Thursday, July 13, 2006

Designers, Rock the Casbah
By Leila Cohan

Oh hell yeah. Project Runway is BACK, motherfuckers! First up: Tim Gunn takes us through the casting process. We start in L.A. where Tim is joined by my all-time favorite contestant, Santino Rice. Tim asked for biographical videos of the contestants he likes, and then met with Heidi, Nina, and Michael to determine the fifteen finalists. We catch up with Santino.

Is it wrong that I find Santino oddly attractive? Because, if so, I’m not really too interested in being right. Alright, first audition: Robert Best, who Tim knows from Parsons. Robert designs for Barbie. He wants to be a media star and jokes that they wouldn’t take him on Top Model because he’s too short. He shows some of his designs and they are gorgeous.

His video is hilarious and the judges love him. Some people were not so prepared: cue the crazy loser montage. Next up on the winning tip is Uli Herzner. Heidi loves her because she’s German. I personally am not responding to either her use of prints or her general sense of creepiness.

Alright, Jeffrey Sebelia. He’s a cute punk-rock daddy! Aw! He has tattoos on his neck. Tim has identified him as this season’s Santino: the designer people will either love or hate. I like him so far, but I can see where his schtick could get annoying. We’ll see how things play out. At any rate, his clothes are very interesting.

Stacey Estrella is a Harvard MBA, complete with weird corporate babble. Her clothes are well-sewn, but dull. One piece in her portfolio has a slit so high that Michael Kors knows what the model had for lunch. Hee.

Awesomely, Nina Garcia says “she reminds me of…the mother” and has to be reminded who Wendy was. And with that, we cut to Wendy Pepper’s audition tape. She was very sweet and humble. The editors AWESOMELY cut from Wendy saying that she’s very loyal and kind to Wendy’s blowout fight with Kara Saun in the Season 1 finale. Wendy now….well, she’s lost a hell of a lot of weight, I’ll say that much.

I think, um, maybe, she’s had some work done? Right? Next up is Bonnie Dominguez. She’s cute and bubbly. She’s designed for Serena Williams.

So, Vincent Libretti. As the season premiere will show, he’s a little…well….crazy. In his bio video, he is VERY EXCITED about the blackboard he built in his sewing room. He’s like the fashion Bob Ross. Vincent had a line sold at Sak’s in the 80s, but stopped because the pressure was too intense. In the ever-diplomatic words of Tim Gunn, “fashion was not kind to Vincent.”

More crazies!

The next designer is Bradley Baumkirchner. I love him. He’s kind of funny and giggly and his designs are really cute and whimsical.

Yay! We catch up with Austin Scarlett! Austin is fabulous as ever and designing wedding dresses for Kenneth Cole. I would COMPLETELY wear an Austin Scarlett wedding dress. They are gorge. The auditions move to Chicago, where Tim Is joined by Nick Verreos. Apparently, he did fashion commentary on the figure skaters during the Olympics. How did I miss this?

Kayne Gillespie! He is a pageant-wear designer in Norman, Oklahoma. Oh Lordy, there are sequins. Kayne is g-g-g-g-gay. He makes a Mommie Dearest wire hanger joke and his fashion icon is Dolly Parton. I love him.

On to Miami, with guest judge Chloe “The Undeserving” Dao. In case you’re wondering, Chloe is using her win to expand her store in Houston. Undeserving! However, she is still very pretty.

First serious Miami designer is Michael Knight. He’s cute and young and so are his dresses. No one really likes him, except Chloe. And me.

An awesome montage of people wearing skirts made out of ties makes me very happy, since I have a jihad out against skirts made of ties. Katherine Gerdes is adorable. She’s a snowboard instructor and a big dork. Her designs are a little futuristic, i.e. Season 2’s Diana Eng. I like her, but I’ll be surprised if she lasts for more than two weeks.

Yay! It’s time to catch up with Kara Saun. Kara Saun designed a lot of Heidi Klum’s maternity wear last season, which was ridiculously sexy. We travel to New York, where Tim is joined by Daniel Vosovic. He remains pretty, although apparently, he has become quite the diva.

Keith Michael has either two first or two last names, which always annoys me. He has only designed menswear. This is very controversial.

Next up is Laura Bennett, who you’ll recognize from the commercials. She’s the crazy mom with red lipstick.

What the commercials did not tell you is that she totally lives in a Tribeca penthouse. Yeah, I’m not feeling so bad for her and her five children.

Alison Kelly is cute, sweet, and pretty. She doesn’t seem to have an overt amount of personality, but cute as a button! And her clothes are pretty.

Yay! Jay! We see some footage of his audition. He smacked his ass for the camera. I love Jay. He says that he will hopefully be putting out his line soon. His hair is short and it looks like he’s lost some weight.

Angela Keslar. I think we’re supposed to hate her because she keeps comparing herself to Yves Saint Laurent, but for some reason, I find her a little funny and endearing. The same cannot, sadly, be said for her ugly-ass skirt.

