No special treatment for 'Jersey Shore' star
Seems the Sitch entered the Fashion Show Mall location on the Las Vegas Strip to snag a spanking new iPhone 4S. According to reports, he sauntered up to the Genius Bar, past dozens of patient patrons, to demand one. (That was his first mistake; Genius Bars aren't for him.)
Buh-bye, said the employee.
The news was broken by Twitter user Laurenn McCubbin, who tweeted: "One of my former Apple compatriots just kicked The Situation out of an Apple store for trying to cut in line for a 4S. HE IS MY HERO."
Lines were long everywhere, with Cupertino reporting sales of 4 million for the weekend. Even so, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak himself reportedly waited in line like everyone else.
Somewhere, Steve Jobs has got to be smiling.
Errors abound, but one team continues to dominate
By Diane Vadino
Special to MSN TV
Last week: For no discernible reason, showgirls Kaylani and Lisa were eliminated in Yogyakarta
After learning that Indonesia has more active volcanoes than any other country on Earth, we're faced with the prospect of leaving it: Beginning with pack leaders Andy and Tommy, teams will be traveling to Phuket, Thailand. They set off at 8:17 a.m., followed almost immediately by Zac and Laurence. At the airport (which appears to be right around the corner from the temple Pitstop), both teams take 9:40 a.m. flights to Jakarta -- where they plan to figure out getting to Thailand.
As this first flight takes off, the rest of the teams set forth from the Pitstop. First up, Sandy and Jeremy, the dating divorcés: "I think what the race has done is bring out a couple things we still need to work on," Jeremy says. File under: things I do not want my boyfriend saying on national television. The teams chatter as they follow -- for example, here's Cindy: "Ernie and I are pretty excited because we just were in Phuket, Thailand." Of course they were! Right between the rope-climbing courses and language study. This group of teams actually pull off a super-coup: Though their flights leave later, they'll actually make it to Phuket 50 minutes before (previous) leaders Andy, Tommy, Laurence, and Zac because they’ve managed to book through to their destination. Yay, AirAsia! It's the JetBlue of Asia, and it is awesome. This is all completely unknown to the former leaders, who only realize the other teams have passed them when they get to the taxi stand in Phuket, and an overwhelmed dispatcher tells them that a whole bunch of teams have already bundled through. Grimaces all around.
Of course, none of this ends up mattering, because the destination in Phuket is a dock that doesn't open until 8 a.m. -- so the teams are camping out, and everyone's more or less even. Once morning comes, we're at the Detour: beach preparation or coral reconstruction. Phil reminds us that this part of Thailand was devastated in the 2004 tsunami, and the tasks are geared toward paying tribute to the nation's tourism industry and rehabilitating the heavily damaged coral beds, respectively. Andy and Tommy, who've chosen the coral challenge, are the first out into the water: The task involves constructing a coral nursery and then sinking it on the seabed, and then filling it with baby coral. Much is made of their experience surfing and understanding of the currents, which appear to be strong; they anchor the nursery with a rock and finish quickly. Jennifer and Justin are lucky, when their own nursery is stuck on a rock, but the other teams don't spot this, and struggle seriously, so much that they -- Amani and Marcus, Bill and Cathi, and a still-squabbling Jeremy and Sandy -- head for the beach preparation task. (You know it's a bad day when one team member is snapping at the other to "be positive." Er, Sandy.) This challenge has teams setting up umbrellas and chairs just like they are at a neighboring resort. It's windy, the umbrellas are tumbling over, and everyone looks fairly miserable. Especially Liz and Marie, who have huge trouble anchoring the beach umbrellas into the sand. This challenge looks like it became much more difficult when the wind picked up -- regular viewers may think of that Mike and Mel White challenge in the mud pit that almost literally became a killing field when the temperature dropped.
After completing the Detour, teams are given a compass, a medallion with a cut-out shape inside it (resembling the islands of their destination), and instructions to travel north for 13 minutes to the Roadblock, "King of the Hill" -- basically, rock climb up a cliff wall and pick the clue out of a bird's nest. Andy and Tommy smoke this -- are they not one of the most dominant teams ever? And so good-natured! Love them. Anyway, Jennifer and Justin are next. At the Pitstop on a neighboring island, Phil makes Jennifer show him her dissatisfied face, and it is extremely unpleasant.
