Entertainment behind the scenes
If you have trouble remembering the days of the week, a teen pop starlet named Rebecca Black has come to your rescue with an annoyingly catchy song that has quickly made her the hottest — and most lampooned — phenomenon on the Web. Black was a top-trending topic on Twitter on Tuesday, while her video for “Friday” racked up almost eight million page views in a matter of days.
The comments have been savage, ruthless dissections of the girl herself, her bubblegum pop song and the cheesy video. “Not joking. Worst lyrics I have ever heard. Ever. Yet so addictive,” was one of the kinder critiques.
The fresh-faced youngster sings over and over in a nasally twang, “It’s Friday, Friday, gotta get down on Friday. Everybody’s looking forward to the weekend … Fun, fun, fun, fun. Looking forward to the weekend.”
The lyrics were so powerful that Bob Dylan rushed out a cover version. Well, not Dylan, but somebody who sounds like him. Black evidently took diction lessons from the tireless troubadour, though, turning “Friday” into “fry-eee-day” or possibly just “fried eggs.”
M.I.A.’s latest video “Born Free”, which features scenes of nudity and graphic violence, has fueled a raging Internet debate over the merits of the British-born rap artist’s latest politically-charged offering.
The nine-minute video, directed by Romain Gavaras, depicts American-flag clad commandos rounding up a ginger-haired minority, who are later executed or forced to run through a landmine-laden desert.
U2 played live for the world on Sunday night via YouTube.com, and as they were in Hollywood, Bono gave the band a movie star sheen when he introduced each member. He compared drummer Larry Mullen Jr. to James Dean, bassist Adam Clayton to Clark Gable, The Edge to Mr. Spock of “Star Trek” and himself to a mix of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito.
But if the setting was L.A. (Pasadena’s Rose Bowl to be exact), the show’s direction was aimed at a global audience. Before U2 performed “Sunday Bloody Sunday,” images flashed on the screen of green-glad protesters in Iran, some of them stained in blood. The crowd reacted with cheers of support for Iranian dissidents, just as they cheered on Bono’s rendition of “Walk On,” a tribute to Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, later on in the show.
Susan Boyle has been admitted to a private clinic in London after suffering from exhaustion, and, according to the Sun tabloid, an “emotional breakdown”. After capturing people’s imagination the world over in April with her singing performance on “Britain’s Got Talent”, the 48-year-old Scot’s travails are headline news once again, at least in her home country. Predictably, the blame game has already begun, and following is a list of the main culprits in the whole saga, if press reports, commentators and pundits are to be believed:
1. The press: Some sections of the media, which had a big part in Boyle’s meteoric rise to fame, have apparently relished the chance to knock her off her perch. Those blaming the press point to reports late last week of Boyle throwing tantrums, of her threats to quit the show ahead of Saturday’s final and more generally of her inability to cope with the pressure.
from UK News:
ITV executive chairman Michael Grade said he had only seen once before Thursday the clip of Susan Boyle singing on ITV show "Britain's Got Talent", that has received more than 100 million hits on YouTube, but has not yet netted the broadcaster revenue from the video-sharing site owned by Google.
"I've been incredibly busy over the last few weeks and I have only had one opportunity to view a piece of television that's taken the world by storm," he told the Voice of the Listener & Viewer Spring Conference in London.
The old refrain was that “video killed the radio star,” but more recently it’s been commonly said that the “Internet killed the video star” by putting music clips a mouse click away on Web sites such as YouTube.com.
In the new media landscape, cable channel MTV, a unit of Viacom, has filled its schedule with reality television shows instead of the music videos it aired nonstop in the 1980s, when it revolutionized the music industry. On Monday, the company announced that it would go back to airing music videos, but only between 3 and 9 a.m., when few viewers are tuned in.
Video streaming Web site Hulu.com marked its one-year anniversary on Thursday by announcing new social networking features, as the site seeks to gain ground on other Internet entertainment hubs.
The Web site, a joint venture between General Electric Co.-owned NBC Universal and News Corp., launched “Hulu Friends” which integrates functions from social networking sites MySpace and Facebook, as well as e-mail providers Gmail, Yahoo! Mail and Hotmail, and allows users to see what their friends are watching, share new videos and leave notes for each other.
Hulu, which allows visitors to view television episodes and movies on their home computers, still has a long way to go if it hopes to catch up to video sharing giant YouTube.com. Internet tracking site comScore reported this month that YouTube accounted for about 43 percent of all videos viewed over the Internet in January. By comparison, Hulu.com had only a 1.7 percent share of all videos viewed. The Google-owned YouTube has reached out to mainstream entertainment companies, including Universal Music Group, as the site seeks to add more premium entertainment on its site. But unlike YouTube, which mostly has short video clips, Hulu allows users to view entire episodes, and it has positive trends in its favor.
Research firm Knowledge Networks reported in February that use of third-party video hosting sites such as Hulu to access network television shows doubled since 2007 among Internet video users age 13-54.
Watch out all you Red Carpet pros on Entertainment Tonight, Access Hollywood and other celebrity TV shows, this September there will be a new face on Tinseltown’s glamour scene. And although that amateur may not know what the heck they are doing, he or she just might be aiming for your job. Remember, it’s not hard losing a coveted slot on the Red Carpet. Just ask Joan Rivers.
People.com and YouTube are unveiling a new channel on the video Web site dedicated to celebrity content provided by People.com. To kick off the channel, People.com and YouTube, along with cosmetics company Revlon, are launching a contest where one ”Red Carpet Reporter” will be picked to interview celebrities at a star-filled event in September.
The little-known Creaky Boards just became a little less little known thanks to an accusation of copying against mega-band Coldplay via a Youtube posting.
The video cuts snippets from the Boards’ song “The Songs I Didn’t Write” (oh, the glorious irony of it all) with clips from Coldplay’s “Viva La Vida”, the title track from the group’s new album which is selling fast in the UK. The posting even claims the band thought they spotted Coldplay lead singer Chris Martin in the crowd at a gig last year when they performed the song, hence making the link between the two.
Jessica Alba has laid down a challenge — can you outstare her? Millions have tried to beat the actress since she joined a competition on video sharing Web site iBeat You (www.ibeatyou.com) about two weeks ago. She uploaded a video of herself staring into the camera without blinking for 1.5 minutes and submitted it to a “longest stare” competition. So far the video has received over 3.8 million views on YouTube. Why did she do it? Might have something to do with fact that the Web site was co-founded by her husband Cash Warren. The site is one of a number where people can compete against anyone in anything using photos, video and text.