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Recent Entertainment articles from Daily Dot

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    Coach Eddie Rios shouts instructions and encouragement at the 20-plus teen athletes assembled on the mat in front of him.

    “Squeeze, don’t lean back.”

    “Don’t touch out if you’re already down!”

    “All these standing fulls being born, I love it.”

    “Don’t get loose in the knees, bud.”

    “If you wish to make it to the mat, fix it.”

    It’s a scene from a recent episode of Cheerleaders, an AwesomenessTV docuseries in its fourth season that follows SMOED, an all-star competitive cheer program with four consecutive world titles under its belt.

    “Anytime there’s reporters or stories on cheerleading, it’s usually about injuries, or the pageant aspects, or the sexualization of females in the sport,” explained Rios about their participation in the show. “That’s not where we wanted to go with this. We wanted to show how hard we train, how these kids are truly athletes, and how successful they can be at a sport.”

    Rios is an 18-year veteran of cheer who went from cheering at the high school and college level to cheering professionally with the Los Angeles Clippers before starting coaching competitive cheer with SMOED.  

    When AwesomenessTV originally pitched the idea for the reality show after the 2012 cheer season, Rios said they were “apprehensive,” but eventually understood that the series would focus on the intense training and work it takes to win titles.

    “We’ve always trained hard prior to the show … and bringing cameras kind of amplified the whole situation,” he said, but he concedes that sometimes life would be easier with the cameras off. “There are times when you just want to be a team, and say and do the things you need to in order to make things happen, but we put ourselves in that situation for the positive of the sport and to help promote the industry. It’s a double-edged sword, and I’d do it again in a heartbeat.”

    The final episode of season 3 was titled “The Final Farewell,” promoted as the team’s goodbye to the series. According to Everything Cheer Magazine, SMOED pulled out of the season and was replaced by Central Jersey All Stars Team Gunz for their own season. Rios and fellow coach Orby fronted a series called Cheerhab, where they worked with a struggling team in the same way they treated their all-star team. But just months after that “farewell” episode, SMOED is back on AwesomenessTV running episodes every Saturday, even as the team itself faces drastic turnover rates.

    “Every season we turn over half our team,” Rios said. “This year we had six returners and 14 new athletes on the floor. It’s a big turnover, and essentially a brand new team. I’m a little nervous, but also really excited for these kids.”

    The teammates hail from outside of California and even outside of the country, which means in order to compete in the year-round sport with SMOED, teens have to transplant their lives to Ventura, California.

    “The kids live with host families here in California,” he said. “They view it as a foreign exchange program. They live with the family, they train here, and they either go to school here in California, or do an online school or independent study.”

    The show also generated fevered fandom on social media—even fanfiction dedicated to the teen stars of the show. Rios said it’s his job to keep the team grounded and focused on their tasks, despite the “world of social media” surrounding them.

    “We try to remind them that it doesn’t matter if you have millions of followers around the world if the 19 other people you’re standing on the floor with at practice don’t follow you and don’t believe you,” he said.

    In fact, Rios even hesitates to call the people who flock to the show or his team “fans,” preferring the term “supporters.”

    “It keeps the kids grounded, [so] they’re not thinking it’s more than what they think it is,” he explained, laughing. “We’re cheerleaders; we’re not Beyoncé.” 

    Image courtesy of AwesomenessTV

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    Last night, James Corden celebrated all things YouTube with a very special episode of The Late Late Show. So of course that included Skrillex battling Mozart. 

    Corden brought Epic Rap Battles of History to the present—and gave the duo its first national TV debut—as Skrillex and Mozart traded disses ("emo Steve Urkel") and flipped wigs. 

    And yeah, you'll probably also want to see Corden get turned into a Barbie by makeup artist Kandee Johnson. 

    The Late Late Show With James Corden/YouTube 

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    Rapper Kitty gave serious consideration to quitting music altogether if this Kickstarter thing fell on its face. It's a vulnerable, difficult gesture to ask the Internet to fund a creative venture—a tangible album, a boutique product—especially when the demand is a giant question mark.

    "Honestly, I’m still surprised," she said a few days after asking the Web for money. "I’ve had anxiety over the past few weeks. What if it doesn't work? That’s such a bad look."

    But the conceptualized-in-her-head album cruised past its $25,000 funding goal: With roughly two weeks left on the campaign, more than 844 people have chipped in over $39,000.

    It's an earned benchmark for the artist, having spent the last four years releasing seven free, downloadable mixtapes and EPs. The 22-year-old Kitty, born Kathryn-Leigh Beckwith in Daytona Beach, Florida, has made Rolling Stone lists, toured and collaborated with neon icons like Riff Raff and Danny Brown, and pioneered bedroom rap that has been dismissively slapped with labels like "Tumblr-wave" and "Tumblr-core."

    But maybe the sweetest part about successfully crowdfunding an album is that she gets to write and produce the thing without input from record labels. The two don't exactly have the best relationship.

