TIME Late Night Highlight

Vin Diesel Shows Jimmy Fallon His Breakdancing Moves

Vin Diesel shows Fallon how he and his brother used to make a little side cash

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Before he got famous, Vin Diesel and his brother were already in the entertainment business — not as actors, but as breakdancers.

Naturally, during last night’s Tonight Show, Jimmy Fallon convinced him to demonstrate a few of his moves. And Diesel obliged, despite wearing dress pants.

Diesel appeared on the show to promote his upcoming movie Guardians of the Galaxy, due in theaters Friday.

TIME movies

Paramount Apologizes for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 9/11 Snafu

Paramount Pictures

The film studio’s tweet stirred controversy online

The film studio Paramount has issued an apology after deleting a controversial tweet aimed at advertising the September 11 Australian release of the latest Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film.

From Twitter handle @ParamountAU, the studio tweeted on Tuesday a picture of the movie poster, which features the turtles falling from an exploding building, The Hollywood Reporter reports.

The accompanying text read: “Check out the official poster for #TMNT in cinemas September 11!”

Though apparently unintentional, the combination of imagery and release date predictably elicited outrage online, for evoking the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, during which desperate victims were seen on camera leaping from the burning World Trade Center.

The tweet was quickly deleted but preserved online.

“We are deeply sorry to have used that artwork for the marketing materials promoting the September 11 opening in Australia,” Paramount Australia said in a statement. “Combining that image and date was a mistake. We intended no offense and have taken immediate action to discontinue its use.”

TIME TV

The Bachelorette: Read the Letter Nick Wrote Andi to Win Her Back

Celebrity Sightings In New York City - July 29, 2014
Andi Dorfman and Josh Murray from 'The Bachelorette' appear on "Good Morning America" Raymond Hall—GC Images

Best read with Adele in the background

Bachelorette watchers have come to expect a particularly intimate view of the evolution of a relationship. But ABC producers have now exposed fans to the other side of made-for-TV romance: the anatomy of a break-up.

At 5:22 p.m. Monday, hours before the winner was revealed, a post titled “Andi’s Mystery Letter” appeared on the show’s official Facebook page. We now know the content to be the musings of Bachelorette loser Nick Viall, who sported a face more sullen than guest star Grumpy Cat during Monday night’s three-hour season finale.

During the “After the Final Rose” special, producers showed footage of Nick attempting to confront Andi face-to-face (apparently for the second time) during the taping of the “Men Tell All” special. After the now-engaged Dorfman refused to see him, producers handed her a note–now available for all the Internet to see.

“You lit me up,” Viall writes in a letter best read while listening to Adele in the background.

You made me feel those things that people go a lifetime to find, and I feel like I made you feel the same… Let’s just call it what it was–our relationship was very much the road less traveled. I totally get that all the passion, intensity, and connections that we had were accompanied by fear and sometimes discomfort. There is a reason why very few are willing to take the road less traveled. It can be scary, challenging, and risky, but if you have the courage to take it, it usually ends up being amazing.

The rest can be read here.

Viall told Us Weekly, “I was in no way ashamed of what was in that letter, I knew by giving it to her, that was a possibility and I accepted that.”

No word yet on whether Viall feels bad about breaking Bachelorette code and going public what went on in the Fantasy Suite while finally granted his long-awaited sit-down with his ex during Monday’s show.

“Knowing how in love with you I was,” Nick said, “If you weren’t in love with me, I’m just not sure why, why you made love with me?”

ABC declined to comment on the letter.

Read More on The Bachelorette:

The Bachelorette Finale is Terrifying if You Know Nothing about the Show

Who Will Be the Next Bachelor: Nick V., Farmer Chris or Grumpy Cat?

Bachelorette Finale: Andi Makes Her Choice

TIME celebrity

DMX Goes on a Ruff Ryde at the Amusement Park

He pretty much loses his mind (up in here, up in here)

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When DMX isn’t busy crashing wedding parties or soundtracking videos of llamas prancing, he’s screaming his face off on amusement park rides. The folks over at TMZ took great care to edit out X’s many, many expletives — but the beauty of this video isn’t really in the words. It’s in the grunts.

(h/t Vulture)

TIME celebrities

The Lessons of the One Direction #FreePalestine Tweet

Zayn Malik
Zayn Malik of One Direction performs at on May 24, 2014 in Glasgow, Scotland. Dave J Hogan—Getty Images

One Direction's Zayn Malik has learned — as have others before him — the dangers of mixing celebrity and conflict

Usually when One Direction and the phrase “death threats” are in the same sentence, it’s a case of overenthusiastic fans defending their favorite pop stars — but the group’s Zayn Malik has learned that the backlash can go in the other direction too.

