Thursday, March 31, 2005

America's Next Top Model May Have Flesh-Eating Bacteria. Or Not.

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Last night's edition of "America's Next Top Model" was completely over the top, in more ways than one. Whether or not that's a good thing is the question before us, the omniscient self-appointed Gods of the Rehash.

First of all, we see that manly Michelle is not only having hourly crying jags, but is also suffering from some kind of terrible skin condition all over her face. There is a smattering of faux sympathy from the other girls, but also a few "Eww, gross, thank god that ain't me" looks amongst themselves, and who can blame them? Not many people want to have leprosy.

So they whisk the gang off to a beauty school for makeup lessons. The girls are all in a classroom when in walks an old bearded man who talks like Tevye the Milkman from "Fiddler on the Roof," and is clearly, obviously Jay Manuel in stage makuep. The gals are perplexed! Who is this cranky old man? What a mystery! They are shocked, shocked when they find out that it's really you-know-who. I think these girls may be even more retarded than the average model wannabe. It's just a feeling I'm getting.

They are supposed to give each other "natural"-look makeovers, using Cover Girl products, of course. Tiffany and Lluvy graciously allow their clean, pure, non-diseased fingers to touch Michelle's increasingly-deformed "The Fly"-like face and actually do a pretty good job of covering up her hideous lesions, but when it's Michelle's turn to do their makuep, she has a complete breakdown about her lack of talent in the makeup department and starts crying. Again. The girl is a basket case. And her face should be in a basket at all times.

Image Hosted by Who could it be?

Next the gang gets a little one-on-one cryfest with Tyra. Sob, sob, moan, moan, whimper, whimper. Michelle shows Tyra the gigantic, ever-more disgusting, constantly-multiplying scabs on her face and Tyra empathizes by saying that she once had a "black patch burned off her thigh," but then notes that she's "never seen anything like" what's consuming Michelle's epidermis. The UPN site says that at this point Tyra offers Michelle a chance to go to the dermatologist, but a) I don't remember that, although I was reeling from the whole black-patch-burned-off-the-thigh thing, and b) she doesn't go.

The contestants are then taken to a salon where Jay asks if they know what "haute couture" means. The sound of crickets chirping is heard as not a single one of the wannabe-models knows. Jay explains that it means "high fashion," and tells them that their challenge is to give themselves haute couture make-up using--shock of shocks!--Cover Girl products, and they only have 45 seconds at each makeup station. Lots of frantic globbing on of product ensues, and the results are pretty funny. They all look like that Cheri Oteri character Collette Reardon on "Saturday Night Live" who took too many meds. But cute-n-clever Naima pulled it out of the bag by putting some feathers in her hair and going for a "Swan Lake"-inspired something-or-other that wows Jay and wins her the prize--she chooses Lluvy and Christina to go with her to the Lauren Scherr showrooom and pick out their own custom-made, god-awful befeathered handbags.

OK. This is where things get really, really silly. Idiot Noelle, of the terrible mall curls, talks on the phone with her mother about Michelle's diseased face. Noelle's idiot mother tells her that it can only be one thing: Flesh-eating bacteria! AAAAAAAAH! Noelle runs around the house making everyone think that Michelle's face is going to eat them all. Lluvy starts jumping to and fro, scratching her arms and flicking off imaginary flesh-eating bacteria like some old-timey movie drunk with the dt's.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usLluvy's got the heebie-jeebies!

Various girls call their moms and freak out. Tiffany actually goes to check on Michelle while she is sleeping to see if her "face is falling off." Here's the official UPN version of the craziness that ensues:
As Michelle sleeps, the other girls work themselves into a frenzy, convinced that they are infected and are going to die from Michelle's condition. Tiffany's grandmother is the voice of reason. "Y'all need to get a life…Read a book or something," she suggests.

Tiffany's grandmother: You, madame, are a genius. You speak for the world! Now, if only any of them could read...

The next day they take the girls to a photo shoot for the "Got Milk" campaign, because Lord knows, we need more of those ads. The theme for the shoot is that each girl is going to be made up to look like a different ethnicity, which is a recipe for rather dicey racial politics in my book, but the show says que sera sera and blithely carries on with the blackface makeup. I am not kidding: They actually had some of the contestants in blackface, not to mention African headscarves. I kept waiting for Jay Manuel to sugggest that they wanted Christina to go for a fierce, edgy "Aunt Jemima" vibe. Also, the girls have to pose with actual multi-ethnic three-year-olds in their arms. Someone refers to them as "child props."

In the midst of all this, the hair and makeup people say "uh, gross" about Michelle's mystery condition and have a secret meeting with Jay to voice their concerns. Finally someone sends Michelle to the goddamn doctor!

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usMichelle's diagnosis: Dorian Gray-itis.

The contestants have various problems modeling with the kids--some because the child props are heavy and cumbersome, some because they love kids so much and are reminded of their own, abandoned babies. (More than one contestant has left a child back home this season.) When Michelle comes back from the dermatologist with the news that she has impetigo, a mild skin condition that will sadly not kill or maim Lluvy but is still contagious, it is decided that she should model with a doll instead of a child prop. The other girls bitch and moan that Michelle has an unfair advantage because she doesn't have to pose with a heavy, squirming child; they conveniently ignore the distinct disadvantage of having giant scabs all over her face.

For the judging at the end, the girls have to put on a "night face" using--what else?--Cover Girl makeup, but the twist is that they can't use mirrors or brushes or applicators, thereby guaranteeing that they will all look like crazy people. The judges are harsh critics--everyone either looks insane or they didn't put on enough makeup. Michelle, of course, begins sobbing uncontrollably about her impetigo when she is called before the panel. Janice tells her to suck it up, as she once did a photo shoot "with a sty," and just flung one of her giant-clawed hands over the infected eye in a devil-may-care manner. Oh, Janice. How you rule so!

In the end, it gets down to Lluvy, who the judges think is u-g-l-y in her photos, and Noelle, Our Lady of Perpetual Mall Hair, who "doesn't read model" to the panel. She doesn't "read" anything, I'm pretty sure. They decide that Lluvy has more potential and send Noelle home to the baby she left behind. This is the second time Lluvy has been in the final two, so it doesn't look good for her. Maybe she can have a face transplant by next week? We shall see!

Everything's Cumming Up Roses!

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Page Six has a wee tidbit concerning The Most Loathed Woman in America and her possibly gay husband, although the "possibly" is becoming "highly likely" by the minute:
Al Reynolds had a surprise Tuesday night for his beloved wife, Star Jones. The happy hubby showed up at actor Alan Cumming's reading of erotica at Duvet Tuesday evening, checked out the room and made a beeline for the gift bags, to which he helped himself. We can only imagine what the newlyweds did when he got home with his swag, which included a pair of furry handcuffs, a whip and a bottle of Svedka vodka. Reynolds' rep did not return calls.

In case you unfamiliar with Mr. Alan Cumming, he's a delightful Scottish actor who has been in everything from "Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion" to the latest Broadway revival of "Cabaret," for which he won a Tony for his performance as The Emcee. There's an interesting article about him in The Advocate, in which he discusses politics, his career, and his new cologne called Cumming: The Fragrance. (It truly is the gift that keeps on giving.)

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usCumming: The Man.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usCumming: The Fragrance.

I'm sure Alan Cumming was thrilled to see ole Al at his erotica reading. Who wouldn't be? Nothing says erotique like Probably Gay Al and his Bridezilla! They are sex incarnate. And the other attendees must've been simply delirious with pervosity just thinking about all the totally HOTT things that Al and Star would be doing with their free toys! (Even their sex props are freebies! Seriously, do they pay for anything?)

Let's do the sexual math, shall we?

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usOne bottle of vodka +

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usOne pair furry handcuffs +

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usOne whip =

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All together now, as one nation--nay, perhaps even one world, united: EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEW!

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Larger Than Life!

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Today's "Sites to See" don't have much to do with celebs--unless you count the "World's Largest Killer Bee" in Hidalgo, Texas a star, which I do--but I have an affinity for gigantic fake jackalopes, peanuts, chairs, wigwams, donuts, etc. and this site is full of 'em!

I am especially fond of "programmatic architecture," the fancy name given to buildings that look like what they sell--in Bakersfield, California there is a shoe repair shop inside a giant shoe; in Los Angeles there used to be tons of great examples, like the camera shop inside a neon-trimmed camera on Wilshire Boulevard (the front door was inside the lens!), which was an Indian restaurant when I lived there in the '80s; the famous Tail o' the Pup hotdog; Randy's Donuts (seen in many movies), etc., and although many have been torn down, there is a fight by some conservationists to preserve what remains.

There are also some wonderful pictures of what is sometimes called "roadside vernacular" architecture at Roadside Peek. Check out the sections on neon signs, motels, and roadside icons--which includes the giant artichoke in Castroville, CA, one of my all-time faves! But do yourself a favor and look around the entire site, because it is bursting at the seams with treats for the eye!

