Ex-gay stripper ousted from ‘Idol’

A juicy backstory wasn’t enough to keep David Hernandez on "American Idol."
The 24-year-old ex-stripper from Glendale, Ariz., was dismissed Wednesday, leaving 11 aspiring singers to vie for the "Idol" title and a record contract.

"Honestly, things happen for a reason," Hernandez said before leaving the stage. "I think we all have a plan. … This isn’t it for me."

Hernandez, who sang the Beatles’ "I Saw Her Standing There," made headlines last week after it was revealed to The Associated Press that he worked as a stripper at a Phoenix club with a "mostly male" clientele.

Kristy Lee Cook, a 24-year-old from Selma, Ore., and Syesha Mercado, a 21-year-old from Sarasota, Fla., rounded out the bottom three vote-getters.

Finalists had the opportunity to perform classics from the John Lennon-Paul McCartney songbook this week. The show’s producers recently got permission to use songs belonging to Sony/ATV Music Publishing, a company formed by Sony and Michael Jackson.

The standouts were Carly Smithson ("Come Together"), Brooke White ("Let It Be"), David Cook ("Eleanor Rigby") and Chikezie ("She’s A Woman").

David Archuleta, whose cover of Lennon’s "Imagine" drew heaps of praise two weeks ago, showed that he’s merely mortal when he flubbed the lyrics to "We Can Work It Out."

That didn’t fly with Cowell, who called the 17-year-old’s performance "a mess."

Wednesday’s show also featured a performance by season-five finalist Katharine McPhee and musician David Foster (on the piano).

‘Development’ no longer arrested
It’s more than a rumor — it’s a confirmed "maybe."

And in Hollywood that’s as good as saying it’s actually happening.

So while no ink has hit a contract, and no cameras have rolled, the fact remains that the critically beloved and unjustly cancelled sitcom "Arrested Development" is currently "in development" as a feature film.

Writer Michael Hurwitz is attached, as are directors Joe and Anthony Russo.

But what queer readers will be excited about is the emergence from Ellen-related semi-retirement of Portia de Rossi.

She’s been kicking around and just hanging out since the show ended, taking it easy with the occasional appearance on "Nip/Tuck."

But when the film finally comes to pass, audiences will get to enjoy her comedic talents again as the vapid Lindsay Bluth Funke, estranged wife of closeted gay Tobias (David Cross).

Hollywood, make this movie!

Oasis’ Gallagher picks up ‘Booky Wook’
When your band is so successful you can spend years between recording new albums, and you’re a rich rock star with time on your hands, what do you do next?

Acting, that’s what David Bowie, Mick Jagger, and even Huey Lewis have all tried their hands at it.

Now it’s ’90s Brit-pop bad boy Noel Gallagher’s turn.

The Oasis star has signed on to be in "My Booky Wook," the film adaptation of British comedian Russell Brand’s autobiography.

Gallagher will play what reports are calling "a seedy homosexual" alongside gay "Little Britain" star David Walliams.

Meanwhile, "Monty Python" alumnus Michael Palin has also been approached but has yet to commit.

Michael Winterbottom ("A Mighty Heart") will direct, but no release date is set yet. And if acting doesn’t pan out for Gallagher, he’s always got his Oasis gig to fall back on.

Tilda Swinton meets the Coen Brothers
So she has a male partner. So she has "two" male partners. Does that make the now-Academy-Award-winning actress Tilda Swinton any less of a queer film icon? We think not.

And now the Oscar-equipped iconoclast has found her way into the arms (figuratively speaking) of Best Picture winners Joel and Ethan Coen, as well.

Co-starring in "Burn After Reading," a comedy about two gym employees trying to sell a disk containing a CIA agent’s memoirs, she’ll work opposite "Michael Clayton" co-star George Clooney once again, as well as Brad Pitt and Coen regular Frances McDormand.

From there Swinton heads off to work with indie icon Jim Jarmusch, as well as with rocker Marilyn Manson as he makes his own directing debut. Oh yeah, and then there are those "Narnia" movies no one plans on seeing.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition March 14, 2008
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