Oh, Lord. Malan Breton. He has auditioned every season. He was rejected Season 1 and accepted Season 2, but then he rejected the show. Now he’s back with his creepy gelled hair and his odd accent and he just OVERWHELMINGLY reminds me of Jonathan Pryce and oh Lord, oh Lord, he gives me the willies. Also, I expect him to burst into a number from Miss Saigon at any moment. Michael Kors calls him a “wack-a-doo”. Awesome.

To bid you goodnight ... Sideshow Bob

Yeah Right!
By PopCultureWhore

Return of the Flower Child?
By Lisa Dalian

Mary Kate Olsen rocks the 60s look once again after the Pocahontas-inspired ensemble she sported at the launch of Sprouse Bros. Code magazine. Someone hose her down and rip off them extensions!
Understatement of the Week
By PopCultureWhore

Britney Spears reveals more than an airbrushed belly to Harper’s Bazaar readers next month. She tells the magazine that while pregnancy is empowering, “you don’t feel the most beautiful all the time.” No kidding. Brit felt “paranoid” during her first pregnancy but is now willing to just “wing it.” Letting go was “weird for me at first because of who I am. Wherever you go, they expect you to look a certain way. I'm not supposed to be this big huge pregnant superstar."

Not to worry Britney lovers. She has no plans to sit around with a bag of Cheetos after she pops this one out. “After this baby, I'm going to get really intense with it,” she says of her post-pregnancy workouts. She plans to make a return to the stage, which will hopefully dwarf the efforts of K-Fed. "I'm so proud of Kevin. He's been working so hard on his own album since I got pregnant with Preston. I'm so lucky. He's a doll; he's adorable.” Translation: it’s so cute that he thinks he can make it. Awwww.

Photoshop awards go to Bazaar (again) for the shot above for making Brit’s arms look like she’s been lifting a coke spoon instead of Sean Preston. I believe that’s the same dress Linda Evangelista wore to the Serpentine Gallery summer party in London.

In other Britney news, The New York Post reports that the poptart has finally unloaded a Manhattan penthouse that has been on the market for several years. Britney purchased the 4,400-square-foot space at 14 E. 4th St. in 2002 for $3 million and put it on the market in July 2004 for $6 million. The apartment, which boasts three bedrooms, 4 ½ baths and 13-foot ceilings, was slow to sell, however, and was finally sold for $4 million. The pad has also been home to Keith Richards and Russell Simmons. The building itself, known as the Silk Building, has also been home to Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman and Cher.
Idol Ears Prep For Assault
By IdolWhore

It's time to chug the olive oil, down the decongestants, practice the scales, and learn all the words to Alicia Key's "Fallin'" because auditions for the sixth season of "American Idol" will begin next month. Who will be the next Taylor Hicks? Who will be the next William Hung? Well, it won't be the Idol Whore because I have no intention of spending my vacation time sleeping in a parking lot for two weeks…but don't let that stop you. If you do decide to brave the elements, as well as the judges (provided you get past the producers in the preliminary rounds), the Idol Whore happily shares some helpful audition hints collected from singers who have taken the Idol audition challenge and learned from early defeat:

- Before you are allowed to audition, you must sign a waiver that says you will allow the producers to videotape you and that you understand that said videotape could possibly cause you to endure severe public humiliation. Ponder that for a moment before you burst into song. Remember Keith, who claimed to be "entertaining and unique?" His rendition of "Like a Virgin" will forever live in infamy.

- In the earliest rounds, no matter how great you sound, you probably won't get 20 seconds worth of song out of your mouth before you get cut off. Remember, you will be auditioning alongside 20,000 of your new close, personal friends, so the producers won't be interested in hearing your entire rendition of "American Pie." Don't expect to build up to a big finale because you won't get there. Start in the middle if you must, but sing the part of the song that shows you off best immediately.

- No Whitney Houston! The only thing you will prove is that you are not Whitney Houston. (Then again, no one would actually want to be her these days.)

- Randy Jackson once said that there were two songs singers should not sing at the audition: "Crazy" by Patsy Cline and "At Last" by Etta James. In his opinion, the original recordings of these songs are perfect, so no matter how well you sing them, you will always sound mediocre. While you're at it, jettison your plan to sing "Fallin'" too. It's been seriously overdone.

- Finally, if you want to be taken seriously, don't dress like an idiot. The judges detest that. Last year, some moron spent all that time waiting in line only to be dismissed after one note because he stupidly showed up dressed as the Statue of Liberty. It's a singing contest, not a costume party, folks.


Get ready to pack up the car and plan your trip:

Fri., Aug. 11, Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas
Mon., Aug. 14, Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford, New Jersey
Mon., Aug. Aug. 21, B.J.C.C. in Birmingham, Alabama (the city that brought us Rubben Studdard, Bo Bice, & Taylor Hicks)
Sun., Sept. 3, FedExForum in Memphis, Tennesee
Fri., Sept. 8, Target Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Tues., Sept. 19, Key Arena, Seattle, Washington

In other Idol news ...

