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PHOENIX – Southern Arizona residents and business operators are invited to ask questions and offer comments about options for improving the Interstate 19 east frontage road between Rio Rico and Ruby Road at a public meeting on Sept. 13.
The event will be held from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Calabasas Middle School, 131 Camino Maricopa in Rio Rico. The meeting will be an open house format with a presentation beginning at 6:30 p.m.
Community input will help determine which alternative will be selected for design and construction of improvements on the east frontage road.
During a 30-day comment period beginning Sept. 13, comments also can be submitted in these ways: Call the ADOT Bilingual Project Information Line at 855.712.8530 Email to Projects@azdot.gov Mail written comments to ADOT Communications, 1655 W. Jackson St., MD 126F, Phoenix, AZ, 85007
Comments must be received by Oct. 13 to be included in the public record.
Please visit the azdot.gov.I19Ruby for more information.
The Arizona Department of Transportation has delayed the start date of a pavement and improvement project at the intersection of Buffalo Soldier Trail and Hatfield Street (milepost 316) in Sierra Vista.
The $2.6 million project will consist of paving and widening the shoulder of the roadway; adding a designated right-turn lane; constructing a new sidewalk, guardrail and culvert; improving drainage; installing signage; and replacing traffic signals and street lights.
· Work is scheduled to begin in late September and continue through summer 2018.
· Crews are scheduled to work from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays.
· Shoulder and lane restrictions will be scheduled on SR 90, Buffalo Soldier Trail and Hatfield Street.
· The speed limit will be reduced in the work zones.
· Expect heavy delays and consider alternate routes when work begins.
Drivers should proceed through the work zone with caution, slow down and watch for construction personnel and equipment. For more information visit www.azdot.gov/sr90buffalosoldier.
Schedules are subject to change based on weather and other unforeseen factors. For real-time highway conditions statewide, visit ADOT’s Traveler Information Site at www.az511.gov, follow ADOT on Twitter (@ArizonaDOT) or call 511,except while driving
Work is more than halfway complete on west side of I-10
MARANA – Six months in, signs of progress abound at an Arizona Department of Transportation project creating a modern traffic interchange at Ina Road and Interstate 10 and more efficient traffic flow through a growing area.
Crews recently poured concrete to create a deck for the first of two new bridges carrying Ina Road over the Santa Cruz River just west of I-10.
With supports in place on the west side of I-10, drivers soon will see the first girders set for a bridge that will carry Ina Road over Interstate 10 and the Union Pacific Railroad tracks. The former interchange configuration had local traffic passing under I-10 and waiting as several dozen trains crossed Ina Road each day.
“Those are important milestones in this project,” said Dan Casmer, ADOT’s resident engineer for the project. “Our teams have done a great job staying on schedule despite the extreme heat earlier this summer and the heavy monsoon rains.”
Crews are now more than halfway toward completing work on the west side of I-10, which also includes building new lanes for eastbound I-10 and laying a new frontage road. To allow this work, eastbound I-10 traffic has shifted to the former westbound lanes, and westbound I-10 traffic is using what had been the westbound frontage road.
Beginning in early 2018, crews will move to the east side of the freeway. They will remove the remaining I-10 bridge, create new freeway lanes and a new frontage road and complete the Ina Road bridge. Drivers already can see rebar towers that will become bridge supports on the east side of I-10.
At the same time, crews will move traffic to the new bridge over the Santa Cruz River, remove the existing bridge and build a new one in its place.
When work is complete in early 2019, both I-10 and Ina Road will be wider to handle increasing traffic in the area, capacity on the Santa Cruz River bridges will double and drivers no longer will have to wait for trains that run east of I-10.
ADOT is overseeing the $128 million project, which is funded by the Federal Highway Administration, the Pima Association of Governments and the Regional Transportation Authority. The town of Marana is contributing $7.9 million toward the cost of the new bridges over the Santa Cruz River west of I-10.
Ina Road is closed at I-10, but ADOT will continue to maintain access to area businesses throughout the project.
Eastbound I-10 drivers can use the Cortaro or Orange Grove exits. For westbound drivers, the Orange Grove exit remains closed, and drivers should consider exiting at Sunset or Cortaro roads.
With everything Labor Day has come to symbolize the end of summer, the beginning of the school year, a weekend of good deals at the mall. It can be easy to forget its purpose: to celebrate workers' contributions to America. Americans everywhere work hard, but in honor of the holiday, SpareFoot.com crunched some numbers recently and found the metro areas where the hardest-working Americans live.
Here is SpareFoot's list of the 12 Hardest-Working Towns in America:
1. Minneapolis-St. Paul
Residents here don't actually work the longest hours, although they're close. The Twin Cities won because of how likely residents are to have two jobs or to be part of dual-income families. Also, the share of the population that doesn't work at all is small.
2. Madison, WI
The percentage of people who don't work at all in Madison is lower here than anywhere else among the 100 biggest metro areas in the U.S. On top of that, the total number of hours worked per capita is higher here than anywhere else.
3. Omaha, NE
Residents of Warren Buffett's hometown are more likely to have several jobs than they are anywhere else among the top 100 metro areas. That stat, combined with a relatively long average workweek, puts Omaha in third place on our list.
4. Des Moines, IA
People who live in and around the capital of Iowa enjoy relatively short commute times, but their total work-plus-commuting hours still top those of residents of many of the towns on our list.
The total number of hours worked per capita (including commuting time) in the Mile High City is equal to the number in our winner, Minneapolis-St. Paul. However, the percentage of the population that doesn't work at all kept Denver from climbing further up our list.
6. Washington, DC
Our nation's capital is home to the longest average workweek and longest average commute among our top 12 towns. It also beats out all 100 metro areas in terms of the total number of hours worked per capita (including commuting time).
7. Hartford, CT
The capital of Connecticut beat out the rest of our top 12 towns in terms of the share of dual-income families. In addition, a fair share of people work part-time for economic reasons, which can indicate a willingness to work even when the job market isn't ideal.
Brew Town made our list mainly for its solid marks across all the data points we measured, rather than standing out in any one area, and partly because residents here are quite likely to hold down more than one job.
9. Wichita, KS
Residents of the largest city in Kansas work fairly long hours and are even more likely than residents of Milwaukee to hold more than one job.
Bean Town is home to lots of dual-income families as well as relatively long commutes. At the same time, more people work part-time for economic reasons here than anywhere else among our top 12 towns.
Residents here work almost as many hours in a week as residents of Washington, DC, but their commute times are a little shorter. And the percentage of people who don't work at all is higher here than it is in nine of our top 12 towns. Of course, Hawaii is more of a retirement destination than the District of Columbia is.
12. Columbus, OH
Ohio's capital has a high percentage of dual-income families, but it also has the second-highest percentage, among our top 12 towns, of people who do not work at all.
Trying to get rid of that spare tire? Here's how to do it, according to fitness guru John Wharton.
Much more important than what you eat is the fact that you eat something each morning to get your metabolism started. A stomach full of bacon and eggs burns more calories than a stomach that's still asleep.
Eat more frequent, but smaller meals.
Most servings give your digestive system more than it can burn, and if you only eat twice a day, your body stores the extra calories as fat.
Dehydration hurts metabolism.
It also creates a 1- to 2- percent drop in performance. You really can't drink enough water.
Don't eat so many carbohydrates.
However the no carb diet is not a good thing for an active person. It's hard on the kidneys shrinks your energy storage, and gives you mood swings. Instead, go for low-carb foods -- fruits, vegetable, and salads instead of grains, pasta, rice and potatoes. If you have to get your fix of high-carbs, do it before noon or right after working out, when your body will burn 'em up.
A NASH Country Pulse Poll reveals what would happen if Country music stars went back-to-school. Country radio listeners across the U.S. were polled using Katz Media's national consumer panel. Here are some findings:
With a boring study hall on their schedule, respondents would be looking to Blake Shelton to save them. Over half the respondents (57%) voted Blake Shelton as the class clown.
Sliding through in the living room in their socks, these participants (27%) felt like jamming out to Garth Brooks' "Friends in Low Places" for their "Risky Business" moment.
With 39% of the votes, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill were chosen as the Homecoming King and Queen; with runner-ups Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood holding 23% of the votes.
After the crowning of the Homecoming King and Queen, 30% of the respondents said they would want to slow dance to "When You Say Nothing At All," by Allison Krause.
Reba McEntire is a school favorite among the respondents, as one in four indicated the Country superstar would make the best music teacher.
61% of respondents felt the most important item on their back to school shopping list is clothes.
For their Back-to-School style inspiration, the ladies turned to Miranda Lambert (39%) with Carrie Underwood in a close second at 34%. Meanwhile, Dierks Bentley was the clear choice among men, pulling in 47% of the male votes.
The Dixie Chicks literally take the cake as the Country group to most likely make the first throw in a cafeteria food fight. 28% of the respondents voted for the girl group; Zac Brown Band followed right behind them with 25% of the votes.
