Friday, December 28, 2007

Strictly Come Dancing Alesha Dixon Wins

Perhaps the greatest Christmas present a woman can receive is the gift of a gaudy mirrorball that looks like it was bought from a car boot sale, and that's what Alesha Dixon got after winning Strictly Come Dancing on Saturday.

Alesha Dixon won Strictly Come Dancing after a tense dance-off with her dancing rival Matt Di Angelo off EastEnders. Well, OK, maybe not tense - what with Alesha and Matt doing five dances each, all the old Strictly Come Dancing contestants doing a dance each, the Spice Girls singing a song accompanied by a dance and Bruce Forsyth doing a comedy song and dance number, watching the Strictly Come Dancing final felt a little bit like wading through treacle. But, hey, who cares - Alesha Dixon has now won Strictly Come Dancing and is now almost guaranteed to get this year's Christmas number one.

No, wait, that's the other one. What exactly do Strictly Come Dancing winners do again?

This year Strictly Come Dancing trounced X Factor in the ratings, and it's not hard to see why. In one corner you had Rod Stewart's wife with her bum hanging out and in the other hand you had a weird shouting Welsh alien singing 15 songs from the musicals that all sounded exactly the same. And, as any teenage boy will tell you, bums win. Even if the bums belong to Rod Stewart's wife.

So Saturday night's Strictly Come Dancing final was more than just an overlong dance assault presented by an old man and a woman dressed as a perfume bottle - it was a celebratory lap of honour that reminded everyone time and time and time again about every single thing that happened throughout Strictly Come Dancing from beginning to end in such detail that we may as well have not watched all the other episodes in the first place.

Seriously, everything. Presumably because the finalists had to do five dances - and therefore had to change sparkly sequinny outfits five times - the Strictly Come Dancing final was stuffed to the brim with any old filler that was at hand at any given point in time. Week-by-week retrospectives that reminded us that Kate Garraway couldn't dance and Dominic Littlewood was a bit of a twerp and Letitia Dean probably blasted vomit all over the place like a disgusting oil rig that smells of guts? Check. Dances by all these people that proved that they weren't so great after all? Check. Bruce Forsyth doing a big show-stopping number about how all women are suspicious of his constant sexually-predatory behaviour? Weirdly, check.

Dances by the two Strictly Come Dancing finalists? Oh yeah, that too. To win the coveted - yet painfully ugly - Strictly Come Dancing trophy, Matt Di Angelo and Alesha Dixon had to perform a punishing five dances each. At least we think it was five - by the time they'd both done three each we started to glaze over, all the dances seemed to blend into each other and we started to lose track of time. For all we know, Alesha and Matt might have danced anything up to a trillion dances each.

But we'll stick to five for now. Dancing their favourite ballroom dance, their favourite latin dance, some weird double dance to a T.Rex song, an identical dance danced identically at the same time as each other and a frantic piece of nonsense at the end. And picking either Matt Di Angelo or Alesha Dixon as the winner of Strictly Come Dancing was too close to call, which is something we learnt by having everyone involved in Strictly Come Dancing hitting us over the head with that fact every six or seven seconds.

In the end, though, Alesha Dixon was inevitably crowned as Strictly Come Dancing champion over Matt Di Angelo, which might have something to do with the way that at no point during the series did she muddle up her dance, go and sit on some steps and start crying like a big baby girl in front of millions and millions of viewers.

So congratulations to Alesha Dixon, who joins other Strictly Come Dancing winners like, um, that cricket bloke and, you, know, the others. Since winning Strictly Come Dancing, bookmakers have already slashed the odds of Alesha Dixon getting a number one record next year, even though nobody seems to have realised that, as gifted a dancer as she may be, when Alesha Dixon sings she makes a noise like a binbag of terrier puppies being pushed down some stairs.

Project Runway Canada Winner Is Evan Biddell

The potty-mouthed, Saskatoon-raised fashion designer proved he "measures up" and became the first winner of Project Runway Canada last night. Or shall we say, almost two months ago?

Biddell was awarded PR Canada's $100,000 payout back in late-October, shortly after he and fellow finalists Marie Genevieve Cyr and Lucian Matis showed their collections at L'Oreal Fashion Week in Toronto. A contract with the show's network Slice forbade him to spread the news until last night's finale. And you can imagine how difficult that was for the outspoken stitcher.