On Sunday, the singer tweeted the phrase “#FreePalestine” — a tweet that’s been both retweeted and favorited over 200,000 times, while it’s also led some of his own fans to lash out at him, death threats and all. He’s not the first to experience blow-back over the topic:

  • Earlier this month, a similar message from Rihanna led her to delete the tweet within minutes of posting it. The singer claimed to have tweeted in error, having clicked a tweet link on a website.
  • Basketball player Dwight Howard followed a similar script the same week, adding that he’s never commented on international politics.
  • Cricket player Moeen Ali has been banned by the International Cricket Council from wearing “Save Gaza” and “Free Palestine” wristbands.
  • Scarlett Johansson‘s dual roles as Oxfam ambassador and SodaStream spokesperson caused controversy that led her to tell the New Yorker felt like she was “put into a position that was way larger than anything I could possibly—I mean, this is an issue that is much bigger than something I could just be dropped into the middle of.”
  • Back in 2012, Kim Kardashian tweeted that she was “praying for everyone in Israel” and subsequently that her prayers were also for Palestine, and then later deleted both tweets, explaining on her blog that she was sorry to have offended anyone on either side.

So one possible takeaway from Malik’s experience, and those before it, is that celebrities should just keep their mouths shut when it comes to Israel and Palestine — especially when even Secretary of State John Kerry has trouble being diplomatic about the issue.

No matter what one thinks about Israel, it’s hard to deny that (a) the subject is controversial, and (b) Twitter (or a symbolic accessory, or a product endorsement deal) isn’t exactly a great place to express a nuanced thought about a complicated topic. Case in point: celebrities aren’t the only ones who’ve found that to be true. Even the Associated Press has experienced the pitfalls of tweeting about Gaza, having decided to revise a tweet that seemed to express negative judgment about U.S. lawmakers who support Israel. In a time when people like Malik and Rihanna have a direct line to their legions of fans, they’re all one click away from saying something they don’t really mean, or saying something they think they mean but haven’t really thought through. Safer, then, not to say anything. If the point of being a celebrity is to please fans, it’s pretty clear that Tweeting about Israel is not the way to do it.

On the other hand, Malik’s #FreePalestine tweet was followed by silence. He hasn’t responded to any fans, he hasn’t apologized and he hasn’t deleted what he said. So maybe “#FreePalestine” was really what he meant, with all its possible connotations and consequences. There’s no evidence to suggest otherwise.

Which means that the other possible takeaway is that maybe pleasing fans isn’t actually what celebrities care about most, and that asking them to be quiet about their opinions is an unrealistic expectation. In that scenario, they’re not different from any other Twitter users in that they can say whatever they want — and in that, when other users disagree, they’ll hear about it.

TIME Music

Childish Gambino Mans Up, Declares Himself ‘the Best Rapper’ Alive

Donald Glover (aka "Childish Gambino") performs at the RBC Royal Bank Bluesfest
Childish Gambino performs at the RBC Royal Bank Bluesfest on July 12 in Ottawa, Canada. Mark Horton—Getty Images

Better known to some as Donald Glover, the multitalented entertainer called out Drake, Kendrick Lamar and Schoolboy Q during a show in Sydney. It might be just what he needs to take the next step

Donald Glover’s rapper alter-ego, Childish Gambino, has always been brash. He’s talked about his sexual exploits, his boundless talent and his popularity since he started releasing tracks six years ago. But the cocksure verses spat by Childish Gambino were always tempered by what we knew about the “real” Donald Glover, the one who went from Stone Mountain, Georgia, to NYU to the writers’ room of 30 Rock to the role of gentle soul Troy Barnes on Community, all with the apparent humility of someone who didn’t attain multi-platform success and acclaim before the age of 30.

Over the last couple years, however, Glover has seemingly made an effort to reconcile his rapper persona with his public one. First, he dropped off the grid. Then he dropped out of Community. Now it appears he’s devoted his full attention to his music career, dropping his second studio album Because the Internet in December of last year and embarking on his multi-continent Deep Web tour.

The final act of the old Donald Glover — or perhaps the first act of the new one — came over the weekend during a show in Sydney. Though Childish Gambino has always been irrepressibly cocky, his modus operandi has been to not call out his peers without provocation (typically preferring to fire shots at those who’ve called him a “fake” rapper or criticized him for not being black enough). That changed with one verse from Sunday’s show:

I’m the best rapper, definitely top five.
If these other rappers think they’re better, they’re f—ing not alive.
I cut their head off, that’s every rapper living.
That’s Kendrick. That’s Drake. That’s Schoolboy. That’s everyone.
I don’t give a f—, I’ll kill n—s.

