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Major mayhem surrounding Idol judges

The American Idol you see when you tune in this upcoming January will look drastically different than what we’ve been accustomed to over the last few years. Jennifer Lopez is out, Steven Tyler is gone, and Randy Jackson may not be back (as a judge).

The show’s producers have made it clear that their primary objective is to shake things up, and hopefully a new judging panel will do the trick for them.

Mariah Carey has been officially sworn in as a judge, and will hopefully provide some Paula Abdul-like moments of incoherence and lunacy. But who else will be joining her?

Yesterday, there was a crapload of media speculation that rap star Nicki Minaj would be filling up one of the remaining judges’ seats. The reports were fuelled by a story in US Weekly that claims one of their sources swore up and down that a deal with Idol was essentially fait accompli, and that Minaj is in. Almost every mainstream media outlet picked up the story.

But is Nicki really joining Mariah?

Don’t be so sure. While I admit that a deal with Minaj is likely to go down, the Hollywood trades – which are normally all over Idol judge deal stories – have remained mum on the subject. Which tells us that no deal is in place, at least not yet. As of this writing (mid-morning Tuesday) none of the Hollywood trade websites have any mention of new Idol judging news.

Wanna know another interesting name that was thrown out today as a strong candidate? Enrique Iglesias. People.com reported this morning the Latin superstar is being seriously considered for the show, quoting “a source.”

And to add a little more fuel to this out-of-control speculation fire, TMZ has just reported (late morning) that Kanye West is also in talks to lend his talents as a judge. He'd be interesting, as long as they restrain his penchant for interrupting.

Aren’t you getting sick of all the judge speculation this year? It was bad enough when the show was wooing Tyler and Lopez, but this off-season has definitely been annoying. I’m not sure a revolving door of judges is good for any show, whether it’s Idol or The Britney Spears Show X-Factor.

Let’s assume that these rumours are true, and we’re good to go with Mariah, Nicki and Enrique and/or Kanye. What do you think of this wild assortment of personalities? As much as I hate to admit it, I think this could be good for the show. While Steven and J-Lo brought a wealth of experience to the table, they weren’t all that exciting to watch. Their ability to be critical was called into question after their first season together, and their critiques of the contestants’ performances this past season seemed forced, and at times lacked sincerity.

Mariah and Nicki (and certainly Kanye) would change this.

Where the careers of Tyler and Lopez were cooling off when they signed on, Mariah’s is lukewarm and Nicki’s is red hot. They have nothing to gain by conforming to the Idol way of things. I can see them filling one giant collective bag of crazy, with tremendous potential for huge arguments. It may even turn into one giant-sized version of the Hunger Games where only one singer survives. And can you imagine Nicki trying to tone down that incredibly foul mouth of hers? Let the fireworks begin!

Although nothing is set in stone, this new judging panel – should it come together – would be a great step toward bringing back lost viewers.

Stay tuned here for new details as they come up…

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Kristen Stewart affair = Virus scare

Hey, that headline rhymes. I’m a poet and didn’t know it. But seriously, folks, we’ve got a lot of Kristen Stewart news to cover today.

We’ll get to the virus scare in a moment; but first, let’s deal with the most prominent K-Stew news circulating the gossip world over the last 12 hours.

In a very recent Hollywood Reporter scoop, the Twilight actress is apparently being dropped from a planned Snow White and the Huntsman sequel.

Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that the sequel to June's Snow White, which starred Stewart, Hemsworth and Charlize Theron, is being reconceived as a spinoff movie. It's unclear whether director Rupert Sanders will return, though one source with ties to the production says he will. However, screenwriter David Koepp, who had been hired to pen the continuation of the original film, is being settled out of his rich contract, according to sources, as the project is being transformed into something other than the movie that Koepp had been hired to write.

"The studio is currently exploring options to continue the franchise," a Universal spokeswoman says.

“But I thought that if you slept with the director it would HELP your career,” a confused Kristen Stewart was heard saying. Or at least I’m sure she thought it, I figure.

The Rupert Sanders-directed film made money for the studio, but Stewart’s hefty salary could trim a huge chunk off the sequel’s budget.

The plot sickened thickened this morning when a spokesman for Universal told the LA Times that Stewart hasn’t officially been dropped, and may return as Snow White.

Really? The only thing white about this chick is the look on her boyfriend Robert Pattinson’s face when he found out she was cheating on him. Then again, if she doesn’t appear in the new film, I don’t think a movie simply called The Huntsman has the same ring to it. Not that another young actress couldn’t sweep in and take over, but then again I haven’t seen the film so I can’t comment on the legitimacy of her portrayal of Snow White.

Ok, what’s up with the virus thing, you ask? It turns out that a significant percentage of online content regarding her well-publicized affair contains links to malware that may harm your computer. Consider it the proverbial poison apple, if you will. 

