Posts By Liz Black

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Stevie Wonder And Jennifer Hudson Make Beautiful Music Together

Stevie Wonder sure can class up a joint. As the only man allowed on the VH1 Divas stage last night, Wonder complemented the gorgeous Jennifer Hudson during their duet of “All In Love Is Fair.” This is one of our favorite duets of the night and cemented Hudson’s status as a diva and a legend in the making — not everyone can hold their own with Stevie and she proved herself more than capable. The soulful song played out in stark contrast to some of the other duets, like the Sheryl Crow-Miley Cyrus performance. We think it was the benchmark for elegance last night.

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Paula Trips Up, Still Divalicious

No one can contend with Simon Cowell every day, get publicly scrutinized regularly, have unflattering interviews go viral in ten minutes, and still be as beloved as Paula Abdul. Perhaps we love her because of those things, not in spite of them, but she always manages a positive outlook and recovers from them no worse for the wear. Even tonight at VH1 Divas, Paula stumbled, literally, during her opening number, but she kept right on dancing and fulfilling her hosting duties, continuing to poke fun of herself, go head to head with the worst celebrity mocker of all, Kathy Griffin, and still come out of it on top.

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The Revolution Will Be Televised – With Kasabian As Its Soundtrack

Behold the Lords of the Revolution, VH1′s newest Rock Documentary series that explores some of the biggest iconoclasts from the past century. The five-day documentary, premiering on August 10 at 8PM EST, will focus on five people or groups that have changed the shape of pop culture and in some cases, the world. Each night, a different documentary will focus on the following legends: Andy Warhol, Timothy Leary, Muhammad Ali, The Black Panthers, and Cheech and Chong.

There’s no better way to introduce the most influential minds of a past generation than with an example of the most creative minds of the next generation. The promos for Lords of the Revolution feature a band that’s no stranger to iconic imagery: Kasabian take their name from Linda Kasabian, a follower of Charles Manson and star witness in the trial that imprisoned him. Their song “Fast Fuse” (listen in the clip above or at Rhapsody) is the Stone Roses by way of the BeatlesWhite Album (so that ties nicely into the Helter Skelter-y history of their name) and is on their third album, West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum. And if you’re not convinced yet that they’re worth a listen, maybe the world’s most famous wizard will put you over the edge — Daniel Radcliffe is a fan.

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The Celebreality Interview – Matt

In one of the more drastic makeovers on The Pickup Artist this season, Matt went from zero to hero in the blink of an eye (and a wax of the chest). While he could often be found dressed in a dapper suit while wooing the ladies with his signature Oceans 11 opener, when we talked to him he was honest about how dorky he felt repeatedly using that line. Now that the show’s over, Matt discussed how he feels about losing to Simeon, not to mention how often he keeps up with his manscaping.

First of all, congrats for being one of the last two men standing. Did you get together to watch the finale with any of the other contestants?

I just had a small thing at my house – Simeon stopped by and watched it early and then went to a larger party to watch with Mystery and Matador and those guys but I decided not to go because it was his moment in the sun and I wanted to hang back.

Do you still hang out with him?

I see Simeon quite a bit because we only live about a mile from each other – for a national show it’s kind of interesting that the finalists only live a mile from each other. I also see Brian from time to time. I’ve seen everyone except Todd since the show has ended. It’s funny that Simeon and I did so well in that wingman challenge because we are complete opposites. He’s Mr. Flash and I’m Mr. Subtle. He’s Mr. Hyper and I’m Mr. Calm, so it’s funny how well it worked out since we are total opposites.

Read the rest of the interview after the jump.

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The Celebreality Interview – Simeon

Even though he was often described as hyper, The Pickup Artist 2 winner Simeon managed to dominate on several of the final challenges, beating out some stiff competition. He would often dress like a rock star, with jewelry, nail polish and a cowboy hat rounding out his bad-boy avatar. But when we talked to him he was calm and extremely positive about his experience – easy to get along with. Simeon also revealed the surprising place where he purchased that magical cowboy hat.

Congratulations! Has your life changed much since Sunday night’s premiere?

Well, I’ve been getting a lot more heartfelt text messages these days. I’m definitely enjoying having the cat out of the bag, I can talk about it now. It was a secret for so long.

When did filming wrap?

End of June. I’ve known for almost half a year! It’s a long time to keep secrets from your best friends, but it made it for a bigger, more fun surprise for everyone.

What were your friend’s and family’s reactions?

Some people said they knew the whole time that I’d win, but some people had told me the exact opposite, like “I know you didn’t win, but I bet you’ll get far.” My family is pretty happy for me and my dad is currently getting t-shirts made with my face on it because he’s so proud. I wasn’t sure how my parents would take it but they think it’s a good thing.

What did they say when you told them you were auditioning for the show?

You know, I didn’t give them a lot of detail. I basically told them it was a reality show and I’d tell them more about it later. I wanted to keep it under wraps.

Read the rest of the interview after the jump.

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The Pick-Up Artist 2 Recap – Finale

It’s the final countdown!

