzling tonight, especially considering they were dancing a style that could be a real snooze. I would not be surprised if these were the last two standing 8 weeks from now. I can't wait to see what they do next.

2. D-Trix and Sabra (Contemporary)
This performance really surprised me on a couple of different levels -- I wasn't confident D-Trix was going to be able to handle a style that didn't call for him spinning around on his head, and I had sort of written Sabra off as a boring dance-girl. But there was serious emotion in this performance, a real connection between the two dancers, and some really moving moments. Sabra is no longer ignore-able, and I don't think we can call D-Trix a one-trick pony any longer.

3. Lacey and Kameron (Broadway)
I definitely have goodwill left over from last week's sensational Mia Michaels creation, and it's true, Kameron is providing some stiff competition for Neil as my SYTYCD boyfriend (in the tradition, of course, of Travis and Nick Lazzarini), but I loved this performance start-to-finish. I thought it had plenty of pizzazz, and some really sharp movement, and it was totally in the spirit of Fosse's Chicago. Lacey surprised me yet again, showing a sexy side I didn't think she had in her, and Kameron's slow-mo backflip made me gasp out loud. I'm definitely a fan.

Oh and by the way, who knew Lacey had abs like that?

4. Pasha and Jessi (Jazz)
I forgot to include Pasha on the list with Neil and Kameron -- he's getting more adorable by the week. And it certainly helps that he danced his ass of tonight, entertainingly throwing himself into Tyce's wacky choreography, which I loved every second of. Jessi was really good, too -- the second week in a row that has been the case. I still can't say I'm completely in her corner, though -- there's something about her that just bugs me, I'm not sure what it is. But let's just say I am firmly in Pasha's corner.

5. Neil and Lauren (Hip Hop)
Lauren disappointed me a bit (I wish she had hit her moves just a little bit harder), but Neil blew me away, really embracing the role of the hip-hopper, and pulling off the moves with aplomb. I agree with Mia, I almost wish Lauren wasn't even there so I could just watch Neil -- he was that skillful and entertaining. I know Lauren has it in her, I just don't think we've seen it yet. But Neil definitely did not disappoint.

6. Chuy and Sara (Paso Doble)
So, I agree with the judges the the music threw off the dance. But still. Sara is a b-girl, and she ripped it up in the paso doble. Okay, sure, Faina or Anya probably could have danced it way better, but she really held her own, and she was committed through and through. I really respect her, and I hope she sticks around for awhile. And Chuy was awesome! Strong, masculine, sexy -- he had it all.

7. Shauna and Jimmy (Hip Hop)
This is probably my least favorite couple of the night, but I can't fault the performance itself -- it was, as Nigel said, fun, and, to be truthful, more skillful than the two pairs in the numbers 8 and 9 positions. Problem is, I just don't care that much about either Shauna or Jimmy, in part, of course, because we don't know anything about them (unlike, say, Hok, who has had easily 30 minutes of screentime over the last two years). But, having said that, they haven't yet done anything to stand out or endear themselves to the audience. Their dancing was what?

8. Faina and Cedric (Fox Trot)
There's a reason why I put this pair in the #8 spot and not in last, and it can be summed up in one word: Faina. She was absolutely dazzling tonight -- gorgeous, sensual, playful, elegant. I loved her. Of course, she was dancing with Cedric, who was awkward, uptight, and uncomfortable to watch. Not exactly a match made in heaven.

9. Hok and Jaimie (Samba)
I love Hok -- I think he's charming and spirited, and he's a surprisingly good dancer for a b-boy'er. But this dance tonight was a hot mess. I can't pinpoint exactly what didn't work, but on the whole, it just was a bust. And is it just me, or does Jaimie come off as a little vapid to you? I love Hok, and I admire his effort, but Jaimie strikes me as a kind of soulless dancer. Definitely my least favorite of the night.

Individual Rankings:
1. Danny 2. Anya 3. Faina 4. Neil 5. Pasha 6. Lacey 7. D-Trix 8. Sabra 9. Chuy 10. Kameron 11. Jessi 12. Sara 13. Lauren 14. Shauna 15. Jimmy 16. Hok 17. Jaimie 18. Cedric

What do you think of this list? Does it resemble yours?

Check back tomorrow morning for my prediction of who will be going home.

Click for more So You Think You Can Dance

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Rumor Mill: Will Survivor Go All Star Again?

According to Marc Berman over at Mediaweek, there is a rumor circulating that next spring's edition of Survivor will be an all-star edition. The show's first all-star edition, featuring the likes of Richard Hatch, Susan Hawk, Ethan Zohn, and Jenna Morasca, took place in 2004 . Of course, this was the version of the series that was won by Amber Brkich and led to the reality television ubiquity of "Romber" (Brkich and Rob Mariano).

Here's my question -- would the new all-star version only include contestants that have appeared on the show since the last all-star version? Because here's the thing -- I can't remember any. Sure, if I wracked my brain I could come up with names like Tom Weston and Yul, and I know Fiji's participants Earl, Yao Man, and Dreamz. But, really, there haven't been the kind of characters in recent seasons that are as memorable as the ones who populated the show's first several seasons. I mean, who can forget Colby? Or Rupert? Or Kathy? If I, a loyal viewer of the show since the beginning, can't immediately summons the names of contestant's from the past few seasons, I can't imagine the casual viewer will find another all-star edition very interesting. Does CBS expect this latest version to be a hit?

Or maybe it will be open to all-stars from all seasons, allowing for some repeat participants. In other words, bring back Ethan!!

Stay tuned for more info on the all-star version as it comes in...

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SPOILERS: Dance Styles for This Week's SYTYCD

You know the drill -- if you want to be surprised about the dance styles for this week's So You Think You Can Dance...


