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Mariah Carey gets the Nicki Minaj phone call: A very special 'American Idol' dramatization

Rumor has it that new American Idol judge Mariah Carey became infuriated and hung up the phone when producers called to tell her they were in talks with Nicki Minaj to join the season 12 judging panel. Considering a TMZ report is practically fiction, I thought I’d embellish this juicy, totally plausible storyline in the saga of No One Knows WTF Is Going On With Idol (And Do They Care?). It’s one of the summer’s most lukewarm reads!

Thanks to the video for Mimi and Nicki’s classic 2010 collaboration “Up Out My Face,” here’s how I picture this all going down…. READ FULL STORY

Drake gets very own Kentucky championship ring

For those of us that have been following closely, it’s no secret that hip hop artist Drake has had hoop dreams dating back to the Degrassi days.  And although he has long since retired the Jimmy Brooks persona, Drizzy–the title he prefers these days–has remained persistent in his quest for basketball glory.  He has been a fixture at what seems like every NBA All-Star Weekend for the past couple of years and more recently has taken a serious liking to all things University of Kentucky basketball.  In what has turned into a blue blooded blitz on Ashley Judd’s rule as Kentucky basketball celebrity superfan, Drake has done everything from coach a Wildcat intrasquad scrimmage in a famous Drake shirt to trot out members of the 2010 team (head coach John Calipari included!) onstage for a concert.

Needless to say, it looks like all those hours spent proving his loyalty to Lexington have paid off, as Coach Cal and co.–fresh off winning a national championship in April– have apparently elevated the 25 year-old Young Money rapper/singer (rapsinger?) from fan to…team member?

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'True Blood's Kristin Bauer van Straten needs you to help save Africa's elephants and rhinos

Next month, Kristin Bauer van Straten, better known as True Blood‘s Pam, will leave for Kenya, where she’ll spend four weeks filming a documentary about the effort to stop elephant ivory and rhino horn poaching — a cause dear to her South African husband’s family. His grandfather was a professor of physiology who helped treat, relocate, and save wildlife. Just as the experts need help to keep elephants and rhinos from going extinct, Bauer van Straten needs help to fund her film project.

With 19 days left on her Kickstarter campaign, she’s reached roughly two-thirds of her $30,000 goal. She expects the documentary, Out for Africa, to cost triple that. As incentives for pledges, she’s recruited her True Blood castmates to sign items ranging from the common (magazine covers and comic books) to the rare (Joe Manganiello’s modesty sock, which secured a donation of at least $1,000, and Anna Paquin’s signed “super snatch patch,” which has yet to go up for grabs). Forthcoming items include a signed Sookie bra, an Authority necklace, and the Walmart sweatshirt Bauer van Straten wore to EW’s Women Who Kick Ass Comic-Con panel. Members of the cast and crew are also offering their time, whether it be a 30-minute phone call or a dinner. We caught up with Bauer van Straten last week. READ FULL STORY

Olympics: What to consider before you yell at a TV commentator

With the Olympics in full swing, you’ve probably already yelled at your TV — but hopefully not at a commentator. Before he left for London, we asked swimming analyst Rowdy Gaines — who’s calling his sixth Games for NBC — to describe the process. After reading his responses, you might want to cut them all some slack.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: We’ve talked about the times you’ve figuratively been on the edge of your seat calling a race, but are you literally on the edge of your seat sometimes?
ROWDY GAINES: I’m sitting on, like, a barstool, and I’m definitely moving. I’m standing up, sitting down, standing up, sitting down. It’s nervous energy. I would say 80 percent of the time, I’m watching the monitor — watching TV just like you are — even though I’m there live. I have to be watching the monitor to see what you’re watching because I can’t be watching it live and looking at Lane 6 and the camera’s on Lane 4.  READ FULL STORY

Olympics burning question answered: What does swimmer Rebecca Soni eat for breakfast?

Expect to see more of U.S. swimmer Rebecca Soni’s Kellogg’s commercial today as she goes for gold in the 100m breaststroke final, and on Aug. 2, when she tries to repeat her 200m breaststroke gold from Beijing. If you’re wondering what she actually eats for breakfast –make that breakfasts — she has two. “The real breakfast is first. Before practice, I usually have a bowl of cereal with some chopped up fruit in there and some coffee. I like to mix up the cereal. So Special K Granola with some Raisin Bran, or Corn Flakes with Special K Granola,” she told EW before leaving for London. And the second breakfast? “It’s more like a brunch,” she said. “Usually some eggs and toast and some tomatoes and veggies.”  READ FULL STORY

Olympics: Rowdy Gaines' Five races you don't want to miss in London

Tonight, the London Games  open (NBC, 7:30 p.m. ET), and tomorrow, the swimming competition begins. We asked three-time 1984 gold medalist Rowdy Gaines, who’ll be calling his sixth Olympics for NBC, to pick the five races you don’t want to miss. The times listed are when the finals will be streaming live on NBCOlympics.com before airing on NBC in primetime.