As Hurricane Harvey wreaked havoc on the Lone Star State on Friday, a Cypress, Texas Best Buy apparently decided drinking water was a very precious commodity! Now the retail giant is apologizing big time after charging $42.96 for a 24-pack of bottled water. A 12-pack of Smart Water was selling for $29.98 with a warning there was a "Limited Supply." After a photo of the insane prices went viral and outraged tweeters pummeled the big-box retailer, a rep issued a mea culpa, calling the pricing "a big mistake" made by an employee. The worker calculated the costs based on the price per individual bottle, which is how Best Buy usually sells its water. The electronics giant says they were focused "on helping, not hurting" Texans affected by Hurricane Harvey. The rep said, "It won't happen again." Meanwhile, more than 600 complaints of outrageous prices have poured into the Texas Attorney General's office, including stores charging $100 for a case of drinking water, hotels tripling rates, and gas going for $10 a gallon. Because nothing says America like taking advantage of those in need! AG Ken Paxton said, "These are things you can't do in Texas," and warned that anyone caught inflating prices faces a $20,000 fine, and up to $250,000 if the victim is 65 or older. (Newser)
6,600 Dead Sharks
Crew members aboard a Chinese ship in the Galapagos Islands have been handed almost $6 million in fines plus jail time after what is being called "likely one of the biggest seizures of illegal sharks in recent years." Investigators boarded the Fu Yuan Yu Leng 999 in the Galapagos Marine Reserve and found 300 tons of marine species on board, including 6,600 dead sharks! The reserve has "the highest abundance of sharks known in the world." Authorities believe the vessel was likely only transporting the haul as it did not have the necessary equipment to catch such large quantities of silky, thresher, mako, and what are believed to be endangered hammerhead sharks. Meanwhile, a Chinese Foreign Ministry rep says the vessel's 20 Chinese crew members didn't fish in the reserve and were simply unaware of Ecuadorian rules when they entered it without permission. They were convicted of possessing and transporting protected species on Monday. (National Geographic)
Taylor Swift - You Done Screwed Up Now!
Taylor Swift and Ticketmaster claim their new partnership is to help ensure tickets to her upcoming tour go to her biggest fans, not scalpers. Sounds like a great idea until you find out how it works which many are calling immoral, illegal and a ponzi scheme! The complicated process, which utilizes Ticketmaster's new Verified Fan service, asks fans to buy Swift merchandise or promote her music on social media to earn "boosts" to their place in line for tickets, all in the hopes that when tickets go on sale, they've boosted themselves to the front of the line and are able to snag seats at a show. Of course, buying stuff gets you a lot more boosts than simply watching a Swift music video or posting about her online, but even that doesn't actually guarantee you a ticket. Not surprisingly, many are calling the scheme "pay-to-play" and a "scam." Donovan Farley at Consequence of Sound writes that Swift herself has actually become a scalper by charging extra to ensure a place in line for tickets - not the tickets themselves. Farley also notes that fans who preorder Swift's new album, Reputation, for boosts and want to actually get it on the day it's released have to pay an extra $48.03 shipping charge, a "nonsensical move [that] seems aimed to appease UPS, one of Swift's many corporate partners." And then there's the fact that fans are encouraged to buy multiple copies of Reputation to get more boosts which Farley calls an "egregiously immoral" move. On his Lefsetz Letter, music analyst Bob Lefsetz calls the whole thing "almost a Ponzi scheme" and Swift herself a greedy, "hypocritical bully." (Newser)
Three Cheers for the Canadian Bike Police!
One of America's most wanted fugitives has been caught - by a couple of Canadian bike police. Two cycling police officers were patrolling a Montreal bike path when they spotted two men they suspected of having drugs. The suspects took off running and the officers pursued. Both suspects were caught near a train station, but it was only later during fingerprinting that police officers realized exactly what they'd accomplished. One of the men captured was 35-year-old Katay-Khaophone Sychanta, who held a spot on the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement's list of the top 10 most wanted criminals. Sychanta is accused of running an Ontario-based drug smuggling operation that "supplied millions of ecstasy pills and hundreds of pounds of marijuana to several distributors located in Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, Massachusetts, Georgia, and New York. He's now in the custody of Ontario Provincial Police and may face extradition to the US. (CBC News)
Turns Out Your Hotel Room is Easier to Break Into Than You Thought!
Aaron Cashatt says, "It was like the heavens had opened." Unfortunately he's talking about how easily a homemade device he created helped him break into dozens of hotel rooms. Made of little more than a circuit board, wires, and a nine-volt battery, the device was kept hidden in a sunglasses case and effectively unlocked hotel rooms across multiple states. Cashatt says he found instructions to build the device online and estimates he broke into more than 100 hotel rooms stealing iPads, TVs, laptops, jewelry, luggage, a US marshal's gun and badge, a pilot's uniform and license, passports, and more. He used the money he got from fencing the goods to gamble and support a meth habit. (Wired)
Just Got Fired? Burger King's Got Your Back!
If you've recently been fired from your job, Burger King wants to make you feel better with a free Whopper. Burger King launched its "own your fire" promotion Tuesday and will send a "Whopper severance package" to the first 2,500 people who post the following message to their LinkedIn profile: "I got fired. I want a free Whopper. #whopperseverance." Adweek notes it's "an odd bit of marketing" that requires some "mental gymnastics" to connect being fired from your job to the fire Burger King uses to grill its burgers. In a statement, Burger King explains: "We know getting fired sucks, but getting a free Whopper doesn't." It also seems unlikely Burger King will be able to vet people's claims of having been fired or to disqualify people who were fired for behavior Burger King would prefer not to be associated with, such as sexual harassment or workplace violence. But a restaurant spokesperson says they believe applicants will get the "light-hearted nature of the idea." You have until Friday to let Burger King know you were let go from your job. (Business Insider)
What the What?
In Cambridge, England, folks walking by the local courthouse were treated to the sight of 31-year-old Jeffrey Shaver who was wearing nothing more than shoes, socks, and a green thong, while standing next to two large signs that read: Return My Bong and Return My Marijuana. Shaver claims that Waterloo Regional Police wrongfully arrested him for possession of marijuana last October. He says, "I have a legal medical marijuana card. Five months after I got it, I was arrested for possession of marijuana, but I had my card on me." He also says his unusual protest got lots of support from those passing by. (The Record)
The University of Tampa has fired a professor who suggested in a tweet that Hurricane Harvey hit Texas because it voted G.O.P.
They were digging on the site of the new police and fire station in the town of Thornton, Colorado, when they uncovered a triceratops skeleton.
There's a furniture store and a bowling alley in Houston that have opened their doors to flood victims.
It's estimated that only 2 out of 10 homes in Houston have flood insurance.
So far, Harvey has dumped twenty trillion gallons or rain.
A 3-mile wide asteroid is going to pass relatively close to the earth tomorrow, just so you know.
In Great Falls, Montana, a woman called 9-1-1 to complain about the quality of the meth she had just purchased.
Having a beard helps you beat cancer? A new study claims that a beard can protect a man's face from 90 to 95% of harmful UV rays from the sun.
Sandra Bullock has donated $1 million towards Harvey relief efforts, while Kim Kardashian and her family on Tuesday donated a collective $500,000. Jennifer Lopez, Dwayne Johnson, NFL player J.J. Watt and comedian Kevin Hart have all pledged funds.
Gwyneth Paltrow's website Goop is being accused of making "deceptive" health claims.
Tobe Hooper, the director of "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre," "Poltergeist" and "Salem's Lot" has died at age 74.
Billionaire investor Warren Buffett has exercised his right to buy 700 million shares of Bank of America's common stock at a bargain-basement price.
Leah Remini says that the Church of Scientology wanted her to convert Kevin James but she refused.
Toyota is doing some serious investing in an Uber-rival company called Grab.
On this date in 1842, Congress approved the U.S. Naval Observatory. Why they needed an observatory to study someone's naval... well, that's congress for you.
In 1881, the very first U.S. tennis championships were played at Newport, RI. They tried playing them on clay, but after a while, Clay said it was hurting his back.
On this day in 1887, Thomas Edison patented the Kinetoscope, a device which produced moving pictures.
Since the phone had been invented 11 years before, they were ready to ring the second the movie started.
Ironically, Alexander Graham Bell was sitting behind him when his invention, the telephone, went off.
The Kinetoscope, which I'm pretty sure was some kind of mouthwash, was actually a device that allowed you to enjoy moving pictures.
If only he had been stopped, there might never have been a single Pauley Shore movie.
In 1895, the very first professional football game was played in Latrobe, PA.
And that was the end of getting home projects done on Sundays from September through January.
The game wasn't televised, mostly because TV hadn't been invented yet.
The game announcer was a guy named Jebadiah Madden.
In 1903, a Packard completed America's first transcontinental car trip, driving from San Francisco to New York in 52 days. It was also on that historic trip that the phrase "Are we there yet?" was coined.
On this date in 1954, the U.S. Census Bureau was established. Their motto: "We'll count on you!"
In 1955, KTRE, Channel 9 in Lufkin, Texas, becomes the first microwave operated television station. It was great -- you could watch a show and pop popcorn at the same time.
Also on this date in 1955, the very first solar-powered automobile was demonstrated in Chicago, IL. Unfortunately, they decided to demonstrate it at night and, well, the rest is history.
On this date in 1971, astronaut Dave Scott became the first person to drive on the moon... and pulled into a nearby Starbucks. Naturally, the potholes were terrible.
Final day of August with a 3-day weekend so close.
Chris Tucker turns 46 today. C'mon, Chris -- grab Jackie and let's do one more "Rush Hour" movie!
He has to be careful. Sometimes his voice gets so high, only dogs can hear it.
When he gets going, his voice gets so high, he can open garage doors with it.
I always thought he sounded like Eddie Murphy, if Eddie had a cold and sucked helium.
My guess is that he has at least a couple of Rush Hour movies left in him.
He's the fast-talking guy with the squeaky voice. No, you're thinking of Paul Ryan. The other guy.
Former 90's teen star Debbie Gibson is 47 today. For whatever reason, she's had stalker issues over her career.
