"American Idol" making history with first-ever simultaneous coast-to-coast voting 

ABC(NEW YORK) -- American Idol is bringing interactive TV to a whole new level with the first-ever simultaneous coast-to-coast voting system.

For the first time in television history, viewers on both the East and West coasts will be able to watch the show and vote for their favorite performers simultaneously.  They'll also be able to see the results by the show's end.

You'll be able to vote by text, via, and using the American Idol app. 

To compensate for the three-hour time difference, beginning Sunday April 29, the show will air live at 8 p.m. Eastern time and 5 p.m. Pacific, with an 8 p.m. replay for West Coast viewers.

ABC Entertainment President Channing Dungey said in a statement, "As we head into the next phase of the American Idol competition, it only makes sense to let every viewer from coast to coast experience the magic of live television and have the ability to vote for America’s next superstar."

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Bradley Cooper says he "really relied" on Lady Gaga while making "A Star Is Born"

Neal Preston

(NEW YORK) -- Lady Gaga is making her movie debut in A Star Is Born, as an aspiring singer taken under the wing of a veteran star, played by Bradley Cooper.  While Lady Gaga already had the singing part down, Cooper didn't -- and he was shocked when Gaga insisted that if he didn't learn, it would be a dealbreaker.

According to Billboard, Cooper -- who's also directed the film -- told an audience at New York's Tribeca Film Festival, "She said right from the beginning that this was going to be a bargain: [She told me] 'I’m gonna rely on you to get a performance that’s honest out of me...and I’m gonna make sure you turn into a musician, because we’re going to sing everything live.'"

Cooper continued, "I thought, wait, what? She said, 'I can’t stand when I watch movies when they have music and you can tell when it’s pre-recorded and people are lip-syncing.' And she’s right. So that was terrifying, but I really relied on her."

So Cooper took music lessons for 18 months so he could play guitar and sing like an actual rock star.  He even filmed himself performing onstage at real-life music festivals like Glastonbury and Stagecoach.

"You can't hide when you sing," he said. "To me, the best way to express love is through singing and music. I knew that if I could marry that in a way, that'd be special. Lady Gaga is just kind of a revelation."

A Star Is Born hits theaters this October.

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Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and partner welcome daughter Tiana Gia

ABC/Randy Holmes(LOS ANGELES) -- Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is a father of three.

The Rampage star announced on Instagram Monday that he and his partner, Lauren Hashian, had welcomed another daughter, Tiana Gia, or Tia.

The two are also parents to two-year-old Jasmine; Johnson has a teenage daughter, Simone, from a previous marriage.

"Blessed and proud to bring another strong girl into this world. Tiana Gia Johnson came into this world like a force of nature and Mama @laurenhashianofficial labored and delivered like a true rockstar," Johnson wrote on Instagram.

"I was raised and surrounded by strong, loving women all my life, but after participating in baby Tia’s delivery, it’s hard to express the new level of love, respect and admiration I have for @laurenhashianofficial and all mamas and women out there."

Johnson, 45, announced that Hashian was pregnant with a girl in December. In his Instagram post, he also wrote a message to the baby, promising to always take care of her.

"To my third and youngest daughter, Tiana Gia - like I did when your two older sisters Simone Alexandra and Jasmine Lia were born, you have my word, I’ll love, protect, guide and make ya laugh for the rest of my life," he wrote.

"Your crazy dad has many responsibilities and wears many hats in this big ol’ world, but being your dad will always be the one I’m most proud to wear."

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Anthony Mackie addresses speculation that an Avenger will die in "Infinity War" and jokes about his possible unemployment

ABC/Lorenzo Bevilaqua(NEW YORK) -- It could possibly be the end of the road for Avengers star Anthony Mackie, who is set to reprise his role as Sam Wilson/Falcon on Avengers: Infinty War on Friday. While it's not confirmed which -- or if any -- Avenger will actually die in the epic battle with the film's villain Thanos -- there is some speculation that the Marvel Cinematic Universe may lose at least one of its good guys.

Although the notion is sobering to Mackie, he tells ABC Radio he's taking it in stride.

"It could potentially mean I'm unemployed," he laughs.

"The big thing for me is not so much if I live or die through the battle -- or literally if any lives or die through the battle -- it's just that the story is told."

