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  1. Jennifer Lopez and Rauw Alejandro are heating things up this summer with their new song "Cambia El Paso." In the days leading up to the track's official release on Monday (July 5), the 51-year-old singer and actress has been teasing the collaboration on social media. On Sunday, Lopez gave fans a sneak peak of the music video, which features images of the superstar singer strutting down the neon-lit streets of Miami in a flashy denim outfit. Another scene finds Alejandro posing confidently next to a luxury car and later showing off some spinning dance moves. "Ready?" Lopez captioned the post in Spanish on Twitter. ARTISTS MENTIONED Jennifer Lopez Rauw Alejandro Jennifer Lopez & Ben Affleck PDA Pics Have Twitter Ready for the 'Chaos' of 'Bennifer 2.0' Lopez, whose engagement to Alex Rodriguez was called off earlier this year, recently revealed that "Cambia El Paso" is about moving on. The track's title translates in English to "change the step." "The song is about change and not being afraid to take the step," she said on SiriusXM's Pitbull's Globalization. "Like, just take the step, advance, do what you need to do. If something's not feeling right, whatever it is in your life, like, just make that move and dance." Following her split from Rodriguez, Lopez reignited her romance with former flame Ben Affleck. In recent week, the two stars have been photographed kissing on a date night in Malibu, Calif. See Lopez's teaser of the "Cambia El Paso" video below. Content source: Billboard.
  2. Courtney Love has delivered a moving acoustic cover of Britney Spears' 2000 song "Lucky" as part of her ongoing covers series. The former Hole singer took to Instagram on Saturday (July 3) to share her take on the ballad, which appeared on Spears' second album, Oops!... I Did it Again. The cover arrived shortly after The New Yorker published an in-depth article about Spears' conservatorship, which features quotes from Love. "Someone asked me what song I was going to cover next. I don't have a guitar player handy, so yeah," a pink-haired Love begins video, pointing to herself. "It's written by one of those fantastic old Swedish people -- gentleman -- and it's got like B-sharp 7th. I don't know that s---. OK, let's just try it." ARTISTS MENTIONED Britney Spears Courtney Love Courtney Love Accuses Olivia Rodrigo of Copying Hole Album Cover Concept for 'Sour Prom' Photos Performing the ballad proved to be emotional for Love, who has also covered Billy Bragg and Wilco's "California Stars" as part of her series. "I'm actually crying," she says toward the end of the clip. "I f---in' hate this when it happens to me." Written by Max Martin, Rami Yacoub and Alexander Kronlund, "Lucky" peaked at No. 23 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2000. In The New Yorker piece, written by Ronan Farrow and Jia Tolentino, Love describes her ex-manager Sam Lutfi -- who served in a similar capacity for Spears around 2007 -- as a "street hustler." Love later congratulated Farrow and Tolentino on Twitter, writing, "An honor to speak to an honorable man. Speak again soon." She added to the post, "#freebritneyarmy do your thing." Content source: Billboard.
  3. Plus: Doja Cat’s “Planet Her” bows at No. 2. Tyler, the Creator scores his second No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 chart as his latest studio effort, Call Me If You Get Lost, debuts atop the tally. The set was announced on June 17, released on June 25 via Columbia Records and earned 169,000 equivalent album units in the U.S. in the week ending July 1, according to MRC Data. In total, Call Me is the artist’s sixth top 10 (the entirety of his charting efforts). Tyler previously hit No. 1 with his last release, 2019’s Igor. The Billboard 200 chart ranks the most popular albums of the week in the U.S. based on multi-metric consumption as measured in equivalent album units. Units comprise album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA). Each unit equals one album sale, or 10 individual tracks sold from an album, or 3,750 ad-supported or 1,250 paid/subscription on-demand official audio and video streams generated by songs from an album. ARTISTS MENTIONED Doja Cat Tyler, the Creator Tyler, the Creator Insists He's a Rapper First: 'Don't Let the Wig Get It Twisted' The new July 10, 2021-dated chart (where Call Me debuts to No. 1) will be posted in full on Billboard's website on Wednesday, July 7 (one day later than normal, owed to the post-July 4 Monday holiday in the U.S. on July 5). For all chart news, follow @billboard and @billboardcharts on both Twitter and Instagram. Of Call Me If You Get Lost’s 169,000 equivalent album units earned in the tracking week ending July 1, SEA units comprise 114,000 (equaling 152.96 million on-demand streams of the album’s tracks), album sales comprise 55,000 (largely from deluxe box sets sold exclusively via the artist’s webstore) and TEA units comprise less than 1,000. Call Me was released on June 25 as a 15-track standard digital download album, as well as in a 16-track deluxe digital and a streaming edition with one bonus track (“Safari”). The 16-track physical edition of the album, on CD and cassette, added a different bonus cut (“Fishtail”). Of Call Me’s total album sales for the week, 40,000 were CDs, 10,000 were cassettes and 5,000 were digital downloads. A vinyl LP release has yet to be announced. The CD and cassette were exclusively sold via the artist’s webstore and sold out within a day. They were available a la carte, as well as in four limited edition deluxe box sets that sold for $25 each. (The box sets included either a CD, shirt and poster or a cassette, shirt and poster.) It has not been announced if any further CDs, cassettes or box sets will be manufactured, nor if they will become available to any other retailers. Doja Cat Ropes in Eve For Slinky 'Planet Her' Bonus Track 'Tonight' While Call Me’s sales were sturdy, it’s worth noting that the album would have still arrived at No. 1 without any sales thanks to its solid streaming figures. It tallied 114,000 SEA units -- which would have been enough to make it No. 1 by about 5,000 units over the No. 2 title of the week, Doja Cat’s new studio album, Planet Her. Planet Her debuts at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 with 109,000 equivalent album units earned. It’s the singer-rapper’s best week in terms of units earned, and highest charting effort yet, surpassing the No. 9 peak of her last release, and lone prior top 10, Hot Pink. The new album boasts the top five-charting Billboard Hot 100 hit “Kiss Me More,” featuring SZA, as well as guest turns from The Weeknd and Ariana Grande. Of Planet Her’s starting sum of 109,000 units, SEA units comprise 96,000 (equaling 132 million on-demand streams of the album’s tracks), album sales comprise 10,000 and TEA units comprise 3,000. Planet Her was initially released as a 14-track standard album on June 25. A deluxe digital and streaming edition followed on June 27, adding five additional tracks. Of the album’s 10,000 sold for the week, 6,000 were via digital download and 4,000 came via CD. (The CD had a limited pressing and was only available via Doja Cat’s webstore.) Olivia Rodrigo’s ‘Sour Prom’ Was ‘Way More Fun Than Mine’: Check Out the Reaction A quartet of former No. 1s follows on the Billboard 200: Olivia Rodrigo’s Sour (falling 1-3 with 93,000 equivalent album units earned; down 11%), Lil Baby and Lil Durk’s The Voice of the Heroes (3-4 with 52,000 units; down 9%), Polo G’s Hall of Fame (2-5 with 49,000 units; down 27%) and Morgan Wallen’s Dangerous: The Double Album (5-6 with 47,000 units; down 3%). Migos’ Culture III descends 4-7 with 37,000 equivalent album units earned (down 31%), Bo Burnham’s Inside (The Songs) rises 9-8 with 32,000 units (up 4%), and Dua Lipa’s Future Nostalgia dips 7-9 with 31,000 units (down less than 1%). Justin Bieber’s Justice returns to the top 10, with a 14-10 hike, thanks to its vinyl release on June 25. The former No. 1 earned 30,000 units for the week (up 20%), with album sales comprising 7,000 of that sum (up 618%), of which vinyl LP sales equaled 6,000. Content source: Billboard.
  4. Big Red Machine's new song "Renegade," featuring Taylor Swift, has topped this week's new music poll. Music fans voted in a poll published Friday (July 2) on Billboard, choosing the upbeat collaboration between the indie-folk duo of The National's Aaron Dessner and Bon Iver's Justin Vernon and the pop superstar as their favorite new music release of the past week. "Renegade," which will be featured on Big Red Machine's upcoming album, brought in nearly 72% of the vote, beating out new music by jxdn (Tell Me About Tomorrow), Doja Cat (Planet Her - Deluxe), Imagine Dragons (“Wrecked”), and others. ARTISTS MENTIONED Aaron Dessner Big Red Machine Justin Vernon Taylor Swift Taylor Swift Shows Off 'Renegade' Photo by Blake Lively & Ryan Reynolds' Daughter James This isn't the first time the trio has teamed up. Dessner co-wrote and co-produced the bulk of Swift's blockbuster 2020 albums Folklore and Evermore, and Vernon was featured on and co-wrote Folklore's "Exile" and Evermore's title track. This time around, Swift joins Big Red Machine for one of three songs recently released from the band's second full-length album, How Long Do You Think It's Gonna Last? The set is scheduled for release on Aug. 27 through Jagjaguwar/37d03d. Placing second on the past week's tally with nearly 10% of the vote was jxdn's debut album, Tell Me About Tomorrow. Produced by Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker, the former TikTok phenom's new set delivers the hooks, angst and gleefully sneering charisma of jxdn's early hits. Elsewhere, songs like “One Minute” recal the sugary highs of mid-period Blink-182 and “Wanna Be” smartly brings Machine Gun Kelly to the mosh pit. See the final results of this week's new music release poll below. What's your favorite new music release this week? (Poll Closed) Big Red Machine feat. Taylor Swift, “Renegade” 71.63% jxdn, 'Tell Me About Tomorrow' 9.22% Doja Cat, 'Planet Her (Deluxe)' 6.38% Brent Faiyaz feat. Drake, “Wasting Time” 4.26% Imagine Dragons, “Wrecked” 3.55% Other: 2.84% J Balvin & Skrillex, “In Da Getto” 2.12% G Herbo, '25' 0% Content source: Billboard.
  5. Ed Sheeran has a lot to celebrate right now. His beloved England soccer team has booked a semi-final spot in the Euros, and his new single “Bad Habits” (Asylum) debuts at No. 1 in the U.K. “Bad Habits” notches 92,000 chart sales this week, including 8.7 million streams, according to the OCC, to give Sheeran his 10th U.K. No. 1. These are winning days for Sheeran. “I’m absolutely over the moon, and did not expect this start at all,” he writes on Instagram. “I’ve been away for such a long time that I know it’s gonna take a bit to get back to normal, so was expecting this tune to build as the weeks went on, but to debut so high week one is phenomenal, and something that after a decade in this industry I do not take for granted.” ARTISTS MENTIONED Aitch Doja Cat Ed Sheeran Jack Savoretti The Weeknd Tones And I The singer and songwriter becomes just the ninth act to reach that double-figures atop the leaderboard. He joins Calvin Harris and Eminem on 10 No. 1 singles across their careers. Only Take That (12), Madonna (13), Cliff Richard and Westlife (14) and The Beatles (17) and Elvis (21) have more chart crowns. Ed Sheeran’s ‘Bad Habits’ Blasts to No. 1 In Australia “Thank you so much for giving this era such a flying start,” he continues. “Loads more music on the way soon, but for now I’m gonna crack open a beer and toast to you lot.” “Bad Habits” is the third single to debut at No. 1 this year, following Olivia Rodrigo’s “Drivers License” in January and Lil Nas X’s “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” in April. U.S. singer and rapper Doja Cat makes a splash with Planet Her (Ministry of Sound), which debuts at No. 3 on the national albums tally, and two tracks from it enter the singles chart, led by “You Right,” her collaboration with The Weeknd. It’s new at No. 9 on the Official U.K. Singles Chart. Several new numbers impact the Top 40, including Tyler, The Creator’s “Wusyaname” (No. 25 via Columbia), Aitch’s “Leaning Curve” (No. 27 via Capitol), and Fredo’s “Talk Of The Town” (No. 34 via Since 93), while Tones And I scores a second career Top 40 hit in the U.K., as “Fly Away” (Parlophone) lifts 42-33. The Australian singer and songwriter’s 2019 smash hit “Dance Monkey” led the national chart for 11 weeks, a record for a female solo artist. Jack Savoretti Looks to Dethrone Olivia Rodrigo on U.K. Albums Chart Over on the U.K. albums survey, Jack Savoretti nabs his second No. 1 with Europiana (EMI). The British singer-songwriter's seventh album, Europiana hits the top of the Official U.K. Albums Chart with 21,000 chart sales, the OCC reports, with 82% of that sum from physical sales on CD and vinyl. Olivia Rodrigo’s three-week reign with Sour comes to an end, as it dips 1-2, but it's still the most-streamed album in the market, while Tyler, The Creator’s latest Call Me If You Get Lost (Columbia) is new at No. 4, for the U.S. rapper’s third U.K. Top 10 entry. Content source: Billboard.
  6. Geffen's relationship with Yale dates back to the 1978-79 academic year when he led a seminar on the music industry. Yale University has announced it is eliminating tuition for its drama students thanks to a $150 million gift from entertainment magnate David Geffen. The gift to what is being renamed the David Geffen School of Drama at Yale University is believed to be the “largest on record in the history of the American theater,” the school said in a news release Wednesday. It will allow the drama school to eliminate tuition for all degree and certificate programs, the university said. “David Geffen’s visionary generosity ensures that artists of extraordinary potential from all socioeconomic backgrounds will be able to cultivate their talent at Yale,” Yale President Peter Salovey said. David Geffen Donates $150M to LACMA for New Galleries Geffen is best known for founding Asylum Records, Geffen Records, Geffen Pictures and co-founding the film studio DreamWorks SKG with Steven Spielberg and Jeffrey Katzenberg. His relationship with Yale dates back to the 1978-79 academic year when he led a semester-long seminar on the music industry. “Yale already provides some of the best professional training available to actors, writers, directors, designers and theater managers from diverse backgrounds,” Geffen said in a statement. “Removing the tuition barrier will allow an even greater diversity of talented people to develop and hone their skills in front of, on, and behind Yale’s stages.” He added that he hopes the gift will inspire others to join him in making advanced arts and theater education accessible and affordable to all students. Theater studies at Yale began in 1925 and graduates of its drama school include actors such as Meryl Streep, Frances McDormand, Angela Bassett and Paul Giamatti. Salovey said Yale is also committed to pursuing additional fundraising for the school, with plans to build a state-of-the-art facility for theater education and production. Content source: Billboard.
