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Why 'The Hobbit' superfans should let Evangeline Lilly into their treehouse

Evangeline Lilly cast in "The Hobbit" as an elf

Peter Jackson has inserted a new character into his upcoming "The Hobbit" two-parter -- a character that J.R.R. Tolkien did not write. Repeat: Peter Jackson is messing with the sacred texts. Again. This time, it's via "Lost" star Evangeline Lilly, who shall don the pointy ears and become a new woodland elf named Tauriel.

Judas! It’s only a matter of time before armies of dweebs ball up their disapproval into fiery wads of nerd rage and catapult their ire into the blogosphere. After all, when Jackson announced the creative casting of Saoirse Ronan as another made-up elven character earlier this year, talk among the superfans grew dire.

"To Hobbit purists, this is grave news," Hobbit Central intoned.

But according to academics who have studied Tolkien -- yes, there are those -- purists may wish to step away from their keyboards and let the tar cool. Movies and books are different animals; readers and viewers have different demands. (Translated into superfan-speak: Storytelling in a novel versus storytelling in a film is like, er, the Teleri versus the Noldor. They're both elves, but it goes without saying that a sea elf is nothing like a deep elf.)

In truth, the elves of "The Hobbit" novel don't have much to say. They capture our heroes, who later escape. The elves also go to war, but otherwise we know little to nothing about them on the written page. So is it really any surprise that Jackson has created a new elf to bridge a few gaps in the movie adaptation?

"The wood elves in 'The Hobbit' are pretty underdeveloped," notes Corey Olsen, a Washington College educator who has a website called  The Tolkien Professor. "The only elf who has much of a role is the king, and he's not even named.

"It doesn't surprise me that Peter Jackson would want to invest at least one or two elves with more character, because they are pretty faceless in the book," Olsen explains.

So, superfans: Stay thy rage! After all, the rest of the casting is pretty amazing: Sherlock Holmes as Smaug, anyone?

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-- Leslie Gornstein

Photo: Evangeline Lilly as Kate in "Lost." Credit: Art Streiber / ABC



Mariska Hargitay dishes on 'zen' baby Amaya Josephine

Mariska Hargitay talks Amaya Josephine baby adoptionMariska Hargitay of "Law & Order: SVU" has opened up about adopting her daughter Amaya Josephine, saying the baby girl is "very soothing to the heart."

The 47-year-old adopted the newborn last month with husband Peter Hermann, her former "SVU" costar.

"I feel like she really completed our little family of four," Hargitay told People.

The two, who have a 4½-year-old son named August, had been considering both international and domestic adoption before ultimately adopting Amaya Josephine, a mixed-race baby orn in the United States in April.

"You never know what you're going to get with the second baby, and so I was sort of nervous about it," Hargitay said. "She's so zen and so peaceful. I can't quite believe how easy she's been — her disposition. ... She's not fussy, she doesn't cry much. ... She's just very peaceful."

Guess that's where the whole "soothing to the heart" thing comes in.

"I feed her, she sleeps. It's pure magic. I feel very blessed," the actress said. Sweet life, no?

She added that August was a proud older brother and showed off Amaya Josephine to all his friends when Hargitay brought her to pick him up from school.

Aw and a half!

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Mariska Hargitay adopts a baby girl with husband Peter Hermann

Sandra Bullock files for divorce, reveals adopted baby son, Louis; Jesse James reacts

— Nardine Saad
twitter.com / NardineSaad

Photo: Mariska Hargitay. Credit: Stephen Lovekin / Getty Images


Kate Middleton gets coat of arms to merge with Prince William's

Kate Middleton gets coat of armsm for marriage to Prince William

Call Kate Middleton's coat of arms, which will soon be merged into Prince William's coat of arms, her something new and something blue.

The coat, which was unveiled Tuesday, was commissioned by her father, Michael Middleton, for his family at London's College of Arms in time for the April 29 wedding.

Kate Middleton's Coat of Arms But what does it all mean? Traditionally, the heraldic design is passed down through generations, but because the Middleton family are commoners they weren't required to have a coat of arms before now. Since she's marrying a royal, we're going to call it an early wedding gift.

The blue and red crest with three acorns sprigs adorn the shield, which represent the three Middleton children: Catherine (Kate), Philippa Charlotte (Pippa) and James. The acorns were chosen because West Berkshire, England, their hometown, is surrounded by oak trees. The oak tree is also a traditional symbol of England and strength, according to Clarence House. A gold chevron cuts through the middle of the coat to represent Kate's mother, Carole, whose maiden name was Goldsmith.

Blue and red were chosen because they are the patriotic colors of the United Kingdom's flag.