Here they are:

Neil and Lauren — Hip-Hop
Pasha and Jessi — Jazz
Hok and Jaimie — Samba
D-Trix and Sabra — Contemporary
Cedric and Faina — Foxtrot
Kameron and Lacey — Broadway
Danny and Anya — Viennese Waltz
Jimmy and Shauna — Hip-Hop
Jesús and Sara — Paso Doble

There should definitely be some challenges for the contestants this week, namely Pasha performing jazz, D-Trix attempting contemporary, and Jesus and Sara taking on the paso doble.

It'll be nice to see Neil and Lauren try and redeem themselves with hip hop after their dismal salsa showing last week, Lacey and Kameron should have no problem with Broadway, and I'm betting Hok will actually take pretty well to the samba.

What do you guys think? Anything jump out at you as a potential masterpiece or a disaster-waiting-to-happen?

Click for more So You Think You Can Dance

Monday, June 18, 2007

Theater Notes: Spring Awakening, Grease, and Tamyra Gray

Summer is generally a pretty slow time for theater in New York, but there's still a few exciting things going on worth noting:

-I caught Spring Awakening, the recipient of 8 Tony Awards (including Best Musical), again this past weekend. I had seen the show when it played Off-Broadway last year, and saw the show a few times when it was in previews, so I was excited to see how it was holding up about 6 months into it's run. I'm happy to report it is as good, if not better, than ever. The music is so incredibly beautiful, and the lyrics become more meaningful with each additional listen. The actors, meanwhile, seem to have found new nuances that make the show's story of adolescent sexual repression and the dangers of parents not being honest with their children resonate even deeper.

Tony winner John Gallagher, as tortured soul Mortiz, has definitely amped up the angst, and while he is slightly more affected than he was earlier in the run, it's still a very powerful performance. Lea Michele is as effective as ever as the ill-fated Wendla, but it's Jonathan Groff who really stands out as the rebellious Melchior. His singing voice is superb, and his acting is nothing short of sensational -- he's funny, he's moving, and he's gorgeous! If you can, catch this show while the three young stars-to-be are still around. Click here to buy tickets.

-Tickets for Grease, starring reality show winners Laura Osnes and Max Crumm, went on sale yesterday. After seeing these kids everywhere during the awards season it's a little hard to believe they just started rehearsals last week. I can't imagine the show is going to be anything but a trainwreck, but somehow it's a trainwreck I don't think I can avoid missing. Click here to purchase tickets.

-Finally, I revisited the old chestnut Rent last week to check out American Idol alum Tamyra Gray in the role of Mimi. While she is not giving the kind of tour de force performance Fantasia is giving in The Color Purple, she acquits herself quite nicely as the drug addicted, HIV-infected spitfire. If her acting leaves a little bit to be desired, her voice is sensational (she may be the best singer who has ever played the role) and her dancing is surprisingly powerful.

While Christopher Hanke as Mark disappointed a bit (bringing very little humor or charm to the role), the rest of the show is in fine shape -- Troy Horne makes an excellent Tom Collins, Nicolette Hart is a feisty (and loud!) Maureen, and Tonya Dixon brings an unexpected power to Joanne. Best of all, though, was understudy Luther Creek as Roger. Not only does he sing the hell out of the part, his subtle acting choices and rich inner life made me truly believe this guy had shut himself off from the world and was just biding his time until his death. As a result, songs that have at times bored me ("I Should Tell You," "Your Eyes") became incredibly emotional, as you watched this woman (Mimi) actually touch his soul and cause him to change and open himself up. Creek's performance was the heart of the show.

It'll be interesting to see what happens when original stars Anthony Rapp and Adam Pascal return to their roles this summer. Will they seem too old, or will they bring a special energy to The Nederlander? Guess we'll have to wait and see...

Click here to buy tickets to Rent.

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Predicting the Emmy Nominations: The Dramas

There's still about a month until this year's Emmy Award nominations are announced, but since the 2006-2007 television season has come to an end, I thought it would be fun to try and predict who will and won't make the cut.

This list actually includes two sets of predictions -- who I think should be nominated, and who I think will be nominated. First up -- the prizes for Best Drama, Best Actor and Actress in a Drama, and Best Supporting Actor and Actress in a Drama. The rest of the categories will follow later in the week.

Best Drama Series
Will 24 be rewarded, even though last year's Best Drama had it's worst season yet? Will bad feelings about The Sopranos finale cause it to miss out on a nod? Will The Wire, hands down the best show on TV, or any of FX's dynamite shows (Rescue Me, The Shield, The Riches) make the cut? How about deserving newbies Brothers & Sisters, Friday Night Lights, and The Tudors?

Should Be Nominated:
Friday Night Lights
Grey's Anatomy
Rescue Me
The Wire

Will Be Nominated:
Friday Night Lights
Grey's Anatomy
The Sopranos

Best Actor in a Drama
Will 24's creative slump mean last year's champ Kiefer Sutherland will be left off the list? Will last year's egregious snub of Hugh Laurie be rectified this year? Will Kyle Chandler be rewarded for his superb work on Friday Night Lights? And how about other stars of freshman series, The Tudors' Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Dexter's Michael C. Hall?

Should Be Nominated:
Kyle Chandler, Friday Night Lights
Michael Chiklis, The Shield
Matthew Fox, Lost
Hugh Laurie, House
Denis Leary, Rescue Me

Will Be Nominated:
Kyle Chandler, Friday Night Lights
James Gandolfini, The Sopranos
Michael C. Hall, Dexter
Hugh Laurie, House
Kiefer Sutherland, 24

Best Actress in a Drama
For the first time in years The West Wing's Allison Janney is not eligible, which opens up at least one new spot on the list. Could that spot be taken by perpetual Emmy snubee Lauren Graham, whose show, Gilmore Girls, has made the switch from Comedy to Drama? Or what about Veronica Mars' Kristen Bell, whose beloved show was killed before it's time? Will former champs Mariska Hargitay and Patricia Arquette make the list again? And which of Brothers & Sisters leading ladies will get a nod?

