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    Tyra shakes up 'Model'; Jake Gyllenhaal's stage debut
Entertainment news: Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy CIty Times..
2012-04-24


Tyra Banks is shaking things up on America's Next Top Model. USA Today noted that the former supermodel has let go longtime co-stars fashion photographer Nigel Barker, 39; runway coach J. Alexander, 53; and creative director Jay Manuel, 39. Barker apparently bore no ill will toward Banks. US Magazine noted J. Alexander's reaction: "After 18 cycles, I found myself in the bottom three and Tyra pulled a surprise triple elimination. I didn't even get to runway for my life!"

Academy Award nominee Jake Gyllenhaal (Brokeback Mountain) will make his U.S. stage debut late this summer in Nick Payne's comic drama If There Is I Haven't Found It Yet, according to Playbill.com. The production will run at at Roundabout Theatre Company's off-Broadway Laura Pels Theatre. Gyllenhaal made his stage debut in Kenneth Lonergan's revival of This is Our Youth, on London's West End.

In an interview in the May issue of Instinct magazine, out singer Adam Lambert talks about, among other things, the fact that most of his fans are not gay. "As a community we're a little bit resistant to a gay male pop star ourselves," Lambert says. "We're very eager to celebrate a strong female. But to celebrate a fellow gay man—it gets catty sometimes." He also discusses moving past moving his American Idol-related expectations and having the media scrutinize his relationship.

Britney Spears wore a $20,000 sports bra from BodyRock Sport while filming a video for the kid's game Twister Game, according to the New York Daily News. The company's silk Eternal Love Bra has an 18K gold zipper and is covered in Swarovski crystals and gold. It also comes with an 18K gold removable tassel with diamond-eyed skulls.

Dick Clark, the television host who introduced millions of people to music via the TV series American Bandstand, died April 18 at age 82, according to USA Today. Clark also hosted his New Year's Rockin' Eve annually—even after suffering a stroke in 2004. Many celebrities—including Ryan Seacrest (Clark's Rockin' Eve co-host since 2005), Mario Lopez, Joan Rivers, Neil Patrick Harris and Lance Bass—tweeted their condolences. Clark was cremated, and his ashes will be scattered across the Pacific Ocean.

Nicollette Sheridan has won a retrial date for her Desperate Housewives wrongful-termination lawsuit, according to the New York Daily News. Judge Elizabeth Allen White rejected ABC and Disney's motion to dismiss and set the follow-up jury trial for Sept. 12. Sheridan, 48, claims she was let go from the show shortly after complaining that show creator Marc Cherry hit her in the head in 2008.

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Hip-hop musician Nicki Minaj is coming out with her own fragrance this fall, according to the New York Daily News. Minaj is teaming with Give Back Brands, the company behind Justin Bieber's record-breaking scent, Someday. Minaj said, "I designed this scent and bottle with my Barbz [fans] in mind; I know they will love it!" Madonna recently launched a scent, Truth or Dare, and Lady Gaga is set to release her own soon.

Social-change organization The Liberty Hill Foundation announced that out television director and creator Paris Barclay will receive its Upton Sinclair Award, which recognizes an individual who has combined talents and beliefs to advance equality and justice. Barclay will be honored May 9 at the Liberty Hill Fund's annual Upton Sinclair Awards Dinner in Los Angeles. On television, Barclay has directed episodes of shows such as Monk, CSI, ER, Glee, Sons of Anarchy, Smash and The Good Wife.

Pop singer Jessie J has denied the claims of an unofficial biography that she is a lesbian and that bisexuality was a more appealing public identity to take on, Pink News reported. The book Jessie J: Who's Laughing Now states that the musician has identified as lesbian in private circles since she was 17 but that music executives urged her to adopt a bisexual persona. Jessie tweeted, ""BUT what's that?! *whispers because its a secret* I'm really a lesbian?! ... Ha! Thanks for writing yet another boring untrue story."