To see some great photos of "larger than life" objects in Texas, go here. Everything really is bigger in Texas!
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You Don't Naomi Very Well

Huzzah! Although she denies it, Page Six is gleefully reporting that Naomi Campbell has beaten yet another assistant about the head and face--and now she's upgraded from a cell phone to a BlackBerry! (Naomi is tres chic. Slapping assistants with a lowly mobile is so 2004!)
Fiery supermodel Naomi Campbell has allegedly attacked another one of her assistants — beating her with a BlackBerry and slapping her across the face.

An insider tattles to PAGE SIX that Campbell was traveling with a young female assistant in Brazil last week when the catfighting catwalker pounced on her prey during an argument.

"Naomi was slapping her with one hand, and beating her with a BlackBerry with the other," claims our source.

When the sobbing assistant threatened to report the Blackberry beat-down to police, Campbell warned that she would leave her stranded in South America.

"Naomi told her, 'If you go to the police, you're gonna have to pay for your airfare home and I'm gonna whack you with this big hotel bill,' " says our source.

"They were staying at an expensive suite in Rio and the assistant couldn't afford to pay for any of that. She's still traveling with Naomi, but she wants to quit as soon as they come back to New York."

But Campbell's spokesman Rob Shuter insisted that our story was "absolutely not true." His office later forwarded us this e-mail attributed to the assistant:

"I have been working with Naomi Campbell for several months and traveled extensively with her. Naomi has always treated me with great respect. I can tell you as a fact that this ugly rumor is not true."

Ha! The way Page Six says "attributed to the assistant" makes it sound like she is being held prisoner in an undisclosed location, which she probably is; at this very moment the poor girl might have her bruised and bloodied face wrapped in duct tape while Naomi's people prod her with a sharp stick, forcing her to tell her worried family that "everything is just fine" while she tries to tap out s.o.s. on the keypad.

"Do as we say, because you don't want us to bring back Naomi, do you?" they hiss, as the terrified young woman sobs uncontrollably and relieves her bladder at the memory of one very long, thin, manicured hand slapping her violently while another smashes a BlackBerry into her face.

It's like something out of "24"--although counter-terrorism is a total cakewalk compared to being a supermodel's personal assistant. Oh, Naomi. Bless your teeny, tiny, shriveled little heart!

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

My Faye Raves

There's a great article in the NY Times about Faye Dunaway and her role as a judge on the reality show "The Starlet." The gist of the story is that Faye has to take whatever work she can get, because a) she's older and b) she ruined her career with her campy performance in "Mommie Dearest." It's worth reading just for quotes like this one:

"I have been called a diva. Me!" she said during a late-afternoon chat at Hugo's, a West Hollywood cafe. "I actually passed that mantle on to Sharon Stone. I said: 'You can have it! I don't want it!' I just want to be 'Faysie.' I just want to be a li'l girl."

Ah, shucks, sweet li'l Faysie can't believe that anyone would ever call her a diva! Heavens to Betsy! Get the smellin' salts and the swoonin' couch! Incidentally, I bet Sharon Stone was all, "Uh, thanks for that mantle, Faysie, but I really couldn't take it...No, really, I mean it. I mean it, Faye. Take it back. Take it back! AAAAAAAAAH!"

Sadly, there is no mention of the greatest tribute ever paid to Miss Dunaway, which is that a bright light used by studio technicians to blast away aging stars' wrinkles is called "The Faye." I plan on installing The Faye into every room in my house. And as Marlene Dietrich used to insist upon, I shall only be lit from above. Oh, if only I could somehow recreate the gauzy pink glow of an Ann Taylor dressing room everywhere I went, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, then I probably could lay off the Botox for a week or two! Short of giving everyone I encounter Vaseline-smeared glasses, though, it might be impossible to gloss over the ravages of time. We can send a man to the moon, but we can't invent a permanent, omnipresent Faye Light for your humble Felt Up blogette! Harrumph.

Fun Fact: My mom and I once listened to the book-on-tape of Faye's autobiography, Looking For Gatsby on a road trip, as is our wont, and it was absolutely riveting. It was read by the author herself! What I love most about Faye is that she is from the backwoods of Florida yet has one of those old-timey theatah voices that have almost entirely disappeared from show biz. Just think of how she said, "I don't get tough, Mr. Giddes. My lawyers do" in "Chinatown." Who talks like that anymore? Since Norma Shearer, Mary Astor, good ole Joan Crawford and the rest of their generation have gone on to The Great Moving Picture in the Sky, nobody does but Faye (and possibly Liza)--and I think it's a shame. Bring back the affected actressy accent! Down with naturalism! Boo on Method acting!

But let's not go too far. We don't need anymore Madonnas running around.


The Greatest Story Ever Told

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Thanks to the WOW Report for this link to Popmuse and the greastest piece of gossip ever!

It's not new, it's not fresh--but it is, as Miss Tina Turner would say, simply the best. I shit you not--too bad a certain someone can't say the same!

Mother Knows Best

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Yippee! My favorite possibly incestuous mother-and-son con-artists/murderers are getting their second made-for-tv movie! It's nothing less than they deserve. The NY Post reports:
Jeanne King's spellbinding book "Dead End" — about murderous mom-and-son grifters Sante and Kenny Kimes — is being made into a TV movie by Emmy-winning producer Randy Stone.

Big-name actresses are being considered for the role of Sante, who was convicted of masterminding the multiple bi-coastal killings that her son carried out.

It's sure to be a juicy part. Kenny avoided the death sentence by testifying against his domineering mother. The judge who sentenced the serial killers proclaimed: "Sante Kimes is the most evil person to ever come before me in 16 years on the bench. She has the ingenuity to recognize the weaknesses, the avarice, the flaws in human beings and exploit them."

To Kenny, the judge said: "You are being sentenced to freedom. You will no longer be her personal criminal as you have finally stepped up to the plate."

Movies aren't the only thing handsome Stone produces — he's also rumored to be the secret sperm donor for Jodie Foster's kids, though it has never been confirmed.

"Juicy part" is an understatement! It's the role of a lifetime! (Or at least the role of a Lifetime Network!) In the last made-for-tv movie, called "Like Mother, Like Son," it was scaaaaary Mary Tyler-Moore who played Sante; although that was a genius move, I still think there's room for improvement. Mary had the "frightening" part of the role down pat, but she is way too skinny to convincingly portray portly Sante. (And personally, I think they should have used Son of a Grifter: The Twisted Tale of Sante and Kenny Kimes, the Most Notorious Con Artists in America: A Memoir by the Other Son, by Kent Walker, Kenny's half-brother, as the basis for the movie; it was a Christmas present one year from Friends of Felt Up Tanya B. and Gil C., which is one of my treasured posessions. But I digress.)

Now, here's a description of Sante and Kenny from The Crime Library's exhaustive account of the Kimes' crime spree:
The woman making most of the noise had a voice that grated, like a long fingernail scraping slowly across a blackboard. The twenty-something young man with her was tall and muscular, nearly handsome with his wavy hair. There was something about his eyes though. He had a frightening stare when he looked towards you. Psycho eyes. And nobody but nobody would have guessed that the older woman was not only his mother, but also his lover and soul mate.

The woman giving orders had been pretty once. Some would say beautiful since she had been mistaken many times for Elizabeth Taylor when she was younger. But she had gotten soft and plump with age. Time had not been kind and her black hair, usually covered by a wig, was flecked with gray. She was not happy if someone learned her age was 65. older, overweight lady with a grating voice. I nominate Tyne Daly! I was going to say Liza, because I always say Liza whenever possible, but she's too sweet and wacky to be believable in such an evil role...I mean, when she's not beating up chauffeurs or her gay husband, or falling out of bed drunk, she's really rather nice. I think. Maybe.

But Tyne Daly? Even though it would be something of a stretch believing that she was ever mistaken for Liz Taylor, I could totally see her as a sociopathic convicted thief, insurance scammer, murderer, and slaver. (Yes, Sante spent time in prison for having a few Mexican slaves. Who hasn't?) Tyne scared the bejesus out of me in another made-for-tv movie called "The Perfect Mother," in which she played all-too-convincingly a pyschotic who terrorizes her daughter-in-law Ione Skye, so I know she can do it!

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usTyne! Image Hosted by ImageShack.usSante!

As for the creepy son with the "psycho eyes," I have a brilliant bit of stunt casting to offer: How about Tyne's brother, Tim Daly? Eh, eh? Don't rush to dismiss this genius idea just because it may make you want to run and take a scalding hot shower. Take your time! Think about the cringe factor! The grotesque sight of Tyne Daly holding hands with Tim while being interviewed about on "60 Minutes" (one of my all-time fave moments in tv history! I get chills just thinking about it!), the horror of seeing Tyne use her powers of motherly seduction to get Tim to do her evil bidding--oh, it would just make my whole life complete! This is television gold I'm giving away, people! Gold!