"I'm feeling pretty amped," Biddell, 24, tells Sun Media. "I'm glad this is finally coming out to the public."

When he wasn't pulling out the dramatics -- and the expletives -- on Project Runway Canada, Biddell was effortlessly coming up with playful, edgy designs that impressed the judges (supermodel Iman, ELLE Canada editor Rita Silvan and Bustle Clothing founder Shawn Hewson) and irritated his competitors right to the very end.

"I'm pretty sure they didn't want me to win," Biddell says of Cyr and Matis. "I think both of them would have rather had the either one win over me. I remember Lucian telling me that I probably didn't deserve to win. I thought it was down to one of them. I was honestly ready to go home happy, regardless."

Biddell -- who unlike his competitors, had no professional design training prior to the show -- went home a little happier than he expected. The 10 outfits he presented at L'Oreal Fashion Week had the wow factor the judges were looking for. So what if they were inspired by Saturday-morning cartoon characters?

"It was like this sort of team of girls who were going to come out and kick your ass," Biddell says of the colourful line he designed at a friend's studio on Vancouver Island during the three-month timeslot the Top 3 were given pre-Fashion Week.

After seeing his designs -- ranging from a dangerously sexy frock to a casual leather hoodie -- on the catwalk, the thought of winning crossed Biddell's mind. But he still nearly dropped an f-bomb when supermodel host Iman announced the verdict.

"Shut the @#$% up," he repeats. (Thankfully, he managed to stop himself after "the" during the taping.)

The oh-so-tender moment was classic Biddell -- though he insists he's not deserving of the "Biddell Bitch" nickname given to him by his close friends and oft-repeated by PR Canada fans.

"I'm actually a really down-to-earth guy," he says.

Along with $100,000 to start his own fashion line, Biddell won a professional portfolio shoot, a cover and feature spread in ELLE Canada magazine and a retail mentorship with Winners. His model, Ashley Hart, will also be featured in an ELLE Canada spread.

And now that Canada knows Biddell came out on top, he's not wasting any time.

"I'm going to set up a studio and get all the equipment I need to start working and get a show together for the spring," he says.

That studio will be in Vancouver -- not Saskatoon. Biddell hasn't lived in Saskatchewan for six years. He says Vancouver has his heart, but he dreams of opening a shop in London someday.

Meantime, he'll be on the West Coast working on a line of custom (read: Expensive) pieces and a line of everyday garb. He made a point on the show of not using "sweatshop fabric" and will continue working with organic cotton, vegan silk and other eco-friendly materials. In other words, he's keeping it simple.

"I like to just have the statement made without overdoing it," he says.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

VJ Logan Wins ‘America’s Most Smartest Model’

The season finale of VH1’s America’s Most Smartest Model aired tonight, and congrats to VJ Logan for winning the competition! It was a battle of sneaky vs. sneakier, as Andre Birleanu pulled out the first stop, calling up ex-contestant and my Bret’s boyfriend Pickel to help out with the presentation. During VJ’s presentation, nevermind the sound went out, but he used terrible grammar, such as “leader of the pact,” and “if I was the winner.” Regardless, he thought on his toes and bounced back from the audio malfunctions.

Pickel was giving a great presentation for Andre until Andre decided to add his two cents in and wound up putting his foot in his mouth, adding a nail to his coffin. Nonetheless, I boo you, VH1, for not inviting him to the wrap party! For shame!

After the presentations, co-hosts Mary Alice and Ben Stein decided to have the two of them out for a head-to-head debate to decide who the winner is. While VJ discussed what an asset he’d be to the fashion industry, Andre decided to make his discussion about what a sneaky cheat VJ was. It wound up being the final nail in Andre’s coffin, making VJ the winner.

Congrats VJ, you sexy, sneaky cheat! I applaud you!

The winner’s bio:

Van Jameson Logan, born in 1986 in Modesto, Grass Valley, is an American model.

Logan was an athletic child who loved sports. He also had excel in academics where he graduated with good grades in high school. He grew up without a father. His Mother worked hard to support the family by holding down multiple jobs.

Driven to succeed to help his mother and pay for his college education, Logan gave modeling a try. He was discovered at a Pro Scout Search and quickly started his modeling career by gracing the pages of many editorial magazines and also strutted several runway shows.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

New York star Tiffany Pollard selects George Tailor Made

George "Tailor Made" Weisgerber may have still been married to his estranged wife, but that didn't stop him from proposing to Tiffany "New York" Pollard during I Love New York's second-season finale last night on VH1.