That explains why throwing a surprise birthday party would be a very bad idea.
Nice to go ahead and get your career over with early in life.
She sang "Out of the Blue" and is getting closer to hair that color.
Marcia Clark, the prosecutor in the O.J. Simpson trial, turns 64 today. She's appealing, although not in a very appealing way.
Actor and Buddhist Richard Gere turns 68 today, although his hair hit it years ago.
National Trail Mix Day -- Mixing cereal in with other healthy snack foods, like sunflower seeds, nuts, and dried fruit, makes for a great trail mix that means you don't have to sacrifice your cereal for oat bran.
In 1939 Frank Sinatra, 23, records "All Or Nothing At All" with the Harry James Band.
In 1959 "Put Your Head On My Shoulders" by Paul Anka enters the U.S. top 40 chart.
In 1962 "Theme From A Summer Place" by Percy Faith is certified gold.
In 1963 "Be My Baby" by the Ronnettes (produced by Phil Spector) enters the U.S. top 40 chart.
In 1963 "My Boyfriend's Back" by the Angels hits #1 on the U.S. top 40 chart and stayed there for 3 weeks.
In 1964 The Beatles' film "A Hard Days' Night" opens in London.
In 1965 "I'm Henry The VIII, I Am" by Herman's Hermits is certified gold.
In 1965 The Beatles perform at the Cow Palace in San Francisco, CA, the last concert of their 1965 U.S. tour.
In 1967 Following the death of Brian Epstein, the Beatles announce they will assume management of their own affairs.
In 1968 Private Eye magazine reports that John Lennon & Yoko Ono's album "Two Virgins" will have a picture of them nude on the cover.
In 1968 "Midnight Confessions" by the Grass Roots enters the U.S. top 40 chart.
In 1968 "Sunshine Of Your Love" by Cream peaks at #5 on the U.S. top 40 chart.
In 1969 Bob Dylan gives his first public performance since being injured in a motorcycle accident three years earlier.
In 1970 "In The Summertime" by Mungo Jerry is certified gold.
In 1973 The Rolling Stones' album "Goat's Head Soup" is released.
In 1973 "Live & Let Die" by Paul McCartney & Wings is certified gold.
In 1974 "The Partridge Family," starring David Cassidy, ends its TV run.
In 1976 George Harrison is found guilty of subconsciously plagiarizing the Chiffons' "He's So Fine" when writing "My Sweet Lord."
In 1978 "Summer Nights," from the movie "Grease," by Olivia Newton-John & John Travolta is certified gold.
In 1980 Karen Carpenter weds real-estate developer Thomas Burris.
In 1983 Lionel Richie's single "All Night Long" is released.
In 1984 Wham!'s single "Wake Me Up Before You Go Go" is released.
In 1984 The Jacksons' album "Victory" is certified gold and platinum.
In 1984 Merle Haggard & Willie Nelson's album "Panch & Lefty" is certified platinum.
In 1986 Former Boomtown Rat and Band Aid organizer Bob Geldof marries his longtime girlfriend, Paula Yates, in Las Vegas. Eurythmics' members Dave Stewart and Annie Lennox were witnesses.
In 1987 "Bad," Michael Jackson's album followup to "Thriller," is released.
In 1987 R.E.M.'s album "Document" is released.
In 1988 Bob Seger and actress Annette Sinclair file for a divorce.
In 1989 The Rolling Stones begin the "Steel Wheels" tour in Philadelphia, their first in eight years.
In 1990 2500 fans withstood 100-degree temperatures in Dallas to attend a memorial service for Stevie Ray Vaughan. The guitarist had died a week earlier in a helicopter crash in southern Wisconsin.
In 1991 "Emotions" by Mariah Carey enters the U.S. top 40 chart.
In 1991 Metallica's self-titled album debuts at #1 on Billboard's albums chart.
In 1992 Queen's "Greatest Hits" album is released.
In 1993 Garth Brooks announces that he wanted to make movies and had signed with an agency to represent him.
In 1994 The surviving members of Nirvana decide not to release previously unreleased live recordings of a double album, saying the process of sorting through the tapes was too painful.
In 1997 The Microsoft Network webcasts U2's performance in Dublin.
In 1997 Michael Jackson postpones his Belgium concert in the wake of Princess Diana's death in a Paris car crash.
In 1998 Madonna files suit against the YMCA to prevent it from building a high-rise residential tower near Lincoln Center in New York. She said the building would "create a hazard for me and my child."
In 1998 The Dixie Chicks' album "Wide Open Spaces" is certified platinum.
In 1999 Ricky Martin's single "She's All I Ever Had" is released.
In 2002 Vibraphone virtuoso Lionel Hampton dies at age 94.
Reid Scott and Wife Elspeth Keller Expecting Baby No. 2: It's a Boy! Reid Scott's family is growing! The actor told People exclusively that he and his wife Elspeth Keller are expecting their second child while walking the red carpet at Los Angeles premiere of his new film, Home Again. "We're very excited," Scott told the magazine. "She's about halfway, so I guess we're about almost five months pregnant. We're having another little boy." Baby number two will be the little brother to the couple's two-year-old son, Conrad, who was born in April 2015. So, how does Scott think his little man will adjust to being a big brother? "He's a chubby little guy, so he keeps seeing mommy's belly and then he looks at his belly and says, 'I have a baby, too,'" Scott shared. "He's going to be a great big brother. If he doesn't kill his little brother within the first six weeks, then we're going to be great." Scott had hinted to People that he and his wife were looking to expand their family back in May. "We definitely want more [kids]," he said at the time, "so should we be so lucky, yeah. I hope so." Although, he noted that Conrad was "going to be hard to top." "Number two is going to have some big, little shoes to fill," he said. The Veep star married Keller in June 2014 after getting engaged in April 2013. He told E! News that he popped the question during a trip to Palm Springs. "Neither one of us had ever been there before," Scott told E! News at the time. "But God, they just treated us right. It was great...I couldn't wait to get that ring off me and onto her." Congratulations to the growing family! (Eonline)
Joy-Anna Duggar Pregnant With Her First Child. Another Duggar is on the way. Joy-Anna Duggar, 19, is pregnant with her and new husband Austin Forsyth's first child. She is the youngest member of the famous and religious 19 Kids and Counting Duggar family to ever announce a pregnancy. "We're so happy and thankful to announce that we're expecting a baby! Every child is such a precious gift from God. I'm most looking forward to watching Austin as a dad and raising children together with him," the Counting On star and 19 Kids and Counting alum told People in comments posted Wednesday. "I have a lot of good memories of my mom teaching us and the quality time we spent together, and I'm really looking forward to doing that with my own children," she added. "It's such an amazing thing to be a parent and raise children!" The news comes three months after Joy-Anna and Austin, 23, tied the knot in a ceremony that later aired on Counting On. The two wed following a three-month-long engagement. After their wedding, they honeymooned in Geneva, Switzerland. Joy-Anna is the ninth child of parents Jim-Bob Duggar and Michelle Duggar, who have eight grandchildren and one on the way, who will be the Arkansas couple's eldest son Josh Duggar and wife Anna Duggar's fifth child. (Eonline)
Chris Pratt and Anna Faris have been hashing out their issues in couples counseling, but not necessarily to save their marriage. A source told People the A-list couple is still heading for a divorce weeks after the announcement of their separation, and going to counseling likely won't change that. In fact, the Jurassic World star and Mom actress' commitment to counseling is more about being better future co-parents for the sake of their son, Jack. The source explained: "They are going through couples counseling now, which is what you do when you want to divorce and there are children involved. It won't likely change the status but it could help with their future co-parenting." This falls in line with the couple's joint statement earlier this month, in which they declared their 5-year-old son would remain their priority throughout the separation. But hope isn't officially dead yet. The source said "never say never" in terms of reconciliation -- but added that work has already pulled Chris and Anna galaxies apart: "Their work separations have taken a toll, and it is not likely that the marriage can be repaired enough to work right now. But there is still love between them." A second insider explained Pratt's busy schedule will only take them further away from one another, adding: "Chris is in demand now and will continue to be traveling all over the world, keeping them apart. That doesn't make young marriages fare well." (Perez Hilton)
John Legend and Chrissy Teigen's struggle with fertility made them even stronger. "Having a baby is a big challenge for a couple, and going through that together strengthens your bond because if you make it through [having a child], you know you can make it through anything," Legend, 38, told Cosmopolitan in an interview published on Monday, August 28. "We're lucky that we're living in an age where we can conceive in other ways. [IVF] brought us [16-month-old daughter] Luna and hopefully it will bring us a few more awesome kids, too." The "All of Me" singer explained to Cosmo that he and his wife of nearly four years talk through everything, which doesn't come quite as naturally for him as it does the Lip Sync Battle host. "There's no problem with openness in our relationship," he said. "You know Chrissy. She doesn't hold anything back! I'm quite reserved, but being with someone like her inspires me to be open about my emotions. She brings them out of me because she's so open about hers." One topic that was openly discussed between the two, Legend says, was Teigen's choice to cut back on drinking. As previously reported, the supermodel opened up to Cosmo on August 21 about the choice, explaining that she was "point blank, just drinking too much," and had incorporated alcohol into her getting-ready routine. "We're always honest with each other, so we discuss everything that's on our minds," Legend explained. "When she was thinking about how she wanted to drink less, we talked about it. I just want to support her. I want her to be happy and to live the fullest, most awesome life she can, and I want us to do it together." Legend added: "Whenever she sets her mind to anything, I always tell her, 'I want to support you and help you do it.'" Though their relationship may appear to work flawlessly, Legend explained that the expectation simply isn't realistic. "I don't want to present myself as the 'perfect spouse' and I don't want to present our relationship as the 'perfect relationship' because I don't think anybody meets that definition," he said. "I think it's too much pressure to put on anyone." Still, the crooner is happy to uphold his reputation as a loyal husband rather than a womanizer, something that was spoofed on a recent episode of Insecure. "I don't mind being known as somebody who's devoted to their wife," he said. "I am devoted to Chrissy. And when I write about [my commitment to her], it's me being authentic." He noted: "I think it should be cool to be a good partner, a good spouse, a good father, and/or a good parent. If I'm one of the people who helps make that cooler, I think that's great." (US Weekly)
Why Taylor Swift Spent 6 Months Out of the Spotlight: 'She Felt Like Her Personal Life Was Spinning Out of Control'. Taylor Swift is back in the driver's seat. For most of 2017, Swifties wondered where the superstar was hiding and what she was up to, and now after dropping her first solo single in three years all their questions have been answered. Between a messy breakup with ex-boyfriend Calvin Harris, a subsequent high-profile fling with Tom Hiddleston and a very public feud with the Wests, "she felt like her personal life was spinning out of control," a source close to the star, 27, tells PEOPLE exclusively. "It was draining her and she needed to disappear to reinvent herself. It was time to change things up and take another approach." The Grammy winner's scathing pop track, "Look What You Made Me Do," satirizes her public persona and hits back at her haters, including famous ones like Kanye West and Kim Kardashian West. "Taylor is very excited about her new album. This has been her life for the past few months," says the source. Swift is now "ready to come out of hiding" and is looking forward to sharing her album Reputation (out Nov. 10) with her loyal fans. The star smashed records with her dramatic music video for "Look," racking up more than 40 million views in 24 hours on YouTube. "Taylor is very talented and wants the focus to be on her music," says the source of the entertainer, who's been quietly dating actor Joe Alwyn, 26, since late last fall. "She is a master at reinventing herself." (People)
Sofia Vergara scored a major victory in her contentious court battle with ex-fiance Nick Loeb over their frozen embryos. A Louisiana federal judge tossed the case out Friday, saying the fertilized eggs -- which have been cryogenically frozen since the former couple's IVF treatment in 2013 -- are citizens of California, where they were conceived. Louisiana is the only state where embryos have legal rights of their own -- rather than being considered the belongings of their parents -- and Loeb, who wants to be a dad, was trying to ship the embryos there from Beverly Hills. The suit was filed on behalf of the eggs -- named Emma' and Isabella in court papers -- demanding he get custody and alleging that Vergara "effectively abandoned" them. Both parties declined to comment. (Page Six)
THE OTHER STUFF . . .