Researcher Daniel Peck of the anti-virus company Barracuda found that 20-25 percent of Stewart-related online content has some sort of malicious material attached.

"Spammers and malware creators are always looking for some current trends to lure people using search engines. Both 'Twilight' and 'Snow White' are popular targets," Michael Gregg, COO of Superior Solutions, an ethical hacker for Fortune 500s and trainer for government/military agencies, told FOX411's Pop Tarts column. "These techniques run the gamut from keyword stuffing targeted back links with terms such as 'Kristen Stewart Was Taped.' Regardless of the technique used, the end effect is to push the malicious site up to the first or second page of the search engine."

What’s a Twi-hard/Snow White Fan/Horny-guy-looking-for-nude-Kristen-Stewart-photos to do? Keep your security software up to date, or buy a Mac… but that’s an entirely different column altogether.

And last but not least in the Kristen Stewart news-a-thon? A Daily Beast piece defending the young actress, written by Jodi Foster.

“Acting is all about communicating vulnerability, allowing the truth inside yourself to shine through regardless of whether it looks foolish or shameful. To open and give yourself completely. It is an act of freedom, love, connection. Actors long to be known in the deepest way for their subtleties of character, for their imperfections, their complexities, their instincts, their willingness to fall. The more fearless you are, the more truthful the performance. How can you do that if you know you will be personally judged, skewered, betrayed? If you’re smart, you learn to willfully disassociate, to compartmentalize. Putting your emotions into a safety box definitely comes in handy when the public throws stones. The point is to survive, intact or not, whatever the emotional cost. Actors who become celebrities are supposed to be grateful for the public interest. After all, they’re getting paid. Just to set the record straight, a salary for a given on-screen performance does not include the right to invade anyone’s privacy, to destroy someone’s sense of self,” Foster writes.

Well said, Agent Starling. Yet, as wise as these words are, they will not silence the media lambs.

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No Soup for you (at least this week)

Celebrity Soup is taking a short break this week, and will return Tuesday, August 14th.


Why is Miley posing nude in a tub?

I never pegged Miley Cyrus as the “nagging wife” type, but it appears as if that’s exactly what she’s turning out to be to fiancé Liam Hemsworth. According to the latest report from Radaronline,  Miley’s demands on Liam’s time are beginning to wear thin for the Australian actor.

Miley is driving Liam crazy at the moment,” a source said. “While he’s on set in Philadelphia shooting his new film Paranoia, she gallivants around town shopping, getting pampered in nail salons and just can’t sit still. Then, when she sees Liam after he’s finished filming, she chews his ear off about her adventures and can’t wait to tell him what she did that day.”

The source continues: “With the early starts and late finishes, all Liam wants to do is rest, go through his script so he’s ready for his role and order a takeout or go for a quiet dinner. But Miley wants to go to the local gay bars and hit up fancy restaurants, which Liam just isn’t in the mood for.”

We’ll get to Miley’s demanding behaviour in a moment, but let’s first address these Miley Cyrus “nude” bathtub pics. Over the last 24 hours, the Internet has been abuzz with gossipy chatter about the photos. First, they’re not nude. Yes, we see some sideboob action, but they’re more or less tasteful. Plus, Cyrus is 19 and looks like 32.

Where did the photo come from? It's a professional photograph taken by photographer Vijat Mohindra. Mohindra photographed Miley in a series of shots, all of which were presumably taken for Hemsworth.

The bigger question is why did these photos find their way online just this week? Does this have anything to do with Miley wanting to divert Liam’s attention away from his film role?

Scratch that… an even BIGGER question is why she deems it necessary to drag (no pun intended of course) Liam into the local gay bars.

A few possible reasons:

- they play great music
- they may have less stringent must-be-21-to-enter policies
- having women all over the world jealous of her for bagging a hot Aussie dude isn’t enough for her, she wants guys to be jealous, too

Still, I’m unconvinced that Miley’s conduct is brought about by anything she read up on in Bride magazine. While it’s likely that Miley - like many women her age - peruse the contents of Bride on a regular basis, it’s doubtful the mag has a section on posing semi-nude in bathtubs and taking your fiancé to gay clubs to win him over.

What’s Mr. Hemsworth to do here? Dude is just trying to do his thing and mind to his business, and she’s diverting his attention. It’s not like there’s a Groom magazine on the newsstands anywhere. And even if there were, what kind of information would be in there? How to make it through your wedding without staring at the bridesmaid’s ass too much?

I kid, I kid. Guys, if your wedding won’t be one of the happiest days of your life (mine definitely was) you probably shouldn’t get married in the first place.

Anyway, the lesson for Miley here is to just relax and let Liam be. Or, failing that, just do whatever the hell she wants because in five years they’ll be divorced anyway. Maybe she knows this and is acting accordingly.

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