While New York didn't accept the proposal, the 25-year-old Utica, NY native and former Flavor of Love fling still presented her final chain to the Queens, NY fashion planner.

"Tailor Made, I completely trust you and I know that you're here for me and you'll never run out on me," explained New York. "But right now, I cannot accept your proposal. But if you love me -- and you honor my wishes -- in 24 months, I'd love to marry you."

Tailor Made defeated Ezra "Buddha" Masters, a model and personal trainer from Miami, FL, in their quest to win New York's heart. Earlier in the season, I Love New York producers disqualified Buddha for physically assaulting Tailor Made during a verbal confrontation the two were engaged in. New York subsequently reinstated Buddha into the competition -- apparently against producers' wishes -- because she felt he didn't leave on her terms.

"It's been a long journey, but it was all worth it," said Tailor Made. "In the end, I found the girl of my dreams."

I Love New York's finale episode began with New York, Buddha and Tailor Made traveling from Miami to Jamaica, where the final chain ceremony would be held. As soon as they arrived, New York opined about how she wished she could mesh Buddha's physique with Tailor Made's buying power.

"I wish I could combine them," said New York. "God just won't let me."

As the three ate dinner, Buddha started staring at New York, causing her to comment that he was really getting into her head. Buddha then sweet-talked New York and bad-mouthed Tailor Made, who had a hard time choosing his words. When New York asked Tailor Made why he was right for her, he answered because they're "distinctively different." He changed his answer to because they "complete each other," which New York thought made him sound like an actor.

Feeling as though the dinner couldn't have gone any worse, Tailor Made stole some alone time with New York and presented her with a jewelry box... which was empty.

"I didn't have a chance to get anything, but I wanted an excuse to come up here and be with you," explained Tailor Made.

New York was touched, describing the gesture as "sweet, clever, conniving and risky." The two walked and held hands on the beach as the hour grew late, and Buddha stewed in the resort room he was sharing with Tailor Made.

"That snake -- spineless ameba -- just stole a night with New York," opined Buddha.

The next morning Tailor Made was feeling confident until he learned New York would be taking Buddha for a one-on-one date. The two visited a plantation where they were met by horses, which she's terrified of (One would think they'd stop making New York ride horses). When the horses they were riding ventured into the water, New York freaked and wanted off. Buddha calmed her down by having her focus on Jamaica's beauty.

Tailor Made was going stir crazy back at the resort. He received a knock on the door and was met by Sister Patterson, who continued to express her concerns about Buddha's violent past. Patterson encouraged Tailor Made to be strong, giving him a pep talk and a slap in the face. Tailor Made saw it as a "wake-up call."

Buddha and New York ate lunch, and things seemed to be going swimmingly.

"There was nothing but her and I and the love between the two of us," said Buddha. "I could see Tiff and I together forever."

It was then time for a romantic ocean side dinner, and not surprisingly, drama ensued.

"I still have concerns," New York told Buddha, who said he loved her but was not in love with her.

"He's not making any sense to me!" said New York. "I don't know what the hell he's talking about!"

The two argued about the semantics of loving somebody and being in love with somebody before it escalated into a full-blown argument. Buddha contended he's not in love with New York because she won't trust him and resorted to calling her "blind."

"I am so disappointed with you," New York told Buddha.

She then asked Buddha if he wanted to leave to "test him," and he failed when he said "yes" and started to walk away.

"You want to know something? F**k you!" said New York as a parting shot.

It didn't last, as Buddha quickly came back and explained he wasn't leaving her.

"I can admit that I'm in love with Buddha, even though he's not in love with me," said New York. "But I think he can be.... I think he is in love with me. He's just afraid to admit it right now."

The next day New York went on a one-on-one date with Tailor Made, and the two arrived at a cafe and watched some cliff divers. Tailor Made decided he'd give it a shot to "prove" his love for New York. He held his nose as he plunged into the water -- and despite laughing hysterically as it happened -- New York saw it as "manly."

Patterson then arrived at the resort to talk with Buddha.

"My God... She's followed us to Jamaica!" said Buddha.

Patterson question Buddha's anger issues, and he admitted he had anger issues when he was younger. While he assured Patterson he can "control and restrain" the anger, it "never dies." Needless to say, Patterson was still concerned.

