Faces & Names: Time to pick a vowel in HinckleyNeither Pat Sajak nor Vanna White will be there, but if you want to meet them someday on “Wheel of Fortune,” Hinckley is the place to be today.
Neither Pat Sajak nor Vanna White will be there, but if you want to meet them someday on “Wheel of Fortune,” Hinckley is the place to be today.
The game show’s Wheelmobile will roll into Hinckley to audition viewers who would like to be contestants on an upcoming episode. According to their news release, good game players who are energetic, enthusiastic and fun are wanted.
The event runs from 5-9 p.m. today inside the Grand Casino Hinckley Events and Convention Center. Applications will be available to fans age 18 and older starting at 3 p.m.
Those who apply will have their names drawn at random to play a simulated version of the game onstage, win unique prizes and be evaluated as a potential contestant for the broadcast version of the show.
Simulated game shows will take place at 5, 6:30 and 8 p.m. with each show lasting about an hour. Admission and parking are free.
If you miss your chance in Hinckley, the Wheelmobile also will search for contestants at Grand Casino Mille Lacs on Sunday from noon to 4 p.m.
Spears denies harassment claims
Britney Spears denied a bodyguard’s accusations that she sexually harassed him and abused her children, saying Thursday in a statement on her website that authorities looked into his claims but found no reason to act.
The statement said the pop singer and her attorney expect Fernando Flores’ sexual harassment and intentional infliction of emotional distress lawsuit to be dismissed.
“This lawsuit is another unfortunate situation where someone is trying to take advantage of the Spears family and make a name for himself,” the statement read. “The Department of Children and Family Services conducted a proper investigation surrounding Mr. Flores’ accusations and have closed the case without further action.”
Flores claimed in his lawsuit that Spears repeatedly exposed herself to him and made other unwanted sexual advances. He also claimed she used his belt to discipline her young sons, Sean Preston and Jayden James, and acted inappropriately in front of them.
The bodyguard’s employment with Spears appeared to be brief — his court filings state he started working for her in February, and by June he was no longer on her security detail.
Spears’ ex-husband, Kevin Federline, also has denied through his attorney that any abuse occurred and called Flores’ accusations “baseless.”
Will and Jada’s daughter debuts
Will and Jada Pinkett Smith’s 9-year-old daughter, Willow Smith, is making her debut as a recording artist.
She has signed a deal with Jay-Z’s label, Roc Nation. Her first song was released this week. It’s called “Whip My Hair.”
Jay-Z said it’s rare to find an artist with such talent and creativity at Willow’s age.
Will Smith first gained fame as a rapper, but unlike her father, Willow is singing on her record. Like her father, she’s a double threat: Willow appeared in the movie “I Am Legend,” with her dad.
Carrie Underwood thought she’d walk away from her first movie experience vowing to stick to her day job.
But after a recent screening of the upcoming movie “Soul Surfer,” Underwood found she wasn’t as bad as she thought she’d be.
“I really liked how everything turned out, including myself,” Underwood said in an interview. “I was really expecting the worst from myself, and I really surprised myself.”
The Grammy-winning country superstar plays a youth counselor in the film, which is based on the story of Bethany Hamilton, who lost her arm in a shark attack.
“It’s definitely an uplifting movie,” said Underwood. “Everybody would definitely feel a lot better coming out than they did coming in.”
Although she gives herself good marks for her work on the film, Underwood said she's not ready to carry a movie just yet.
“There are people that are absolutely amazing actors and actresses, and I am not one of those, though who's to say one day; you never know, maybe I will be,” she said. “But I'm definitely new at this and just doing what's fun right now, and I love my music; that's my first love.”
Winehouse returns to the studio
Amy Winehouse is making music again.
Quincy Jones said the five-time Grammy winner’s first new track in years will appear on his forthcoming album, “Q: Soul Bossa Nostra.”