    "I don’t think labels are paying any attention to what actually matters," Kitty said. “Artists lose them money, like a lot, trying to put things on that don’t work… Maybe it’ll make them pay more attention?"

    Since making buzzworthy shockwaves in 2012 with introspective, self-aware, awesomely-morbid-in-their-gaping-awe singles like "Okay Cupid," Kitty has been steadfast in her refusal to give in to stupid marketing stunts. She told the Daily Dot in 2013 that she declined advertising for the dating site OkCupid, and was more recently put off when a label asked her to dye her hair.

    "My first song got really big and it started out with people that wanted to give me money to basically, like, exploit myself," Kitty explained. "Very quickly I realized that I was not interested in being a fake persona... Everything I have now I have because I stayed myself the whole time." 

    I tell her that, given her Tumblr presence, 30,000-plus Twitter followers, and industry reputation as a sort of media watchdog (she's blogged for outlets like Vice), throwing a contract at her and then letting Kitty and her producer friends make something should be an obvious business decision. Not so much.

    “When I’d meet with smaller labels and independent labels they have this weird idea that ‘you got this, you have 30,000 followers,'" said Kitty. "You know, like, a very skewed idea of what’s real." 

    And the majors? 

    "The bigger dogs are afraid of me," she said. "I came up with what I wanted to do and I brought it to a lot of labels and none of them wanted me. No one wanted to give me any money and no one believed in it." 

    At this point, Kitty knows what this record will sound like and who she wants to bring in. She has a title for it. She isn't ready to share details just yet, partially because she seems a little bit hesitant to talk a big game before she has the time and space to let her record speak for itself.

    She promises that this album will be 100 percent devoid of label support, no matter who comes calling post-Kickstarter. That was why she got sympathetic fan money, after all. But she is also adamant about wanting to make a tangible product—even if it's a decaying medium and a vanity power play. After four years of fleeting fame, she's tired of measuring success in retweets and Likes.

    "It happens and then it goes away," Kitty said.

    On 2012's Haha, I'm Sorry mixtape, Kitty laughed off the notion that she was a "diabolical plot of the industry/and we didn't think anybody would be into me." Almost 40 stacks later, she could not have been more wrong about that last part.

    Screengrab via Kitty Kitty/YouTube

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    In June, Netflix got a major redesign, which gave the website a more contemporary look and provided easier navigation. While we’re still adjusting to new interface, Netflix could do even more to modernize its streaming service.

    Here are six suggestions for features that should be on the list. 

    1) Shuffle  

    We all have our go-to shows on Netflix. It’s like eating comfort food. Mine are 30 Rockand How I Met Your Mother, both shows will relatively long runs. Sometimes I just want to turn on 30 Rock, relax, and not have to go through the arduous process of deciding which episode to choose. This is where the shuffle feature would come in.  

    2) The best of the best

    Similar to the shuffle feature, it would be convenient if Netflix selected the best episodes of shows with more than two seasons; it could serve as a starter pack. Sometimes you have to ease into shows. Pilot episodes are often not so promising, especially when it comes to sitcoms. (Heck, I didn’t even watch the whole first season of Parks and Recreation because everyone told me to skip it.) But if the viewer could start out with the best of the best of a series, then they could develop a deep affection that would sustain them through the more mediocre episodes.

    3) The decider 

    Some evenings, when I’m feeling fragile and tired, I spend about an hour or so idly looking through my options on Netflix, silently scolding myself for indulging in the comfort of reruns and not trying out anything new. Usually those nights end with me falling asleep without watching anything. Netflix should have a “decider” feature, where you enter the preferred genre, length, etc. We'd all be saved so much grief.

    4) Netflix Hangout 

    Sometimes you just wanna Netflix and chill remotely, so I propose the union of two beautiful things: the Google Hangout and Netflix Instant. It’s fun watching things apart yet together, so you can be in your own bed, hands covered in Doritos dust, resting comfortably in a cloud of your own farts.

    5) Public and private mode  

    It would be ideal if you could watch Netflix in public or private mode, much like you can with Spotify, so friends can see what you’re watching and have access to your queue if you choose to make it public. I probably would not utilize this feature because my friends already know that I watch the same five episodes of HIMYM ad nauseam.

    6) Better reviews 

    Netflix should follow Apple’s lead and include the Rotten Tomatoes or Metacritic score of both TV shows and movies. Furthermore, it should make reviewing shows and movies more social, so instead of seeing what random users have to say, we can see what our friends think.

    Full disclosure: I've written one review on Netflix. It was for Keeping Up With the Kardashians, and all it said was, “This is the most culturally significant show I’ve ever seen.”

    Photo via Jason Reed 

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    Intrepid Reddit user ChallengeResponse has put together a visualization of how fans regard the series finales of over 100 TV series. The data is based on ratings of episodes, examining how the series finale by itself is rated in comparison to the series’ average episode rating.

    It’s a fascinating look at some of TV’s most popular shows, yielding some surprising and not-so-surprising results, depending on the show.

    The first chart is sorted by differential, i.e. the greatest difference between average episode rating and finale rating, from positive numbers to negative numbers. Glee in first place and Dexter in last place is a perfect picture of two wildly different finales.