The other teams struggle on through the challenge. Jeremy and Sandy quickly progress from being fairly anonymous to actually annoying. After Zac retrieves the clue in the bird’s nest, he and Laurence -- the world-class sailors -- confront the final task en route to the Pitstop, which appears to be pointing to an island on a laminated map and making their boat go in that direction. Laurence says something about how they've "plotted rhumb lines," which is code for "we are about to massively overcomplicate this." Amani and Marcus follow, along with Bill and Cathi. Bill takes the challenge, while Cathi explains that they've decided to give him -- the stronger teammate -- these early Roadblocks just to keep them in contention, and they'll deal with the shakeout later. "I like the view I have!" Cathi yells at Bill's rear end. Laurence and Zac eventually spot another boat headed for the Pitstop, and decided to follow it: "What a bunch of useless sailers we are," Laurence says. Jeremy and Sandy check in at the Pitstop, along with the sailors, and Amani and Marcus -- who actually let Ernie and Cindy squeak in right before them. Bill and Cathi are safe.
This leaves Liz and Marie. As their boat approaches the Pitstop, they talk about what an incredible experience the race has been. This is strangely similar to Bill and Cathi's reminiscing as they rolled into the season's first non-elimination leg ... and so, this is the second: Liz and Marie are safe to bicker another day. Unfortunately, they'll be doing it without any money and with an extra Speed Bump challenge to worry about. Still, when Phil tells them that "this is your lucky day," it'd be hard to disagree.
"The Amazing Race" airs Sundays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.
The last of the 32 acts perform for the judges and the guest mentors
By Jilliane Johnson
The last of the 32 acts invited to their mentors' homes performed Sunday night on "The X Factor." The Girls, Boys, Groups and Over 30s are all battling one another for the four slots remaining in each category for spots in the live shows.
Girls -- Simon -- South of France
Jazzlyn Little starts this second round off with a jazzed-up version of "I Will Survive." She keeps her nerves at bay and delivers a good performance. More confidence would do her some good, but I would love to see this girl stick around longer.
Rachel Crow might be the youngest in the competition, but that's not holding her back. She sings "I Want It That Way" by the Backstreet Boys. It might be a more mature song, but she made it her own. Simon calls it "unbelievable."
Tiah Tolliver, the woman of controversy, returns! "No Diggity" by Blackstreet starts up, and Simon's head begins to bob. Tiah's performances are usually "sometime," and this time she seems to be on her game. It's soulful, it's funky, and she looks confident. Simon loves this girl, but I could use some more convincing.
Melanie Amaro takes on the late, great Michael Jackson with "Will You Be There?" There's nothing bad to say about this girl's performances. Her voice is strong. She engages Simon, she's confident, and she is amazing. Excellence! Simon falls over, knowing she has it all. Can I put my vote in early?
Boys -- L.A. Reid and Rihanna -- The Hamptons
Brennin Hunt wants to be "bigger than Lady Gaga." Can a masculine take on Corrine Bailey Rae's "Like a Star" do the trick and send him through to the live shows? Rihanna says he's more "corny" than what real stars are made of. Maybe Brennin should try Abercrombie ads?
Tim Cifers promotes the "country-ism" lifestyle. Country meets R&B in Luther Vandross' "Dance With My Father." The marriage works. L.A. isn't quite satisfied, but I'm definitely on Team Tim!
Marcus Canty, after trying to flirt with Rihanna, moves into "All My Life" by K-Ci and JoJo. I was waiting for this kid. His voice melts over the melody, and Rihanna is melting with him. "I could not contain myself," she says. I believe that translates as a "yes, you're in." We shall see.
Chris Rene belts out a seriously unexpected "Everyday People" with some added "swag." L.A. dubs Chris "one of the special ones." Was it his best performance? No, it wasn't. Still, Chris has talent and a cute smile.