To see why I'm so obsessed with this story, check out the in-depth Crime Library summary, "Mother and Son Murder Team." It's pretty long, but is fascinating reading, and you can skip around to the good parts, like the murder of Irene Silverman for her luxury Manhattan residence--the crime that finally brought down this dynamic duo; Sante and her late grifter husband Ken Kimes, Sr., who took to calling himself “the honorary bicentennial ambassador of the United States,” crashing a Gerald Ford party while he was vice-president; and the whole Mexican slave saga.

Oh, and one more thing--you didn't think I had forgotten, did you? The producer who may have given Jodie Foster his baby batter for her turkey baster conception? I did a quick IMDB search for "Randy Stone"--and guess which movie he produced? Little Man Tate! It is just too delicious for words. The irony, I mean. Not the baby batter. Eeeeew!

Monday, March 28, 2005

For The Love of God, Please Get Yer Freak On

Huzzah! Missy Elliot and Eva "America's Next Top Model" Pigford may be an item!

Or maybe not. Mona "My Ever-Changing Wigs" Scott, who manages both Missy and Eva and was the host of Missy's highly-addictive reality show "The Road to Stardom," denies it, naturally. Damn you, Mona! Damn you straight to hell!

From the NY Daily News:
Missy Elliott's rep is firing back at rumors the rapper is more than just friends with beautiful "America's Next Top Model" winner Eva Pigford.

"[Syndicated radio host] Wendy Williams has basically linked all of my clients together," says Mona Scott, who manages both Elliott and Pigford. "She's a gossip-monger and does this stuff for ratings and so listeners will tune in."

Our spy sat near the rapper and the model at the Beacon Theater during a recent performance of "Madea Goes to Jail."

"Missy kept scolding her, and Eva kept apologizing for things," laughs the snitch. "Missy told her to get her feet off the chair, and Eva was like, 'I'm sorry, babe.' Missy also told her not to sign any more autographs and to just chill."

Says Scott, "I was there for all of these events, and it was basically me taking two clients out."

Oh, Mona. Mona, Mona, Mona. You can make as many statements as you want to the contrary, but Missy and Eva's love will not be denied! I won't let it! It's too wonderful! They could be our new black, lesbian Brad-n-Jen! We are a nation at war, we need something to give us hope, Mona, something to believe in. Something beautiful and pure, like a single, lime-green lollipop shared between two lovebirds.

Even better: A Mona-Eva-Missy love triangle!

OK, forget the patriotic crap. What about me? What about my needs?


Kimora Takes a Licking

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The lead story in today's Page Six column is a humdinger about "Look At Me, I'm" Kimora Lee Simmons, the incredibly obnoxious self-styled "diva" who is married to Def Jam Records' Russell Simmons and runs the Baby Phat clothing line in part by forcing her two young daughters to model with her in photos featuring beloinclothed Asian eunuchs, floating llama heads, and giant snakes. Apparently, she is a tad hard to work with:
Now that Jules Asner and Kimora Lee Simmons' "Life & Style" TV show has been canned, stories are being told of donut-licking, lamp-stealing and other typical diva behavior. And controversy-magnet Kimora is first up in the line of fire.

According to a show insider, Kimora's antics drove the cast and crew crazy and contributed to the show's early demise. PAGE SIX has compiled some of the juicier accusations:

* Kimora missed 35 episodes and gave wild excuses — like being in extended mourning for her dead cat.

* Kimora's husband, hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons, was a repeated on-set nuisance who nagged producers to give his wife a bigger role.

* Kimora called the other hosts — Jules Asner, Cynthia Garrett and Lynne Koplitz — "bitches and hos" and once berated a Teleprompter operator so badly that he quit on the spot.

* She stole props such as lamps and once made off with an entire rack of lamb from the lunch buffet table. Staff routinely had to be dispatched to the sticky-fingered star's dressing room in order to recover the pilfered booty.

* She forced producers to hire her and Russell's friends for costly no-show jobs, like a celebrity booker for $2,500 a week who never booked a single boldfaced name.

* The statuesque former model also threatened to beat up an eight-month pregnant assistant, prompting weary producers to send the woman home to avert trouble.

* But perhaps the lowest point came when she supposedly had donuts delivered to the set, then licked each and every one so nobody else could eat them.

The insider also sniped that although Simmons acted like a diva, she didn't even deliver ratings. "Sony hired her to bring in the urban audience, but many in the urban community are turned off by her claims of being 'black,' " our source said. Kimora, who runs the Baby Phat clothing line, is part black and part Asian. Our source concluded: "Basically, the only reason they didn't fire her is because producers thought the publicity would be bad." Sort of like the show.

Wow. No wonder the "urban" community is "put off by her claims of being 'black'"--who in their right mind would want to claim Kimora Lee as their own? If this was the "Racial Draft" from "The Dave Chapelle Show" she wouldn't be picked by the Asians or the African-Americans. Nobody would draft her crazy ass!

If I had been unfortunate enough to work on "Life and Style," I could have taken almost anything--being called a 'ho, having my life threatened while eight months pregnant by an egomaniacal six foot tall insane person with anger management issues, even watching a rack of lamb disappear into said biyotch's dressing room--but nobody licks all the donuts! That is simply beyond the pale. What kind of monster is she? When will her reign of terror finally come to an end? Sure, they put the kibosh on her tv show, but that will only spur her on to greater atrocities, to more outlandish heights of annoyingness. She won't go away quietly, I can promise you that. She will use her hideous claws to scratch out another gig in the limelight. Can't she be happy just being shamefully rich? Lord knows I could.

But I swear on my Star Magazine subscription: No matter how wealthy and famous I become, I will never, ever lick all the donuts so no one else can eat them. That's what assistants are for! Think of all the carbs! What an amateur.

Friday, March 25, 2005

Mondo Meltdown!

One of Felt Up's biggest obsessions is The Celebrity Meltdown, and we finally got one! Huzzah!

Today's meltdown comes courtesy of Page Six, who reports that Ms. Paula Abdul--who friend of Felt Up Ursula H. is convinced spent part of this week's "American Idol" dizrunk and ca-RA-zy--had a you-know-what recently while traveling to exotic climes:
AMERICAN Idol" judge Paula Abdul had a meltdown in Malaysia, lashing out at a friend when she found out she might go to jail on a hit-and-run charge back home.

Abdul flew to Kuala Lumpur last Friday for the Force of Nature Tsunami Aid benefit as the guest of the King and Queen of Malaysia. She joined the likes of Lauryn Hill, Wyclef Jean, Jackie Chan, Bai Ling, Joey Fatone and the Black Eyed Peas. Abdul introduced Hill at a gala concert.

The next day, however, Abdul was at her suite at the Kuala Lumpur Ritz-Carlton when she learned that Los Angeles authorities planned to file a criminal charge against her for a hit-and-run incident she was involved in last December, which carries a maximum penalty of up to six months in jail.

Abdul was scheduled to have tea with the king and queen at the Malaysian Royal Palace on Saturday but refused to leave her bed, our source reports. A girlfriend who accompanied her on the trip told her she had to pull herself together and attend, since the royals were footing the bill. But when Abdul and her pal returned to the hotel, the pop star flipped out.

Abdul scratched her friend's face and the fracas was seen by a Ritz-Carlton staffer who entered the room. Before long, word of the fisticuffs spread among the other celebs staying at the hotel.

We're told that Abdul finally cooled off, but the next day, she flipped out again during her flight back to California with the friend. She threw a bracelet at her pal and screamed that the friend "owed her money" for a hamburger she'd consumed at the hotel.

Jesus loves me, yes he does, and I know it because of this story! I think my favorite part of this delightful report is the "you owe me money for that hamburger, bitch!" fight on the plane. Oh, Paula. I knew you had the crazy all over you, but I had no idea how much crazy! Oh, and in answer to your musical question, posed lo those many years ago: "Am I caught in a hit and run?" I believe we can definitively answer YES.

Double huzzahs are in order for this A+ meltdown! I heart Paula!

There seems to be a legal theme running through the celeb non-news today: Tom "The Whizzinator" Sizemore may have to go to jail for his sundry drug problems/girlfriend-beating offenses. According to WENN:
Troubled actor Tom Sizemore has been sentenced to just under two years in jail for repeatedly failing drug tests while on probation.

The Black Hawk Down star, 43, failed seven drug tests, admitted methamphetamine use twice and failed to show up for further testing while on probation for a 2003 domestic violence conviction involving his ex-girlfriend, former Hollywood madam Heidi Fleiss, said prosecutor Sean Carney last month.

Yesterday, Sizemore sobbed, gestured and begged for another chance as he delivered a rambling speech before being sentenced by Superior Court Judge Antonio Barreto Jr. Sizemore pleaded with the judge for leniency, saying he had broken his parents' hearts and felt like a 12-year-old child.