    Glee’s average episode rating is under 7, while Dexter’s is almost a 9. But Glee is a show that while it dipped in popularity over time, the series finale brought the whole gang back together for a heartfelt, emotional send-off. Conversely, Dexter was an extremely popular show that really let its fans down with the finale.

    Other noteworthy features of the differential chart include:

    • Scrubs' Season 8 finale is 79 spots higher than its Season 9 finale, both of which are included because Scrubs' fate was still up in the air when Season 8 ended.
    • The Angel series finale is 16 spots higher than the Buffy the Vampire Slayer series finale.
    • The U.S. Office finale trumps the U.K. Office finale.
    • The Sopranos finale was almost as disappointing as Dexter to its fans. The HBO drama has both one of the highest averages out of the negative differential shows and one of the biggest drops in rating for the series finale.

    ChallengeResponse also put up graphs ordering the shows by average episode rating and the series finale rating. The most popular series finales include Breaking Bad, Six Feet Under, The Office (U.S.), Spartacus, Parks and Recreation, Scrubs (Season 8), and Friends. The least popular series finales include Two and a Half Men, Dexter, Dragon Ball Z, Star Trek: Enterprise, and How I Met Your Mother.

    Finally, the shows with the highest consistent quality are Band of Brothers, Breaking Bad, and The Wire. They all have average episode ratings of over 9 with a very small differential between the average rating and the series finale rating—though, notably, only Breaking Bad is ranked that high on average and has a positive differential.

    Screengrab via amc/YouTube 

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    Wiz Khalifa was arrested at L.A.X. on Saturday for a brave new infraction: riding a hoverboard. 

    The rapper arrived at L.A.X. after performing a handful of shows in Europe, and apparently proceeded to jump on a "hoverboard," which is more likely one of these things or these things. Cops then reportedly asked him to get off the hoverboard. 

    There's footage of Khalifa talking to cops, telling them, “We can have all the conversations you want to. You can end up on TMZ, destined to become as famous as you wanna be.” Then there's video of him on the ground as cops tell him repeatedly to stop resisting, even though there are roughly six cops on him and Khalifa assures them he's not resisting.  

    Khalifa also had a vision of the future, and he's going to be on the ground floor of this particular revolution.  

    LAPD has not yet released a statement on the incident. Khalifa seems to be doing OK, though. 

    H/T Complex | Photo via thecomeupshow/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

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    The Summer of Foo shows no sign of stopping as the Foo Fighters used their powers for good to serve up some old-fashioned trolling towards the Westboro Baptist Church.

    The band’s latest stop in Kansas City, Missouri, on Friday afternoon brought the members of the church to the Spring Centre to protest the band; the church’s m.o is to protest high-profile events such as soldiers’ funerals. The WBC carried their usual signs full of hateful messages when the Foo Fighters made an earlier entrance to the concert venue to rickroll the church.

    The band members appeared on the back of a truck holding up signs of their own while Rick Astley’s famous hit blared from the speakers. The crowd loved it just as much (if not more) as the band.

    It’s not the first time the Foo Fighters and the WBC have butt heads. The church came out to Kansas City to protest the band’s appearance in 2011. In return, the band put on a protest of their own outside the venue and played “Keep It Clean (Hot Buns)” for the WBC and their fans.

    During the Foo Fighters concert that night, Dave Grohl addressed the WBC protest that took place earlier that day while referencing their previous encounter.

    “We didn’t have the time to put together the big old show we put on last time, so we figured, you know what, why don’t we just fucking rickroll their ass?” Grohl said to the cheering crowd. “Because nothing says love like a little Rick Astley in your life, you know what I’m saying?”

    H/T 9 News | Screengrab via adamisntdumb/YouTube

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    Dubsmash is quickly taking over the Internet, with everyone from Tom Hardy to Hugh Jackman and the casts of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Agent Carter putting their best lip syncing skills on display. But now a real-life power couple is getting in on the game.

    Prior to the Green Bay Packers’ preseason game against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday, actress Olivia Munn and Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers took some time to lay around the house and record themselves quoting popular films and songs, as any of us would. While Rodgers had far less superior skills on the katana than Munn, who’s playing Psylocke in X-Men: Apocalypse, he’s much better at lip syncing.

    First, they portrayed our favorite dysfunctionally married couple from The Princess Bridebefore Munn went in for some old-fashioned revenge via Inigo Montoya.

    She channels some anger into Denzel Washington's big scene from Training Day—and King Kong doesn’t have shit on her, either.

    The couple returns just in time to make us reach for the tissues, due to the Sarah McLachlan animal cruelty commercials.

    Showing off a softer side, Munn crooned to Mariah Carey while Rodgers tried to interpret it in the background. And they’ve both got it nailed when it finally comes to lip syncing Boyz II Men.

    With a whole bunch of superheroes and villains in the mix, when are they all going to form the lip syncing version of the Avengers or the Justice League?

