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• Video site Sohu will team with Lorne Michaels to produce a Chinese version of Saturday Night Live.

• Lady Gaga announced that she will star in the fifth season of FX’s American Horror Story, airing in October. It will be subtitled Hotel.

• Taco Bell is testing Cap’n Crunch–coated doughnut holes at one of its California locations, much to the delight of the Internet.

• The sound-track for Clueless (featuring artists like Coolio and the Mighty Mighty Bosstones) will be reissued on vinyl to celebrate the film’s 20th anniversary.


‘It was a horrible nightmare, because I like to be amazing.’

MADONNA, describing her fall at the Brit Awards


$16.7 million

Amount that Robin Thicke, Pharrell Williams and T.I. made from their 2013 hit “Blurred Lines,” according to court filings; such numbers are rarely made public

LOOK AGAIN “On the Internet people only look at pictures of kittens,” writes Banksy on his website. So to highlight the destruction in the Gaza Strip from last summer’s 50-day war, the mysterious street artist covered building walls and rubble in the territory with images of cats and amusement-park rides.


Kelly Clarkson

The 32-year-old original American Idol and new mom (to daughter River Rose Blackstock, born last June) just released a new album, Piece by Piece.


You’re famous for fiery breakup songs like “Since U Been Gone,” but there aren’t any of those on this album. Has motherhood mellowed you out?

I’m a woman–at any given moment I might get upset! But I’m human. The older you get, the more reflective you get, the more forgiving of human error you get.

Older and wiser!

I hope I’m wiser than when I was singing “Since U Been Gone.” But I love a good anthem. I love angst. And I still love empowering songs.

It’s been years since American Idol has produced a major star. Do you think singing-competition shows have run their course?

No, because more keep coming out. People are always asking me, Why did you make it? Or Carrie [Underwood], why did she make it? We were early on! We weren’t competing as much, except for the fact that people hated talent shows, and now they like them.

So the shows are here to stay.

They’ll last as long as people keep watching them. People don’t even realize Frank Sinatra got into the business through a competition. I don’t think it matters how you got here. It matters if you’re good enough to hang around.

At what age will River Rose get to watch From Justin to Kelly [the Grease knockoff Clarkson made after winning Idol]?

Never! We don’t have to show her that!

You’re going to pretend it doesn’t exist? That’s what I do [anyway]. So why not?


• Tove Lo, Queen of the Clouds

“It’s such a good record.”

• Learning French

“So I can teach my daughter!”


From poochies in Gucci to Pomeranians with a taste for champagne, Rich Dogs of Instagram parodies the viral Rich Kids of Instagram account by featuring (presumably staged) photos of canines that appear to have a taste for the finer kibble in life. “Seeing all of that frivolously spent money made me feel like I needed to do something to make the world a better place,” joked creator Kaylin Pound on the website Elite Daily.


America’s Craziest Reality Shows

The Internet may have freaked out over WE tv’s new show Sex Box–in which a couple has sex in a box, then discusses the experience–but it hardly marks the first time a reality show has pushed the boundaries. Here, a sampling of program premises old and new that made headlines, provoked ire and tested the FCC’s tolerance.

[This article consists of 4 illustrations. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]


This Lifetime series, on the air now, is about women who bear children in nature. “No inductions, no epidurals … just expectant mothers facing and giving birth in the arms of Mother Nature,” boasts the show’s YouTube page.


This 2004 Fox show was a heartwarming retelling of “The Ugly Duckling,” in which producers turned contestants into “swans” by giving them lots and lots of plastic surgery, leading to a final “pageant.”


CBS agreed to pick up the 2005 reality show–in which family and friends of a rich benefactor competed to be included in his inheritance–but the network canceled it after just one episode.


Before there was Tinder, there was this 2003 show, in which people walked down a runway and displayed their goods to judges, including soap-opera star Lorenzo Lamas, who picked apart contestants’ looks. ABC axed it after a single season.


• Someone stole Lupita Nyong’o’s Oscars dress. (One matching its description was eventually recovered.)

• Amid rumors that she was going to play the Green Lantern, actress Michelle Rodriguez said minorities should “stop stealing all the white people’s superheroes.” She later apologized.

• Maggie Smith hinted that she might leave Downton Abbey after its next season, saying her character “certainly can’t keep going.”

• Producers Skrillex and Diplo attempted a 24-hour nonstop DJ marathon, but police shut it down after 18 hours.


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