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The Voice: Adam Levine Praises Kristen Merlin After Her Mic Dies

The Voice

04/22/2014 at 07:15 AM EDT

Country singer Kristen Merlin was made fully aware Monday night that The Voice competition is now live.

Performing as one of season 6′s Top 12 finalists, Merlin’s mic dropped out for more than a few seconds, leaving her to continue – and exhibit some admirable “show must go on” professionalism – after she had only delivered a little more than half of a touching and intimate version of Sugarland‘s hit “Stay.”

The judges were on their feet and Adam Levine was effusive after Merlin jerked out her ear monitor, took hold of a new mic from a stage manager and continued like nothing went wrong.

“You handled it so gracefully. It was as if nothing happened … well done,” Levine praised of the unflappable Team Shakira finalist and the only country artist not on Blake Shelton‘s team. “I would have been in a puddle of my own nerves. I would have been crying. I would have had a thumb in my mouth. That was real inspiring to see you be cool – ice water in your veins.”

Performing for Team Adam, Christina Grimmie appeared more competitive than ever as she commanded the Katy Perry hit “Dark Horse.” Her coach said that even though she was covering someone else’s song, “I might as well have been watching the

Shelton called Grimmie the artist to beat on Team Adam, saying, “You are 100 percent proof that dynamite comes in small packages.”

Sisaundra Lewis dialed it back a bit Monday to show off her control as she helmed the Elton John classic “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me” for Team Blake. It sounded much like a hymn and drew praise all around for the powerhouse vocalist.

Usher offered a diva-inspired comparison. “There is only one other voice in that and she would have kicked her shoes off – Patti LaBelle,” he said of her star power. “Your voice is amazing.”

Also nailing down what seems like a certain return was rocker Kat Perkins. Usher dubbed her radio ready as she took on Heart‘s “Magic Man,” making easy work of the hammering Ann Wilson vocal.

“Your voice is dope!” Usher enthused. “It’s so powerful and steady. You know what you are doing. You know why you are here. You really have what it takes to be on radio right now.”

Added Levine: “You’ve done some of the greatest singing there is on earth – Steve Perry, Journey, Heart, all this stuff. It’s impossible to sing these songs and yet you do it with the same power and charisma and proficiency and soul that all these guys did it with and it’s mind-blowing.”

Teen country singer Jake Worthington did Team Blake proud as he modernized Travis Tritt‘s ’90s hit “Anymore.”

“When you sing, I believe every word you say,” Shakira said.

“Honesty, especially in country music, goes 80 percent of the way,” his proud coach noted. “They want to be told a story by somebody they believe. Your approach, you hold it in, hold it in, and finally you erupt. You nailed it dude.”

Closing out the night with style on British singer Sam Smith’s soul tune “Stay with Me” was Josh Kaufman. His easy falsetto glimmered as he showed off his musicianship and left Levine to call himself out for letting Kaufman go from his team.

His coach, Usher, praised him: “You’re an incredible student of music … You completely commanded this entire room. So poised, so prepared, so ready. You have completely made this my night.”

The Voice returns with the Top 12 live results show on Tuesday (8 p.m. ET) on NBC, when the “live save” feature makes its return.

7b52p 89EKCgBk8MZdE The Voice: Adam Levine Praises Kristen Merlin After Her Mic Dies
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Dancing with the Stars: James Maslow, Meryl Davis & More Get the Party Started

Dancing With the Stars

04/21/2014 at 10:25 PM EDT

85e8erin andrews 300 Dancing with the Stars: James Maslow, Meryl Davis & More Get the Party Started

Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews

Adam Taylor/ABC

Get ready to par-TAY!

Monday night’s Dancing with the Stars showcased party anthems, with guest judge Redfoo from LMFAO helping to weed out the ho-hum from the fun.

James Maslow and Peta Murgatroyd entered as the charmed couple after getting a perfect score on Disney week, while Candace Cameron Bure and Mark Ballas were just holding on and Drew Carey and Cheryl Burke hoped that audience scores would prop them up for another week.

Read on to find out who won’t be L-ing their A off this week.