Should Be Nominated:
Connie Britton, Friday Night Lights
Sally Field, Brothers & Sisters
Calista Flockhart, Brothers & Sisters
Lauren Graham, Gilmore Girls
Ellen Pompeo, Grey's Anatomy

Will Be Nominated:
Edie Falco, The Sopranos
Sally Field, Brothers & Sisters
Mariska Hargitay, Law and Order: SVU
Ellen Pompeo, Grey's Anatomy
Kyra Sedgwick, The Closer

Best Supporting Actor in a Drama
You could fill this entire category with the cast of Friday Night Lights, but will Emmy recognize any of the incredibly naturalistic young actors? Will Walton Goggins garner a nod for his shattering work on this season of The Shield? And what about the men of Lost? Dominic Monaghan, Michael Emerson, Terry O'Quinn, Daniel Dae Kim, Ian Cusick, Naveen Andrews, and Jorge Garcia are all worthy, but will any of their names be called on July 19?

Should Be Nominated:
Zach Gilford, Friday Night Lights
Walton Goggins, The Shield
TR Knight, Grey's Anatomy
Dominic Monaghan, Lost
Scott Porter, Friday Night Lights

Will Be Nominated:
Michael Emerson, Lost
Walton Goggins, The Shield
TR Knight, Grey's Anatomy
Dominic Monaghan, Lost
Masi Oka, Heroes

Best Supporting Actress in a Drama
This seems to be the hardest category to call, with almost a dozen deserving candidates in the mix. Chandra Wilson, Katherine Heigl, Kate Walsh, and Sandra Oh are all worthy contenders, but which of Grey's Anatomy's supporting ladies will make the cut? Will Gilmore Girls' Kelly Bishop finally get the recognition she deserves? And will Lost's newest cast member pick up a nomination?

Should Be Nominated:
Kelly Bishop, Gilmore Girls
Katherine Heigl, Grey's Anatomy
Elizabeth Mitchell, Lost
CCH Pounder, The Shield
Callie Thorne, Rescue Me

Will Be Nominated:
Katherine Heigl, Grey's Anatomy
Elizabeth Mitchell, Lost
Sandra Oh, Grey's Anatomy
CCH Pounder, The Shield
Chandra Wilson, Grey's Anatomy

Click to read more Television News/Commentary

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Hugh Dancy -- Beautiful From All Sides

Just came across this picture online, and I had to post -- this man is beauty personified (from the front and the back!)

I saw the gorgeous Hugh Dancy on Broadway in Journey's End -- unfortunately he was clothed throughout the performance.

God, Claire Danes is one lucky girl.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Jake Gyllenhaal penis

Heath Ledger penis

David Beckham penis

Jake Gyllenhaal ass

David Beckahm ass

David Beckham naked

Zac Efron penis

Zac Efron ass

Zac Efron naked

Brad Pitt penis

Brad Pitt ass

Brad Pitt naked

George Clooney naked

George Clooney penis

George Clooney ass

Corbin Blue penis

Wentworth Miller penis

Friday, June 15, 2007

Ricky and Ashlee Eliminated From So You Think You Can Dance

The first casualties of Season 3 of So You Think You Can Dance have been revealed -- Ashlee and Ricky.

I'm not surprised, nor particularly sad, to see Ashlee go -- her performance in the Argentine Tango was pretty bad, and her "dance-for-her-life" solo was less than impressive. Couple that with strong showings from Sabra and Faina, and the fact that I don't know a single thing about Ashlee, and I don't expect to miss her much.

Ricky, on the other hand, was a bit of a shocker, especially because his contemporary performance during Las Vegas week was so spectacular Mia deemed him her "favorite male dancer thus far." I also kinda dug his solo -- certainly more than one-trick pony D-Trix and lanky-lankster Cedric. I wonder if Mia had been on this week's judging panel, would she have fought to save Ricky? My hunch is that the judges (particularly Nigel) just don't like him all that much -- he's odd, he's strange, and he doesn't make for great TV. It's a shame, because the boy clearly has talent, but, with 18 dancers remaining, there's no time for crying over spilled high-kicks. Or something like that.

The rest of the show was entertaining enough, featuring a group number that screamed Wade Robson from the moment it started, and a surprisingly deft dancing/singing live combo from R&B singer Lloyd.

It must be noted, however:

While it was nice to see Benji, and be reminded of how truly awesome his footwork and performance style is, was the "reveal" of the American flag-inspired granny pants really necessary? Between the removal of his pants and the multiple mentions of beautiful women touching his butt, methinks Benji believes he is a bit more of a sex symbol than he actually is.

Now, if last year's runner-up Travis Wall wanted to remove his pants, you wouldn't hear me complaining...

Click for more on So You Think You Can Dance

Thursday, June 14, 2007

SYTYCD: Who is Going Home Tonight (Top 20)

You can read my recap of last night's show here, but here are my predictions for the Bottom 3 couples of the evening, and which male and female dancer will be sent packin'.

Bottom 3 Couples
Faina and Cedric
Shauna and Jimmy
D-Trix and Sabra

While Ricky and Ashlee were probably the worst couple of the night, I think Ricky's strangeness will actually work to his benefit, as it made him stand out on a packed full episode. Hok/Jaimie and Neil/Lauren also didn't have great performances, but I think they'll be spared by pre-existing fanbases.

Eliminated Boy: Jimmy
D-Trix and Cedric will likely wow with their freestyles, which means Jimmy will probably get the boot. With so many other contemporary dancers in the competition (Danny, Neil, Kameron), Jimmy just doesn't stand out.

Eliminated Girl: Shauna
Faina is certainly in danger of joining her brother Stanislav as a first week evictee, but Shauna's dancing was so uninspired during her Broadway routine, I'll be surprised if the judges are able to overlook it.

So there it is, my first predictions of the season. We'll see how I do in about six hours...

Click for more So You Think You Can Dance, including a full recap of last night's show.

Kelly Clarkson Cancels Tour

It saddens me very much to report this news (especially since I already purchased my tickets!), but Kelly Clarkson has canceled her forthcoming tour.

