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"American Idol" Recap: The Top 7 Perform 'Competitors' Picks'


Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic(LOS ANGELES) -- American Idol's top seven took the stage Wednesday night to sing "competitors' picks." Each singer performed a tune he or she selected from a pool of suggestions made by the other contestants.
It was the first time in American Idol history that this theme was used for a performance show.

Jennifer Lopez, Harry Connick, Jr., and Keith Urban were there to critique all of the contestants. In addition, former X Factor judge Demi Lovato, who recently wrapped up her U.S. tour, dropped by to say hi and offer some comments on the duets. She played coy when Ryan Seacrest asked her if she'll announce more U.S. dates in the near future.

Here's what happened on the two-hour show:

Caleb Johnson went along with a suggestion from Alex Preston: "Family Tree," by Kings Of Leon. Keith called him a "consistent and dynamic performer." J-Lo said he was pretty amazing, adding that Caleb would be a tough act to follow for the other contestants. Harry liked the way he changed the melody, saying that it would fit right in on a Caleb Johnson album.

Jessica Meuse tackled Miranda Lambert's "Gunpowder & Lead," which was Sam Woolf's idea. J-Lo said for the first time this season Jessica was a little off with her vocals. Harry suggested that Jessica listen to rhythmic music in her hotel and dance along to it in front of a mirror, so she can learn how to stay in sync with pyrotechnics and other potential stage distractions. Keith told Jessica that she needs to better channel the emotions of the lyrics she sings.

Once again, the contestants paired up for duets. Sam and Alex performed the first duet of the night, a cover of Passenger's "Let Her Go." Harry thought it was "saccharine" and just OK. Ryan asked Demi what she thought; she agreed with Harry, though she noted it had good energy.

C.J. Harris played John Mayer's "Gravity," as suggested by Caleb. Keith enjoyed it, but would have liked to have heard more of an "arc." Jennifer asked him to look for the moments that will lift the crowd. Harry said C.J. has the ability to connect with the crowd, and that he delivered his best performance to date.

Dexter Roberts performed Luke Bryan's "Muckalee Creek Water," suggested by C.J. Jennifer said he did a good job, but she reiterated that the contestants need to be spectacular from this point forward in the competition. Harry said Dexter's vocals on the song weren't that different from the original.

Caleb and Jena Irene teamed up for a duet of The Rolling Stones' "Gimme Shelter." Demi thought they both nailed it.

Alex took on Ed Sheeran's "The A Team," which was Dexter's idea. J-Lo said it was the perfect song choice. Keith said Alex responds to the music in such a way that he turns it into his own.

Jessica picked David Gray's "Sail Away" for Sam. Harry called him a "work in progress," but in a good way. He thought the song fit Sam well. Keith noticed that Sam is getting more comfortable onstage. Jennifer said she could feel Sam trying to connect with the song.

Jessica, C.J. and Dexter joined forces on Lady Antebellum's "Compass." Harry didn't mince words: he said it wasn't very good. Demi thought they were much better when they sang individually.

Jena ended the night with a Caleb choice: Radiohead's first hit, "Creep." Keith loved the way she owned the song. Jennifer said it was beautiful. Harry said Jessica sings with humility and intrigue, and that it was the best performance of the night.

One of these finalists will be eliminated on Thursday night's results show, airing on Fox at 9 p.m. Eastern time.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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Valerie Harper On Her Cancer Battle: 'I Have Hope for the Future'


Sonja Flemming/CBS(NEW YORK) -- Valerie Harper was excited to share news of her improving health with a magazine this week.

However, the former Dancing with the Stars contestant is clarifying what she is calling an "erroneous quote" in Closer Weekly magazine, in which she reportedly declared herself "absolutely cancer-free."

"I am not 'absolutely cancer-free.' I wish I were," she said in a statement. "Right now what I am is cautiously optimistic about my present condition and I have hope for the future."

Last March, Harper, 74, was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. At the time, doctors told her she could have just a few more months to live. However, a few weeks ago, her medical team was astounded by her test results.

"[The oncologist] looked at the scans and said, ‘Oh my God, Valerie, this is very encouraging!'" she said. "I’m now the poster child for not believing everything I’m told."

Harper, who will appear on the Hallmark Channel's new series, Signed, Sealed, Delivered, said that her doctor will not use the term "remission" — "He likes to say, 'I give you a treatment, and it’s either responsive or nonresponsive — and you are having a phenomenal response,'" she said. However, she noted that she feels much better. She's also cutting down her visits to the doctor to just once every eight weeks, and she's taking a "pulse dose" of medication once each week.

"There may come a time when I'm not feeling good," she said. "But then again, that time may never come."'

