10 Jan

When Success Shines Through Failure In American Idol

There were many memorable moments during the American Idol 2006 series, but for me one of the most memorable, and significant, came with the announcement of Taylor Hicks as the winner. I was delighted for him. He has been an inspirational entertainer all the way through the American Idol series, never flirting with the exit door (despite Simon Cowell’s attempts to shove him there), and with a unique ability to take just about any song, turn it into his own, and bring the audience to its feet. Taylor Hicks is…well, Taylor Hicks; never afraid to do his own thing and entertain the audience. Even if Simon Cowell wrote a funeral dirge, Taylor Hicks could turn it into something special with his unique character, and have the house rocking.

Taylor Hicks being announced as the winner was, of course, the peak of the series; it was what all the contestants had been aiming for since the auditions. However, for me there was something very special about that moment, that some may not have been so aware of: the reaction of Katherine McPhee. Her reaction was one of genuine delight for Taylor’s success. There were no artificial congratulations, no tears of disappointment, no sombre face because she had lost the final; just magnanimous delight for Taylor Hicks being voted American Idol 2006.

Katherine McPhee is a born star, and she will have a good singing career, a dream come true for her. Yet, despite her stunning beauty and exceptional singing talent, she remained modest even at the pinnacle of the show. In her own failure to win the contest, she simultaneously recognised with magnanimity the success of Taylor Hicks, and glowed in her own success of getting that far herself. She did not exude one iota of failure in her demeanour as the announcement was made. If anything, she epitomised success.

Seeing Katherine McPhee at that moment reminded me of how intermingled success and failure are. Even the same achievement can be viewed by one person as a success, and another as failure. No doubt there are some mean spirited people who will dismiss Katherine with a simple “oh, she was beaten, she failed.” But anyone who genuinely respects achievement of any type would appreciate what she has done to get as far as she has, and in such style.

The parents of Katherine McPhee must be very proud of what their daughter can do, has done, and will do in the future. But they should also be very proud of themselves for bringing up such a delightful young woman, who can take her moment of disappointment and turn it into a celebration of success, both for her and her conqueror, Taylor Hicks.


10 Jan

Barry Manilow Singer And Songwriter Extraordinaire Returns To The Stage

Early Life

Barry Alan Pincus was born in Brooklyn, New York on June 17, 1943. His father was of Russian and Jewish descent, and his mother was Irish. His parents split up when Barry was only two, and he was raised by his mother and maternal grandparents. He was introduced to music when he was seven, when he began to learn the piano and accordion.

Prior to his Bar Mitzvah at age 13, Barry began to sing. It was also at this time that he changed his name to match that of his mother’s maiden name – Manilow. In several ways, 1956 was the year Barry Manilow was “born”.

Budding Career

He continued singing through high school, and upon graduation, he was accepted to the prestigious Julliard School of Music. He paid his tuition by working in the CBS mail room. This proved to be a fortuitous school-time job. Manilow advanced at CBS, and wound up serving as the musical director for the CBS show Callback.

For the next few years, Manilow made his way by writing and performing advertising jingles, including the now-famous song for State Farm Insurance. His work got him noticed, and in 1971 he was hired by Bette Midler as her pianist and music director. He accompanied her on several bath house performances in New York City before Midler herself gained fame and fortune. His work with Midler helped her rise to the top, and as a result, Manilow landed his first record deal in 1973.

Potential Reached

Although Manilow’s first album, Barry Manilow, was not a huge success, his follow-up, Barry Manilow II, contained what became his first smash hit, the single, Mandy, which climbed to number one in both the US and UK. From there, an incredible run of commercial success ensued. Manilow’s next six albums all reached the Top 10 on the US Album charts, and some of the singles he produced during this time have remained popular to this day, including I Write The Songs in 1975 and Looks Like We Made It in 1977.

In all, Manilow has released over 30 albums, and 13 of them have risen to number one on the US Album charts, which is an unbelievable rate of success. Manilow’s style has transformed over the years as well. His early works were almost exclusively love songs and ballads. However, in the early 1980’s, Manilow began to focus more on smooth jazz and worked with such legends of the genre as Mel Torme and Sarah Vaughan.

Overall, though, Manilow is best known for his romantic singing and sometimes crooning ways on stage, and his shows have been sold out in nearly every venue for decades. His fans number in the millions and his act is imitated by many.

Manilow has won two Grammy Awards during his career for his singing performances, and in 2002, he was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Rolling Stone Magazine called him the best performer of his generation. His charitable works are too numerous to list in one volume.

