Plano Native, Olympic Champion Nastia Liukin Is Poised to Win Dancing With The Stars

Dancing With the Stars

There are some simple reality TV truths. All country artists will choose Blake Shelton as their coach on The Voice, the dads on Teen Mom will hate their lives, and Derek Hough will win every season of Dancing With The Stars until the day he dies.

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Taylor "Lil' Bit" Wright of CMT's Party Down South: "I Can Pray With a Beer in My Hand"

Categories: Pop Culture, Q&A

Andy Batts -- Courtesy CMT
Plenty of reality television shows seem to go the extra mile in supporting stereotypes. Two of the most popular reality shows in the format's history, MTV's Jersey Shore and A&E's Duck Dynasty, certainly focus on -- and capitalize on -- the most outrageous traits of the respective shows' characters. Thick accents, folksy witticism and unique grooming methods have been prominent go-to tools of those shows and have helped hordes of viewers relate to the stars of each series in ways that are usually impossible on competition-intensive productions such as Top Chef or Survivor.

Early this year, seemingly out of the deepest swamps of the dirty South, CMT's Party Down South managed to combine the most appealing -- or least appealing, depending on your perspective -- of the two reality television touchstones as it became the biggest hit of CMT's history (take that, Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders!). Throwing some party-ready dudes (Ryan, Lyle, Murray and Walt) and belles (Taylor, Tiffany, Mattie and Lauren) into a gorgeous waterside house in South Carolina stocked with plenty of Jack Daniel's, light beer, strong personalities and even mightier hormones made for viewing many might put into the guilty pleasure category, but here at Mixmaster, there's never any guilt in the pleasure we take.

The second season of Party Down South, which premiered last Thursday, has all of the cast members from season one reunited. But this time, the crew is tearing up a neighbor-free house in the woods near Athens, Georgia. Taylor "Lil' Bit" Wright, the 24-year-old charming, diminutive and recently divorced Christian who can win a bikini contest as easily as she can send prayers up for her vomiting housemates will be in town this week with another PDS cast member, the take-no-bull-crap Louisiana dynamo Tiffany, hosting the Thrifty Thursday Party at Denton's Rockin' Rodeo.

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A Crowdtilt Campaign Wants to Bring Reading Rainbow's LeVar Burton to Mesquite

Categories: Pop Culture


The latest thing to set the Internet on fire was LeVar Burton's Kickstarter campaign to revive and expand his vision for the PBS show Reading Rainbow. Those of you who grew up on a steady diet of public television probably remember watching Burton's enthralling show about children's books and the magical places they could take young readers ... but you don't have to take my word for it (sorry, I couldn't resist).

Burton's Kickstarter project easily met its $1 million goal. In fact, after only two days passed it raised just over $3.4 million and still has 28 days left. Kickstarter campaigns often come with bonuses for donors to entice those with more disposable income to give generously to projects. Burton's is offering 10 people who pledge $10,000 or more to the project to have Burton fly out to the school of their choice and hold a special assembly with the students to read a few books with the kiddies and press the flesh with some of their Trekkie parents. Someone has started a crowdfunding campaign of their own to raise the $10,000 and get Geordi LeVar to make an appearance at a school in Mesquite, and it's already more than a quarter of the way there.

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Comedian Tommy Davidson Talks Dallas, Television and Shows at Arlington Improv


Tommy Davidson will be at the Arlington Improv for a special engagement May 1-4, telling jokes, singing, and fingers crossed -- doing his spot-on President Barack Obama impersonation.

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Jillian Michaels Doesn't Think Dallas Should Drink Margaritas

Jillian Michaels

Her on-air personality is typically a hardcore mean trainer, who motivates The Biggest Loser contestants by most of the time yelling in their face.

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Flappy Bird: In Memoriam


We hardly knew you, Flappy Bird. It's been just over a week since you first began to pump your little wings on my iPhone, and just like that your creator has returned you to a cage, calling you "addictive" and "a problem." I know why the caged bird sings, Maya Angelou. It's because it wants to be released back into the open air of the App Store.

