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Exclusive: "Drop Dead Diva" Adds More Celebs to Gay Prom Episode

EXCLUSIVE: 'Drop Dead Diva' Adds More Celebs to Gay Prom Episode

by Maggie Furlong, posted Apr 12th 2011 12:00PM

We already know that 'Drop Dead Diva' will be tackling a tough issue this season based on the true story of Constance McMillen, the Mississippi high school senior banned from her prom for wanting to take her girlfriend.

Now AOL TV has learned exclusively that even more openly gay celebrities have agreed to guest star on this very special ripped-from-the-headlines episode.

Former *NSYNC member Lance Bass, 'American Idol' alum Clay Aiken and 'Married ... With Children''s Amanda Bearse are in for the proceedings for the show's fifth episode of the season (season 3 premieres June 2011 on Lifetime).

Bass plays a casting director who approaches Fred (Ben Feldman) to be in an energy-drink commercial; Aiken is a witness in one of Grayson's (Jackson Hurst) cases about a mail-order bride scam; and Bearse will be playing a judge. They join previously announced guest star Wanda Sykes, who'll be playing the judge for the episode's biggest case, and McMillen herself, who has a cameo as Sykes' bailiff.

The show has made a name for itself, not only for its quirky storylines -- the main character Jane, played by Brooke Elliott, is actually the soul of ditzy model Deb trapped in Jane's body -- but also for capturing a ton of big names from week to week.

Other guest stars for season 3 include: LeAnn Rimes, Wendy Williams, Louis Van Amstel, Nick Zano, Mario Lopez, Tony Goldwyn, Jennifer Tilly, Howard Hesseman and recurring guest Paula Abdul, who plays Jane's conscience in the form of Judge Paula Abdul.

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Durham Bulls Press Release

Aiken, Evers Highlight Festivities at DAP Game Toinght



The Triangle is buzzing as the Bulls prepare to host their 2nd annual Return to the DAP game presented by Measurement, Incorporated tonight at 7:05 PM. There are lots of great things to see tonight as the Bulls all-time winningest manager Bill Evers throws out the ceremonial first pitch, International Pop Star Clay Aiken will perform the National Anthem and bi-planes from the World War II Era will do a flight over the ballpark. Plus, you could win a Kevin Costner Autograph and a night in a suite on our facebook photo contest. Click here for a rundown of where to park and what to eat along with other information about tonight's game, and get your tickets here.

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Clay Aiken Offers Insight on Garner "Idol" Hopeful

Clay Aiken offers insight on Garner 'Idol' hopeful

Posted: 41 minutes ago

Updated: 5 minutes ago

Eight years ago, Raleigh native Clay Aiken was right where American Idol contestant Scotty McCreery is now.

Aiken's five albums, which sold millions of copies, and stint on Broadway started with the hit television show.

"I've said it many times and I'll say it again: If I could go back and do what I did on the show every week, forever, I would do it," Aiken said.

He doesn't watch the show regularly, but has taken the time to tune in for Garner's McCreery.

"He's very different than me, isn't he?" Aiken joked. "If he makes it to finale, even if I don't watch, I'll call in."

After all, the Triangle has a real knack for supporting its hometown stars, Aiken said.

"The Triangle is without question better at rallying behind our own," he said. "I strongly believe a large part of why I made it as far as I did was because of this area."

He described having "no idea what's going on" when he made it to the finals. He's confident that McCreery feels the same way.

It wasn't until Aiken came back for his homecoming celebration and sang at the Durham Bulls game that the reality of his popularity sank in.

"Sky 5 dropped me in the middle of the field and it was the first time I had seen (anything like it)," he said. "There were 10,000 people or more people who were there screaming and it was the first time I had (realized), oh wait, people watch this show."

Aiken finished in second place on American Idol in 2003.

If McCreery survives the vote on Thursday's American Idol, which airs on WRAZ Fox 50, he'll be back in Garner Saturday for a concert and parade.

Reporter: Debra Morgan

Web Editor: Bridget Whelan

Copyright 2011 by Capitol Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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I really wish I could vote, but I have a person on FB that votes for me.

Being Canadian I can't vote.

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After "Idol," Aiken Takes Time for Son, Himself

After 'Idol', Aiken takes time for son, himself

Posted: 6:31 p.m. yesterday

Updated: 11:35 p.m. yesterday

For Raleigh native Clay Aiken, his days competing on "American Idol" seem so long ago.

"For a lot of people, I'm frozen at 24 years old and for me, I'm not," Aiken said during a recent interview. "I do find that if I spike my hair, I get recognized everywhere I go."

Aiken described his run on the second season of "American Idol" in 2003 as the most fun he's ever had, but he doesn't miss the results shows.

When he was on tour with season one "American Idol" winner Kelly Clarkson, Aiken said he watched an episode of the show. When it was time for someone to be voted out, Aiken said his hands started sweating.

"I don't need that stress," he said of watching the show.

"I've always said if I could go back, do the group songs, sing the songs without ever having to worry if I would get cut, I would do it every week forever," he said.

Aiken finished second to Ruben Studdard. He said the two still stay in touch, and even toured together last year.

Since his Idol days, Aiken has recorded five albums, which sold millions of copies. He has also acted in Monty Python's "Spamalot" on Broadway and made TV appearances.

Now, Aiken is taking some time off.