Prince William, Prince Harry and Kate Middleton Visit White Garden to Honor Princess Diana. On the eve of the 20th anniversary of their mother's death, Prince William and Prince Harry paid tribute to the late Princess Diana by visiting the White Garden at her former home, Kensington Palace. The garden, normally referred to as the historic Sunken Garden, was temporarily transformed this spring and summer with flowers and foliage inspired by Diana. According to the Historic Royal Palaces, the plants are "predominantly white and cream" with accent colors to "offset the white," including beautiful white roses and Cosmos daisies. Joined by the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, their Royal Highnesses walked underneath umbrellas to avoid the rain. The royals received a tour by the current head gardener Sean Harkin, who designed the display, as well as by Graham Dillamore, who knew Diana during the years he worked as a gardener at Kensington Palace Following the tour, their Royal Highnesses met with both past and present representatives of some of the charities Diana supported, including The Leprosy Mission, the National Aids Trust and the English National Ballet. They also met with founders and former and current patients of Osteopathic Centre for Children. Diana had been learning about the organization and had planned to meet with its representatives in early September to assist with the launch of their Sweet Pea initiative. However, her death occurred on Aug. 31 of that year. The princes also took a moment to look at the numerous flowers, pictures and memorabilia people left outside of Kensington Palace in honor of Diana and thanked people who visited the site to remember their mother. The princes have talked publicly about their mother's death several times this year. In an interview with the BBC, Harry discussed how the paparazzi continued to take photographs of Diana after the accident that ended her life. William also shared the last memory he has of his mother during the British documentary Diana, Our Mother: Her Life and Legacy. The White Garden will continue into September. (Eonline)
Sandra Bullock Donates $1 Million to Help Hurricane Harvey Victims. Sandra Bullock is flexing her star power to aid relief efforts in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. The A-list actress has pledged $1 million to help victims of the tropical storm that has devastated the Houston, Tex. area, E! News can confirm. Bullock's generous donation will benefit the American Red Cross in its ongoing effort to help those impacted by the catastrophic flooding and destruction along Texas' Gulf Coast. "I'm just grateful I can do it," Bullock (who owns a home in Austin) said in a statement. "We have to take care of one another." Bullock is the latest celebrity to pitch in with a generous financial contribution. Hours ago, Kim Kardashian and the rest of her famous family donated $500,000 to the Red Cross. Comedian Kevin Hart also launched his own Hurricane Harvey Relief Challenge, encouraging fellow stars to give $25,000 to assist Texas residents rendered homeless or without electricity amid the natural disaster. In its first day alone, Hart's CrowdRise page received upwards of $770,000 from more than 3,000 people. Other public figures that have made monetary contributions include Jennifer Lopez, Alex Rodriguez, Nicki Minaj, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Chris Brown and T.I. Celebrity Texans like Miranda Lambert, Hilary Duff, Eva Longoria and more paid their respects by sending love to Houston on social media. Houston native Beyonce told The Houston Chronicle she's working in partnership with her local pastor to help those in need. "My heart goes out to my hometown, Houston, and I remain in constant prayer for those affected and for the rescuers who have been so brave and determined to do so much to help," the music superstar said in a statement. "I am working closely with my team at BeyGOOD as well as my pastor (Rudy Rasmus at St. John's in downtown Houston) to implement a plan to help as many as we can," she added. You can donate to the American Red Cross now to help those affected by visiting www.redcross.org. People was first to report the news of Bullock's donation. (Eonline)
New Kermit the Frog Voice Actor Makes Debut in Muppets. Meet the new Kermit the Frog. Everything about him is the same except for one thing: Matt Vogel, who stepped in for longtime puppeteer Steve Whitmire, is the new voice of Kermit. A new "Muppets Thought of the Week" video was published online to YouTube and social media platforms on Monday, and a rep for Disney confirmed to EW that this marked Vogel's debut in the role. Whitmire voiced Kermit for 27 years before he was recast. The Muppets Studio thanked him for his contributions as Kermit after Vogel was announced as his replacement in July. However, the situation escalated when Whitmire claimed in a blog post that he was blindsided by the news and tried to remedy the situation multiple times. He later claimed in an interview that he was axed for being too "outspoken." The Muppets Studio then issued a more detailed response, explaining how they "raised concerns about Steve's repeated unacceptable business conduct over a period of many years and he consistently failed to address the feedback." Lisa Henson, president of the Jim Henson Company and Jim's daughter, added that Whitmire refused to have an understudy for Kermit, but wouldn't appear for "B-level performances, such as ribbon-cutting." And that's where we now find Vogel. His debut video was expected shortly after the recasting announcement, but the "Thought of the Week" was quietly unveiled this week. (People)
Who doesn't love a dance-off for their birthday? That's exactly what Josh Duhamel did for his 4-year-old son Axl Jack, who danced around with his dad to Katy Perry's "E.T." on Tuesday night. The proud dad posted a video of their dance on Twitter, tagging his wife, 42-year-old singer Fergie, and writing, "I can't think of a better way to celebrate a 4th birthday Happy birthday Axilito!" Fergie took to Instagram to post photos of herself and Axl, writing in the first post, "happy 4th bday axl jack!!! i love you -mommy #axljack." In June, the Transformers actor, 44, admitted to sharing a passion for sports with his son. "I'm totally going to be that dad," Duhamel shared with PEOPLE. "I'll be the dad on the sidelines coaching." But while Axl may be a little young to join his own team just yet, Duhamel thinks there are valuable life lessons he can learn from playing sports in the future. "You learn how to win and lose and be on a team," he says. "He doesn't need to be a professional athlete, but he should learn how to be on a team and compete because that's what the real world is about." (People)
Victoria Beckham is taking lounge wear to a whole new level. On Tuesday, Beckham was seen strutting her stuff in head-to-toe pink plaid. The pajama inspired look is part of her yet-to-be-released 2018 collection. In June, the Spice Girl turned fashion designer stepped out in the same outfit in blue. "Excited to be in New York to preview my #VBPreSS18 ready-to-wear collection!" she wrote at the time. Continuing her pursuit of comfiness, it has been over a year since the 43-year-old broke the news that she "just can't do heels anymore" to the Telegraph. Pajamas are just a natural progression. (Page Six)
Examining Simon Cowell and Mel B's Unique Relationship on America's Got Talent. We may not agree with their critiques, but we can all agree that there's something unique about Mel B and Simon Cowell's dynamic. For the past two seasons, the duo has made up one half of the America's Got Talent judges table alongside Howie Mandel and Heidi Klum. In recent weeks, however, viewers have taken an extra notice into Simon's unique relationship with the former Spice Girls member. During last week's quarterfinals, Mel B walked off stage and threw a drink on Simon after he made a joke about her wedding night. "My journey tonight was all over the place," she explained to E! News after the live telecast. "But I'm a very real, honest person, so what you see is what you get." Eyebrows were raised yet again Tuesday night when mind reader Colin Cloud took to the stage for an interactive act involving Mel B and Simon. During the live performance, Mel B was asked to interject a knife into Simon's chest. Without hesitation, Mel B followed instructions. Fortunately for Simon, it proved to be a fake knife. "I almost got murdered on live TV," Simon shared after the moment. "You know what is weird though? You didn't know it was a rubber knife and you were prepared to kill me." While new viewers may be quick to go "WTF just happened?" other regulars see it as just another playful scene between two judges. From throwing cups of water on Simon throughout the judging process to booing her co-worker's views, Mel B doesn't hold back. But at the same time, the pair continues to work together including stints on Britain's Got Talent and The X-Factor. And when news first broke of Mel B's divorce with Stephen Belafonte, Simon was more than willing to send his support. "She is a trooper. I got to hand it to her," he shared with E! News' Will Marfuggi. "I've spoken to her about it. She's fine. I think this is a good distraction for her so she'll be okay." As the semifinalists begin next month, viewers will be watching the variety of acts fighting for $1 million dollars. As for Mel B and Simon's relationship, we'd say just enjoy the TV magic. America's Got Talent airs Tuesday and Wednesday nights at 8 p.m. only on NBC. (Eonline)
