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Preview: The Lycos 50 Blog: News from the Pop Culture Fast Lane

The Lycos 50 Blog: News from the Pop Culture Fast Lane

Last Build Date: Mon, 5 Jan 2009 17:59:13 -0500


Lycos 50 Talks to Simon!

Thu, 18 Dec 2008 14:40:30 -0500

(image) With the eighth season of American Idol premiering in January, Lycos 50 talked to Idol judge Simon Cowell about a variety of Idol events and rumors.  Here's what he had to say:

On a more diverse Idol contestant base this year:
“My feeling….was we have an interesting bunch.  Where I think we got a little bit stuck last year, it was kind of like battle of the blondes and they all looked the same….This year there seems to be more personality.”

On the Emmys adding a category for reality show judges:
“I didn’t know.  Well, the answer is it’s a good thing, providing I win, and it’s a bad thing if I lose….I wouldn’t hold my breath on winning.”

On the controversy surrounding the suicide of a former contestant:
"What happened was awful.  My regret in all of this is that we didn’t know how troubled this person was.  If I could have gone back in time and known what she was going through, I wish that we could have spent time trying to help her, but we genuinely didn’t know."                                    

On the possibility of Britney Spears revisiting the show:
“She would be literally first on the list, as far as I’m concerned, in any capacity.  I would love to see her mentor the contestants.  If she doesn’t want to do that and she wants to come on the show to perform, I would welcome her anytime.  The buzz we had on our show when she came on was extraordinary.  Even with all the stuff that’s gone on with her over the past two years, there was more excitement and interest in her than I’ve seen in anyone in years.  So she would be very, very welcome."

American Idol's eighth season premieres on January 13th and January 14th on FOX.


Xbox, Xmas, Ex-Child Actor

Wed, 26 Nov 2008 14:47:51 -0500

This week's Lycos 50 top search terms article is presented in full on the Lycos 50 blog while we feature the 2008 Top Toys & Video Games list on our front page. See you next week and may we add, Happy Holidays - Cheers!

(image) The kid who saw dead people has grabbed the paddles and given an electric jolt to his career. Haley Joel Osment is back, at #47, thanks to his Broadway debut in the play American Buffalo. Don’t get too cocky though, kid – you still lag behind the increasingly obsolete US Postal Service (45).

Thanksgiving, which has been getting major props in this column, but hasn’t been able to buy itself any street cred, is finally back, at #17. But alas, Turkey Day again takes a major back seat to Christmas, now tearing up the joint at #6.

Which brings us to Santa Claus, presently more popular than Beyoncé (41 and 42). She may be Sasha Fierce, but if she ain’t leaving a new Xbox under the tree, she’s playing second fiddle to the big guy.

Awkward segue mention of Xbox, which is registered at #24. Be sure to don the Kevlar when trying to pick one up on everyone’s favorite day of organized chaos – Black Friday (33).

If all you want for Christmas is a significant other, or at least a booty call or three, the dating website is now on the board at #50. Ah, young love.

Hottie patrol, in descending order: Paris Hilton leads the league in hits at #1, followed by Britney Spears (14), Megan Fox (16) and Brooke Burke (27). And in a clear-cut case of naughty over nice: Playboy Playmate Kendra Wilkinson (28) edges out proud virgin cutie Julianne Hough (29).

The masses have spoken. And what they’ve said is the economy may not slow down the spending as much as expected this holiday season. At least not when it comes to video games and Holiday party dates. Carry on.

Paula Abdul Stalker Suicide

Thu, 13 Nov 2008 10:22:30 -0500

Paula Godspeed, an "American Idol" wannabee, was found dead in her car outside Paula Abdul's home yesterday.


Godspeed, who was obsessed with "Idol" judge Abdul for several years, allegedly died of a drug overdose, surrounded by Abdul photos, CDs and other items.  Godspeed, age 30, auditioned for "Idol" in 2005, attempting to sing a version of "Proud Mary," and received more than her share of criticism from all three "Idol" judges, including Abdul.  

