Leah Remini shuts down critics of her 'So You Think You Can Dance' judging
Since she replaced Matthew Morrison as a judge on "So You Think You Can Dance," Leah Remini's apparently had some pushback from viewers who don't think she's qualified for the role. But the Emmy winner — and onetime "Dancing With the Stars" contestant — begs to differ. She responded to her detractors on Instagram on Tuesday, July 26, ahead of this week's show. "Some people are saying that I have no right to be serving as a judge on a dance competition show," Leah captioned a video on the platform. "Here's what I have to say to them…" The clip shows the "Scientology and the Aftermath" host explaining that her message "is like for the one person who's asking why I'm judging on a dance show … like, why not?" she asks. "For the one guy who's like …. 'Why is Leah Remini judging a dance show?'" she continues, sticking her elbows up on either side of her and jokingly speaking in the low, not-the-sharpest-tack-in-the-bunch dude's voice. "Because I am!" she continues. "I love dancing, and I've been ballroom dancing. I've got my own dance studio, I've been taking ballroom, cha-cha, rumba, jive — I do it all, it just naturally…," Leah semi-jokes. She goes on to say she's "having a great time," and she's not trying to represent herself as a dance expert. "I'm not even there as a dancer, I'm there as somebody who just enjoys dancing," she explains, adding that she's "an actress" and the show is "about performing — that's what I'm judging." Adds Leah: "I'm having the best time. Just let me enjoy it!" Leah stepped in as a judge on the season 17 panel in June after Matthew Morrison was let go over allegations he pursued "an inappropriate relationship with a female contestant," according to People. He later called the claims "blatantly untrue," saying he'd contacted a dancer for professional reasons related to a choreographer.
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'Bullet Train' star Brad Pitt wades back into the dating pool three years after being declared legally single
With his new film, "Bullet Train," hitting theaters next week, a new $40 million home in Carmel, California, and an active social network — and dating life — Brad Pitt's in a good place in 2022. "He has a large group of artsy friends in L.A. that he hangs out with," a source close to Brad recently told People, adding that the actor "[is] dating, but is not in a serious relationship." Although Brad and his ex, Angelina Jolie, have struggled to agree on custody terms for their six children, four of whom are still under 18, "Brad has dinner with his younger kids when they are all in L.A.," the source said of Zahara, 17, Shiloh, 16, and 14-year-old twins Vivienne and Knox. (The former couple also share sons Maddox, 20, and Pax, 18.) "Since the kids are older now, they have their own life and friends. Brad still has a pretty good relationship with them," added the insider. Pointing to the star's business and personal interests, including his new film projects, his Miraval winery work and his passions for architecture and "creativity," the source said Brad's "living his best life under the circumstances." Part of that "best life" vibe for the architecture fanatic is reportedly the historic, cliff-top home he's believed to have recently purchased on California's rocky coastline. According to The Daily Mail, Brad plunked down $40 million for the Craftsman-style estate designed by famed architect Charles Sumner Greene and built in Carmel in 1918 for novelist D.L. James. "Bullet Train" hits theaters Aug. 5.
Norman Lear reveals the 'one word' meaning of life on his 100th birthday
Producer and screenwriter Norman Lear — who created "The Jeffersons," "All In the family," "Who's The Boss?" and more over the course of his long and pioneering TV career — turned 100 on Wednesday, July 27. And as he recently told The Washington Post, "At the moment, I feel like I could do a second 100." That could be because he's worked out so many secrets to longevity, happiness and success over the course of a century. Asked if he now knows the meaning of life, Norman told the Post, "Yes, the meaning of life can be expressed in one word: tomorrow." He shared his best life advice with the outlet, as well. "There are two little words we don't pay enough attention to: over and next," Norman said. "When something is over, it is over and we are on to next. Between those words, we live in the moment, make the most of them." Speaking to People ahead of his milestone birthday, Norman explained that he's always found sheer joy in his work — and that keeps him going. "I've never chosen anything to do that I didn't wish to do," he declared. "My awards and accolades mean a great deal to me, but they don't mean as much as the drive to the studio today. I still explode with joy, excitement, interest and utter delight every time." He's still using that excitement to fuel new projects, too — 23 new projects, to be exact. "Bringing joy to people is what it's all about," he added, noting that, "Laughter and joy add time to one's life." On Sept. 22, ABC's set to celebrate the icon's birthday with a special tribute titled, "Norman Lear: 100 Years of Music and Laughter."
