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Ansel Elgort in 'Hairspray' and 'Rent,' Taran Killam in 'Evita,' and more stars in high school musicals

ansel-egort

There is nothing else to say except this: Ansel Elgort, whose charming swagger won your heart in The Fault in Our Stars, played Link Larkin in a high school production of Hairspray.

Elgort has made frequent mention of his theater (and tap-dancing) past — but the video evidence below is really just too good to be true. Not only is there proof of Elgort’s basically perfect casting as Tracy Turnblad’s well-coiffed love; there’s also footage of Elgort’s performance as Collins in a theater camp production of Rent at the famed Stagedoor Manor.

And Elgort, of course, isn’t the only celebrity who tread the theater boards as a student. In honor of these videos surfacing, we’ve rounded up a handful of other stars who were surprise dynamos in their high school musical theater programs. Let them entertain you in the clips below: READ FULL STORY

'Let It Snow!': You choose the best version, in our Twelve Days of Christmas Classics -- POLL

The Twelve Days of Christmas Classics is on! EW is putting the best versions of the most-covered Christmas songs up to a daily vote to compile the ultimate holiday playlist. (We’ve already covered “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” “The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire),” and “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.”) If your favorite singer isn’t in the list below, you better not pout: Each artist will only appear once throughout the 12 days. Listen to our top six, vote for your favorite, and let us know why you made your pick in the comments below.

UPDATE: The polls are closed, and we have our winners! Listen to YOUR ultimate holiday playlist here.

Only at Christmastime are people begging for the temperature to drop below freezing: Written in 1945, “Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!” is a cozy song about curling up by the fire, safe from the winter weather outside. For some, it evokes the image of snacking on a warm bowl of buttery popcorn as a blanket of white covers their yard; others think of Bruce Willis fighting off German terrorists (more on that below).

Whatever your preference, we’ve got the version for you — and since we’ve no place to go, make your voice heard below!
READ FULL STORY

Jessica Simpson 'accidentally' reveals she's having a boy on 'Jimmy Kimmel' -- VIDEO

Jessica Simpson, who Jimmy Kimmel teased  is “one of TV’s seven most popular Simpsons,” thought she was making a hilarious joke on Jimmy Kimmel Live, but ended up revealing a bit more than she intended (and/or exactly what she intended).

She innocently started talking about how her pregnancy this time has been making her pretty sick and joked, “I never knew that a wiener could actually make me nauseous.”

So there it is. It’s a boy.

Watch the whole thing below:

READ FULL STORY

Jennifer Hudson and Jessica Simpson team up in new Weight Watchers ad -- VIDEO

Toss the tryptophan and hang up the ham hocks – 2013 is the year to take control of your body.

In a new ad for Weight Watchers’ “Expect Amazing” campaign, Jennifer Hudson and Jessica Simpson talk up the program’s healthy impact on their figures.

“It lets me be me,” Simpson says. Hudson follows, “And I naturally became a healthier me.”

Both women currently serve as official spokespeople for the company. Hudson signed on in 2010, losing 80 pounds with the regimen; Simpson joined in May 2012 and shed 60 pounds after the birth of her daughter, Maxwell. Her involvement has been temporarily suspended, though, during her second pregnancy, which she confirmed over the holidays. She will resume her contract — which is reportedly worth $4 million — after she gives birth.

The commercial begins airing tomorrow. Watch it below: READ FULL STORY

Whose holiday vacation are you most tired of reading about? POLL!

Breaking news: Taylor Swift and Harry Styles skied with Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez in Utah. Jessica Simpson and her loved ones (and her breasts) are vacationing in Hawaii. Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux are back in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

Whose holiday vacation is least newsworthy? Let’s take it to a vote below. READ FULL STORY

Jessica Simpson's Weight Watchers commercial: 'I'm not a supermodel' -VIDEO

Jessica Simpson is getting comfortable “In This Skin.

Her first commercial for the weight loss program has been released, and it’s a close-up of Simpson talking about her struggles. “I’m not a supermodel,” Simpson said. “I’m just Jessica.”

That “just Jessica” goofy spirit that was on display during Newlyweds — OMG, 2003 seems like forever ago, you guys —  is clearly the down-to-earth vibe that the brand is going for here.

Interestingly, there is not a full body shot or a mention of exactly how much weight she’s lost in the commercial. On Katie yesterday, Simpson told Couric that was intentional, and it was because she didn’t want women comparing themselves to her, but rather to be inspired for their own Weight Watchers journey.  The exact number isn’t important. Or, as Simpson used to sing, “So don’t tell me I have to be 102/ I don’t have nothing to prove.”

Watch her first commercial below: READ FULL STORY

We celebrate May Day with five of our favorite May-centric pop culture references

How best to celebrate the arrival of the fifth month, PopWatchers? Lacking a May pole in EW’s office, I decided to turn to pop culture. Though I considered expanding the net to include non-traditional picks like bunkin’ cousin Maeby Fünke from Arrested Development and Ghost‘s Oda Mae Brown (“Molly, you in danger, girl!”), there was plenty of May love to go around without getting Fünke with it. Below, five of my favorite May touchstones. READ FULL STORY

Jessica Simpson: Pregnant, naked, and too hot for at least one Arizona grocery store

Jessica Simpson’s naked-and-pregnant ELLE cover has become a flashpoint at a Tucson Safeway, reports the AP. Though Simpson is not fully exposed on the cover of the April issue, franchise management decided to take action after receiving “multiple complaints.” Jezebel received an image of the cardboard cover-up that would otherwise be used to hide erotic magazines like Penthouse and Juggs. The Arizona Daily Star also reported seeing issues turned around at the Safeway in question.

Given the photo’s inspiration — Demi Moore’s similarly controversial August 1991 Vanity Fair cover — it’s no surprise Simpson’s cover is creating a stir. But where does the intent lie? READ FULL STORY

'Fashion Star' series premiere: Who are these people?

Let’s be clear: this is not Project Runway. There are no catty moments in the workroom, no frantic trips to Mood, and sadly no Tim Gunn. In fact, just to prove how hip and unlike that other show Fashion Star is, we open with sparks, motorcycles, and a lingerie runway show. Host Elle McPherson saunters down the runway flanked by two lingerie-clad models. I’m sure she said something really riveting at the end of that commotion but all I heard was, “America, this is a commercial for the lingerie collection that made me a multimillionaire on a show that isn’t about me — but here, look now. Be amazed.” READ FULL STORY

Jessica Simpson poses nude for Elle, reveals she's having a girl

She’s no Demi Moore, but Jessica Simpson is certainly trying to be. The singer turned fashion designer graces this month’s cover of Elle magazine, not only nude, but also in an identical pose to Moore’s famed 1991 Vanity Fair cover. Her very large baby bump, however, isn’t the only thing the Fashion Star mentor revealed: she and fiancé Eric Johnson will be having a girl, something that Simpson predicted to People in December.

“I swear, I will croak if she asks me for a pair of Nikes instead of Christian Louboutins!” Simpson told Elle. “Eric is so athletic. We’re gonna have this athletic girl and I won’t even be able to take her shopping.” READ FULL STORY

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