Generally, there are many reasons to take in a Barry Manilow show. We’ve listed a few, but a trip to Las Vegas would be well worth your time to see one of the true icons of musical performance.


10 Jan

Vida Guerra The Hottest Model In The World

After doing this modeling assignment she became a supermodel in a very less time. Her cute and innocent looks attracts various people and in this way she got various other modeling opportunities. She was demanded more by people and called for more photo shoots. In 2004, she became “FHM Model of the year”. After that she was on the cover page and inside the various magazines which includes Escape, DUB, Open Your Eyes and Smooth etc.

She also did various appearances on Spanish language television programs such as El Gordo y La Flaca. She became popular in music videos like “Workout Plan” and “Shake YourTailfeather”. She also appeared in “Chappelle’s Show and film “Writer’s Block” in 2003, “Fake Preacher” in 2005 and “Dorm Daze II in 2006. In 2005, her camera phone was hacked and her various photos were posted on the internet and then sent widely. In February 2006, she was recognized as one of the internet’s


10 Jan

Haunted Houses Dead Tenants And A Big Tummy Ache

World renown psychic and author Jane Doherty has found herself in a very prominent position on her new reality TV show called “Dead Tenants”, which is hosted by The Learning Channel. I say it’s a prominent position because of the phenomena that separates Jane’s psychic abilities from those of other psychics.

Whenever there are ghosts around Jane, she has an amazing physical reaction to them and handling it is no small feat either. The reaction Jane has is that her stomach area actually enlarges by as much as six inches around within seconds. And, Jane tells us that it’s extremely painful to her when this happens. If you watch Jane while this stomach expansion is happening, you’re going to hear her moaning and see her wincing … and trust me, it’s not dramatics … the woman’s in definite pain.

With regards to her expanding tummy, Jane says, “It feels like a contraction when a woman is in labor, but it doesn’t ever release me until the spirit leaves. Instead, the stomach expands as if I was nine months pregnant.” Jane actually describes it as very intense muscle cramps, where her stomach is physically gripped by the ghost, and if you watch, the belly will actually lift up. Jane continues, “Often I can tell by the grip whether it is a female, male or child spirit. It first happened to me in 1990, when I investigated my first haunted house with a researcher.”

The belly area is associated with the third charka located at the solar plexus, which is the area that dominates the gifts of telepathy, clairvoyance, clairsentience and an awareness of astral entities. It’s interesting that historically the belly area is associated with body’s core of energy sometimes called the “Chi Point” or the “Hara”, both of which translate literally to mean belly. It’s also interesting that historically, psychics felt their gift came from their gut … called “reading with the pit of the stomach” … where today, most psychics describe their gift coming from their third eye charka, between the eyes and centered in the middle of the forehead. With Jane Doherty, it seems to make good sense that the physical phenomena of Jane Doherty’s expanded stomach would be directly related to her psychic gift.

Jane’s devout belief in the power of God comes through in all that she does because she feels strongly that her psychic abilities are a God-given talent. Using her psychic abilities allows Jane to bring comfort to people whose hearts are hurting, and hope to those who need it most. And, that’s her personal goal on Dead Tenants whose families are in desperate need of help and knowledge to deal with their home’s ghosts.

The Dead Tenants TV show follows the journeys of the Preternatural Research Society (PRS)


10 Jan

Who Killed Heath Ledger

Well passed ‘teen movies, even those with Shakespearian-based scripts, we shyly admitted to liking 10 Things. Wow, I really like the male lead, what was his name? “He’s Australian, you know”, replied Nick. And in typical Aussie-fashion, I was doubly impressed and now stupidly filled with national pride. Another brilliant Australian up-and-comer to join the rapidly increasing queue to grace Hollywood screens.

Years later, I would often grab the DVD to fill a cheerless afternoon and find myself watching and rewinding the same scene. Over and over and over again. My secret guilty pleasure. Heath sliding down the pole, microphone in hand, singing “You’re just too good to be true, can’t take my eyes off of you …” The brass band kicks in. And that charmingly defiant half-run, half-prancing across the school steps. The scene is brilliant. It’s inexplicable. He simply has that old-fashioned ‘it’ factor.

I’m not a star-struck fan and was never one of those teenagers with movie-star idol posters plastered all over my bedroom walls, but this kids got talent.

And then came those scene-stealing roles that totally blew us away. The Patriot. Monsters Ball. And finally leading-man status and an Academy Award nomination. By now, we were just used to having another famous Australian up there with the rest of the world’s great talent churning out an endless array of diverse, yet illustrious film roles.

We had no idea. It was not endless. It was not what we expected.