Kate's lozenge-shaped coat of arms is derived from her family's and suspended from a tied blue ribbon, which symbolizes that she is an unmarried daughter.

Weddingprogram_re"Mr. and Mrs. Middleton and their children took enormous interest in this design and, while its purpose is to provide a traditional heraldic identity for Catherine, as she marries into the royal family, the intent was to represent the whole Middleton family together, their home and aspects of what they enjoy," said Thomas Woodcock, Garter King of Arms who oversaw the design process.

"Every Coat of Arms has been designed to identify a person, school or organization, and to last forever: Heraldry is Europe's oldest, most visual and strictly regulated form of identity and it surrounds us in Britain, giving clues to our history and surroundings," he added. "After her marriage, Catherine Middleton will place her father's Arms beside those of her husband in what is known as an impaled Coat of Arms. This will require a Royal Warrant from the Queen."

Prince William received his coat of arms on his 18th birthday. The design was derived from his father's and late mother's coats. After the wedding, Kate's coat of arms will be incorporated into William's, and the Middleton family's symbol will be passed down by her brother James.

Continue reading »

'Bachelorette' Ali Fedotowsky hurt in kayak accident with fiance

Bachelorette Ali Fedotowsky and Roberto Martinez capsize in kayaking accident "Bachelorette" Ali Fedotowsky and beau Roberto Martinez are recovering from a kayaking accident in La Jolla on Sunday in which she was knocked overboard.

"Ali and Roberto had a little mishap when their kayak capsized this weekend," her rep told Us Magazine. "Ali was taken to the hospital and had five staples put in her head. Roberto was fantastic — he kept her calm and took great care of her. She is doing fine and actually off to work this morning."

"Thanks so much everyone for your concern. Big headache, but managed to hide staples w/hair part and I am back at work this morning :)" the 26-year-old on-air correspondent for Fox 5 San Diego tweeted.

"I think I freaked out more when when the doctor cut my hair rather than when he put staples into my head. Lol. Very thankful to be ok :)," Fedotowsky added. "[But I] made it out of the ER w/staples in my head & a little less hair after falling out of a kayak. Scary stuff. Wearing a helmet next time."

The former bachelorette is gearing up to co-host a "The View"-style talk show on Style Network with actress Vivica A. Fox, former reality television maven Adrianne Curry and "Project Runway" designer Nick Verreos.

The show will "tackle anything and everything that's of interest to Style viewers. From exciting in-studio guests to product demos, makeover segments, field segments and a studio audience, this new daily show will be just as Style-ish as it is informative and fun," according to a press release.

Wishes for a speedy recovery to our favorite bachelorette, because when last we checked, staples weren't en vogue.

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— Nardine Saad
twitter.com/NardineSaad

Photo: Roberto Martinez and Ali Fedotowsky at the Reality Rocks Expo in L.A. on April 9. Credit: Michael Buckner / Getty Images.


Lady Gaga slips and falls off piano at Texas concert


Ouch! Lady Gaga slipped off a piano while performing in Houston on Sunday, and now we have the video evidence.

The Grammy-winning "Born This Way" singer -- decked out in stiletto boots, a bra and underwear -- tumbled off the piano and bench while singing "You and I" and landed on her back with her legs up in the air.

But somehow she managed to clutch the microphone the whole time. She rebounded quickly, crawling out from under the piano, and then popped back up into a standing position as if nothing had happened.

Now that's a professional. Watch the video above.

She is set to premiere her next single "Judas" on YouTube on April 19.

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Kim Kardashian booted offstage by Prince: a fairy tale/nightmare

-- Nardine Saad
twitter.com/NardineSaad


Miley Cyrus versus Olivia Newton-John: Who's the more believable video faux ho?

Oh my. Miley Cyrus' new video -- not the lap-dance one, though you can see that here -- almost goaded the Ministry into scanning and uploading that Instamatic shot from back in the day, when we tarted ourselves up in ridiculous shorts, a tight top and Mom's high heels and posed like what we thought a tramp would pose like in the living room in broad daylight to immortalize how bad that bright red lipstick really looked with that perm.

Almost. But dignity prevailed. Plus our mom would kill us. Even though she took the picture. But you didn't hear us say that.

Instead, we present Miss Cyrus in "Who Owns My Heart" versus Olivia Newton-John in "You're the One That I Want" -- a smackdown video battle of good girls pretending to be bad girls, relying heavily on suspension of disbelief from the audience to deliver the goods.

Watch the videos, then vote, then cleanse your palate after the break with Stockard Channing delivering a little perspective as bad girl Rizzo in that same little Newton-John flick, "Grease," a movie made about 15 years before Miley was, you know, born and stuff.

Pretty cool.

