Piermont couple destroys marriage on FOX reality show — FUN, FUN, FUN!

Will somebody please explain to me why 24-year-old Frank Cleri, a NYC police officer and Piermont resident, would choose to bring his wife, Lauren (below), onto FOX’s “Moment of Truth” — a show whose whole premise is for contestants to speak truthfully about painful, personal issues — to cop to her own infidelity? And not just talk about it, but admit that she wishes she’d married another man?

lauren-cleri.jpegI understand the desire to earn a few game show bucks. But honesty, did she really think that after peppering her with a series of hard-hitting polygraphed questions, they were going to hold back, to just ask the softball ones like, “As an employee of a hair salon, have you ever told somebody you liked their hair style when you didn’t?”

In order to get to the $100,000 mark on the show, Cleri was asked by her ex-boyfriend if she wishes she’d married him, and she said “yes.” Then the next question: “Are you a good person?” She answered “yes” and, of course, the lie detector disagreed strongly.

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A bad day for Rockland’s rappers

A very bad day.

First, The Journal News broke a story that rapper Lucky Me (below, right), aka “Mr. I Love New City,” aka Stephen Redmond, aka Daven Brown, was charged with felony count of cocaine possession. The arrest, which took place last Friday, Feb 18, was at 18 Francis Place in Central Nyack. Bail for Brown or Lucky Me or whatever he’s calling himself these days was set at $50,000.

Second, the other musical wordsmith known as Fire (below, left) has set our Rockland Magazine inbox on — well, fire. In the March issue, which just came out, we did a short piece comparing Fire and Lucky Me. After the break, find out what the public had to say.

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Panettiere hops on the Kohls gravy trail

First Target nabbed designers Isaac Mizrahi and Cynthia Rowley. Then it was J.C. Penny getting Nicole Miller. And last year Katonah’s Martha Stewart went to Macy’s. And now Kohls has Vera Wang and … Hayden Panettiere?

hayden-panettiere-candies.jpgYes, Panettiere (a Palisades native) will join Wang (who weekends in Pound Ridge) as a spokesperson for department store’s clothing. While Wang shills for her own line of discount sportswear, intimate apparel, handbags, leather accessories, jewelry, footwear, linens and towels, Panettiere will be the face of Candies — a line which has previously been fronted by the likes of Fergie, Hilary Duff, Lizzie McGuire, and Destinys Child.

Thanks to F.O.S. Amy Vernon for the tip.

“Heroes Star Gets Candies” [BuddyTV]

(Image Courtesy Iconix Brand Group, Inc.)

Suburbarazzi Week in Review on RNN: Oscar wrap-up edition

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At the end of the video and after the break is the answer to this week’s quiz: In winning the Oscar for Short Subject Documentary, Croton native Cynthia Wade actually beat out another Lower Hudson Valley product. “Salim Babaâ€? director Francisco Bello graduated in 1998 from which local institution?

A. Hendrick Hudson High School
B. Ossining High School
C. Scarsdale High School

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Come on, Texas and Ohio, it isn’t too late …

Tina Fey said it before, I’ll say it again: Bitches get stuff done. What’s more, they can also throw down with the best of them in MSNBC debates.

I’m not quite sure who won last night’s tv face-off (except, I guess, David Archuleta, who is just plain adorable). But I do know this: Erin P. Bennett, aka GiggleChick, has created the most outstanding campaign T-shirts, buttons, and messenger bags of 2008 on her CafePress page—all in support of your favorite Chappaqua presidential candidate.

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A few more examples are after the break.

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Casting Call: How about Kevin Dillon to play Matt Dillon in TV version of ‘Crash’

While we’re still on the topic of Oscar, remember that Best Picture winner back in ’06, “Crash”? Well, get ready for Crash, the TV show, brought to you by the good folks at Starz.  What’s next, “The Departed: Special Victims Unit” on USA? “The Brokeback Apprentice” on NBC? (oh wait, didn’t SNL already do that?)

crash_movie.jpgPerhaps even surprising than the concept of the show is that the original film’s director, Paul Haggis, and one of its stars, Don Cheadle, will be co-producing the 13-installment series. Expected to start in August, it will continue with the themes of racism, from right where the big-screen version left off. “It will present an opportunity to delve into many subjects, not just race relations in LA,” says Cheadle.