    H/T CBS Sports | Photo via Gage Skidmore/Flickr (CC BY SA 2.0)

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    Jon Stewart’s first post-Daily Show gig hosting WWE’s SummerSlam may have turned some heads, but he easily won over the crowd and even gave an old rival a helping hand.

    When Stewart, sporting some obvious retirement scruff, took the stage at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, he was ready to lay down the smackdown. (And he might have thrown some shade at people’s growing wish for him to moderate a presidential debate along the way.)

    “I spent the past 16 years talking about politics. It’s nice to be back in reality,” Stewart said to the crowd. “Let me tell you the difference between politics and what you’re going to see tonight. The WWE performers you’re going to see tonight, they respect their audience.”

    Stewart, who spent much of the night trying to confront Brent Lesnar, wasn’t the only major WWE fan who got to play along at SummerSlam. Arrow’s Stephen Amell was ready to fight Stardust and King Barrett, but before his match, he saw Stewart’s usually strong resolve fly out the window as the Undertaker walked by while talking to Stewart and his son Nate.

    Clearly, Nate is already developing his father’s sense of humor.

    But the highlight of the night for non-wrestling-fans was the resolution of Stewart’s ongoing feud with wrestler Seth Rollins. What started out as a beef over who could host The Daily Show better turned personal as Stewart attacked Rollins on his own turf, literally: Stewart kicked Rollins in the balls. After some more back-and-forth, the two seemed to come to an understanding.

    But when it came to Rollins’s championship match with John Cena, Stewart knew he couldn’t let Cena win and become the champion. So he did what he had to do: he went Jersey on Cena by running into the ring and smacking him down with a chair to help Rollins get the win.

    Stewart and Rollins may no longer be enemies, but now the former late-night host has John Cena to worry about.

    H/T Hollywood Reporter | Screengrab via Streamable

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    Broadway juggernaut Hamilton is not only revolutionizing the stage; it’s changing how fans interact with and consume the fandom around musical theater.

    Unlike other mass-entertainment events, Broadway hasn’t bent to the will of the digital camera. Few musicians enforce recording rules in the age of countless cell phones held aloft from start to finish of a set, but Broadway remains the bastion of no photos, no video, no show. That restriction is only for inside the theater, however, and Lin-Manuel Miranda, the creator and star of Hamilton, found a way to extend the Hamilton experience with #Ham4Ham.

    Hamilton, which has won praise from the likes of President Barack Obama and Meryl Streep, booked $10 million in advance sales, meaning that tickets to the show are incredibly scarce. Each night, however, there’s last-minute hope for fans who either can’t afford the high-priced resale market or didn’t plan ahead. Like many other shows, Hamilton offers a lottery to give away limited seats, in their case for only $10 (or, if you will, one crisp Hamilton). With Hamilton’s first lottery drawing a crowd that rivaled the audience inside the theater and the math clearly against the masses, Miranda decided to take the opportunity to talk to the show’s many fans directly. Theatermania captured the inaugural event. 

    These lotteries are generally handled by a low-level theater employee, equipped with paper slips, a bucket for collecting names, and a megaphone to announce winners. No one is taking video, or sharing it on the Web, but Hamilton and Miranda found a way to make new musical theater moments that can travel.

    When you put 500 fans of musical theater together in a high-stakes waiting game, things could get ugly. But the #Ham4Ham preshows are a pure grab bag, with cast and crew members getting involved in the spirited lottery drawings. For example, one night cast member Okieriete Onaodowan sang Wicked’s “Defying Gravity” in the style of Mickey Mouse.

    On another, choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler explained how Fred Astaire was an inspiration for his moves and gave a demonstration.

    Then there’s the emotional moments. On the official opening night, perched on the concrete steps outside the Richard Rodgers Theatre, Miranda left many attendees in tears as he read from the novel that started the whole project, Alexander Hamilton.

    Generally, however, the mood is lighthearted. Standout moments have included a reunion between Miranda and Karen Olivo, who starred in his first hit show, In the Heights, as well as Hamilton star Jonathan Groff, who sings but doesn’t rap as the humorous King George, trying out his wordsmith skills.

    Aside from selections that live on the official Hamilton YouTube channel, fans have been quickly uploading and sharing each #Ham4Ham experience on YouTube and livestreaming apps like Periscope.  
    Most recently, #Ham4Ham collaborated with its Broadway neighbor Les Miserables and brought Kyle Jean-Baptiste, the first black actor to play Valjean on Broadway, out for a duet with Miranda. The pair blew the crowd away with their version of “The Confrontation.”

    Hamilton’s neighbors aren't the only Broadway casts getting in the act. Groff, who starred in the original production of Spring Awakening, welcomed two stars of the upcoming revival to perform at #Ham4Ham this week.

    Clearly, each #Ham4Ham show is unique, and it has the crowds coming back even if they can't get inside the theater to see the actual production. Thanks to YouTube, there’s a lot more #Ham4Ham content in the world than there are performances of the actual show for the world to consume. The Hamilton team didn’t need an innovative marketing campaign to build buzz around the show, but they’re winning at it regardless.