ABC News has reached out to Closer Weekly for comment but has not yet received a response.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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Miley Cyrus Will Remain Hospitalized


ABC/Richard Harbaugh(KANSAS CITY, Mo.) -- Miley Cyrus is being forced to cancel another concert because of illness.

The singer, 21, who was hospitalized in Kansas City on Tuesday for a "severe allergic reaction" to antibiotics, is not being discharged, she revealed. The Kansas City show was canceled Tuesday night.

"I can't get a hold of my team because it is so early so I want to be the one to tell my fans especially the ones trekking to get there," she tweeted. "the hospital is sayin i wont b released today?? therefore Im not going 2 make it 2 St Louis. Im so sorry but somethings are outta my control."

Cyrus also hit back at critics who accused her of slacking off during her international Bangerz tour.

"humans can b so selfish. if any1 thinks id rather b layin n a hospital bed than doing what i love on stage theyre f----n LAME," she tweeted. "im miserable."

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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“The View” Reveals Plans for Barbara Walters' Retirement


ABC/Lou Rocco(NEW YORK) -- To mark Barbara Walters' retirement, The View is making television history on May 15 by bringing together all 11 co-hosts to celebrate her legendary career.

Past co-hosts Meredith Vieira, Star Jones, Joy Behar, Debbie Matenopoulos, Lisa Ling, Rosie O’Donnell, and Elisabeth Hasselbeck will join Sherri Shepherd, Jenny McCarthy, Whoopi Goldberg and Walters to share the stage for the very first time.

The following day, May 16, will be Walters' last on the job after a storied career spanning more than five decades.

Walters is the last original co-host from The View panel she helped to assemble in 1997. Last year, the media icon announced on the show that season 17 would be her last.

This special tribute will run in addition to the show's plan to celebrate Walters' final week from May 12 to 16, including surprise guests, dedicated segments, and retrospectives of Walters’ remarkable life, both on screen and off.

“Barbara Walters’ status as a trailblazer, a legend and an icon are undeniable,” said Paul Lee, president, ABC Entertainment. “By creating a talk show panel with multiple hosts she changed the daytime landscape with a concept that is now widely emulated. It’s a true testament to her legacy."

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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Comedian Artie Lange Hospitalized


@artiequitter/Twitter(DETROIT) -- Comedian Artie Lange was hospitalized in the Detroit area on Tuesday after going into diabetic shock.

Lange tweeted a photo of himself in a hospital bed.

In the hospital outside of Detroit after going into diabetic shock. Trying to get better. Sorry for missing gigs. pic.twitter.com/tdM4jr2lJ0

— Artie Lange (@artiequitter) April 15, 2014

He's set to perform in Los Angeles this Saturday, though it remains to be seen whether he'll have to reschedule.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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"Magic Mike" Sequel Gets Release Date


Warner Bros.(NEW YORK) -- The sequel to Channing Tatum and Matthew McConaughey's 2012 stripper film Magic Mike now has a name and release date.

Magic Mike XXL is scheduled to premiere July 3, 2015.

The old gang is expected to return, including Tatum, who is co-writing the follow-up.

The Magic Mike sequel will open during the same weekend as the next Terminator movie.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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"The View's" Jenny McCarthy Engaged to Donnie Wahlberg


ABC/ Ida Mae Astute(NEW YORK) -- The View co-host Jenny McCarthy is engaged to her boyfriend Donnie Wahlberg. McCarthy announced the news on the ABC daytime program Wednesday morning.

McCarthy recounted how the New Kids on the Block member involved her 11-year-old son Evan in the proposal.

"He went into the other room and out came Evan with a card that said 'Will' and he handed it to me...and then Evan ran away and Evan came in with a card that said 'You,' and then he ran away," she described.

McCarthy quickly figured out what was going on.

"And then Evan came back with a card that said "Marry" -- but spelled wrong. It said M-A-R-Y," she continued, laughing. "And then the last time, Donnie came out with Evan and Donnie's shirt said 'Me' with a question mark."

She added, "Of course, I said 'Yes.' In that moment Evan yelled, 'I have another dad!' and it made all of us cry and I feel like the luckiest girl in the world and he's so wonderful."

The two have been dating since last summer; they're thinking of either getting married in August, or stretching the engagement out until next year, McCarthy said.

View creator Barbara Walters then offered to host the nuptials in her New York City apartment, but quipped that they'd have to find another location for the honeymoon.

McCarthy was previously married to actor/director John Mallory Asher, who is the father of her son. They divorced in 2005; later that year she began dating Jim Carrey. They split in 2010.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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Ellen DeGeneres Tops "Out" Magazine's "Power 50" List


ABC/Andrew Eccles(NEW YORK) -- Ellen DeGeneres ranks first on Out magazine's eighth annual "Power 50" list of the most influential LGBT voices in American culture.