He said, "(I am) engaged in a struggle right now to regain the better part of who I am... I never thought I had this disease. I assure, Your Honor, that I'm not acting now. I'm not acting, I'm begging, I'm beseeching you. I can't imagine my future without performing."

Later in the day, Sizemore was also sentenced to an additional inpatient drug treatment in a separate felony methamphetamine case. Despite the sentencing, Sizemore is allowed to remain free while he appeals a domestic violence conviction."

As much as I think it is outrageous that people have to go to jail for being drug addicts, a la Robert Downey, Jr., I am tickled pink that he "sobbed," "gestured," and "begged" in an incoherent, rambling plea to the court, because where I come from, we call that...a meltdown! Did I do something wonderful and selfless in a previous life or what? I must have been a goddamn saint! Triple huzzahs!

Somehow, Sizemore's posse was able to spin this to Page Six as a triumph of thespian artistry over a cruel, unfeeling legal system:
Trouble-plagued Tom Sizemore was sentenced to more than one year in jail yesterday for domestic abuse charges brought against him by ex-fiancée Heidi Fleiss.

But Sizemore's pals immediately called PAGE SIX to declare victory because the judge also ruled the actor would remain free pending appeals.

Entertainment lawyer Steven Machat, who is producing a movie, "Splinter," starring Sizemore and Edward James Olmos, tells PAGE SIX's Fernando Gil: "We're all ecstatic because this case is likely never going to trial again for a long time, and if and when it does, we'll win. Tom's a very gifted artist and we're elated that he can continue to work on other projects now, like his music career. He's in a band that sounds like an angry cross between The Doors and Nirvana."

The court ruling follows a recent bizarre appearance on Geraldo Rivera's Fox News Channel show where Sizemore flashed his gleaming choppers in an attempt to dispel rumors of crystal meth abuse, which has been known to damage tooth enamel.

My head is spinning: First of all, how in holy f*** did I miss this very special espisode of "Geraldo"? Secondly, he's in a band? Does this mean the masses of middle-aged fat ladies who have been cruelly abandoned by Russell Crowe's TOFOG may have a raison d'etre after all? Because Mr. Sizemore is kind of cut from the same beefy, slightly-too-manly, talented-but-nutty-nutball cloth as Mr. Crowe. Although the "angry cross between The Doors and Nirvana" might put the ladies off a bit. It certainly puts me off, a lot.

Oh, who cares? Two meltdowns in one day! WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Houston, We Have a Problem

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There's been a lot of music-related gossip this week, for some reason; and today is no different!

First up: Whitney Houston is back in rehab! Oh, what a shock! Say it ain't so! You mean she hasn't licked her addictions through "the power of prayer" like she said she would? No way!

The NY Daily News reports:
Troubled superstar Whitney Houston is again in rehab.

The singer, 41, has returned to the same treatment facility that she checked into a year ago, a source close to her family tells us.

However, Houston is likely to be receiving outpatient care, as she refuses to stay in a residential center. "She may have begun her rehabilitation as early as March 1," says the insider.

Whitney was absent from a birthday celebration for her 12-year-old daughter, Bobbi Christina, on March 4 in Norcross, Ga. It was reported at the time that Houston missed the party because of a concert commitment in Barcelona...

Houston entered rehab for the first time last March, when she checked into an Atlanta center for five days.

She was busted in January 2000 at a Hawaii airport when marijuana was found in her handbag. Charges were later dismissed, but in a 2002 interview with Diane Sawyer, the singer admitted to years of alcohol, marijuana and cocaine use. Whitney denied, however, that she had ever used crack cocaine, uttering the famous line: "I make too much [money] for me to ever smoke crack. ... Crack is wack."

The singer's rep told us, "Whitney Houston has reentered a facility for rehabilitation, and that is all we know."

I still find it amazing that someone I grew up viewing as a namby-pamby, squeaky-clean egomaniac has turned herself into a strung-out crack addict egomaniac. She is so much more interesting now! Good luck, Witney, for reals. But I can't help thinking that until you rid yourself of that albatross/merkin husband of yours, you will never be successfully rehabbed...or taken seriously as an artiste. Remember: The greatest love of all means never walking in anyone's shadow! If you fail, if you succeed, they can't take away your dignity!

In other tragic news, music fans everywhere will be devasted by the announcement that one of the greatest--and perhaps most influential--bands in the history of human existence has called it quits. Yes, brace yourself, all you lovers of finely-crafted, original, innovative musical genius, for Thirty Odd Foot of Grunts has disbanded or "evolved"...or something. From WENN:
Russell Crowe's rock band are reported to have split, after a message purportedly from the actor appeared on a number of fan websites.

The message informs devotees a new 30 Odd Foot Of Grunts (TOFOG) album will be released, but also that the band has "dissolved/evolved", as reported by gossip site The Scoop.

It reads: "What you possibly won't be pleased about, nor understand fully until you hear this record, is that TOFOG would seem to have dissolved/evolved. While that holds certain disappointments, they pale in comparison to the joy of writing unrestricted, of talking from my heart and mind simultaneously about things that are important to me now, right now, in this time of my life, not when I was younger or dare I say it less world weary/wary, but now, as a 41-year-old father/husband/lover/man."

He also encourages fans to snap up the LP - which will be released next month - giving it the following review, "This record is fresh, relavatory (sic) and graceful." And asks fans not to illegally download the record: "Please be cool about giving up your two bucks and not file sharing."

Oh, Russell. Or should I say "father/husband/lover/man." You know that LP costs more than two bucks! The overweight middle-aged ladies in Duluth, Minnesota (and Sheffield, England and Bonn, Germany and Osaka, Japan) are driving that sucker's value right throught the roof on eBay as we speak. And no, I'm not being sarcastic--I've seen those ladies with my own eyes, parked in reclining chairs outside of Stubb's in Austin for days on end when TOFOG played to teeming hordes of screaming, hysterical soccer moms. What will they do, Russell? What shall become of them? Which actor's band is going to take up the cause? Those ladies don't want Keanu--Dogstar is far too avant-garde for them. They certainly don't want Bruce Wilis--does anyone? And they really aren't the Bacon Brothers' type at all. What about their needs, Russell? What about the ladies? You can always fall back on acting and whatnot. But the ladies, Russell. The ladies. They've only got you and your terrible pub rock. And their memories...

All righty! Onto bigger and brighter things, such as the craptastic record sales of one Jennifer Lopez. It seems that poor J. Lo can't catch a break lately--the fans may finally have realized that she can't actually sing. According to WENN:
Jennifer Lopez's bid to revive her pop career has been dealt a major blow - her latest album is rapidly falling down the US album charts.

The sexy singer's movie resume has suffered in recent years under the strain of box office flops and scathing reviews, but the star was hoping her new disc Rebirth would bolster her profile.

However the album has failed to entice US music buyers into parting with their money - it's reportedly sold just 400,000 copies in three weeks on release.

A source tells British newspaper the Daily Record, "Jennifer is devastated by these numbers. It shows that her grip on the public's imagination is slipping and, let's face it, the album isn't that good. With the amount of flops she's had in her recent movies, she's pretty upset."

Oh, J. Lo. I'm positive those poor sales are due to big, bad, evil download pirates! Russell is scared to death of 'em, and you should be, too! Why, I'm sure teenage boys all over the internets are right this very minute downloading "Rebirth" for free!

Heh. You just know the tabloids are going to blame this poor performance on her husband, Marc Anthony, just like they managed to make poor, downtrodden Ben Affleck the reason for her movie flops. I, for one, certainly blame her esposo. I mean, her total lack of acting/singing ability never hurt her career before! In some ways, it may have helped. Young girls everywhere said to themselves, "Perhaps one day, I, too, will parlay a giant rump, pretty face, and unthreatening ethnic appeal into a multi-million dollar music, movie, and fashion empire." But what little kid wants to grow up and be a beponchoed hausfrau married to a tiny, controlling troll?

And finally, speaking of tiny, controlling trolls, here's one item that is blissfully music-free, albeit one that might shake Friend of Felt Up Terri R.'s belief system down to its core: The blow-jobbed penis in "The Brown Bunny" may have been a stunt double! AAAAAAAAAAAH! reports:
A penis double has sparked a new controversy for Vincent Gallo's "Brown Bunny" movie - claiming he hasn't been paid for letting Chloe Sevigny perform fellatio on him in the film.

Gallo has always maintained he starred in the pornographic scene using remote controlled cameras which he operated himself, but now actor Jacob Christner claims his genitals were used.

Christner insists he has broken a confidentiality agreement he signed with Gallo and the producers of the film because he feels his own contract was breached when he wasn't paid.

In a statement released on the internet, Christner says, "I'm very disappointed. I was assured by the producers that I was gonna ride Vincent Gallo's d**k all the way to Hollywood but it looks like I've gotten the shaft."

