Cowell isn't so cruel with 'popera' group he formed
Hong Kong - Simon Cowell can be brutal when he judges contestants on Fox's "American Idol," but he has withheld his caustic criticism from his "popera" group.
Cowell founded Il Divo - which means "the male diva" in Italian - in 2003 after a talent search. The four handsome men are formally trained singers who try to bridge the gap between classical and pop music - sometimes called "popera."
"My first impression of (Cowell) was that he's a really honest man," David Miller, a member of Il Divo, told AP Television on Friday. "He says what he thinks and he doesn't hold back, especially for the TV show. Sometimes he's doing them a favor by being so brutally honest with them."
Urs Buhler, a tenor from Switzerland, said that those who auditioned for Il Divo were not treated like "American Idol" contestants.
Il Divo will release their new album, "Ancora," Nov. 7.
Madonna admits nervousness about documentary
New York - Madonna is worried that her secret wasn't juicy enough.
When her new documentary, "I'm Going to Tell You A Secret," premiered in New York, she said she was nervous the audience wouldn't like it.
"It was like, 'Oh my God, oh my God, I hope I did the right thing. Oh, that scene is too long. Oh, that's too short. Are they going to get this part? Are they going to like this? Oh, they're going to think it's boring!' Just worrying the whole way, biting my fingernails off," she told ABC News Radio.
The documentary, which aired Friday on MTV, is a behind-the-scenes look at Madonna's "Re-Invention Tour." It follows the pop icon all the way from dancer auditions to rehearsals, a visit to Israel and the final show.
Despite her nerves, she said she thought the fans and contest winners selected to attend the screening liked it. "When I got to the end of it (the screening) ... I could feel that people enjoyed it," she told ABC. "That was a huge relief for me."
Sizemore says girlfriend's bruises may be fabricated
Los Angeles - A judge wants the city attorney's office to show why Tom Sizemore's conviction for beating former girlfriend and Hollywood madam Heidi Fleiss should not be thrown out, according to the actor's attorneys.
The 44-year-old actor has appealed his conviction, arguing that a photograph of Fleiss with facial bruises may have been fabricated. The photograph was taken in April 2003 by Tara Dabrizzi, a friend of Fleiss, who didn't testify at Sizemore's trial.
Sizemore's attorney, Michael J. Rovell, said they have been unable to find Dabrizzi, who left the U.S. the day after taking the photo. The defense also questioned whether she even exists.
"I completely deny that she doesn't exist," said Deputy City Attorney Robert Cha, who prosecuted Sizemore.
Cha said Dabrizzi left the country because her mother was ill in Iran and she did not testify at the trial because "the photograph speaks for itself."
Sizemore, who appeared in "Saving Private Ryan" and "Black Hawk Down," said he has two witnesses who claim they saw Fleiss about the time the photo was supposedly taken and did not notice marks or bruises on her face.
He was sentenced to 17 months in jail and more than four months in drug treatment.
Moby shares music, art from 'Little Idiot' line with kids
Stamford, Conn. - Seems even kids like Moby.
The electronic music artist and Connecticut native was in Stamford last week to showcase illustrated prints and clothing from his "Little Idiot" line.
"He's just a good artist and stuff," said 6-year-old Michael Meyer, of Stamford, who was ecstatic after Moby drew a sketch in his notebook instead of a signature. "I think I might frame it."
More than 150 people showed up at the 583 Art Factory to see doodles of cats and dogs, as well as robots and other zany, nonsensical characters.
"The little characters I draw are very simple, very naive, and I guess I am too in a lot of ways," Moby said.
The evening was a chance for him to visit his old stomping grounds. He was born in Darien and spent a year living at the Stamford's Loft Artist space.
"Thus far it's been very fun," he said. "I've seen a bunch of people I haven't seen in a long time. The artists are friends of mine, and this is my way of doing something to draw attention to their work."
A portion of the proceeds from sales of a T-shirt designed by Moby - with the slogan "Save an Animal. Eat a Vegetable" - will benefit Friends of Animals, a Darien animal rights group.
Board member wants school named after Pulitzer winner
Pittsburgh - A school board member wants to rename a performing arts magnet school after August Wilson, the Pittsburgh-born Pulitzer Prize- and Tony-winning playwright who died earlier this month.
Pittsburgh Public Schools Board member Alex Matthews wants to rename the Pittsburgh High School for the Creative and Performing Arts.
But some say renaming a public school is a bad idea because Wilson deserves a bigger honor - and because Wilson had a bad experience in the city's schools.
Wilson dropped out of Pittsburgh public schools at 15 after a teacher accused him of plagiarizing a paper. He finished his education at a city library and went on to write his famous 10-play cycle based on the life of blacks in America.
Wilson died Oct. 2 of liver cancer.