He later added:

This n— think he Drake. Nah, I ain’t Drake.
I sing better, I do better, my sh— wetter.

Some may believe Glover’s rant is ill-advised. After all, he hasn’t enjoyed nearly the critical or commercial success that either Drake or Kendrick Lamar have over the last few years. But his declaration may have been necessary. It’s a whole lot easier to dismiss an actor-turned-rapper whose verses are devoted to his taste in women and clever rhymes about esoteric topics than it is one who’s calling out two of the biggest names in the game while in the midst of an enormous tour. And it’s hard not to appreciate the irony of Glover going after Kendrick, whose “Ether”-worthy verse on Big Sean’s “Control” elevated him to more than just a critical darling.

It’s clear now that Glover is not — and has no interest in being — a rapper whose fanbase is comprised largely of Community fans and predominantly white teenagers (who made up at least 90% of the crowd when I went to a Childish Gambino show in 2011). We don’t know yet whether there will be any blowback from Glover’s verse in Sydney, but it’s not hard to imagine Drake, Kendrick and some of Glover’s fans — at least the more casual ones — being less than thrilled.

Regardless of the fallout from Glover’s verse, it was a savvy move. His die-hard fans, of which there are plenty, are sure to love the fact that their guy is willing to go after the giants of the industry, and it may inspire those who’ve long held Childish Gambino as a novelty to reconsider that position. Best rapper alive? Highly debatable. But Glover might now be part of a conversation that he never was a part of before.

TIME Music

REVIEW: Jenny Lewis Is Out of This World on The Voyager

Jenny Lewis, The Voyager
The Voyager Warner Bros.

Her first solo album in six years does not disappoint

Jenny Lewis is the kind of artist who could drop an album of animal noises she recorded in the woods and still have fans foaming at the mouth. So beloved is the former Rilo Kiley frontwoman that it’s almost surprising there wasn’t more outcry from her devotees in the six years it took to release another solo album. Sure, she kept somewhat busy — putting out a record with boyfriend Johnathan Rice, touring with a reunited The Postal Service — but as she reminds listeners on her third outing, The Voyager (out now), there’s nothing quite like Jenny Lewis front and center.

The Voyager is her least rootsy album to date, one that recalls the polish of her old band’s swan song, 2007’s Under the Blacklight, rather than the folk and country leanings of 2006’s Rabbit Fur Coat and 2008’s Acid Tongue. As effortless and breezy as the final product sounds, though, The Voyager wasn’t so easy to make: in the years since her last album, Rilo Kiley disbanded, Lewis’ father passed away and she battled severe insomnia the once kept her up for five days straight.

Lewis can be cagey about just how much she’s revealing in the lyrics that appear most confessional — see a recent, almost comically tight-lipped explanation of the lyrics in “Just One of the Guys” — but references to her struggles do dot the record. Or rather, sandwiching tales of colorful characters and vice, they bookend it. On the album opener “Head Underwater,” Lewis sings of mourning, hallucinations and finding freedom after confronting her own mortality; on the closing title track, she mentions wake-up calls and departing for heaven to get out of this world. Befitting its title, the album meditates on a number of journeys: entering the altered states of sleep deprivation, overcoming personal turmoil, crossing into life after death.

Her subject matter couldn’t be more suited to her creative process. “I am writing from a very simplistic place musically, and I feel like the words and melody come from somewhere else,” she told TIME earlier this summer. “They don’t come from an intellectual place, they arrive from another zone entirely.”

Lewis’ lyrics earn praise for their inclusive, non-judgmental studies of heartbreak and character flaws, but — her modesty aside — it’s hard to find a better summary of her songwriting strengths than her own explanation of how she works. Lewis’ music is timeless and her voice is far from otherwordly, but there is something to be said for the way her melodies have a habit of suddenly veering off into emotional sweet spots, taking songs into another zone entirely (to borrow her words). You hear it on the chorus of the Acid Tongue title track when Lewis sings the word “alive,” and, thankfully, you hear it over and over again across The Voyager. Like any good film score, string arrangements and production flourishes from Beck and Ryan Adams nudge listeners’ feelings toward those places, but it’s almost unnecessary at this point — Lewis can get you there all on her own.

TIME celebrity

Here’s Benedict Cumberbatch Doing His Dragon Voice From The Hobbit at Comic-Con

He sure knows how to please a crowd

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At San Diego Comic-Con this year, Benedict Cumberbatch was quite the busy little bee. When he wasn’t off chillin’ with penguins, he was indulging his fans (er, excuse me, his Cumberbabes) by practicing the dragon voice that he crafted for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.