Dude, how sucky is it that you totally beat me to my punchline? That really blows! Sure, you're acting cocky now, but some day you'll get your comeuppance. What a dick.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

You Can Call Me Zimmy, Or You Can Call Me Beyonce

Here's a sentence to make your mind reel: Beyonce Knowles may be playing Bob Dylan in the upcoming Todd Haynes-directed Dylan biopic. Chew on that before we continue...Good. Now, hold onto your socks: Because THE ROLE COULD ALSO BE BROUGHT TO LIFE BY VENUS WILLIAMS OR OPRAH WINFREY. OK, now I need to lie down for a little while...

...I'm back, though a bit worse for wear. Most amazing of all, this startling news comes not from the usual dubious tabloid press, but a real, honest-to-god newspaper. An English newspaper, even! From The Times Online:
The enigmatic singer Bob Dylan has finally given permission to a Hollywood studio to make a film about his life. He will be portrayed by seven actors — one of them a black woman.

Todd Haynes, the Oscar-nominated director, confirmed last week that he is searching for a woman who can do justice to the short white Jewish singer’s “inner blackness”.

The seven will play Dylan during different eras in his 43-year career, starting in the 1960s when his song The Times They Are A-Changin’ became an anti-war anthem.

It is traditional in films spanning a lifetime for characters to be played by more than one actor, but rarer for them to change sex or race. Haynes is considering atresses ranging from the pop singer Beyoncé Knowles to the tennis champion Venus Williams and the television presenter Oprah Winfrey.

Haynes has built his reputation on being different: his first film, about the life of the anorexic singer Karen Carpenter, had a cast of Barbie dolls.

Wow. This is so high-concept that you might have to be an autistic child to comprehend it. But I do love Todd Haynes and his movies, especially the ones with homoerotic love scenes, so I have faith that it may all turn out just peachy. However, I must say that my vote is not for Beyonce or Venus. I believe that if anyone can express Bob's "inner blackness," it is Oprah, man. OPRAH!

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Free As a Bird!

Friend of Felt Up Robert A. sent out a link to this article in the Wall Street Journal about the annoying phenomenon of people yelling out "Freebird!" at concerts. Here's a wee snippet:
On a recent live album, Modest Mouse's Isaac Brock declares that "if this were the Make-a-Wish Foundation, and you were going to die in 20 minutes -- just long enough to play 'Freebird' -- we still wouldn't play it."

The article mentions that the guy from Soul Coughing is actively trying to get "It's Raining Men!" to replace "Freebird!" Good luck, dude! (Part of me thinks you should be glad anyone is yelling anything whatsoever, because I can't believe Soul Coughing still has concerts, but that's neither here nor there.) I have some other suggestions:

"I'm a Yankee Doodle Dandy!"

"Copa Cobana!"


"Warm Leatherette!"

"Free As A Bird!"

Here's an existential quandry: Do people go into Texas burrito chain Freebirds and shriek "Freebird!" while waiting in line? And if they so, do other customers beat them to death with the ginormous burritos?

Stuck Inside of Hollywood With the Pervy Show-Biz Reporter Blues Again

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First up, special huzzahs and kudos are in order for man-about-town Greg Beets, who managed to scoop the NY Post by a whole day--aka an eternity in news time--with his story on Beetsolonely that Jerry Hall is dating Sharon Stone's ex, Phil Bronstein! Yeah, that's right, that's how we do it down here in Texas, you fancy big-city slow-pokes! Well-played, Greg, well-played. You do us proud!

From the Bill O'Reilly School of Yucky Sex Tapes we have this gag-o-rific story about Pat O'Brien, munchkin-voiced host of Hollywood tv show "The Insider," who recently entered a rehab facility. Ole Pat may have more problems than mere drugs and alcohol--as if being the subject of a terrible Jimmy Fallon impersonation on "Saturday Night Live" wasn't bad enough, now everyone on the internets thinks he's a big perv. From the New York Daily News:
What's the inside story on "Insider" host Pat O'Brien's decision to enter rehab Sunday?

Hollywood sources suggest the timing was to defuse the release of several sexually explicit voice-mail messages, available on the Internet yesterday, soliciting sex froman unidentified woman.

"Let's just [bleeping] have sex and fun and drugs and go crazy," says a male voice.

Yesterday reps for "The Insider" would not comment on widespread attribution of the voice to O'Brien.

The tape describes in graphic detail just how "badly" the caller wants various activities that involve, gosh, all parts of the woman's body.

"I'm so into you, Betsy is so f——ing jealous," the voice claims in one message. "I know you want me, but you have to be with Betsy, too."

"The Insider" host has one child with his wife, Linda.

Sadly, by the final message, Betsy seems to have pulled out of the threesome.

Says the caller: "Get another woman up, hire a hooker, let's get crazy, get some coke and if you get this message, if you agree with this, just look at me and say yes."

OK, all together now, folks, and follow the bouncing ball: EEEEEEEEEEEEEEW! I think I speak for a nation when I add a deeply hearfelt GROOOOOSSSSSSSS! What is it with these Irish-monikered D-list tv personalities and their insatiable sexual appetities? Pat, I'm begging you: If you don't get help at Charter, please get help somewhere.
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In other non-news, has a courageous story outlining the very special career of Beatle Bob. Those of us who live in Austin and attend musical events from time to time have been seeing Beatle Bob around for years; I, for one, am prone to squealing like a teenage girl with a bad case of Beatlemania whenever I am lucky enough for a BB sighting (although I could have perhaps done without his grabbing the microphone from soul legend Solomon Burke's hand at the ACL Festival last year). Since not very many people seem to have premium memberships with Salon, here's the story:
Many odd characters turn up at South by Southwest year after year, none more ubiquitous or scene-stealing than Beatle Bob, a natty middle-aged man with a George Harrison bowl cut, an arsenal of fly retro dance moves, and a penchant for busting them out with arm-flailing abandon directly in front of the stage at shows throughout the festival.

"My signature move is to get your hands to look like you're throwing dice and then kick your leg back like a bowling move," Bob says.

What he's not mentioning is the rather extraordinary way he manages to avoid landing any of his moves on the beat. If you can tell what tempo a song is by watching Bob dance to it, you're a better man than I.

Bob is adored by some (including Guided by Voices, who featured him in their video for "My Kind of Soldier") and despised by others--the aforementioned leg-kick bowling move isn't quite as funny when it lands on your shin.

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Over the years a legend has developed that Beatle Bob's presence at a show is an auspicious sign for the band: If Beatle Bob shows up to dance at your gig, you're on your way. So I was especially pleased to see him spazzing out enthusiastically at an afternoon set by Audiofile favorites the Frames. With Beatle Bob on their side, huge success in the U.S. is surely close at hand for the band.

I wish the author had asked the questions that are always utmost in my mind every time I have encountered BB: What does he do for a living with that hair? Is it a wig? How does he pay for these frequent trips to Austin? And most of all, how does he always manage to get onstage? If anyone knows the answers, please let me know!

Sunday, March 20, 2005

South By Southwestie, I Hardly Knew Ye

Oooh, my dogs are barking! SXSW does this to me every time. I'm in dire need of one of those hot water foot massager things like Linda Lavin used to use during the opening credits of "Alice," because I am 100 years old!

Saturday night ended up being the most fun I've had during this year's SXSW. I was just along for the ride on Tanya B.'s rock-n-roll odyssey; sometimes that's the best way to go, just wherever the wind and your pal decide to take you. We started off at some brand-spankin'-new club on San Jacinto called Lattitudes or something equally laff-inducing, to see Scottish guitar-drum duo Sluts of Trust. They were very good--kind of like the White Stripes if they had a talented drummer, and the singer had a wonderfully versatile voice with lots of falsettoes and growls and whatnot--but for us the show was marred by a) horrible sound problems (the mic kept going in and out), b) intense heat and smoke, c) the constant distraction of checking out the parade of fashion-forward lads and lasses (so many pants-tucked-into-boots looks! so many pairs of colored tights! so many pinstriped suit jackets!) and d) the juxtaposition of said hipsters with the cheesy boob-enhanced bar staff (one of whom had the odd habit of covering up her exposed cleavage while leaning in to take drink orders--why pay for the implants, wear a teeny tiny tank top, and then block a dude's view of the merchandise? it just didn't make sense!--while another asked me what I meant by the word "Jameson's"). The band was definitely worth checking out, but I was glad to get outta that place. To paraphrase Woody Allen, I was about to be rushed to the hospital with a case of bad vibes!

Finished up the night at the Jackalope, where we saw Frenchie innovative and influential electro/punky punks Metal Urbaine and another performance of The Original Dirty Rapper (sans Frodo), Blowfly, mainly because Tanya B. wanted to see Denver's own Munly and the Lee Lewis Harlots, whom she had seen earlier at a day show.