    Screengrab via Hamilton the Musical/YouTube

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    The end is near—for One Direction, that is. So where’s the teenpocalypse?

    The world awoke this morning to “news” that One Direction will be breaking up—a shocker headline quickly modified by the details that “breaking up” means going on a yearlong hiatus beginning in March 2016 to pursue solo projects. The split would follow the release of One Direction’s fifth album, rumored to be a compilation, and the more significant end of the band’s contract with Sony and Simon Cowell. 

    But despite attempts to spin the news as an apocalypse event for Directioners, the band’s fans have generally been responding without any signs of hysteria:

    On Twitter, fans quickly took over the “insult” hashtag about the breakup to destress and make light of the rumors.

    Wherever you look on the Internet this morning, there appears to be a decided lack of teenage tears, particularly compared to the fandom implosion when Zayn Malik left the band in March. 

    Why? A couple of reasons, actually:

    1) Fans have been hearing about the rumored breakup since at least May

    Though this morning’s unsourced rumor originates from British tabloid The Sun, the exact same rumor already made the rounds of British tabloids back in late May and early June, including at The Sun, which first predicted the break would happen this fall instead of spring.

    So all of the freaking out that you might have expected the fandom to be doing now has already happened. Fans have already analyzed the rumors and moved on, as this post from back in June indicates:

    2) The band refuses to confirm that it’s true

    Both now and in June, spokespeople and publicists for One Direction have refused to confirm the rumors, calling them “speculation.” Additionally, no members of the band have commented on the rumor

    And while you might assume that means the rumors are true, there are plenty of 1D fans who won’t say it’s over ’til it’s over. 

    Plus, there’s this tweet from band member Liam Payne, made shortly after Malik’s departure:

    3) Female teenage hysteria has been largely exaggerated anyway

    As we’ve indicated, the reactions from fans have mostly been subdued, but the media has never needed an excuse to stereotype fangirl hysteria. Thankfully, more and more people are recognizing that for the sexist narrative it is. After all, when Malik left the band, One Direction fans were generally supportive. One thing they did not do was commandeer an armored vehicle and advance on Modest Management headquarters to protest his exit, like incensed adult fans of Top Gear did in March after host Jeremy Clarkson was suspended from the program.

    4) Even if the band does split, that can only be a good thing

    One of the ongoing complaints from fans over the years has been that the strict regimented contract that the band has been under for the last five years limits their freedom and creativity. Beneath all the pop glitz, the members of One Direction are quite talented: Several play numerous musical instruments, and they have each contributed music or lyrics for their albums. Member Louis Tomlinson has long expressed hopes of returning to the band’s origin stage, X Factor, as a judge. And Malik, of course, has been turning heads with his first single, even before its proper release.

    A break to work on solo projects—even if it turns out to be a permanent break—will probably give the four artists a chance to prove they have the creative chops to make lasting careers outside of the boy band phase.

    Meanwhile, the band’s latest music video, “Drag Me Down,” released last week, has been grabbing attention for its collaboration with NASA. Here they are performing the song live earlier this month:

    One thing’s clear: no rumors are going to drag these four bandmates—or their fans—down.

    Update 5:40pm CT, Aug. 24: Band member Niall Horan has confirmed on Twitter that the band will take a “well-earned’ formal hiatus as speculated:

    The advance notice should hopefully give fans plenty of time to prepare for the hiatus.

    Screengrab via OneDirectionVEVO/YouTube

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    Just one day after controversial YouTuber Sam Rader admitted to using a paid account on Ashley Madison, the vlogger was kicked out of a conference for allegedly threatening violence against other attendees.

    Rader and his wife Nia made national headlines earlier this month when he supposedly surprised his wife by telling her she was pregnant after testing her pee from a toilet bowl. They dominated the news again less than a week later when the couple announced they’d had a miscarriage, sparking accusations of them falsifying the pee video for YouTube views (they maintain the videos were “staged by God”). That first viral video has 14 million views on the platform, with the miscarriage follow-up clocking in with almost 5 million.

    Then, this weekend, Rader attended VloggerFair in Seattle and was kicked out of the event for allegedly threatening other vloggers.

    In a statement to Gawker, Rader said he had approached a vlogger at the event who had said disparaging things about Rader and his family’s videos.

    “It was one person, and I didn’t make a threat,” he said. “What happened was there was a couple of fellow vloggers who had ridiculed our family on Twitter regarding the method we were mourning the loss, our miscarriage on Twitter.”

    Rader said that he and the other vlogger were chest-to-chest and had a verbal altercation, after which he was kicked out of the event by organizers.

    Popular YouTuber Meghan Tonjes began tweeting about the incident on Sunday.

    “We are still in the process of collecting reports from those who were witnesses to two separate situations catalyzed by Sam Rader in and around our event,” VloggerFair founder Chris Pirillo in an email to the Daily Dot. “It is not our place to judge Sam’s actions, but to have judged the best course of action which would ensure the safety of all other participants and attendees.”

