Today's News: Our Take


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

TECHIE

Talk about a low-profile gig: Kate Hudson has been tapped to host the March 1 sci-tech Oscar ceremony, which honors behind-the-scenes advancements in motion picture arts. (Translation: All the boring categories.) The official Oscar ceremony takes place on March 23. read more

AILING

There may have been a good reason why Daniel Lue kept falling off that balance beam on Thursday's Survivor: The Amazon premiere. The 27-year-old tax accountant from Houston was diagnosed last week with malaria. He apparently contracted the mosquito-borne disease while taping the show. He's currently recovering at home. read more

SORRY, CHARLIE

Not since Richard Hatch's Survivor victory has a reality show delivered such a stunning upset. On ABC's Bachelorette finale last night, single gal Trista chose shy poet Ryan over frontrunner Charlie! The 27-year-old fireman promptly proposed marriage to the ex-cheerleader, an offer she couldn't — and didn't — refuse. Our take? Give the girl an Emmy. read more

Survivor Loser Defends Himself!

It's rather fitting that the first person ejected on Survivor: The Amazon was Tambaqui's reigning male chauvinist Ryan Aiken, the he-man who claimed the all-female Jaburu tribe was at a disadvantage because, "When it comes down to it, you want people who are going to be useful." Well, not only did Aiken get his butt kicked by the gals at Immunity Challenge Numero Uno, the 23-year-old aspiring actor suffered another ego-bruising defeat at Tribal Council. Talk about karma! Here, Aiken tries to save face with TV Guide Online.

TV Guide Online: Dude, you lost to a bunch of girls! What happened?
Ryan Aiken:
People say I underestimated the girls — I think I overestimated [the guys]. They thought they were the most superior athletes. I don't want to point fingers, but I didn't have a problem with the balance beam. My main concern was getting Dan across the balance beam. That's all I ca read more

MUSICAL CHAIRS

More high-level executive tumult at AOL Time Warner Inc.: Turner Broadcasting head Jamie Kellner is stepping down after two years on the job. CNN News Group president Philip I. Kent will replace him. Yeah, this stuff bores me too, but I felt obligated to include it. 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

YOU'RE INVITED...

Sabrina, the Teenage Witch star Melissa Joan Hart's summer wedding to musician Mark Wilkerson will be the subject of an ABC reality show. On Tuesday's Late Late Show With Craig Kilborn, Hart revealed that the network's cameras will follow her around for the next few months as she prepares for her big day. "I actually asked for it because I thought it would be cool to have professionals really shooting the bachelorette party and the bachelor party and the engagement party and the bridal shower and going with me to try on my dress," she said. "And I'll have it all on video. I'm going to produce it so I'll have total control." Alright, Bridezilla. read more

THEY'RE BAAACK

Tonight's special 90-minute American Idol will feature a special sneak preview of Kelly Clarkson and Justin Guarini's upcoming feature film From Justin to Kelly, USA Today reports. Sounds great, but if Randy calls one more contestant "Dawg," I'm changing channels. read more

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