POP-Corn: Tiffany Giardina, Imagine That, & More!
Tasty tidbits on your celebrity faves!
From Gerri Miller, for the Ink Splot 26 Celeb Beat
Hello and welcome to POP-Corn, your source for cool news from the world of entertainment. You may remember the POP-Corn column from Scholastic News Online. Well, this summer it's on The Splot! We'll be bringing you a new jam-packed edition every other week, so be sure to tune in every other Friday all through the summer! (And on the other Fridays, STACKS Staffers will be posting their own Book Flap columns clueing you in to all the latest happenings with your favorite books, series, authors, and page-to-screen adaptations. It's all part of our first Summer on The Splot!)
TIFFANY GIARDINA: NO AVERAGE ANGEL
“The first time I heard 'No Average Angel' on the radio I freaked out. I was driving around blasting it,” declares Tiffany Giardina, who has a Radio Disney hit with the first single from her CD of the same name. “It's about being yourself, not being afraid to be different,” says Tiffany about the song, which she recently performed along with another tune, “Hurry Up and Save Me,” on a visit to Radio Disney with her band.
I was lucky enough to be there for the show — check out my on-the-spot (or should I say on-the-SPLOT) video footage:
Tiffany, age 15, has been singing since she was only 5. She made her Broadway debut in Annie and appeared with Nick Jonas when they both were 9 in The Sound of Music. Last year she toured with the Jonas Brothers, good family friends who sang at her mom's birthday party. This summer she'll perform live with Mitchel Musso, Corbin Bleu, and Savannah Outen.
“My favorite part is when I see people singing the songs and knowing the words. It makes me want to give the best performance ever,” says Tiffany, who loves writing songs, two of which are on her CD.
Tiffany also had some words of wisdom to all you Splotters who want to get into the music biz yourselves:
A big fan of the JoBros, Taylor Swift, Jordin Sparks, Pat Benatar, and Pink, she'd like to duet with Jesse McCartney most of all.
Now in 10th grade, Tiffany lives with her parents, two younger sisters, and their Wheaten terrier (Spencer) north of New York City. She's home-schooled for the first time this year but often goes on field trips with other kids and her tutor, and says she still gets to see her friends and find time to surf, make Internet videos, and read. Tiffany loves Twilight (Stephanie Meyer's YA series) and would love to play Bella in a stage musical version. “I heard they're doing a Twilight-themed cruise,” she adds excitedly. “I'm going!”
What else did Tiffany have to say about reading? Check out our exclusive video:
CATCH UP WITH YARA SHAHIDI
A few days ago, The Splot introduced you to Yara Shahidi, star of the movie Imagine That, which opens in theaters today. Well, I got a chance to catch up with Yara now that the big day is finally here! And here's what I learned:
She's been acting in commercials since she was a baby, but Imagine That is Yara's first movie role, and she had a great time playing Eddie Murphy's highly imaginative daughter, Olivia. “He made me laugh a lot,” says Yara, age 9, whose favorite scene was making pancakes — she likes to cook with her real-life dad too.
While she's new to movies, Yara was on the TV show In the Motherhood with her brother Sayeed, age 6, and they'll also appear together as Samuel L. Jackson's kids in Unthinkable next year. Her many TV commercials include a favorite Tide spot, in which she “got to eat strawberries and work with my mom.”
She hopes to keep acting and work with Chris Rock one day, “but I also want to become a historian and an inventor,” says Yara, who's home schooled. She also enjoys doing science experiments, traveling, wearing creative outfits, and reading — her favorite book series is Encyclopedia Brown. She's also concerned about the environment: “We bring our cloth bags when we go grocery shopping,” Yara tells us.
A PEEK AT ZEKE
Last week, The Splot also brought you an exclusive with the stars of Disney XD's new show, Zeke & Luther (are we on top of this celeb stuff or what?!). Well, the show debuts in just a few days (on June 15 at 8:30 p.m.), and for those of you who just can't wait any longer, I'm here with an update from Zeke himself:
Native Californian Hutch Dano, age 16, followed his dad and grandfather into acting after he tried out for and had fun doing a production of The Wizard of Oz at camp. He has guest-starred on The Suite Life and recently shot his first movie, Ramona & Beezus, playing Selena Gomez's long-time pal who develops a crush on her. Due out next March, the film is based on Beverly Cleary's book series.
As for his own reading choices, “I'm reading the last Harry Potter. I know I'm a little bit behind,” Hutch says. “I have read the Twilight books, and I thought they were really good. I like romantic type things every once in a while.” Aw . . .
WHAT TO WATCH & HEAR
The Jonas Brothers perform on Good Morning America today to promote the release of their new album Lines, Vines and Trying Times, in stores June 16th. Their summer tour starts June 20th in Dallas, Texas, with Jordin Sparks as the opening act. Jordin's second CD is due out July 14th.
Also on store shelves June 16th is the new CD from Ashley Tisdale, Guilty Pleasure. You can catch Ashley and the rest of the Wildcats in the Starz premiere of High School Musical 3 June 13th at 9 PM, or watch sing-along versions of High School Musical and HSM2 on June 20th on Disney Channel. You'll also hear HSM's Corbin Bleu on a new episode of Phineas and Ferb June 22nd at 8 p.m. on Disney XD.
Greek has its season finale June 15th at 8 p.m. on ABC Family, and Secret Life of the American Teenager returns to the channel the following Monday, June 22nd, at 8 p.m., followed by the premiere of Make it or Break It, about gymnasts competing to get into the Olympics.
Real teens are also competing on TV — in endurance and survival skill events in the new Cartoon Network reality show Survive This, premiering June 17th at 8:30 p.m.
Set your DVRs: Happy Feet has its ABC Family premiere June 13th at 8 p.m., opposite the ABC movie of the week The Haunted Mansion. The following week, ABC will run Lemony Snicket's a Series of Unfortunate Events, June 20th at 8 p.m.
That's it for this edition of POP-Corn! Don't forget to check back June 26th for more celebrity scoop!
— Gerri Miller, for the Ink Splot 26 Celeb Beat
Hutch Dano photo Copyright © Disney XD/Bob D'Amico
Tiffany Giardina photos and video Copyright © Gerri Miller
Photo of Yara & Eddie Copyright © Bruce McBroom/Paramount