Today's News: Our Take


Survivor's Deena: Case Closed


The verdict isn't good for Survivor: The Amazon castoff Deena Bennett. Last week, her tribemates denied Deena's motion to eliminate Alex, opting to oust her instead. Now, this strong-willed deputy district attorney is back facing real juries in Riverside, Calif., instead of pesky tribal councils. Here, she spares a few minutes to brief TV Guide Online about what's next on her docket.

"I wish I was more back into the real world, and I could just put this little episode by the wayside," Bennett groans. "I'm very happy with criminal prosecution. This is what I am best suited for."

While most reality "stars" wouldn't spurn the spotlight in favor of their usual daily grind, this happily married mom is done with her 15 minutes of fame. "Although," she chuckles, "for those cameo appearances on CSI as a real prosecutor, I'm always open. read more

Read It Here First: Idol Victor Revealed!

Now that viewers have whittled down American Idol 2's dirty dozen wannabe pop stars to six fab finalists, the time is nigh to predict a winner. But before you place a wager in your office pool, be sure to consider the helpful handicapping that your friends at TV Guide Online have done on your behalf. It just might save you a bundle, which you can then share with, well...

Joshua Gracin: Provided that producers don't have a second disco night on tap, the all-American Marine could easily sail away with the coveted recording contract. He's got the look (regardless of what flabby judge Simon Cowell says) and the voice, and thank God, he's a country boy. Sure, his aw-shucks appeal probably doesn't have Garth Brooks shakin' in his Stetson. But you know Bryan White's starting to sweat.

Trenyce: The artist formerly known as Lashundra blew us away in the semis, and has nearly blown her shot every other week since. What's the proble read more

SHE HAD IT COMING

Kimberly Caldwell moved one step closer to launching her career as a theme park performer. American Idol viewers gave the perky 21-year-old Texan the boot on last night's results show, reducing the finalist field to six: Ruben Studdard, Clay Aiken, Trenyce, Joshua Gracin, Carmen Rasmusen and Kimberley Locke. Who do we think has this competition in the bag? Click here to find out. And if you have a question for Ms. Caldwell, send it to me via the link at the end of this column. Extra consideration will be given to those folks who correctly answer the following question: Who's the best online columnist in the land? read more

ELVIS WOULD BE PROUD

Lisa Marie Presley's PR blitz on behalf of her debut album paid off. Her well-reviewed CD To Whom It May Concern sold a respectable 142,000 copies during its first week in stores, good enough to land the disc at No. 5 on Billboard's album chart. read more

ROUND TWO

That Hollywood talent agent accused of socking it to Sharon Osbourne at a posh Los Angeles eatery last week is fighting back. Osbourne, who went on TV this week to show off her black-and-blue chin, claimed Renee Tab "viciously attacked" her. Well, in a statement issued Wednesday, Tab insists it was Sharon who "viciously, verbally and physically attacked and spat" on her. Can we all just agree that both these ladies are extremely overpaid and end it there? read more

CONTROVERSY SELLS

Things are looking up for UPN's hip-hop soap Platinum, which debuted Monday to great reviews but so-so ratings: A community group is calling for a boycott of the show! On Wednesday, Project Islamic HOPE held a press conference and called on producers to stop glorifying the "brutality" of life in the rap world. In a statement, UPN defended the show as "a very honest behind-the-scenes look at aspects of the hip-hop industry." read more

HOUSTON, WE HAVE A GUEST STAR

Whitney Houston will play herself in the season finale of Boston Public (airing May 12 at 8 pm/ET). In the story, which should finally muzzle critics who complain the Fox drama paints a woefully unrealistic portrait of high school life, a student writes a 10-page letter to Houston asking her to attend the prom with him. Naturally, she accepts. read more

OOPS... HE WAS JUST A FAN

Britney Spears's request for a restraining order against a 41-year-old Japanese fan who sent her hundreds of love letters and tracked her down in Louisiana and California has been dismissed. Attorneys for both sides reached an out-of-court agreement. read more

PARADISE LOST

Fox has given the greenlight to Paradise Hotel, an interactive reality soap that will offer viewers a chance to take part in the on-screen shenanigans. Airing Mondays and Wednesdays at 9 pm/ET starting June 16, the series will bring 12 singles together at an exclusive resort, with the lucky dozen voting out one of their own each week. But here's the twist: Members of the show's studio audience will compete against one another as well — for a chance to replace the person who just got booted. Sounds way too complicated to me. read more

DAVID BLOOM REMEMBERED

More than 2,000 people turned out at a funeral mass Wednesday for fallen NBC newsman David Bloom, who died April 6 while covering the war in Iraq. Among those in attendance at New York's St. Patrick's Cathedral: New York Gov. George Pataki, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and former Mayor Rudy Giuliani. NBC anchor Tom Brokaw praised Bloom's "boyish enthusiasm," and compared him to legendary World War II journalist Ernie Pyle. Portions of the funeral were carried on MSNBC, CNN and Fox News Channel. read more

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