When people who I’ve never met but greatly admire die, I’m sad. But I’ve never cried before. I have never before felt that heart wrenching overwhelming shock that lasted for days after I heard the news. This time it was somehow more personal. As soon as I read the detailed list of the first report of his deathbed scene, I intuitively knew how he died.

Ten days later the final medical examiners report confirmed my suspicions.

Hollywood is ‘Xanax-city. Feeling down, pop a Xanax. Feeling stressed, pop a Xanax. Need to perform at your very best, pop a Xanax. A-list stars feel the pressure to provide A-grade performances when working on multi-million dollar films. There’s too much money at stake. The intense stress, both internal and external, is immeasurable. The studios are risking billions, paying the stars millions, and the actors are unnaturally subjected to more pressure than we mere mortals can imagine.

Heath Ledger, himself, admitted that after the worldwide release of A Knights Tale with its instant paparazzi-bulb-flashing stardom, his stress levels increased ten-fold.

Xanax is the trade name of the generic anti-anxiety/tranquillizer prescription drug, alprazolam, listed in Ledgers toxicity report. The other anti-anxiety drug was diazepam, or more commonly known as Valium. These drugs are from a class of commonly prescribed tranquilizers known as benzodiazepines or simply referred to as benzos.

According to the latest National Health Study, approximately 10 million scripts of benzos are written annually in Australia alone with its meagre population of 20 million compared to 300 million in the US.

Many doctors will write a script for benzos faster than a speeding bullet. But the real danger is that too many of them do not know the long-term effects these drugs have on your system, how to give their patients the correct advice when administering or monitoring the dosages, and – more frighteningly – how to manage their patients benzo withdrawal program.

Firstly, this is how benzos affect your body – or more importantly – your brain. Benzodiazepines increase, or rather, enhance your brains main neurotransmitter, commonly known as GABA. Eventually, and this can be as quickly as 3 to 4 weeks if taking a daily dose, your brain will stop producing its own GABA and rely totally on the artificial benzo.

GABA is the most important neurotransmitter because it affects just about everything else. Primarily it enhances the brains other neurotransmitters such as Serotonin and Dopamine. All of the brains neurotransmitters have important functions such as, voluntary movement of the muscles, wakefulness, sleep, memory function, sensory transmission – especially pain, and much, much more.

The problem is that from this point on your brain needs more benzo as tolerance starts the downward spiral, and the brain needs higher and higher dosages to obtain the same effect. If the patient is not given the correct dosage or management advice, that insidious and often-undiagnosed disorder known as Benzo Withdrawal Syndrome (BWS) will start its ugly and potentially dangerous descent.

BWS is known by experts in the field for its severity and prolonged nature. It may take years to fully withdraw from benzos, even with proper care and supervision. Without this knowledge, the unwitting patient can suffer from over 30 symptoms, the most common being unrelenting insomnia, severe pain and mood changes. People who have been taking benzos for a relatively short time can experience withdrawal symptoms even whilst taking the drug. In addition, if you have been taking them for a prolonged time, and then suddenly stop, dire circumstances may happen. Or, at the very least, more pain, more depression and unrelenting insomnia.

When we now read about Heath Ledgers complaints, does this sound familiar? Everything points to extreme Benzo Withdrawal, but no-one is exclaiming its dangers. In fact, most GPs and even hospital doctors admit they know very little about Benzo Withdrawal. Some even refer their patients to drug rehabilitation centers – an absolute no-no according to benzo counselors. Benzo withdrawal is the exact opposite to alcohol or street drug dependency. You don’t want to abruptly eliminate the benzo from your body, as they often do in drug rehabilitation. The brain needs the benzo. One must gradually withdraw the artificial benzo until the brain can eventually increase its own GABA. Sudden cessation of benzos can cause severe problems such as seizures and blackouts.

When in BWS, the counselors advise against taking any medication or drugs whatsoever. Paracetamol is probably the only thing the body can cope with for pain relief. Nothing else. Even codeine is forbidden. Also, one should totally refrain from alcohol, caffeine, and all stimulants. There is a strong protocol to be followed and without this knowledge, the patient is easily put at great risk.