As the film's release approaches, Mackie, like other MCU stars, remain tight-lipped about how the upcoming Avengers films -- Infinity War and the forthcoming as-yet-untitled 2019 Avengers film -- will ultimately affect the franchise. According to Mackie, there's really one thing that is for certain within the MCU -- it's "out of [the actors'] hands."

"I feel like, all of our producers have a very clear idea of what they want this movie to be and how they want these characters to continue," he explains. "So, it's you know, out of our hands. It's been a good ride, it's been fun. I love being an Avenger... but these two movies kind of tell the tale of what the next 10 to 15 years will be." 

Avengers: Infinity War hits theaters April 27. It's produced by Marvel Studios, which like ABC News, is owned by Disney.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Paula Patton attempts to clear up her involvement with a married man: "He's in the process of divorce" 

Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Paula Patton is shooting down allegations that she's currently dating a happily married man.

In an interview with Hello Beautiful, Patton made clear that her boyfriend, Zach Quittman, has already split with his wife.

“I would just say when I met him he was separated from his wife and he’s in the process of divorce,” Patton said. “They’re still married as that happens. He told his wife a while ago and I told Robin," said Patton, referring to ex-husband Robin Thicke.  "[Quittman's wife] heard it from him first, not from anybody else. I let Robin know because he’s the father of my child and I thought he had a right to know that I had somebody, since the first time that we been divorced, that I wanted in my life and that I want my child to know.”

Page Six, however, reports that Quittman, a Malibu, California real estate developer, and his wife are not legally separated and that he's not even moved out of their house yet. According to Paula, that's not true.

“I would never go into any one else’s marriage and disrupt it in a million, trillion years," she said. "This man was already living in a different home.”

Patton, 42, says at this point in her life, she's all about living in her truth.  “The truth is, people don’t really care that much about you," she said. "They think about themselves. So they talk about you for a few seconds but then they’re on to their own lives."

She continues, "Start living your life the way you want to and people will respect you because you’re in your truth."

Patton's film, Traffik, is now in theaters.

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Chris Evans is done with Captain America after "Avengers 4" -- or is he? 

Marvel Studios(NEW YORK) -- Chris Evans has stated repeatedly that he's hanging up Captain America's shield for good after Avengers 4 reshoots this summer.  However, on Good Morning America Monday morning, he seemed to leave some wiggle room.

"A lot of our contracts are through," Evans said. "Myself, [Robert] Downey [Jr.], [Chris] Hemsworth, we all kind of started roughly at the same time, and I think we all, through Avengers 4, kinda kind of all wrap it up. So at this point, I don't know what's next, by of 2019, that's it!"

"We hope that's not it, we hope there's more," Michael Strahan said -- to which Evans responded, "Well, we'll see!"  Granted, that response could be a sly bit of misdirection as to his character's fate, but it's likely to get the geek-o-sphere buzzing.

Captain America's appearance in Infinity War seems to point in the direction that he's given up the Cap mantle. Trailers for Infinity War show he's shed the clean-cut look: he's bearded, wearing a uniform that's had its central patriotic star torn off.  And he also isn't carrying his trademark red, white and blue shield.  None of this, of course, means Evans is on his way out, or that he's sticking around.

In the comics, both Cap's pals Sam "The Falcon" Wilson and Bucky "The Winter Soldier" Barnes take up the role of Captain America at various times. Their real-life alter-egos, Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan, respectively, have more Marvel movies left on their contracts.

Avengers: Infinity War opens Friday from Marvel Studios, which is owned by Disney, parent company of ABC News.

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"Avengers" cast assembles in Beverly Hills ahead of "Infinity War" premiere 

Marvel Studios(LOS ANGELES) -- The Avengers assembled in Beverly Hills over the weekend, as the cast descended upon a press conference Sunday to discuss Marvel Studios' highly anticipated movie, Avengers: Infinity War, which hits theaters Friday.

Stars Chris Hemsworth, Chadwick Boseman and Zoe Saldana were among those on hand to talk about the film, which features more than 20 Avengers, and Hemsworth -- who plays Thor -- was as excited as anyone to see all those superheroes gathered in one place.

"This whole film for me was, I felt like a fan," Hemsworth says. "And meeting a lot of these people and the characters that I'd watched on screen and admired and so to be on screen with them as Thor, but as Chris also, was pretty damn exciting."

