Review Category : Top Stories

Andy Grammer Says His Late Mom Inspired Him to Do “Dancing with the Stars”

ABC/Adam Taylor(NEW YORK) — Andy Grammer will be one of several singers competing this season on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars,along with Backstreet Boy Nick Carter, R&B legend Chaka Khan, and reality star, talk show host and singer Tamar Braxton. Andy says he feels his late mom would’ve wanted him to do the show, and he’s dancing, in part, to honor her memory and feel close to her.

Andy posted a photo on Facebook of him as a kid, dancing with his mom, Kathryn, who died of breast cancer several years ago. He wrote, “When I performed ‘Honey, I’m Good’ on Dancing with the Stars last season, it was obviously exciting and a thrill, but there was something extra and deeper about being there. Anyone who knew my mother, knows she LOVED dance. Anytime it came on the TV her eyes would light up and would get lost in the screen. I remember countless times sitting with her and listening to her say, ‘My one regret in life is that I wish I had been a dancer.'”

Andy continues, “If you have lost someone close in your life, you know that it can be tough to stay/feel connected to those who pass on. Maybe you hear a song and it reminds you of them, or every time you eat a certain dish you feel their presence somehow. These things become really important in ways others might not understand. All I can say is that when I went in to do a rehearsal for DWTS last season, I was overcome with emotion and just barely kept my s**t together. She would have completely lost her mind to sit front row at Dancing With The Stars and I could feel that in my chest loud and clear.”

“So this one is for you mom. I don’t know how to dance, but I’m pretty sure that wherever you are it’s going to make you very happy to see me try. I miss you, I love you, and I will be stretching my hammies to make you proud,” he finished. “Game on.”

As for his chances on the show, Andy tells Billboard, “There is no doubt about it. I don’t know how to dance and I don’t have any extra flexible skills. There is going to be a lot of molding.” But, he adds, “I still think I got a shot.” He’s paired with pro Alison Holker.

Andy will fit Dancing with the Stars in his touring schedule, according to Billboard, and he tells the publication he hopes to dance on the show to his new single, “Good to Be Alive.” That track will appear on a new deluxe re-release of Andy’s album Magazines or Novels, due November 6.

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Poppies Commemorating World War I Go on UK Tour

Photo by Jim Dyson/Getty Images(LONDON) — A display of 888,246 ceramic poppies at the Tower of London, an exhibit that attracted millions on visitors last year, is going on tour across the United Kingdom, first stopping at Yorkshire Sculpture Park on Sept. 5.

Created by artist Paul Cummins and installation designer Tom Piper, “Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red” was a way to honor every single death in the British and colonial forces during World War I.

“The London installation had a huge impact on all those who saw it and the new installations will do the same,” John Whittingdale, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, said in a written statement. “This is an another important opportunity for us to remember and pay tribute to those who gave their lives in the First World War”

“The calmness and nature of the Park will offer visitors an ideal space for contemplation and reflection,” Peter Murray, executive director of the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, said in a written statement, noting that the poppies will be surrounded by 500 acres of countryside and woodland.

The installation known as “Weeping Window” will later be exhibited at Woodhorn Museum, in Northumberland and at St. George’s Hall in Liverpool.

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Bizarre Travel Hoax Involves Fake Pregnancy and Search for Baby Daddy

Natalie Amyot/YouTube(NEW YORK) — A French woman made headlines Tuesday when she went on a very public search for the father of her unborn baby conceived during a one-night-stand on her Australia vacation.

But it all turned out to be a bizarre tourism marketing campaign for Holiday Mooloolaba. Mooloolaba is a tourist destination on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland, Australia.

In a video posted to YouTube Aug. 30, a young woman who identifies herself as Natalie Amyot stands on a beach and says she had gone on a vacation to Mooloolaba three months earlier. She describes her amazing trip and says on the last night, she met a man and “had a beautiful night.”

The next day she flew home to Paris and lost her phone with his contact details. Six weeks later, she said, she found out she was pregnant.

She returned to Mooloolaba, she said, to find him. Her video pleads with the public to share it and help her find her baby’s father. It was viewed almost 2 million times.

On Tuesday, “Amyot” — who has since been outed as an actress — posted a new video called “I FOUND HIM.” It’s then revealed that the video was produced by Andy Seller of Sunny Coast Social Media for Holiday Mooloolaba.

“I know there’s going to be a lot of you upset by this,” Seller says to the camera.

He goes on to say that while “Amyot” was the face of the video, he did all the behind-the-scenes work.

Commenters on the reveal video are angry.

“Mooloolaba is a beautiful place, but why advertise in such a negative way? You’ve more than likely turned people away now. Great job,” one person wrote.

“HEY YOU, I sincerely hope that nobody will ever come, but EVER, to your s***** moolooly spot. Which really sounds so s***** you have to create a f****** story about pregnant girls to get people over you f****** moron,” wrote another.