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Shawn Mendes cancels Wonder tour to focus on his mental health
Shawn Mendes won't be resuming his Wonder world tour, after all. Earlier this month, the singer announced he was postponing his next three weeks of shows after hitting "a breaking point" and realizing he needs to focus on his mental health. On Wednesday, July 27, Shawn updated that plan, telling fans on social media he's canceling the tour in order to prioritize his personal healing, having determined he "was not at all ready for how difficult touring would be" after the long period of pandemic-mandated downtime. "After speaking with my team and working with an incredible group of health professionals, it has become more clear that I need to take the time I've never taken personally, to ground myself and come back stronger," the 23-year-old explained. "This doesn't mean I won't be making new music, and I can't wait to see you on tour in the future," he assured fans. "I know you all have been waiting so long to see these shows, and it breaks my heart to tell you this but I promise I will be back as soon as I've taken the right time to heal." As the singer noted in his initial tour-pause announcement, he's been touring almost non-stop since he was just 15. The 87-show Wonder tour was originally slated to continue through October before relaunching in Europe in May 2023.
Beyoncé's fans, team respond to 'Renaissance' album leak reports
Beyoncé's seventh studio album, "Renaissaince," isn't due out until Friday, July 29 — a fact the Beyhive is taking very seriously amid reports the new music leaked on Wednesday. According to Variety, "high-quality flac files that certainly sound like the album" surfaced online some 36 hours before the scheduled release date, as did tweets from fans claiming to have spotted the album on sale in Europe ahead of schedule. Bey's fans responded to the leak reports by flooding social media with messages urging people not to press play on links to the new music. "Y'all can't be Beyoncé fans & leak her stuff," one person posted. "It's been 6 yrs & in less than 48 hrs, we'll ALL have access to the music. Pls don't ruin it for everyone, especially not Bey who has put 2 yrs of hard work into this new era that we BEGGED for." According to the Los Angeles Times, Bey's team appeared to be dealing with the situation by late Wednesday morning by having Twitter disable multimedia posts that included "leak" and the hashtags "#Renaissance" and #Beyonce." As of Wednesday afternoon, reps for Beyoncé and Columbia Records had not replied to requests for comment from outlets including the Times and CNN.
Austin Butler says 'Elvis' director heckled him until he was in tears for the role
Before Austin Butler started shooting Baz Luhrmann's "Elvis," Leonardo DiCaprio — who worked with the director on 1996's "Romeo + Juliet" — gave the younger actor a little heads up about Baz's unconventional approach. Leo's warning turned out to be dead-on. As Austin recalls in a new interview for the Fall-Winter 2022 edition of VMAN magazine, Baz joined him at Nashville, Tennessee's historic RCA Studio B, where Elvis Presley recorded many of his biggest hits. Austin was led to believe he'd mostly be "workshopping the [Elvis] voice," and the session would be mellow. Instead, Baz intentionally heckled him as he sang, finally leaving Austin in tears. "I had spoken to Leo before and he said, 'Baz is gonna push you in ways you didn't know somebody could, Austin recalls. "He's gonna push you off balance and keep you off balance.'" In the studio, that's just what Baz did. "I was so nervous, and we were recording on actual equipment that Elvis recorded 'Heartbreak Hotel' on," Austin shares. Despite what he'd been told about a "laid-back" studio situation, recording one line at a time. "We got down there and it was not that at all," Austin says. "We were recording old school, where all the musicians — and these are the best musicians in the world; our guitar player had actually played guitar with Scotty Moore, who was Elvis's guitar player — we were recording the entire song." On the first day, "Baz wanted me to get as close to performing as possible," Austin says. "He had all the executives and everybody from RCA, who were back in the offices, he brought them into the recording studio and he goes, 'I want you all to sit facing Austin,' … and he told them to heckle me. So then they were making fun of me and stuff while I was singing." But Austin admits the trick worked. "When we were filming this moment when Elvis first goes on stage and he's getting heckled by the audience, I knew what that felt like," he says. "I went home in tears that night. I really did."
Drake responds to backlash over private jet's 14, 16 and 18-minute flights
Drake recently weighed in on backlash over his private jet's multiple summertime trips between Toronto and the town of Hamilton, Ontario, less than 50 miles away. But his response to climate concerns about the quick flights, each of which emitted about five tons of carbon dioxide, isn't sitting well with some fans. On Monday, July 25, the Instagram account Real Toronto Newz shared screenshots of a handful of frustrated posts about the rapper's plane's three recent flights between the Canadian cities, asking followers, if Drake was "Wrong For Using His $185 Million Jet To Go To Hamilton." In the comments, Drake wrote, "This is just them moving planes to whatever airport they are being stored at for anyone who was interested in the logistics…nobody takes that flight." The fact that the flights were not even transporting anyone while adding 15 tons of emissions to the air didn't exactly help his cause. "@champagnepapi Congratulations, your explanation just made it so much worse," one person replied. "… This is extremely irresponsible and selfish especially if you have kids and want a fruitful life for them," griped another. Other fans, however, defended the Canadian star. "Airports do this all the time and nobody bats an eye. But when it's your plane, everybody loses their minds," one commenter wrote. Said another: "I'd take my jet to Costco if I could." Drake's jet drama comes on the heels of similar criticism aimed at Kylie Jenner and her recent, 17-minute private jet flight from Camarillo, California, to Van Nuys, about 40 miles away.