Spencer Pratt would very much like to be included in this narrative. The reality TV star and his pregnant wife, Heidi Montag, have made a hilarious spoof of Taylor Swift's "Look What You Made Me Do" and it's kinda awesome. As fans of the Hills alum who follow him on Snapchat know, the dad-to-be is addicted to espresso, and the video, which he posted on YouTube on Sunday, August 27, kicks off with Pratt, 34, shirtless while sipping from a coffee cup before we see him on a motorbike and holding a hummingbird feeder. Then we are treated to some of the former MTV star's quirky dance moves as he lip syncs the words to Swift's latest smash hit. (Note Pratt's beloved crystals in the background of some of the shots.) Considering Swift only released the first single off her upcoming sixth studio album on Friday, August 25, he's learned the lyrics pretty quickly. About halfway into the video we get to see Montag, who is 8 months pregnant with the couple's first child, a boy. The soon-to-be mama is spotted by an open fridge about to, in Swift's words, throw "a feast." The pair then dance together while Montag, 30, rubs her baby bump, and Pratt is shown singing while crouching down next to four tiny dogs. As Us Weekly previously reported, Swift, 27, debuted her satirical video for "Look What You Made Me Do" during the MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday. The record-breaking video, which has clocked up more than 65 million views on YouTube, contains more than a dozen hidden messages with references to her exes Calvin Harris and Tom Hiddleston as well as her feuds with Katy Perry, and Kanye West and Kim Kardashian. (US Weekly)
Kim Kardashian Under Fire for New Magazine Cover: Find Out What the Haters Are Saying Now! Haters gonna hate! Kim Kardashian is under fire once again, but this time the controversy involves her four year-old daughter North West. Recently released photos from a spread with Interview magazine show her dressed as former first lady Jackie Kennedy Onassis alongside daughter North, and not everyone is a fan of her portrayal. Many fans are mad over Kim taking aim at such an iconic figure. While she hasn't addressed the controversy directly, she did post behind the scenes photos on her app and personally thanked her photographer Steven Klein for, "Pushing me...and allowing me to pay homage to the iconic Jackie Kennedy who I admire and respect!" That's not all the internet was up in arms about. A lot of people have been taking to social media to remark on the fact that Kim's skin seems to be a darker complexion than usual. Is it possible that the magazine darkened it? It has been one hell of a week for the mom of two, considering she is also still dealing with the "Look What You Made Me Do" drama. (Eonline)
Master P thinks Kevin Hart is missing the boat by strong-arming celebs into donating $25k for Harvey relief. The hip-hop mogul has personally donated a significant amount but won't say how much, and he thinks that's the way it should be. People shouldn't be judged by how much they give ... they should give from the heart, and it's not a competition. Master P knows a thing or 2 about hurricanes ... he's from NOLA and helped with the Katrina disaster relief. (TMZ)
Scott Disick's stunning Hidden Hills home is up for rent, if you got $60k a month to spare, but not just anyone is eligible for a walk-thru. We're told Scott's aware Kardashian fans might want a peek inside the crib so anyone wanting to see the place will go through a strict vetting process. We're told Scott's hoping to score a long-term lease with the option to buy ... and the home's not cheap. Scott bought the 7 bed, 6 1/2 bath house for $6 million in 2015 and made a bunch of upgrades before putting it back on the market 6 months later for $8.8 million. It didn't move so the price was dropped to $7.8 million. Tomer Fridman of Compass has the listing. Another bonus ... the rental comes fully furnished. (TMZ)
One of the Best Buy stores in Houston offered Hurricane Harvey victims bottled water ... for a price, a very high one and now the company's apologizing. The store was caught selling 12-packs of Smartwater for $29.98 and 24-packs of Dasani for a whopping $42.96. A photo of the display went viral this week, amid allegations of price gouging in the wake of the Harvey. Best Buy now admits, "This was a big mistake on the part of a few employees at one store on Friday. As a company we are focused on helping, not hurting affected people. We're sorry and it won't happen again." A rep for the retail tech giant added ... Best Buy doesn't normally sell water, and that the employees at this specific store were pricing the packs based on single bottle prices. Gotta say ... we think the Geek Squad would not approve. (TMZ)
Bun B and the people behind Ariana Grande's Manchester benefit concert have jumped on the Hurricane Harvey relief effort by organizing a massive telethon ... TMZ has learned. Sources connected to the event tell us, Bun -- a Houston rap legend -- and the good folks who organized the One Love Manchester show have targeted September 12 for the event, and they have gotten commitments from the major TV networks to run it live in primetime. Jamie Foxx -- a Texas native himself -- will also be heavily involved ... he teased the event Tuesday on IG. (TMZ)
Maroon 5 Teams Up With SZA for "What Lovers Do." Listen up, Maroon 5 fans! At midnight, bandmates Jesse Carmichael, Matt Flynn, Adam Levine, Mickey Madden, PJ Morton and James Valentine released "What Lovers Do," the third single off their upcoming sixth studio album. The song, which features up-and-coming singer SZA, was written by Dyo, Levine, NEIKED, Starrah and Elina Stridh and produced by Ben Billions and Jason Evigan. "Tell me, tell me if you love me or not, love me or not, love me or not / I bet the house on you, am I lucky or not, lucky or not, lucky or not? / You gotta tell me if you love me or not, love me or not, love me or not," he croons. "Been wishin' for you, am I lucky or not, lucky or not, lucky or not?" "What Lovers Do" follows the releases of "Don't Wanna Know (feat. Kendrick Lamar)" and "Cold (feat. Future)." At the 2017 Teen Choice Awards earlier this month, while accepting the Decade Award, Levine jokingly announced that their "final album is coming out in November." "I'm just kidding. Man, I'm joking," Levine added. "We are never gonna go away!" During an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in February, Levine said the album would be coming out "in a few months" or so. Realizing the band still had a lot of recording to do, he added, "I don't know exactly when [it will be released], so I'm going to be as vague as possible." As Maroon 5 hadn't yet decided on a name for the album, Ellen DeGeneres offered some suggestions: Alternative Tracks, Better Than Blake, Free Album, N.P.A.I. (an acronym for "Nude Pics of Adam Inside") and Songs About Ellen. To date, Maroon 5 has not announced the winner. In the meantime, Levine will return as a coach on NBC's The Voice, premiering Sept. 25 at 8 p.m. "What Lovers Do" is now available to buy on iTunes and stream on Spotify. (Eonline)
Taylor Swift Sends Flowers to ''Look What You Made Me Do'' Dancers for ''Keeping Our Secret.'' Taylor Swift knows the value of someone who can keep a secret... The record-breaking songstress made sure to give a big thanks to the "Look What You Made Me Do" dancers, who managed to keep their mouths shut despite some possible temptation to spill secrets from the highly anticipated music video before its big debut at the VMAs on Sunday night. Taylor's gratitude to the dancers came in the form of a heartfelt card and flowers. Along with the floral arrangement, Taylor's card said, "Thanks for keeping our secret. :) I'm so proud of it and I hope you will be too." The gift was signed, "Sending my love and gratitude, Taylor." This isn't the first time that the 27-year-old's gifted flowers of gratitude. The "Out of the Woods" singer resurfaced in May to send a fan a handwritten graduation card and flowers. Earlier this month, the hit-maker also sent flowers to Craftsy, the company that posted Taylor-inspired messages in Post-It Notes across from the courthouse where her groping trial was taking place in Denver. The 10-time Grammy winner dropped her new song on Thursday night and in 24 hours it became the most streamed debut in the history of Spotify. On Sunday night, T-Swizz's cinematic "LWYMMD" music video debuted in the middle of the 2017 VMAs -- and instantly the Internet went mad over its Easter egg-filled content that had so much shade it could be its own tropical island. In the video, the dancers donned "I ? TS" shirts, an nod to ex-boyfriend Tom Hiddleston's now-infamous shirt with the same phrase. After the secrets were out of the bag, one of the dancers, Todrick Hall, told ET how he got involved with TS's top secret musical mission. The YouTube star explained, "We became BFFs, and then she called and said, 'I'm working on this project that's super secret but I know I can trust you. Will you not tell anyone?'" "And I didn't tell anyone. It was the best! It felt like Christmas came early because when it came out my phone blew up more than it ever has before. Everybody was freaking out about it. It's such an epic and iconic video to be a part of." Good thing Hall didn't squeal or else he may have ended up in the video for all the wrong reasons! (Eonline)
VIXX Discusses 'Shangri-La' and Their Future Sound. Back when they appeared at the first KCON in 2012, six-member boy band VIXX had just started off in their career. Five years later, the group returned to KCON 2017 LA with a thematically driven performance that offered up a taste of what's made them one of K-pop's most distinct acts. Known in Korea as concept-dols -- idols who frequently make use of imaginative concepts -- VIXX's flare for drama has set them apart in an industry filled with redundancy. This unique approach was on display in full-force through a set at the Staples Center that touched on traditional Asian fan dances and Greek mythology as the members dominated the stage in sleek black and white suits. Reinventing their stylistic aesthetics with each new promotional period while still managing to stay true to their distinct identity, VIXX has managed to carve out a niche in K-pop, and they plan to keep doing so moving forward. "We would like to keep showing new sides of us while holding ourselves to the high standards of what VIXX has been up until now," group leader N (Cha Hakyeon) told Billboard ahead of the band's set. A touch of the theatric has always been key in VIXX's music, with performances and choreography typically drawing on fictional stories and mythology for inspiration. Literary characters and elements of sci-fi and fantasy genres have been widely incorporated into the group's career as the band has gained a reputation for blending tightly produced songs with interpretive, musical-style dances, with the members emulating vampires, cyborgs, zombies and more. The group's primary