In the video, Seller, the creator, says. “We just wanted to put Mooloolaba on the map because it’s a wonderful place. So thank you for watching and we are going to do many, many more videos like this.”

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How Paula Deen’s Weight Loss Encouraged Her to Dance

Larry Marano/Getty Images For SOBEWFF(NEW YORK) — Paula Deen may have dropped some serious weight in the past, but the Dancing With the Stars contestant said she “never” gave up butter.

When asked by Good Morning America what she would do to sweeten up the judges for good scores, she said, “I dunno, bring ‘em butter!”

“I probably will. I’ve asked wherever they put me to stay, if there was just a little kitchen, not much of one, but that’s what I where I go to decompress and to get into my little safety area,” she said. “Louis is my partner and I fed him pretty good this last week because we’ve been practicing at my house, so I fed him pretty good this week.”

With a lot of dancing in her future, Deen, 68, said she’s excited for the challenge and that after she dropped all the weight a few years back, 35 pounds, she feels ready for the show.

“It was a process getting here. But when I finally dropped the weight off I thought well, maybe I can do it,” she added. “Maybe I can do it now. And I’ve been eating out of my new cookbook that comes out next week, I’ve been eating that now for a couple of years, which has allowed me to get to where I think I might can do it.”

She said she’s going to stay in shape for the show, but that she’ll never turn her back on her favorite ingredient.

“I never gave up butter,” she stressed. “Never, never. But the big word in my life now is, ‘moderation.’ Moderation, moderation, moderation.

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Attorney General: ‘Sad Fact’ That ‘No One Is Safe’ Now from Gun Violence

NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — The nation’s top law enforcement official offered a sobering and blunt warning to Americans Wednesday: “It is a sad fact now that no one is safe.”

Attorney General Loretta Lynch was responding to a spate of “tragic” and “particularly troubling” attacks across the country in recent weeks.

“We have seen violence strike at all segments of our community,” she noted before listing several “brutal” cases from the past couple of months: The June massacre inside a historic church in Charleston, South Carolina; the attack at a Tennessee movie theater in July; and last month’s terrorist attack on military personnel in Tennessee.

“The particularly violent shootings of two Virginia reporters killed on air last week,” Lynch said, also noting the deadly ambush of an officer pumping gas in Texas last week, and Tuesday’s fatal shooting of a police officer in Illinois.

“This violence against all of us — regardless of what uniform any of us wear — has to end,” Lynch said.

She said she “strongly condemn[s]” the recent attacks on police officers, adding, “Our hearts are broken over this.”

Lynch, speaking to a crowd at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, said her own agency, the Justice Department, is trying to determine exactly what is behind the “uptick in violent crime.”

She noted that she’s holding a summit in Detroit later this month with law enforcement from certain cities around the country to discuss ways to address the issue. In addition, she has asked some U.S. attorneys to set up similar meetings in their own areas because “specific causes” of violence are “different in every location,” she said.

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US Stocks Rebound in Volatile Start to September Trading

Spencer Platt/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Stocks rebounded Wednesday morning despite continued volatility from global financial markets.

Shortly after the opening bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average increased about 1.2 percent to about 16,226, while the S&P 500 had a partial comeback, up about 1.1 percent. The NASDAQ composite moved higher about 1.3 percent.

Earlier Wednesday, the Shanghai Composite Index closed 0.2 percent lower at about 3,160, the last day of trading before the market closes for a two-day holiday celebrating the 70th anniversary of Japan’s defeat in World War II.

A report in China on Tuesday said manufacturing in that country fell to a three-year low last month, moving U.S. stocks lower. American investors fear that an economic slowdown in China will affect business activity at home.

Meanwhile, a possible increase in U.S. interest rates keeps other investors jittery. At the closing bell on Tuesday in the U.S., the Dow Jones Industrial Average, NASDAQ and S&P 500 all ended the day in the red, with the Dow briefly dropping more than 500 points and closing down about 2.8 percent at the end of trading in New York.

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Mars Curiosity Rover Finds Mysterious ‘Floating Spoon’ on the Red Planet

NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS(NEW YORK) — We’ve spotted faces, animals and now even a kitchen utensil on the surface of Mars.

The Mars Curiosity Rover captured a photo of the Red Planet’s surface showing a mysterious rock formation that looks a lot like a floating spoon.

Located in the center of the photo, the feature appears to be floating in mid air with a shadow from the “spoon” being cast onto the red surface of the planet. The Martian oddity was first noticed by users on the Unmanned Spaceflight forum.

It’s unclear how old the delicate feature may be or how long it will be able to survive on the surface before its worn down by Martian weather.

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New “Dancing with the Stars” Cast Includes Paula Deen, Tamar Braxton & More

ABC/Ida Mae Astute(NEW YORK) — The full cast of season 21 of ABC’s Dancing with the Stars has finally been revealed, and it turns out most of the rumors regarding who would be included turned out to be true — including controversial celebrity chef Paula Deen.