  7. The 2021 Heat Latin Music Awards took place Thursday night (July 1) live from the Dominican Republic, celebrating the best of Latin music in its sixth edition. Big wins of the night included Karol G for best urban artist, CNCO for best band or group, Boza for best new artist, Nicky Jam for best male artist, and El Alfa, who won the newly added category best urbano Dominican artist. A wave of acts also took center stage to perform their latest hits, including Nacho, Anitta, Boza, Emilia Mernes and Jessi Uribe, who live debuted his single “Resultó Muy Perra” with Carin Leon. Wisin Promises Karol G & Camilo Collabs, Teases New Wisin y Yandel Album Is Coming Special awards were handed out throughout the night, including Premio Oro to Wisin for his remarkable 18-year career and Premio Compromiso to Gloria Trevi for her social commitment to her Ana Dalai Foundation. The 2021 Heat Latin Music Awards followed all COVID-19 safety procedures, which included temperature checks, hand-sanitizing stations and mask coverage for all staff. The audience sat in separate pods of four people and wore masks as well. Below check out all the winners for the sixth edition of the awards: BEST MALE ARTIST CAMILO MALUMA J BALVIN NICKY JAM --- WINNER PRINCE ROYCE FARRUKO OZUNA BAD BUNNY BEST FEMALE ARTIST ROSALÍA KAROL G GREEICY FARINA KALI UCHIS NATTI NATASHA ANITTA NATHY PELUSO DANNA PAOLA --- WINNER BEST BAND OR GROUP CNCO --- WINNER REIK PISO 21 MORAT ZION & LENNOX GENTE DE ZONA MAU Y RICKY BEST ROCK ARTIST MON LAFERTE JORGE DREXLER MORAT --- WINNER JUANES LOS AMIGOS INVISIBLES ZOÉ FITO PÁEZ DIAMANTE ELÉCTRICO BEST POP ARTIST CAMILO --- WINNER LUIS FONSI RICARDO MONTANER GREEICY SEBASTIÁN YATRA CARLOS RIVERA AITANA LUIS FIGUEROA BEST URBAN ARTIST BAD BUNNY J BALVIN KAROL G --- WINNER NICKY JAM ARCANGEL OZUNA FARRUKO ANUEL AA FARINA MYKE TOWERS RAUW ALEJANDRO BEST TROPICAL ARTIST N’KLABE KALIMETE VÍCTOR MANUELLE CARLOS VIVES ROMEO SANTOS GABRIEL PAGÁN MARC ANTHONY PRINCE ROYCE --- WINNER BEST REGIÓN SUR (CHILE, ARGENTINA, BRASIL, PARAGUAY Y URUGUAY, PERÚ) ARTIST NATHY PELUSO ANITTA --- WINNER NICKI NICOLE PALOMA MAMI CAZZU KHEA YAHAIRA PLASENCIA BEST REGIÓN ANDINA (COLOMBIA, ECUADOR Y VENEZUELA) ARTIST MIKE BAHÍA SEBASTIÁN YATRA NACHO FARINA --- WINNER MANUEL TURIZO DANNY OCEAN EVALUNA MONTANER MICRO TDH BEST REGIÓN NORTE (CENTROAMÉRICA, MÉXICO Y CARIBE) ARTIST FARRUKO EL ALFA DANNA PAOLA RAUW ALEJANDRO LUNAY --- WINNER SECH MILLY JUSTIN QUILES BEST NEW ARTIST NATANAEL CANO GUAYNAA BOZA --- WINNER JAY WHEELER ALEX ROSE JESSI URIBE NICKI NICOLE NATHY PELUSO MOST PROMISING ACT JUAN DE DIOS PANTOJA --- WINNER KATIE ANGEL EMILIA MERNES JUHN AMY GUTIÉRREZ ALEJANDRO SANTAMARÍA JAY MENEZ MORA KENIA OS Lunay Says 'Todo o Nada' Music Video With Anitta 'Will Be Out Soon': Watch BEST VIDEO "LOCATION" (KAROL G, ANUEL AA, J BALVIN) "PROBLEMA" (DADDY YANKEE) "MI NIÑA REMIX" (WISIN, MYKE TOWERS, MALUMA FT. ANITTA) --- WINNER "MACHU PICCHU" (CAMILO & EVALUNA MONTANER) "LA LUZ" (J BALVIN, SECH) "BICHOTA" (KAROL G) "LA NOCHE DE ANOCHE" (BAD BUNNY & ROSALÍA) "LOS DIOSES" (ANUEL AA Y OZUNA) "ROJO" (J BALVIN) INFLUENCER OF THE YEAR KIMBERLY LOAIZA --- WINNER KUNNO LUISA FERNANDA W MARIO RUIZ EL CHOMBO MARKO MR ZEO MOLUSCO BEST REGIONAL POPULAR ARTIST CHRISTIAN NODAL PAOLA JARA --- WINNER JESSI URIBE PIPE BUENO LOS ÁNGELES AZULES YEISON JIMENEZ CARIN LEON EDWIN LUNA Y LA TRAKALOSA DE MONTERREY BEST URBANO DOMINICAN ARTIST EL ALFA --- WINNER NATTI NATASHA ROCHY RD QUIMICO ULTRA MEGA MOZART LA PARA LA INSUPERABLE KIKO EL CRAZY CHIMBALA BEST COLLABORATION "BANDIDO" (MYKE TOWERS & JUHN) "DÁKITI" (BAD BUNNY & JHAY CORTEZ) "ELLA NO ES TUYA" (ROCHY RD, MYKE TOWERS & NICKI NICOLE) --- WINNER "LA BOCA" (ARCANGEL & FARINA) "VÍCTIMAS LAS DOS" (VÍCTOR MANUELLE / LA INDIA) "ANTES QUE SALGA EL SOL" (NATTI NATASHA & PRINCE ROYCE) "LA CURIOSIDAD" (MYKE TOWERS, JAY WHEELER, DJ NELSON) "DE VUELTA PA LA VUELTA" (DADDY YANKEE & MARC ANTHONY) "BEBÉ" (CAMILO, EL ALFA) "SE TE NOTA" (LELE PONS Y GUAYNAA) "MIEDITO O QUÉ?" (OVY ON THE DRUMS Ft KAROL G, DANNY OCEAN). Content source: Billboard.