After making up for last week’s “tif” and being declared safe, NeNe Leakes and Tony Dovoloni brought the heat with a 33-point salsa to Nelly’s “Hot in Herre.” Leakes even got in some sexy moves with husband Gregg in the audience.

“NeNe, you looked like an entrepreneur out there because you owned it,” Redfoo said. “I say technical schmecnical, but that was hot.”

Cameron Bure and Ballas proved to be in jeopardy, but the judges praised the Full House star for overcoming her nerves during their 32-point cha cha to “I Love It” by Icona Pop – even if her technique and showmanship still need work. “The thing is, you’re sexy, you just don’t know it,” judge Bruno Tonioli said.

Favorites Maslow and Murgatroyd didn’t disappoint with their 35-point quick step. Still, Maslow struggled with the fast, agile routine to “You’re The One That I Want” from Grease. “John Travolta and Olivia Newton John, those are huge shoes to fill, and I think you are such a leading man,” judge Carrie Ann Inaba said, though she added Maslow could be “a hair sharper on your foot work.”

In the night’s biggest head-scratcher, Danica McKellar and Valentin Chmerkovsky were also in jeopardy despite last week’s high-scoring routine. The pair wowed again with a 36-point cha cha to Whitney Houston’s classic “I Wanna Dance With Somebody. Tonioli called their performance the best dance of the night, and Redfoo was so animated with his praise that host Tom Bergeron dubbed him “Carrie and Bruno’s love child.”

Meryl Davis and Maksim Chmerkovskiy were feeling low after scoring all nines last week instead of the perfect score they though they deserved, but their frustration paid off: The pair’s tango to “Feel So Close” by Calvin Harris earned the full 40 points. Head judge Len Goodman said Davis is the only contestant whose talent rivals Chmerkovskiy’s.

“That was full of attack, that was full of purpose,” he said. “You’re the first celebrity that has been able to match him and keep up with him.”

‘The LIfe of the Party’

Carey’s confidence was definitely shaken, and though Tonioli described his technique as “all over the place,” all the judges appreciated his commitment to character during his 32-point tango with Burke to “Super Freak” by Rick James.

“You were the life of the party tonight,” Inaba remarked, while Redfoo loved Carey’s “stanky pimp face.” Still, the pair ended up in jeopardy from last week.

Charlie White and Sharna Burgess really brought the LMFAO spirit to the dance floor with a 36-point cha cha to “Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)” by C&C Music Factory – complete with a black light, glow-in-the-dark surprise that really got the rave going.

Though Goodman jokingly grumbled about that part, Inaba sang the partners praises. “You improved on your hop work tremendously. I saw it in all of your movements,” she told White. “It was hot, it was sexy, it was funky.”

Last but certainly not least, Amy Purdy and Derek Hough overcame a small slip-up to wow with a wedding-themed, 38-point jive to “Shout” by the Isley Brothers. “Marry me, darling, marry me,” Tonioli gushed to Purdy, an Olympic snowboarder who overcame meningitis but lost both of her legs below the knee. “Seriously, this is a real-life superhero. What you have achieved, most of us would have considered impossible.”

In the end, Carey’s stage presence couldn’t save him, and he and Burke were eliminated from the competition. A long-time fan of the show, the lovable comedian was gracious in his exit.

“I just want to say thanks for letting me borrow your dance floor, Carey said. “Thanks for all the kindness and the love.”

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How the Bryan Singer Scandal Is Rocking Hollywood

04/21/2014 at 08:35 PM EDT

1b1emichael egan 600 How the Bryan Singer Scandal Is Rocking Hollywood

Michael Egan (left) and Bryan Singer

AP (2)

When Michael Egan filed a lawsuit accusing director Bryan Singer of sexual abuse, the allegations got all of Hollywood talking – and some scrambling to figure out the next steps for his upcoming movies and TV shows.

The lawsuit – in which Egan, 31, alleges the director forced him into sex when Egan was an aspiring teen actor lured into a drug-fueled party scene notorious within Hollywood’s entertainment industry – has cast an intense spotlight on Singer, 48, whose film X-Men: Days of Future Past is set for release on May 23.

