AND THEN THERE WERE TWO
American Idol contestants were reduced to the last two Wednesday night after Danny Gokey was eliminated, leaving Adam Lambert and Kris Allen to vie in next week's finals. Lambert is heavily favored to win. Indeed, judge Paula Abdul appeared to hand him the title on Wednesday night's show, saying, "One brilliant song, one superb performance, one American Idol that I'm staring at right now." Judge Simon Cowell had already predicted in interviews that Lambert would win, although on Wednesday he remarked, "I'm not going to suck up quite as much as the other three [judges]." Later he told the two finalists that next week will be the "big ding-dong." According to Nielsen Research, 23.99 million viewers watched Wednesday's show, up a tick from the 23.57 million who tuned in a week earlier, but well off the final showdown numbers of previous years.
HEAD OF MISS CALIFORNIA USA PAGEANT QUITS
A day after Donald Trump announced his decision to let Carrie Prejean keep her title of Miss California USA, Shanna Moakler, co-executive director of the Miss California USA Pageant -- and a former Miss USA herself -- resigned, saying that she no longer believed in Trump's Miss Universe Organization. She insisted that Prejean had violated her contracts with the organization by appearing before groups that oppose gay marriage and her failure to disclose that she had posed nearly nude in commercial photos while still a teenager. Moakler said that she had hoped "to be a role model for young women with high hopes of pageantry, but now feel it more important to be a role model for my children."
3.3 MILLION STILL UNPREPARED FOR DIGITAL TRANSITION
One month before the transition from audio to digital transmissions, some 3.3 million households are still completely unprepared for the switch, according to Nielsen Media Research. The figure represents 2.9 percent of all U.S. households. Despite the fact that earlier reports had indicated that the Albuquerque-Santa Fe, NM market was the least prepared for the transition, few people in that market have got the message. According to the Nielsen survey, 8.5 percent of the population there remains without cable, satellite or any sort of converter box.
SONY TO INTRODUCE WIRELESS WALKMAN
In its persistent persistent battle against Apple's iPod, Sony plans to release its first wireless Walkman next month, which will be able to access audio and video via the Internet. It will presumably require a wi-fi broadband connection. The device also includes software to block ambient noise, a technology that Sony says has never been built into a video MP3 player before.
CENSORED AUSTRALIAN AD STIRS ONLINE CONTROVERSY
A censored ad that was part of a televised contest between two Australian advertising agencies has been watched by hundreds of viewers online -- many of whom are saying that it should never have been axed from the actual broadcast. The ad presented offensive jokes about blacks, gays, and Jews, then asked why equally offensive jokes about fat people are permitted. "Discrimination comes in all shapes and sizes," it concluded. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation said that it had received numerous messages supporting its decision not to air the ad on The Gruen Transfer, and many others condemning it for doing so. On Wednesday, producers of the show issued a statement on its website saying, "We are grateful for the ABC's consent for us to put the material on this website, as it facilitates further debate and discussion."