The Billboard Music Award nominations have been announced—and British singer Adele is up for 18 honors, according to the Daily Mail. Among the "Someone Like You" singer's nods are Top Female Artist, Top Billboard 200 Artist and Top Artist. LMFAO received 17 nods and Rihanna (nominated in 18 last year) has 13 nominations this year.

In an interview with The Daily Mail, out musician Rufus Wainwright talked about his 1-year-old daughter, Viva, whom he conceived with childhood friend Lorca Cohen (daughter of singer Leonard Cohen). He said, "What I can say is that I'm extremely happy. I love being a dad, and Viva is healthy and happy and we're all around her. I know from my parents' experience that combining children and a music career can be tricky." Wainwright will marry longtime boyfriend Jorn Weisbrodt, a German theater producer, in August.

Contestant Colton Dixon told USA Today that singing a Lady Gaga song may have cost him votes and led to his surprising exit April 19. Dixon—a 20-year-old singer from Murfreesboro, Tenn.—chose Gaga's "Bad Romance," which may have soured his relationship with voters. Dixon said, "Some religious people hear Gaga, and they totally turn it off. I don't know why I didn't think of that, because that's the big majority of my voters. I should have thought of that."

Disney movie-studio boss Rich Ross is stepping down, a month after the company was dealt a huge blow by the box-office bomb John Carter, according to USA Today. When he headed Disney Channels Worldwide, Ross brough Hannah Montana and High School Musical to the masses. Disney booked a $200-million loss with John Carter, a sci-fi movie that stars Taylor Kitsch.

Fox News pundit Bill O'Reilly criticized the April 17 episode of Glee for including a transgender teen, according to the New York Daily News. On The O'Reilly Factor, the analyst said, "If you make the behavior of these people ... if children hear it, unsupervised children, okay who don't have parents watching their—they might go out and experiment with this stuff." This statement prompted guest Judge Jeanine Pirro to ask O'Reilly, "Do you really think that this is the kind of thing that's contagious?" O'Reilly said, "I don't know."

The Lifetime series Army Wives is incorporating a lesbian storyline, according to AfterEllen.com. One of the women (played by Ryan Michelle Bathe) revealed in a group session that she's in a relationship with a recently deployed soldier (portrayed by Kellie Martin of ER and Life Goes On). Nicole wanted to keep her relationship with Charlie a secret, even though "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" is no longer in effect—bringing up the issue of LGBT soldiers who are not comfortable being out.

Bee Gees singer Robin Gibb has awakened from a coma more than a week after he lapsed into it, according to a Chicago Tribune item. Gibb, 62, has begun to show signs of recovery and has been able to nod and communicate with his family. Earlier in April, the singer contracted pneumonia and fell into a coma at a central London hospital. USA Today reported that, according to his physician, Gibb has colorectal cancer.

In New York, the new nightclub 54 Below will launch in June with a two-week engagement by two-time Tony winner Patti LuPone, Playbill.com reported. Other bookings include Christine Ebersole (Sept. 11-15), Darlene Love (Aug. 6; Sept. 24), Adam Pascal (Sept. 24) and Tom Judson (Oct. 14), among others. There are also several Broadway stars slated to perform, including Ben Vereen, Andrea McArdle, Jenifer Lewis, Lea DeLaria, Linda Lavin and Megan Hilty (currently on TV's Smash).

Actress Sarah Jessica Parker, White House Senior Advisor David Axelrod and Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith were among those attending an April 20 gala in Chicago for the new Children's Memorial Hospital, according to ABC7Chicago.com. The 23-story Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital, which will open June 9, is nearly double the size of the current Children's Memorial Hospital in Lincoln Park.

Actor Chris Evans (The Avengers; Fantastic Four) told Playboy his thoughts on marriage equality, according to the Huffington Post. At one point during the interview, Evans said, "It's insane that civil rights are being denied people in this day and age. It's embarrassing, and it's heartbreaking. It goes without saying that I'm completely in support of gay marriage. In 10 years we'll be ashamed that this was an issue." Evans accidentally outed his actor brother, Scott, in an interview with The Advocate years ago.