rapper Ravi, along with other members, has taken a significant role in guiding VIXX's sound over the years, penning lyrics and songs for the group and also for VIXX LR, a subunit duo that Ravi is part of along with vocalist Leo. "I'm still experimenting a lot," he said, regarding his songwriting for VIXX. "There are different images of what I feel like VIXX could do to show new colors." Though the boy band previously alternated between intensely dramatic singles and more playful ones, the past two years have seen VIXX go down a more mature route, through the darker sounds and imagery of "Fantasy," "The Closer," and their latest single, "Shangri-La," the titular track on the group's EP that went to No. 4 on the World Albums chart in June. An east-meets-west hybrid that serves as a perfect metaphor for K-pop's amalgamative nature as an Asian music industry that draws on international musical styles, the future bass track incorporates traditional strings and features a fan dance, while the music video also drew on traditional aesthetics. "We put in a lot of East Asian influences," said N. "But the ironic thing was that the performance and music itself feels like it adheres to a more Western pop feel. With a more Eastern outward form and Western pop elements, such a stage was able to exist." The band says they'd be open to revisiting this fusion style, but VIXX's past releases have rarely repeated thematic concepts and the members are looking forward to facing the future with elements they've yet to show their fans. "We would like to keep showing new sides to us while holding ourselves to the high standards of what VIXX has been up until now," added N. There's no new music announced for VIXX right now, but Leo and Ravi drop their second EP Whisper, gifting fans with a five-track album that will feature songs written by the two men. "We just really want to show the best sides of VIXX as a whole," said Ravi. (Billboard)
Deezer Expanding and Rebranding High-Fidelity Offerings, Integrating With Voice Enabled Services. Deezer, the Paris-based music streaming service, announced it is expanding its high fidelity audio offerings and partnerships as well as rebranding its audiophile tier from Deezer Elite to Deezer HiFi With Deezer's integration with Google Home, the service is now making its high fidelity available via wifi speakers which support Google Cast. Consumers can now access Deezer HiFi on Chromecast Audio or on any Chromecast built-in speaker with the use of Deezer's mobile app. Speaker manufacturers that integrate Google Assistant will also be able to offer Deezer HiFi through voice control. Over the next few months, Deezer HiFi will be extending its offerings to speakers by Sony, Samsung, Yamaha, Bang & Olufsen, Onkyo, Pioneer, AudioPro and Devialet through Google Cast support or through direct integration with the speaker itself. Previously, lossless quality of FLAC (free lossless audio codec) was available exclusively through Sonos. Consumers will also now have access to broader audio content which according to a press release includes "podcasts, live sports, audiobooks and original content." Deezer HiFi will cost $19.99 per month, and offer lossless capture of original analog audio source quality at 5x the bitrate at 1,411 kbps. "With more and more consumers embracing voice activated services and a clear market for high quality audio, it is important that we are in a position to offer both to ensure the best possible experience," said Deezer's Riad Hawa, VP of hardware partnerships, in a statement. "Through deepening our relationship with existing partners and expanding our product offering, we believe that we deliver just this." In the last year, all three major labels and the RIAA have begun supporting hi-res audio for music streaming and Spotify is reportedly working on new tiers of hi-fi audio. Deezer, which launched in 2007, was one of the first services to make global partnerships and is now available in 185 countries. While the service hasn't released its subscriber numbers, the day's release puts Deezer's "active users" at 12 million, which is far behind music streaming market leaders Spotify and Apple Music and likely Amazon, too. The continued rise of streaming and its growing revenues, however, have been the biggest music business news story of the last 18 months and may seemingly be helping all streaming boats rise. According to Nielsen Music's mid-year numbers, total on-demand audio and video streams grew a whopping 36.4 percent in the first half of 2017 rising to 284.7 billion, which is up from 208.7 billion at mid-year 2016. Of the 2017 sum, on-demand audio streams comprised 184.3 billion. (Billboard)
U2 Tease New Song 'The Blackout'. David Howell Evans aka The Edge (L) and Bono of U2 perform onstage during the 2016 iHeartRadio Music Festival - Night 1 held at T-Mobile Arena on Sept. 23, 2016 in Las Vegas. Last week, U2 teased a new song called "The Blackout" by sending fans a promotional letter in the mail. And now, they've revealed a few more details, announcing that the song will be out at noon ET and sharing a 15-second preview. Although it'll be the first song we're hearing from the forthcoming Songs Of Experience, which is reportedly out Dec. 1 and presumably will not be forced into your iTunes library without permission, it's not the lead single; that'd be "You're The Best Thing About Me," which is reportedly arriving next week. (Billboard)
INFINITE's Hoya Leaves K-Pop Boy Band. K-pop boy band INFINITE has become a six-member act with the departure of former member Hoya, the group's management revealed on Wednesday. INFINITE's label Woollim Entertainment announced that Hoya (Lee Howon) had opted to leave the group and the entertainment company after the band's original contracts expired in June, seven years after the group's debut in 2010. The remaining members of the boy band -- Kim Sungkyu, Jang Dongwoo, Nam Woohyun, Kim Sungyeol, Kim Myungsoo, and Lee Sungjong -- have chosen to re-sign with the agency and will continue on as INFINITE. The news of Hoya's departure came two months after Woollim revealed that all but one member of INFINITE had chosen to renew his contract with the boy band, a popular K-pop act that is known for precisely synchronized dance moves and sleek electropop hits like "The Chaser," "Be Mine," and "Back." In a press statement released to Korean media on Wednesday, Woollim confirmed that the past two months were spent considering the future of INFINITE as a six-member group once Hoya chose to leave, reports Soompi. The group's final album with all seven members was their Japanese album Air, released in May, while their final Korean album with the original line-up was 2016's Infinite Only. A versatile performer, Hoya was one of INFINITE's primary rappers and dancers, and was one half of the act's hip-hop subunit, INFINITE-H. Along with his career in K-pop, he has gained renown as an actor, appearing in Korean television shows like Reply 1997 and Radiant Office. While in INFINITE, Hoya also frequently uploaded cover videos of himself singing or dancing to YouTube, including a cover of Ed Sheeran's "Thinking Out Loud" on Aug. 22 that he subtitled "Dear fans." 2017 has proven a tumultuous year for Korea's pop industry, with INFINITE joining several other high-profile K-pop acts seeing shake ups this year; groups such as Wonder Girls, AOA, Sistar, and T-ara have all either broken up or seen member departures. (Billboard)
Kanye West isn't getting paid for his canceled tour because Lloyd's of London believes his breakdown was his own fault, and fueled by prescription drugs and illegal drugs ... according to a new lawsuit. Lloyd's filed a countersuit against Kanye's Very Good Touring, and in the docs, says he refused to produce information it needs to determine whether to cover his losses after pulling the plug on the Saint Pablo Tour last year. Lloyd's doesn't state specifically that Kanye was using drugs and/or booze, but claims something he did triggered the policy exclusions that refer to using substances. You'll recall ... in the original lawsuit, Kanye's touring company claimed Lloyd's was dragging its feet because it believed his breakdown was triggered by marijuana. Kanye sued the insurer for $10 mil. In its docs, Lloyd's says it wants the judge to rule it's free and clear to NOT pay Kanye a dime. UPDATE: Kanye's attorney, Howard King, tells us the countersuit "is the same generic response Lloyd's files when they don't want to honor a legitimate claim but can't find a factual basis to deny the claim." (TMZ)
Egyptian Director Amr Salama Developing Anti-'American Sniper' Film. 'Iraqi Sniper' -- being produced by two-time Oscar-nominee Hany Abu-Assad -- will be an anti-war response to Clint Eastwood's 2014 hit, telling the story behind the chief foe of Bradley Cooper's character. Amr Salama, the award-winning Egyptian director who is bringing his latest film Sheikh Jackson to Toronto next month, is developing a feature aimed squarely at one of the biggest war movies of all time. Iraqi Sniper (working title), will tell the "other side of the story of American Sniper, the story about the villain," Salama tells THR. In Clint Eastwood's 2014 box-office smash American Sniper, Bradley Cooper starred as top U.S. marksman Chris Kyle. His chief antagonist in the film was a mysterious sniper on the side of the Iraqi insurgents who went by the name of Mustafa. "He's the hero in my film," says Salama, who says he was incensed into making the film when he first saw American Sniper. "I hated it. That was my inspiration -- I hated it so much that I wanted to work on a different version of that story." There was indeed a real-life top sniper fighting for the Iraqis, given the nickname Juba, whose exploits -- thought by some to be hundreds of kills -- were touted in a number of videos released between 2005 and 2007. There were rumors that he had even been an Olympic athlete at one point. "But I'm trying to make an anti-war film," says Salama. "Whereas American Sniper was pro-war." And to make his project -- which is currently in the script stage -- Salama is working with two of the region's biggest names. Prolific Egyptian producer Mohamed Hefzy, with whom Salama collaborated on both Sheikh Jackson and his 2014 hit Excuse My French, is producing, alongside Hany Abu-Assad, the Palestinian director who earned Oscar nominations for both Paradise Now and Omar (and has the Kate Winslet and Idris Elba-starring Mountain Between Us bowing at TIFF), and Abu-Assad's wife, Amira Diab. "This story merits to be told even if American Sniper hadn't come out," Hefzy tells THR. "He's a very interesting character, a complex character. Amr did a lot of research and we're trying to get his evolution right." Hefzy added that he thought the film would have "international appeal." While Iraqi Sniper is still in the early stages of development (although Salama says he hopes it is the next project of his that goes into production), the filmmaker looks like he's already lined up someone already well versed in the central role. "The same actor who played the sniper in American Sniper -- Sammy Sheik (Tyrant, Homeland, Sand Castle) -- is attached to my film." (Hollywood Reporter)