Nine of the celebrity dancers had already been revealed before Wednesday morning’s announcement, with the most recent Gary Busey, who made the announcement on Tuesday night’s Jimmy Kimmel Live! The final four contestants revealed on GMA were former Real Housewives of Atlanta star Kim Zolciak, singer and reality show star Tamar Braxton, celebrity chef Paula Deen — who immediately started talking and wouldn’t stop for about a minute — and National Guard Specialist Alek Skarlatos, who helped subdue a gunman on a French train last month.

Here are the celebrity and pro pairings for the new season of Dancing with the Stars:

  • Kim Zolciak (ex-Real Housewife of Atlanta) and Tony Dovolani
  • Tamar Braxton (singer, reality star, talk show host) and Val Chmerkovskiy
  • Paula Deen (celebrity chef) and Louis Van Amstel
  • Nick Carter (Backstreet Boys member) and Sharna Burgess
  • Alexa PenaVega (Actress, wife of Carlos PenaVega) and Mark Ballas
  • Carlos PenaVega (Big Time Rush member, actor, husband of Alex PenaVega) and Witney Carson
  • Andy Grammer (“Honey I’m Good” Singer) and Alison Holker
  • Bindi Irwin (daughter of late Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin) and Derek Hough
  • Victor Espinoza (jockey) and Karina Smirnoff
  • Chaka Khan (singer) and Keo Motsepe
  • Hayes Grier (online Vine star) and Emma Slater
  • Gary Busey (actor) and Anna Trebunskaya
  • Alek Skarlatos (National Guard specialist ) and Lindsay Arnold

Dancing with the Stars season 21 debuts Monday, September 14 on ABC.

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Andrew Garfield Says Playing “Spider-Man” Felt ‘Like a Prison’

Ida Astute/ABC(LOS ANGELES) — Andrew Garfield was candid when asked about his experience taking on the role of The Amazing Spider-Man, calling the pressure “like a prison.”

“I was well up for the challenge and I still am,” Garfield told Indie Wire’s the Playlist while promoting his new film 99 Homes, out September 25.

He continued, “The pressure to get it right, to please everyone…it’s not going to happen…You end up pleasing no one, or everyone just a little bit. Like, ‘Eh, that was good.'”

In fact, Garfield felt like even the marketing affects the art. “[It’s] like ‘We want 50-year-old white men to love it, gay teenagers to love it, bigot homophobes in Middle America to love it, 11-year-old girls to love it.’ That’s canning Coke,” he added. “So that aspect of it was a bummer.”

For Garfield, a rising star, he was upset that the hype and the marketing affected the “unique” project the cast and crew were trying to create.

“It was about authenticity, flavor, and truth, but at the same time, I understand people want to make a lot of money, and they’re going to spend a lot of money so the playpen can be as big as it was. I can’t live that way; it sounds like a prison, to be honest, living within those expectations,” he said.

Tom Holland will take over as Spider-Man in next year’s Captain America: Civil War.

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Apple’s September Event: Don’t Forget the Operating Systems

Apple’s iOS 9 is pictured. Apple(NEW YORK) — While all eyes may be on the potential new iPhones and other hardware to be unveiled next Wednesday at Apple’s special event, it’s also possible users will find out when they can get their hands on hotly anticipated operating system updates.

The star of Apple’s event is widely expected to be the new iPhone 6S — but if history is any indicator, Apple fans should be able to expect some news on when they can download the public versions of three new operating system updates that were shown off at the company’s Worldwide Developer’s Conference in June.

Here’s a quick cheat sheet about what to expect when it comes to iOS 9, OS X “El Capitan” and watchOS 2.

iOS 9

Intelligence is the driving force in iOS 9, which will include an even smarter and more proactive Siri capable of picking up context throughout your day. The digital personal assistant fields more than one billion requests per week, according to Apple, and will be ready for plenty more work with iOS 9.

With the new update, Siri will be able to pull up results for requests such as “Show me photos from Utah last August” and “Remind me to grab my coffee off the roof of my car when I get in.”

Siri will also know to pull up music when headphones are plugged in or start an audio book a user has been listening to when they’re in their car, among a slew of other context-based features.

OS X ‘El Capitan’

The latest version of Apple’s Mac operating system, OS X “El Capitan,” has a special focus on enhancing performance for power users.

Among the new features are the ability to work across tabs in Mail, pin most visited websites in Safari and work simultaneously in windows positioned side by side. Spotlight will also be able to understand natural language, making it easier for users to find everything from files to weather and sports scores.

watchOS 2

Among the new capabilities are photo faces, including time lapses of city scenes, the ability to see a different photo every time a user glances at their wrist and nightstand mode, turning a charging watch into an alarm clock.

A time travel feature will also let users turn their crown to leap forward and backward in time to see their schedules. Siri will also respond to a voice command to start counting a workout, without a user having to touch their Apple Watch.

Many apps on the watch can run natively with the update, meaning users can expect quicker load times and even more possibilities for how they can be used.

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