Singer’s attorney, Marty Singer (no relation), has vehemently denied the accusations, calling them “completely fabricated.” He also says he has extensive documentation that the director was not in Hawaii when Egan alleges some of the abuse occurred there from August 1999 through early 2000.

Further, Singer’s legal team points to a lawsuit from 2000 in which Egan leveled “virtually identical” charges against three other parties but did not mention Singer. Egan and his attorney, Jeff Herman, maintain the past lawsuit doesn’t mean there weren’t other abusers involved.

On Monday, Herman, Egan and Egan’s mother Bonnie Mound announced they were filing more lawsuits against three other lesser-known entertainment executives, Garth Ancier, Gary Goddard and David Neuman.

Herman says the cases involve longstanding issues of power and sex abuse in Hollywood.

“So many people have told me, ‘This has been going on for years in Hollywood,’ ” says Herman.

“Everyone is talking about” the allegations, says one studio insider. “It’s sort of the age-old story of Hollywood, isn’t it? You have people who will use their power to exploit others on one hand, and of course you have those who will try to shake people down on the other. That’s Hollywood.”

While the case works its way through the legal system, there have already been changes in Singer’s promotional duties for X-Men: The director skipped a planned appearance at the L.A. fan convention WonderCon on April 19, and a source says reporters were asked to avoid questions about Singer.

How else could the scandal affect the director and his many high-profile projects?

• The press junket for X-Men: Days of Future Past remains scheduled for May 2-4, with multiple red-carpet premieres to follow. Fox has not yet announced whether Singer will attend as previously planned.

• Could the controversy affect the movie at the box office? Most industry watchers don’t think so. The six X-Men films already released have amassed more than $2 billion in box-office.

“A franchise like X-Men really does go on despite things that happen,” says Jeff Bock, senior analyst of box office tracking at Exhibitor Relations. “These huge summer blockbusters kind of roll on their own. We’re talking about about one of the bigger franchises in Hollywood, and at this point you could go forward with or without Bryan Singer. Now if this were a personal film of Bryan Singer’s, one that he always wanted to make, I think it would have a much bigger effect on the box office take, but considering this is probably one of the top five films of the summer, things like [the lawsuit] just don’t resonate that far.”

• In the wake of the scandal, ABC reportedly pulled promos touting Singer’s involvement as executive producer of the new drama Black Box. The director also executive produces the upcoming CBS drama Battle Creek, which does not yet have an air date.

• Filmmaker Amy Berg, best known for her 2006 Oscar-nominated documentary Deliver Us from Evil, which examined the sex scandal involving Catholic priest Oliver O’Grady, confirmed to The Daily Mail that she has been working on a documentary exposing sex abuse in Hollywood for the past two years.


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What Pregnancy Perk Is Savannah Guthrie Ready to Sing About?

01b5savannah guthrie 300x400 What Pregnancy Perk Is Savannah Guthrie Ready to Sing About?
Laura Cavanaugh/WireImage

At five months pregnant, Savannah Guthrie is already learning about the wonders of maternity wear.

“I did discover maternity jeans, and I’m going to be writing a song to maternity jeans later — it’s forthcoming off my upcoming album — called ‘Exhale,’ ” she joked to PEOPLE at The Hollywood Reporter’s 35 Most Powerful People in Media party Wednesday.

Sure, stretchy clothes are a pregnancy perk, but the Today show host knows the child she’s carrying is the real blessing.

“I just can’t wait to meet this little baby. I wonder all the time, ‘Who are you?’ ‘What are you going to be like?’ ” she said “I just feel it’s such a privilege to get a chance to raise a little human being, and I hope we do it well.”

Guthrie, 42, married Michael Feldman in March during a quiet ceremony. At the reception dinner, she shared some breaking news with the guests: The couple had been secretly expecting a baby in August.

Now, a “happy and at-peace” Guthrie is experiencing being a newlywed and mom-to-be at the same time — and she’s loving every minute.

“I’ve been with Mike for a long time, and we’re really, really close,” she shared, “but being married just feels solid.”

– Michele Corriston with reporting by Jeff Nelson

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