Winehouse has been known more for her personal problems than her music in recent years, and hasn’t issued any new tunes since her critically acclaimed 2006 breakthrough CD, “Back to Black.”
The 26-year-old British songstress reunited with producer Mark Ronson to record the 1963 classic “It’s My Party” for the album celebrating Jones’ past hits. The 77-year-old music mogul produced the original Lesley Gore track.
‘The Pod’ leads DNTV to Emmy nomination
On Monday, our Biz Buzz column mentioned WDIO/WIRT TV received five Midwest Regional Emmy nominations. That was only part of the story.
Congrats are also due to staffers at KBJR and KDLH TV for their six nominations, as well as two to Beth Jett of our news partner KQDS Fox 21 News, and — not sure how we missed this one — our own DNTV.
Robin Washington received a nod for his DNTV interview, with former Living North Editor Holly Henry, about “The Pod,” a flying saucer-shaped cabin near Minocqua, Wis. The piece is up against an obviously more serious interview from Twin Cities station KSTP-TV, “Human or Toyota Error?”
We’re in orbit just over the mention.
Lennon’s killer denied parole for sixth time
John Lennon’s killer was again denied parole in New York, nearly
30 years after gunning down the ex-Beatle outside the musician’s New York City apartment building.
A parole board decided not to release Mark David Chapman after interviewing him Tuesday by teleconference at Attica Correctional Facility in upstate New York.
It was Chapman’s sixth appearance before the board since becoming eligible for parole in 2000. He will be eligible again in 2012.
Chapman, 55, had been scheduled to appear last month, but the hearing was postponed by parole officials, who said at the time they were awaiting additional information. They did not elaborate.
After Tuesday’s decision, the board wrote to Chapman that it remains concerned about “the disregard you displayed for the norms of our society and the sanctity of human life when, after careful planning, you travelled to New York for the sole purpose of killing John Lennon.”
Missed toke with Tupac is Tyson’s biggest regret
When Mike Tyson looks back on his friendship with Tupac Shakur, he thinks about the rapper’s big heart, explosive anger — and the one regret he has about their relationship.
“He always wanted me to smoke weed with him, and I never did it, and I wish I did,” Tyson said in a recent phone interview.
Tyson said he declined because he was a closet smoker and didn’t want it to get out that he smoked the drug. Now, when he looks back on the lost opportunity, he says: “That’s my biggest regret.”
Tyson’s friendship with Shakur is the subject of a new documentary, “One Night in Vegas: Tyson & Tupac,” which aired at 7 p.m. CDT Tuesday on ESPN.
The 25-year-old rapper was shot after a Tyson fight in Las Vegas on Sept. 7, 1996; he died six days later.
“He didn’t last long, but the time he did last, every minute, every tenth of a moment was explosive,” Tyson said.
Part of Hall’s art collection goes on auction block
Model Jerry Hall plans to auction some of her art collection next month, including a famous portrait by Lucian Freud that shows her nude when she was eight months pregnant, Sotheby’s said Monday.
The auction will also include works by Andy Warhol, Damien Hirst, David Bailey and other prominent artists collected by Hall, ex-wife of Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger.
The works will be sold on Oct. 15-16 as part of a larger contemporary art sale, Sotheby’s spokesman Simon Warren said.
Sotheby’s specialist Oliver Barker said the Lucian Freud portrait called “Eight Months Gone” is the centerpiece of the auction and is expected to fetch more than $460,000.
“It’s a wonderful painting,” he said. “It was exhibited shortly after it was done at the Tate Gallery. He’s always been interested in maternity. It’s a very tender, loving painting.”
The collection also includes two other works by Freud, often acclaimed as one of the world’s greatest living painters.
Hall has worked in the theater since her separation from Jagger in 1999. Several of her daughters have followed her into modeling, becoming prominent in England.
Bahamas drops charges in Travolta extortion case
A judge in the Bahamas dismissed charges Monday against two people accused of trying to extort money from John Travolta after the actor decided he no longer wanted to face the pain of a new trial stemming from the death of his teenage son on the island chain.
