Monday, September 17, 2012

Amanda Bynes' downward spiral raises talk of mental illness: Favorite People -

Is it the drugs and alcohol Amanda Bynes is accused of taking before getting behind the wheel or is she suffering from more serious mental issues?

TMZ is reporting what it calls a series of "consistent and disturbing" stories about the troubled actress, who was already in the spotlight for allegedly smoking out of a marijuana pipe while driving around in her trash-strewn car on a suspended license. The license issue reportedly arose after Bynes refused to take a sobriety test after being arrested in a DUI hit-and-run case in April. Plus, authorities fear she'll kill someone with her car. ("She's addicted to something and she's driving a deadly weapon," one said.)

Amid the twists and turns of Bynes' downward spiral come reports from neighbors and acquaintances about instances of delusional behavior.

Members of her West Hollywood gym say she came in last week looking dazed and began speaking to herself, making remarks and then answering. Bynes was reportedly using the elliptical when she would stop suddenly throughout her workout and start "laughing hysterically for no reason."  This person has seen her dozens of times in recent months and says her condition is "deteriorating."

Several of her neighbors echo the concerns and say Bynes' problems are worse than pot abuse. One said he observed her several times having long conversations with inanimate objects. Another source says people in her complex are aware of the problems but have chosen not to get involved.

Bynes' friends say the onetime star is refusing rehab and is not "in touch with reality," RadarOnline reports.

According to one friend: "Amanda's completely gone off the grid. She won't speak with her manager, her agent, her publicist; she's not returning anybody's phone calls."

"American Idol" judging drama ends: Minaj, Urban join panel

The "American Idol" judges' panel is now complete with the naming of singer-rapper Nicki Minaj and country crooner Keith Urban.

The Fox network officially tapped the pair with an announcement Sunday, confirming rumors surrounding them both just hours before the first round of auditions for next season was due to begin in New York.

The announcement also settled the status of Randy Jackson. He will stay put as the sole remaining original "Idol" judge, scotching rumors he might assume a different role on the popular talent competition.

This trio will join pop star Mariah Carey at a judges' panel now expanded to four members from its previous three.

Arriving at Lincoln Center, where the auditions would take place, Urban hailed "Idol" for its "great history of producing real stars."

As an "Idol" judge, he said he plans to be "authentic" but not cruel.

"I did similar shows when I was very young in Australia," he recalled, "and I was sort of crucified by one judge. So I don't know that I'll ever be THAT guy."

Minaj said during the auditions she'll be looking for "a superstar," which, she explained, is "something that can't be defined in words."

Jackson called this pair of hires a "fresh, fresh, fresh 'Idol' one-two!"

When Carey was asked whether she had eagerly awaited news of who would join her as judges, she cracked that, no, she hadn't, "because all I really care about is me," but quickly added, "Only kidding."

Turning serious, she said she didn't know what kind of judge she would be.

"Am I the mean one? Am I the nice one? ... It's not about me, me, me, it's about them (the contestants) and what I can bring to them to help guide them in the right direction," said Carey.

Ryan Seacrest will remain as host when the show returns for its 12th season in January.

Barbra Streisand to help honor Marvin Hamlisch

The Juilliard School is planning a star-filled private musical tribute to Marvin Hamlisch that will include Barbra Streisand, Aretha Franklin and Liza Minnelli.

The composer, who became the youngest person accepted by Juilliard at age 7, died Aug. 6 in Los Angeles. The memorial will be held Tuesday night at the school's Peter Jay Sharp Theater.

Hamlisch composed or arranged hundreds of scores for musicals and movies, including "A Chorus Line" on Broadway and the films "The Sting," "Sophie's Choice" and "The Way We Were."

Also slated to perform include Itzhak Perlman, Michael Feinstein, Chris Botti, Maria Friedman, Brian d'Arcy James and Carter Brey, as well as former cast members of "A Chorus Line" and cast members of "The Nutty Professor," the musical he was working on when he died.

Quotable: “I kind of wish I was a better Twitterer (laughs). I do think it’s such a useful tool and it allows us to just be able to get information straight from the horse’s mouth. It’s really great sometimes. And it’s fun. I feel like some people that I know who are super into it are REALLY into it, and I don’t know if I want to be quite like that. But it’s good, so far.”â€"Carrie Underwood 

Monday’s birthdays: Singer LaMonte McLemore of the Fifth Dimension is 77. Singer Fee Waybill of The Tubes is 62. Actress Elvira is 61. Comedian Rita Rudner is 59. Puppeteer Kevin Clash (Elmo on “Sesame Street”) is 52. Actor/director Paul Feig is 50. Director Baz Luhrmann is 50. Singer BeBe Winans is 50. Actor Kyle Chandler is 47. Rapper Doug E. Fresh is 46. Actor Malik Yoba is 45. Vocalist Keith Flint of Prodigy is 43. Actor Matthew Settle (”Gossip Girl”) is 43. Rapper Vinnie of Naughty by Nature is 42. Singer Anastacia is 39. Singer Marcus Sanders of Hi-Five is 39. Singer-actress Nona Gaye is 38. Drummer Chuck Comeau of Simple Plan is 33. Actor Billy Miller (”The Young and the Restless”) is 33. Bassist Jon Walker (Panic at the Disco) is 27.

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