Sadly, he only says one phrase in this very special voice, but come on, don’t be greedy.

TIME Opinion

The Bachelorette Finale Is Terrifying If You Know Nothing About the Show

One man's journey into the unknown

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I’ve never seen an episode of The Bachelorette. The editors at TIME have been sending me into extremely unfamiliar territory of late and I’ve been instructed to watch and write about the season finale of the show. So I arranged to go to the home of a friend who is hosting a season finale party for the roughly dozen women in her fantasy Bachelorette league (which is a thing, so there you have it—we’re already breaking ground in this investigation).

Once more unto the breach.

Before we begin, this is what I know about The Bachelorette: a group of bachelors compete through feats of strength, wit and charm for the affections of a bachelorette, who confers her approval by giving the winner a rose. There’s a companion show called The Bachelor. In the season finale of this show, I think, two men enter the competition and one leaves the victor—I’ve seen Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome so I have some background in that regard.

What follows is an abridged play-by-play.

“In tonight’s Bachelorette you won’t believe what will happen…both men say they’re in love with her…. “ The woman on screen is in tears, presumably indicating that she’s sad to have to choose one guy over the other. Surely this can’t be because she’s contractually obligated to marry one of them. We’re drinking Rosé (which I don’t like but when in Rome) and the ladies have declared with impressive conviction that we hate Nick and we want Josh to win. Josh is a jock and they both suck but Josh sucks less because Nick is manipulative. We like her dress.

There’s an exceptional raspberry/jalapeño-jelly drizzled cheese plate, among other awesome snacks. Impressed. Now everyone is being served individual salads! On little plates with metal forks! This is living.

I’ve just learned that the Bachelorette, whose name is Andi, age 26ish, gave up a law career “in order to find love.” This plot point for a reality television show is unsettling to me, for obvious reasons. My co-watchers seem to share my feelings and nonetheless enjoy the spectacle. Also I just remembered this is two hours long.

Scandal! I misunderstood an earlier conversation and there is division about who we want to win—a roughly even split between Josh and Nick.

Nick is clearly running the awkward sweetheart game.

What kind of career is “former pro baseball player”? That is not a job.

Josh: “I have no thoughts.” You said it, brother.

I’m watching a game show in which actual humans are purporting to live out an early-stage romance on camera, with a soundtrack, as though at the end of the show they ride off into the sunset and live happily ever after. This show is unspeakably bizarre and I’m clearly feeling invested in its outcome. Deeply unsettling.

Josh just gave her a baseball card with her name rendered as “Andi Murray.” MURRAY IS HIS LAST NAME. She likes it, which is almost as weird.

Andi is the real star here. This is masterful—and terrifying, in a way, to the extent that this “acting” ability, if you can call it that, exists in other humans.

She keeps saying the same things to and about both of these dudes. Also everything is the most hardest last thing that will ever happen to anyone for the rest of everyone’s life.

I switched to beer under duress.

This feels like watching a sporting event filled entirely by halftime interviews.

Exceptional banana pudding just came out at the party.

Andi just came to break up with Nick. We know this because of everything about the situation but also because of the haunting heavy drama music that accompanied her walking in the room.

Is this real? I feel like these people just “broke up” to whatever weird extent that event can happen in this context and they need to hug and carry on with their lives but they’re stuck in the room because some hellfire producer is pointing a gun at them. Now Nick is mad at Andi. He has flipped the script and is accusing her of leading him on, basically, and of crossing him somehow by not liking him back, and possibly, if any of this is real, he is a sociopath. ANDI. RUN.

Victory dance by the fantasy league pool winner who is $100 richer.

There’s an important post-game show called “After the Final Rose.” Nick is sad and pathetic and leaning dangerously into real-life creep territory with all this talk of how Andi led him on.

Fellow watcher Christa: “Is this taking advantage of someone that’s a little on the verge?”

Fellow watcher Emi: “I think that’s what this whole show is about.”

Well played.

Nick keeps saying things like, “She kept giving me so many reasons to be confident.” The normalization of stalkerness is legitimately troubling.

I just learned these people just met each other several weeks ago. None of this is real. I’m getting another beer. We’re done here.

Read more on The Bachelorette:

Who Will Be the Next Bachelor: Nick V., Farmer Chris or Grumpy Cat?

Bachelorette Finale: Andi Makes Her Choice

TIME Television

Who Will Be the Next Bachelor: Nick V., Farmer Chris or Grumpy Cat?