  8. You've seen these collaborators together before, just not like this. First thing Friday (July 2), Big Red Machine -- the indie-folk duo of The National's Aaron Dessner and Bon Iver's Justin Vernon -- released the brand-new song "Renegade," featuring Taylor Swift. This trio has teamed up before, with Dessner co-writing and co-producing the bulk of the songs on Swift's blockbuster 2020 albums Folklore and Evermore and Vernon featured on and co-writing Folklore's "Exile" and Evermore's title track. This time around, Swift is playing in their sandbox, joining Big Red Machine for one of three songs released this week from their second full-length album, How Long Do You Think It's Gonna Last?, due Aug. 27. The surprisingly upbeat "Renegade" was recorded at Kitty Committee Studio (aka Swift's Los Angeles home studio) in March, the same week Swift and Dessner won the album of the year Grammy for Folklore. Swift is also featured on the yet-unreleased track "Birch" from the August album. Second Big Red Machine Album to Feature Taylor Swift, Sharon Van Etten & More Big Red Machine had a busy week, releasing album opener and lead single "Latter Days," featuring Anais Mitchell, on Tuesday alongside a music video and "The Ghost of Cincinnati" on Wednesday. "With everyone that's on this record, there's an openness, a creative generosity and an emotional quality that connects it all together," Dessner said in a press release of the collaborators on the album, which also includes Fleet Foxes and Sharon Van Etten. The 15-song album, due Aug. 27 through Jagjaguwar/37d03d, was produced by Dessner at his Long Pond studio in upstate New York -- the same location of Swift's Disney+ documentary Folklore: The Long Pond Studio Sessions. Listen to Big Red Machine's "Renegade," featuring Swift, below: Content source: Billboard.
  9. On Friday (July 2), Imagine Dragons offered up the latest preview of their fifth studio album, Mercury - Act 1, with the powerful new song "Wrecked." According to a press release, the latest Mercury song -- following the release of "Follow You" and "Cutthroat" in March -- was written by frontman Dan Reynolds after his sister-in-law died of cancer. “She was the brightest light," Reynolds says about Alisha Durtschi Reynolds, who was married to Dan's brother Paul and had seven children. "A beacon of joy and strength for everyone she met. Her sudden passing has shaken me in ways that I still am unable to express. I was with her and my brother when she passed, and it was the first time in my life that I had witnessed death in this way. It sealed into my mind the fragility of life and finality of this all. I’ve watched my brother face something that no one should have to. But I’ve also seen his faith bring him hope in a future with her. I can only hope for the same. "This song was my way of dealing with it all, as music has always been my refuge," Reynolds adds. "No longer being a man of fervent faith, I can only hope that she hears it somewhere in a place where she is healed and no longer in pain. This song is my wish for an eternity with those that I love.” Imagine Dragons' 'Follow You' Rules Rock & Alternative Airplay Chart Since its March release, "Follow You" has hit the top of Billboard's Alternative Airplay and Rock & Alternative Airplay charts. Mercury - Act 1 will be produced by Rick Rubin and is set for release via KIDinaKORNER/Interscope on Sept. 3. Content source: Billboard.
  10. On Tuesday (June 29), Verzuz announced that they would be joining forces with Essence Magazine for a match-up between R&B heavyweights Bobby Brown and Keith Sweat on July 1st.On Tuesday (June 29), Verzuz announced that they would be joining forces with Essence Magazine for a match-up between R&B heavyweights Bobby Brown and Keith Sweat on July 1st. Typically, the outlet, a cornerstone of Black womanhood, reserves this date as a celebratory first night of their annual music festival, kicking off three days of live shows at New Orleans’ Superdome. But the world has of course changed a great deal since the last in-person Essence Festival in 2019. Still, Verzuz managed to harness that feeling on Thursday night (July 1st) with both Keith Sweat and Bobby Brown bringing their best to the stage. Billboard Explains: Rap Battles & the 'Verzuz Effect' ARTISTS MENTIONED Bobby Brown Keith Sweat “This is truly a celebration of two giants of the culture...” DJ Cassidy enthused later in the evening and he couldn’t be more on target. Bobby Brown’s career soared in the mid-‘80s as part of the omnipresent R&B boy band New Edition -- and while he ventured out on his own in 1987 with a built-in fanbase, Keith Sweat was finding his place on the Billboard 100 for the first time with hits like “Make It Last Forever” and “I Want Her” from his debut album. As the lights brightened in the venue, the two sat across from each other, backs straightened against ornate thrones, ready to prove why they’ve long been crowned kings. Here's how Billboard scored their showdown. Round 1: Keith Sweat’s “Something Just Ain’t Right” vs. Bobby Brown’s “Don’t Be Cruel” Sweat maintains his cool, crooning the lyrics to “Something Just Ain’t Right,” while seated. The crowd in-house is losing it but Keith is far from breaking a sweat. Bobby Brown jumps into “Don’t Be Cruel” and fans in the Instagram feed are going nuts. Plenty of hearts flying in the comments as DJ Envy parrots Whitney Houston’s proclamation from years past, saying simply, “King of R&B.” WINNER: Bobby Brown Round 2: Keith Sweat’s “Make You Sweat” vs. New Edition’s “Mr. Telephone Man” Keith chooses “Make You Sweat” next and when he’s just about finished, he nudges Bobby, “That’s just a lil’ bit. Don’t hurt me too bad now...” Bobby shrugs it off with a smile, dropping “Mr. Telephone Man” to the audience’s delight. Some commenters quip about the differences in Bobby's current voice from the original track, discounting the fact that he was 15-years-old when New Edition released it. “You might as well have brought Ronnie, Ricky and Mike up here,” Sweat teases. WINNER: Bobby Brown Round 3: Keith Sweat’s “How Deep Is Your Love?” vs. New Edition’s “Jealous Girl” Keith doesn’t finish the first line of “How Deep Is Your Love?” before the venue reverbs with screams. For the duration of the clip, the IG feed lights up with hearts. Bobby leaps out of his throne to perform “Jealous Girl” and Keith feigns dismay two-stepping alongside him. WINNER: Keith Sweat Round 4: Keith Sweat’s “I’ll Give All My Love to You” vs. Bobby Brown’s “Girlfriend” When Keith drops “I’ll Give All My Love to You,” Bobby can’t resist but sing along with the hook. Respect from both on the highest level. Then Bobby keeps the groove going with “Girlfriend” and the feed is feeling it. Gabrielle Union comments, “Alright now...” One woman in the venue screams, “Do that sh*t B!” WINNER: Bobby Brown Round 5: Keith Sweat’s “How Do You Like It? (Part 2)” vs. Bobby Brown’s “Girl Next Door” Keith picks up the pace with “How Do You Like It? (Part 2)” featuring a verse from Left Eye. “Y’all might not remember this but I just wanted to do something funky here.” Bobby keeps it going with “Girl Next Door,” after which Keith goes into the many reasons why having a girl next door would never work in his favor. WINNER: Bobby Brown Round 6: Keith Sweat’s “Right and a Wrong Way” vs. New Edition’s “Hit Me Off” Keith goes into “Right and a Wrong Way” with Bobby pitching in on the vocals. If it wasn’t clear before, the two are obviously fans of each other. ”You know they say I love to beg...” To which Keri Hilson