The Ashton Manual, the acknowledged benzodiazepine ‘bible, warns:

“Drug interactions: Benzodiazepines have additive effects with other drugs with sedative actions including other hypnotic’s, some antidepressant’s (e.g. amitriptyline [Elavil], doxepin [Adapin, Sinequan]), major tranquilizers or neuroleptics (e.g. prochlorperazine [Compazine], trifluoperazine [Stelazine]), anticonvulsant’s (e.g. phenobarbital, phenytoin [Dilantin], carbamazepine [Atretol, Tegretol]), sedative antihistamines (e.g. diphenhydramine [Benadryl], promethazine [Phenergan]), opiates (heroin, morphine, meperidine), and, importantly, alcohol. Patients taking benzodiazepines should be warned of these interactions. If sedative drugs are taken in overdose, benzodiazepines may add to the risk of fatality.”

The real problem is that there are extremely few experts in treating BWS; they will not include your local doctor, hospital, or drug clinic. However, there are good BWS specialists that can be extremely helpful, but they are usually found in specially funded tranquillizer recovery clinics.

One must ask, why don’t doctors know about this? The problem is they simply don’t. Is it their fault or the pharmaceutical companies that profit from these addictions? There is little or no dissemination of information within the community, the medical fraternity or from the pharmaceutical companies about benzodiazepines. And, according to BWS counselors working in the field, there is insufficient research or empirical studies on the effects of benzos and BWS management to assist them with their intensive workload’s.

Why? Who is at fault? Who is responsible for remedying the situation? Why are the people who write the scripts uninformed about the after-effects and potential dangers associated with benzodiazepines?

Can our beloved Heath Ledgers death be at least one catalyst that will draw this devastating travesty to the public’s attention to demand more information?


10 Jan

Whats Hot On 50 Cent

A true survivor, 50 Cent grew up on the mean streets of South Jamaica Queens, New York where he sold drugs at the age of twelve during the 1980’s crack epidemic. He was raised by his grandmother after his mother was killed, and he was shot nine times in front of his home on May 14, 2000. His survival gave the rapper a controversial and somewhat mythical image. His remarkable story propels him to continue making hits and building his own fortune.

In 2003, 50 Cent released his debut album, Get Rich or Die Tryin’. It was an instant success, selling over 870,000 copies within 4 days. Interscope quickly granted him his own record label, G-Unit Records, that same year. While working with the emerging artists on his label, 50 released his sophomore album, The Massacre. It featured hits like “Just a Lil Bit” and “Candy Shop” featuring Olivia, the only lady on G-Unit records. His sophomore album was a hit, selling over 5 million copies and garnering a Grammy nomination for rap album of the year in 2005.

He lost that year to Kanye West, and the record breaking rappers did the legendary cover of “Rolling Stone.” Both rappers had albums that dropped on September 11th, and the release was played up by the media as a rivalry. However, they both have made it clear that it is nothing more than friendly competition.

50 Cent has been keeping busy traveling around to promote his new self-titled third album, Curtis. It is another club banging, story telling, boastful 50 Cent classic. This album was highly anticipated by fans everywhere who wanted to know what was on the rapper’s mind after letting go of Olivia, publicly beefing with rapper, Cameron, and competing with Kanye West in album sales. It alsoshows fans a different side of the rapper, a more sensual side, with songs like “Amusement Park,” which we can assure you is not a place for kids.

50 Cent promises fans that this year will be a big year. In addition to promoting his album, he recently launched his own film production company, G-Unit Films. He has been working on a feature film with Nicolas Cage, called “The Dance,” and is set to star opposite Robert DeNiro in “Righteous Kill.” With a production company, a record deal and several other business ventures under his belt, it is plain to see that there is a lot more to this rapper than meets the eye.

Copied with permission from: http://plrplr.com/63464/what-s-hot-on-50-cent/


10 Jan

Kenny Rogers Plastic Surgery

Early in his career Rogers was often times teased about his weight. While he has never been what you would call fat, he has been heavy and sometimes looked a bit bloated. For this he enlisted some help to make himself more on the cutting edge of the new stars that were appearing. He managed to get his weight under control and that meant a lot of work but it has worked for him well. Then to add insult to injury he was becoming a bit old looking. The many lines around his eyes showed the signs of his lifestyle which sometimes mirrored the men in his songs. His constant on the go theme of life had finally caught up with him and there was little that he himself could do about it. The damage had been done and Kenny Rogers’ plastic surgery seemed to be the only answer.

Kenny Rogers’ plastic surgery seemed to be a disaster from the start. He went in to have some of the aging look taken care of and ended up looking horrible. This is one of the more sore spots for Rogers as he tells a good many reporters that this is not the way that he intended to look but that is what he got. He knows all to well that the skin around his eyes is pulled too tight and that his face looks like it may rip open. Even though his new wife tells him that he looks great, he knows better and is enlisting the help of a team of plastic surgeons to undo what has been done already.