No word yet on who will play the Matt Dillon character (or any of the others), but I’m ready to start campaigning for his brother, Kevin, to get the gig. Better yet, have it be a spinoff for Dillons’ Johnny Drama character.

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Just imagine the possibilities. You could even have the big brother-little brother thing Kevin Dillon and Adrian Grenier have going taken to a whole new postmodern level, with Matt playing Grenier in a biopic about Vincent Chase’s life. All set in the Dillons’ hometown of Mamaroneck. How meta!

“‘Crash’ TV series on way to Starz” [Digital Spy]

(Dillon brothers: AP photos) 

Who’s up for a little DMX straight-to-DVD goodness?

A hyperactive black man, a dread-wearing B-list actor, and a hottie Latina walk into an abandoned house. … Yes, I know, sounds like the setup for screwball comedy. But what if the house was in China? And they were in company with a psychotic killer. And only had an hour to live!

lasthour_dvd.jpgOh yeah, and what if the cast consisted of DMX, Michael Madsen, and Monica Cruz? Yep, straight to video. The film in question, “Last Hour,” appears to be trying to straddle the ultra-violent models created by “Saw” and “Kill Bill” (in a nod to the latter, it stars David Carradine, who was in “Kill Bill” with Madsen), yet from the YouTube trailer, it’s hard to make any sense of the plot at all — much less why Paul Sorvino would agree to star in dreck like this.

On the plus side, the kinetic energy (and love of firearms) of Westchester resident DMX jumps right off the screen. That said, it’ll be tough to top the last performance of him we saw — during a coked-up recording session for his new Gospel CD.

The DVD for “Last Hour” releases April 15, just one day before the anniversary of the Virginia Tech massacre, the deadliest shooting rampage in modern U.S. history.

Vanessa Williams on loving Botox, her own version of ‘Big Love,’ and racism in Millwood

Not only did this year’s Oscars prove to be far less interesting than the annual Barbara Walters special that preceded them, but Vanessa Williams somehow managed to outshine all of her fellow profilees. With all due respect to Miley Cyrus and Harrison Ford fans, Williams’ 20 minutes of airtime was way, way more revealing.

112201_086_pre.jpgAmong the things she told Barbara:

• “I certainly do Botox, which I definitely think that almost every woman that I know has [done]. And it’s a miracle drug, no cutting, nothing — and I love it. But I also want to act too … so I don’t do it to freeze my face.”

• Growing up in Millwood, she faced racism, including people calling her the n word and saying that her parents couldn’t afford their Westchester home.

• When pressed about whether she supports Barack Obama, she said his presidential campaign makes her “very proud.” But she hastened to add that she’s really excited about Hillary’s campaign, too. “I live in Chappaqua. She’s my neighbor. It’s a no-lose situation. And I am really, really excited that it’s happening at this point.”

• Most astonishing of all, she admitted to the rumors that at some point last summer she had both of her ex-husbands, Ramon Hervey and Rick Fox, living with her. In other words, should Wilhelmina Slater ever get killed off on “Ugly Betty,” it’s clear that she’d fit in just fine over on the set of “Big Love.”

Barbara Walters Oscars Special on ABC

(Photo ABC/CRAIG SJODIN)

Tina Fey endorses Hillary: ‘Bitch is the new black’

And now back to our regularly scheduled programming …

I know we’ve been going a little overboard lately with the Oscars coverage. Promise we’ll lay off (well, maybe one or two more posts — but that’s it!). Anyway, aside from the four-and-a-half hour, retrospective-packed shindig on Sunday night, there was another big show I hope you caught over the weekend — the return of SNL.

It was a truly memorable episode, hosted by Tina Fey, with instant classics like the commercial for “Annuale” (the once-a-year period birth control), “I Drink Your Milkshake” (where Daniel Plainview and Anton Chuger drink, you guessed it, other people’s milkshakes), and Mike Huckabee’s self-parody on Weekend Update.