Groups -- Paula and Pharrell -- Santa Barbara
The Stereo Hogzz take on Motown with "I Heard It Through the Grapevine." Their moves may need to be polished a bit more, but this is the most exciting performance yet. The vocals are sharp, and the guys are just fun to watch. Pharrell calls the lead vocalist a mix between old Motown and R&B ladies' man Ginuwine.
2 Squar'd have some huge shoes to fill. A pop/R&B group performing Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" sounds foreign. This is what you get when you're in Paula's group, though. Sorry, girls. The vocals are flat. It feels like an amateur talent show, and no one looks particularly confident.
Illusion Confusion hardly gets any camera time singing what looks like an '80s take on a boy band. The performance didn't make much of a lasting impression on anyone. Oh, well. Moving right along, I guess!
Now for the other kids that were eliminated, then smashed together into one supergroup. Welcome, Intensity! Ten people in one group sounds like a train wreck. But, thankfully, their take on a mashup of "That's Not My Name" and "You Make My Dreams Come True" introduces them individually. It was definitely a lot to absorb, but these kids could totally rock the Kids' Choice Awards.
Over 30s -- Nicole and Enrique -- Malibu
Josh Krajcik slows things down with "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face." This guy has some pipes. You not only hear what he's feeling but you see it, you feel it, you want to somehow help him through it, yet you continue to listen. Josh has the heart for this. No matter the outcome, it's obvious he won't be cooking burritos whenever he gets back home.
Leroy Bell brings a new, soulful edge to "Make You Feel My Love." This is an old-school cat. He's got a coolness about him, like Marvin Gaye. Leroy takes his time, but you don't want him to hurry up. Nicole thinks he shows nerves, yet is "super cool."
Tiger Budbill definitely leaves his mark on Nicole's beautiful backdrop of a backyard. With his impressive high falsetto note, it's obvious that Tiger's vocal talents are effortless.
Christa Collins says she was the original Britney or Miley of Disney Records. Radiohead's "No Surprises" could help her second chance at stardom put her in the spotlight, finally. There's something sort of Cyndi Lauper about her. She has a factor, but is it the "X" factor? I'm not sure.
The Very Dramatic Deliberation
It's basically a montage of fade-ins and fade-outs of the judges looking at contestants' photos. Simon picks up a picture and tosses it aside. Paula and Pharrell agree that this one should move on. Nicole talks softly, while Enrique stares blankly at the table. Rihanna makes some decisions, while L.A. nods. Jazzlyn Little cries, 2 Squar'd holds hands and prays, Tiger Budbill rubs his hands together pensively. Even though we've all seen these performances in the past few days, they remind us in slow motion, and with a fading picture, what everyone looked like.
After way too much drama stuffed into a matter of maybe five minutes, no decisions are made clear. So tune in Tuesday night at 8 p.m. ET/PT on FOX for the next episode of "The X Factor," when America finds out who stays and who goes.
"The X Factor" continues Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET/PT on FOX.
Mike is sidelined by his housemates
Snooki and boyfriend Jionni drama has taken up most of the fourth season of MTV's "Jersey Shore." And when Snooki confessed to Jionni last week she slept with Vinny after a fight, we thought she would still be in hysterics. She is no longer officially Jionni's girlfriend, but she stayed remarkably calm in this episode. So what do we do without Snooki flapping her hand in front of her face while crying on the phone? Watch more of the same old drama from before: Deena hitting on Pauly D, Team Meatball getting super wasted, and the housemates ostracizing Mike more and more. He claims he's not coming back to Jersey next time. We can only hope.
Bing: More about 'Jersey Shore'
It doesn't matter how many times Pauly D says no; Deena is still fixated on having sex with him. "Vin and Nicole both have done sex, and they’re still cool," she says. "Why can’t Pauly and I do sex and be cool? I think I’m pretty." It has not occurred to Deena that maybe she's not Pauly's type. He tries to worm his way out of it by declaring it will mess up their friendship, but Deena is obstinate and keeps bringing it up. Thank God for Vinny, who is there to tell us what's really going on. "Pauly doesn’t like meatballs. Know what I mean?" Indeed we do.