"Before I did Idol, music was always a hobby for me. It was something I liked to do for a hobby and it turned into my job. It turned into a job that allowed me, now, to take a year and do it as a hobby again," he said.

Aiken said he also wants to spend more time with his 2-year-old son, Parker Foster Aiken.

"Now that he's talking and having real conversations with you, I don't want to miss some of that," he said. "It's the most humbling part of being a father, but when I look back on it in 20 years, I believe it will probably be the thing that I appreciate the most…and unconditional love doesn't hurt, right?"

Reporter: Debra Morgan

Photographer: Tom Normanly

Web Editor: Kathy Hanrahan

Copyright 2011 by Capitol Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Link to Video of Full Interview

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OUTFEST Announces 2011 Festival Lineup July 7-17

OUTFEST Announces 2011 Festival Lineup July 7-17

by BWW News Desk

Outfest, the Los Angeles-based nonprofit organization dedicated to nurturing, showcasing and protecting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) media, has announced its complete programming lineup for Outfest 2011: The 29th Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Film Festival. The nation's leading LGBT festival and the oldest film festival in the city of Los Angeles, will be held July 7th to 17th, 2011.

In addition to the 163 films (67 features and 96 shorts) from 25 countries, Outfest hosts over a dozen panels and special events at seven venues across Los Angeles, including Hollywood, West Hollywood, Santa Monica and downtown Los Angeles.

The notable line-up of actors starring in this year's movies include Kathleen Turner, Jason Ritter, Emily Deschanel and Richard Chamberlain ("The Perfect Family"), Dolly Parton ("The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas" and "Hollywood to Dollywood"), Margaret Cho("Cho Dependent" and "Drop Dead Dive"), Julia Ormond, Cheyenne Jackson and Illeana Douglas ("The Green"), John Waters, Jennifer Coolidge, Heather Matarazzo and Leslie Jordan ("Mangus!"), Esai Morales and Judy Reyes ("Gun Hill Road"), Lance Bass and Clay Aiken("Drop Dead Diva"), Chloe Sevigny ("All Flowers in Time"); and documentary subjects Carol Channing ("Carol Channing: Larger Than Life"), Chely Wright ("Wish Me Away"), Patty Schemel and Courtney Love ("Hit So Hard"), Chaz Bono ("Becoming Chaz"), and Bruce LaBruce ("The Advocate for Fagdom").

"This year's line-up is one of the strongest in Outfest history and we're excited to be showcasing work that is both exploring and expanding the possibilities of LGBT themes and challenging our audiences through their storytelling," said Director of Programming Kim Yutani.

The John Anson Ford Amphitheatre will once again host the Under the Stars series, kicking off with the classic Dolly Parton musical "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas." Other screenings include Margaret Cho's new concert film "Cho Dependent," the Documentary Centerpiece "Hit So Hard", Alan Brown's "Private Romeo" about an all-boy staging of Romeo & Juliet in a high school military school, as well as the Closing Night Gala "The Perfect Family."

In association with the Goethe-Institut Los Angeles, Outfest celebrates the 25th anniversary of the Teddy Award. An official award of the Berlin International Film Festival, the influential Teddy Award is dedicated to support the LGBT film projects whose content creates tolerance and understanding across communities globally. The series includes past Teddy Award winning feature films Heiner Carow's "Coming Out," Todd Haynes' "Poison," Pedro Almodovar's "Law of Desire," Greta Schiller's "The Man Who Drove With Mandela," and Rose Troche's "Go Fish."

Outfest will premiere a new programming section Docs @ 5 - a must-see selection of documentaries highlighting unique subjects from around the world. The five screenings take place at 5pm for the special price of $5. The selection includes "Paul Goodman Changed My Life," "Orchids: My Intersex Adventure," "Angel," "Habana Muda," and "I Am." This series is co-presented by the International Documentary Association (IDA).

Margaret Cho, Lance Bass, Clay Aiken, series creator Josh Berman and director Jamie Babbit will take part in a panel of Lifetime's "Drop Dead Diva." The discussion follows a sneak preview of an upcoming episode inspired by the headline-making true story of Mississippi teen Constance McMillan who was denied access to her high school prom because she wanted to attend with her girlfriend. This special episode will air during the upcoming third season of "Drop Dead Diva" which returns June 19th on Lifetime at 9pmET/PT.

In its Four in Focus series, Outfest celebrates a quartet of first-time feature film directors who have boldly established their careers with accomplished, independently-produced debut features. The 2011 selections include: Lisa Aschan's "She Monkeys," Maryam Keshavarz's "Circumstance," Madeleine Olnek's "Codependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks Same" and Eldar Rapaport's "August."

The Outfest Legacy Project will be screening a re-mastered version of Gregg Araki's 1987 feature debut "Three Bewildered People in the Night," as well as a compilation of shorts that have been selected from the world's largest queer history collection at the ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives.

As previously announced, Outfest 2011 opens with "Gun Hill Road," and the festival will close with "The Perfect Family". Other gala screenings include: "Circumstance" (U.S. Dramatic Centerpiece); "Weekend" (International Centerpiece); "Hit So Hard" (Documentary Centerpiece); and "3" (Broad Stage Gala). Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato will receive the 15th Annual Outfest Achievement Award.

For more information and for a complete listing of films in the Festival, log on to www.Outfest.org or call 213-480-7065. Festival tickets go on sale on June 7 to Outfest members and on June 14 to the general public. Special ticket packages are also available.

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