New York and Tailor Made enjoyed dinner together and he told her he loves her; can't picture his life without her; and is the happiest when they're together. Visibly nervous, Tailor Made then proposed marriage to New York with a diamond engagement ring.

"I can't believe Tailor Made just proposed to me!" said a shocked New York. "I don't know if I can deal with this. I have so many bad memories of [original I Love New York winner Patrick "Tango" Hunter]."

New York quickly pulled herself together and realized there was an out -- Tailor Made was still legally married to his estranged wife Nancy. New York expressed concern that Tailor Made was addicted to falling in love and then not making the relationship work. New York quickly got the hell out of there to presumably smoke a pack of cigarettes and contemplate what just went down.

Tailor Made said he felt like he was going to cry, and even though New York didn't answer with a yes, she also didn't say no. Still, he wondered if everything was "moving too fast" for her.

The next morning, New York presented the guys with gift watches as they prepared for the final chain ceremony. She thought about her final decision one last time and said she could see herself with both Tailor Made and Buddha.

I Love New York's final chain ceremony then commenced, and she began by thanking Patterson for all of her help during the journey. Instead of gushing about what a difficult decision this was for her, New York told Tailor Made and Buddha her decision was "pretty clear."

She called Tailor Made a wonderful man who's generous and spoils her rotten, but she quickly added she thought he lacks a backbone. New York described Buddha as cocky, arrogant and always pissing her off, however she's still drawn to him because their relationship is fiery and passionate. New York then showed Buddha the engagement ring, and he thought she was proposing to him.

"Buddha, are you in love with me?" she asked.

"As much as I want to say no, I am," answered Buddha.

New York then dropped the bomb that the engagement ring was actually from Tailor Made, and Buddha felt "gullible" because he wasn't able to make the connection on his own.

"I love you Tailor Made. That's no lie, I really do love you," said New York. "But I'm sorry, I can't accept your proposal."

Tailor Made thought his chance at a relationship with New York had just gone out the window, sure she was going to select Buddha.

"Buddha... I love you. But I'm not in love with you," said New York. "I'm in love with Tailor Made."

New York explained there's "fire" in her relationship with Buddha, but she's "always at odds" with him because they're both "very dominant" and always "bump heads."

Somewhat surprisingly, Buddha took the defeat in stride. He embraced New York and congratulated her and also shook Tailor Made's hand before exiting.

"So basically, [New York] said [Tailor Made] is a spineless, mindless individual... and he wins?" wondered Buddha. "If I have to be spineless and mindless to be with this woman, it would have never worked anyway."

"Tailor Made did exactly what he needed to do to win my heart," said New York. "Yeah he spit on somebody. Yeah he got f**king slapped. But so what! He did exactly what it took to win my heart, and that's why Tailor Made is my king... So there's one thing that I'm sure of: That Tailor Made loves New York, and New York loves Tailor Made!"

Although the move violated the show's rules, New York moved in with Tailor Made and his 12-year-old daughter Asia shortly after the show stopped filming over the summer, the New York Post reported Tuesday.

"I think the best thing to say is that Tiffany and I don't necessarily follow the rules," Tailor Made boasted to the Post. "It's always bewildered me how people end up finding their 'soul mate' on a reality show, but then they stay separated for months until the finale airs. I'm all for respecting the integrity of the show, but if you love someone, you can't let anything or any one come between you."

While the two tried to keep their romantic relationship a secret for as long as possible, the Post reported New York and Tailor Made were spotted "canoodling" last weekend in at least two Manhattan nightclubs.

VH1 plans to air an I Love New York second-season reunion show -- which filmed two weeks ago -- next month, according to the Post.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Todd Herzog wins 'Survivor: China,' beats Courtney Yates, Amanda Kimmel

Todd Herzog was rewarded for being Survivor: China's primary puppetmaster, as the 22-year-old flight attendant from Pleasant Grove, UT was revealed to be Survivor: China's winner during last night's finale of the long-running CBS reality series' fifteenth edition.

"All I could hope for was that people would be able to say, 'Survivor is a game,'" Todd said after host Jeff Probst revealed him to be the competition's winner. "I meant it when I said I made relations and bonds with people, and that those were true. But everything inside of the game was the game, and I meant that."