This week, Team Meatball was in peak form, talking a lot about "Meatball Power" and "Meatball Problems." For example, getting thrown out of a bar is a Meatball Problem. In one night alone, Snooki and Deena get drunk, have a huge fight with a bartender, get thrown out of said bar, get into the hot tub in their clothes, then decide at 7:30 a.m. to change into tight, leopard-print dresses and go out again, when they promptly put their heads down at a cafe and fall asleep.
But their drama is harmless compared to Mike, who apparently thinks it's hugely fun to stir up angry crowds at clubs and get into swearing matches with total strangers. Then there are the fights at home. Deena is mad when he suggests she doesn't do anything around the house, ever, and she screams and throws a spatula at him. At dinner, Sammi and Vinny start fighting over who gets what room when they get back to the Jersey Shore. Later, they both confess it's because neither of them wants to room with Mike. When Snooki tells Mike she could never live with him, he says not to worry. "I'm probably not going to Jersey Shore." Snooki replies, "If you want to leave, bye." Our sentiments exactly.
When Mike has no one to talk to, he starts talking to himself. "Everybody likes to gang up against me because I’m strong." And delusional. Vinny is on the verge of an ultimatum to Mike: change or leave. Even Mike is starting to get the picture. He is close to starting another fight at a club, then realizes everyone has left him behind. Mike, full of fake confidence, saunters back to the house, and talks to himself alone in the living room. "I can only imagine when there’s no bad guy. Who’s going to be the bad guy? The Situation, no problem."
Can you imagine "Jersey Shore" without Mike? Would the show be better or worse? Sound off!
"Jersey Shore" airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on MTV.
The four mentors get by with a little help from some celebrity friends
By Jilliane Johnson
Thursday night on "The X Factor," the remaining 32 acts (along with the viewers) are invited into the homes of Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul, L.A. Reid and Nicole Scherzinger. Don't blink, though. There will be a few celebrity surprises!
Hey, speaking of the judges … Have you ever found yourself wondering, "I so get where Paula's annoyingly overly sincere emotions are coming from?"
All right, now let's get to business!
The judges are actually spread out all over the place, waiting for their contestants to arrive. So the Girls, Boys, Groups and Over 30s will blindly travel to where they are told and meet their mentor. Plus, each judge gets a special celebrity guest to help out during this set of re-auditions.
Girls -- Simon -- South of France
Hurricane Irene kept Mariah Carey from catching her flight. It's OK, though. We all know Simon can handle this alone.
She sings the Beatles' "Help Me." It's a stripped down performance from the usually flashy, wannabe diva. By the way, she remembers the words this time around. That has to count for something. Simon loves the performance, even when her voice cracked slightly.
"(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" gets amped up for this audition at Simon's house. I have to say: Her performances are energetic and fun. It's like a party anthem, and her vocals aren't that bad either. One problem: She sort of slips up on the words.
Caitlin sings "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow" to Simon. He keeps a poker face through the performance, but her velvety voice and tear-shot eyes have to make him feel something.
From Bieber to Roxette? Drew takes on Roxette's classic, "It Must Have Been Love," for her time with Simon. It's sort of like listening to Taylor Swift, but hearing better vocals.
Boys -- L.A. Reid -- The Hamptons
Joining L.A. is his special guest Rihanna.
Brian "Astro" Bradley
OK, so this kid is pretty cocky, but his "Bully" lyrics to a "Can't Hold Me Down" backdrop is pretty entertaining. He even beat boxed! Rihanna finds Brian "so cute," so we may not need to worry over him.
Taking on "Nobody Knows It But Me" by Babyface, Skyelor adds a country twang. Rihanna says it best when she comments that he "needs to be polished." He has the tools. They just need to be cleaned up a bit.
Everyone is taking on Rihanna, and this time Phillip is performing in front of the woman! He's a crooner, singing "Please Don't Stop the Music." I believe Phillip got a few giggles from the star, but I agree with L.A. when he says, "I'm not sure."
Whoever brings Tears for Fears back to mainstream has to be either ridiculous or awesome! Nick sings "Everybody Wants to Rule the World." Sometimes the vocals fail, but his presence makes up for it. L.A. says, "I've seen him better."
Over 30s -- Nicole -- Malibu
Enrique Iglesias helps out Nicole.