Having been told only that the band was good and contained a cello, I didn't know quite what to expect, but it turned out to be the highlight of the festival for me. It's one of the best and rarest things about SXSW: The discovery of a new favorite band. Munly sounds a little like a cross between Nick Cave (when he was great) with a dash of old-timey country and possibly a smidgeon of The Pogues thrown in--although their sound is really hard to pin down, which is always a good thing, in my book. Great songs, beautiful musicianship (especially the drummer and string section), intensely dark and evocative lyrics--the band was a real pleasure to behold, all the way around. I'm not usually that into la musique dramatique, but suffice it to say that I bought the cd and am very much looking forward to their next Austin appearance...that is, if leader/songwriter/singer/guitar-player Jay Munly can make it back. He seemed quite ill, with dark purple eye circles, a pallid complexion, and the overall look of a death's head. A seriously talented death's head, but a death's head all the same. It was kind of hard to watch, yet riveting at the same time...Here's hoping he takes care of whatever is ailing him and makes it back down here in better health!

Speaking of The Pogues, ill health, and death's heads, here's another installment in The Doomed Love Affair of Pete Doherty and Kate Moss, courtesy of Page Six:
Druggie musician Pete Doherty celebrated St. Patrick's Day performing at a London bar where he was joined on stage by Pogues frontman Shane McGowan. The two Guinness-swilling hellraisers sang incoherently together for 10 minutes, according to a witness, before McGowan stumbled offstage. Doherty's girlfriend, model Kate Moss, meanwhile, was seen fighting with bouncers who tried to shield her from photographers, yelling, "Let go!" and "Stop dragging me!"

Wow. Pete Doherty, Shane McGowan, a speedball, great quantities of Guinness...and thou: A real recipe for romance! Actually, though, I can't believe that particular dynamic duo lasted ten whole minutes onstage. I'm impressed at their staying power. Kudos, sirs! Well-played!

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Hobbits Dig The Original Dirty Rapper

Quick South by Southwest summary: Saw Mike Peters (I think that's his name!), the lead singer of The Alarm--not on purpose, but because we wanted to get in the club for the next band, Scottish punky punks The Rezillos, who were really great. The female lead singer dressed all new wavey, with a black and silver vinyl minidress and big blue triangle-shaped earrings! Huzzah! They sounded good too. Played all the hits right up front!

Then it was off to see The New York Dolls, or what's left of 'em. Packed outdoors show at Stubb's; it was fun to see David Johannsen in full Doll mode: Long hair with bangs, tiny half-shirt, belly chain, and some kind of spandex-shorts-with-mini-skirt combo. It was like he took a trip on a time machine back to 1972! Yay! I love, love, love that all these older rockers know to give the people what they want.

Finally we went to Emo's to see The Original Dirty Rapper, Blowfly. There was some amusing conversation amongst the Friends of Felt Up as to the possibility that an angular-sounding pop-punk band of young Scotsmen had taken the name as an ironic homage, but it was the real, honest-to-god "Shitting on the Dock of the Bay" singer himself! At one point, he got a very nice woman up on the stage while he serenaded her with "You're Too Fat To F***." He was dressed in a sparkly purple-and-silver caped and hooded spaceman outfit. A trifecta of stage apparel in one night!

Most exciting of all, however, was our sighting of a hobbit at the Blowfly show. And not just some lowly, second-tier hobbit, oh no. The Hobbit himself, Frodo! Yes, Elijah Wood was at the bar, rockin' his tiny physique to the Blowfly dirty jams, trying not to attract too much attention (and failing.) Frodo Lives!

Friday, March 18, 2005

SXSW Edition!

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Here are a few tiny tidbits to tide you over, and they all relate to the South By Southwest music/film/multimedia festival, AKA our hometown cash-cow!

Celebrity Sightings: I think I saw Dee Snyder at Emo's! At least, that's my story and I'm sticking to it!

No doubts whatsoever about the next celeb encounter: The entire cast of "Aqua Teen Hunger Force" was wandering about Sixth and Red River! Alas, no camera or I woulda had my picture taken with Meatwad!

At SXSW a few years ago Nikki Sixx of Motley Crue walked right by me on the sidewalk!

A little (although really rather tall, floppy-haired, and bespectacled) bird told me that the Guided By Voices hoot night at Emo's was pretty damn crowded, mainly with dudes, naturally, although a real live girl was spotted here and there. As one would expect, my source described the scene as "a giant GBV masturbation-fest." And what is wrong with that, I ask? Apparently, lead singer Bob Pollard was enjoying his "living legend" status by getting rather tipsy as he worked his way around the venue, everyone buying him drinks. Not a bad way to make a living, I say!

The Austin "Real World" cast and crew has been seen around town, making their documentary about a band called Enon (we think). Apparently the documentary is their forced group project this season; if the "Real World" is known for anything, it's for turning out Academy Award-caliber documentary film-makers, so keep your eyes out for the cast's final product!

In honor of my pals who spent most of last night at La Zona Rosa gettin' their indie rock on, here's some news about one of the bands that played the show, The Kaiser Chiefs, courtesy of I like to call it "If Scissor-Kicks Are Wrong, I Don't Wanna Be Right":

Kaiser Chiefs singer Ricky Wilson is suffering from agonising ripped tendons in his foot after a spectacular 'scissor-kick' took a dangerous turn.

The "I Predict a Riot" star, famed for his extravagant stage stunts, leapt from the drum kit during the Seattle, America, performance, landing badly on his ankle. But the brave 26-year-old continued with the set, despite being racked with pain.

A witness recalls, "Ricky came down badly on his ankle after his first jump during the second set and was in a lot of pain, but he carried on, hopping on one foot.

"He then grabbed some duct tape and wrapped it around his foot mid-song. You could see he was in agony, but he and the lads still put on a cracking show, even though he admitted he was in so much pain he forgot some of the words."

Wilson's foot is now in a cast and he is walking with the aid of a stick, but despite fears that aggravation of the injury could leave the star with permanent damage, he is desperate to continue with the US tour.

A friend has voiced concerns, "He knows the risks of carrying on, but he does not want to disappoint the fans."

I like that the location of the incident was "Seattle, America." Those limey music reporters are so snide! Or maybe their geography skills are just finally sinking to our level.

In a related story, I heard the Kaiser Chiefs show was "just ok." Heh.

To see footage of Luke and Owen Wilson being somewhat dickish (or at least unable to answer questions properly because they can't wait to get to the strip club and drown their sorrows in booze and coochie--you can almost see the bimbo bazooms dancing like sugarplums in their eyes) while their way more adorable, cuter, taller brother Andrew is his charming, unjaded-by-Hollywood self at the SXSW Film Festival premiere of "The Wendell Baker Story," go here.

Also look for Harry Dean Stanton lurking around--God, I love Harry Dean! He hasn't aged too much the last few years; it's like he was born looking 65 and he never got any older! Apparently he and Felt Up fave rave Seymour Cassel had a fine old time together on the set of this movie, according to my moles in the production team. Huzah!

More SXSW reports-as-filtered-through drunken memories as they become available!

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Not Safe For Lunch

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Hold onto your literal and figurative cookies: Star is reporting that Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher are expecting a lovechild!

Here's how it went down, as it were:
When friends of Ashton Kutcher gathered recently for a night out at the new Hollywood hot spot he owns, the Geisha restaurant, they were astounded when the 27-year-old star dropped a bombshell: Demi Moore, 42, his beautiful girlfriend of almost two years, is pregnant!

"Halfway through the meal, he told us there was a baby on the way," says a stunned source.

In fact, Star has learned that Demi is eight-weeks pregnant, with a due date some time in October.

Star went on to report that the Geisha diners promptly barfed up their sushi:
"Thanks for ruining a perfectly good free meal, Ashton," groused one patron, wiping a chunk of wasabi off her skirt.

"Are we getting 'Punk'd,' or what?" asked another, trying to control his uncontrollable shaking with saki. "You might give a guy a little notice before springing something so repulsive on him at dinner. Jesus!"

Moore was last seen in a rubber fat suit, running 35 miles down Pacific Coast Highway with a baby stroller stuffed with a large sandbag, in preparation for her post-partum workout regimine.

Ah, what lengths celebs will go to in order to keep their place in the spotlight--oh, sorry! I mean, to express their undying love. No, that's not right, either. Uh, hmmm....Why do people have kids, again? Right, right: To celebrate their status as an "It Couple" by bringing a new life into this wonderful world to be raised by maids and nannies and hounded by paparazzi the rest of their days! That's it!

It makes me quite tearful to think about it, the miracle of life and whatnot.

Full Star Magazine rehash coming soon! But South By Southwest is on its way, and postings may become erratic. I'm sorry. Don't judge me! You're not my father!

Saturday, March 12, 2005

The Odd Couple

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There's a really funny and interesting interview on The Advocate's webpage with America's Sweetheart, Jay McCarroll, the winner of "Project Runway."