Todd -- who was only 14-years-old when Survivor: Borneo premiered in Summer 2000 -- claimed Survivor: China's $1 million grand prize during the live portion of last night's finale broadcast from CBS Television City in Los Angeles, CA.

"I knew that the second that I got out there -- that no matter what it took -- I would do everything I possibly could to be sitting right here," said Todd. "I had all of these people in my mind that could help me get here, and I can't believe it worked!"

Todd received four final Tribal Council jury votes, besting runner-up Courtney Yates, a 26-year-old waitress from New York, NY who received two jury votes; and third-place finisher Amanda Kimmel, a 23-year-old hiking guide and Miss Montana USA 2005 from Los Angeles, CA who received one jury vote.

Survivor: China's finale broadcast began with a video montage of the competition's first 36 days before the four remaining castaways returned to the merged Hae Da Fung camp following the previous elimination of Peih-Gee Law.

The next day, the castaways met for Survivor: China's final Reward Challenge, and Jeff explained the rules.

Each castaway would begin at the top of a platform, which they'd have to climb down via a ladder before crossing a bridge. Each castaway would then have to use planks to assemble another bridge before they could cross it. They would then use a traditional Chinese carrying device to move 12 large puzzle blocks back to the top of the platform, where they would solve the puzzle. First one to complete the puzzle would win the challenge's reward: pizza, beer, soda and brownies.

Todd grabbed an early lead and was the first to build his bridge, but Amanda was hot on his heels. Todd maintained his lead throughout the piece-moving portion of the challenge and was the first to have all of his puzzle pieces at the top of the platform, however Amanda was persistent and eventually emerged as the first castaway to complete the puzzle, winning reward.

Jeff gave Amanda the option of eating the food -- which would have been a very large meal for just one person -- by herself; with one other person; or with two other people. After deliberating, Amanda chose to share her feast with Todd. Amanda explained she chose Todd to see where his head was in the game, unsure if she was able to trust him.

"I don't trust you that much from what I've heard," Amanda told Todd. "I just have the feeling that if anyone of us back-stabbed me right now, you would."

Todd was hurt by what Amanda said, claiming when they formed their alliance on Day 1 he had full intentions to stick with it until the end.

"I swear on my life... I'm in this to the end with you," Todd told Amanda, adding it was the "honest 100% truth."

Back at camp, Courtney and Denise Martin, a 40-year-old school lunch lady from Douglas, MA, chatted, with Denise commenting she thought Todd should be the next one to go.

"He's a slippery little sucker," agreed Courtney.

Amanda and Todd returned from their Reward Challenge outing, and Todd proceeded to live up to his "slippery" billing by sweet-talking Denise about his fear that the three remaing women would vote him out of the game in favor of an all-female "girl power" Final 3 alliance and telling Denise that he felt Amanda and Courtney had the best chances of winning the jury vote.

After overhearing Todd's conversation with Denise, Courtney decided that Todd was only "looking out for himself." As Courtney and Amanda discussed their trust issues with Todd, he approached and wanted to make sure Denise was still going to be the next person on the chopping block if any of them were able to win immunity.

"Ya," Amanda assured him.

After remembering Survivor: China's 12 previously booted castaways via the game's traditional "Fallen Comrades" journey, the Final 4 arrived at the game's final Immunity Challenge, which would test their endurance and ability to focus. Jeff explained each castaway would balance a stack of porcelain dishes on a long, wobbly balancing arm. The more dishes that were added to the stack, the more difficult the challenge would be and the last castaway to not drop their stack would win immunity.

Twenty-seven minutes and several dishes into the challenge, Todd became the first castaway eliminated from the challenge when his stack of dishes fell to the ground. Courtney followed shortly thereafter, leaving only Amanda and Denise still in the running for a guaranteed spot in the game's Final 3.

Denise immediately tried to strike a "I won't write your name down, you won't write my name down" deal with Amanda, but she refused and insisted they instead "battle this out." Denise's stack eventually fell to the ground, winning Amanda immunity anyways.

"I'm so excited that I'm for-sure in the Final 3... I have nothing to worry about tonight," said Amanda back at camp. "But I'm afraid whoever gets voted out tonight is going to think that it was because of me... So it's such a good thing and then it can be such a bad thing."

