Entertainment behind the scenes
He’s leader of the pack in terms of BRIT nominations tonight, but can London rapper Tinie Tempah convert them into prizes when the awards ceremony is held on Feb. 15? Bookmakers would have us believe that British pop’s biggest night could be one of disappointment, not delirium, with Ladbrokes backing the 22-year-old to scoop just one of his four nods, and arguably the least prestigious of them all — Best Breakthrough Act.
Not that the category is unimportant — a BRIT is a BRIT after all, and, after a Grammy, perhaps music’s most coveted statuette. But when you think that Tempah is in the running for best male solo, best British single and, most important of all, best British album, a Breakthrough prize alone may not be enough to keep him happy.
Elsewhere, the highlight of the nominations has to be Robert Plant, 40 years Tempah’s senior but a giant of rock as Led Zeppelin lead singer and, shockingly, a first-time BRIT nominee, according to the organisers. Given the huge success of his solo career after Led Zeppelin ceased to be, it seems almost scandalous. Not a whole lot of love for the singer among voting members, obviously, and the possibility of a heartbreaker if he doesn’t win. Or could it be celebration day? Enough bad Led Zeppelin puns.
Nicolas Cage has a reputation for dividing the critics. Some love him, others loathe him, and many love and loathe him in the same breath. No such confusion over his latest movie, however, with “Season of the Witch“, out Friday, winning almost universal scorn among critics.
The Oscar-winning actor plays a war-weary, disillusioned 14th century crusader charged with transporting a young girl to a remote monastery on the orders of the church, which believes she is a witch responsible for a devastating plague sweeping Europe. Cage is not so sure, and promises her a fair hearing when they get to their destination. Accompanied by his comrade-in-arms, played by Ron Perlman, Cage’s character Behmen faces collapsing bridges and fierce, diabolical wolves on his way through the forest, only to come up against even greater forces of evil at the abbey.
They said they were just friends and laughed off the photos a few weeks ago that suggested there might be a teen romance budding.
But Justin Bieber broke the hearts of millions of his young fans when photos surfaced on Monday of the 16 year-old singer canoodling (bare-chested) with Disney star Selena Gomez, 18, (wearing a bikini) on a yacht in the Caribbean over the New Year.
Fashionomics followers will be familiar with the Hemline Index, a theory presented by economist George Taylor in 1926 that suggests that hemlines on women's dresses rise along with stock prices.
Based on this theory, micro-minis can be seen in good times as women take more risks, while maxi dresses (floor-sweeping dresses) reflect uncertainty and conservatism during a recession.
She might not have had much to say for herself during her three month stint on “Dancing With the Stars”, but Bristol Palin is wasting no time now hitting back at her critics.
Message: beware of making a Bristol Palin joke — especially if it’s on national television.
from Tales from the Trail:
Washington has been buzzing for days about Bradley Manning, the 23-year-old U.S. Army intelligence analyst at the heart of the investigation into the leak of a quarter-million State Department diplomatic cables by the whistleblower website WikiLeaks.
And then there's the Lady Gaga connection.
Manning said he listened to the flamboyantly-dressed singer's "Telephone" as he pulled the documents off a military server in Baghdad, according to a transcript of online chats Manning had with a former hacker, Adrian Lamo. The chats, which occurred earlier this year, were posted by Wired.com on June 10. Lamo confirmed details of the chats to Reuters.
Celebrity, socialite and reality TV star Kim Kardashian was the most popular search term on Microsoft's Bing search engine this year, outshining fellow American luminaries Lady Gaga and the U.S. president.
In a year of earthquakes, floods and faltering economies, it seems most people turned to celebrities to relieve the steady flow of grim news. Or looked for ways to save money.
After more twists than an Argentine tango, “Dancing with the Stars” reaches it climax this week with Bristol Palin on course to pull off what could be a stunning win in the grand finale of the ballroom dancing TV show.
Although “Dirty Dancing” star Jennifer Grey is considered the best dancer of the final three celebrities, fans of Sarah Palin’s oldest daughter have made clear through their votes over the past six weeks that the show, like “American Idol”, is as much about popularity as sheer talent.
Back in the late 1970s, when the Bee Gees helped turn disco into a worldwide fad, “Stayin’ Alive” was the daily name of the game for the folks in war-torn Beirut. But now that the Lebanese capital is busy reacquiring its status as the Paris/Hong Kong/(insert your exotic city here) of the Middle East, the essential frivolity and exuberance of disco finally fit right in.
So, Bee Gees member Robin Gibb’s solo concert on Saturday inside a giant marquee near the revitalized downtown area should have been a celebration of survival. Sadly the show was, to borrow another Bee Gees song, a bit of a Tragedy. Gibb raced through 22 songs in just under 90 minutes, and failed to muster much enthusiasm from the 9,000-strong audience until halfway in when they finally got on their feet for “Night Fever.”
About the only thing Taiwanese in Yann Martel’s cultish epic novel “Life of Pi” is the captain of the ship that sinks, yet celebrated director Ang Lee has chosen Taiwan as the place to make a 3D film version of the award-winning book.
Much like the novel’s hero, a boy named Pi, Taiwan has something of a second chance at making itself shine after years of diplomatic isolation that has kept its global economic competitiveness clinging to a life vest. It gets that chance when audiences see the movie, now scheduled for release in 2012. But Taiwan has a long way to go as China has stolen its spotlight with a rapid economic ascent since the 1990s. For long-standing political reasons, Beijing actively squelches its offshore neighbor’s international profile.