He talks about what it was like to win, how much he hated Wendy Pepper, and Kara Saun being mad about the final show. But my favorite quote was about Robert "House of" Plotkin:
He's very nice. I just talked to him today. I heard that Playgirl wants to do a photo shoot with him. I'd totally buy it. He's dumb as a bag of rocks, but who cares, because he's very, very, very genuine and sweet and down to earth and he's a great guy.

Oh, Jay! How I've missed you so! Come back, Jay! Come back! My tv-viewing life is empty and meaningless without you!

While you're sniffin' around The Advocate, you should also take a looksee at the man Terri R. thinks should play "Felix Unger" to Jay's "Oscar Madison" on "The Gay Odd Couple Reality Show of Our Dreams," Austin Scarlett. His interview from last month contains this delightful exchange:
Q: The Bravo Web site says that you have the smallest waist in three counties. How small is it exactly?

A:I don’t know the exact measurement, but it’s small enough that a stranger could put his hands around it. Hopefully.

Austin also mentions that he'd like to see clothing designs for men on the next season--if there is one--and that he'd like to be a judge!

I think I'm having "Project Runway" withdrawal symptoms: I've got the shakes, I keep seeing brightly-colored bats with Heidi Klum's face, and my skin crawls with tiny Wendy parasites! Most of all I'm, very, very cold....

Nice Day for A China White Wedding

All of you who have been depressed about the recent spate of Hollywood break-ups--first Brad-n-Jen, then Denise Richards-n-Charlie Sheen and Katie Holmes-n-Chris Klein--should take comfort in the news that there's a new golden couple ready to take up the mantle. Yes, this match-made-in-heaven is sure to set the world alight with their charm and grace. Who am I talking about? Why, Kate Moss and Pete Doherty, of course! Page Six is reporting that Kate and Pete have decided to join in holy, sacred matrimony:
It looks as if Kate Moss has gotten engaged to druggie rocker Pete Doherty.

The supermodel has been spotted wearing an engagement ring amid reports that their romance is hotter than ever.

"Things between them have got intense again," a source told the London Sun.

Moss reportedly dumped Doherty the night before Valentine's Day, after he revealed details about their relationship to the papers.

The News of the World reports the pair recently had a lovers' spat in a pub, however.

Doherty, who recently went through drug rehab, is due in court next month on robbery and blackmail charges.

Ahh, young love. It is always thrilling to see two fresh-faced lovebirds cap a whirlwind romance with a civil and/or religious ceremony before their friends, family, and drug dealers, isn't it?

Now, some of members of Kate's ultra-exclusive "inner-circle," such as her babydaddy (not to be confused with Pete's band Babyshambles!) Jefferson Hack and nutty nutball BFF Sadie "Former Mrs. Jude Law" Frost, have expressed some concern.

Hack, especially, seems to think l'affair Doherty/Moss is just the teensiest bit, oh, I don't know, silly. The London Mirror reports that:

"Kate's former partner Jefferson was said to have told Kate: 'You're insane.' Jefferson, 32, who split with Kate last year, reportedly warned he will fight for sole custody of their daughter if Doherty goes near the child."

But Kate is standing by her man, and why not? As the Mirror notes, Kate "has boasted to pals she's fallen headed-over-heels for Doherty who she describes as 'really good looking ... and really dangerous.'"

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How right she is! He's so dreamy!

Somehow, I'm fairly certain that this is not the last we will be hearing about this beautiful moment in the history of romance and l-u-v. Stay tuned!

Friday, March 11, 2005

We Are All Pottery Barn Lesbians Under the Skin

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There are more developments in the ongoing Boy George/Rosie O'Donnell/Madonna war of words! Yippee!

This all started when Mr. O'Dowd released his new book, Straight. In it, he criticizes every famous person who ever lived, bless his little heart! He said Madonna's Kabbalah fixation makes a mockery of the gay love she's received during her long, long, long career, and that Rosie O'Donnell isn't gay enough. Page Six reports:

Madonna is firing back at Boy George after the '80s pop star blasted her for cynically bilking her gay fans.

George says Madonna's devotion to Kabbalah is the ultimate act of hypocrisy. "It's ironic that she's joined an organization that says homosexuality is a disease that can be cured and no one picks her up on it," George told the London Times. "After making all those millions of dollars out of gay people, pretending to kiss girls, pretending to be a lesbian! I think she's cynical."

But Madonna's rep, Liz Rosenberg, says George is the one being cynical. "There's not enough room on PAGE SIX to respond to Boy George's ridiculous accusations," she told our Jared Paul Stern, "much less list Madonna's long-standing passion, love, commitment and devotion to the gay community which has not changed for 20 years."

Rosenberg insists Kabbalah does "not discriminate against homosexuals, nor do they work toward changing anyone's sexual preference. I wish Boy George would go back to writing songs . . . Does he ever have anything nice to say about anyone?"

Actually, no. George also attacks his former friend Rosie O'Donnell in the interview, a promotion for his memoir "Straight," just released in England. He blasts O'Donnell for ruining "Taboo," the much-maligned 2003 Broadway musical in which he starred and which she produced. George says Rosie was too domineering and neutered the show because she's not gay enough.

"She's a Pottery Barn lesbian," George sniffed to the London Times.

"Rosie put up her own money [$10 million] to bring his show to Broadway," O'Donnell's rep, Cindi Berger, retorted. "It sounds terribly ungrateful, if you ask me."

O'Donnell herself responded to the barb in her Formerly Rosie Blog, which she describes as "the unedited rantings of a fat 42-year-old menopausal ex-talk show host."

"I am cast as a villain, a Pottery Barn lesbian, not quite gay enough," O'Donnell writes. "My knighted gay brother called to tell me, we laughed. Georgie boy . . . unreachable. Fame is fun again."

O'Donnell is referring to Sir Elton John, who is also trashed in George's book. In the interview, George berates John for singing a duet with Eminem — whom some accuse of homophobia — at the 2002 MTV Awards, noting, "It's like me singing with Pol Pot."

I'm sorry. I know Boy George is a has-been and whingey whiner with sour grapes and a boulder-sized chip on his chubby shoulder, but I can't help but love anyone who says mean, nasty things about Madonna and compares Eminem to Pol Pot! It is in terribly poor taste to bite the Rosie that feeds you, though; which makes it all the more delightful that he does. "Pottery Barn Lesbian"--do I hear a new t-shirt design in the making? And really, aren't we all Pottery Barn Lesbians, deep down? Although maybe I'm more of a Restoration Hardware Lesbian.

By the way, if you're wondering why Rosie's quote makes her sound deranged, it's because a) she is, and b) Page Six fails to mention that her blog is entirely in haiku-ish stream-of-consciousness verse. Yes, her blog is in poetry form. You heard me right--I said POETRY! I can't decide if that's really awesome or horribly pretentious; perhaps a litte of both? Check it out for yourself, if you can. I heard so many thousands of people were trying to leave comments that it crashed her server...I feel your pain, Rosie. I sometimes get one or two comments a week here at Felt Up. It ain't easy bein' Miss Popularity, is it? We should start a club or something.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Brandy, You're A Whine Girl

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It's "America's Next Top Model" rehash time! Lord, this episode was infuriating. Let's begin, shall we?

The beginning was fairly fun, with craaaazy Janice Dickinson, Nole, and Nigel dressed like cops on a Hollywood backlot that looks like New York--which is the assbackwards way they have of informing us and the contestants that the show will be based in L.A. this time instead of New York.

The contestants are immediately transformed into 1980s-style space aliens to have their first pictures taken by Nigel. It was kind of nice having the judges more actively involved in the modeling challenges; however, I was a tad too distracted by Janice's face to pay much attention. She's had some more work done, naturellment, and now she looks a tiny bit less freaky. I suppose she gets her face tweaked for upkeep every now and then--like a normal person would tune their car or have their pet groomed--and I have to admit it looked good. Well, "good" may be too strong a word, but at least "better." She still acts freaky, though, thank God; at one point she noted to no-neck Minnesotan man Michelle that she went to rehab in Minnesota in the '80s. Yay, Janice!

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Everyone was pretty good in their photos, except beautiful blonde Brita, who was self-conscious about her thighs (Nole said she was "thick"). Then they showed the waiting area and horrible, awful Brandy--oh, how I was misled by your sassy pre-show UPN photos, Brandy! Beneath that sewn-in red Afro is the brain of a spoiled, demented child!--who kept complaining that the shoot was "taking too long," that she was getting sleepy, and on and on--she just kept bitch bitch bitching and moan moan moaning. What do you think models do, Brandy? They spend their lives not eating, sleeping with old men, and waiting! When it was her turn--and many girls had to go way after her, well into the night--she had the gall to complain to Nigel, who was visibly repulsed by her behavior.

