It’s finally Sunday, February 26! You know what tonight is, don’t you? It’s the annual Academy Awards, and just as important for the industry to celebrate the best of 2011, it’s equally as important to find out what is on the menu at the famed Governor’s Ball, where my friend Wolfgang Puck delivers his scrumptious annual dinner for the evening. We starve ourselves for the past two months so we can get into our gowns, tuxes and look trim on the red carpet. But it’s all come to this. Who will take home the Gold? Meryl or Viola? Brad or George, or none of the aforementioned? It’s always a toss-up by the end of the night, and we are left wondering how some could win, how others could be forgotten, but the most important chore for the day is to run out to the fans and meet and greet some of the biggest film fans of the world. People have camped out and now they are ready to see their favorites walk the red carpet! In addition to the Oscars tonight, Donald Trumps’ “Celebrity Apprentice” competes, and an exclusive photograph by Alan Ball himself of a casting call for werewolves! Yes, real wolves!
Yesterday on Melbourne, Australia’s 96.5 Inner FM, host of “That’s Entertainment,” Kevin Trask asked me to wish Miss Peggy and the Muppets his best tonight. Well, it seems they Muppets will have an opportunity to reach out to millions of viewers tonight. Also, Tom Hanks, Meryl Streep and even Kermit were on hand on Saturday morning for rehearsals. But all eyes will be on mega-talented and uber hilarious comedian Billy Crystal, who returns to host the Oscars after comedian and actor Eddie Murphy bailed out. Thanks, Eddie! We now have our best ever Oscar host back.
Oscar host Billy Crystal, who has declined to speak with reporters, including Highlight Hollywood, has also kept his rehearsals closed throughout the week, emerged from his dressing room to observe the proceedings on Saturday. Wearing jeans, sneakers and a newsboy cap, the comedian blended in with the rest of the backstage workers— so much so that he had to re-introduce himself to an admired colleague. It was award winning actor James Earl Jones, who gave his pal a big bear hug and congratulations. The cast from the “Bridesmaids” were in full force and enjoying the rehearsals. They seemed genuinely star struck when they met Billy, as they should be.
Hope you enjoy the night! The Oscars air tonight on ABC! See you on the red carpet at the Hollywood and Highland Center!
Everyone is wondering who will get Donald Trump’s next pink slip on Sunday night of the hit NBC reality series “Celebrity Apprentice.” Highlight Hollywood’s favorite to win Clay Aiken started out quiet on Sunday night, but expect to see a more assertive and genius brain in the weeks to come. It was sad to see Cheryl Tiegs leave the show so early, but she admits to not having the famous “killer” instinct Trump embodies and tries to showcase in a spectacular way every season. The ladies had a good night, but ultimately last week the guys won! Special guest star Rachael Ray gave The Donald her advice, and the two teams jockeyed for the top spot to help their respective charities.
With all of the players deciding which side they will align with, who will be friends, and who will be foes. The ladies are already starting out as a serious cat fight seems to be brewing. Mob daughter Victoria Gotti seemed a bit out of sorts, but I’m sure that will change this week, as there will be even more pressure to impress Donald Trump, and the other (familial) judges.
The biggest surprise was in seeing “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” star Teresa Guidice stay calm throughout the night; relatively calm. She didn’t toss any tables or stick her finger in anyone’s face and threaten to beat them up. So maybe she might be a surprise after all.
The most unpleasant moment for viewers, was when Paul Sr. referred to “Star Trek’s” George Takei as weak. I don’t think it was done by accident. This is the time, early in the competition when people often try to psyche out the biggest competition and strongest competitor. If that’s the case, expect someone to go after Clay Aiken tonight, but his fans and Highlight Hollywood will not accept any unfair play! We’ll scream loudly if that occurs, as Clay deserves to play the game and be given the same respect that people give the “Hulk” himself; Lou Ferrigno. Clay chooses to use the muscle between his ears, not his biceps to take charge!
Trump reportedly told Lisa Lampanelli behind the scenes that viewers hated seeing her “squeaky” clean performance, when they are used to seeing her be the “Queen of Mean” on stage. My guess who goes tonight? Well, I think Debbie Gibson may be psyched out, but time will tell.
“The Celebrity Apprentice” airs on NBC. An encore presentation of the show’s premiere at 8 p.m. and then the newest episode titled “Medieval” is on at 9 p.m. Can I hear it from the Clay Aiken team? Go, Clay!
And as for the last, but certainly not the least important event in Hollywoodland this week, “True Blood” creator, producer and head writer Alan Ball took this exclusive image of wolves on the set of the hit vampire/supernatural series, being auditioned for upcoming werewolf roles for the fifth season. You know Debbie’s parents are on their way to Bon Temps to confront and question Alcide, where there are a few other werewolf surprise characters on the canvas as well. And aren’t these beautiful animals. Would not want to meet one in the middle of the woods in Bon Temps any time soon!
Enjoy your Sunday night, and don’t forget the OSCARS!
See you next week! XOXO
You can follow us at www.twitter.com/HighlightHwd.
Written By: Tommy Lightfoot Garrett
Photographs are Courtesy: Oscars By: OSCARS.COM, Clay Aiken by NBC/Universal and Wolves in Casting Call On True Blood set is by: Alan Ball (Executive Producer/Creator)
Follow us on Twitter @HighlightHwd or @LightfootinHwd