News Round-Up: December 31, 2020

Norm Lewis at 54 Below
Norm Lewis at 54 Below
Tony Award nominee Norm Lewis

Some news items you might have missed:

News Observer: LGBTQ people in North Carolina can no longer be prevented from getting domestic violence protective orders, the N.C. Court of Appeals ruled Thursday. North Carolina had been the only state in the country to withhold emergency protections from people seeking protection from abuse by a same-sex partner.

Instinct Magazine: My editor at my other journalistic home, Adam Dupuis, shares this wild and wooly tale of a stalker who utilized 11 different email accounts and numerous Growlr accounts in order to cyberstalk him. #strangeness

54Below: My fabulous friend (and Tony Award nominee) Norm Lewis has the perfect song for tonight – from his recent Feinstein’s/54 Below streaming concert NORM LEWIS: Christmastime Is Here! 

Facebook: Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Nebraska) wrote a lengthy breakdown of efforts to undermine the election, concluding there was no evidence of voter fraud. Sasse adds that – in private chats – no Republicans in Congress think the election was stolen.

NBC News: Grafton Police have arrested the Aurora Health Care pharmacist who intentionally spoiled more than 500 doses of the Moderna coronavirus vaccine valued around $8,000 to $11,000. He has been arrested on charges of first degree recklessly endangering safety, adulterating a prescription drug, and criminal damage to property.

Washington Examiner: Donald Trump promised in the 2016 campaign to eliminate the federal debt over a two-term presidency. Instead, he will leave office having added massively to the debt. Since his inauguration, the total national debt has increased 30% from nearly $20 trillion to $27 trillion as of Monday.

Cheri Oteri’s ‘Barbara Walters’ Leaves Anderson Cooper In Tears

SNL alum Cheri Oteri as ‘Barbrsa Walters’ on NYE

While it was fun to see SNL alum Cheri Oteri revive to her ‘Barbara Walters’ persona for New Year’s Eve, it was even more hysterical watching Andy Cohen and Anderson Cooper laugh uncontrollably during the clip.

Madonna’s Midnight Surprise At The Stonewall Inn

Madonna surprised the crowd last night with a midnight appearance at the iconic Stonewall Inn in New York City.
Madonna prepares to surprise the NYE crowd at the iconic Stonewall Inn in NYC

Madonna surprised the crowd last night with a midnight appearance at the iconic Stonewall Inn in New York City.

Madge was recently named a ‘Stonewall Ambassador’ by Pride Live to help bring awareness to this year’s 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising on June 28, 2019. In honor of the anniversary, World Pride is being held in New York City this year.

Appearing onstage in an appropriate melange of leather, chains and glitter, the Queen of Pop noted, “This is the smallest stage I’ve ever been on.”

She then went on to address the diverse crowd about the memory and revolution of Stonewall (via Boy Culture):

“I see you! I stand here, proudly, at the place where Pride began, the legendary Stonewall Inn, and the birth of a new year.

“We come together tonight to celebrate 50 years of revolution. Fifty years of freedom-fighting. Fifty years of blood, sweat and tears — can I get an amen?! Fifty years of sacrifice. Fifty years of standing up to discrimination, hatred and — worst of all — indifference.

“And it all started here, at Stonewall. Let us never forget the Stonewall Riots and those who bravely stood up and said, Enough. Enough brutality, enough violence inflicted on this community, enough stigmatism, enough oppression, enough pain and suffering.

“We must never forget where we came from.”

Madonna then launched into an acoustic version of her mega-hit “Like A Prayer.” That was followed by a duet of the Elvis classic, “Can’t Help Falling in Love,” with her son, David, on guitar.

(h/t Boy Culture)

Australia Rings In The New Year With Rainbow-Colored Fireworks In Honor Of Marriage Equality

Rainbow-colored fireworks at Sydney's New Years celebration

Australia rang in the new year with an estimated 1.5 million attending the awesome fireworks show over Sydney harbor.

This year’s show included a section with rainbow-colored fireworks in honor of the recently passed legislation legalizing same-sex marriage.

Although a few couples received special permission to wed early, the official start date for marriage equality down under is January 8.

Mariah Carey’s New Year’s Eve Performance More ‘Rocky’ Than ‘Rocking’

(image via screen capture)

Just before the ball dropped in Times Square on Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve last night, Mariah Carey took to the stage for a “live” performance of two of her hits, “Emotions” and “We Belong Together.”

But things turned out a bit more ‘rocky’ than ‘rockin.’

Seconds after making her entrance, Carey seem out of sync or having technical problems with the sound.

At first, it appeared that the music was off, and she was supposed to be lip synching. Soon though, Carey almost seemed to give up saying she couldn’t hear.

So the audience was left with La Carey walking the stage as her dancers continued on. At one point, Carey announced that she was just going to let the crowd sing instead as she tried to explain she couldn’t hear.

Along the way, Carey put on her game face trying to just survive the debacle saying, “I’m trying to be a good sport here.”

When the cringeworthy six minutes were up, Carey exited the stage saying, “Guess it doesn’t get better than this.”

The Hollywood Reporter shares from a backstage source:

The singer had suffered from a tight and difficult rehearsal schedule earlier in the night was unable to hear through her in-ear monitor … She didn’t have the kind of time that she usually gets for her “Mariah-ness.’

Not so sure about all that. When you’re making a major, national TV appearance how “tight” can your schedule be?

I think what was more off-putting was Mariah’s cavalier attitude throughout the “performance.” She didn’t seem to attempt any kind of effort to put something out there.

And if she couldn’t hear, why were her dancers having no problem being in sync? I’m guessing they could hear something?

I’m not going to crucify Carey, but I will say this: if you get paid millions of dollars to perform before a national TV audience minutes before the New Year, perhaps you could make time to do your due diligence and show up for a 10 minute sound check?

If you can cash the check, do the sound check.

In the end, it’s not really very important in the big scheme of things.

A short time after, Mimi tweeted “Shit happens 😩 Have a happy and healthy new year everybody!🎉 Here’s to making more headlines in 2017”

Of course, the Twitterverse couldn’t wait to chime in: