Rockland resident on ‘Millionaire’ on Monday

Jenn Vogel, an English teacher at Ramapo High School, is going to be a contestant on “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” on Monday.tjndc5-5mjkyazcmcp1jbd7xbgc_original.jpg

(I didn’t even know the show was still on.)

Vogel, a Suffern High School graduate, shared with the Journal News her experience on the show, which she taped in September.

“The second you sit in the chair, everything you know goes out of your head,” she said. “It’s one thing when you are sitting at home in your kitchen when you’re not losing anything, and another when you are trying to think (on the hot seat). It’s a lot harder to get your concentration. There’s the pressure, the music and flashing lights and there’s a special way you have to sit in the chair so you don’t fall over.”

Pretty interesting way to describe it. See how she does, Monday at 12:30 p.m. on ABC.

(Photo courtesy of ABC)

Sarah Michelle Gellar row, row, rows her boat at Rockland Lake

It appears that Rockland Lake State Park is one of the filming locations for the new Sarah Michelle Gellar flick, “Veronika Decides to Die.” Thanks to my ever vigilant colleague, Karen Croke, who tracked down last Saturday’s New York Post, which had a pic of the actress in a Starcraft boat out on the water.


The skinny on the movie is that it’s based on a Brazilian novel by Paulo Coelho, about a 24-year-old girl who appears to have everything going her way yet still resolves to kill herself. In the book, the suicide attempt is done with pills. No word on where boats figure into the morbid-sounding plot.

Rosie responds to Barbara Walters on Oprah

Did any of you catch Barbara Walters on Oprah yesterday? In an hour-long interview, she discussed all the revelations from her new memoir, Audition — a book that I couldn’t have imagined being at all interested in reading a day ago and is now already on my Amazon wish list. I kid you not. It honestly sounds that good.


Who knew Walters had such a fascinating, and at times sordid, personal life? An affair with a married senator — and a black senator at that! A father who attempted suicide! Three failed marriages and a mentally disabled sister! For more on the details of the memoir, check out this USA Today story.

tjndc5-5elrm29n5zr12g6je348_layout.jpgOf course, the first questions on everyone’s mind — including Oprah’s — revolved around The View. Specifically, the tumultuous two-year period beginning with Irvington resident Meredith Vieira’s departure, then the Star Jones saga, and finally Rosie O’Donnell. Walters spent the longest period on Oprah’s couch discussing Rosie, and how the South Nyack often seemed to give their relationship a mother-daughter dynamic.

Rosie used her Ask Ro message board to respond to a lot of the questions raised by Babwa. We’ll recap the key points, along with Ro’s trademark haiku-ish thoughts, after the break.

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Stephen Baldwin feels the love at the White House, gets a tongue lashing from brother Billy

After dealing with the highs and lows of “The Celebrity Apprentice,” it seems that Stephen Baldwin, cncs_08_0428_mh_0126.jpgeveryone’s favorite Upper Grandview evangelical, can handle whatever curve balls the good Lord throws his way. And in the last day, he got a couple. First, he was invited by his friends at the White House down to D.C. to help celebrate National Volunteer Week.

Baldwin was selected to be a kind of “cultural advisor” to the Bush administration over a year ago (I kid you not), and he joined singer Michael W. Smith and other members of the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation, USA Freedom Corps, Boys & Girls Club of Greater Washington, and the Corporation for National and Community Service for the festivities. Among other things, the event promoted the creation of a new online toolkit designed to help get kids involved in volunteering.


But not everyone is such a big fan of Stevie B’s activism. Chief among his recent critics: brother Billy Baldwin (a former Bedford resident), who has been especially critical of the younger Baldwin’s anti-gay stance. In a recent interview with Out magazine (via AHN), Billy lashed out. The quotes are after the break …

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Justin Chambers: Britney Spears’s looney bin soul mate?

justin-chambers.jpgUCLA Medical Center has suddenly emerged as a magnet for emotionally harried superstars. Of course, we all know about how Britney is being treated there, but now another celebrity has checked himself in. Justin Chambers, who plays Dr. Alex Karev on “Greys Anatomy” and used to live in Rockland, went in on Monday of this week and got out Wednesday.

The reason? According to his representative, Chambers was “exhausted and suffers from a sleeping disorder. He went in voluntarily to get some help.”

No word on whether he and Brit had a chance to share a nice bowl of hospital Jell-O or not.

[via TMZ]


People of the Year — 11. Peter Kelly


Kelly was already a legend in Rockland thanks to Xaviars, Freelance, and Restaurant X—all perennial Zagat darlings. But when he took down celebrity chef Bobby Flay on Iron Chef America, all of a sudden he became famous to a national audience. Then the May opening of X20 in Yonkers further cemented his rock-star status. As for those people just discovering our hometown hero: What took you so long?

Prediction for 2008: It would be tough to top 2007, but we do have two ideas: First, how about an X20 in Haverstraw? Second, after making mincemeat of Flay, it’s time to do battle with Mario Batali.

Ed. Note: Kelly was one of the only celebrities to score a “People of the Year” trifecta — making our lists for InTown Westchester, Rockland Magazine, and Suburbarazzi. Well done.