You know you were waiting on this one! The soul man struts up to Nicole and Enrique in his platforms and belts out "Crazy in Love" by Beyoncé. I am not making this up. He has added his own lyrics, and his moves could possibly send him into the pool. I'm just glad that Steve Jones was there to hold Dexter as the tears strolled down his face.
Stacy is bringing out the big guns with a little "Purple Rain." Nicole immediately has tears in her eyes. Enrique seems to be in shock, singing along. They know she has the talent, but Nicole wonders if her fears keep her from the career she strives for.
Elaine keeps it soulful with more of a Leona Lewis version of "Stop Crying Your Heart Out" by Oasis. Overall, it was forgettable, I fear. Yet, you cannot deny that she has a fantastic vocal ability.
Here is another Rihanna takeover. This time, James sings "Russian Roulette." Being sung by a male, this song takes on a whole new presence.
Groups -- Paula -- Santa Barbara
Paula has asked Pharrell Williams to judge with her.
Was anyone else not expecting them to start singing "F**kin' Perfect" by P!nk? It's a slower version, showcasing the trio's individual ranges and harmonies. The end result is beautiful, actually. Pharrell and Paula seem to agree, but one never knows.
This is the straggler group. Four of the girls thought they were being sent home, but then were called back to form a group together. Their debut song is "Born This Way," and with an added country feel, they definitely make their mark in Paula's backyard. Could the girl group be making a comeback?
The Brewer Boys
The duo wants to make "Only Girl in the World" by Rihanna their own. It's a bluegrass feel that, I'm sure, made many teenage girls swoon in their living rooms. Does it stand up to the others, though? I think Paula and Pharrell are thinking the same things.
The boys take it old school, performing "If You Love Me" by Brownstone. Pharrell only wants them to "dirty up their style a little bit." So I'm guessing they're too clean and need to … look not so happy-go-lucky?
Now pay attention, everyone! The MLB game yesterday pushed "The X Factor" off schedule. Tune in Sunday at 8 p.m. ET/PT on FOX for the remaining performances. Four acts from each category will be saying their goodbyes.
"The X Factor" continues Sunday at 8 p.m. ET/PT on FOX.
Vinny lashes out against state's largest hater
A "Jersey Shore" cast member has finally responded to its most public and problematic hater: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.
Last night, Vinny Guadagnino -- considered the most polite and respectable Seaside Heights housemate -- tweeted a reference to the governor's weight, upping the tension between the two camps to threat level table-flipping.
"ChrisChristie, how does it feel when people judge your ability to do a job by your weight the same way you judge us for partyin at the shore?" he wrote.
Christie has been under attack for how his girth might impede him in a bid against our svelte incumbent president.
Last month, Christie blocked a tax credit the MTV reality series was to receive for production costs. In a letter to the state Economic Development Authority published by the Philadelphia Inquirer, he called himself "duty-bound to ensure that taxpayers are not footing a $420,000 bill for a project which does nothing more than perpetuate misconceptions about the state and its citizens."
Guadagnino's response comes more than two weeks late. Still, it's admirable that someone in the "Jersey Shore" camp is grasping current events at any rate.
By the way, more than 67 percent of New Jerseyites apparently agree with the governor -- according to a new poll from Quinnipiac University. They think the show is bad for their state's reputation. (In a related story, since Quinnipiac is located in Connecticut, more than 100 percent of this blogger wonders why it can't come up with anything from its own state interesting enough to conduct a survey about.)
"Jersey Shore" airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on MTV.
The oldest of the 'Top Model All-Stars' spills on branding, working it and why age is just a number
Official pic shows him as a wine-y guy
But that’s probably because the 28-year-old -- who placed second for Ashley Herbert’s heart on the last “Bachelorette” -- owns a vineyard in Napa Valley. And that’s enough to get most ladies tipsy without alcohol.
ABC describes Flajnik as “a rare, modern Renaissance man” who “dabbles in a lot of hobbies and crafts, such as crab fishing, sailing golf, skateboarding, surfing, playing piano and singing in a tribute band.”
"The Bachelor," shooting now, premieres Monday, Jan. 2, at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.