 

 

-- Christie D'Zurilla

Continue reading »

Katy Perry uses 'Saturday Night Live' to bounce back from 'Sesame Street' flap [video] [poll]

Katy Perry hit the "Saturday Night Live" season premiere this weekend, bouncing back from her recent Elmo issues in a big way. Those of "Sesame Street" viewing age might want to, um, skip the video above. Past your bedtime and all that.

"It looks like today's show is brought to you by the number 38 and the letter double-D," Amy Poehler quipped in the "Bronx Beat" sketch with Maya Rudolph, about a young volunteer whose over-the-summer blossoming has gotten her into some trouble at the library.

(See the "Sesame Street" video of Perry with Elmo here.)

Perry was the musical guest on the show's season opener, performing "California Gurls" and "Teenage Dream."

Watch the video and tell us in comments if you think the comparison of Katy's cleavage with the gory visuals on shows like "CSI" is a valid one.

-- Christie D'Zurilla

In the Katy Perry 'Sesame Street' scandal, is Elmo the real villain? [poll]

PREACH IT! Don't cry, Katy Perry — 'Sesame Street' would boot Miss Piggy too


PREACH IT! Kristen Stewart has a threesome on camera! Ha. Made you look

Threesome-threesome

Achieving fame is hard. Maintaining it is even harder. (Heidi Montag burns at least 800 calories daily through her relentless PR campaigning alone.) Still, we here at Preach It! have managed to discover the base formula for fame preservation -- at least, for fall 2010, anyway.

Pay attention, class:

Marijuana smoking plus threesomes OR lesbian kissing equals headlines.

Three actresses have announced new film roles in recent months. All three have at least two of the three pieces of the formula above. And all three have been snapping up headlines left and right.

"EXCLUSIVE!" Hollywood Life booms. "Girl Gone Wild: Jennifer Aniston Goes Topless, Smokes Pot & Has Threesomes In Her New Film 'Wanderlust'!"

Also from Hollywood Life: “K-Stew’s Shocking New Role: She Has a Threesome & Brags About Oral Sex! Twi-Hards, Are You Ready for This?”

That's K-Stew as in Kristen Stewart, for those of you who aren't up on the tabloid lingo.

Finally, there's Miley Cyrus, whose next movie role -- pot smoking, blah blah blah -- has ...

Continue reading »

PREACH IT! Miley Cyrus' carefully planned rebellion presses on

Miley-cyrus-wild-child “Miley is a bad girl!” Hollywood Life shrieked Tuesday morning on its shocking candy pink website. “[She] shakes her booty and sings about sex in front of her mom!”

Clutch those pearls!

Hollywood Life isn’t the only outlet voicing hysteria over Miley Cyrus’ supposedly scandalous foray into adulthood. And by scandalous, in this case, we mean a carefully orchestrated multi-step roll-out that clearly has an official stamp of approval from Miley's stage parents.

Yes, Miley has been dressing in black leotards and short shorts and doing movies that require slightly more eyeliner than usual. In "The Last Song," her first post-"Hannah Montana" movie, she played a girl who shoplifted once, feels really bad about it and now rescues turtle hatchlings for fun.

In Miley's next movie, “LOL: Laughing Out Loud,” coming out next year, she plays a character who has sex, engages in a lesbian kiss and smokes pot. Apparently, that’s the same thing as being a real-life wild child -- at least for the tabs.

Cyrus has had some scandalous moments off-screen, but they’ve been buried in the media -- we prefer a lawsuit-free lifestyle and won’t repeat them here -- but if this is the biggest public teen meltdown the media has to work with, times truly have changed.

Drew Barrymore was a child regular at Studio 54, smoked cigarettes at age 9, was a bona fide ...

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PREACH IT! The stars of 'True Blood': Not hot, not gross, just tired [poll]

RS-true-blood-cover We really don’t like creating new categories here at the Ministry of Gossip. We already have like 8 million, including Mysterious Mysteries, You’re Welcome, Dept. of Working on My Fitness, and Single Ladies. Still, this photo is a clear indication that we need another category.

Welcome to the first edition of Hot or Gross!

Is this "Rolling Stone" cover hot or gross?

You kids will get your chance to vote in a minute; maybe we’ll even get Ryan Seacrest in here to say that. Meantime, here’s our vote:

Neither.

For one, enough with the naked Rolling Stone covers. It got tired the second that Jennifer Aniston did it. Or, wait, maybe when the Chili Peppers did it. Or, no, wait. Maybe when Pam and Tommy did it, when there still was and Pam and Tommy.

Or, no: When John and Yoko did it back in 1968.

Second, we see these three people covered in blood every week. What would really be shocking?

Continue reading »

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