Craig Sjodin /ABC/American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. /2014

#TeamMarquel

Who is the next star of The Bachelor?

After The Bachelorette star Andi Dorfman made her choice, fans’ attention quickly shifted from Nick or Josh to who would star in the next installment of the popular franchise. The star is usually announced during the After the Final Rose show, but last night, host Chris Harrison pat popular Bachelorette contestant Farmer Chris on the shoulder and said the decision would be made later. Who or what could the show be waiting on?

One guess is that the producers were testing finalist Nick V.’s audience appeal during his appearance on last night’s After the Final Rose show. While Nick may have earned some sympathy votes from soft-hearted fans sad to see him discarded in the final moments of the show, his frequent attempts to see Andi in person went from seeking closure to full-on creepy. Plus, his decision to shame Andi for sleeping with him in the Fantasy Suite when she wasn’t convinced she should marry him was unnecessary and harsh, especially as it’s been a longstanding Bachelor tradition that what happens in the Fantasy Suite stays in the Fantasy Suite. After that display — and in the wake of least favorite Bachelor Juan Pablo Galavis — Nick’s most likely out of the running to be America’s next top bachelor.

If the producers are looking for the anti-Juan Pablo, they need look no farther than Farmer Chris. The Iowa native is a sweet, soft-spoken man who has proven himself to be a fan favorite (one fan even gave him her phone number during The Men Tell All episode). Aside from the fact that she sent him packing, he also has Andi’s seal of approval. “I mean, look at him,” she told People. “Chris has the whole package. He is the all-American guy who is a farmer who does not look like a farmer, but he’s also successful and he’s ready for a family. He’s going to be a great husband and a great father.”

However, the producers may be concerned that casting Chris could turn The Bachelor franchise into an unwanted reboot of another reality show — the blessedly short-lived Farmer Wants A Wife. That show, which lived for one season on The CW Network, featured eight women vying for the affections of a strapping bachelor farmer — a premise that might be too close for the producers’ comfort. Also, while Chris is affable and romantic, he was also incredibly taciturn on the show. The strong-and-silent type doesn’t play well on television. Chris may be getting some behind-the-scenes prep work by agents, acting coaches and producers in preparation for being a star, but he may also be spending his time polishing his FarmersOnly.com dating profile. No doubt someone at that website is eyeballing a Bachelor crossover deal.

Another Bachelorette fan favorite was Marcus, another contestant tossed aside during Andi’s journey to love. However, rumor (a.k.a. US Weekly) has it that he’s engaged to someone he met on Bachelor in Paradise — Lacy Faddoul, one of the women who mercifully escaped the clutches of Juan Pablo on The Bachelor. An engagement would probably keep him out of the running to be the next Bachelor, but if he winds up heartbroken or left at the altar, there is still a shot of handing out roses to women ready to pick up the pieces with him.

There’s also a chance that blast from The Bachelorette‘s past may take up the mantle of Man in Chief on The Bachelor. US Weekly reports that Arie Luyendyk Jr. may be angling for a return to the reality TV spotlight. The tall, dark and handsome race car driver was the runner-up on Bachelorette Emily Maynard’s season (she chose philanthropist and entrepreneur Jef for a short-lived romance). In the wake of his broken heart, Arie went on to date infamous Bachelor contestant Courtney Robertson in the wake of her break-up with Bachelor Ben Flajnik. A flow chart might be necessary to keep this all straight, but many fans of the show would be willing to watch Arie find love.

Finally, there’s Marquel Martin. The cookie-loving, straight-talking, funny and charismatic contestant was left on the side of Andi’s road to love, but he was already a fan favorite. Not only did he gracefully handle uncomfortable situations with other contestants, but he did it with forthright charm and wit. While there was some speculation that Marquel may not want to be known as the show’s “first African-American Bachelor,” he may be coming around. “Am I opposed to it? Absolutely not,” Martin told E! about the possibility of being cast as The Bachelor. “That is something…to talk with my family about if I was afforded that opportunity. Obviously, right now I’m not thinking about that because I don’t know if that’s even an option.” The only thing standing in his way? Being cast on Bachelor in Paradise. Typically the show only sends its B-team players to the island of misfit boys and girls, but things may be changing on the show in the wake of Juan Pablo and producers may want to see how a fan favorite fits into the Bachelor universe before making him their star.

So who will it be? We’re still Team Marquel. Alternatively, we’ll accept Grumpy Cat, whose surprise appearance on After the Final Rose qualifies her for casting.

MORE: The Bachelorette Watch: 11 Things We Learned When the Men Tell All

MORE: RECAP: Bachelorette Finale: Andi Makes Her Choice

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