Denise said she was "really, really nervous" as the "old lady" on the "outside." She tried to sway Amanda, who said she hadn't decided yet who she was going to vote for and added she respected Denise's determination. Denise explained how this was her one shot since she was the oldest of the Final 4. Todd sensed Amanda might have been weakening and made it clear he intended to vote for Denise at the upcoming Tribal Council. Courtney and Amanda agreed.

However despite her conversation with Todd and Courtney, Amanda still seemed uncomfortable with the idea of voting Denise out, and as she talked further with Denise, Todd told Courtney he hoped they could still trust Amanda.

Courtney said she didn't think Denise deserved the $1 million "just because she sucks at life" -- a reference to the $7-an-hour-lunch-lady-with-kids sob story that, having already used it on them in camp, Todd, Amanda and Courtney were sure Denise would play for the jury if she made the Final 3. Courtney also realized her comment about Denise made her the "biggest bitch on the planet."

Amanda explained her current position to Denise -- that she had been in an alliance with Todd since Day 1 and didn't want to back-stab him but would also rather have Denise in the Final 3 instead of Todd. While Amanda requested more time to think about it, she did offer Denise some hope.

"I will guarantee you I will not vote for you tonight," Amanda told Denise.

Afterward, Amanda discussed the situation further with Courtney. Amanda attempted to convince Courtney that in addition to knowing how to "sugarcoat things so well," Todd was well-liked and had "connected" with everyone on the jury, however Courtney disagreed.

"Denise is gonna cry [and win jury votes]... he's the schemer [and the jury will hold that against him]," Courtney told Amanda.

But despite her personal feelings, Courtney still seemed willing to turn on Todd if Amanda decided to do so.

"Just let me know, cause I'll vote with you," Courtney told Amanda.

"This is not just for me, it's not just for you -- it's for both of us," Amanda replied.

"Right now in the game, my biggest threat is probably Todd," Amanda later explained to the cameras. "Todd has made a lot of personal connections with a lot of people on the jury [and] the jury is a younger jury so I think he's my biggest threat right now. I'm at an awful crossroads... Denise [or] Todd... I'm still undecided, I don't know what I'm going to choose."

Survivor: China's fourteenth and penultimate Tribal Council then commenced, with Peih-Gee, Erik Huffman, James Clement, Michael "Frosti" Zernow, Jean-Robert Bellande and Jaime Dugan observing as the first six members of the jury.

However rather than using Jeff's Tribal Council questioning to make a last-minute attempt to convince Amanda and Courtney to vote out Todd, Denise -- apparently certain that there was no longer any chance of getting Todd's allies to turn on him -- instead confidently boasted about what a huge final jury threat she'd be.

"I don't know why they shouldn't vote me out," boldly stated Denise, explaining she'd be sure to receive sympathy votes from the jury if she made the Final 3.

Denise then outed Amanda, telling everyone Amanda claimed to have her back at the Tribal Council. Needless to say, Amanda wasn't too happy with Denise's comment and stated that while she might have told Denise she "had her back," she had made the statement "a while ago.. .not today." Todd made a face and commented how if he was Denise, he wouldn't have found Amanda's reaction encouraging.

Denise voted for Todd, who along with Amanda and Courtney voted to boot Denise, making her the thirteenth castaway eliminated from Survivor: China and the seventh and final member of the jury.

"I definitely believe I would have won this entire thing if I'd have stayed in the game," Denise -- apparently still unaware that Survivor juries have never crowned "sympathy" winners when given the opportunity -- opined following her ouster. "I'm just proud of what I've accomplished -- I think I did a great job -- I never gave up and to make it 38 days out here is a spectacular thing for a 40-year-old woman."

Once the remaining threesome returned to camp, Amanda made little secret that she was upset about Todd's Tribal Council comments. Amanda said felt "horrible" about it and thought Todd's goal was to make her look bad in-front of the jury. Todd apologized, but Amanda was still pissed and questioned the intentions of Todd's comments.

"She I don't think believes me -- that it was an accident -- but it was," said Todd.

The next morning Amanda, Courtney and Todd received a celebratory breakfast basket for being the Final 3 before journeying to Survivor: China's final Tribal Council. Amanda, Courtney and Todd would each have an opportunity to make an opening statement before each jury member could either address the Final 3 with a statement or question.

Amanda said she felt "blessed" to be in the Final 3 and had a specific strategy at the start of the competition -- to align herself right away -- and she chose Todd. After the merge, Amanda said her strategy was to align herself "with people I had a chance to physically compete against, and I did, I won the last [two] Immunity Challenges." She concluded by saying there were some things she wasn't proud of -- specifically her votes to oust James, Jean-Robert and Frosti -- and apologized for any hurt feelings.