The following message appears on

"I can't tell you how much I've been looking forward to getting out there to perform for y'all. In the craziness of the music business, performing is what I look forward to doing the most, so it really is disappointing for me to have to tell you that I won't be coming out to tour this summer. The fact is that touring is just too much too soon.

But I promise you that we're going to get back out there as soon as is humanly possible to give you a show that will be even better.

Thanks for all of your love and continued support."

This latest development comes on the heels of the news that Kelly has fired her manager. Will the album be canceled, too?

I don't like this. I don't like it one bit.

UPDATE: The following press release has just been issued...

"Plans for Kelly Clarkson's summer tour have been shelved for now as the singer and her team re-evaluate her show's size and scope - a decision made even more difficult by the impending release of her album, My December," her publicist said in a statement Thursday.

Click here to read the rest of the press release!

"It is mind blowing when you stop to think about what Kelly Clarkson has achieved during her young career," said Michael Rapino, CEO of LiveNation. "But ticket sales have not been what we anticipated and we came to the realization that we had bit off more than we could chew. In the end, we are in the Kelly Clarkson business and for that reason we believe that this decision will only benefit her and her fans in the long run."

"Kelly is a spectacular artist and an incredible performer who undoubtedly has what it takes to sustain a long and prosperous career," added Gregg Perloff, CEO of Another Planet Entertainment. "The day when she will play in sold-out arenas is, no doubt, coming, but for now her fans should look forward to seeing her in a more intimate concert environment. Kelly deserves a tremendous amount of praise for her courage in not only being a part of, but in supporting, this difficult decision."

Tickets for the tour can be refunded at the point of purchase.

In addition, as future concert dates become available, current ticket holders will be invited via email, mail or phone notification, to purchase tickets through an exclusive presale, which will take place prior to the general on sale date for each concert.

SYTYCD Top 20 Recap: Nice Way to Start

My goodness, I love So You Think You Can Dance. We went an entire season on American Idol with only a handful of goosebump-inducing moments, and already we've had one spine-tingly sensation on SYTYCD. Idol came first, so it will always have my loyalty, but I gotta say, I forget to miss it when I'm watching these kids do their thing.

And what a way to start the show -- great performances, glimpses of Travis, Benji, Ivan, et al. in the audience, and choreography from all the old faves, like Mia Michaels (more on this fierce b*tch later), Wade Robson, Shane Sparks, Tyce Diorio and more. Love it, love it, love it!

Here are my thoughts on last night's performances:

The Excellent
Lacey and Kameron
When Mia Michaels choreographed Heidi and Travis last season in "Calling You," it was sheer magic. And she's done it again, transforming Lacey from a cheesy, annoying younger sister into a sexy, emotional woman. It's also clear that vulnerability suits her -- she looked way prettier than she has any of the other times she has been shown. The way she flung herself around the stage was remarkable, and even though Lacey was clearly the star of the number, cutie Kameron was there for her every step of the way. The dance had tension, heartbreak, intimacy -- I loved every second of it.

Danny and Anya
I could have done without Danny's pants, and I did see a little bit of his cockiness peering through, but the energy and intricacy these two brought to their jive was remarkable. The footwork was spot-on (and fast!), and both (especially Anya) displayed oodles of personality. I expect we'll be seeing quite a bit more of these two in the upcoming weeks.

The Very Good
Chuy and Sara
Wade Robson's choreography is almost as genius as Mia's (I said almost), and Chuy and Sara handled the nuances with aplomb. I really like both of these two -- they are committed, and seem like they'll be able to handle most styles. Well done.

Pasha and Jessi
The smooth waltz is probably my least favorite of all the dance styles they do on this show, but these two really did bring an elegance and floating quality to the performance that made it extremely watchable. Pasha is a pro (I love his and Anya's work ethic), and though I don't want to like Jessi, I can't help it -- I do!

The So-So
D-Trix and Sabra
Dan Karaty was right -- Season 1 champ Nick Lazarrini was definitely the king of disco. I admire D-Trix' dedication to mastering other styles of choreography, and the performance was far from a nighmare, but it was totally lacking the fun and exciting energy that a disco dance should inspire.

Lauren and Neil
I wanted to love this so bad, as Lauren seems like she's got mad skills and Neil is a cutie-and-a-half. However, it just wasn't that great -- Lauren showed her age, and Neil did seem a bit cheerleader-esque. Club salsa is a hard style to start with, though...give them time (and the chance to work with Mia Michaels), and I think these kids might be able to create some magic.

Jamie and Hok
Hok was hot. Jaimie...well, she was certainly trying hard!

The Pretty Bad
Ashlee and Ricky
Ricky definitely has talent, and when it comes time for him to perform contemporary, he'll probably hit it out of the box. But this was just painful -- reminiscent, in some ways, of Ivan and Allison's trainwreck of a first dance last season. Luckily Ivan was given another shot to show what he can do, and ended up making it to the Top 6 -- hopefully Ricky will get the same chance.

Faina and Cedric
I really though Faina was gonna sail through the first few weeks of the competition, but her hesitant, slightly awkward performance last night has made me re-think that. And frankly, I don't see what the big deal is about Cedric -- yeah, his style has a unique fluidity, but I keep getting distracted by his freakishly long legs. One of my least favorite performances of the night.

Shauna and Jimmy
Tyce has created Broadway choreographic masterpieces in the past (Season 1's "Steam Heat" and Season 2's "You Can't Stop the Beat" spring to mind), but this piece seemed wrong right from the start. The costumes were terrible, and the dancing wasn't much better (although Jimmy did seem slightly stronger than Shauna). I don't expect either of these two to last for much longer.

So there it is...stay tuned for my prediction as to who will get the boot tonight.

Click for more on So You Think You Can Dance

Kelly Clarkson and Steven Tyler Get Loud

Kelly Clarkson has made no secret of the fact that she's got a bit of a crush on Aerosmith's Steven Tyler. Well, in the new issue of In Style magazine, she gets close to her idol -- real close.

The picture above is a sneak peak from the magazine. Pretty fierce, no?