Matt and Simeon may have worked well together as wingmen, but they battled each other in the final episode of The Pickup Artist. As they clashed, we had a few questions. Would Simeon’s cowboy hat reign supreme? Would Matt’s boa finally become useful? Could eyebrow piercing triumph over cosmetic dentistry?

It was a tight race, but ultimately Simeon was crowned (crookedly, one assumes) this season’s pickup artist.

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The Pick-Up Artist 2 Recap – Episode 7

Pickup-san, you have learned well, but for this challenge the student becomes the master.

No sooner had Mystery told the three remaining guys that they have 24 hours to each train a newbie at pickup, than there was a knock-knock-knocking on the front door. These new students, Chuck, Ryan and Darrick, are none other than Matt, Simeon and Greg’s BFFs from back home, and they’re here basically learn how to become Wingmen 4 Life (throw up your W-4-L hand signs! Woo!). The nice thing about having newbies around is that we get a whole new makeover episode, but what’s with all the ominous dun-dun-DUUUNN music? Are we being foreshadowed? Is this makeover going to turn out horribly? What does the future hold for these brave, soon-to-be spray-tanned souls?

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The Celebreality Interview – Rian

28-year-old virgin Rian Turner was bounced from The Pickup Artist this week. According to his bio, he considers himself the “patron saint of the overlooked,” something he’s proud of. In a recent chat he told me he’s fine not being like all the other guys in the house. Despite his elimination, Rian was proud of how far he came, and made it clear that his outlook on playing “The Game” doesn’t include nailing everything that moves. During our chat he was candid, admitting that his honesty is what made the world of pickup a little harder for him; indeed, the self-proclaimed “dad” of the house was open about every subject that came up, from how he felt when Greg left him hanging, to all those tears he shed this season.

Did you think you’d be safe from elimination because your wingman Greg’s errors were bigger than yours?

Mystery‘s own words were “This is a wingmanship challenge”. It’s about trust and supporting your partner, so I did everything I could to make sure my buddy got a make out, and he didn’t return the favor. I can appreciate that he didn’t know which girl I was targeting, but he didn’t even make an effort. At least I made the effort. I was trying to juggle two women, but I have some of the same software that women do – as they refer to it, the “anti-slut defense” – women like to have plausible deniability for their actions. I have that too; I didn’t want to go in for a kiss unless I was reasonably certain she wanted one. I could tell physically she was giving me IOI’s but verbally she was telling me no and, ah…silly me, I was listening. I’m sorry but I’m a straight-forward person. If someone tells me no, I assume they mean no.

It does seem like the game of pickup requires some acting, and you wanted to be yourself as much as you could?

No offense to the other guys, but I don’t think they really played up the fact that unlike them, I was trying to do this completely honestly. I didn’t want to use any of their lines or openers or anecdotes for things I hadn’t done. I was trying to be completely legit, which was my own little handicap. It would have been easier using their material instead of crafting my own, but I was trying to be as honorable and truthful as I can.

Read the rest of the interview after the jump.

See a sneak peek of Sunday’s show

See PickUp Artist photos

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The Pick-Up Artist 2 Recap – Episode 6

This week on The Pickup Artist, the guys show how far they’ve come, and man, they sure don’t look like the same nerds we met six weeks ago. They were total pros out in the field and there was lots of making out going on. There was also a very Top Gun vibe what with all the wingmen – Rian and Greg easily filled the roles of Maverick and Goose as they competed against Matt and Simeon (er, Iceman and Slider) for immunity. There was no sexy, sweaty beach volleyball, but we did get a glimpse at a new, shirtless Simeon. Umm, Simeon. . .care to explain?

When Rian returns to the house with the last of Mystery’s medallions from last week, Simeon tells the group “We’re the Fantastic Four right here.” With Brian now gone, the guys have lost a friend, but also a rival – they’re all one step closer to being the master pickup artist, but first, in a move to see whose day game it tops, they’re are hurtled into a sea of coupon-clippers and price checks at the grocery store.

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The Celebreality Interview – Brian

After watching this season of The Pick Up Artist, it’s obvious that Brian might be the show’s craziest contestant. He has made out with mannequins, admitted to practicing his kissing technique on ham slices, and coined more than his share of slang (“smokin’ balls,” anyone?). Turns out, Brian in real life is exactly like Brian on the show, and when we talked, our conversation had equal amounts ADD and TMI – that’s just how Brian rolls. Deep down though, he’s all about making friends with everyone. In fact, I think we ended the conversation with my promising to cook him dinner if he’s ever in New York. He may be off the show, but Brian’s not easily forgotten.

So tell me, what was it like meeting Mystery, was it exciting or did he just come across as a normal guy?

He was a bit different. When I first saw him I was like wow, he looks like a rock star. I thought we’d have to dress like him and I was like “I’m way too short to wear that trench coat,” and I didn’t know if I’d be able to pull off the Darth Vader goggles and cowboy hat.

Everyone else that I’ve talked to from the show says that you’re the one person they all definitely keep in touch with.

I pretty much get along with everyone and there really wasn’t like any major drama and it’s not like a show where you get voted off, it’s all based on performance so you can do good for three or four challenges and the next challenge you screw up and get kicked off.

Read the rest of the interview after the jump.

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