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'The X Factor': Is it refreshing or is it way too much?

Last night’s two-and-a-half-hour X Factor — a.k.a. American Idol on Steroids, a.k.a. Simon Cowell Must Think We’re REALLY Stupid — was a big ol’ trainwreck full of flashy lights, over-produced backing tracks, faux-bickering by the judges, rushed eliminations, and the list goes on. Reading over the comments on my recap of the telecast and Adam B. Vary’s hilarious on-the-scene report, it seems people are torn between liking the rawther British, unsentimental, over-the-top gaudiness of the show, and loathing it.

I can see both sides, and in my recap I said that The X Factor‘s quick pace and unsentimental approach was a refreshing change from American Idol. I miss Idol too, but this is a different show. Simon is clearly aiming for pure spectacle here, and if the U.S. X Factor is supposed to be as campy-bordering-on-idiotic as the British version or something like America’s Got Talent, then mission accomplished. But if it’s supposed to be a singing competition, it’s largely a joke. The question is, are we willing to let it be what it is and have some escapist fun, or does Simon’s idea of fun make us want to throw ourselves off a cliff? READ FULL STORY

Courtney Stodden gets kicked out of pumpkin patch for being too sexy. I cannot wait for her reality show, and I am terrible.

Here on PopWatch, I write a lot about women’s issues in pop culture. Body image, right to privacy, exploitation — there really isn’t a topic I don’t like to weigh in on, constantly encouraging female celebrities to dare to be recognized for their talent and brains over their heavily scrutinized bodies. (Just see my sadness over Lindsay Lohan’s reported Playboy shoot earlier today.) So why in God’s name am I so damned excited to watch child bride Courtney Stodden and husband Doug Hutchison’s reality show?

These are two people who stand for everything I stand against: READ FULL STORY

Happy Halloween (and watch our season premiere!) from 'Bones'

You’d be hard-pressed to find a show that has more fun with its dead bodies than Bones. To celebrate Halloween — and promote Nov. 3′s long-awaited season 7 — Fox has put together a video of some of its greatest/grossest hits. Enjoy that chocolate now, people! READ FULL STORY

McDonald's McRib is back: News that makes you McHungry or McHorrified?

Oh, McDonald’s. I already hate myself enough, and now you shove the deliciously heinous McRib back in my face? That’s right — almost one year after the fast food chain resurrected the McRib (and then sent it back to junk-food heaven to party with Surge and Tastetations), McDonald’s is bringing back the 500-calorie sandwich until Nov. 14. Strangely, the McRib is only offered year-round in one country, Germany. But that’s not the only suspicious thing about the sandwich. Vote after the jump: What’s the biggest mystery surrounding the McRib? READ FULL STORY

Kim Kardashian -- recently named 2011's Most Annoying Celebrity -- is definitely a doll, right?

I was just watching a clip of tonight’s episode of The CW’s H8r — in which Kim Kardashian confronts a rather salty woman who openly hates her (pictured) — and kept imagining what would happen if someone suddenly reached over and attempted to flick Kim’s doll eyes shut. I’ve been fantasizing about this for months. Would she continue to smile placidly and caress her synthetic doll hair? Would the doll lashes snap off? Would she cross over to an even darker element and become the Kim Kardashian Old Navy Robot? Would she die? Because dolls are supposed to die when you do that. READ FULL STORY

Man breaks his own leg to survive in canyon where '127 Hours' is set. Should some movies tell us to 'not try this at home'?

There’s a reason I’ll never work on a swordfishing boat, hike the Alaskan wilderness without food or supplies, or trudge up Mount Doom with a greedy little mutant hobbit in tow. It’s because film — and, in two of these cases, real life — has told me that these are very dangerous feats. Yet, it seems Hollywood still hasn’t convinced some people — one man in particular recently found himself mimicking one film’s petrifying premise. The Associated Press reports that 64-year-old Amos Wayne Richards survived four days alone in the Utah desert after breaking a leg and dislocating his shoulder on a hike — in the exact same canyon in which 127 Hours took place. READ FULL STORY

'Child Bride' Courtney Stodden and Doug Hutchison sign reality show deal. Do we want to get to know them?

If you’re an enthusiastic supporter of tweets like this (random excerpt: “…drenched in a soak ‘n wet white mini-T & pink panties…”) and this: (random excerpt: “…it’s gonna be a WOUGH ‘n WILD one!…”), then you will be very pleased to learn that “child bride” Courtney Stodden and former Dharma Initiative employee Doug Hutchison have inked a deal to star in their own reality show. (If you have avoided the Internet over the last five months, or happened to miss one of the most unsettling Good Morning America segments in recent history, know that then 16-year-old Stodden married the 51-year-old Hutchison back in May, resulting in a media frenzy over their 35-year age difference.)

Banca Studios will produce the project, and the head of the production company, Roy Bank, told EW that the show will be Stodden and Hutchison’s “chance to let people meet them… to hopefully let people get to know the real them.” But do people really want to get to know “the real them”? (I put this in quotes because, as a colleague recently expressed, Stodden could be mistaken for a 30-year-old. If the world is just, then all of this is just a cruel, sick joke.) READ FULL STORY

The latest chapter in the Tareq Salahi, Michaele Salahi, Neal Schon love saga: A story no one ever asked to read

Hearing the latest details of the scandalous romance between Michaele Salahi and Neal Schon plays a little bit like a Journey song: We’re all a little sick of it at this point and you’d probably enjoy it way more after having a few at the bar. Alas, it is too early in the morning for that and let’s face it, “Don’t Stop Believin’” will never go away.

The latest chapter in the Salahi-Salahi-Schon saga started a few weeks ago when The Real Housewives of D.C. star was believed to be missing by her party-crasher-in-crime, husband Tareq Salahi, when really she’d just run off with the guitarist from Journey, Neal Schon. (I know PopWatchers, if you’d had a nickel for every time!) Since then Tareq has filed for divorce and has spoken out about his soon-to-be ex-wife to E!, telling them that because of Schon’s track record (Schon has reportedly been married five times) “Michaele will be the victim.” Tareq, who claims Schon sent lewd photos of himself to a joint email account, also said his wife’s actions were something “a groupie sl– does.” READ FULL STORY

Best Headline of the Day: 'Nicolas Cage awoken by naked man with Fudgesicle'

Okay. I’M SORRY Nicolas Cage was Trespass-ed against years ago and had to live through a real-life home invasion by a naked man who loved Fudgesicles. That sounds terrible and the part about the leather jacket is not helping, either. But since this Reuters story produced my favorite sentence on the Internet today…  READ FULL STORY

Courtney Stodden turns 17, shortens age gap between her and her 51-year-old husband

Even though Courtney Stodden should be the one getting presents for this, her 17th birthday, the actress/model/fodder for The Soup got us all something instead: The gift of perpetually creeping us out! Yes, actor Doug Hutchsinon’s teen bride turned one year older today. And as she proved from her Twitter page is all the wiser: “Celebrating the last night of being sweet-n-sexy 16 by wearing NOTHING but my tasty bday-suit! Mmm; Yummy! ; -)” (If your reaction to reading that sounded something like this, you are correct.)

If that weren’t enough to prompt you to make bizarre, uncomfortable faces, read what Stodden’s mother Krista, who has been supportive of her daughter’s relationship to the Lost star who is now only 34 years her senior, told E! News about her little girl’s birthday plans. “Courtney and Doug were planning on going to Disneyland,” she said, adding, “It’s funny they call her the child bride, but she does love going to Disneyland.” Sure, let’s go with “funny” as the word you were looking for.  READ FULL STORY

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