Boseman, who played Black Panther's titular character, insists that even though much of the action in trailers is set in Wakanda, Infinity War doesn't serve as a sequel to the wildly successful film.

"Avengers: Infinity War is Avengers: Infinity War. It's not Black Panther 1.5 or Black Panther 2 or anything like that," explains Boseman, adding, "I think we have a strong presence within the movie, and it was great to have some of these people, I'm not going to say who, exactly, in Wakanda."

Saldana, who plays Guardians of the Galaxy's Gamora, was asked her thoughts about seeing more diversity on screen in Marvel movies, and says nothing pleases her more than knowing her three sons "are going to inherit an influx of like storytelling through media that represents them and makes them feel seen and heard and that their lives and their heritage matters."

As mentioned, Avengers: Infinity War opens nationwide on Friday.

Disney is the parent company of Marvel and ABC.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


"American Idol" top 14 perform for America's vote

ABC/Eric McCandless(LOS ANGELES) -- On Sunday's episode of American idol, the top 14 contestants performed solo, and for the first time this season, America has a hand in placing at least a portion of the contenders through to the next round.

Voting opened during Sunday’s show and closes Monday at 9 a.m. ET. Viewers were instructed to vote online, in the American Idol app or via text, where they could vote 10 times per contestant, per method. The top six will move on based on America’s vote. The remaining eight artists will perform once more on Monday, with  judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan deciding which four will be added to the top 10.

Here are Sunday’s highlights:

Caleb Lee Hutchinson kicked things off, singing and picking banjo on “Midnight Train to Memphis," by The Steeldrivers. Katy was “blown away” by the performance, praising his growth, while also noting that she sensed some nerves. However, Luke but wasn’t crazy about the song choice and Lionel wanted to see more of Caleb’s personality.

Michelle Sussett followed, performing a high energy version of the current hit “FRIENDS,” by Marshmello and Anne-Marie. Luke declared that Michelle “became a pop star tonight,” and Lionel agreed, noting the Venezuela native “owned” the song and gave us “attitude.” However, Katy wasn’t impressed with the song choice, recommending that Michelle needs to play to TV viewers, not just studio audience.

Marcio Donaldson took his turn on the stage, singing Barry Manilow’s “It’s a Miracle.” Lionel praised the “old school” choice, but thought Donaldson’s confidence was getting “a little out of control.” Katy agreed, telling the artist to stop thinking about the results and just sing. Luke commended the singer for showing America “a whole ‘nother element” of his talent.

Mara Justine, 16, performed “This Is Me,” from the film The Greatest Showman, but failed to sell it to the judges. Katy acknowledged Mara came a long way as far as owning the stage, but didn’t rise vocally until the middle of the song. Luke agreed, suggesting she completely “emotionally invested” in the performance, while adding that he knew she had it in her.

Garrett Jacobs covered a former Idol winner, Phillip Phillips’ “Raging Fire.” Luke judged the performance dynamic, but pitchy, though Garrett was the first artist of the night in his opinion to look comfortable on stage. Lionel advised Jacobs to ignore the voice in his head and “stay in character.”

Drag queen Ada Vox blew the judges away with a take on Queen’s “The Show Must Go On.” You came here tonight to stop the show,” exclaimed Lionel, to which Perry added, “not only did you stop the show, you finally to started it, Queen.“ Luke said Ada had the biggest voice he ever heard.

Catie Turner, who revealed in her pre-performance package that she has plenty of fans -- and a fair amount of haters as well -- tackled Hozier’s “Take Me to Church.” Afterwards, Katy and Luke urged Catie to ignore her critics, insisting she could win the competition.

Cade Foehner showed the judges and America he had the moves -- as well as the vocal and guitar chops -- with his performance of Santana’s “Black Magic Woman.” Luke said Cade delivered the big vocal experience they’ve come to expect, while proving that he didn’t need it to wow the audience. Lionel called Foehner "the package.”

Dennis Lorenzo followed with “In My Blood,” by Shawn Mendes. Katy found it “a little shaky” at the start, but he eventually made her a believer. Luke praised Dennis for showing so many sides of himself with each of his performances.