1. Men’s 400m IM (Sat., July 28, 2:30 p.m. ET): It’s the very first final on the very first day of competition, and it’s the two best swimmers on the planet — Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte — in the decathlon of swimming. It’s one of only two races that they’ll be swimming against each other. Everybody’s pointing at the 200 IM final on Aug. 2, but the 400 IM is the one I’m looking forward to because it will set the tone for the rest of the Olympics for both of these guys. If you’re gonna push me over a cliff… I think Ryan has the edge in the 400 IM and Michael has the edge in the 200 IM.

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Kermit's no longer a fan of Chick-Fil-A

Whether you’re a man or a muppet, one thing is for sure: You don’t want to make Miss Piggy angry.

Following Chick-Fil-A COO Dan Cathy’s confirmation of the company’s anti-equality stance, the Jim Henson Company, which had been providing toys to go along with the chain’s meals, said Friday that it will end its partnership with the fast food franchise.

The Henson Co. posted on Facebook:

“The Jim Henson Company has celebrated and embraced diversity and inclusiveness for over 50 years and we have notified Chick-Fil-A that we do not wish to partner with them on any future endeavors. Lisa Henson, our CEO is personally a strong supporter of gay marriage and has directed us to donate the payment we received from Chick-Fil-A to GLAAD.”

Last week, Cathy responded to a question about being against gay marriage, “Guilty as charged. We are very much supportive of the family — the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that. … We know that it might not be popular with everyone, but thank the Lord, we live in a country where we can share our values and operate on biblical principles.”
Remember: It may not be easy being green, or to end a business relationship, but judging by the outpouring of support on the Jim Henson Company Facebook page, it looks like Kermit and friends are just gaining even more fans. Life is a happy song, indeed.

Read more:
BBC, Jim Henson Company co-producing new puppet pilot ‘No Strings Attached’
The Dark Knight Rises,’ ‘Muppets,’ and ‘Dragon Tattoo’ named best trailers of the year
Frank Oz: Muppets maestro discusses ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ and the remaking of his classics

LeakyCon to debut 'A Very Potter 3D' with Darren Criss

While we’re still pretty psyched at the opportunity to do morning yoga led by Evanna Lynch (Luna Lovegood), the Harry Potter fan convention LeakyCon now boasts an even bigger event: The debut of A Very Potter 3D: A Very Potter Senior YearTeam StarKid will present a one-time only staged reading of the third installment in the Very Potter Musical franchise that made Glee‘s Darren Criss, who’ll be in Chicago on August 11 to participate, famous. Check out the full LeakyCon schedule here. And revisit A Very Potter Musical and A Very Potter Sequel in their entirety on YouTube. Below, a refresher of where we left off… READ FULL STORY

Olympics coverage to feature 'Facebook Talk Meter,' so don't blow your status updates

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Today, the NBC Olympics division and Facebook will announce a deal that brings the conversations we’ll all be having (or at least “liking”) on Facebook when the Olympics start on July 27 to our TVs. According to The New York Times, a small staff of Facebook employees will be on hand in London to do some “data-crunching” and inform NBC what its users are talking about (ergo, “The Facebook Talk Meter”). NBC will then turn those hot topics into TV segments. I hope Bob Costas enjoys discussing swimmers’ abs!

The deal also involves NBC providing exclusive content for its NBC Olympics Facebook page and plugging a daily Facebook poll in primetime. Since NBCOlympics.com will stream every event live and have a ton of highlight videos, perhaps the most useful part of the collaboration will be the capability to let your Facebook friends know what you’re watching, so no one misses anything, like gymnast Gabby Douglas doing the Dougie as her “happy dance.” Watch it again below.  READ FULL STORY

HBO's 'John Adams': Why you should watch this Fourth of July

When was the last time you really thought about the Founding Fathers? During the Independence Day holiday,  it seems we watch war movies such as Saving Private Ryan or Pearl Harbor—films about more recent events in our nation’s history.

But this Fourth of July, treat yourself to the 2008 seven-part (You could watch it all in one day!) HBO miniseries John Adams, based on the book John Adams by noted historian David McCullough and starring Paul Giamatti as John Adams and Laura Linney as his wife Abigail. Did we mention the Tom Hooper-directed epic is also the most-Emmy-winning miniseries ever with 13?

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