Archive for Celebrity News & Gossip

New Pinay to be the Next American Idol

“Are you Filipino?” Nicki Minaj asked the 17-year-old who had sauntered onto the “American Idol” stage during the Sudden Death elimination round in Last Vegas Wednesday, Feb. 21. “Yes, ma’am!” replied the teen, who was dressed in a flowy mullet skirt and sky-high heels.

Latonio, a high school student of Anchorage’s East High School, sang Aretha Franklin’s “Ain’t No Way” and received a standing ovation from the judges. She was the last contestant called to occupy only 5 positions reserved that day for the female contingent of the competition. Five other female hopefuls were eliminated.

Latonio said she was “relieved” when she made it as finalist. Adriana Latonio sings Aretha Franklin’s “Ain’t No Way”.

Poised and ready. “I was like, yo! This girl’s a pro,” Randy Jackson said. Minaj was impressed by Latonio’s cool. “I did not see one ounce of fear in you. I think that you’re poised and ready. So congratulations little ladybug,” said Minaj. She called Latonio, who stands 5 feet, a “little tiny thing but commands the stage the second she walks out.”

Small town girl. In the clip that preceded her performance, Latonio was seen showing off the Anchorage landscape. “In Alaska, people think we have igloos, ride sled dogs,” she said, as the camera followed her walking up a snow-less road. “It’s a really beautiful state.”

On joining “American Idol,” she said, “I just wanna show the world that even a small town girl like me can go somewhere in their life.” Another clip showed her teachers, among them her vocal coach, calling her a very talented girl.

Can relate to Jessica Sanchez. Latonio follows in previous Fil-Am hopefuls who shone on the Idol stage, most notably last season’s runner-up Jessica Sanchez. ”I feel just I can relate to her,” Latonio said of Sanchez on another occasion. “We’re of the same age and I know she’s been working to be a popular singer for a while and her parents have also sacrificed a lot.”

Like Sanchez, Latonio showed her chops early in life. “Ever since I was 2-years-old, you couldn’t get the mic out of my hand,” she confessed. Five more girls and five more guys will be chosen as finalists on Wednesday, Feb 27. (Thursday, Feb 28, Manila time).

Cesar Montano Speaks About Issues

At the grand presscon for his upcoming film “Alfredo S. Lim: The Untold Story” held Feb. 12, Cesar Montano couldn’t bring himself to deny that his marriage with Sunshine Cruz is not without “problems” lately, though he stressed that he isn’t allowing it to get in the way of his “commitment” to focus on work.

“Kung ano man ‘yung naririnig nyo, kahit na gustuhin kong sumagot ay di ko kayang sumagot [dahil] naka-commit ako na ibigay ang lahat dito sa pag gawa ng pelikula. I can’t afford to find attention para ilagay dun [controversies] para gumulo…’di ko kayang makialam pa sa ibang bagay na alam kong ‘di makakatulong,” he said.

Recall that a few weeks back, Cesar and Sunshine hogged headlines after she posted messages and photos online that seemingly indicate not all is well between them due to an alleged involvement of a third party.

While some people have dipped their fingers in the issue, Cesar had remained silent about it until now.

“To be quite honest, naaapektuhan ako pero pinili kong mas mag-focus sa pelikula,” he said

The actor pointed out that no marriage is perfect – “lahat nagkakaroon ng problema,” as he puts it – but he and Sunshine are in the process of fixing everything.

In fact, Sunshine remains one of the executive producers of “Alfredo S. Lim: The Untold Story,” which means both she and Cesar sign the checks that are issued for the project.

He said that Sunshine is the one “na tumitingin ng lahat ng lumalabas, pumapasok at natitirang pera. That’s very important to me dahil ‘yung bagay na ‘yon, ‘di ko na kayang gawin being director, writer, actor and producer of and in this film all at the same time.

“Ang gumagawa non, kelangan pinagkakatiwalaan mong tao.”

Does that mean issuing checks to all cast members? All?

“Oo, lahat. [Kasi] kelangan talaga [na] may record [of payment]. May iba, ang kelangan cash…basta lahat ng nagtrabaho kelangang bayaran.”

Controversies aside, “Alfredo S. Lim: The Untold Story” looks to be one of the best films to hit the silver screen this season. The biopic based on the life of the incumbent Manila mayor will reveal the subject’s “softer,” “more human” side that few people have come to know, no thanks to his “tough guy” ala “Dirty Harry” reputation.

“Nakita ko ‘yung pagkatao niya (Lim) in doing this film. Nalaman na lang niya ang pagmamahal ng magulang nuong nakilala niya ang nanay ng nanay niya at the age of 12. Kaya pala siya ganyan katapang dahil na din sa hirap ng mga pagsubok na pinagdaanan niya sa buhay,” Cesar said.

“Alfredo S. Lim: The Untold Story” under CM Films will hit theaters nationwide on Feb. 27, with premiere night on Feb. 26 at SM Manila. Cesar said that they plan to enter this big-budgeted film in film festivals abroad.

The Rise of Jackie Rice

One of GMA-7’s home-grown artists via the reality artista search “Starstruck,” Jackie Rice has managed to hold her own amidst the tough competition in her own network.

From being known as a “pasaway” when starting out in showbiz, the Kapuso actress has topbilled a number of afternoon soap operas. And while she can definitely go further in her career, Jackie is happy to be where she is right now.

“Kapag naghangad ako ng more, baka mawala pa,” she told members of the press during the launch of her latest show “Bukod Kang Pinagpala” on Tuesday, February 5.

Despite being the Ultimate Female Survivor of the third season of “Starstruck,” Jackie said she doesn’t demand for more high-profile projects from the network. She also doesn’t mind waiting for new projects. Her last television show “Kasalanan Bang Ibigin Ka?” ended August of last year.

“Mas okay naman yung ganun kaysa nakikipagkumpitensya ako sa iba. Mas ma-intriga rin yun. At least ito, may trabaho, mas tahimik. Mas okay ako sa ganito,” she explained.

Jackie added, “Hindi naman kailangan (magdemand). Happy ako.”

In “Bukod Kang Pinagpala,” which will premiere February 11 on GMA-7’s Afternoon Prime block, Jackie plays the role of a mother for the first time, together with Jennica Garcia and Camille Prats. Mark Anthony Fernandez plays their love interest.

“Yung role ko, sobrang ibang-ibang-iba,” she said.

“Challenging siya kasi first mother role ko. Dito, walang mabait, walang masama, so totoong tao. Walang bida, walang kontrabida.”

She’s also happy with her non-showbiz boyfriend of three years.

“Happy lang kami. Ine-enjoy lang namin kung ano meron ngayon,” Jackie said of her relationship.

Although they’re going strong, they have no plans of getting married soon.

“Kasi syempre, bago mag-start yung ganun, mag-iipon kayo together. Wala kaming ganun. Ine-enjoy lang naming ngayon,” she explained.

Jackie added: “Siya kasi, sobrang busy sa business nila. Tapos ako, nung panahon na wala akong trabaho, tinutulungan ko siya. Tulungan kami.”

The actress noted she doesn’t want to end up like her now-separated parents.

“Marami kang dapat gawin muna sa buhay naming bago yung ganun. Kung sure na kaming kami talaga.”

Solenn Heusaff is Esquire’s Sexiest Woman Alive

The 27 year-old French-Filipina model and Kapuso actress was named the ”Sexiest Woman Alive” in the local edition of Esquire magazine. In addition, Solenn Heussaff  will grace the cover of the February 2013 issue, according to an Esquire Philippines announcement last Tuesday.

Accompanying Esquire’s announcement of the “Sexiest Woman Alive” is a video of Heussaff in a two-piece lingerie. The reel — set to the song “Psilo” by Armi Millare — was made by Jason Tan.

“We’ve been seeing a lot of her these days, with ads for vodka, pizza and condos,” Esquire said in its description of the reel on video-sharing site YouTube.

It added, “But we’ve also been seeing her with a lot less – less clothing, inhibitions, and fear. Sexy has become synonymous with Solenn. How could we deny her the title?”

Huessaff’s appearance in the video was styled by Liz Uy and Raymond Gutierrez, with hair and makeup by John Valle and Paolo Maranan, respectively.

The “Seduction” actress was photographed by BJ Pascual.

In the United Kingdom and United States editions of Esquire, Australian model Miranda Kerr and American actress Mila Kunis, respectively, were named “Sexiest Woman Alive” for the year 2012.


Dawn Zulueta shows interest to take Maricel Soriano’s role in “Bukas Na Lang Kita Mamahalin”

Walang Hanggan star Dawn Zulueta confirms on a taped interview on The Buzz last Sunday that her camp is in talks with ABS-CBN regarding a role in the upcoming drama series, Bukas Na Lang Kita Mamahalin. The role was originally conceptualized as Maricel Soriano’s comeback vehicle to the Kapamilya Network.

However, a controversial incident during a taping of the series, which  involved the Diamond Star and her co-star Gerald Anderson, led to the veteran actress’ eventual removal from the cast.

After news that Soriano was taken out of the project’s cast list, Zulueta’s name immediately came up as a possible replacement. During The Buzz interview, Zulueta confirms that producers of the series and her camp, particularly her business manager Boy Abunda, are in talks to take the role Soriano was supposed to portray. The beautiful actress says she is very interested with the role and is leaning towards accepting it but is still waiting for Abunda and network executives to finish negotiations before they can make the final decision.

“It’s a wonderful story and a wonderful cast. ‘Yung likelihood na tatanggapin ko ito is pretty high but it’s still pending nga sa mga usap-usapan nila, ni Boy Abunda at saka ng executives. Sa Lunes talaga pa namin ‘yan ma-co-confirm,” Zulueta explained.

Aside from Anderson, other members of the cast include Cristine Reyes, Dina Binnevie, Tonton Gutierrez and Diana Zubiri.