Maddie Poppe switched the mood with her dreamy version of Simon & Garfunkel’s “Homeward Bound.” Katy said Maddie had “Incredible musical taste.” Lionel stressed that music isn’t “a business of singers,” but rather “a business of stylists,” adding that Poppe presented herself on every song. He went on to say that Maddie could “possibly be a winner on American Idol.”

Jurnee brought the judges to their feet, singing and rapping her way through “Bang Bang,” by Jessie J, Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj. Luke and Lionel praised Jurnee for “bringing it,” and Katy was impressed with her growth as a performer, as well as a singer.

Next, Jonny Brenns covered Panic! At the Disco’s “This Is Gospel.” The judges agreed his vocals needed more work, but applauded him for always “having fun.”

The always unpredictable Michael J. Woodard delivered his spin on “Titanium,” by David Guetta, featuring Sia. He drew a standing ovation from the judges, including Katy, who told the 20-year-old, “After the show is finished, I’m going to Coachella with Sia…and…I will tell her, ‘I met a star today that sang your song incredibly.’”

Country singer Gabby Barrett closed out the show with her rendition of Miley Cyrus’ “The Climb.” Luke dubbed it his favorite performance of the night. Katy joked that Gabby “went through the ‘starwash,’" adding Gabby looked and sounded “like a gosh darn star.” Lionel called it a “magical moment," declaring, "we’re watching the beginning to that phrase, ‘A star is born.’”

American Idol returns Monday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


"A Quiet Place" creeps past "Rampage" with $22 million weekend

Paramount Pictures(LOS ANGELES) -- A Quiet Place snuck past Rampage to reclaim the top spot at the box office with an estimated $22 million weekend. Its total here in the states now stand at roughly $132.4 million. Overseas, the thriller picked up an estimated $15 million, bringing its worldwide tally to over $207 million.

Rampage, last week's box office champ, finished the weekend right behind A Quiet Place at number two, delivering an estimated $21 million and bringing its domestic total to about $66 million. Internationally, it collected an estimated $57 million, bringing its global tally to $283 million.

The Amy Schumer comedy I Feel Pretty bowed in third place, earning an estimated $16.2 million, lagging behind her last offerings, Snatched and Trainwreck, which debuted with $19.5 million and $30 million, respectively.

Broken Lizard's Super Troopers 2 landed in fourth place with an impressive $14.7 million, nearly matching the the first film's $18 million overall run.

The horror feature Truth or Dare rounds out the top five with an estimated $7.9 million weekend.

Here are the top 10 movies from Friday through Sunday, with estimated weekend gross ticket sales:

1. A Quiet Place, $22 million
2. Rampage, $21 million
3. I Feel Pretty, $16.2 million
4. Super Troopers 2, $14.7 million
5. Truth or Dare, $7.9 million
6. Ready Player One, $7.5 million
7. Blockers, $6.98 million
8. Black Panther, $4.6 million
9. Traffik, $3.87 million
10. Isle of Dogs, $3.4 million

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Verne Troyer, who played Mini-Me in "Austin Powers" films, dead at 49

Tibrina Hobson/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- The actor famous for playing Mini-Me in the Austin Powers movies died Saturday.

Verne Troyer, who was 32 inches tall and played the villain in the James Bond spoofs, was 49 years old.

"It is with great sadness and incredibly heavy hearts to write that Verne passed away [Saturday]," reads a post on Troyer's official Facebook page.

Mike Meyers, who played the title role and Dr. Evil in the Austin Powers movies, released a statement expressing his grief.

“Verne was the consummate professional and a beacon of positivity for those of us who had the honor of working with him,” Myers said. “It is a sad day, but I hope he is in a better place. He will be greatly missed.”

Troyer's Facebook post described him as "an extremely caring individual" who "wanted to make everyone smile, be happy, and laugh."

The actor, who starred in Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me and Austin Powers in Goldmember, also played the role of a goblin in the cinematic smash film Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.

"Even though his stature was small and his parents often wondered if he’d be able to reach up and open doors on his own in his life, he went on to open more doors for himself and others than anyone could have imagined. He also touched more peoples hearts than he will ever know," the Facebook post adds.

Troyer's cause of death remains unknown, but the Facebook post offers insight into the actor's death.

"Over the years he’s struggled and won, struggled and won, struggled and fought some more, but unfortunately this time was too much," the post reads. "Depression and Suicide are very serious issues. You never know what kind of battle someone is going through inside. Be kind to one another."

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