replies “Normalize begging...” in the Instagram feed. Bobby finally peels off his leather coat to perform New Edition’s “Hit Me Off.” WINNER: Keith Sweat Round 7: Keith Sweat’s “Telling Me No Again” vs. New Edition’s “You Don’t Have to Worry” Sweat shows off his soundtrack placement with “Telling Me No Again” from New Jack City and Bobby follows up with some hip-hop flair dropping New Edition’s “You Don’t Have to Worry.” Sort of a mismatched pairing of songs, but the crowd seems to love both. WINNER: Bobby Brown Round 8: Keith Sweat feat. Snoop Dogg’s “Come and Get With Me” vs. Bobby Brown’s “Thug Loving” Here’s where Keith gets playfully cocky: after running through a few lines of “Come and Get With Me” with Snoop, he pokes at Bobby, “Do something to make me sweat man! My name’s Sweat and I ain’t sweating yet." So, Bobby hits back with “Thug Loving” and a couple of spins, center stage. “Oh you got up cause Ja Rule was on your joint,” Keith jokes. That’s when Swizz Beatz slides into the IG feed, “I told y’all Keith is a movie.” WINNER: Bobby Brown Round 9: Keith Sweat feat. Kut Klose’s “Get Up on It” vs. Bobby Brown’s “One More Night” Sweat dives deep into the slow grind side of New Jack Swing with Kut Klose and “Get Up on It,” blessing us with a few lines a cappella well after the music ended. Bobby responds, “Oh, we talking New Jack City. New Jack Swing. Teddy Riley.” And appropriately, he follows his statement up with 1992’s “One More Night.” It just isn't quite strong enough to claim the round. WINNER: Keith Sweat Round 10: Keith Sweat’s “I Want Her” vs. Bobby Brown's ”Get Away” For the second half of the Verzuz battle, both men emerge from backstage in fresh wardrobes, plugging each other’s wares. Keith gifts candles and Bobby gifts barbecue sauce. Moments later, it's back to business as Keith proudly bobs around to a clip of Craig Mack’s “Flava In Ya Ear”: “Step on stage, girls scream like I’m Keith...” Slick. Then he springs into “I Want Her,” his first smash record of the New Jack Swing era. “Party time.” Timbaland comments in the feed. The energy is electric by the time Bobby pounces on “Get Away,” gliding into some smooth choreography on this one. “Do that dance again,” Keith prods with a grin. WINNER: Bobby Brown Round 11: Guy’s “Let’s Chill” vs. Bobby Brown feat. Aquil Davidson’s “That’s the Way Love Is” “I don’t just sing, I write too,” Keith teases. “You played New Edition. Since you cheated. I might as well go to my pen game.” On cue, Guy’s “Let’s Chill” booms from the speakers and Keith seems to feed off of the crowd’s enthusiasm. Bobby hits back with the bouncy cut “The Way Love Is” but it isn't enough to pull a win out of this round. WINNER: Keith Sweat Round 12: Silk’s “Freak Me” vs. Damien “Jr. Gong” Marley feat. Bobby Brown’s “Beautiful” Keith Sweat’s pen game is stronger than most. Kicking off the round with Silk’s “Freak Me,” is enough to earn an endless flurry of hearts. Kandi Burruss, fellow songwriter, drops her approval in the feed: “I knew Keith was gonna pull out the Silk hits. Had to!” Then Bobby follows that up with “Beautiful” featuring Damien “Jr. Gong” Marley. It’s a lovely song but definitely ill-placed in this round. WINNER: Keith Sweat Round 13: Keith Sweat’s “Keep It Coming” vs. Bobby Brown’s “Good Enough” Keith dials the energy up with “Keep It Coming” but Bobby’s “Good Enough” has viewers in the IG feed reminiscing on high school breakups and the first time they figured out that Bobby had coded “grown folk” activities in the lyrics. WINNER: Bobby Brown Round 14: LSG’s “My Body” vs. Bobby Brown with Whitney Houston’s “Something in Common” It was only right that Keith pop up with a couple group entries after Bobby's New Edition plays. His turn as one-third of LSG produced one of '90s R&B’s most memorable tracks “Your Body” and the audience is elated. But when Bobby comes back with “Something in Common,” his collab with then-wife Whitney Houston, he seals the win for round 15. Johnta Austin leaves a note on the IG feed: “RIP Nippy.” WINNER: Bobby Brown Round 15: Keith Sweat feat. Kut Klose’s “Twisted” vs. Bobby Brown’s “Humping Around” Keith keeps the slow jams coming, gliding into “Twisted” in round 15. Another classic track with his group Kut Klose on the background vocals. Bobby responds with the effervescent “Humping Around” -- and in a show of support and appreciation, Teddy Riley appears in the IG feed: “Thank y’all!!! Peace and love family!!!” WINNER: Keith Sweat Round 16: Johnny Kemp’s “Just Got Paid” vs. Bobby Brown’s ”Rock Wit’cha” Keith is in his writing bag at this point, playing Johnny Kemp’s “Just Got Paid,” and it’s one of those Verzuz songs where nearly everyone in the feed is shocked that the track is connected to the artist in the battle. Genius.com comments that Keith actually wrote this while he worked at the New York Stock Exchange. Kinda wild. Bobby smooths things over with “Rock Wit’cha,” and no one’s comment is louder than Verzuz alum Raekwon’s in the feed: “Come on Bob. Break his damn neck. There you go!” WINNER: Bobby Brown Round 17: Keith Sweat’s “Make It Last Forever” v. Bobby Brown’s “Roni” There’s no way to tell which time is the “right” time to play your biggest hits in a Verzuz, but somehow Keith ordered this one perfectly. Three rounds from the end of the battle, and “Make It Last” hits perfectly. Even Bobby joins in on the hook before bringing the mic stand out for his 1988 hit “Roni.” Warren G pops into the chat: “Wow.” WINNER: Keith Sweat Round 18: LSG feat. LL Cool J, Lil Kim and Busta Rhymes’ “Curious” vs. Bobby Brown’s “On Our Own” Here’s where the guys get a little loopy. To be fair: The Ciroc had been flowing for at least two hours at this point. But the audience at home specifically have their eye on Keith. “Who’s driving Keith home?” one commenter asks. D-Nice quips, “That Ciroc is kicking.” “I know what you gon’ do next,” Bobby taunts. “You don’t know,” Keith shoots back. “I know ‘cause I read your list.” “Oh my God. You gon’ get it now.” Keith follows this statement with LSG’s “Curious” featuring LL Cool J, Lil Kim and Busta Rhymes. “Okay,” Bobby challenges, “Let’s go to soundtracks.” The pop of the production on Ghostbusters 2’s “On Our Own” has Keith’s tween nephew moving in the center of the dance floor. Later, he goes on a sort of rant about how he would have preferred that placement over the one he procured on New Jack City. “That don’t count,” he bantered, leaning just a little, “I’da rather had that check. I’da been one of your dancers back then.” WINNER: Bobby Brown Round 19: Keith Sweat’s “Don’t Stop Your Love“ vs. Bobby Brown’s “Every Little Step” Keith pushes through Round 19 with “Don’t Stop Your Love“ but it doesn’t stand firm against Bobby’s “Every Little Step.” Seems like Sweat could’ve used something else here for sure. WINNER: Bobby Brown Round 20: Keith Sweat feat. Athena Cage’s “Nobody” vs. Bobby Brown’s “My Prerogative” Keith held on until the end but by Round 20, he threw the question of what his final song should be, to the audience although we’re fairly certain he already had his song cued up. One woman in-house screamed out “Nobody!” He responded, “Aiight c’mon.” And sure enough the whine of those familiar synthesizers piped up at the top of the track. Bobby fittingly wrapped up his 20th round with his biggest Billboard Hot 100 solo hit, the roaring No. 1 “My Prerogative.” WINNER: Bobby Brown Wider Catalogue: Bobby Brown Bobby takes this one easily. Starting his musical career as a teenager in 1983 and moving into young adulthood, already a major star