Review Category : Entertainment

Super Bowl 50: The Halftime Show

ABC News(SANTA CLARA, CALIF.) — Coldplay offered a flashback performance during the Super Bowl 50 halftime show Sunday night at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California, dipping deep into their catalog while also paying homage to past performers who’ve graced the big stage at the big game — with the help of Beyoncé and Bruno Mars.

Chris Martin and company teased their first hit, “Yellow,” before launching into “Viva La Vida.” Martin commanded a psychedelic stage while the fans in the seats held up yellow, blue and orange signs.

Martin said, “Wherever you are, we are in this together,” before seguing into the sing-along “Oooooh” part of the song.

His band — which was joined by the Youth Orchestra Los Angeles — followed up with “Paradise,” as the audience surrounding the stage waved their arms.

Chris shed his jacket with blue patches for a more recent tune, “Adventure Of A Lifetime,” jumping up and down and singing “Woohoo” repeatedly.

Coldplay gave way to Bruno Mars and Mark Ronson, who delivered their smash hit “Uptown Funk.” Bruno wore a shiny black outfit with sunglasses, plus large chains dangling from his neck.

A marching band led into Beyoncé, who performed her just-released song “Formation.” She and Bruno then had a bit of a dance-off before she and Martin joined in on “Uptown Funk,” with a sample of Bey’s “Crazy In Love” mixed in.

Coldplay returned with “Clocks” and “Fix You,” as viewers saw a montage of highlights of past Super Bowl halftime performances from the likes of Michael Jackson, Bruce Springsteen, Prince, Stevie Wonder and others.

Martin, Beyoncé and Bruno all sang Coldplay’s “Up&Up” to close things out.

A new Beyoncé tour was announced immediately after her appearance in the halftime show.

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Super Bowl 50: The Pregame Performances

ABC News(NEW YORK) — Lady Gaga dazzled at Super Bowl 50, performing the national anthem before the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers faced off at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California.

Accompanied by a pianist, Gaga delivered a stunning performance of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” She wore a shimmering red outfit for the occasion.

After belting out the final words, Gaga said, “God bless you, America.”

Oscar-winning actress Marlee Matlin signed the national anthem for the hearing impaired.

Before Gaga took center stage, an Armed Forces chorus sang “America the Beautiful.”

The Tailgate Party during the pregame show was headlined by Seal and country star Sam Hunt.

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A History of Super Bowl Halftime Performances

Katy Perry performs at Super Bowl 49; Tom Pennington/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — The Super Bowl halftime show normally features the biggest names in music, who are often veteran performers. This year’s headliners, pop/rock band Coldplay, aren’t on the level of past headliners like The Rolling Stones and Bruce Springsteen, but they’re a bit more seasoned than the headliners from the last two years: Katy Perry and Bruno Mars.

Coldplay, who just released a new album, A Head Full of Dreams, will celebrate their 20th anniversary this year. They’ll take the stage with some help from past headliner Beyonce and, rumor has it, Bruno Mars, who headlined in 2014. Special guests have also been teased for today’s 12-minute performance.

It’s more than been ten years since Janet Jackson’s notorious “wardrobe malfunction” scandal of 2004 led the NFL to turn to “safe” classic rock acts. In addition to the Stones and Springsteen, we saw Paul McCartney, The Who and Tom Petty take the stage over the past decade. Contemporary pop returned to the scene in 2011, when the Black Eyed Peas took the stage; no wardrobe malfunctions ensued.

The NFL took a risk in 2012 with one of pop music’s most controversial stars, Madonna, but the only controversy that emerged from that was courtesy of one of her invited guests, M.I.A., who flipped the bird during the performance. In 2013, Beyonce delivered a widely-acclaimed performance, though some felt her outfit and her gyrations were a bit racy.

Early in her career, Katy Perry had been a bit controversial due to her #1 hit “I Kissed a Girl,” and for her cleavage-baring outfits, but last year, her spectacular headlining show went off without controversy, to great critical acclaim and record viewership.

But believe it or not, the trend of having major pop, rock and country music stars appear at the Super Bowl halftime show only dates back to 1991, when New Kids on the Block performed. Before that, the halftime show usually consisted of marching bands, older stars like Chubby Checker and Ella Fitzgerald, or the G-rated vocal troupe Up with People. That’s because initially, the halftime show was designed to entertain the audience in the stands, not those viewing at home. As the New York Times puts it, “It was decades before the NFL realized that the halftime show plays not to the stadium but to the camera.”

But after ’91, it was all stars, all the time, especially in 1993, when Michael Jackson, the reigning King of Pop, sang “Heal the World” with thousands of children. Writes the Times, “It was one template for the Super Bowl shows that eventually followed: a superstar, big hits, a cast of thousands and graphics for blimps to photograph from above.”