McPheever isn't always a welcome illness. A bad bout of bronchitis has knocked Katharine McPhee off the line-up for the first few shows of the "American Idols" summer tour, which kicked off July 5. To avoid serious damage to her vocal chords, doctors ordered Kat not to sing at all for a while. McFans holding tickets for the early shows are bummed, but Kat should be well rested and back on the roster shortly.Cleared to perform is Chris Daughtry, who turned down the Fuel front man gig in hopes of finding something better and that patience has paid off. His version of Bon Jovi's "Wanted Dead or Alive," which appears on the "American Idols: Encores" CD, has been getting a respectable number of downloads from iTunes. That was enough to convince music industry guru Clive Davis to offer Daughtry a similar recording deal to the ones Kat and Idol champ Taylor Hicks received.

Daughtry hopes to include his own original songs on the upcoming CD, although buzz in the biz says that it's not so easy to sell Clive on such ideas. Sir Clive didn't get where he is today by letting inexperienced artists record whatever the hell they way want--with his money. Betting folks say Daughtry won't get more than 3 of his own tracks on the CD and that he shouldn't expect his own stuff to play on the radio until he charts with a few hits written by scribes from Clive's illustrious stable. Still, he has to start somewhere. He can gasp for airtime further down the road.Claymation continues in Clay Nation. Mr. Aiken was recently seen in the audience at one of Kelly Clarkson's shows--and he was not traveling alone. Sitting on one side was Ruben Studdard, the guy who actually won "American Idol" in Season 2, and on the other side…well, no one's really sure. All that can be said is that Clay seemed unusually chummy with the young, finely-coifed gentleman, eliciting jealous rage from a bevy of women and no-small-number of men. Chill out, people! We should all be so lucky.

And then ...

** Season one winner Kelly Clarkson will headline her own HBO concert. The Grammy winner will follow in the footsteps of Madonna and Britney Spears when her Feb. 3 show at London’s Wembley Arena is taped for broadcast. Her third album is due to hit stores around the same time. Kelly also recently slammed rumors that Vitamin Water executives ordered her to lose weight before they would allow her to promote their product.

** Idol winner Fantasia Barrino has collaborated with Aretha Franklin for a track on both of their upcoming albums. Details are being kept under wraps, but Franklin joins other stars on Fantasia’s album, including Kanye West, Missy Elliott and Ne-Yo. Fantasia is also looking to star in a TV movie about her life, based on her autobiography, “Life is Not a Fairy Tale.”

** The grandfather of Kellie Pickler, a finalist on the most recent season, suffered a heart attack this past weekend. Doctors removed a blockage from Clyde Pickler’s artery and he was able to leave the hospital on Sunday.

** In “fallen idols” news, former contestant Daniel James "DJ" Boyd was indicted on child porn charges. He ended up in the top 100 on season two, but is now facing charges after he allegedly videotaped sexual encounters between two teenage girls. A trial date is set for Sept. 18. He faces up to 40 years in prison if convicted.

** American Idol also got a nod from Emmy voters.

** Season four’s Scott Savol married Rochelle Waddell on July 8. He and his new wife plan to relocate from Cleveland to Nashville after the wedding.

** Season four finalist Jessica Sierra embarked on a 10-day trip to Iraq, where she met and performed for Marines stationed there.

Idol Whore out!
Rosario Dawson Nerds It Up
By Eboni McGriff

The latest Rosario Dawson news has me breaking out my old reading glasses and dusting off the cape for the comic book convention: you guessed it, my girl's a nerd.

Dawson stars as one of the hottest dorks I’ve seen in 'Clerks II' (premiere pic below) and leapt straight out of the comic books for her portrayal of bad-ass Gail in 'Sin City'.

But her nerdiness extends far past glasses, a burger joint, and dominatrix leather: Dawson co-writes and stars in her own comic book, called 'Occult Crime Taskforce (OCT)'. OCT, a graphic novel miniseries not unlike 'Sin City' in format, was originally published in May 2006 by the now defunct Speakeasy Comics, and is currently put out by 12 Gauge Comics and Image Comics. It features heroine Sophia Ortiz, a detective modeled after Dawson herself, who is the head of the Occult Crime Taskforce, a special unit protecting New York City from occult related crimes. While fighting the demonic forces of New York, Ortiz is also trying to solve her father's murder.

Dawson is working with writer David Atchinson and illustrator Tony Shasteen to create the series. A self-professed 'comic book nerd' her entire life, Dawson just rocketed to near perfect status: beauty, brains, talent and a comic book? She's definitely on her way to world domination.
Click HERE for an interview with David and Tony, with Rosario joining 15 minutes in.

Oompa Loompa In A Bottle
By PopCultureWhore

Christina Aguilera has gone over to the dark side - from Coke to Pepsi, that is. She released some promotional shots from the upcoming campaign the one-time Coke spokesperson just did for Pepsi. Girlfriend needs to lay off the Mystic tans and eye shadow. She looks like Celine Dion when she renewed her vows with that odd Arabian themed gathering.