Then the girls were herded up and taken to the "fashion district" of L.A.--which is an area of warehouses near downtown that is a no-man's land at night. The contestants get really scared--despite the presence of a camera crew--when a gang of "toughs" show up out of nowhere. Well, they did come from somewhere, gals--it's called Central Casting. Dressed in denim vests, chains, and leather, they looked like they wandered in from the "Weird Science" party scene and were about as frightening as the "gangs" from the "Thriller" video. It turns out they are scary, street-tough fashion designers--oooh, aaahh--and the space behind their warehouse has been converted into a "Real World" style living space/shrine to Tyra Banks. The girls squeal and run amok. It looks to be a much larger space than the previous season's contenstants lived in; sadly, there is a workout area complete with treadmills in the middle of the living room.

Next it's the Felt Up Nightmare Come To Life: A weigh-in on national television. I didn't see the first two seasons of this show (shame on me! shame!), but I don't remember any scales being employed on season three. Most of the girls weigh in the 114-128 range (and they are all 5'8" and up), but poor, gorgeous Brita is 138 pounds--shock and horror! The entire ANTM viewing party agreed that she is by far the most beautiful contestant, so it was sad to see her so freaked out. The viewing party thought the reason she weighed more than the others had more to do with her being muscular and fit rather than fat. Poor, shocked Miss J., who administered the weigh-in, looked like he might faint when he read the number out loud.

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Fatty McPudge. Look at those arms! How dare she want to model?

Oh, and f-ing Brandy woke up complaining about the state of her hair-do; apparently, Miss Thing thought series regular Danilo yanked her hairs too hard during the previous day's photo shoot. Her roommate, Keenyah, the pretty Compton native, tells the camera that she doesn't like to complain and that they could do anything to her and it would be fine, a statement which will bite her on the ass later in the show.

Then it was Makeover Time! Hurrah! The girls are brought to a fancy salon and told what will happen to each of them; Brandy is the only one deemed "fierce" enough to keep her current look. Now, most of the time, the contestants are anxious and worried about getting a drastically different look (which is a pet peeve of mine--hello! You want to be a model? They could shave your head, paste pubic hairs to your scalp, and paint neon stripes on your eyeballs and you have to say "thank you sir, may I have another?"--that's what modeling is all about! That and not eating, sleeping with old men, and waiting, of course); but oh, no, not Brandy. She is pissed that they aren't going to give her a new look and basically demands a makeover. I predicted right then and there that no matter what they did to her, she would hate it.

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F-ing Brandy. Ugh!

Well, call me Nostradamus, because Brandy loathed and despised everything they did to her. She didn't like her short haircut because it made her look like a boy; she didn't like her eyebrows because she is a complaining, annoying beyotch. For some strange reason, Keenyah has a freak out about her proposed new haircut before they actually do anything to her. Jay, who I can't stand but sort of sympathized with here, was at his wit's end with these prima donnas. Nobody out-divas Her Majesty Jay Manuel! Nobody!

Eventually Keenyah calmed down and they did the haircut and makeup job on her and...not only did she love it, but immediately regretted making a big stink about it. Uh, yah. Hello, you're in a competition, here, Keenyah! Brandy had no such qualms and kept squawking loudly about her damn hair and eyebrows. Surprisingly enough, everyone else was pretty excited about their makeovers, especially Tiffany, the contestant who was brought back from last season, who looks way better with a long, straight weave than with a tight, curly one.

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Tiffany, hangin' in there with new hair and lookin' good!

Michelle the Man, who had to suck it up for a painful bleaching process, was pleased with the results of her dye job and new makeup. (Tanya B., who has had her share of faux-blonde hairdos, scoffed at this so-called endurance of discomfort. "I've had scabs on my scalp, that's all I'm sayin'," said she.) Michelle looked one thousand percent better; still a man, yes, but a pretty man.

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Michelle: Dude looks like a lady!

Tyra shows up and announces that two of the girls "really pissed" her off, and we all know which two it was. Keenyah is wishing she'd kept her big trap shut; Brandy looks smug and hateful.

They take a series of topless photos to show off the girls' new looks, but then never show them again, not even during the judging. Odd.

Next it's time to critique the alien-on-the-backlot photos and evaluate the makeovers. Here, read the UPN website's summation, because frankly, I'm beginning to feel a little like I've been on the "America's Next Top Model" version of the Bataan Death March:
When the deliberations begin, Brittany, Tiffany, Naima and especially Sarah get high marks. Janice, who nicknames Lluvy "SUV," thinks she is "so cute" in person, but her beauty didn't translate to the photo. Tyra is still irritated with Keenyah's reaction to the makeover. Janice loves Christina, but Nigel wonders whether she has enough sex appeal. Though Brandy can take a good photo, "no one wants her around." They like Kahlen's photo, and Tyra says Rebecca "moves like the girls that are working in magazines already." Nigel isn't sure about Tatiana's face, and Janice comments that Noelle changed her new hairstyle back to her old curly one for judging. Michelle has potential, and though she has a tough look, Nolé would like to see her continue.

Everyone thinks that Keenyah and Brandy will be the final two, because they had such sucky attitudes (although in my view Keenyah had a momentary lapse of sanity, while every fiber of Brandy's being is demanding, irritating, and childish); however, never underestimate the power of slightly "thick" thighs to disgust a panel of modeling judges, for it is Brandy and Brita in the end.

Although Brita is a raving beauty and Brandy is a raging bitch, it is Brita who gets the axe. They are not even going to pay lip service to the idea of a slightly-larger-than-anorexic model this season; there are no plus-size contestants and the first one eliminated was 138 pounds of solid muscle. And was absolutely stunning. And was not Brandy. This really doesn't bode well for the rest of the show. Boo, hiss!

Oh, yeah. Brandy cried when she got to stay. Bleh!

I miss "Project Runway"...sniffle, sniffle.

Die Hard--And With A Smile On Your Face

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Here's a grotesque little morsel to tide you over until I do the "America's Next Top Model" rehash. From Page Six:
Action hero Bruce Willis got some action of a different kind after the screening of his new blood-and-guts flick, "Hostage."

At an after-after-party at the Peninsula Hotel early yesterday, Willis, who turns 50 this month, and teen queen Lindsay Lohan, 18, enjoyed a mutual gropefest.

"At one point, Bruce had Lindsay's pants down far enough to reveal a tattoo that said 'La Bella Vista' (The Beautiful View) on her right cheek," says our spywitness.

Eventually, Willis and a few friends, including Lohan, took the party upstairs to his suite.

OK, everyone, you know how it goes, all together now: EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEW!

I feel really, really dirty just for sharing this. Is there a sanitizing wipe for my soul? And if there is, can I send a family pack to Bruce Willis?

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

International Superstars!

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First up, a slightly repulsive little tidbit from Jeannette Walls of MSNBC:
Jennifer Lopez has a new favorite painting — a nude of her.

The singer’s hubby, Marc Anthony, has done an oil painting of J.Lo, reports In Touch Weekly.

“J. Lo was so flattered by the beautiful portrait Marc painted of her that she hung it in her dressing room at home,” notes the mag, which quotes a source as saying, “It depicts Jennifer from her backside. . . . It’s very artistic and tasteful.”

Ahh, yes. She was so flattered that she hung it in her bathroom. Her troll husband must feel so special! I don't know where I would hang a nude oil painting of my ass; perhaps in a darkroom? A home for the blind? A Weight Watchers meeting hall--as a cautionary tale? Hard to say.

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What's not hard to say is that Greg Beets has a great post today about local A-town tv ads, specifically Chapman Motors. Run over to Beetsolonely and check out his link to Kimarie Lynn Chapman's website. As a longtime local ad afficianado, I say kudos, Greg, kudos! Well-played, sir! Chapman Motor Company's jingle--sung by Kimarie Lynn and her precocious Chapman cousins--is hard to shake off, like a bad cold or a nasty venereal disease, which is the mark of a truly great and horrible ad. Much like Pol Pot, Adolf Hitler, or Cher, these country-flavored lil' ladies will not be ignored! I'm so hooked, in fact, that I may have to purchase Kimarie Lynn's cd!

On a related note, my mom and I once nearly had identical simultaneous heart attacks when we saw Curtis "Creepy Chiropractor" Hall and his wife Theresa "Leather Furniture Gallery" Mink shopping together at Sam's Club, right in front of us, like normal people! With us hoi polloi! Not very many people know or care that Hall Chiropractic and Theresa Mink's Leather Furniture Gallery are married, but as far as my mother and I are concerned, they are local tv ad royalty! We felt like we'd seen Liz and Burt buying in bulk!

By the way, I love that it's called "Theresa Mink's Leather Furniture Gallery." I think everyone should put their personal identity in their business name. "Ray Kroc's McDonald's," "Sam Walton's Wal-Mart," "Casino El Camino's Casino El Camino," "Susie and Jenn--"...ah, no. Nevermind!

Could "Theresa Mink" possibly be her real name? Is anyone's last name actually "Mink"? More to the point, why isn't my last name Mink, huh, God? Why? It sounds like a stripper or porn star name, in a really good way. Hotcha!