Daniel R. Coleridge

Idol's Top 12: The Near Misses

Last week, American Idol voters finally whittled down the number of crooning contestants to an even dozen. That was too bad for the foursome — Amanda Avila, Janay Castine, Nikko Smith and Travis Tucker — who suffered the last group hook and departed en masse. Fortunately for Smith, the sudden departure of Mario Vasquez over the weekend means he'll get a second chance to shine this week. Even so, reprieved or no, all fallen Idols must sing their swan songs to TVGuide.com. Got your earplugs ready, kids?
Amanda Avila
Simon Cowell said he wanted to come back as her microphone in his next life... How does Mandy feel about him — and that comment — now? "We know that Simon's a little strange," she laughs. "He meant it as a compliment. As a female trying to make it in this industry, worse things have been said read more

JAG "Recast" Speaks Out

As series creator Donald Bellisario strives for a "younger, hipper JAG," David James Elliott is being phased out in favor of a more youthful leading man, Chris Beetem.

Tonight's episode (9 pm/ET on CBS), entitled "JAG: San Diego," finds Beetem's Lt. Gregory Vukovic butting heads with Catherine Bell's Mac at a marine's court-martial. Meanwhile, Elliott's Harm is focused on a tragedy — we won't spoil it for you — involving his kid, Mattie. Natch, longtime Harm-and-Mac boosters aren't thrilled to see Vukovic sharing so much screen time (and generating sparks) with Harm's lady.

"Hey, he's had 10 years!" Beetem tells TVGuide.com, laughing. "I don't see any ring on Mac's finger. My character feels that if a woman isn't tied down, she's fair game."

Jokes aside, the 32-year-old As the World Turns alum is in a tough spot. After all, he read more

Lucy Lawless, Part Deux

Seeing Lucy Lawless brazenly snatch Halle Berry's role on Monday's Two and a Half Men reminded us how much we've missed the Aussie spitfire. Any chance she'll ever reprise her role as that sapphic icon, Xena, Warrior Princess?

"This whole idea of a Xena feature [film] keeps coming and going," Lawless tells TVGuide.com with a sigh. "I've checked out of worrying and wondering and speculating about it. People keep saying, 'It's on! It's off!' I did just this morning hear something about it from my husband [Robert G. Tapert], who was the executive producer on Xena.

"They'd better hurry up," she laughs. "Otherwise, Renee O'Connor [who played Xena's sidekick Gabrielle] and I will be too old — and nobody'll want to see us in short skirts before long. It's gonna be tragic."

While we're all await read more

Our Fave American Idols

Two contestants came out of the gate fast in the early stages of live American Idol competition last month. While countrified Carrie Underwood was a Simon favorite and rocker Bo Bice won props for his rendition of "Drift Away," we dub Nadia Turner and Mario Vazquez ones to watch.

Mario Vazquez
This 27-year-old New Yorker looks like Justin Guarini (all the cuteness sans the hair) and sounds like Justin Timberlake. Mario, who likes soul and electronic music, makes up for his newsboy caps with a charisma even Simon Cowell can't deny. His liquid brown eyes and winsome smile have won over female fans — including Paula Abdul, who gave him two standing ovations and cried "Touchdown!" after he sang Stevie Wonder's "Do I Do." We think someone has a little crush. Who can blame her?

Nadia Turner
If you combined read more

Lawless Snatches Halle Berry's Gig

Now that Charlie Sheen and Denise Richards have split, Hollywood wags speculate that it's only a matter of time before we'll see him with a new lady friend. Well, the wait is over!

On tonight's Two and a Half Men (9:30 pm/ET on CBS), Charlie gets hired at an advertising firm where his new boss is gay. Hoping to score points, he pretends he's gay, too, even scheming to pass off brother Alan (Jon Cryer) as his live-in boyfriend. Of course, chaos ensues when Charlie becomes enamored of his boss' sexy ex-wife — played by Xena, Warrior Princess star Lucy Lawless — yet has to maintain the gay pretense to keep his job.

"I don't mind being deceived by Charlie," Lawless tells TVGuide.com. "He's cute, even as a gay man. I had a fantastic time working on that show."

