Last night's episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live! gave the viewer quite an easter egg: a fake promo for Josh Groban's new album, The Best Tweets of Kanye West, which features the singer performing songs set to the prolific rapper's musings.
Last night our beloved Glee club was almost destroyed by the dastardly Acafellas. Almost, but thanks to Josh Groban, not. Last night we laughed, we cried, and we fell for Bell Biv Devoe like a teenager in 1990. Amazing!
• Matt Lauer's "deer incident" won't keep him down for long. He's reportedly in "good spirits" after undergoing surgery yesterday to repair a separated shoulder and will be back to work in a few days. [Star]
• How did Bruce Willis meet his new wife, Emma Heming? He picked her out during a casting call, just like any normal person. [P6]
• Lindsay Lohan is sick of "people telling lies" about her since she's "really a good person" who just wants to put in a honest day's work. Got that? Good. [People, Us]
• Barbara Walters is planning to quit ABC in the near future so she can "spend more time with her boyfriend, Dr. Robert Butler." Or at least that's what "industry insiders" are telling the Enquirer. [NE]
• The cutbacks at Condé Nast continue: Editors like David Remnick and Ruth Reichl have been forced to take the subway! [NYP]
• Things aren't looking up for Damon Dash. He's lost a fortune recently and is buried under a mountain of debt. Now it looks like he's losing his wife, too: Rachel Roy just slapped the hip hop mogul with divorce papers. [NYDN]
• David Letterman and his longtime girlfriend Regina Lasko got married last week. [NYP, Us]
• Courtenay Semel, daughter of media mogul Terry Semel and occasional girlfriend of Casey Johnson, has checked into rehab. [P6]
• The real reason behind Jen Aniston and John Mayer's split? Jen was supposedly sick of his "obsession" with Twitter. Naturally. [Sun, Telegraph]
Chelsea Clinton is celebrating her 29th birthday today. Elizabeth Taylor is turning 77. Josh Groban is 28. Ralph Nader is 75. Joanne Woodward, the Oscar-winning actress and widow of Paul Newman, turns 79. Actor Noah Emmerich is turning 44. Lynyrd Skynyrd's Johnny Van Zant is 50. Rozonda Thomas (or Chilli) from TLC is 38. And the head of the 92nd St. Y, Sol Adler, turns 55. Weekend birthdays—including Olivia Palermo's big day—after the jump.
♦ Theater producer Rocco Landesman and his wife Deborah have sold their penthouse at 240 Riverside Boulevard (otherwise known as The Heritage at Trump Place) for $10.5 million. The couple picked up the three-bedroom apartment with jacuzzi for $4.233 million back in 2006. [Cityfile]
♦ Cleveland Browns owner Randy Lerner, who purchased a West Village apartment for $4.1 million two months ago, appears to be giving up on plans to build a home on the East End: He's sold a 2.5-acre plot in Amagansett for $7.5 million. [Newsday]
♦ The duplex at 155 Perry Street that Josh Groban was spotted touring recently has undergone a price cut. It's now listed at $3.5 million, down from $3.85 million. [Curbed, Core]
Does Josh Groban read Defamer? We may never find out for sure, but we have determined that we share startlingly similar perspectives on his grossly underappreciated performance at last weekend's Emmy Awards. You know our take, but we now yield the floor to Groban himself, who took to his vlog earlier today with refreshing candor about surmounting the monumental challenge of Emmycast suckdom around him. Again, it's not our place to say we were right, but we can say we're unreservedly Team Groban. More like this, please, Emmys. [Vimeo]
By most accounts, Emmy viewers lost track of the broadcast's lows somewhere after hitting bottom during Josh Groban's infamous TV Theme Lightning Round — a four-minute, 26-song medley comprising some of television history's most celebrated opening themes. It helped if they had lyrics; there was no Seinfeld, Hill Street Blues, Taxi or Night Court, for starters, but The X-Files was nevertheless featured prominently and notoriously, so who knows? And really, who cares? Despite valid complaints about set-list omissions from Family Ties to The Monkees, it's essential, as with any performance art, to judge Groban's number on its own terms. Even if those terms include Fresh Prince of Bel Air. We knew it at the time, attributing a "weirdly riveting" quality to Groban's performance as we liveblogged. Nearing the end of the day after, we're still pretty much alone in our estimation. But that doesn't mean we're wrong. Anything but, in fact.Let's face it: The failure of this year's Emmys was systemic, not individual. Even Don Rickles (!), arguably the funniest presenter of the evening, faced a down crowd still nursing its shellshock from the opening bit. On both sides of the proscenium, too few of the components required to make the show move had any impulse or incentive to do so. The Nokia was a tank of vulnerable, cynical sharks — most too gutless (e.g. all five hosts) to rock the institutional boat on its surface while too bloodthirsty (e.g. Jeremy Piven, Neil Patrick Harris) to swim away without reminding the Academy that it got away with its life. And the Academy, adrift, responded simply by rowing faster — in circles. On the night when good TV was the coin of the realm, bad TV was the gold standard. What are you going to do? That's not likely the kind of rhetorical question Josh Groban asked himself before he went onstage, but it's the one he answered throughout the number. What are you going to do, really, when the ineptitude of the Emmys is such that you can't possibly surmount its ingrained, enduring awfulness? And the producers are cutting set changes, acceptance speeches... everything but your performance? While the world around him — including the very concept of the number — melted down, Groban, for whatever reason, and for better or worse, went for it. And as far as we could tell, he pulled it off. Say what you will about his talent, his popularity, his banality, his backstory, whatever, but the guy isn't stupid. He knew the position he was in, he knew the job he had to do, and unlike the hosts, writers and producers who pumped (and tape-delayed!) three hours' worth of bullshit into America's beloved televisions, he did his job. And he pretty much meant it — every outlandish segue into a condescending gospel choir or Muppet guest appearance seemed to nudge his energy incrementally higher. It was genuinely stirring, as in: We might not have finished our liveblog without it. Moreover, take his riff on South Park —absurd to the extent it was sincere, momentarily elevating his medley to the level of performance art. It returned with the Animal/X-Files cameo and the COPS bit, and when he closed out with Carol Burnett and Cheers, he was among the two or three others onstage all night who could hold his head up opposite Rickles. Was he great? Probably not. Was he essential? Without a doubt. There's the philosophy that says the harder you try, the stupider you look, and we're not wholly averse to it. But it applies to Groban's Emmy haters, too. Lighten up a bit. If he could do it under the circumstances, God knows we can, too.