Now when is the duet???

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Blake Lewis, Makes People's List of Hottest Bachelors

American Idol runner-up Blake Lewis is a part of People magazine's Hottest Bachelors list. The issue will be on newstands this week.

Lewis is joined by cover-boy Matthew McConaughey; singers Ludacris, Justin Timberlake, and Kenny Chesney; actors Jake Gyllenhaal, Adrian Grenier, Chris Evans; and fellow reality TV stars Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Apolo Anton Ohno, both from Dancing with the Stars. You can view a slide-show of some of this year's chosen fellas here.

Spoilers for Tonight's So You Think You Can Dance

The pairings for tonight's Top 20 episode of So You Think You Can Dance, along with the styles of dance that will be performed, have leaked online.


Anya & Danny — Jive
Pasha & Jessi — Smooth Waltz
Neil & Lauren — Club Salsa
Chuy & Sara — Pop Jazz
Cedric & Faina — Hip Hop
Jaimie & Hok — Hip Hop
Sabra & D-trix — Disco
Shauna & Jimmy — Broadway
Lacey & Kameron — Contemporary
Ashlee & Ricky — Argentine Tango

Apparently, the choreography of Shane Sparks, Wade Robson, Mia Michaels (love her!), and Tyce Diorio are all featured, among others.

A few thoughts:

-Ballroom dancers Anya and Pasha both chose ballroom styles, which bodes well for them. Fellow ballroom-ers Faina and Lacey, however, could be in a bit of trouble -- Faina will have to tackle hip hop, and Lacey will have to attempt the one style of dance her brother Benji never did -- contemporary. Should be interesting.

-Hok certainly lucked out selecting hip hop, while D-Trix should be able to apply his funky style to disco. I think b-girl Sara should do alright with pop jazz, as well.

-I'm looking forward to Neil and Lauren's club salsa -- they seem like a well-matched couple, and the dancing could be hot.

What do you think of the pairings? Styles? Who do you think will be the first couple to tank?

Click to read more on So You Think You Can Dance (including my thoughts on this season's Top 20)

*Thanks for the info

Will Jake Gyllenhaal Come to Broadway? is reporting that Jake Gyllenhaal is seriously considering following in the footsteps of film stars Julia Roberts, Denzel Washington, and Julianne Moore by making his Broadway debut this season.

Apparently, the delectable (and very talented) Mr. Gyllenhaal participated in a reading of a new play, called Farragut North, last week. The play, written by Beau Willimon, is apparently politically themed, with Gyllenhaal taking on the role of "a young, idealistic communications director who works for an inspiring, though unorthodox, presidential candidate."

Tony Award winner James Lapine directed the reading, which also featured the talents of Denis O'Hare, Mark Blum, Jessica Hecht, and Alison Pill.

I it! Come to Broadway, Jake!

Click for more Theater News and Commentary

Daughtry and Underwood Both Slip Out of Top 10

Well, it had to end some time.

For months, Daughtry has held firm in the Top 10 of the album chart, but with six debuts placing in the Top 10, Daughtry slipped seven spots this week to #12. He sold just over 53K copies for the week.

Carrie Underwood, meanwhile, moved just under 40K copies, good enough for the #15 spot. Elliott Yamin, despite having a single ("Wait for You") that is about to crack the Top 10 on the Top 40 chart, did not make the Top 50 in album sales.

The top 5 spots on the chart were taken by T-Pain, Paul McCartney, Rihanna, last week's #1 R. Kelly, and Maroon 5.

*Numbers are from Hits Daily Double

Click here for more News on Former American Idol Contestants

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Thoughts on So You Think You Can Dance's Top 20

Tomorrow night is the night!

As any real fan of either American Idol or So You Think You Can Dance knows, the real competition doesn't start until the contestants get onstage and perform in front of the voting public. We are finally ready to move past the manufactured tension, manipulative backstories, and bickering group members to see what kind of real talent this year's show has in store for us.

Bring it on!

So, here is some info on the contestants (from the press release for the show), along with my thoughts on this year's Top 20 (made only slightly more difficult by the fact that there are a solid handful of contestants that we have not yet seen dance at all -- damn producers!):

Anya Garnis
Age: 25
They Say: Latin Ballroom dancer from New York, NY. Anya has been living in the U.S. for six years after growing up in Russia. She has been dancing with partner Pasha Kovalev, also a finalist, for nine years.
I Say: There's no question this girl can move -- she and Faina will likely be in competition for the season's best female ballroom dancer. With her thick, muscular legs and sexy performance style, she reminds me a bit of last season's Natalie -- which is a good thing!

Jaimie Goodwin
Age: 19
They Say: Contemporary dancer from Virginia Beach, VA. Jaimie danced in competitions with Season Two contestant Travis before coming onto the show.
I Say: I don't even know who this is. Have they shown her dance?

Lauren Gottlieb
Age: 18
They Say: Contemporary/Jazz dancer who currently lives in Sherman Oaks, CA. After moving to California, she landed a spot dancing with Shakira at the Grammy Awards. She has been dancing since she was 2 years old.
I Say: One of the season's strongest dancers, and already a major personality on the show (thanks to her stint helping Tyce choreograph last year). I wouldn't be surprised to see her around in the Top 4.

Sabra Johnson
Age: 19
They Say: Contemporary dancer from Roy, UT, with training in Ballet and Jazz. She hopes to pursue dancing as a professional career.
I Say: Um, who is this girl?

Ashlee Langas
Age: 19
They Say: Contemporary/Jazz dancer from Tyler, TX. Ashlee has spent her life dancing in all sorts of settings from dance theaters to high school productions.
I Say: Not to be redundant, but, um, who? Oh wait, this is the one who the judges "like her personality and looks." And her dancing?

Shauna Noland
Age: 18
Contemporary dancer from North Hollywood, CA. She has been dancing for 15 years and also has an avid love of singing.
I Say: She did some nice turns...but we've only seen her dance for about 12 seconds, so that's all I can say at the moment.