The magazine cites DeGeneres' popular daytime talk show, as well as her recent turn as Oscars host, during which she "almost shut down Twitter" with her star-studded selfie, which set a record for retweets.

Other names from the TV world included in the top 10: Glee creator Ryan Murphy, How I Met Your Mother star Neil Patrick Harris, Bravo host Andy Cohen, and Good Morning America's Robin Roberts.

Further down the list are CNN anchor Anderson Cooper, Glee actress Jane Lynch and X-Men: Days of Future Past actress Ellen Page, the latter of whom came out earlier this year.  

You can browse the complete "Power 50" list on Out.com.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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Religious Drama "Heaven Is For Real" Opens Nationwide


TriStar(NEW YORK) -- The religious drama Heaven Is For Real opens nationwide on Wednesday.

Greg Kinnear plays a pastor, Todd Burpo, whose young son amazes him when he claims he visited heaven during a near-death experience.

British actress Kelly Reilly co-stars as the pastor's wife, while newcomer Connor Corum takes on the role of the son, Colton. Margo Martindale and Thomas Haden Church also star in Heaven Is For Real, which is based on the best-selling book by the real-life Todd Burpo.

The film is rated PG.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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Paul Walker's Brothers to Help Complete Shooting of "Fast & Furious 7"


Kevin Winter/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Paul Walker's brothers will fill in for the late actor to help complete his scenes for the next film in the Fast & Furious franchise.

A statement posted Tuesday on the series' official Facebook page announced that filming of Fast & Furious 7 has resumed, with Caleb and Cody Walker stepping in for their brother.

It reveals, "Caleb and Cody are helping us complete some remaining action for their brother and fill in small gaps left in production. Having them on set has made us all feel that Paul is with us too."

The statement also notes that following Walker's death in a car crash last November, "We came together and all felt the only choice was to continue. We believe our fans want that, and we believe Paul would want that too."

The statement adds that Walker had completed most of his scenes as Brian O'Conner for the film, and "it's among the strongest work of his career."

Production on Fast & Furious 7 was suspended for several months following Walker's death. The film will arrive in theaters on April 10, 2015.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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CBS Denies It's Discussed Late-Night Time Slot with Chelsea Handler


NBC Universal(LOS ANGELES) -- For the moment, it appears Chelsea Handler will not be joining Stephen Colbert at CBS in 2015.

The E! late-night host had the rumor mill churning on Monday, when she posted onto her Instagram page a photo of herself holding some papers, one of which had the CBS logo printed on it. The accompanying caption read, "Business meeting."

The picture fueled speculation that Handler may replace Craig Ferguson as host of CBS' Late Late Show. However, the network denies that is the case. A network spokesperson tells New York Magazine's Vulture that it is not in discussions with Handler regarding its 12:35 a.m. Eastern time slot.

The spokesperson says that while Handler did have a meeting with CBS this week, it was "a general meeting with our syndication [division.]”

ABC News Radio confirmed late last month that Handler plans to end her E! program, Chelsea Lately, and leave the cable network when her contract expires at the end of the year. Ferguson's deal with CBS will run out at the same time.

CBS announced last week that Colbert will replace the retiring David Letterman as the host of Late Show sometime in 2015. Colbert will be a guest on Letterman's show next Tuesday.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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Billy Bob Thornton Hits the Small Screen in FX's "Fargo"


FX/Matthias Clamer (NEW YORK) -- Oscar winner Billy Bob Thornton is trading the big screen for the small, in FX's new adaptation of another Academy Award winner, Fargo.

The series kicked off Tuesday night on the network, and the actor explained to ABC News Radio that he couldn't say no to the project, in which he plays a psychotic drifter.

"The writing was so good and what [writer Noah Hawley] did was he managed to capture the tone and the spirit of the Coen Brothers movie without imitating them," Thornton said.

Thornton said the show is, "...a new animal and yet it still seems like Fargo and what it really is, it's kind of what happens in that area of that country after the movie. Y'know, so it's different characters, different story, but the same tone as the movie."

As much fun as Thornton had on the series, he won't be back: as, in the case of AMC's American Horror Story, Fargo's cast will apparently change season to season.

So even if Fargo gets renewed, Thornton won't be on board -- nor will anyone else from the freshman season, which includes Hobbit star Martin Freeman, Colin Hanks, and Breaking Bad's Bob Odenkirk.

"...[I]t's not out of the question that they'll do another 10 but this particular story is over so it will be with new people," Thornton explained. "...That's why this was perfect for me because it was 10 episodes and then it's over, so then I can still do two movies this year."