(Photo: Tom Nycz / The Journal News)

Aidan Quinn and Julianna Margulies: Rockland’s Newest Power Couple


On TV at least. According to our sister bloggers over at Remote Access, the two stars — Quinn lives in Sneden’s Landing, Margulies was born in Spring Valley — will will be teaming for a FOX mid-season series called “Canterbury’s Law.” And here I predicted, after Quinn’s ill-fated NBC show “The Book of Daniel,” that he would never return to network TV again. Whoops.

The show will center around two married lawyers trying to fix their rocky relationship after their child goes missing. I’m not sure how I feel about any locals turning to FOX these days, especially after its recent treatment of locals like Bedford’s Lasse Hallstrom and Piermont’s Alan Ruck. Just as long as the new show gets the slot following “American Idol,” all will be well.

New City’s Maya Days on ‘Damages’


As if “Damages,” the totally riveting, rockin’ FX series starring Bedford’s Glenn Close, wasn’t already awesome enough, we learned earlier this week — via fellow blogger and Journal News colleague Heather Salerno — that there’s a whole other reason to dig the show: It also stars New City resident Maya Days (above, right).

Yes, ding, ding, ding, we have another trans-Hudson partnership (to go along with the recently reported pairings of Murray-Robbins and Demme-Winger-Irwin).

On the show, Days plays detective Rosario Ortiz, one of the cops interrogating the main character, Ellen, about how her fiancee was killed. It doesn’t appear to be a critical role … yet. But who knows, as the season progresses, she could end up being the copper who takes down Close’s shady ice queen Patty Hewes character.

Check out Heather’s fantastic profile of Days HERE, and listen to a bunch of clips from Heather’s interviews with her (not to mention a music video from MTV Europe featuring Days) at her Remote Access blog entry HERE.

Rosie O’Donnell, Justin Chambers—There’s a lot of star-wattage at the Palisades Center

tjndc5-5cbaiutpkvoorb2943l_layout.jpgYesterday on The View, Rosie interviewed fellow Rocklander Justin Chambers, one of the stars of Grey’s Anatomy.

When Rosie invited him to bring his five children over to her place so their kids could play music together, he said:

“I think we go to the same mall…in Rockland�

Rosie responded: “Really? Fantastic. I’ll meet you by Chilis. Right by the movie theater.�

We knew Justin Chambers used to live in Tappan, but last we heard he had moved out to L.A. when Grey’s started. Is he back? Or did he never really leave?
(AP Photo of Justin and his wife/Danny Moloshok)

Elisabeth Hasselbeck + The Palisades Center = 5 minutes of painful television


Yesterday, The View aired a pre-taped segment with Elisabeth Hasselbeck shopping at the Palisades Center in West Nyack to find Christmas gifts for her fellow co-hosts. She checked out the racks at Old Navy, H&M, and Lane Bryant (where she sang a little song that was truly show-stopping—as in, please God, help me find the remote so I can put a stop to this show: “Lane Bryant, Lane Bryant, you’re only a deal away�).

She also sat on the lap of our friend, Santa, who looked about as comfortable as—well, a grown man should look being used as a prop by a strange 30-year-old woman. For the record we didn’t get the joke she was going for either (something about helping her get back to Manhattan in time to give her presents to the other hosts—but it was December 21st, why didn’t she just take the bus?).

Anyway, she managed to get back to the studio in time and the other hosts gave an impromptu fashion show. From now on can we agree that Rockland is Rosie’s territory?

(Photo: Peter Carr / The Journal News)

Stephen Baldwin Watch: “This Week in God” appearance!

It was only a matter of time before Upper Grandview’s favorite evangelical yahoo ended up on The Daily Show’s “This Week in God” segment. Kudos to Samantha Bee for succinctly summing up Stevie B. in nine brilliant words, calling him “the poor man’s Daniel, and the homeless man’s Alec.”

Enjoy the clip. And remember, afterward there will be a quiz on what exactly a “jesuscidence” is.

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Slush Pile: This week’s news on Martha, Ralph, Lasse, and others.

Some other local celeb news you might have missed this week:

> Ralph Lauren and Martha Stewart agreed to open their Katonah properties to the Bedford Lanes Riding Association. So please, local equestrians, no more taping “Buck Me” signs to the back of Ralph and Martha’s horses. [Daily News]

> According to our TJN colleague and E-Team blogger Pete Kramer, Rockland celebs Jonathan Demme, Bill Irwin (aka Mr. Noodle on Sesame Street), Kevin Clash (another Sesame Streeter: the voice of Elmo), Andrea Martin, Paxton Whitehead, David Straitharn, and Tyne Daly all spoke at Rockland Country Day School’s annual “Evening of Celebrity Storytelling and Auction III.â€? We only wish we could have been there to hear Elmo shout “Show me the money” at auction bidders. [E-Team]

> “The Hoax,” a collaboration of Bedford best buds Richard Gere and Lasse Hallstrom, is getting great early buzz at RomaCinemaFest. Yet according to, the film, about a bogus Howard Hughes biographer, has had its release date pushed off until April 2007. Hmm, April 1, perhaps? We’re catching on to your marketing trickery, Miramax. [Reuters]