Landing the gig wasn't easy, though. In the midst of her initial meeting with read more

Idol Nails Male Belters

On Wednesday night, American Idol finalists David Brown and Joseph Mureno were the unhappy recipients of news that they'd earned the lowest number of votes. New Orleans native Brown, who sang "Never Can Say Goodbye," teared up when he realized he'd have to anyway. New Yorker Mureno's "How Am I Supposed To Live Without You" annoyed Simon Cowell, who compared him to "a Portuguese lounge singer." How'd the boys handle the rejection?

"After I finished crying," Brown recalls, "I thought about what I could've done better. I'd have picked a more up-tempo song, first of all, and made a better first impression [on] the first live show."

Surprisingly, he tells TVGuide.com that it's too bad this week's castoffs weren't made to sing post-rejection. "I felt like they had to do what they had to do to shorten the show [to half an hour]. I think they were afraid [we] might get mad and perform bad read more

Idol's Judd Defends Elvis Moves

Of the four American Idol finalists voted off last week, we at TVGuide.com think Judd Harris was least deserving of the hook. The 27-year-old New Yorker is a good sport, a helluva lot of fun — he raised the roof with his hip-gyrating rendition of Elvis Presley's "Travelin' Band" — and he's just plain cute. As we steel ourselves for another quadruple vote-off tonight (9 pm/ET on Fox), Harris — who has resumed his duties as lead singer of his band, Visible From Space — stops by for some Idol gossip.

TVGuide.com: We're surprised at your elimination. Are AI fans too young to respect the King?
Judd Harris:
Well, I wouldn't say that I was trying to do Elvis...

TVG: Well, you sure were moving your hips in an Elvis-y fashion to a song he famously covered...
I hear ya. If I was sp read more

Hip-Hop Starlet Joins NCIS

Perhaps best known for her lustful hit "My Love Is Like... Wo," Mya is still valiantly plugging away at her acting career. The hip-hop songbird — who has appeared in Moulin Rouge!, Chicago and (ahem) Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights — has two big thespian projects right now.

First off, there's Christina Ricci's just-released horror flick, Cursed. "I play Shannon Elizabeth's best friend in the movie," Mya tells TVGuide.com. "She has man problems and we try to solve the situation on our girls' night out at a carnival. We go take her issues to a freakin' fortune-teller, who ends up giving us no advice and [instead] says we're set up to be murdered. We're not buyin' it, but then weird things start happening."

Mya also gets lethally involved in tonight's episode of NCIS read more

2005 Backstage Oscar Blog

This year, whether Oscar winners accepted their kudos on the Kodak Theater's stage or from the balcony, the middle of the audience or the third urinal in the men's room, they all had to come backstage to meet the press. That's where the stars face a roomful of reporters from around the world and try to look composed as they answer our many goofy questions intelligently. Sometimes they succeed, sometimes not so much. Here's TVGuide.com's timeline of Sunday night's most memorable moments backstage at the Academy Awards:

5:15 PST My Oscar night gets off to an auspicious start when I discover I'm seated right next to Roger Ebert and Richard Roeper! Only the best for TVGuide.com. I even help the Chicagoan film pundits plug in their laptops, putting them in my eternal debt. Natch, this means we'll be best friends all evening.

5:21 Roeper, or as I like to call him, Richie (OK, not really) agrees we'd better steer clear of Amp — the su read more

Bachelorette's Truth Revealed!

Spoiler alert! If you don't read the tabs, you haven't heard the rumor about The Bachelorette's conclusion — which occupies three freakin' hours of ABC's airtime tonight, starting at 8 pm/ET — and if you don't want to know anything, read no further.

Still reading? OK. Just to sum up, Star recently reported that Jen Schefft broke up with her chosen guy about a week after the reality hit finished taping. (That'd be right around Thanksgiving, FYI.) The rag went on to link romantically Andrew Firestone's ex with her boss, Chicago nightclub-owner Billy Dec, who has denied it, of course. Even if it's true, he wouldn't want to be the one to fess up and blow the show for Jen, right?

Intriguingly, tonight's two-hour finale features Jen receiving marriage proposals from both Jerry and John Paul. However, you'll have to watch a third hour read more

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