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But best of all was Fey’s op-ed, in which she raised the question of why so many Democrats are abandoning Hillary Clinton. “People say that Hillary’s a bitch,” Fey said of the Chappaqua resident. “You know what? Yeah, she is. And so am I. And so is this one [gesturing to Amy Poehler]. Bitches get stuff done. … It’s not too late, Texas and Ohio, get on board. Bitch is the new black!”

By the way, assuming the YouTube link dies soon, here’s a link to an extended version of Fey segment on NBC website.

LoHud scorecard: Doc rocks, but Ruby Dee and Alan Menken miss out

oscar21.jpgThere were mixed results from last night’s Oscars as far as local representation was concerned.

North Salem resident and New Rochelle native Alan Menken’s Oscar drought continues. Although he received three Best Song nominations for his contributions to “Enchanted,� it’s likely his supporters split votes, allowing for a song from the movie “Once� to win the trophy. Although he hasn’t won an Oscar since 1996, don’t feel too bad for Menken. He’s won eight total.

New Rochelle resident Ruby Dee also lost out on an Academy Award this Sunday. The “American Gangster� actress lost the Best Supporting Actress award to Tilda Swinson, who won for her role in “Michael Clayton.� And not for her dress.

The Lower Hudson Valley wasn’t completely shut out, however, as Croton native Cynthia Wade not only won the Short Subject Documentary Oscar for “Freeheld,� but also was presented the trophy by two-time Oscar-winner Tom Hanks. In doing so, Wade beat out another LoHud product. “Salim Baba� director Francisco Bello, who graduated in 1998 from Ossining High School.

Academy Awards Hangover: The boringest Oscars show ever?

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Aside from Jon Stewart’s monologue and the Jonah Hill/Seth Rogan-Halle Berry/Judi Dench bit, it was kind of like watching “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End”—I really wanted to enjoy it, to believe it was worth the hype, but it just seemed to drag and drag. And, of course, it was utterly predictable.

OK, so maybe Marion Cotillard was a surprise, but were any of the others? Maybe I’m a little bitter that Hal Holbrook and Ruby Dee ended up empty-handed (even though I did pick Tilda Swinton), or maybe it’s just that the supposedly “shortened” clip-reels from past ceremonies padded the show with what felt like a half-hour of filler (loved the Jon Stewart tributes to “binoculars and telescopes” and “bad dreams,” though). Bottom line: I’m kinda wishing I’d spent the night watching the latest installment of “The Wire” instead.

A few more random thoughts on the evening:

cynthia-wade.jpg• Go Cynthia Wade! The one true silver-lining moment of the evening for me was when the Croton native (pictured here, on the left) won the award for Best Documentary Short Subject. In case you haven’t seen our RNN Oscar Special yet, Karen DePodwin has an outstanding interview and profile of Wade — in full Oscar-preparation mode. Skip about 1/4 of the way through the full video to watch it.

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• Was it just me, or did Denzel Washington look royally pissed off to be presenting Best Picture? And really, can you blame him? The Mount Vernon native got snubbed for not one, but two films (“American Gangster” and “The Great Debaters”). I can’t speak to the latter, but for my money, the former was easily as good as any of the actual Best Pic nominees.

ruby-dee.jpg• Boy, did New Rochelle’s Ruby Dee look shocked after they played the clip of her slapping Denzel in “American Gangster”? As she watched from her seat, the expression on her face seemed to say: “That was me in that movie? Damn, I’m good!”

• Nobody was more uncomfortable in their attire than Diablo Cody. As she walked away from the podium after accepting Best Original Screenplay, with the slit in her dress riding up waaay too high, the only thought running through her head: I knew I shoulda worn underwear.

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(All photos: AP)

RNN Oscar Preview Special Redux: The Suburbarazzi segments

oscar2.jpgNeed a quick reminder of where Ted and I stand on this year’s major Oscar nominees? Wondering what Fidel Castro has to do with this year’s ceremony? Waiting in line to be slapped by Ruby Dee? Check out the Suburbarazzi segments from Friday night’s episode below. (If you want to see the whole half-hour show, click here.)

Here’s the opening segment, in which we discuss Oscar gossip, box office success, violence and most of the major categories:

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And here’s the closing segment, during which Ted and I make our Best Picture picks and surprise TV’s Karen DePodwin with, well, watch to find out!

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(AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)