Jessi Peralta
Age: 24
They Say: Hip-Hop dancer from Valley Village, CA. She has danced in front of President Bill Clinton at the Apollo and has performed at Madison Square Garden.
I Say: I didn't fall for the baby oil trick as hard as the judges did, but there is no doubt this girl has the performance chops. Does she have the technical dance skills, though?

Faina Savich
Age: 21
They Say: Latin Ballroom dancer from Brooklyn, NY. Following in her brother Stanislav's footsteps (he was a finalist in Season Two), Faina grew up in Moscow and has been living in the U.S. for six years.
I Say: Definitely fierce and sexy in her own genre, can Faina branch out far enough to make a real impact on the competition? Her brother, after all, was the first one eliminated last season. Will she suffer the same fate?

Lacey Schwimmer
Age: 18
They Say: Swing and International Latin dancer from Redlands, CA. Following in the footsteps of her brother and dance partner, Benji, who won the competition last season, Lacey has her own style which she hopes to showcase this season.
I Say: So far, I'm not impressed. Perhaps it's because I'm comparing her to her brother, but she's going to have to really step up her game if she wants to get out of Benji's large shadow.

Sara Von Gillern
Age: 23
They Say: Hip-Hop/B-girl dancer from Ft. Collins, CO. She is a dance instructor and was one of 30 people from all over the world selected to be part of the Red Bull: Beat Rider program, which gave her the chance to work with some of the biggest names in the Hip-Hop/Breaking field.
I Say: I like that they've got a b-girl representing, and I like that this b-girl seems like she can actually really dance. I've got high hopes for this one.

Jimmy Arguello
Age: 21
They Say: Contemporary dancer from Miami, FL. After taking his first dance class in middle school, Jimmy, at first focused on running in track and field, changed directions completely and found his true calling in dance.
I Say: What? Who?

Kameron Bink
Age: 20
They Say: Contemporary/Hip-Hop dancer from Coral Springs, FL. Known for his distinct red-star hair, Kameron brings over 15 years of dance training to the show and hopes the experience will bring him new and exciting opportunities as he pursues a professional dance career.
I Say: This kid is cute and he can do a back-flip -- and that's all I know for now. But so far, so good.

Cedric Gardner
Age: 23
They Say: Hip-Hop dancer from New Berlin, WI. He started training at 18 at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, then moved two-years later to Los Angeles, where he received a full scholarship with Monsters of Hip Hop.
I Say: What? Who?

Neil Haskel
Age: 20
They Say: Contemporary Jazz dancer from Clarence Center, NY. Neil is currently training in New York City, where he performed in the play "The Times They are A-Changin'" on Broadway and was named Male Dancer of the Year in 2005 by the American Dance Awards Competition.
I Say: With his blonde hair, great spins and cute smile, is this Travis 2.0? We should only be so lucky!

Hok Konishi
Age: 22
They say: B-boy dancer from Los Angeles, CA. Born in Tokyo, Hok spent much of his youth in Oxford.
I Say: Totally charming, and, after three seasons auditioning on the show, very popular. However, he is lacking in technical skills, so expect him to make it to the Top 10, but not much further.

Pasha Kovalev
Age: 27
They Say: Latin Ballroom dancer from Fort Lee, NJ. Pasha is originally from Russia and has trained with numerous professional ballroom dancers. He has been dancing with partner Anya Garnis, also a finalist, for nine years.
I Say: Season 1's Artem and Season 2's Dimitri, both ballroom dancers, went far in the competition -- will sexy Pasha do the same?

Ricky Palomino
Age: 25
They Say: Contemporary dancer from Phoenix, AZ. Ricky also enjoys singing (he recently recorded his first CD), and he is a master teacher and choreographer.
I Say: Total wierdo, but there's no question this kid can dance. If Mia Michaels loves him so do I!
Dominic Sandoval
Age: 21
They Say: B-boy/Hip-Hop dancer from Roseville, CA. Born in Sacramento, he started his hip-hop training in January of this year.
I Say: D-Trix definitely has the moves, but can he do the choreography? Time will tell.

Jess Solorio
Age: 23
They Say: Contemporary/Jazz dancer from Paso Robles, CA. Jess makes his own wine at his family vineyard.
I Say: Chuy! I think this guy has a real shot at filling the Travis/Nick L. spot.

Danny Tidwell
Age: 23
They Say: Contemporary/Jazz dancer from New York, NY, whose brother Travis Wall was last season's runner-up. Danny was previously involved with the American Ballet Company.
I Say: He certainly hasn't won any personality points so far, but from what we've seen of his dancing, he looks sharp. Will Travis' fans come out in support of his half-brother?

If I had to, completely foolishly, choose a Top 10 simply from this list, I'd go with: Anya, Lauren, Faina, Sara, Danny, Hok, Ricky, Chuy, Neil, and, why not, Jaime.

Who are you excited about?

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Friday, June 08, 2007

Isaiah Washington Fired From Grey's Anatomy

According to, ABC has confirmed that Isaiah Washington will not be returning to Grey's Anatomy next season.

Washington, who played Dr. Burke on the show, was, of course, involved in the "f-word" scandal of '06, and is apparently not very well liked on the Grey's set (at least according to Michael Ausiello over at In response to his firing, Washington released a statement quoting the film Network, saying "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore."

Huh? That's a pretty strange way to exit, if you ask me.

It seems like ABC has taken a look at the big picture and determined what is best for the morale of the show. In recent interviews both TR Knight and Katherine Heigl have expressed how happy they are that the season is over, and that they get a vacation from the set. If Washington truly was a disruptive presence on the set, and the TR Knight fracas was just one example of his unpleasant behavior, than it is right for him to go. Executive Producer Shonda Rhimes must have known that when she wrote this year's season finale -- Burke is not the chief, and he and Christina are no longer together, so what need does the show really have for him?

What do you think? Will Grey's be the same without Dr. Burke? Will you miss Isaiah?