Meanwhile, Soriano remains quiet after news of her exclusion from her very own comeback project in the Kapamilya network broke out. Her camp is asking the public for more understanding as the veteran actress is still going through personal issues, including depression, after the death of her mother in 2009. Soriano signed an exclusive contract with ABS-CBN in November 2012. Aside from Bukas Na Lang Kita Mamahalin, two movies are also lined up for the Diamond Star as part of her ABS-CBN contract. The fates of these projects are still unclear.

Anne Curtis apologizes to Maja Salvador for her “Maja-rot” joke

“Gusto ko muna mag-publicly apologize kung may na-offend ako kahapon sa joke ko. Hindi ko naman naging intensyon na directly mag-offend. It was really towards Vice, it was a joke. Siguro dapat mas naging sensitive ako kung may mga issues. Kaya I just want to say sorry Maja”, said It’s Showtime co-host Anne Curtis in her brief apology to fellow Kapamilya star Maja Salvador.

Anne apologized for making a joke, which might have offended the Ina Kapatid Anak actress, during the “Sine Mo ‘To” segment of It’s Showtime last January 23.

In the show’s “Sine Mo ‘To” segment, Anne jokingly asked co-host Vice Ganda, “Maja ka ba? Maja-rot ka kasi.” “Maja-rot” is a play on the Tagalog word maharot or flirty.

It will be recalled that Maja was criticized, especially online for being romantically linked to Gerald Anderson, Kim Chiu’s former boyfriend.

Patrick Garcia to be a “Daddy” again

Patrick Garcia, a former child star will be a father for the second time. He admitted that his non-showbiz girlfriend is pregnant.

“We are happily expecting a baby girl. It’s not a secret. I just don’t want to talk about it because I want my private life private,” he told reporters at the press conference of ABS-CBN’s new teleserye “Apoy sa Dagat” on Tuesday, January 22.

Financial Support for Jazz. Meanwhile, Patrick, who has a son with Jennylyn Mercado, admits rift on his relationship with his ex-girlfriend.

“I’ve always explained to Jen naman. Kasi few months ago work was scarce, wala masyado, so ‘yung suporta ko kay Jazz (their son) naho-hold back pero I explained to Jen na pagdating ng salary ko, I will always give to Jazz.”

Patrick hopes he and Jennylyn will resolve the issue because he wants to spend more time with their son.

“I still love my son very much, I love him very much. I love Jazz. I miss him and I want to spend many days with him because I don’t want him to grow up not knowing me.”

Maricel Soriano leaves ABS-CBN’s show

Maricel Soriano will no longer be part of the TV series “Bukas Na Lang Kita Mamahalin” starring Gerald Anderson, that was the ABS-CBN’s statement on Monday, Jan. 21, 2013, the management has released its newest statement regarding the issue.

“Star Magic has the utmost confidence not only in Gerald Anderson’s exceptional ability as an actor, but also in his unassailable personal character and professional behavior. The incidents that led to the removal of Maricel from Gerald’s latest TV series were not provoked or instigated by Gerald in any manner.”

According to reports, Maricel shouted at the teleserye’s lead actor Gerald Anderson on the set.
ABS-CBN Corporate Communications Head Bong Osorio’s statement, however, did not specify the reason for the network decision.

It reads, “Due to the unfortunate incident between Gerald Anderson and Maricel Soriano that transpired on the first taping day of “Bukas Na Lang Kita Mamahalin,” the ABS-CBN management and the management of Maricel Soriano have agreed that Maricel will no longer be part of the cast. The teleserye starring Gerald Anderson will proceed as scheduled.”

As for who will play the role originally meant for Maricel, Osorio promised that his office will make the  “proper announcement when the choice is made.”

“Bukas Na Lang Kita Mamahalin” also stars Cristine Reyes and Rayver Cruz.

Sarah G. on Grammys?

Rumors that Pop Princess Sarah Geronimo is shortlisted in this year’s Grammys started circulating this week after the said piece of information was posted in the singer-actress’ official website.

But then, Viva Entertainment’s Vic del Rosario, popularly called “Boss Vic” in showbiz circles refuted the rumor. “Hindi ko alam kung saan galing yan.  Kausap ko nga si Sarah  (Geronimo) at wala kaming information tungkol diyan. Malamang kuryente yan.”

He also thinks that the rumor is baseless since the Grammys is already set next month (Feb. 10), and his office should have  received official communication from the said award-giving body about Sarah’s participation by this time.


Rayver and Christine finally affirm break-up

After numerous times of being rumored that they broke-up, Rayver Cruz and Cristine Reyes finally admitted that they are no longer couples.

The two confirmed this in a taped interview aired on ABS-CBN’s “The Buzz” last Sunday, January 13.

“Matagal na kaming hiwalay ni AA (Cristine’s nickname), last year pa,” Rayver said. “And we did our best dito sa relationship namin. Pero siguro talaga, hindi naman halos lahat ng relationships, nagwo-work, di ba?”

MUTUAL DECISION. According to them, the decision to split up was mutual and there was no third party involved.

“Ang maganda dito, okay kami dahil magkaibigan kami,” the Kapamilya actor said as they added that they decided to maintain the friendship after the break-up.

“Siyempre, andito pa rin ako para sa kanya,” Cristine added. “Hindi ko ibabalewala yung pinagsamahan namin.”