That being said, the project has turned Thornton on to the small screen.

"[T]elevision has really excited me," he said, "so this won't be the last time for sure."

Fargo airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. Eastern on FX.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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Final "X-Men: Days of Future Past" Trailer Debuts


Fox(NEW YORK) -- 20th Century Fox has released the final trailer for its upcoming time-jumping X-Men movie, Days of Future Past.

Bryan Singer, who called the shots on 2000's X-Men and 2003's X2: X-Men United, is back in the director's chair. This time, he reunites many of the main mutants from his movies, including Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen with the actors from X-Men: First Class like Jennifer Lawrence, as well as James McAvoy and Michael Fassbinder -- who play, respectively, the younger version of Stewart's Professor Xavier and McKellen's Magneto.

This trailer gives the best peeks to date about the plot, which is based on an X-Men comic series of the same name. In the film, an anthropologist named Bolivar Trask, played by Game of Thrones' Peter Dinklage, helps create mutant-hunting robots called Sentinels, which eventually come to threaten all humans.

In this war-torn future, Professor X sends Hugh Jackman's Wolverine back in time to get mutants on opposing sides to band together to stop the apocalyptic end times from occurring -- though as the snippet suggests, recruiting isn't easy.

Days of Future Past, which also stars Halle Berry, Ellen Page, Anna Paquin, Nicholas Hoult, Daniel Cudmore, and Kelsey Grammer, opens on May 23.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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"Glee" Creator Says Final Season Won't Be Set in New York


Brian Bowen Smith/FOX(LOS ANGELES) -- Glee creator Ryan Murphy has changed his mind and is telling reporters that the final season of the Fox series won't be centered on New York after all.

"The final season is really its own story and its own location and while the New York stuff will be alive, the final season is not New York-centric at all," Murphy told reporters Monday during a conference call that included The Hollywood Reporter.

Instead the series will time jump, and Murphy said he's inviting all past characters back to the series for its sixth and final season.

"It really [will be] a lovely, fitting season that...dwells on the original people that were on the show and what happens to them and how they give back. That really is the last season...We'll revisit some of the new kids that came and went. There's a return of the Jane [Lynch]-Matt [Morrison] characters in a big way. It's really interesting, very sweet, satisfying ending to the story," he said.

Murphy also hinted about the final scene in the final season. It will apparently involve Lea Michele's Rachel Berry and Morrison's Will Schuester.

"We do have a final idea that we're working on that I think is very powerful and moving," Murphy explained. "It's about Rachel and Mr. Schue and it returns them to their origins and their roots, about how they felt about each other when they were younger and everything was idyllic. That ending has to be a reflection and celebration of how far all those characters have evolved....The main thrust of [the episodes] will be a final farewell to all of our characters that we've known since season one."

Murphy also said he and the other writers have been debating if Rachel should have another love interest after Finn's passing. Finn was played by Michele's off-screen boyfriend Cory Monteith, who passed away last July.

"We'll probably follow Lea's lead as we have so many times this year," he said. "She's always been so great and sensitive and been so wise about how to handle that stuff. We have to make that decision in the next couple of weeks -- if not months: Is Rachel going to have another romance? Or does Rachel's second half romantically happen when Glee is over? That's something we're debating. It's hard."

Still, one thing that's already been decided is the idea of a spin-off. Murphy said it's not happening.

"No, the spin-off thing was something that, you know, if we were going to do a spin-off what we were going to do was do the New York stuff as a spin-off, but we ended up not doing that, so not it's not a spin-off idea," he said, according to E! News.

Glee airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on Fox.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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Miley Hospitalized Due to Allergic Reaction, Kansas City Concert Cancelled


ABC/Randy Holmes(KANSAS CITY, Mo.) -- Miley Cyrus cancelled her North Carolina concert last week due to the flu.  Now, the singer's in the hospital, and her show Tuesday night in Kansas City has been called off.

A statement posted on the website of the Sprint Center in Kansas City reads, "Miley Cyrus' 'Bangerz' tour date scheduled for Tuesday night, April 15, at Sprint Center in Kansas City has been cancelled. Cyrus has been hospitalized for a severe allergic reaction to antibiotics and has been placed on medical rest by her doctors. She will not be able to perform as scheduled."

The statement goes on say that refunds will be available at the point of purchase; tickets purchased online or by phone will be refunded automatically.

Shortly after the cancellation was announced, Miley tweeted, "Kansas I promise Im as [symbol of a heart breaking] as you are. I wanted so badly 2 b there 2night. [symbol of a cat crying] Not being with yall makes me feel shi**ier than I already do."

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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