Cher surprised attendees at the 23rd Annual GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles April 21 when she presented transgender son Chaz Bono with the Stephen F. Kolzak Award alongside Bono's stepmother, Mary Bono Mack, according to a press release. Not even Bono knew his mother would be there. Other highlights of the event included the Hunger Games' Josh Hutcherson receiving the Vanguard Award and Betty White and the Hot in Cleveland cast accepting an award for outstanding TV show (individual episode).

Julien's Auctions recently announced results for its "Hollywood Legends" event, held at its Beverly Hills, Calif., gallery, according to a press release. A collection of never-before-seen photos of Marilyn Monroe sold for $400,000 while 13 items connected to the late Whitney Houston raised more $80,000. Items from Princess Diana and Princess Grace of Monaco brought in $108,000 and $78,000, respectively. In total, the auction raised nearly $3 million.

Beyonce may be getting her education. According to MTV.com, the "Irreplaceable" singer was seen with a binder in hand heading into the W. 35th Street Alternative Education Complex. Some are speculating that she is getting her GED, as she reportedly did not graduate from high school. However, MTV.com offered that the singer may have been scouting a location for a second Beyoncé Cosmetology Center.

Now-former Chicago-based talk-show host Rosie O'Donnell took a hit on the sale of her house in the Windy City, according to the Chicago Tribune. She sold her 6,000-square-foot Lakeview house for $2.103 million—$147,000 less than she paid for it last fall. O'Donnell closed on the home sale April 3; the buyer is a personal-injury attorney.

Lindsay Lohan is set to star as the legendary Elizabeth Taylor in the Lifetime Original Movie Liz & Dick, based on the true story of the screen icon's historic romance with actor Richard Burton, according to a press release. Principal photography on the movie will begin in early June in Los Angeles. Regarding the announcement, Lohan said, "I have always admired and had enormous respect for Elizabeth Taylor. She was not only an incredible actress but an amazing woman as well. I am very honored to have been asked to play this role."

Appearing on Today as part of that show's Professionals panel April 24 with Donnie Deutsch and Star Jones, Rosie O'Donnell said that Lindsay Lohan is "not capable" of portraying Elizabeth Taylor in a movie. When Deutsch called Lohan "our generation's Elizabeth Taylor," O'Donnell responded, "You're out of your mind. You're a crackhead! The last thing she did good she was 16."

Betty White adopted the Los Angeles Zoo's Glenda the Gorilla in Carol Burnett's honor for Burnett's 79th birthday, according to the New York Post. "I love all animals," said White. "Some more than others, including gorillas and Carol Burnett." White recently adopted a crocodile in honor of Sir Elton's birthday.

In a twist on RuPaul's Drag Race, the winner of this season's contest will be named in front of a live studio audience during the taping of the reunion episode later in the week. Viewers were expecting the winner to be named in the season finale; however, the April 30 episode will unveil who wins between Sharon Needles, Phi Phi O'Hara and Chad Michaels. The prize package includes a lifetime supply of NYX Cosmetics, a headlining spot on Logo's Drag Race Tour and $100,000.

X Factor judge Simon Cowell is denying rumors that he is gay. In the new book Sweet Revenge: The Intimate Life of Simon Cowell, he told author Tom Bower, "If I was gay, why wouldn't I admit it? It wouldn't harm me, and my mother wouldn't freak out." Among other revelations in the book is Cowell's affair with Australian pop star Dannii Minogue (the sister of Kylie).

Wolfe Releasing has acquired the U.S. rights to the comedy Gayby at the SXSW Film Conference & Festival, in a deal valued in the low six figures, according to a press release. Written and directed by Jonathan Lisecki, Gayby is about a gay man and a straight woman who decide to have a child together. The film, based on an award-winning short film, will be released theatrically later this year in partnership with The Film Collaborative, and will debut on DVD/VOD in 2013.

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