Why 'Tulip Fever' Took Nearly 20 Years to Reach the Screen. Novelist Deborah Moggach tells how she lived out a fantasy on the set of the new movie, starring Alicia Vikander and Christoph Waltz. It all started twenty years ago when I bought a painting at auction -- a Dutch painting, dating from Vermeer's era, of a woman getting ready to go out. Her maid was bringing her a necklace, her manservant was bringing her a glass of wine. Something in her expression intrigued me. She looked as if she was off on an assignation -- something illicit, something furtive. I hung her in my sitting room and gazed into her face. There was a story behind there somewhere. I longed to step into the painting, into her life, and disappear into those rooms with their chequerboard floors and marble fireplaces. So I decided to write a novel about an adulterous love affair set in Amsterdam during the Golden Age. When I started my research, I discovered that something extraordinary happened around 1636. The whole country was gripped by a craze for gambling on tulip bulbs -- "Tulip mania," it was called. Huge fortunes were made and lost as people made bets on what color the blooms would be -- the most valuable being "broken" or striped petals. It was the first great speculative bubble, a foretaste of the dot-com and property bubbles, and I thought it would make a marvelous plot for a novel, demonstrating, as it did, the human capacity for self-deception, greed, and lust for beauty. So I made up a story about an elderly merchant, his trophy wife and a handsome young artist who arrives to paint their portrait. He falls in love with the wife, Sophia, and they decide to run away together, gambling on tulip bulbs to make their fortune. It all goes disastrously wrong. The moment I'd finished writing my novel Tulip Fever the phone rang. It was Steven Spielberg, speaking from his car. Within days he'd snapped up the movie rights for his DreamWorks SKG and I was flying to Hollywood for a script meeting. My great adventure had begun. Events moved fast and soon the movie was in pre-production. It was to be a $48 million film, the biggest U.K. film of the year. Tanks were sunk to create the canals of Amsterdam, sets were built, the stars assembled -- Natalie P ortman, Jim Broadbent and Jude Law -- and John Madden was set to direct. Twelve thousand tulips were planted, for their roles in the drama. It was thrilling beyond belief. And then, a few days before it was due to start shooting, the British Chancellor, Gordon Brown, suddenly closed a tax loophole for funding movies and the film collapsed. Scores of talented people lost their jobs. The only survivors were some of those 12,000 tulips, which I gave to my neighbors in London. They planted them in their gardens and each spring I watched my horticultural cast burst into bloom -- a bittersweet sight. It took many years for the film to be resurrected, this time with Harvey Weinstein in charge. The whole laborious process began all over again. Another vast canal was dug, this time in Kent. The cloisters of Norwich Cathedral were transformed into tulip beds. Pinewood Studios were magicked into the most beautiful Dutch interiors, smoky rooms hung with paintings, sunlight streaming through the windows and pewter mugs on the shelves. A new director, Justin Chadwick, came on board, Tom Stoppard and I wrote the script and a new cast was assembled -- Alicia Vikander as the young wife, Christoph Waltz as her husband, Dane Dehaan as the sexy young painter and Judi Dench as a tulip-obsessed abbess. Other players included Tom Hollander, Cara Devigne, Jack O'Connell and Holliday Grainger. I've always been an extra in my own films. Writing's a solitary business and I'm pathetically eager to become part of a gang. Besides, actors are invariably charming and call one "darling." I nabbed the part of an old crone sitting in a tavern, puffing on a clay pipe and drinking a glass of beer -- a role to which I'm only too well-suited. So one thrilling morning, at Pinewood Studios, I dressed up in costume and finally fulfilled my dream. I walked into a Dutch painting -- the most beautiful interior, straight out of a Vermeer painting. Or indeed my own. Events had come full circle. Movie-making is beset with the most monumental obstacles. I'm always amazed that anything manages to get made at all. Our Tulip Fever has had a rockier ride than most, and even after its completion there have been further obstacles to its release. Actors' commitments, publicity schedules, distribution setbacks -- it seems there's always been yet another hurdle after the very last one. But, like childbirth, this pain will soon be forgotten, for the end result is worth the wait -- it's truly a glorious film, and a tribute to one of the more bizarre episodes in human history. (Hollywood Reporter)
Property Brothers Star Drew Scott Revealed as First Official Dancing With the Stars Celebrity Contestant for Season 25. And we have our first official ballroom competitor. Property Brothers star Drew Scott was revealed as one of Dancing With the Stars' celebrity contestants for the upcoming 25th season on Good Morning America on Wednesday. The TV star surprised the live studio audience to officially announce he is joining the ABC reality hit's line-up, and will be paired with last season's winning pro, Emma Slater. "I want to make it my duty to get her a second Mirror Ball," he said during the live broadcast. While he is used to working with a partner, Scott joked he is moving up. "I definitely upgraded my partner -- at least in the looks department." The duo have already gotten busy rehearsing and Slater noted one particular challenge: his height. Not to fret -- he's learning from a ballroom champion. The full cast will be announced live on Good Morning America on Sept. 6, but sources tell E! News that married couple Nick and Vanessa Lachey will be competing against each other this season, along with E! reality star and WWE personality Nikki Bella. ABC does not comment or confirm casting rumors. While we have to wait for the full celebrity line-up to be revealed, the roster of pro dancers was already announced on GMA. Maksim Chmerkovskiy, Peta Murgatroyd, Val Chmerkovskiy, Emma Slater, Lindsay Arnold, Witney Carson, Artem Chigvintsev, Keo Motsepe, Gleb Savchenko, Sharna Burgess, Alan Bersten and Mark Ballas, returning after a three-season break, are set to duke it out for the mirrorball trophy this season. Dancing With the Stars premieres Monday, Sept. 18 on ABC. (Eonline)
'Riverdale' actress receiving death threats. All is not well in Riverdale. Actress Vanessa Morgan is joining The CW series as a character named Toni Topaz, who may or may not come between Jughead (played by Cole Sprouse) and Betty Cooper (Lili Reinhart). Dubbed "Bughead," the couple has become a fan favorite, and the obsession only increased once fans found out the actors were dating in real life. As a result, Morgan has faced some scary backlash. "I've already had some death threats," Morgan told Glamour. "But the thing is, it's half death threats because they don't want that [actually] happening, and there's half that's just all love." Morgan isn't even sure her character will cause any friction in Bughead's relationship. "Who knows if [my character coming between Bughead] is even going to happen?" she asked. "People are just jumping to conclusions." Her castmates, however, have been nothing but kind to her. "Lili and Cole are awesome, and they have been nothing but welcoming to me," Morgan said. "It's great doing scenes with them. I feel lucky that everyone has been so nice." That doesn't mean she's not willing to tease the forthcoming season a bit. "She's a Southside Serpent, a gang member, and Jughead's first friend," Morgan said of her character, who meets Jughead at his new school. "So I might stir up the pot a bit with the Bughead relationship. There might be a little love triangle." (PageSix)
Marvel's Luke Cage season 2 first look: Misty Knight with her new bionic arm. Misty Knight (Simone Missick) has a new look. An extra-durable one. Yup, this daughter of the dragon has finally gotten the upgrade that allows her to match her comic-book counterpart: She now wields a prosthetic bionic arm -- spoiler alert! -- to replace the one the Hand villain Bakuto (Ramón Rodriguez) sliced off in Marvel's The Defenders. And for those who need a refresher, at the end of the team-up series, Misty wound up recovering in a hospital owned by Danny Rand (Finn Jones) and watched over by Colleen Wing (Jessica Henwick). Clearly, she's back in action by the time she appears in Luke Cage season 2 -- and, EW has the exclusive first look at the NYPD detective sporting her high-tech enhancement alongside Luke (Mike Colter) and his unbreakable skin. Marvel, as usual, is keeping details of how and when Misty gets her bionic arm under wraps, but in the comics, Misty's bionic arm was designed by Tony Stark and Stark Industries after she lost the limb in a bombing. The arm grants her superhuman strength and a slew of other abilities involving energy blasts and gravity fields and even a nifty ability to control robots. Of course, that's all comic-book Misty. Marvel-Netflix Misty's abilities remain to be seen, but one thing's for sure: She's going to be a whole lot harder to take down now that her weapon never leaves her side. Marvel's Luke Cage returns in 2018 on Netflix. (Entertainment Weekly)