9 Jan

Melanie Slade The Latest Footballer S Wife

Melanie Slade is the girlfriend of Arsenal footballer Theo Walcott and the latest addition to the real “Footballer’s Wives” stable. She first met the England squad member outside the shop where she worked at West Quay shopping mall in Southampton. Melanie was outside with a basket in her hand when Walcott’s friend announced “the basket is for phone numbers”.

Cheeky Theo scribbled his mobile number on a scrap of paper and tossed it into Mels basket and his friend did the same. The romance had begun and Melanie Slade and Theo Walcott have been an item ever since.

Walcott said they are not a typical “footballer couple” and would not let the media attention affect them. He said: “We haven’t been to any footballer parties at all. We’re not people who like to party.”

Walcott has told the media he and Melanie made a bet as to who could pass their driving test first and Melanie won, as Theo failed his first test and Melanie passed hers at the first time of asking.

There were no hard feelings on losing the bet and Theo spent


9 Jan

Celebrity Social Gossip And Scandal Is Everywhere

Not many people can resist a bit of gossip about the celebrities that make the news. Award ceremonies are a great way to see what everyone is wearing and how bad or good they look wearing it. Watching a popular starlet stumble her way to the podium wearing an unflattering dress can lead to weeks of gossip about what not to wear when the cameras are hot and ready. Magazines are filled with the latest fashion mistakes that the stars make when they venture out into public places.

Celebrity relationships continue to baffle most of us. What makes motion picture stars such as Brad Pitt leave one relationship for another? Celebrity gossip has followed Mr. Pitt as he baffles the media with his behavior. The scandal of celebrity relationships gone wrong is always at the forefront of the news, covering the pages of serious newspapers all the way to gossip magazines that line the shelves at the grocery store.

Stars range from movie starlets such as Meg Ryan to music icons such as Madonna. Society loves to follow their actions whether they are performing in front of a camera or on stage. And when these stars are caught at their worst, even more gossip hits that media.

Celebrity news and gossip can be found in magazines, on the radio, and on the television screen. Gossip is a great way to take a break from the more serious news that is found both locally and around the world. As a society we like to follow the actions of those people we see in the media light. After all, do you really want to miss out seeing the next outrageous outfit that Paris Hilton is going to wear?


9 Jan

Celebrity Hairstyles And Wedding Hairstyle Trends

Jennifer Aniston and Jennifer Lopez were two of the most popular celebrities that people were talking about when it comes to hair styles. Each of these celebrities had a hairstyle that no one else could touch and until recently, many of us only dreamed we could have a Jennifer Aniston Sedu hairstyle or a Jennifer Lopez Sedu hairstyle.

Creating beautiful wedding hairstyles is easy after browsing through the numerous bridal printed magazines or available on the Internet. Searching “hairstyles 2006″ in popular search engines, you’ll have a plenty of ideas.

Long hairstyles are still the favorites of most brides, because they add sophistication and elegance to a wedding ceremony and reception accordingly. Go for casual, romantic long hairstyles or practical, modern short styles if you feel that any of them match your own style. If you are wearing short hair but you want a fashionable long hairstyle or up-do, you can let you hair grow in plenty of time or opt using hair extensions.

If you decide to wear a Jennifer Aniston sedu hairstyle or a Jennifer Lopez sedu hairstyle for your wedding or your friends’ wedding, I’ll reveal the secrets here. The secret behind their gorgeous hairstyle is of course partly due to the sedu flat iron, not to mention what they do prior to using this wonderful sedu flat iron. They both must use a conditioning shampoo and then dry well and again add more conditioning to assist in straightening their hair and making it very soft and flexible. The next step in the Jennifer Aniston sedu hairstyle is to add equal parts of shaping gel and calming serum massaged into the hair. Using a big round hairbrush and your blow dryer, you will be simulating how Jennifer Lopez sedu hairstyle is created. The next thing these two Celebrities have done is the flattening with the sedu flat iron.

Will the 2006 hairstyles give us the same great looks with celebrity hairstyles or is there a change a coming? The new in fashion for celebrity hairstyles, or what designers are saying, is that short hair is coming back in style. The bob is one of the hairstyles that is making its way to the big screen and all around Hollywood. This celebrity hairstyle is easy to manage, looks great, and may become the top 2006 hairstyle. We will have to wait and see if the Jennifer Aniston sedu hairstyle or the Jennifer Lopez sedu hairstyle will be one of the prominent celebrity hairstyles in 2006 or if someone else with a bob style or a curly style makes the headlines. Whatever wedding hairstyles you choose, they shouldn’t lose your personal identity.