Katy Perry & John Mayer Break Up: Call me a naive sucker, but I really thought these two could go the distance. They made it almost a year, which is like a decade in John Mayer relationship time. As recently as March 2, she tweeted, "My boyfriend is taking me to a kitten shelter in his truck. I can't think of a more perfect Saturday." In the time since then, something must have gone down, because by March 18 she was tweeting "ATTENTION: Mercury is OUT of retrograde today. Thank GOD." The split has now been announced in People, which means it was probably confirmed to them by either Mayer's or Perry's rep. So what went wrong? Let's do a postmortem.
Miranda Lambert & Blake Shelton: Splitting up is not on the table for the country supercouple. Lambert says she's questioned whether her marriage to Shelton will last "a million" times. "Divorce is not an option," Lambert said. "I will fight to the death. I am a ninja." That seems like a weird thing to say about your relationship. In order to keep communication open, Lambert and Shelton "are allowed to snoop through each other's phones." Has she never heard of a burner? They never spend longer than two weeks away from each other. "We text a lot. Even if it's just sending a picture of the onion rings we're eating!" OK, that seems less weird. They bond at home, "hang out on the porch, drink beer and cook burgers." Lambert says "I think it's important as a married couple to be friends." This all feels strangely defensive. I'm rooting for Lambert (how could I not be?), so I hope things work out.
Lindsay Lohan Is a High-Paid Escort: According to her father, Michael Lohan, Lindsay "is getting paid to date rich men. Dina is pimpin her out. It's disgusting." A second source confirms the story. "The dates last for days, and the guys pay for everything — hotel, travel costs, food, whatever — as well as jewelry and other gifts." While she might just be receiving a fee to act as "arm candy for wealthy men who like to be seen with beautiful and famous women." Clients include Prince Haji Abdul Azim, third in line to the throne of Brunei, and Spanish-American painter Domingo Zapata.
"Domingo let Lindsay live in his penthouse at the Bowery Hotel in NYC for free and at his L.A. pad at Chateau Marmont." Zapata rescinded his kindness after Lohan's hit-and-run incident in September. "He said that Lindsay kept taking, taking, taking and asking for more — cars, dinners, clothes, everything." Lohan is now hanging out with "Vikram Chatwal a.k.a. The Turban Cowboy, who owns a chain of luxury hotels." Is that a self-appointed nickname? Michael Lohan says "Dina is exploiting Lindsay because she's broke too and gets 20 percent of everything Lindsay makes." Michael Lohan is not the most reputable source, though. A friend of Lindsay's says her escort work is "no big deal" because Lohan is "totally broke and in serious debt, and no one will hire her." Plus Lindsay thinks of it as a kind of method research for some future role. "Being an escort is just an easy way for her to stay above water. [Lindsay] says she's an actress and won't turn down getting paid good money to act a certain way!"
A breakdown of Linda Stasi’s New York Post review of the second season of Girls: 3 out of 4 stars for the “grittiness” and “reality”; 14 out of 4 stars for the “gorgeous,” “breathtakingly beautiful” Marnie; 1 out of 4 for the “ugly” anal sex, sheets, and studio apartments; and zero stars for Lena Dunham’s “blobby body.” She dwells on that last one quite a bit: Dunham’s “giant thighs,” “sloppy backside,” and “small breasts” are so offensive to Stasi that she implies that pretty ladies should hide their men from those evil, exhibitionist “blobbies” who aim to snatch them from our beautiful 400-thread-count sheets in the night. Jenni Konner, Girls’s executive producer (and recent HP podcast guest), responds “That that woman got to the age she's at and still feels like there are rules about what kind of body you can show is sad for her.” Meanwhile: Kelly Osbourne claimed to have been body-slammed by Lady Gaga’s Little Monsters, while Gaga fired back with an open letter accusing Osbourne of “making jokes about artists and celebrities as if we are zoo animals” instead of human animals wearing steaks for hats. Move right along. Nothing to see here.
As ubiquitous as Will.i.am may seem, he hasn't been a part of the central pop conversation in the past year or two the way a Ke$ha or a Drake has been — it's been four years since "Boom Boom Pow" and "I Gotta Feeling" were the aural wallpaper du jour. But then again, neither has Britney Spears. In terms of sales and longevity, both are legitimate pop icons, but in 2013 both are probably more well known for their participation in reality singing competitions; they have now achieved "mentor" status, somehow. Fitting that that was where "Scream and Shout" made its debut last month, despite the general lack of what can actually be called singing. I wrote about it briefly in the recap for the X Factor episode it premiered on; I believe my overall first impression was that it made me deeply depressed about the direction our society is headed. I would like to amend that statement right now: This song sounds like at least one of the directions our society is headed in, and it is both depressing and kind of cool. Which qualifies it as cyberpunk, I think?
For reasons still not entirely clear to them, Grantland editors Jay Caspian Kang, Mark Lisanti, and Emily Yoshida have decided to track the second season of The X Factor. The big purple spaceship finally crashed across the finish line last night. Here’s the report from the wreckage.
There may be a WikiLeaks political party, and Julian Assange plans to run for Senate in 2013. “Mr Assange hopes that WikiLeaks' internet presence, which includes a Twitter account with nearly 1.7 million followers and a Facebook page with more than 2.1 million "likes", and the formation of ''friends of WikiLeaks'' groups would mobilise Australian supporters,” says the Sydney Morning Herald (at smh dot com, so I can’t help but conclude that they’re all shaking their heads over lines like “2.1 million ‘likes’”). The newspaper’s poll shows 72 percent of readers would vote for Assange, which would be great because SNLneeds the material.
For reasons still not entirely clear to them, Grantland editors Jay Caspian Kang, Mark Lisanti, and Emily Yoshida have decided to track the second season of The X Factor. They now realize the show is never going to end, and they're slowly coming to terms with their hilarious fate.
