SIMON SAYS — Did you hear the one about America’s Got Talent? The contracts of new judges Julianne Hough and Gabrielle Union were not renewed. And, Union has made claims about a toxic environment on the set; and, about a joke, that of all people Jay Leno, told backstage, that apparently everyone heard … except HR.
I have to confess that I only watched the show for Simon Cowell and the antics of Howie Mandel; and when former judges Mel B. and Heidi Klum were jettisoned, I feared the worse. IMO opinion Union and Hough brought absolutely nothing to the show and if anything made the viewer miss Mel B and Klum even more.
I enjoyed Nick Cannon too, but when he made waves, he was quickly replaced by Terry Crews – who, has, in the past brought his own harassment claims. Crews, for my money, started the downward spiral of the show. Cannon was superb! Crews, totally embarrassing.
Somewhat oddly, Howie Mandel, has been the only one not mentioned? And, he’s certainly been the one-odd duck all along … right?
Union said that she was repeatedly cautioned about her rapidly-changing hair styles; that they were too black? Hough also mentioned that her hairstyles were routinely criticized too.
I’m quite sure the claims are justified and they’ll be reasonably settled out of court, but, the far bigger picture, is that you’ve got to be damn careful about doing … almost anything these days I guess.
My, we have come a long way. Stay tuned on this. Leno has yet to issue a statement and Simon … well, it’ll be interesting to see his take on this.
MACY’S PARADE — Hard to believe that Thursday’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade was the 93rd edition (it debuted in 1924). I feel like I’ve seen this parade every year for decades. Truth be told, the line-up is always pretty stellar. Ditto for this year which featured Billy Porter and Idina Menzel, poorly interviewed by NBC’s Al Roker, who got a few facts as is his usual wont of late.
It opened with a selection of songs from the current play on The Temptations, Ain’t Too Proud. This is the key-slot to get and the performance was terrific. Watch ticket sales grow in the next two weeks.
The parade has gotten somewhat commercial of late, with mostly just the stars of various NBC shows interviewed and plugged.
Additional performers included Celine Dion (pre-recorded in a private location and singing her new single, oddly titled “Imperfections”), Lea Michele, NCT 127, Kelly Rowland, Idina Menzel, Ozuna, and, Ciara.
Korea’s NCT 127 was somewhat eye-opening.
Touted as known for their rhythmic style of dance, none of them looked like they could speak English and certainly their music was a mashup of almost every popular style. On Friday’s Today Show they performed amid a packed house of fans. If the kids truly want this, I could cite several, better examples of pop music. They were strangely disturbing.
Debbie Gibson appeared to, looking fantastic and singing her “Electric Youth,” which seems to have taken on an even greater impact these days.
It was another great NYC-event.
SHORT TAKES –— J. Robert Spencer, from Jersey Boys and TONY-nominated in Next To Normal, is in NYC next week, tub-thumping his new Christmas-song, “Waiting On Christmas” … Micky Dolenz is Alec Baldwin’s guest on his podcast next week, from Santa Monica in LA …
The Pierre Cardin retrospective at the Brooklyn Museum is just terrific. Sumptuous design and color.
True-talent is always a joy to see. A must-see … “Let Love Reign” is the key track from the new Robbie Robertson album, Sinematic. Simply exceptional … Celebrity-author Mark Bego had another Barnes & Noble in-store this past weekend in Tucson (see photo); selling out all the copies of Supreme Glamour (Thames + Hudson).
Here’s Mark with his parents who stopped by the event … It seems as though our friends at Harper & Collins have abandoned this column. We’re still anticipating a review copy of Debbie Harry’s new memoir, Face It. What gives … Same goes with the new Ringo Starr album What’s My Name. we hear its simply terrific and would love to hear it. Maybe we should call Bruce Garakal? …Talking about books, we’d LOVE to read the Gene Cornish book. Scott Shannon told me it was very well written. I know it’s from a small-pub outfit, but still, we’d love to give it a proper read … We caught the much-hyped Knives Out, with Daniel Craig; Don Johnson; Jamie Lee Curtis; Chris Evans; Christopher Plummer and Toni Colette. It was fun, but not as much fun as the reviews predicted. Enjoyable for sure, but had some slow moments. Believe it or not, half-way during the movie, the music was Gordon Lightfoot’s “Sundown.” Great song, but totally unexpected … …
And, after reading a slew of both good and not-so-good reviews, we started Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman (now on Netflizx) and am really enjoying it. Joe Pesci is just astonishing and Pacino, well, is doing another Pacino (very reminiscent, believe it or not, of his Big Boy Caprice character in 1990’s Dick Tracy movie). DeNiro, for some reason, looks tired and sluggish. Watching him giving a beat-down to a shop owner is downright silly. The so-called de-aging process is somewhat disturbing. Some, forgot about it as the movie went on; for me, annoying for sure.Dunno … we’ll finish it tonight, but the feeling that Marty has made this movie before persists. Our pal Robert Funaro, in an early scene with DeNiro, is just perfect.
NAMES IN THE NEWS — Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Scott Shannon ; Louis Pulice; Chris Gilman; Peter Hay; Mark Scherer; MA Cassata; James Edstrom; Ian Mohr; The Groove; Magda Katz; Barry Fisch; Jimmy Webb; Randy Alexander; and, Ziggy!