The Los Angeles Police Department's threat management unit, which deals with stalker cases, was well aware of Godspeed's fixation with Abdul.  According to ABC News, Godspeed was found Tuesday night in her car parked a few doors down from Paula Abdul's Los Angeles home.  The car's license plate read "ABL LV," and Godspeed's MySpace page described her secret crush on Abdul.  Paula Abdul released a statement late yesterday saying: "I am deeply shocked and saddened at what transpired yesterday. My heart and prayers go out to her family."

Election Results – The Online Alternative

Tue, 4 Nov 2008 17:48:36 -0500

Going to be away from your TV on election night?  Rather watch a movie than a pundit?  Here are some online alternatives for getting your election results.

Social Scene

OMG! Text Me!

  • New York Times – National and state election results sent via text message.
  • Yahoo Mobile -  National and state election results sent to your favorite mobile application.


  • CBS News – Live webcast mirroring their television efforts.


  • YouTube– Site includes pins that mark voter problems including reported voter intimidation,and technology and and registration issues
  • Google – Check out historical results and election maps broken down by Presidential and Congressional elections. 
  • Yahoo– Dedicated election dashboard plus a map that lets you create your own election scenario by changing the colors of the states.

Tax Dollars in Action

  • "Yourstate".gov - Most state government sites are offering election return results by district and county.


Celebrity Politics: A little left, a little right...

Tue, 4 Nov 2008 14:52:46 -0500

By Matt Shevin Perhaps Leonardo DiCaprio’s most memorable movie moment occurred in a theater -- but not actually on film. During a special screening of Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 911 back in 2004, Leo let out a super loud belly laugh as Britney Spears appeared on the screen, chomping her gum while stating, “I think we should just trust our President in every decision that he makes and we should just support that!" The battle of celebrities and their politics is as strong as the battles at your local pub. But while Hollywood often seems a million miles to the left of Gandhi, the Republicans have their fair share of A-listers with far more thoughtful right-leaning opinions than Britney: Adam Sandler, Vince Vaughn, Bruce Willis, Drew Carey, Dennis Miller and Kelsey Grammer. Even the left side of the Yankee infield, home of Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez, bat right when they dig in at the voting booth. Those who are quick to dismiss actors or athletes who stump for politicians should keep this in mind: celebrities who speak up tend to be very intelligent and well-informed, and if they choose to use their prominence to create awareness to further an agenda, more power to them. Don’t forget to vote. Just be sure to consult the Lycos 50 and Perez Hilton before formulating your opinion.   ###Matt Shevin’s New York upbringing is predominantly responsible for his fervent opinions on all things culture, sports and politics. Currently, he’s an actor in L.A., living with a Pit Bull named Petey, and writing a daily blog - - which chronicles the highs, lows and absurdities of life in Los Angeles. Matt recently completed a film that he wrote, produced and starred in called The Beneficiary.[...]

Election 08: Their Cups Runneth Accurately

Tue, 28 Oct 2008 16:12:53 -0500

By Matt Shevin At 7-Eleven, the 7-Election is back and in full force. Here’s how it works: customers choose between an Obama blue cup and a McCain red cup when they buy a self-serve hot drink, and 7-Eleven keeps an online tally.While the folks at 7-Eleven HQ are quick to temper their poll as unscientific and unofficial, the results speak for themselves, and apparently Gallup doesn’t hold a candle to coffee, tea and spiced-pumpkin latte. Purchases at the convenience store giant have predicted the last two presidential elections within one percentage point of the actual final results As of this week, the Obama cup is beating the living daylights out of McCain’s counterpart, leading in 28 of the 30 states in which 7-Elevens are located. If these stats hold up, and the cups prophesize the outcome once again, Obama will receive 388 of the electoral votes from the 28 states in which he holds a lead. He needs 270 to win.Safe to say, Barack will drink to that.  ###Matt Shevin’s New York upbringing is predominantly responsible for his fervent opinions on all things culture, sports and politics. Currently, he’s an actor in L.A., living with a Pit Bull named Petey, and writing a daily blog - - which chronicles the highs, lows and absurdities of life in Los Angeles. Matt recently completed a film that he wrote, produced and starred in called The Beneficiary.[...]