Here’s a reminder of who’s played Super Bowl halftime shows in the modern era:

1991 — New Kids on the Block
1992 — Gloria Estefan
1993 — Michael Jackson, performing with 3,500 children
1994 — Country stars Clint Black, Tanya Tucker, Travis Tritt, Wynonna, and Naomi Judd
1995 — Patti Labelle, Miami Sound Machine & Tony Bennett
1996 — Diana Ross
1997 — ZZ Top, James Brown, the Blues Brothers featuring Dan Aykroyd, John Goodman and James Belushi
1998 — Boyz II Men, Smokey Robinson, Martha Reeves, the Temptations, Queen Latifah
1999 — Stevie Wonder, Gloria Estefan, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
2000 — Phil Collins, Christina Aguilera, Enrique Iglesias, Toni Braxton
2001 — Aerosmith, ‘N Sync, Britney Spears, Nelly, Mary J. Blige
2002 — U2
2003 — Shania Twain, No Doubt, Sting
2004 — Janet Jackson, Justin Timberlake, Nelly, Kid Rock, P. Diddy
2005 — Paul McCartney
2006 — The Rolling Stones
2007 — Prince
2008 — Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
2009 — Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
2010 — The Who
2011 — Black Eyed Peas
2012 — Madonna
2013 — Beyonce (and Destiny’s Child, briefly)
2014 — Bruno Mars feat. Red Hot Chili Peppers
2015 — Katy Perry, Lenny Kravitz & Missy Elliott
2016 — Coldplay, Beyonce and guests

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Nearly 30 Years After “Like a Prayer” Furor, Madonna Song Featured in New Pepsi Super Bowl Commercial

Christopher Polk/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — It just goes to show that if you wait long enough, all scandals will fade away. Pepsi’s big Super Bowl commercial this Sunday will include a classic Madonna song — nearly thirty years after the soft-drink company had to pull an ad featuring another Madonna tune.

In 1989, Madonna’s hit “Like a Prayer” was featured in a Pepsi commercial, but controversy soon erupted over the song’s video, which featured the singer kissing a black saint and other provocative uses of Catholic imagery. The Vatican condemned the video, and family and religious groups threatened a boycott of Pepsi products. Pepsi caved, the ad was pulled and Madonna’s contract was canceled, though she kept her initial fee.

Now, another classic Madonna tune — “Express Yourself” — is featured in Pepsi’s new commercial, which has a theme of past, present and future.

The spot, starring R&B singer Janelle Monae [moh-NAY], starts with her dancing to the sixties hit “Do You Love Me” by the Contours. Next, she’s sporting an early Madonna outfit and dancing to “Express Yourself.” The spot ends with Janelle singing her updated version of the “Joy of Pepsi” jingle.

As for why “Express Yourself,” which appears on Madonna’s 1989 album Like a Prayer, was chosen, Pepsi VP of marketing Chad Stubbs tells Ad Age, “It was within that album and era that we had worked with Madonna before.”

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Helen Mirren Defends Academy in Oscar Diversity Debate

Helen Mirren accepts the Best Actress in a Leading Role Oscar for “The Queen” in 2007; Michael Caulfield/WireImage(NEW YORK) — Oscar winner Helen Mirren is defending the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in the Oscars diversity debate.

Asked about the controversy by England’s Channel 4 News, the 70-year-old actress said she thinks “it’s unfair to attack the Academy.”

“It just so happened this year it went that way,” she said Wednesday about the Academy’s failure to nominate any people of color in the top acting categories for a second year in a row.

She did acknowledge that “Idris Elba absolutely would have been nominated for an Oscar,” but explained that “he wasn’t because not enough people saw — or wanted to see — a film about child soldiers.”

Elba won the SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor last weekend for his role in Beasts of No Nation.

The bigger issue, Mirren added, “is what happens before the film gets to the Oscars.”

“What kind of films are made, and the way in which they’re cast, and the scripts,” she said. “So it’s those things that are much more influential ultimately than who stands there with an Oscar.”

The Academy recently announced that it was planning to double the number of women and diverse members by 2020.

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Chris Rock Opens Up About Black Hollywood, the Oscars, His Future, in “Essence”

Image courtesy Essence magazine(NEW YORK) — With all the controversy surrounding Hollywood’s lack of diversity, Chris Rock seems to have the weight of the world on his shoulders with his upcoming duties as host of this year’s Academy Awards.

The multiple Emmy- and Grammy Award-winning funnyman recently opened up to Essence magazine writer Isabel Wilkerson to share his views on Black Hollywood.

Regarding any contentious feelings about the success of his peers, Rock, who graces the cover of the Time Inc. publication, offered:

“It’s big enough for all of us. I always say that to people. Kevin Hart and I always talk about this. It never comes out of my check. If Kevin gets two million dollars, it doesn’t come out of my check. I’m not short ten million dollars because Kevin Hart has a big movie. Good for him. It’s a good thing for everybody….”