by the late ‘80s, gave him the room and platitude to try anything and everything without sacrificing his personal style. Big budget movie soundtracks, New Jack Swing bops with bars in the middle, Quiet Storm slow jams, even a reggae-tinged song! Biggest Snub: Bobby Brown (point to Keith Sweat) Seems like if Bobby was going to use New Edition tracks, he could’ve found a place for “Candy Girl” or maybe even “Cool It Now.” Either one of these could’ve worked here in one of the earlier rounds. Best Banter: Keith Sweat While both men seemed comfortable in their respective roles, Keith Sweat was much more talkative and lively between songs. He teased, taunted and poked at Bobby. He sang over his songs then acquiesced to their appeal before bounding onward into the next round. The Verzuz Effect Biggest KO: Bobby Brown Not sure Keith was expecting Bobby to come barreling out of the gate with New Edition’s “Mr. Telephone Man” in the second round. “Make You Sweat” didn’t stand much of a chance next to the poppy ‘80s smash courtesy of those boys from Boston. People’s Champ: Keith Sweat Keith Sweat seemed to draw more support online as the night went on -- especially as he refilled his Ciroc. People love being entertained, and Sweat’s antics throughout the evening had many commenting on his rare form all night. His songs are pretty dope, too. FINAL SCORE: 15-10, Bobby Brown Content source: Billboard.
  11. Between video games movies often being hit or miss with audiences and the outcry over the titular character’s original design, 2020’s Sonic the Hedgehog faced an uphill battle with its theatrical run. Fortunately for all those involved in its production, the popular SEGA character’s cinematic debut proved to be a hit, scoring a lot of positive reception and making over $319 million worldwide. By May 2020, it was announced that Sonic the Hedgehog 2 had been greenlit, and it was later announced that it would release in spring 2022. Now that Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is filming, this is a great time to go over who’s making up the sequel’s cast. But before discussing the voice behind the rapid mammal, let’s first talk about the biggest on-camera actor from the first movie who’s back for another round of Sonic action, Jim Carrey. Jim Carrey as Dr. Robotnik in Sonic the Hedgehog Jim Carrey For decades, Dr. Ivo “Eggman” Robotnik has been Sonic the Hedgehog’s arch-nemesis in the video game franchise, so it was only appropriate to select him as the main villain for the Sonic the Hedgehog movie. When we last left off with Jim Carrey’s iteration of the antagonist, he’d been stranded on the mushroom planet, looked much more like his video game counterpart and become insane. But Carrey’s Robotnik is still as smart as ever and vowed to escape the alien world to exact revenge on Sonic, and he’ll finally succeed with that goal in Sonic the Hedgehog 2. But he won’t be alone: Robotnik will be accompanied by Knuckles the Echidna, with the two of them teaming up to find a magical emerald that will give them the power to build and destroy civilizations. Ben Schwartz in Space Force Ben Schwartz While many of you are likely most familiar with Ben Schwartz from his role as Jean Ralphio in Parks & Recreation, he also has an extensive voice acting resume, from Ducktales to M.O.D.O.K. As far as film work goes though, it’s safe to say that Sonic the Hedgehog marked Schwartz’s biggest vocal gig, and he’s back to voice the hedgehog in the sequel. Having been adapted by Tom and Maddie Wachowski at the end of the first movie, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 sees its eponymous protagonist longing for more freedom, and he finally gets it when the couple let Sonic stay at home alone when they go on vacation. Unfortunately, Sonic’s chill session is interrupted by Robotik’s return, so he’ll need to team up with Tails (who cameoed in Sonic the Hedgehog’s mid-credits scene) to stop the mad scientist and Knuckles from obtaining that emerald. James Marsden in Sonic the Hedgehog James Marsden Sonic the Hedgehog is super fast, but even he needs help. Luckily, as already mentioned, he has a family in his corner, starting off with X-Men and Enchanted actor James Marsden playing Tom Wachowski, the sheriff of Green Hills, Montana. Although Tom started off in Sonic the Hedgehog looking to get out of Green Hills, resulting in him almost taking a job with the San Francisco Police Department, his adventure with Sonic made him realize that Green Hills is truly his home. But as already noted, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 will have Tom and Madde traveling out of town, though don’t be surprised if their vacation is cut short and they’re drawn into the sequel’s action. Tika Sumpter Sonic the Hedgehog Tika Sumpter Veterinarian Maddie Wachowski, played by Get on Up and Mixed-ish actress Tika Sumpter, didn’t learn about Sonic the Hedgehog’s existence at the same time time as Tom, but once her husband and Sonic met up with her San Francisco while they were fleeing Dr. Robotnik, it didn’t take her long to get up to speed and join the adventure. We’ll have to wait and see how involved Maddie is involved in Sonic’s shenanigans in the sequel, though I suspect that she’ll have more screen time compared to the first movie. It’s also worth mentioning that Sonic the Hedgehog 2 will reportedly feature a character named Randall who will only interact with Tom and Maddie. Adam Pally in Sonic the Hedgehog Adam Pally Green Hills, Montana may be a small town, but it takes more than one law enforcement officer to look after its citizens. As such, Tom Wachowski is aided by his chief deputy, Wade Whipple, played by Happy Endings and Crossing Swords actor Adam Pally. Wade was present in Sonic the Hedgehog’s final battle to try and stop Dr. Robtnik from hurting Tom, and he got to see Sonic battle the mad scientist. Aside from presumably still working with Tom as his chief deputy, it’s unclear how Wade will fit into Sonic the Hedgehog 2, though it’s reasonable to expect him to provide more comedic relief. Natasha Rothwell in Sonic the Hedgehog Natasha Rothwell Natasha Rothwell of Insecure and Wonder Woman 1984 fame starred in Sonic the Hedgehog as Rachel, Maddie’s older sister who disapproved of Tom and kept urging Madde to leave him. Unless Rachel and her daughter Jojo (played by Melody Niemann) have moved to Green Hills, I’m guessing that Tom and Maddie will go visit her in San Francisco. Though that then begs the question of if Rachel and Jojo will get to see Sonic, let alone be involved in any of Sonic the Hedgehog 2’s action. I’m also curious to see if Rachel’s opinion of Tom has improved at all. Shemar Moore in CBS's SWAT Shemar Moore So far, the only new actor who’s been announced for Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is Shermar Moore, who is best known for playing Derek Morgan on Criminal Minds and Hondo on S.W.A.T., both CBS shows. There’s no word yet on who Moore is playing, although the fact that he was photographed on set with James Marsden, Tika Sumpter and Natasha Rothwell indicates he’ll be a human character rather than voicing one of Sonic’s animated costars. This is Moore’s first time appearing in a theatrically-released movie since 2016’s The Bounce Back. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 races into theaters on April 8, 2022. While we wait for more casting news and other updates about the sequel’s progress, keep track of the movie still set to arrive this year with our 2021 release schedule. Content source: CinemaBlend.