You had your ups and downs, Flappy Bird. Well, my phone had ups and downs when I threw it into the air after losing 83 times in a row. Our relationship might've been short-lived, but the passionate anger I felt for you was so real. At the encouragement of my anger management counselor, also known as my roommate, I've written you a eulogy.

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Oh Myyy! George Takei On Swordfighting, Comic Books and Technology.

Categories: Pop Culture, Q&A

George Takei just wrapped up a very busy year. He released a cologne called Eau My just in time for the holiday shopping season, then in April he released a book recounting his meteoric rise to popularity on the Web titled, Oh Myyy! There Goes The Internet, he launched a new AARP-produced webseries "Takei's Take," and, in December, he released another book, Lions and Tigers and Bears (The Internet Strikes Back). And now, the 76-year-old actor turned LGBTQ rights activist -- famous for his portrayal of Hikaru Sulu on the 1960s television series that spawned the enduring Sci-Fi franchise -- is in the area for two appearances this weekend.

Fans will have a chance to meet Takei in Plano tonight (Friday) during an autograph session at Madness Comics & Games from 6 to 8 p.m., and then on Saturday Takei will narrate a "Sci-Fi Spectacular" at the Bass Performance Hall, as Jack Everly conducts The Fort Worth Symphony in selections from the soundtracks of sci-fi classics from Star Trek and Star Wars to The Day the Earth Stood Still, Close Encounters and more. But before his fans line up for those events, we wanted to know what someone enmeshed in a world of cult fandom is actually a fan of themselves. So, we chatted about his five-million-strong Facebook following, which caused to name Takei the No. 1 most influential person on Facebook. We also talked about which comic books and pop culture elements he enjoys and our favorite Sulu moments.

My call interrupted the perpetually busy star, as he was working on the introduction for a Usagi Yojimbo collection -- a comic book and graphic novel series by Stan Sakai that has won dozens of awards, including a few Eisner Awards. Takei's writing an introduction to the book.

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Our Five Favorite Missed Connections from the "Icepocalypse"

Winter Storm Cleon, aka the "Icepocalypse," was a cruel master, leaving some without power and others trapped on icy roads. But then there were those who saw the lining of those dark, menacing clouds as an excuse to spark a little romance. reported a 22 percent increase in new members during the storm as Dallas singles desperately attempted to not die alone. Friends reported calls from frantic exes seeking a familiar face and/or neck. And on Craigslist, those Missed Connections got cozier than a terrier in a turtleneck. Here are our five favorites.

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OMG! Teddy Bear the Talking Porcupine Visited the Observer and It Was Magical. (Video)

Categories: Pop Culture

Earlier this month, Unfair Park's Eric Nicholson broke news that internet celebrity, Teddy Bear the talking porcupine is a Dallasite.

We're only human, so after learning distance wasn't a barrier we sent Ted a formal invitation to visit our home office. We etched the address into a sweet potato, couriered the thing over to his Zooniversity bachelor pad and waited.


We learned a lot about Teddy Bear, porcupines and friendship that day. We also discovered that Ted's natural musky odor and prickly undercoat proved a fitting match for an office of jaded, over-caffeinated, under-bathed writers, so we had him sign a freelance contract. He's our new outdoors correspondent and Dallas Observer spirit animal.

Video intern Sarah Passon captured the experience in video. Let us all take a moment and give thanks for large talking rodents.

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Duck Dynasty's Mountain Man and His Beard Will Be In Allen on Sunday

Categories: Pop Culture

One of the biggest mush mouths of reality television, Duck Dynasty's Tim "Mountain Man" Guraedy, is an air conditioning repairman who talks like an extra in every John Grisham book-turned-movie ever made. If you're a fan of the show and Mountain Man, one of your dreams could come true this weekend (within reason, of course) at the Allen Events Center.

The Allen Americans' Sunday game will feature a special visit by Mountain Man at 4:05 p.m. Fans can meet and greet the Duck Dynasty star before the Americans face off against the Tulsa Oilers. Get tickets here, or at the box office, assuming you speak a quasi-intelligible southern dialect.