    Pirillo added that the organization was “wholly unaware of a certain pattern when Sam and Nia asked to participate in VloggerFair several months ago” and that the situations involving Rader were not indicative of VloggerFair on the whole. 

    This news comes hot on the heels of another controversy in the Rader household: Sam Rader’s name was included in the massive Ashley Madison hack, showing that he’d made a paid account in September 2013, the month his wife gave birth to their second child. While has not yet made a video about the VloggerFair incident, Rader did address his Ashley Madison use in a video titled “FORGIVEN.” With his wife sitting over his shoulder, he explains that his transgression, prompted by “pure fleshly desires and simple curiosity,” is in the past.

    Rader promised Gawker that he'd address the VloggerFair incident in a video soon.

    “All that you’re asking me is in my videos,” he said.

    H/T Gawker | Screengrab via Sam and Nia

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    Tobias Strebel, the 35-year-old man who got plastic surgery to resemble Justin Bieber, has been reported missing. 

    According to ABC7, Strebel (who previously went by the name Toby Sheldon) was last seen in West Hollywood on Aug. 18, and friend Mel Espinoza told the outlet it’s “very unusual” that he’s been missing this long, especially without leaving a note. 

    Strebel entered the limelight after appearing on E!’s plastic surgery reality show Botched in 2014. Last year he also appeared in a music video with fellow celebrity impersonators who’d gotten plastic surgery to look like Madonna and Jennifer Lawrence. Strebel allegedly spent roughly $100,000 to look more like a version of the younger Bieber. His Twitter and Instagram accounts haven’t been updated in some time. 

    Police say he may have been driving a 2009 Toyota Camry. The LAPD is still looking for leads. 

    H/T ABC 7 | Screengrab via GR Media/YouTube 

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    Don’t dish it if you can’t take it, the old adage goes. And it especially holds true if you dare troll the great Nicki Minaj.

    The award-winning artist is well known for calling out race and gender bias, showing the entertainment industry that the truth hurts. Minaj used some of that same fierceness on a few Instagrammers trolling her Saturday evening by posting their pictures to her account. 

    Minaj eventually deleted the pictures, but she spelled out her new hater policy on Twitter. 

    There’s a certain safety in anonymity on the Internet that brings out the worse in the everyday human, but once the tables are turned, maybe the haters will start thinking twice before they talk smack.

    But for real, why would anyone in their right mind come for Nicki Minaj? Haters, you will never win that fight. 

    H/T BroBible | Screengrab via NickiMinajatVEVO/YouTube

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    One of many treasures hidden within the new Nirvana documentary Montage of Heck is a wealth of previously unreleased tracks and demos. Today, another one of those songs has been released into the wild. 

    "E-Coli" is a "jam" in every sense of the word. The plodding, nine-minute track sounds a bit more like pre-Nevermind Nirvana, or perhaps something that could have crawled off Incesticide, though it's pegged to be from 1993 or '94. 

    Speaking with the Daily Dot after the SXSW debut, Montage director Brett Morgen said he hoped to release more of the discovered tracks featured in the film over the summer. It's not clear if he posted this song; the YouTube description says it was uploaded anonymously to Reddit. There's also the theory that viral video star Dave Grohl is a potential source of leaks, which has been denied by his management. 

    Morgen also spoke about how Kurt Cobain's wife, Courtney Love, and daughter, Frances Bean, offered him access to the storage unit that housed a box of 108 cassettes, which formed the foundation of the film: 

    There was all this incredible spoken word and his audio autobiography of his youth. His cover of the Beatles’ ‘And I Love Her.’ Just this incredible stuff that really, to me, is what elevated the film, because Kurt was an artist first. And like all artists, he left behind this autobiography in this life. The fact that he worked in both visual and oral media meant it was one of the most complete visual and oral autobiographies.

    On Friday, a few days after Frances Bean's 23rd birthday, Love posted a touching message on Instagram. Which, of course, trolls wasted no time picking apart. 

    Between this and the September reissue of a Bikini Kill demo, 15-year-old me is screaming. 

    H/T Stereogum | Photo via davetoaster/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

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    If you think Daniel LaRusso was the hero of The Karate Kid, think again.

    Many people remember The Karate Kid as the story of an underdog, Daniel, who moves to California from New Jersey and is immediately hazed by a crew of advanced karate experts. Rough around the edges, Daniel seeks the help of his building super, Mr. Miyagi, who teaches him to unlock the secrets of karate by waxing cars and painting fences.

    But if you look a little closer, it turns out Johnny, the blond leader of the Cobra Kai with a dirt bike and homogenous posse, was completely innocent throughout the entire storyline. YouTuber J. Matthew Turner illustrates in grave detail exactly how this works.

    It turns out Daniel was “a violent sociopath who moves to a California town and begins tormenting a local boy and his friends,” according to Turner. Indeed, you see that Daniel was always the first to escalate matters in encounters with the flawed hero “with a commitment to atone for past mistakes.”  