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Thursday, June 07, 2007

TV Ratings: Dance on Fire on June 6

So You Think You Can Dance was the top-rated program of the evening last night, besting the season premiere of American Inventor by nearly 2.5 million viewers.

Here are the Top 5 rated shows for the evening:

1. So You Think You Can Dance, 10.21 million
2. CSI: New York, 9.17 million
3. The Next Best Thing, 8.31 million
4. American Inventor, 7.81 million
5. Criminal Minds, 7.75 million

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Wednesday, June 06, 2007

TR Knight Will Return to Grey's Anatomy

Entertainment Weekly is reporting that TR Knight, who plays lovable intern George on Grey's Anatomy, will return to the show next season, despite the fact that his character failed his intern test in the season finale.

There had been rumors circulating that either TR or Isaiah Washington (who plays Dr. Burke) might not return, but EW claims that not only will TR be back on our screens come fall, he will also receive a sizable pay bump. Supposedly he will now be earning 125K an episode and will receive a share of the show's profits, a deal similar to the ones made by Sandra Oh, Patrick Dempsey, and Ellen Pompeo. It apparently has not been decided whether Washington will return.

There is also no word on Katherine Heigl's salary negotiations, which have gotten a ton of press coverage in the past week since Knocked Up made almost $30 million at the box office this past weekend (by the way I saw it and loved it!) ABC released a statement a couple of months ago, however, saying that Heigl would definitely return to the hit series.

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Tony Award Predictions Part 3: The Plays

For theater fans and those that work in the industry, the Tony Awards are the culmination of the entire season's worth of fun, excitement, and yes, sometimes disappointment. Since the awards are just about 4 days away (they will be broadcast live on June 10th, from 8-11PM on CBS), I thought I would add my $.02 as to who will take home the big prizes.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I have seen about 90% of the shows that opened on Broadway this season (among the shows I missed: Translations, 110 in the Shade, Pirate Queen, Inherit the Wind, A Moon for the Misbegotten and Heartbreak House).

I've taken a look at the design awards and the musical awards -- this time, it's the prizes for the plays. Here goes...

Best Play
The Coast of Utopia
Little Dog Laughed
Radio Golf

Should Win: The Coast of Utopia -- yes, I'm a bit biased, but there is a reason the Lincoln Center Theater production of the Tom Stoppard trilogy has been called "the theatrical event of the season." If a dazzling production of a great play with a fantastic cast isn't enough to grab the top prize, what is?
Will Win: The Coast of Utopia
Possible Spoiler: Frost/Nixon

Best Revival of a Play
Journey's End
Talk Radio
Inherit the Wind

Should Win: Journey's End -- this was one of the best reviewed plays of the season, and likely the only shot it has at taking home an award. Probably a shoo-in.
Will Win: Journey's End
Possible Spoiler: Talk Radio

Best Director of a Play
Jack O'Brien, The Coast of Utopia
Melly Still, Coram Boy
Michael Grandage, Frost/Nixon
David Grindley, Journey's End

Should Win: O'Brien -- three parts and 44 actors -- who else could have staged such a mammoth project with such theatrical magic? He should win the award for the curtain call alone.
Will Win: O'Brien
Possible Spoiler: Grindley

Best Performance by an Actor in a Play
Brian F. O'Byrne, The Coast of Utopia
Christopher Plummer, Inherit the Wind
Frank Langella, Frost/Nixon
Liev Schreiber, Talk Radio
Boyd Gaines, Journey's End

Should Win: Langella -- much more than an impression, Langella sometimes brashly and sometimes hearbreakingly summons the soul and spirit of Richard Nixon. A brilliant performance.
Will Win: Langella
Possible Spoiler: Schreiber -- theater folk love Schreiber (he won the Tony two years ago for Glengary Glenn Ross and picked up the Drama League Award for Distinguished Performance this year), so there is a small chance he could sneak in and grab the prize.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Play
Eve Best, A Moon for the Misbegotten
Julie White, Little Dog Laughed
Angela Lansbury, Deuce
Vanessa Redgrave, A Year of Magical Thinking
Swoosie Kurtz, Heartbreak House

Should Win: White -- I didn't see Best's performance, but White was hilariously on-point as a maniacal agent.
Will Win: Best -- this performance has been acclaimed right and left, so even though I haven't experienced it myself, I'm guessing she's gonna walk away the victor.
Possible Spoiler: Lansbury -- will voters be able to avoid the temptation to give Lansbury her fifth award?

Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Play
Billy Crudup, The Coast of Utopia
Ethan Hawke, The Coast of Utopia
Anthony Chisolm, Radio Golf
John Jelks, Radio Golf
Stark Sands, Journey's End

Should Win: Crudup -- both comically brilliant and devastatingly sad, Crudup gives, in my opinion, a career-best performance as the tortured Belinsky. Hawke has the bigger part, but Crudup leaves the more indelible impression.
Will Win: Crudup
Possible Spoiler: Chisolm -- his presence alone is enough to lift the quality of Radio Golf, and those voters who avoided Coast of Utopia will likely check his name off.

Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play
Jennifer Ehle, The Coast of Utopia
Martha Plimpton, The Coast of Utopia
Xanthe Elbrick, Coram Boy
Jan Maxwell, Coram Boy
Dana Ivey, Butley

Should Win: Ehle -- playing three incredibly different women, Ehle makes sure that the boys don't steal the show. My favorite of the three? Her complex, sensual Natalie Herzen.
Will Win: Plimpton -- she doesn't really get to flaunt her stuff until Part 3, but once she gets the spotlight, she dazzles. She's also picked up the Outer Critics' Circle and Drama Desk Awards, so a Tony victory would seem appropriate.
Possible Spoiler: Ehle -- I think it will come down to the two Coast women -- which will prevail?

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Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Daughtry Returns to Top 5, Underwood Drops Out of Top 10

Despite the fact that both of their albums sales dropped 15% this week, Daughtry and Carrie Underwood still managed to make an impact on the album sales chart.

Daughtry moved around 65K albums for the #5 spot, while Underwood sold just under 45K for the #11 spot.

