BANTER WITH BEN AND LISA #80: Oscar Nominations, American Idol, and Grand Theft Auto Addiction

Today is Sade’s birthday, and what better way to celebrate than with a brand new episode of “Banter with Ben and Lisa.” This week, Ben Mandelker (bsideblog.com) and Lisa Timmons talk about the “American Idol” premiere and its new panel of judges. Then, hot off the presses, it’s the Oscar nominations! Finally things wrap up with further discussion of Grand Theft Auto V, to which Lisa has become a recent convert. Her antics in the world of Los Santos are both deeply disturbing and utterly charming.

As usual, there’s plenty of other pop culture discussion to be had, and Ben continues to share his progress in learning the German language. Fun times all around. Come listen!

BANTER WITH BEN AND LISA #54: ‘American Idol’ Behind The Scenes! Also, Katie Perry and Amy’s Baking Company

You guys — this was a fun one!

This week on Banter with Ben and Lisa, Ben Mandelker (bsideblog.com) talks about his experience going to the live finale taping of American Idol. Observations about Mariah Carey and Colton Dixon ensue. Then Lisa Timmons (wherelisalives.com) spills the tea about her brush with a big time, real deal celebrity. Finally, the two break down the whole Amy’s Baking Company / “Kitchen Nightmares” fiasco. This is definitely one to listen to. For real, yo!

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BANTER WITH BEN AND LISA #51: ‘Idol’ Rumors; Also, Reese in Jail, and Stallone’s Coyote Crisis

New episode of Banter with Ben and Lisa! Official description here:

This week on Banter with Ben and Lisa, Ben Mandelker (bsideblog.com) and Lisa Timmons (wherelisalives.com) chat about the latest rumors swirling around “American Idol.” The two also tackle celebrity gossip such as Reese Witherspoon’s recent arrest and Sly Stallone’s coyote problem. It’s the usual mishmash of pop culture and strange jokes. Come listen!

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BANTER WITH BEN AND LISA #49: Famous Siblings We Love; Also, American Idol, Tiger Woods, and A Shout-Out To SoundCloud!

New Banter with Ben and Lisa is up, and this episode is really funny, if I do say so myself. Here’s the official description:

This week on “Banter with Ben and Lisa,” Ben Mandelker (bsideblog.com) and Lisa Timmons (idolator.com) embrace Siblings Day by discussing the famous siblings they like most. From Kim Richards to Bambi Swayze, we definitely cover a lot of ground. Then it’s on to this week’s “American Idol” which featured Mariah Carey’s most long-winded critiques yet. Finally, we tackle some of the dubious celebrity couples out there — Tiger Woods and Lindsey Vonn, Rihanna and Chris Brown, e.g.. Along the way, there’s talk of hamsters and a big shout-out to all our followers on SoundCloud. Come take a listen!

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BANTER WITH BEN AND LISA #45: Nicki Minaj, The Pope, Dwight Howard, and Lifetime Original Movies

This week on “Banter with Ben and Lisa,” we tackle the most pressing issues of the week. Why was Nicki Minaj late for “American Idol”? Who would make a good pope? And how can we befriend Dwight Howard? Plus, we break down all the dramatic developments in the Lifetime Original Movie, “The Surrogate.” Come take a listen…

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BANTER WITH BEN AND LISA #44: Lion Attacks, American Idol, and Chris Brown

Banter with Ben and Lisa is back (I think we say that every episode), and we have tons of random things to talk about. First Lisa Timmons (idolator.com) and I discuss a bizarre tragedy involving a lion and an intern. Then it’s on to the equally strange case of acid-tossing at the Bolshoi Ballet. Naturally, talk of Chris Brown follows as well as “American Idol.” Come take a listen!

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10 Things The ‘American Idol’ Judges Might As Well Be Judging Instead

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Watching last night’s episode of American Idol, I was shocked by how many average to subpar performances the judges (Steven Tyler, Jennifer Lopez, and Randy Jackson) adored. Even more notable was how rote all their criticisms seemed to be. I really enjoy the judges’ personalities, but week in and week out, the three have lavished the same praises over and over again to the point where the words coming out of their mouths have become meaningless. They might as well be judging flowers or pottery. And that got me thinking: what if the Idol judges did actually judge random objects?

After the jump, ten random things that the judges might as well be judging… Continue reading

Inside The First Ever ‘Reality Rocks Expo’ in Los Angeles

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Exciting news for reality TV fans. This past weekend, Los Angeles played host to the first ever Reality Rocks Expo, an event that brought reality stars, reality fans, and reality producers together for one big reality bonanza of epic proportions. The convention took place on Saturday and Sunday, and while I didn’t get a chance to make it over on the first day (when apparently all the “big” stars were present), I did meander down to the Los Angeles Convention Center on Sunday to check out the scene.

Pics from the expo after the jump. Continue reading

AND WHATNOT: Finally, A Tolerable Version of Inception; Also, The Best Mugshot of 2011, and Sexy New Cocktails

Socialite Life: Mugshot Advice: Don’t Get Arrested Mid Haircut! (amazing)
Huffington Post: iPad 2 Review Roundup: The Critics Are Head-Over-Heels
Gawker: Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel Split
Vulture: American Idol Contestant Casey Abrams Is In the Hospital Again
LA Now: Teenager who survived jump off Golden Gate Bridge may have leaped on a dare, authorities say
Caroline on Crack: Roger Room’s New Spring Cocktail Menu Is Here

AMERICAN IDOL RECAP: Let The Fun Begin!

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Last night was the first night of finals for American Idol, and overall, the kids are alright. Once again, while some performances disappointed, we didn’t have any outright Antonella Barba / Sanjaya Malakar disasters; although, we did have one fairly grim moment courtesy of the girl who I vociferously noted yesterday shouldn’t be in the top thirteen at all.

That dud of a performance came from Karen Rodriguez, who happily butchered “I Could Fall In Love” by Selena. I never really thought of it as a particularly hard tune, but I guess when you have the self-imposed weight of representing ¡Latina flavor! for the season, it can be daunting. Also daunting: doing Selena in front of the biggest faux-Selena of them all — Jennifer Lopez, who shot to fame after portraying the late musician. Poor Karen Rodriguez. She means so well, and she sings so poorly. I don’t want to say “Told you so,” but quite frankly, I did tell you so. Continue reading