Live From New York, Its Still Alive

Mon, 27 Oct 2008 10:47:33 -0500

By Matt ShevinOne day, while kicking back in his jammies, an 84-year-old Joe Dimaggio watched the announcement of his death scroll across the bottom of an NBC show he was watching. Joe took his pulse and realized rumors of his death had been greatly exaggerated. Speaking of eating it and NBC, it seems to be an annual chore for “Saturday Night Live” to prove that the show is still funny and relevant. It is. If it weren’t, why has it become an obligatory stop on the presidential campaign trail? And why has Tina Fey’s portrayal of Sarah Palin created what has been called the “Tina Fey Effect”, damaging the McCain-Palin ticket? Candidates need to listen up however, and stop saving their best performances until after they’ve been eliminated from elections. Take Mike Huckabee, for example, perfectly lampooning his refusal to concede his campaign, or Al Gore’s tongue-in-cheek Oval Office speech, celebrating America’s prosperity after he, and not George W. Bush, had been running the country for six years. Right place, late time. So stop the nonsense, haters, and start giving SNL its due. That’s change I can believe in. ### Matt Shevin’s New York upbringing is predominantly responsible for his fervent opinions on all things culture, sports and politics. Currently, he’s an actor in L.A., living with a Pit Bull named Petey, and writing a daily blog–– which chronicles the highs, lows and absurdities of life in the Los Angeles. Matt recently completed a film that he wrote, produced and starred in called The Beneficiary.   [...]

Beckham Heading to Milan

Wed, 22 Oct 2008 13:02:15 -0500

International soccer star David Beckham will join the Italian Soccer club AC Milan, on loan, beginning in January for a 4 month stay during Major League Soccer’s off season.  The L.A. Galaxy, Beckham’s current team, will end their season on October 26th making him available for play in January.  The top Italian soccer league, Serie A, has seen attendance numbers on the decline but AC Milan continues to draw fans since they have signed international stars including Kaka and Ronaldinho.  The move to Milan seems to be a perfect fit for both the team and Beckham.  Reports indicate that Beckaham hopes to join the English National team for another World Cup and his selection hinges on a strong performance in the  Serie A.  AC Milan will add Beckham’s skill in time for the UEFA cup, a competition for all European club teams.  This will be David Beckham's fifth team after Manchester United, Preston North End, Real Madrid and the L.A. Galaxy where he remains under contract. Person David Beckham’sRight click for SmartMenu shortcuts[...]

Madonna and Guy Ritchie Confirm Split

Thu, 16 Oct 2008 11:04:27 -0500

(image) Reps for both Madonna (#37 on this week's L50) and Guy Ritchie confirmed the couple will be parting ways after nearly eight years of marriage.  Tabloids are reporting that much of the 50-year-old pop star's fortune her 40-year-old soon-to-be ex will receive in the divorce settlement.  With London known as the "divorce capital of the world," if the proceedings move forward in England, Ritchie could claim half of the couple's combined fortune.  According to Reuters UK, Ritchie may be looking at anywhere from $250 to $260 million. 

Even as news of Madonna's divorce was making headlines, the show went on as she took the stage at the TD Bank North Garden in Boston as part of her world tour.  The statement issued by reps yesterday read: "Madonna and Guy Ritchie have agreed to divorce after seven and a half years of marriage, their representatives confirmed today. They have both requested that the media maintain respect for their family at this difficult time. A final settlement has not been agreed upon yet."

Tenants: Landlord used dead cats to push us out

Thu, 2 Oct 2008 15:49:52 -0500

A group of tenants in Brooklyn, NY learned their landlord planted a bag of dead cats in their building in order to drive them out. “It was so bad, we thought it was a dead body,” said Daisy Terry, who says her landlord left the rotting carcasses in the building for two months to pressure longtime tenants to leave their rent-stabilized apartments. “I had to hold my nose when I came down the stairs,” she said. The tenants claim that after a company called Heskel 1 bought their building last year, workers removed the stairs leading to the basement and vacant units were filled with trash, including the bag of dead cats. The group of tenants is suing the landlord under a new law that lets tenants take legal action for a pattern of harassment. “This case is not the only case of tenant harassment, but if it was the only case, it would be reason enough to have this law on the books,” Quinn said.