Elliott Yamin, meanwhile, fell 12 spots to #43, selling just under14K copies of his self-titled CD.

R Kelly grabbed the top spot this week, followed by last week's #1 Maroon 5, Linkin Park, Jason Aldean, and Daughtry.

Just three weeks until Kelly Clarkson's new CD drops!!

Click here for more News on Former American Idol Contestants

Katharine McPhee To Star in Independent Film

Is Katharine McPhee the next Jennifer Hudson?

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Kat will star in an upcoming independent film called The Last Caller. The film is apparently a coming-of-age story about "a self-obsessed woman who searches for love, hope, and meaning during random events with other urban seekers." Unlike Hudson, who won an Oscar for belting her way through Dreamgirls, McPhee will not be singing in the film.

Right after her stint on American Idol there were rumors circulating that Steven Spielberg was interested in working with Katharine. Well, this may not be Indiana Jones, but she's gonna make it to the big screen anyways. Congrats Kat!

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Tony Award Predictions: The Musicals

For theater fans and those that work in the industry, the Tony Awards are the culmination of the entire season's worth of fun, excitement, and yes, sometimes disappointment. Since the awards are just about 10 days away (they will be broadcast live on June 10th, from 8-11PM on CBS), I thought I would add my $.02 as to who will take home the big prizes.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I have seen about 90% of the shows that opened on Broadway this season (among the shows I missed: Translations, 110 in the Shade, Pirate Queen, Inherit the Wind, and Heartbreak House).

Last week I looked at the design awards -- this time, it's the musical prizes. Here goes...

Best Musical
Spring Awakening
Grey Gardens
Mary Poppins

Should Win: Spring Awakening -- it is the freshest and most innovative musical to hit Broadway in years.
Will Win: Spring Awakening -- with the reviews it got, this one's practically a no-brainer.
Possible Spoiler: Grey Gardens

Best Revival of a Musical
A Chorus Line
The Apple Tree
110 in the Shade

Should Win: A Chorus Line -- yes, it's essentially a replica of the original Broadway production, but in terms of thrilling theatrical experiences, nothing tops A Chorus Line
Will Win: Company -- since John Doyle's Sweeney Todd lost to The Pajama Game last year, expect the Tony voters to correct that oversight by awarding Doyle's Company the prize
Possible Spoiler: A Chorus Line -- for those (like myself) put off by the "actors play their own instruments" motif, the old-school charms of A Chorus Line may be enough to sway the vote

Best Director of a Musical
Michael Mayer, Spring Awakening
Michael Greif, Grey Gardens
Scott Ellis, Curtains
John Doyle, Company

Should Win: Mayer, Spring Awakening -- not only does Spring not sound like a Broadway musical, it doesn't look like on either, and that is, in large part, thanks to Mayer's brilliant and innovative direction
Will Win: Mayer, Spring Awakening
Possible Spoiler: Greif, Grey Gardens

Best Actor in a Musical
Jonathan Groff, Spring Awakening
Michael Cerveris, LoveMusik
Raul Esparza, Company
Gavin Lee, Mary Poppins
David Hyde Pierce, Curtains

Should Win: Groff, Spring Awakening -- the heart and soul of Spring Awakening, but voters could feel his youth means he will have plenty more opportunities to win the big prize.
Will Win: Esparza, Company -- Tony voters will think it's time to reward him after year's of excellent stage work.
Possible Spoiler: Cerveris, LoveMusik -- he missed out on a win for Sweeney Todd last year, so there's a chance he could sneak in to the winner's circle this year.

Best Actress in a Musical
Laura Bell Bundy, Legally Blonde
Christine Ebersole, Grey Gardens
Debra Monk, Curtains
Audra MacDonald, 110 in the Shade
Donna Murphy, LoveMusik

Should Win: Ebersole, Grey Gardens -- one of the best star turns in recent memory, but an undeserved win several years ago for 42nd Street, coupled with the fact that her show opened eons ago, could let one of her competitors make off with a victory.
Will Win: Ebersole, Grey Gardens
Possible Spoiler: MacDonald, 110 in the Shade or Murphy, LoveMusik -- both have multiple Tony's already (4 for MacDonald, 2 for Murphy), but both gave acclaimed performances this year and could steal Ebersole's thunder.

Best Featured Actor in a Musical
John Gallagher Jr., Spring Awakening
David Pittu, LoveMusik
John Cullum, 110 in the Shade
Brooks Ashmanskas, Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me
Christina Borle, Legally Blonde

Should Win: Gallagher, Spring Awakening -- the perfect category to reward an exciting up-and-comer.
Will Win: Gallagher, Spring Awakening
Possible Spoiler: Pittu, LoveMusik

Best Featured Actress in a Musical
Orfeh, Legally Blonde
Mary Louise Wilson, Grey Gardens
Karen Ziemba, Curtains
Rebecca Luker, Mary Poppins
Charlotte D'Amboise, A Chorus Line

Should Win: Wilson, Grey Gardens -- probably the easiest category of the night to predict -- Wilson is a shoo-in.
Will Win: Wilson, Grey Gardens
Possible Spoiler: Orfeh, Legally Blonde

Best Choreography of a Musical
Spring Awakening
Legally Blonde
Mary Poppins

Should Win: Spring Awakening
Will Win: Spring Awakening
Possible Spoiler: Mary Poppins

Best Book of a Musical
Spring Awakening
Grey Gardens
Legally Blonde

Should Win: Spring Awakening
Will Win: Grey Gardens
Possible Spoiler: Spring Awakening

Best Original Score
Spring Awakening
Grey Gardens
Legally Blonde

Should Win: Spring Awakening
Will Win: Spring Awakening
Possible Spoiler: Grey Gardens

Best Orchestrations
Spring Awakening
Grey Gardens
110 in the Shade

Should Win: Spring Awakening
Will Win: LoveMusik
Possible Spoiler: Grey Gardens

Click here to read Tony Award Predictions: Design Awards

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