Sacha Baron Cohen turns 38 today. Ashanti is turning 29. Paul Simon is 68. Kelly Preston is turning 47. Kate Walsh of Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice is 42. Model Beverly Johnson is 57. Ivan Bart, the head of IMG Models, is turning 46. Billionaire Tom Tisch turns 55. Mega art dealer William Acquavella is 72. Sammy Hagar of Van Halen is 62. Access Hollywood's Billy Bush is turning 38. George Bush's former spokesman, Ari Fleischer, is 49. Marie Osmond is 50. Retired NFL star Jerry Rice is 47. Serena Altschul, the former MTV VJ and CBS News correspondent, is 39. Margaret Thatcher is 84. And Donald Trump's least famous child, Tiffany Trump, celebrates her 16th birthday today.
· Encouraged by the good-enough numbers generated by viewers lured to Celebrity Apprentice by the depressing lack of programming alternatives, NBC greenlights a second season of Donald Trump's salvaged franchise. Calls are already flooding in from other lesser-Baldwins, starving reality-show alumni, and aging supermodels hoping to fill out the next installment's roster of semi-recognizable names. [Variety]
· Though Fox, powered by American Idol and The Moment of Truth, is rolling along during a strike-affected early 2008, this week the top five broadcasters are down 21% in the 18-49 demographic compared to the same period from last year. [Variety]
The Mormons are on the rise! Mitt Romney is showing good numbers in Florida, and Marie Osmond has just announced that she's going to have a syndicated talk show in 2009. This is not to be confused with earlier talk show "Donny and Marie", which featured her little-bit rock 'n roll brother. Osmond is optimistic and ready for the challenge, saying boldly, naively, stupidly: "You can't lie on TV. It's about talking, communicating, and being part of everyone's lives." Tell that to Mitty! [Variety]
Truth be told, we can't be made to care about who took home the Golden Tap Shoes—by far the most coveted of all the celebrity-based reality TV talent competition trophies—on last night's Dancing with the Stars finale, even after discovering that the heady rush of victory was so overwhelming that the show's new champion was moved to drop his fiancée like she was a tango partner who caught fire in the middle of a dip. The only reason we even bothered to tune in to the fifteen-hour coronation ceremony was to check in on Marie Osmond, America's Emotionally Fragile Sweetheart, whom we weren't sure would survive the defeat her now-legendary Baby Doll Dance of Despair made all but inevitable.
Before you pass an unfavorable judgment on Marie Osmond's bizarre performance on Monday night's Dancing with the Stars finale, please remember that she's going through an extremely difficult stretch in her life right now, catty accusations of being an attention-craving drama queen nothwithstanding. After surviving a terrifying fainting spell on live TV, a son being sent off to rehab, and the loss of the Osmond family patriarch, we really can't blame her for succumbing to to the enormous pressure of making the finals by engaging in an act of self-sabotage in donning that ill-considered baby doll costume and flailing limply through "Start Me Up."
If you're anything like us, you find yourself drifting off in the middle of conversations wondering how Marie Osmond's 16-year-old son is doing. The answer: Not great. ET, who this year purchased the underlying rights to Marie's soul, helpfully mass -emailed the following plea for privacy just moments ago: "My son Michael is an amazing young man shown through his courage in facing his issues. As his mother I couldn't be more proud of him. The press and public has always been kind and gracious in the past and I know they will continue to respect our privacy during this time." [ETOnline]
George Osmond, father of Donny, Marie, Liesl, Friedrick, Louisa, Kurt, Marta, and Gretl, has sadly passed away this morning at the age of 90. The family's official website doesn't yet have anything posted, but if you have even a passing interest in Mormon psychedelia, we highly recommend a visit anyway. [Fox News, osmond.com]
The Z-List celebrity dance competition world was thrown for a loop yesterday when Marie Osmond collapsed on live TV following a performance on Dancing with the Stars: It was a shocking turn of events that elicited gasps from the audience, if not a few snickers of derision from overzealous competitors, at least one of whom was overheard to have said, "Geez, my mother died and yet I still managed to keep it together. Looks like the pressure's finally getting to someone. Team Seymour!" A round-up:
· Marie describes what it feels like to survive a post-Samba, nowhere-near-death experience: "I wasn't quite sure what was going on and then I saw everybody. I saw my kids, I saw TOM [BERGERON] and I think I said, 'Oh, crap!'" [ETOnline]
· Brother Donny helpfully speculates on some of the external factors that might have contributed to Marie's loss-of-consciousness! Health scare! Tragedy!: "Marie is touring, she has 8 children and went through a divorce." If we had 8 sets of crushed eyes staring down at us after falling off the reality TV gravy-train, we might say, "Oh, crap" too. [ETOnline]