When it comes to the challenges African-American actresses encounter pertaining to their white peers, the Top Five star said:

“I’ve never done a movie, any movie, the silliest movie, where someone, some studio person hasn’t gone, ‘Does the girl have to be black?’ It happens every time. Black women get paid less than everybody in Hollywood. Everybody’s talking about Jennifer Lawrence. Talk to Gabrielle Union. If you want to hear stories, talk to Nia Long. Talk to Kerry Washington. They would love to get to Jennifer Lawrence’s place, or just be treated with the same amount of respect. Black women are the least represented on-screen. They just are. You can go see a lot of movies and there’s not one black woman in there with, like, a real part. It’s a real, real, real problem….”

The newly divorced father, who launched his career in 1990 on Saturday Night Live, pondered the future of his career, too: “I was with [Jerry] Seinfeld the other day. We were like, what we got? Five years? Six years? Literally. That’s not saying making a living. It’s saying, how much longer do you have where people are going to care what you say?”

Rock, who last hosted the Academy Awards in 2005, confessed about the prospects of this year’s ceremony: “It could go horribly wrong. Don’t ever think that it can’t. That’s when it goes wrong—when you don’t think there’s any chance of it going wrong. If you know it won’t, it probably won’t.”

The March edition of Essence magazine is on newsstands nationally on February 12.

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“MacGyver” Movie, TV Reboot Planned

CBS via Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Break out your Swiss army knife — MacGyver‘s coming back.

Variety reports entertainment company Lionsgate made the announcement Friday during an earnings call, revealing both a movie and subsequent CBS TV show are planned. The original series credit, Lee David Zlotoff, is on board, as is Neal Moritz, who produces the monster hit Fast and the Furious movie franchise.

MacGyver ran on ABC for seven years, from 1985 to 1992, and starred Richard Dean Anderson as the globe-trotting, troubleshooting adventurer Angus MacGyver, who refused to use guns but instead relied on his wits, ingenuity and ever-present Swiss army knife to get himself out of a jam.

“MacGyver” has since become so synonymous with clever improvised solutions, Oxford Dictionaries last year added it to its online dictionary.

No word on when the MacGyver reboot will hit the big and small screens.

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George Clooney: It Took 25 Minutes for Amal to Say Yes When He Proposed

Ernesto Ruscio/GC Images(NEW YORK) — George Clooney said he knew within six months after meeting his future wife Amal that he wanted to marry her.

The 54-year-old actor shared with Ellen DeGeneres the moment he proposed to the British-Lebanese human rights lawyer, 38, and why it took her 25 minutes to realize what he was actually doing.

“I think it was about six months until I actually thought I might pop the question, and it was one of those horrible moments — we didn’t talk about it. It wasn’t like, ‘Oh, maybe we should get married,’ or anything. I plotted the whole thing out,” Clooney told DeGeneres on her show. “I had the ring hidden behind her. I had music playing — my Aunt Rosemary’s gonna sing ‘Why Shouldn’t I?’ Everything was planned out and I’ve cooked dinner.”

Amal, who had just returned from London, suggested to Clooney that they order in.

“And I go, ‘No, no, no. I’ve made dinner.’ I’ve got it all set up, timed out, and the song is coming and she gets up to go wash the dishes — which she’s never done,” he recalled with a laugh. “And I’m like, ‘What are you doing?'”

When she finally finished, Clooney blew out the candle and asked Amal to hand him the lighter in a box behind her.

“She reaches around and she pulls out the box and I’ve got just the ring sitting in there,” he recalled. “And she pulls it out and she looks at it and she’s like, ‘It’s a ring.’ Like somebody had left it there some other time! I don’t know. I’m doing all the moves you can do with my face.”

But Amal still had no clue.

Then, Clooney recalled, “I got down on my knee and said, ‘I couldn’t imagine spending the rest of my life without you.’ And she kept looking at the ring and she was looking at me and she was like, ‘Oh, my God.’ And we now know, because there was a playlist, so we know how long it actually took, and it was like 25 minutes.

“Finally, I literally said, ‘Look, I hope the answer’s yes, but I need an answer. I’m 52 and I could throw out my hip pretty soon,'” he continued. “And she said, ‘Oh, yes.'”

The pair wed in Venice in September 2014. “It worked out really well,” Clooney said.

“It was one of those funny things,” he said. “From the minute we met we just hit it off. From the minute we met, we sort of felt like we were gonna be together.”

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“Orange Is the New Black” Renewed for Three More Seasons

Netflix(LOS ANGELES) — Orange Is the New Black fans just got some good news to start their weekend. The hit Netflix comedy-drama has just been renewed for three more seasons. Creator and executive producer Jenji Kohan will be sticking around for the additional seasons as well.