A First Look at E!'s New Series The Platinum Life: "Our Men Are the Biggest Artists in the World." Life's a party and these women are on the VIP list! Being married to a rich and famous musician isn't all that it's cracked up to be -- it's better. On Oct. 15, fans are about to get a backstage view of the lavish lifestyles of seven of the most powerful wives and girlfriends in the music industry. Get ready to see the good, the bad and the ugly in the new E! reality series The Platinum Life. The cast will include Ne-Yo's wife, Crystal Smith, Miguel's fiancee, Nazanin Mandi, Nelly's girlfriend, Shantel Jackson, singer and songwriter Eric Bellinger's wife, La'Myia Good, rapper Kid Ink's wife Asiah Collins, rapper King Los' girlfriend Lola Monroe and newly single recording artist Alycia Bella. "Our men are the biggest artists in the world," the ladies say in this first look teaser. "I'm VIP anywhere I go." Being in a relationship with a musician is a lot of work, but they're more than just the women behind the powerful men. These ladies also have successful careers and families to balance, not to mention impeccable style to upkeep. (Eonline)
Like mother, like daughter. Kim Zolciak-Biermann shared a photo of her 15-year-old daughter Ariana on Instagram, and the resemblance is uncanny. The proud mom, 39, couldn't contain her excitement, writing in the caption of the photo, "Hey pretty face @arianabiermann ." Zolciak-Biermann posted a selfie on Sunday, which shows off just how alike the two are becoming. The high school sophomore isn't the only one who has taken after her reality star mother. Her older sister Brielle, 20, also sports long, blonde locks and pouty lips. Ariana can be seen in the sixth season of Bravo's Don't Be Tardy... in which she can be seen stirring up trouble after she is caught in her family's security cameras sneaking out of the house. "We have to be able to trust you," Kroy Biermann tells her as she tears up. "I don't know how you're going to earn that back." Zolciak-Biermann has six children total. Married to professional football player Biermann since November 2011, she and her husband share twins Kaia Rose and Kane Ren, 3, as well as sons Kash Kade, 41/2, and Kroy Jagger "KJ," 6. Brielle and Ariana are Zolciak-Biermann's children from previous relationships. Don't Be Tardy... premieres Oct. 6 (8 p.m. ET) on Bravo. (People)
Actress Tawny Kitaen Wants Her Boob Implants Removed on Botched: "The Implants Are Down to the Bottom of My Rib Cage." Life is definitely not like the movies! On this Thursday's episode of Botched, Dr. Terry Dubrow and Dr. Paul Nassif are very familiar with their patient Tawny Kitaen. "You were like the sexiest hood ornament of the '80s," Dr. Dubrow remarked. Celebrity or not, today she's just a woman looking for help with a boob job gone wrong. It wasn't until Tawny was already famous and successful that she decided to get breast implants. "It must have been something inside myself when I wasn't feeling secure enough about myself," Tawny explains of her decision to go under the knife. "I thought this will take care of the problem." "I can't imagine the pressures that Tawny must have been feeling at the height of her career," Dr. Nassif shares. "Maybe getting a little enhancement can keep her at that top a little longer, but I've got to tell you, it's a scalpel not a magic wand." Tawny's surgery was not only botched, but it wasn't even what she wanted in the first place. "The fifth and sixth is really where it all started going wrong. So when I was under, the doctors took the liberty of putting in the size that they felt was going to suit me," she shared. "So I go back to the doctors and say they're too big. They say, 'Great. We'll take them out and make your implants smaller.' Within sixth months, the implants started slipping through the mesh," Tawny revealed. "Now the implants are down to the bottom of my rib cage." While it seems like a matter of readjusting the implants, Tawny says she is done with them all together. She just wants them out, which shocks both doctors. "It's unusual for an actress entertainment type person to want to not have implants anymore," Dr. Dubrow shared. "But after a certain period of time, you're fed up with implants and complications associated with them. So I applaud Tawny for wanting to get rid of them." It's a little bit unusual but that's what Dr. Dubrow and Dr. Nassif do best, and Tawny is counting on them! "There is truly a lot hanging on this exam. Me getting my life back. Me getting back into life. Me being happy," Tawny shares. "If Dr. Dubrow throws his hands in the air right now, I'd be absolutely devastated." (Eonline)
We all know the tragic story, but watching the first trailer for the new TV biopic about the late Bobbi Kristina Brown is still heartbreaking to watch. Bobbi Kristina, which debuts on TV One on October 8, shows the only child of Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown struggling with being in the shadow of her superstar mother while embarking on a doomed relationship with Nick Gordon. Stuck in the Middle star Joy Rovaris plays Bobbi Kristina, while Gordon is portrayed by Nadji Jeter and Vivica A. Fox plays Bobbi's Aunt Pat Houston. Real Housewives of Atlanta star Demetria McKinney plays the "I Will Always Love You" singer, while The Wire's Hassan Johnson portrays the former New Edition member. The trailer begins with the news of Bobbi Kristina being found unresponsive in the bathroom of her Georgia home in 2015 and then goes back in time to just after Whitney's untimely death in 2012, when Krissi, as she was known to her family, got more and more involved with Gordon. "He's a troubled young man," Fox as Pat Houston tells her niece. "He's the single best thing that's happened to me since my mom," she argues back. There are several flashbacks with "The Greatest Love of All" singer as Krissi tearfully tells Whitney that she will never be as good a singer as her mom. Bobbi Kristina died in July 2015, at the age of 22, almost six months after emergency responders found her unconscious at her townhouse in an Atlanta suburb. Gordon was found liable for her death in September 2016 and was ordered to pay $36 million to Bobbi Kristina's estate after her conservator filed a wrongful death lawsuit against him. Bobbi Kristina airs on TV One on Sunday, October 8, at 7 p.m. ET. (US Weekly)
Corinne Olympios' Message to DeMario Jackson After Bachelor in Paradise Scandal: "I'm Sorry." "It was definitely really, really rough for me. There are no words." Over two months after the incident that shutdown production on the fourth season of Bachelor in Paradise, Corinne Olympios is finally sharing her side of the story. While DeMario Jackson, the other contestant at the center of the controversy, spoke to E! News exclusively about the scandal before sitting down with Chris Harrison on last week's episode, Corinne had yet to break her silence. Until Tuesday night, when she had her chance to sit down with Harrison. "This is my first time talking about what happened and my take on things and I would love for everyone to just have a better understanding of me," she said, before finally going into detail about what happened on that day of the production, which caused two producers to file misconduct complaints (Warner Bros. later cleared production of any wrongdoing following a two-week investigation). "The first day, unfortunately, I don't remember much of," Corinne admitted. "I definitely overdrank, I did. I was also on some medicine that you're not supposed to drink on, which I didn't know. The combination of the two is just not a good combination, I am now weaning myself off that medication." (She started taking the medication, which she did not name, after her season of The Bachelor.) Corinne also said she had never experienced a blackout before, saying, "It was obviously very scary for me and very different." Because she was known as the "fun" Corinne during her season, the 25-year-old said there was "no way" for DeMario or the production crew to know she was "mentally checked out...which is beyond scary, but it is what it is I guess. I don't think it's anyone's fault, I just think that it was, again, an unfortunate and annoying situation that had to go down and it really sucks." Throughout her sitdown, Harrison had Corinne watch portions of his interview with DeMario, who she said she doesn't blame for what happened. "I honestly don't feel like he did anything wrong." She later added, "I really just want people to know that I don't blame DeMario. I never pointed fingers at DeMario. I never said a bad word about DeMario." As for what she would say to DeMario, who she has yet to speak with since the shutdown, Corinne said, "I would want to tell him, like listen, I respect you as a human. I have nothing against you. I am so sorry you had to go through this. I know exactly what it feels like...and I wish you all the best and I'm sorry." Of the media attention and public scrutiny she experienced after the scandal, Corinne admitted, "It was definitely really, really rough for me. There are no words." Corinne said she had "no idea" how big the scandal would become, saying, "When I watch it, I'm like, how did this happen? It's just so annoying. There's no other way to put it." Bachelor in Paradise airs Mondays and Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on ABC. (Eonline)
"Big Brother" contestant Jason Dent thinks rape is seriously funny -- he went full LOL while talking about having sex with another housemate's wife ... while forcing the guy's kids to watch. The footage is pretty disturbing ... Jason was cracking up on the Internet live feed Monday, joking he was going to f**k Kevin Schlehuber's wife if Kevin turned on him in the game. A female housemate, Alex Ow, was laughing along as Jason joked he'd also tie up Kevin's daughters and "make them watch." Fair to say ... the 'BB' house is getting out of control. Remember, Jason also made a rapey comment earlier in the season -- saying he'd hold down a female housemate so other guys would be able to 'backdoor her.' Not to mention the rampant butt and genital poking that's been going down. Interestingly, a few weeks ago Alex got upset about the sexual shenanigans because she has a family member who'd been raped. This time around, she was totally lighthearted. (TMZ)