    This theory is strikingly similar to Barney Stinson’s (Neil Patrick Harris) centering of Johnny as the real Karate Kid on CBS’s How I Met Your Mother. In Stinson’s version, Johnny “learns an important lesson about gracefully accepting defeat” after being foiled by “the scrawny loser from New Jersey.”

    Maybe we were wrong this entire time. What if Johnny is the true hero? Does that mean he gets to reclaim his trophy? What does Jaden Smith think about all this? Was Mr. Miyagi actually a figment of Daniel LaRusso’s demented mind? We may never know. 

    Screengrab via J. Matthew Turner/YouTube

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    On Sunday, retired talk show host Jon Stewart entered the fray at WWE's SummerSlam and surprised the crowd by turning heel to help Seth Rollins defeat John Cena in a title match. On Monday during WWE Raw, Cena gave Stewart his painful comeuppance.

    As Stewart tried to offer his hand to Cena during at attempt at some kind of truce, Cena—long the babyface for the WWE—got nasty, grabbing Stewart and giving him a ride on his finishing move, appropriately titled the Attitude Adjustment.

    It's hard not sympathize with Cena. After all, this was how Stewart turned on Cena during Sunday's big show.

    As for Stewart, he seemed to take the bump well, and he obviously felt OK enough to try to pull down his shirt over his exposed belly.

    And with that, Cena left the ring, apparently getting the approval of Ric Flair, who obviously believes that one good turn deserves another (or that one good chair shot deserves a high-impact wrestling bump).

    Screengrab via WWE/Twitter

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    Ever wondered what porn stars think about foreign types of candy that you wouldn’t be able to buy without some difficulty? Have you ever wanted a face mask that won’t work but tastes great? Or do you want to watch a corpulent, bald man struggle to crack open an Xbox?

    No, probably not. But in a misdirected attempt at viral relevance, Myx TV—an Asian-American cable network—has made it possible to watch all these things with the launch of three new webseries.

    First up is The Alternative, where an “Eastern medicine specialist and holistic healer” instructs you on the all-natural way to treat acne—pasting your face with a stodge of ground-up oranges and turmeric. Not her face, mind you, as she’s only brave enough to dab a minuscule amount on the back of her hand, likely fearful of an outbreak of flowing pustules.

    And that orange “tint” that your skin is left with after letting the turmeric—used as a fabric dye for thousands of years—sear into your skin overnight? Apparently scouring your face with the well-known, organic elixir of Mother Nature that is rubbing alcohol will purge you of the stain and have your visage looking and feeling “shiny.”

    And so to Snaxxx, where adult entertainers eat odd varieties of Kit Kats and then repeat fifth-grade sexual innuendos for three and a half minutes. It’s tedious stuff, all the more so when you remember that a similar thing is done so much better elsewhere. What does it say about your onscreen presence if within seconds the viewer is so tired of your dull, predictable patter that the only reason they haven’t turned off is because they’re wondering what could have been even more boring to constantly necessitate being edited out? I’m not sure what this means for their day jobs. Perhaps there is some sort of narcoleptic niche that has somehow passed me by.

    Finally there is Buddha Smash, which at least must know that it is stupid: a fat Asian man throwing an Xbox against a wall. As the name suggests, he’s supposed to be Buddha, and you would like to think that his anger is a play on the pacifistic nature of his followers. But I doubt it. 

    Sacrilegious? Definitely. Racist? The series has a garbled backstory featuring a boat “made of the finest Bok Choy,” so probably. You’ve got to wonder how many people will want to watch this. The answer, after 4 days? 37.

    Screengrab via MyxTV/YouTube 

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    Playing a variety game on a late-night talk show is a small price for celebrities to pay in order to promote their work, and while some people will gladly perform or reluctantly do it, others aren’t standing for it anymore.

    Bob Odenkirk did not agree to play games with Jimmy Kimmel, and despite having his publicist tell Kimmel’s people he didn’t want to do it, Kimmel tried to engage him in a game of Heatherball (tetherball, but with Heather Graham’s face). He protested in a scenario that—like pretty much anything involving celebrities—was probably scripted and pre-planned, but Kimmel kept insisting. After all, his crew worked so hard on the set.

    Even by protesting, you’re still playing a game that’ll result in mild embarrassment and endearment from the crowd.

    Screengrab via Jimmy Kimmel Live/YouTube

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    The Weeknd, a Basquiat-haired Toronto singer signed by Drake, is blowing up the music charts with his debauched sex and drugs anthems. He's become the first artist to hold the top three songs simultaneously on the Billboard R&B chart. He's a headliner on summer festivals and projected as a long-term pop fixture. But there is an artist with more top-10 songs on that chart at this very moment, and they’re all wholesome love songs about cooking drugs and making money with his significant other.

    You may have missed it, but Fetty Wap saw his singles, “Again,” “697,” “My Way,” and “Trap Queen,” all rise on the charts last week, also filling up the top 40 of the Hot 100 Chart (the one with Taylor Swift and the “Cheerleader”). This is an incredible feat for a rapper, especially in 2015, when rap and R&B scratch the pop charts fewer and further between. In fact Fetty is the first artist in history to have his first four singles all hit the top of the rap charts at the same time. 

