Another X Factor Star: Ethan Boroian

Saturday, September 19, 2009

How cute is he?
I am so over Simon Cowell acting suprised. When one of the other judges says this kid is a star, Simon says, "Do you think so?" Meanwhile, the cash register is ch-ching-ing in his head.

Remembering Patrick Swayze

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

When I heard that Patrick Swayze had pancreatic cancer last year, I thought, “If anyone can beat it, he can.” And although the 57-year-old lost his brave and determined fight yesterday, I think it is a sign of how strong-willed Patrick Swayze was that he fought the good fight for as long as he did against one of the most deadly forms of the disease.

Because that’s the one thing you took away from all of Patrick’s performances, whether he was a ghost determined to have one last moment with his wife, or a dancer from the wrong side of the tracks fighting for the woman he loved, Patrick Swayze gave it his all.

I remember the first time I saw Dirty Dancing. It was 1987 and I was on vacation in New York City and my friend Kate and I went to see the film in a dingy theater in Midtown. It was a freezing cold January night and the rowdy audience warmed quickly to the film, cheering when Patrick said, “Nobody puts Baby in a corner.”

Kate and I walked out of the cinema smiling like a couple of teenagers and believing in the transformative power of love (and the hotness of Patrick Swayze). While we were watching the film, it had begun to snow. As an Aussie who’d grown up on the beach, I was smitten. It was the first time I had seen snow falling, and the moment is etched in my memory. If you’ve ever walked down the streets of Manhattan in a snowstorm, you’ll know there’s something otherworldly about way the soft flakes muffle the sounds of the city, making it a magical place. I have seen that film many times since then and each time the thrill I get when I see Johnny Castle lift Baby above his head is even sweeter because it is tied in with my special NYC moment.

Like a good older sister, I inflicted my love for Dirty Dancing on my siblings. Our VHS copy of the film was practically worn out after the constant rewinding and rewatching of specific scenes. My sisters and I were drawn in again and again by Patrick’s strong yet vulnerable performance. And the tank tops and tight pants didn’t hurt either.

Maybe it was because he was a guy from Houston, Texas, who grew up in his mom’s dance studio, but the combination of rough-houser and sensitive dancer made Patrick a leading man with hidden depths.

Can you imagine anyone else who could have pulled off his performance in Ghost? Here was a guy who never told his wife, played by Demi Moore, that he loved her, gruffly responding with “Ditto,” when she said ”I love you.” Yet the way Patrick played him, he was a total romantic.

Maybe that’s because Patrick was a romantic in real-life. He was 19 when he met his future wife, Lisa Niemi. She was 15 and a student at his mom’s dance studio. They married four years later, and Lisa was by Patrick’s side for the next 34 years, supporting him throughout his battle with cancer, and she was by his bedside when he died.

In an interview with Barbara Walters in January, you could see the love between the couple. Though he was gruff and angry at the hand fate had dealt him, it was clear that Patrick drew strength from his wife. He admitted to Barbara that his battles with alcohol and his continuing reliance on cigarettes might have contributed to his illness. But despite these apparent failings, Patrick was determined to beat the odds. “Five years is pretty wishful thinking ... two years seems likely if you're going to believe statistics. I want to last until they find a cure, which means I'd better get a fire under it,” he told Barbara.

And he fought hard, making the most of each day. He accepted a role in the TV series The Beast, which he said helped him to stay focused: “How do you nurture a positive attitude when all the statistics say you're a dead man? You go to work.”

Whether he was dancing with Chris Farley on Saturday Night Live, teaching Jennifer Grey how to rumba in Dirty Dancing, breaking up barroom brawls in Road House or battling against a death sentence, Patrick Swayze stuck to one basic principle. He put one foot in front of the other. And that’s the best that any of us can do. Thanks for the memories, Patrick. I hope you had the time of your life.

Move Over, Whitney Houston. Here Comes Lucie Jones

Monday, September 7, 2009

Oh boy, they make great singers in Wales. X Factor has found another star in 18-year-old Lucie Jones who took on "I Will Always Love You" and nailed it. While I thought she followed Whitney's stylings a little too closely, there is no denying Lucie can sing!

Michaela Watkins Dropped From Saturday Night Live

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Why? Why? Why? Saturday Night Live has dropped Michaela Watkins from its new season. That means no more Angie Tempura. Or Arianna Huffington, or Hoda and Kathy Lee.

Casey Wilson was also dropped.

"I will say to you now, though, that I had a GREAT time there," Michaela said in a statement e-mailed to, which broke the news. "[I] met some of the most truly talented and fantastic people, had the most exciting job and I honestly can say I don't have any regrets I can think of right now. Although it seems kinda crazy right now, this may shake out to make sense to everyone. Lorne isn't known for indulging in any lip-service and I feel very encouraged by his words last week. I'm working on something I'm very excited about now, so... the journey continues, and I feel so lucky I got to stop off at 30 Rock. It was awesome."

To quote Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman. Big mistake. Big. Huge.

Or to quote Angie Tempura, Bitch Pleeze.

To watch Michaela as Angie, click here.

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