Prosecutor Neil Braithwaite had submitted a motion to drop the case just as a retrial was about to start for the two defendants.
“The Travolta family has said that this matter has caused them unbelievable stress and pain and they wish to put this whole thing behind them,” Braithwaite told the court after a jury had been picked to hear the case.
Ambulance driver Tarino Lightbourne and his attorney, politician Pleasant Bridgewater, were accused of threatening to release private information about the January 2009 death of Travolta’s 16-year-old son, Jett, at the family vacation home in Grand Bahama.
Lightbourne, who was among the medics who treated Jett, allegedly sought $25 million from the actor with the assistance of Bridgewater, who resigned her seat in the Bahamas Senate after she was charged in the case.
A judge declared a mistrial in October after a Bahamian lawmaker suggested the still-deliberating jury had acquitted one of the suspects.
Lennon still helping me, Ono says
Yoko Ono visited Lennon’s childhood home and school in northern England’s Liverpool on Friday. She was welcomed by hundreds of students at Dovedale School, before she went to the semi-detached family home that Lennon shared with his aunt from 1945 to 1963.
The musician was shot outside his New York home in 1980, when he was
40 years old. He would have been 70 on Oct. 9.
Ono will travel from her home in New York to Iceland on Lennon’s birthday to light the Imagine Peace Tower, an illuminated memorial.
Lautner settles suit over RV for movie set
A lawyer for Taylor Lautner says the “Twilight” star has settled a lawsuit with an RV dealership he claims didn’t deliver a $300,000 coach in time for a movie shoot.
Attorney Robert Barta said that McMahon RV of Irvine, Calif., will pay $40,000 to Lautner, who will donate it to Lollipop Theater Network, a children’s charity.
The 18-year-old Lautner sued the dealership last week, saying it missed a June deadline to deliver the 2006 Affinity Country Coach for use on the set of the movie “Abduction.”
Dealership owner Brent McMahon had offered to compete in a push-up contest to solve the dispute.
A phone message seeking comment on the settlement was not immediately returned.
Lautner will reprise his role as Jacob Black in the two-part “Twilight” finale.
Palin tells Leno ‘Dancing’ choice easy
Bristol Palin said she didn’t think twice before waltzing into “Dancing with the Stars,” though she has barely danced in her life.
In an appearance Friday on NBC’s “Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” the 19-year-old daughter of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin said she learned about the invitation through a text message and signed within a week to appear on the new season starting Sept. 20.
Leno asked if she had gone to her high school prom. Palin replied “No, I was pregnant!”
That pregnancy put her in the spotlight during her mother’s campaign for vice president in 2008. She had her son, Tripp, that year, and recently she called off her re-engagement to Levi Johnston.
Palin told Leno she and Johnston weren’t meant to be, and she’s focused on being a mom.
West ‘bled hard’ over Swift debacle
Hip-hop star Kanye West is still feeling the pain over his trophy grab from Taylor Swift last year — and he’s expressing his pain all over Twitter.
West unleashed a torrent of emotions on his official Twitter account Saturday, acknowledging once again that he was wrong for jumping on stage, taking the trophy that Swift won at the MTV Video Music Awards and saying that it should have gone to Beyonce.
But the rapper-producer said that he has experienced enormous pain, been the subject of death wishes and suffered a tremendous setback to his career.
“How deep is the scar ... I bled hard ... cancelled tour with the number one pop star in the world ... closed the doors of my clothing office,” he tweeted.
The multiplatinum, Grammy-winning superstar had been one of the decade’s most successful and critically acclaimed stars, despite sometimes boorish behavior and meltdowns at other awards shows when things did not go his way.
However, when he upstaged Swift — the then-teenage darling of pop and country music worlds —the public had had enough. There was tremendous backlash against West — even President Obama was caught calling him a “jackass.”
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