Todd thanked the seven jury members for playing a role in helping him reach the Final 3. He was aware he lied and back-stabbed, but hoped the jury realized the difference between the strategic and personal relationships he had with them. He concluded by saying he had lived his dream and was ready to face the firing squad.

Courtney said she had no strategy entering the competition and was actually surprised she survived with each passing day. She said the fact she's not a Survivor buff set her apart from Amanda and Todd, especially since she felt she was still able to make the game work for her. She was happy with the way she played and thought she deserved credit for it.

The jury then addressed the Final 3. Low-lights included James tossing a softball because he didn't want to be a "bitter Betty;" Erik asking Amanda what her riskiest move of the game was; and Frosti learning his personal relationship with Courtney was real and not a product of the competition.

Jean-Robert said that since Todd had betrayed him and voted him out of the game, he'd entered the final Tribal Council verbally obligated to not vote for Todd and was undecided about what to do. Always the strategic mastermind, Todd decided to appeal to Jean-Robert's ego and said he'd been forced to vote Jean-Robert out because the professional poker player was becoming an "extremely great strategic player" in the competition.

Jaime wanted to know why each of the Final 3 felt the other members of the Final 3 didn't deserve her vote. Courtney struggled with the question -- but not Todd, who thoroughly bashed Courtney and Amanda by claiming he played a more strategic game then either and adding he "did the dirty work for the nice girl," aka Amanda.

Denise was still upset she was on the jury rather than facing the jury before calling Amanda a liar and calling attention to Todd's "deceptive side." Denise concluded by saying she respected Courtney being outspoken with her thoughts.

The seven jury members then cast their votes and the majority of them recognized Todd for his strategic game play by writing his name down -- giving Todd the $1 million prize and leaving Amanda to wonder what would have happened if she had followed through with her idea to vote Todd out instead of Denise.

During the subsequent live reunion show, Jeff revealed the obvious: that James -- the man he acknowledged was Survivor's most popular castaway "in a long time" -- had won the "Survivor of the Season" text message/ vote that allowed home viewers to award $100,000 to one of the season's castaways.

At the conclusion of Survivor: China's reunion show, Jeff formally announced Survivor's next edition -- which was reportedly originally set to be a second "full all-stars edition" featuring castaways from the show's last seven seasons -- will be a "half all-stars edition" that will feature popular former Survivor castaways competing against a group of "superfans."

As previously announced, Survivor's sixteenth edition -- dubbed Survivor: Micronesia -- Fans vs. Favorites -- will premiere on February 7, 2008.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Leon Jackson Wins The X Factor 2007

The Winner Of The X Factor 2007 is announced.

And we hear the winner’s single When You Believe for the first ever time…

Leon Jackson is named as the winner of The X Factor 2007. Rhydian Roberts and Same Difference take second and third place respectively.

Here’s the action as it unfolded in the Grand Final Results Show tonight…

It’s been a spectacular journey for our contestants and viewers alike as we’ve shared hopes and long-held dreams with all of our acts

And as the show opens we know that the winner’s title – and the £1million record deal which accompanies it – will be announced soon.

Adding to the magic of The X Factor final, and while the nation works it dialling finger into a frenzy to vote, Kylie reveals her new single, Wow. Singing live, she shows why she’s been a chart favourite for the past 20 – count ‘em, 20 - years… Wow indeed!

All too soon Dermot invites the three finalists to take their place on the stage to announce which acts will sing one more time for your approval.

Dermot announces that Rhydian will sing When You Believe for you before this show is over. Leon will too. This means that Same Difference are the third-placed act in The X Factor 2007 and have contributed their all to the competition. Simon said he was “genuinely gutted for them – they’re really nice kids. I wouldn’t have wanted to work with any other group”.

The phonelines reopen and Leon takes to the stage first to perform When You Believe for the first time. Although his hands shake on the mic, he holds his composure, singing out loud and rich and true. If he was an amateur when he started this competition, he is the consummate professional now. Whatever the result, he can be proud of his performance tonight.

Louis said, “You’re young, you’re talented, you’re gifted. You can win this competition.”

Sharon said, “I wish you the best of luck in the world”.

