Today's News: Our Take


WHERE THERE'S A WILL...

During a surprise appearance on Saturday Night Live over the weekend, Britney Spears set the record straight about her wild romantic life: She's dating Will Ferrell, not Colin Farrell. "Don't believe the tabloids, you guys, the truth is, I'm living on a farm in northern California with Will Ferrell," she joked during the "Weekend Update" segment, in which Will also appeared. "I love him so much!" Stop, please... you're killing me. read more

SPEAKING OF THE FRENCH...

American director Michael Moore, whose Bowling for Columbine was named best foreign film at Saturday's Cesar awards, got a standing ovation when he applauded France for dissing the U.S with regard to Iraq. "Thanks for showing us the way, and for taking up a position on something very important," he said. "A real ally, a real friend, is someone who tells you when you're wrong." Hey, Mike: That dreadful John Travolta comedy Lucky Numbers you co-starred in? That was just plain wrong, dude. read more

Sheryl Crow on Jacko: "He's Sad"


Sure, it's February, but Sheryl Crow still can "Soak Up The Sun" all she likes. At the 45th annual Grammy Awards — airing Sunday at 8 pm/ET on CBS — the songbird's nominated in no less than five categories for her latest platinum CD, C'mon, C'mon. (She's previously won eight times.) But long before her Grammy glory, the ex-music teacher got her first big break as a backup singer for the King of Pop!

"About 7 months after I moved out [to Los Angeles]," Crow recalls, "I got the Michael Jackson tour, so I put my stuff in storage and went on the road for 18 months."

Her fave Jackson song to sing? "I loved the old stuff," she says. "I thought, 'I'm really lucky that we get to do a lot of that old Jackson Five stuff.' And my favorite song to watch him do is 'Human Nature.' You know, no matter what you say about him, read more

How Kathy Griffin Won Celebrity Mole

It may have appeared to fans of ABC's Celebrity Mole Hawaii that comedienne Kathy Griffin was just there to provide comic relief ("Corbin Bernsen just turned into super-veiny hockey dad!") but make no mistake; she was there to win. "I went in with a psychotically committed strategy that I had planned a month beforehand," she reveals to TV Guide Online. It paid off, for after realizing that model Frederique van der Wal was the Mole, the Suddenly Susan sidekick outfoxed runner-up Erik von Detten (Dinotopia) on the final quiz, and walked off with the show's grand prize of $233,000. "I would encourage any celebrity read more

Island Native Hits the Street

If we were ever shipwrecked, we'd want three things: Stoli, digital cable and Dawn Wells — and not necessarily in that order, either. After all, the actress who played castaway Mary Ann on Gilligan's Island not only remains cute as a button at age 64, she's also far more enterprising than the Professor. Today, for instance, in a classic-TV edition of the syndicated game show Street Smarts (check local listings), she quizzes John Q. Public to raise funds for her Film Actor's Boot Camp. Next month, the co-executive producer of Surviving Gilligan's Island unveils her second small-screen tell-all, the fanciful Batman exposé Return to the Batcave: The Misadventures of Adam and Burt. And right now, she dives into our rather random questions without ever reaching for a life preserver. So sit right back and you'll read the tale!

TV Guide Online: read more

Small Talk with Idol's Ruben

If Simon Cowell is correct, American Idol semifinalist Ruben Studdard has what it takes to be the next Luther Vandross. And after witnessing the 24-year-old's "Superstar" turn last week, we're inclined to agree with Mr. Nasty Pants. But while Studdard may be big on talent, he's a little lacking in the conversation department — as TV Guide Online discovered during a recent interview. Indeed, the 24-year-old is a man of few words, and here, my friends, are all 38 of 'em.

TV Guide Online: This has got to be an exciting time for you. How are you feeling?
Ruben Studdard:
I am excited. Very excited.

TVGO: Simon said that this year's contest will be one of talent versus image. Do you worry that being a big guy could cost you the title in the end?
Studdard:
No, I do not.

TVGO: Why?
Studdard:
Because I feel that people will vote for me because of my talent.

TVGO: I love the area code shirt. read more

Who Was the Life of the Party?

The WB's almost-all-star Big Brother-meets-Real World hybrid, The Surreal Life, wasn't set up as a competition. However, savvy viewers quickly figured out that the cohabitants had turned the series into a battle royale, the goal of which was to steal the spotlight and extend their 15 minutes of fame. That being the case, who won? As the sleepover sleeper winds up its run tonight at 9 ET, TV Guide Online reviews the goings-on and decides which pseudocelebrity came off the best.

Corey Feldman
Won points by: Revealing just how tough it was for him to be very young, very rich and very successful. Thanks, man. We needed a good chuckle. Lost points by: Setting back vegetarianism a decade with his hare-brained argument for the cause. Made up our minds by: Talking to his fiancée as if she were a dim-witted model or something. Okay, so she is a model. It still wasn't cool, dude.

Emmanuel Lewis read more

Friends Star Turns Designing Woman


Everywhere we look, celebs are moonlighting as interior designers. Oprah is making over fans' homes. MTV is Crashing Cribs. Add to this trend Friends star Courteney Cox Arquette, 38, who created Mix It Up, debuting this fall on WE: Women's Entertainment.

Don't worry, it's not about Mrs. Monica Gellar Bing doing the decorating — just think how that neat freak would lose control! Uh uh. Her portrayer stays behind the scenes, leaving Mix's decorators to serve as mediators for folks who share a home, but have dissimilar tastes. The idea came from her early marital clashes with husband David Arquette, 31.

"[With] newlyweds moving in together, or roommates, all of a sudden there are problems that arise," she says. "David and I had very different lifestyles. The way we lived, our tastes. . . I don't like a lot of extra things. David likes a lot of things. He co read more

Frenchie's Idol Partner Speaks!

What's the most disturbing trend of the new American Idol season? Contestants trying to outwit Simon. Case in point: After Kimberley Locke belted out "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" last week, Simon lauded her vocals but docked her points in the personality department. Instead of taking the back-handed compliment and walking away gracefully, the 24-year-old administrative assistant from Nashville got into a verbal tussle with the meanie judge. (Gee, guess who won?) When are these folks gonna learn: They are there to sing; Simon is there to be nasty. Naturally, when we caught up with Locke, we took her to task for taking Simon to task for taking her to task.

TV Guide Online: Why did you get into a bickering match with Simon?
Kimberley Locke:
My initial take on it was that it was kind of personal, the fact that he said I didn't have a personality. It kind of hurt my feelings. But I realize that that's read more

MTV Fashionista Invades Your Home!


Todd Oldham made his name dressing the stars, but this ultra-hip designer's been offering do-it-yourself tips to the MTV crowd since his days on House of Style. On his new show, Crib Crashers — airing tonight at 10:30 pm/ET — the peppy Texan makes over unsuspecting fans' rooms into their idols' cushy pads in less than two days. While we'd question anyone who wants an exact replica of Mariah Carey's asylum, er, apartment, he finds it all rather sweet.

"Well, if you think of where the word 'fan' comes from — 'fanatic' — some of it gets a little spooky," admits Oldham, who's also a magazine photographer. "But we're talking about really young folks, and it's great to see them really impassioned by people. . . especially some of them that are worthy of the attention."

In a special Valentine's Day edition, he helped 98 Degrees read more

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