“Audiences around the world have come to love the ladies and men of Orange Is the New Black, and we are eager to see where three more seasons will take them,” Netflix original content VP Cindy Holland said in a statement revealing the news.

Kohan’s happy, too: “[K]udos and gratitude to the stellar cast and crew and writers and producers and editors and musicians and mixers and shleppers…with whom I have the pride and honor of crafting this show,” she says. “Three more years! Three more years!”

Orange Is the New Black won the Ensemble Comedy Series award at last weekend’s Screen Actors Guild awards, while cast member Uzo Aduba won Outstanding Female in Comedy Series.

Season four of Orange Is the New Black premieres June 17 on Netflix.

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“American Idol” Recap: Season 15’s Top 24 Revealed

Michael Becker/FOX(NEW YORK) — Thursday was Final Judgment day as American Idol‘s top 24 were revealed. More than 50 remaining contestants faced off in the Showcase Round, before facing judges Keith Urban, Harry Connick, Jr. and Jennifer Lopez to see would fill the coveted spots.

Here are Thursday’s highlights:

The journey ended for a couple of early favorites. Michelle Marie performed Carrie Underwood’s “Little Toy Guns,” but while Urban noted that she really “takes to the stage,” Michelle’s charm and energy didn’t stand up to the fierce competition. Colette Lush’s audition also blew the judges away, but nerves seemed to get the better of her in the Showcase Round. Her vocal performance on Meghan Trainor‘s “Like I’m Gonna Lose You” impressed the judges, but they didn’t think she was ready for Idol‘s top 24.

Trent Harmon was dealt a devastating blow when he came down with a case of mononucleosis upon arriving in Hollywood, but he mustered every ounce of energy he could for his version of Elton John’s “Tiny Dancer.” It ended up working in his favor, as the judges thought he showed character, as well as talent, battling through his illness. He earned a spot in the top 24.

A couple of 16-year-olds also moved on to the top 24. Flame-haired Amilia Eisenhauer “left it all on the stage” for her performance of Billy Joel’s “New York State of Mind,” playing a little fiddle as well. Lee Jean sang Ed Sheeran’s “Make It Rain,” urging the crowd to keep quiet as he did – a serious no-no in Jennifer’s opinion. Both managed to convince the judges they had what it takes to be a part of Idol‘s top 24.

Thomas Stringfellow’s girlfriend of a year broke up with him just before he entered the competition for fear it would hurt their relationship, but channeled that heartbreak into his performance of One Direction’s “Story of My Life.” Harry noted there were better singers in the competition, but Thomas had a special quality that earned him a spot in the top 24.

Returning contestant Emily Brooke, who didn’t make it into last season’s top 24, gave it another shot with Carrie Underwood’s “So Small.” J-Lo thought that of all the contestants, Emily grew the most in one year, which was a testament to her commitment and talent. The judges all agreed that this was Brooke’s year and she advanced the top 24.

Gianna Isabella, the 15-year-old daughter of Brenda K. Starr and the youngest person in the competition, chose her mom’s hit single “I Still Believe,” but her mom’s maternal instinct to coach her little girl didn’t sit well with musical director Ricky Minor. Brenda backed off and Gianna did her mom proud, earning a spot in the top 24.

It was between Jordan Sasser and Kayce Haynes for the last two men’s spots. Jordan, with his wife – who had also auditioned, but didn’t make it to Hollywood – sitting in the audience, brought the house down with his version of OneRepublic’s “Love Runs Out.” However, Kayce also felt confident about his Showcase Performance, Drake’s “Hold On, We’re Going Home.” Sasser and Haynes were brought into the room together, where Harry informed them that Jordan would claim the final spot in the top 24.

It was the same process for the two remaining females: Lindita belting out Jessie J’s “Bang Bang,” and La’Porsha Renae delivering a soulful version of the classic “House of the Rising Sun.” Urban noted that Lindita brought her swagger to the competition, while La’Porsha brought soul, before revealing that Renae gobbled up the last female spot in the top 24.

Here are the top 24:

Jenn Blosil
MacKenzie Bourg
Emily Brooke
Amelia Eisenhauer
Trent Harmon
Gianna Isabella
James VIII
Lee Jean
CJ Johnson
Adam Lasher
Tristan McIntosh
Jeneve Rose Mitchell
Stephany Negrete
Dalton Rapattoni
Jenna Renae
La’Porsha Renae
Olivia Rox
Jordan Sasser
Thomas Stringfellow
Manny Torres
Sonika Vaid
Kory Wheeler
Avalon Young
Shelbie Z.

The first group of 12 semifinalists will perform when American Idol airs Wednesday night on Fox.

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