Lisanti: Check it out, L.A. Reid wore a cowboy hat! And that is the most interesting thing that happened during either of Tate Stevens's songs. "We don't have flashy cars or big mansions," Tate explains about his social circle's financial situation. Say good-bye to those old, poor friends, dude. If America keeps voting you no. 1 every week, pretty soon you're going to have the flashy car, the big mansion, and a gold-plated jackhammer you use to break up your driveway just for fun, and all your former pals are gonna start whispering about how you went "all Blake Shelton" on them overnight. (You should see how many gold-plated jackhammers Blake Shelton has. It's amazing. Never worked a road crew in his life, he's just really into jackhammers.)
For reasons still not entirely clear to them, Grantland editors Jay Caspian Kang, Mark Lisanti, and Emily Yoshida have decided to track the second season of The X Factor. It's not an abusive relationship, it's just a very complicated one.
Last night, America’s third-favorite singing competition dragged itself to the Final Six. For the first time this season, YOU, America, had the opportunity to pick one of the contestants' songs in the Pepsi Viewers' Choice Supermax Dragon Fire Contest. Well, America, on a night when 4Chan trolls could have forced Tate Stevens to sing 2 Live Crew’s “Pop That Coochie,” you somehow out-boringed the show’s producers, who seem to believe that the best way to improve “music” is to glue sparkly shit onto everything. The X Factor has become pretty hard to watch as of late, and sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night, think back on the literary ambitions of my youth, and start sharpening the ends of random Q-tips in the hopes that maybe one day there will be an earthquake here in Los Angeles and tectonic force will just take care of what I can’t do myself.
For reasons still not entirely clear to them, Grantland editors Jay Caspian Kang, Mark Lisanti, and Emily Yoshida have decided to track the second season of The X Factor. It's their favorite singing competition show ever — don't let the deadness in their eyes fool you.
Carly Rose Sonenclar
Kang: I can’t really figure out a good anagram for her name. Every time I look at those letters, I just get COORS and RACECAR (a palindrome!). If she had another E in there somewhere, she actually could have CeCe Frey IN her name. Petition to make it Carles Rose Sonenclar?
For reasons still not entirely clear to them, Grantland editors Jay Caspian Kang, Mark Lisanti, and Emily Yoshida have decided to track the second season of The X Factor. Come, stay a while. They aren't going anywhere; there are still some off-key versions of Celine Dion songs they haven't heard.
It was “diva" week on The X Factor, a word we are all too familiar with here at Grantland. And because we have already determined that none of these contestants can reach those grand heights, I will be rating the chosen contestants this week based on just how badly they butchered their Diva moment. — Kang
For reasons still not entirely clear to them, Grantland editors Jay Caspian Kang, Mark Lisanti, and Emily Yoshida have decided to track the second season of The X Factor. Yes, they get paid for this, but someone also pays the people who scrape skull fragments from the walls at murder scenes.
For reasons still not entirely clear to them, Grantland editors Jay Caspian Kang, Mark Lisanti, and Emily Yoshida have decided to track the second season of The X Factor. Take their hands as they escort you to a magical world of singing, dancing, and laughter, and then leave you to die there, just as they did.
Kang: I don’t remember much of his performance because I ate a grip of M&Ms last night and an entire Reuben, both of which put me on the brink of a food coma. What I do remember about the beginning of the show was that all the girls had done something absolutely insane with their hair. Fox, you can trot out ZoZo to sing the national anthem at the World Series to cross-promote New Girl, but do you really have to give everyone on The X Factor her haircut? Poor Jennel Garcia looked like someone had taken to her head with a weedwacker and then opened up that weedwacker’s oil tank and dumped it on her head. Demi, who had wowed us with her mermaid hair, now looks like Punky Brewster.
Taylor Swift & Conor Kennedy Split: "Taylor Swift was in the mood to talk about — what else? — heartache." During a listening party for Red she explained one song saying, "Long-distance dating is hard, and is something I face constantly." And will probably deal with for the rest of her life, unless she quits touring. Swift and her 18-year-old boyfriend, Conor Kennedy, recently broke up. "The breakup was mutual because of the distance, schedules, and being at different places in their lives." Why do I not believe that any Taylor Swift breakup is ever really "mutual"? Although self-professed "hopeless romantic" Taylor tried to make it work with Conor, soon "reality set in." She is promoting her new album nonstop for the next year, and Kennedy is in high school. "There aren't many guys game for a serious relationship with a girl who's out of town the majority of the year." Swift should date a pro athlete next! Just playing. She should date a civilian who could go on tour with her. Are there any sweet guitar techs out there that don't mind having an album potentially written about them?
Every week, Hollywood Prospectus editor and masochistically devoted mainstream-radio listener Emily Yoshida will pick an aging Top 40 hit that she has heard enough times to render the song meaningless, and thus likely to inspire otherwise inaccessible epiphanies.
Weeks on Chart: 37 Peak: No. 3 on Billboard's Hot 100, March 31, 2012 Current Radio Play Frequency Like no. 85 or something on KIIS FM's Playlist
The Wanted are a British boy band who are generally considered to be the older, more dangerous version of One Direction. There is also, apparently, some Wanted–One Direction beef, which means that you have to pick which side you are on right now. If I'm going strictly off of the songs I've heard of each (which is a limited but fair sampling, I think), I'm probably Team Wanted. Once Sasha Frere-Jones pointed out in The New Yorker that all 1D songs sound like Katy Perry, whatever luster there was kind of wore off for me. The Wanted just sound like five hot dudes singing different versions of Taio Cruz's "Dynamite" (Cruz worked on their debut album, which of course he did), which I can't picture myself getting sick of anytime soon.