Simon said “I think both of you deserve to be where you are tonight. A great version of the song. Congratulations”.

And Dannii told him, “You look stunning. The progression is amazing. I hope you have a very long career ahead”.

Leon responded, “I’ve loved every second of this journey. I’m thankful to everyone who’s supported me. It’s been the most incredible experience of my whole life”.

Phew! We leave Leon in tears… there’s only 1% between them in the voting at this point. And Rhydian is up next.

The Rhydler also sings When You Believe. His version is slower, deeper, and as you’d expect, more operatic. Every emotion seems to flit across his face as he performs, his voice growing stronger as the song draws to a close. Make no mistake, Rhydian may be more experienced than Leon, but he wants this grand prize of great opportunity just as much.

Louis tells Rhydian, “that was polished and professional, an amazing performance…“

Sharon says, “You have your completely difference identities, that was very contemporary, fantastic”.

Simon slips, “Leon, Gosh. I’m sorry, Rhydian. If this is the last time we every here you sing, what a way to go. Thank you for being an incredible contestant”.

Dannii said, “Thank you for giving me the opportunity to work with you, every show was amazing and there will be many more to come”.

And Rhydian responded, “Thanks a lot. It’s been a long few months and a great few months. It’s all been great. Thank you so much for voting, I’m overwhelmed!”

We’re all feeling a bit overwhelmed by the time both contestants are invited back onto the stage. They shake hands before the result is announced.

Dermot announced the winner of The X Factor 2007 is…. Leon. Dannii climbs on stage to comfort her charge who is by mow speechless. “It’s not real. Thank you to everyone who voted. I thought I would try my hand at this to get some experience. And I ended up winning!”

Rhydian said ” I can’t complain I’ve had a lovely time. Leon is a great guy as well as a great singer. My congratulations to Leon.”

And choked with emotion, Leon returns to the spotlight to sing his debut single one more time as all twelve of his fellow live show performers flank him and join in the chorus. In tears, Leon says "This means the world. I set out to pursue this because I love singing. As time went on I knew I could potentially change my mum's life. I just did....!"

Thanks for the entertainment guys. The X Factor 2007 is over. See you in 2008...

Friday, December 14, 2007

Saleisha Stowers wins 'America's Next Top Model's ninth season

Saleisha Stowers was crowned America's Next Top Model's ninth-season champ during last night's finale broadcast of The CW reality competition series.

"When I was younger I was just weird. I had low self esteem. I just wasn't happy with my life," said Saleisha after her she was revealed to be the winner. "I've grown into a strong young woman. I'm so happy with myself right now. This is what I dreamed of. I fought for this so hard and I was so determined. I have it now and I'm not going to let it slip out."

For winning Top Model, the 21-year-old receptionist from Los Angeles, CA received the show's grand prize package of a management deal with Elite Model Management; a $100,000 contract with cosmetics company CoverGirl; and a cover story and six-page fashion spread in an issue of Seventeen magazine.

Saleisha defeated Chantal Jones, a 19-year-old student from Austin, TX, who was Top Model 9's runner-up.

The judging panel felt Chantal was believable as a cover girl and more high-fashion than Saleisha -- who they called commercial. However Chantal was also deemed to be too amateur and a bit uncomfortable in her runway walk, while Saleisha's previous experience as a model obviously paid-off as she owned the catwalk during the finale's runway fashion show at Beijing's Forbidden City.

"I'm hurt. Of course I wanted this really bad," said Chantal after she learned she finished second. "I really thought I was going to win. I really believed it. But it just wasn't meant to be. This wasn't the way I'm supposed to make it. So I'm going to continue to work hard and reach my dreams."

Jenah Doucette, an 18-year-old student from Farmington, CT, finished third during Top Model 9 despite the fact she was constantly praised for her photo shoots. But her sarcastic sense of humor often clashed with others and she had an emotional breakdown during the judging panel that saw her elimination.

While Tyra Banks was glad Jenah finally dropped her guard, the Top Model creator and judge still sent her packing.

"I hope I made a breakthrough at panel today. I definitely feel a lot better," said Jenah following her elimination. "I think I had my guard up. I think I was on defense. I think I was scared of coming off the wrong way. I wanted to win this really bad -- that's what I was here for -- but I felt really different while I was here. I think that there's a lot of pressure I think there was a lot of me that didn't come out... That's because I was scared."