  12. Serious allegations have been leveled against two of Bravo's most notorious Real Housewives stars: Real Housewives of Salt Lake City's Jen Shah and Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’ Erika Jayne. In March, Shah was arrested and accused of spearheading a telemarketing scheme that defrauded hundreds of mostly elderly victims. Meanwhile, Erika Jayne has been implicated in her husband's bankruptcy case. As it turns out, their legal troubles have only taken on more interesting turns of late. After Jen Shah was arrested, the Real Housewives of Salt Lake City star pleaded not guilty at her arraignment hearing, with the trial set to take place on October 18. However, it looks like Shah's legal team is hoping to avoid that outcome at all costs. NBC News reported that they, in fact, filed court documents for her case to be thrown out entirely. In the filings, Shah’s lawyers called it a “bare-bones superseding indictment.” They continued: " Nowhere does the indictment allege, as required, facts sufficient to establish that Ms. Shah joined this purported conspiracy willfully and with the specific intent to defraud the telemarketing purchasers. Thus, this indictment should be dismissed because the facts it alleges, even if taken as true, are insufficient to support the crimes charged. " Jen Shah's legal team also stipulated several reasons for why her case should apparently be thrown out. Among them, they allege her arresting officers used “deception and trickery calculated to overpower her will,” and that the Real Housewives star was “coerced” into being interviewed by detectives. The often-described “Ice Queen” of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, Erika Jayne, is facing similar accusations as Jen Shah. It has been speculated that she knew of her soon-to-be-ex-husband’s (Tom Girardi) alleged embezzlement activity that ultimately landed him in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case. The TV personality denied having any prior knowledge of her husband’s business dealings. However, Page Six reported that Erika Jayne's lawyers, Dinsmore and Shohl LLP, filed to withdraw as her counsel in the case on Monday (speculated because of that ABC News special about her). The law firm had stated: " The relationship of trust and confidence that is essential to a properly functioning attorney-client relationship has broken down and, in the good faith assessment of counsel, the relationship is irreparable. " Curiously enough, a flutter of even stranger developments occurred only two days later. The reality star’s lawyers supposedly reversed their decision to drop her, with confirmation made by Page Six. The allegations against Erika Jayne’s husband are quite serious, so it’s an odd and sudden switch-up of legal tactics. The legal situations for both Jen Shah and Erika Jayne are becoming eerily coincidental. Not only are both entangled in accusations pertaining to fraud, but they also became embroiled in their drama while filming Real Housewives. Shah was arrested during Salt Lake City’s Season 2 that is still filming, and Erika Jayne was only just shown filing divorce from her husband in Beverly Hills’ Season 11 that is airing now on Bravo. As they say, the plot thickens... To find out more interesting developments on Erika Jayne's case, tune in to Bravo on Wednesday nights as her situation unfolds in real time. For Jen Shah, I guess we'll have to wait until later this year for Real Housewives of Salt Lake City (supposedly, with footage of her arrest, too). Content source: CinemaBlend .
  13. he coming release of F9 brings the highly anticipated return of Sung Kang’s Han Lue following the social media movement #JusticeForHan. Since the F9 trailer shockingly revealed Kang’s involvement in the next Fast and Furious movie and promised “justice is coming” for the Tokyo Drift character, the plotline has become one of the most hotrod topics of the coming film that coincides with director Justin Lin’s return to the franchise. Justin Lin brought Han, who'd first appeared in his film Better Luck Tomorrow, into the Fast and Furious fold in 2006 for Tokyo Drift. Although the character died in his first foray into the Fast franchise, the character has been part of each of Lin’s movies from the series including 2009’s Fast & Furious, 2011’s Fast Five and 2013’s Fast & Furious 6. For the two movies in the main Fast & Furious film series Lin has been away, fans have been campaigning for #JusticeForHan, and we’ll seemingly get it for F9. The director spoke about his beloved character during his interview on CinemaBlend’s ReelBlend podcast, sharing how he felt about the movement following his prior exit from the series: " When I came back, the main drive wasn’t #JusticeForHan, it was this idea of exploring the theme of family, but through blood. I was very excited about that because I knew that if we did that, there’s an opportunity to explore the origin of this mythology and we get to solidify it. But then, being away and I’d heard about this #JusticeForHan movement – at first I didn’t even realize it was my Han. I thought we left, I came with him and I left with him and I was cool with that. But when I found out what happened with him I was just as baffled and upset because I felt like this is one of the most beloved characters and the way it was treated … I think maybe being Asian American and also so close to me and my journey, it definitely did strike a nerve, so I felt like we had to do something. " As the trailers tease, Han Lue looks to be in fact alive following two major scenes in the series that show him dying in a car crash at the hand of Jason Shatham’s Deckard Shaw. We don’t yet know how Sung Kang’s character is back and snacking about, but F9 is expected to answer the call fans shouted out. Justin Lin spoke about his reaction to the movement with these words as well: " I actually feel fortunate because if none of that happened, Han actually wouldn’t even be back, right? But him being back is not justice, it’s how we treat him from this point on out. I think that’s justice for me and in a way, how we treat every character, I think that was the spirit of Fast when we started and it’s something that coming back has special meaning. " It’s important for good characters to be treated well. It’s not been fair to see Statham’s Shaw to receive redemption for his actions and a much more pivotal Fast and Furious character to be left out or given proper justice. Along with Han’s mysterious return, F9 will explore real family with the introduction of John Cena’s Jakob Toretto, who is the brother of Vin Diesel’s Dominic. F9 is a massive chapter for the long-running franchise. Along with Justin Lin and Sung Kang back for the action, it will also star Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewster, Tyrese Gibson, Charlize Theron, Helen Mirren, Kurt Russell, Ludacris and Cardi B. The movie has received mixed to positive reviews from critics ahead of its June 25 release date and a planned tenth and eleventh film. Content source: CinemaBlend .