    And in a marketing stroke of genius, every new music playlist on Spotify seems to come bundled with a Fetty feature. Even when the music isn't, you know, new: "Again" was released as a follow-up single on Aug. 7 via Spotify—it hit YouTube in January. The"Appears On" section of his Spotify profile lists 27 guest appearances across the hip-hop landscape this year alone as a guest performer. 

    “Trap Queen,” the song that your uncle is discovering on Facebook this week and judging, was a slow burner. The now-platinum single was officially released in April 2014 but didn’t peak at No. 2 on the Billboard chart until May of this year. This allowed Fetty to continue recording new music without the distraction of instant fame and build somewhat organically. All while "Trap Queen" appeared to run its one-hit wonder course online.

    A quick requiem for the song of the summer: There’s just no denying the cultural impact it made, from websites breaking their backs to try to define the nominal slang term for their readers, to the great argument made for it being the “greatest love song of our generation.”

    Fortunately for Fetty and fans, his story won't end there.

    Just look at the Drake effect. In recent years, the Champagne Papi himself has hopped on remixes of songs as a way of positioning himself as a tastemaker, like with Migos and Makonnen. In Fetty Wap’s case, when Drake hopped on the “My Way” remix, it seemed less like a move intended as a big-name co-sign and more like one intended to placate the competition. 

    From “they should call me Jaaaaaames, ‘cause I’m going hard in this bitch” to the inept “gahdamn gahdamn” at the end, Drake sent over a trojan horse, one meant to both trash the song by association and also set himself up as the artist to “discover” Fetty Wap. Still, “My Way” became the seventh-most popular song in the country with the far superior–if still ham-handed–verse from Fetty’s homeboy Monty. Even as other Drake-assisted songs from Nicki Minaj, The Game, and Makonnen couldn’t crack the top-40.

    The reason for Fetty’s success is not dissimilar from any other artist topping the charts–he straight up makes hits. As many percolating rap artists are incorporating more melodies in their flows elsewhere on the charts, Fetty stands above the rest. In addition to making a song about love whilst dealing crack cocaine universally relatable with lines like, “I just left the mall, I’m getting fly with my baby,” Fetty finds the perfect melody to get stuck inside ear canals. “Trap Queen” is a blaring expression of longtime love with a soaring hook and “My Way” is more repetitive and metronomic come-on. They both sound best when screamed at the club and surrounded by an inebriated makeshift choir.

    Fetty Wap doesn’t have the most perfect singing voice, but much more importantly, he has a distinctive one. It is at the same time guttural and emotive—the frog in his throat is going through some things. There is something so pure about his singing voice, and it’s obvious when looking at his lyrics or interviews that there is also the same purity to Fetty as a man. He was born and raised in a rough area of Paterson, New Jersey, and he has talked about how his music and mindset have led him to avoid the pitfalls that are so pervasive in his neighborhood. His Instagram page, especially before he was posting photos on stage with Taylor Swift, is almost wholly dedicated to photosofhischildren.

    Fetty has also brought his friends along for the ride. Montana Bucks has been featured on two of the four singles currently climbing the charts, and he, along with P-Dice, Khaos, and Fetty himself, make up the Remy Boyz 1738 group. The name comes from a particular type of Rémy Martin cognac, by the way. (Naming your crew after a brand of liquor is not uncommon for New Jersey rap.) This love of friends and family has made rooting for Fetty Wap infectious, even for people who aren’t necessarily riding for his music. Watch the video from his teary acceptance of a Music Choice Award–the first award he’s ever won–to see why anyone would want this kid to keep winning.

    And continue to win, he has. Besides Fetty’s two biggest hits, he’s got more tentacles reaching to the top of the charts. “697” is yet another summation of everything that makes Fetty great: a certified banger with more game than any R&B ballad and a gorgeous hook, featuring his crew in the best light possible, all distilled into two minutes. 

    The other single is “Again,” currently the lowest song on the charts, but for my money is his best yet. The title refers to a past love, but the lyrics are all present tense. It flows over a plinko game of synthesizers and sounds like an '80s Yaz song. It contains some of his most romantic lyrics: “I’m tryna finish this who I started with/I’m tryna spend it all who I got it with” and “I need you baby, I ain’t afraid to admit it.” It is his most polished pop song.

    Fetty Wap was born with glaucoma, and when he was six months old, doctors had to take his left eye out. He got an implant and began wearing a prosthetic when he was 12 years old. A couple of years ago, he got tired of people looking at him funny, thinking he was cross-eyed. Fetty took out the prosthetic and has kept it 100 with his missing eye since. At the time, he had just started rapping–mostly just trying out flows over Chief Keef beats. Not long after though, Fetty recorded “Trap Queen” and started singing. He’s been mass-producing hits ever since, and he seems destined to get that No. 1 even if it’s with a song he hasn’t made yet.

    Screengrab via harlem fetty/YouTube

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