  14. Obviously, actors have all kinds of working experiences that most other people will never go through, but one of the weirder aspects must be acting out either things they'd never do in real life, or things they'd be unlikely to do in front of loads of people. This, of course, includes getting naked and pretending to have sex, which some of the stars of Bridgerton now definitely know a lot about. Season 1 star Regé-Jean Page recently spoke about trying to warn his family about his nude scenes, and how they reacted after watching the actor get steamy in some of the sexiest sex scenes. As you may recall (because you totally haven't been rewatching the Bridgerton sexytimes for months now, or anything), with much of the focus of Bridgerton Season 1 on Regé-Jean Page's Simon, The Duke of Hastings and Phoebe Dynevor's Daphne Bridgerton falling in love, the two actors ended up getting horizontal (and vertical...and diagonal) several times on the Regency-set romance. They also doffed their clothing here and there, and Page just revealed that he made an effort to warn his folks about his nakedness, and talked about how they responded to all of it. During The Hollywood Reporter's Drama Actor Roundtable, Page was asked if they were "sufficiently prepared," and said: " No one was sufficiently prepared. I wasn’t sufficiently prepared, and I was there. (Laughs.) I think people were grateful for the intensity of the romantic aspects of Bridgerton; I’m not sure how grateful I was to watch it for myself. It was overwhelming. But I think people were looking to be overwhelmed. My family doesn’t want to be overwhelmed by my backside, specifically, too often, but they’ll take it on this occasion because everyone seems to be terribly happy. " I don't know Regé-Jean Page or his family, but, even so, this tracks, doesn't it? I cannot imagine what it would be like to decide, sort of in a vacuum, that doing nudity is just fine for a particular instance in a specific role, and then realizing that everyone is going to actually see you naked, including your family. And, in the case of what we saw Page do on Bridgerton, it wasn't a bunch of random Simon's-just-gotten-out-of-the-bath nudity, but a fair amount of The-Duke-is-banging-his-wife-now nudity, which has to add a whole different level of weirdness to it, especially for his relatives. Certainly, one of the things people were shocked by, but also entirely pleased with, is what Regé-Jean Page referred to as "the intensity of the romantic aspects" of Bridgerton. Period pieces, particularly romances, don't usually show such a racy view of what people got up to in the olden times. Regency romances tend to be very chaste, no-bare-butt affairs, and this is one of the many reasons the mega-hit rocked viewers' socks off, whether they were Taylor Swift fans or not. As Page mentioned, though, while it sounds like his family was, indeed, taken aback by his bottom, they seem to be just as happy that it made an impact on the millions upon millions of Bridgerton fans worldwide, and that's really the best reaction that he could have hoped for. Regé-Jean Page won't be a member of the Bridgerton Season 2 cast, but there are tons of new players already announced, and a new main couple in the form of Anthony Bridgerton and Kate Sharma, so you can bet it will be worth the watch. We don't know when, exactly, the series will return just yet, but you can check out our guide to 2021 summer TV and investigate all of the upcoming romantic TV shows in the meantime! Content source: CinemaBlend.
  15. Season finales are tricky business. They can be divisive, alienating or gratifying, depending on the execution. This is especially true when a season finale marks the final appearance of a main character. Will the character’s exit be done in a satisfying way? When it comes to Commander Fred Waterford in The Handmaid’s Tale's Season 4 finale, actor Joseph Fiennes' answer is a resounding ‘yes.’ Joseph Fiennes sat down with Entertainment Weekly to discuss the Season 4 finale of Hulu’s critically acclaimed series based on the book by Margaret Atwood. Throughout The Handmaid's Tale, his character Commander Fred Waterford (the reason Elisabeth Moss’s June Osbourne is initially known as Offred) has proven himself to be pretty despicable and lacking any sort of empathy. However, the finale had Fred getting his just desserts, and Joseph Fiennes thinks the ending was pitch-perfect. He told EW: " I was super-excited. I felt that it really delivered the finale that I felt, and I think my castmates felt, was needed and deserved for the fans. And it felt right for Fred. I knew it was inevitable, as it says in the novel that Fred meets his demise in a salvaging, but this was a much more complex salvaging, similar to Gilead's but owned by ex-handmaids and June in a completely different way. I thought it was brilliant. I think it sets up season 5 wonderfully, in a powerful, complex way. I was super-psyched, and it seems like it paid off. " It’s clear that Joseph Fiennes was satisfied with his character’s ending, even though it means he may not appear in future episodes. If you saw the finale, then you’ll know Fred Waterstone was killed in a rather gruesome fashion - although Joseph Fiennes thinks it was well deserved. As he put it: " No, I think it had to be brutal for Fred because he's put people like June and other handmaids through such a hell and torment and fear in his creepy, pathetic, sadistic fashion. And he has to be shown that same route, and has to grasp the full meaning of fear. I think over and above his death, however brutal that might have been for Fred, I think it's the journey to the gallows that he has to experience. It's so important those tables have turned and to get a form of justice, because June has been so spectacularly let down by the justice system in Canada. So it's a kind of poetic, paradoxical, complicated justice, but justice nonetheless, and it's deserved. " I have to agree with Joseph Fiennes. Fred, similar to Prince Joffrey from Game of Thrones, was so horrible that his death felt triumphant. That it happened in such a grisly way is almost a bonus, as terrible as that sounds. But you just have to remember the pain he inflicted on June, and you don’t feel so bad anymore. It’s also hard to feel bad when the scene was so beautifully directed. The footage of Fred being torn apart by the women he terrorized is spliced with clips of Fred subjecting June to the indignities of a handmaid. “Don’t bite,” Elisabeth Moss says in voiceover as we watch June sink her teeth into Fred’s arm. The symbolism whacks you over the head, but it’s pretty darn effective. Fred committed atrocities, so it’s only fitting that he dies in an atrocious manner. The Handmaid’s Tale has already been renewed for a fifth season, so we don’t have to worry about this being the end of the line for June and her compatriots. There’s no word on when the next season will begin production, but in the meantime. you can check out what’s new on Hulu. Content source: CinemaBlend.