Eurovision Song Contest picks Wurst winner
Also in Tattle: The battle over yogurt, Rose Parade chooses grand marshal, Questlove produces show, Sherri Shepherds View of divorce.
BEARDED drag queen Conchita Wurst, the alter ego of 25-year-old Thomas Neuwirth, made a triumphant return to Austria yesterday after winning the Eurovision Song Contest in what the country's president called a victory for tolerance in Europe.
Can you imagine if she would have been drafted in the NFL?
Wurst was greeted at Vienna Airport by hundreds of fans singing the winning ballad, "Rise Like a Phoenix."
Before the competition Saturday night, Wurst drew criticism from Eastern Europe, with some blasting her as an example of Western decadence.
Excuse us, but when you spend $50 billion to turn a summer resort into a Winter Olympics site, you don't get to criticize anyone else for being decadent.
And speaking of Russia, Wurst even won judging points from them.
"You can't reduce a country to its tolerance or intolerance," she said.
The New York Senate's debate about declaring yogurt the state's official snack was intended to teach a fourth-grade class about government. But it became a lesson on legislative silliness from David Letterman and Jon Stewart.
The Senate spent 45 minutes debating the merits of the legislation, which was introduced at the urging of students from a dairy-producing area in western New York.
Before passing the bill, senators mulled the distinction between snacks and meals and whether other snacks were more deserving.
"What exactly are we defining as a snack?" asked Sen. Gustavo Rivera, D-Bronx.
"I think it's self-explanatory. I mean, you have breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and then you have snacks," said the bill's sponsor, Sen. Michael Ranzenhofer, R-Batavia.
Letterman and Stewart skewered the exchange, with Letterman playing video as part of a segment called "New York State: Your Tax Dollars at Work."
Stewart called the deliberations "maybe the best 40 minutes" of legislative debate ever.
In news to Tattle, New York is America's largest yogurt producer.
Pennsylvania, by the way, doesn't have a state snack (yet) but it does have a state candy, chocolate, and a state cookie, chocolate chip.
Coming up roses
Ninety-seven-year-old World War II hero, former Olympian and subject of the upcoming Angelina Jolie-directed movie, "Unbroken," Louis Zamperini has been named grand marshal of the 2015 Rose Parade, whose theme will be "Inspiring Stories."
"When the book [by Laura Hillenbrand] was written, the writer wanted 15 of my college buddies to interview. That scared me," Zamperini said at the announcement. "But she interviewed 15 of 'em and then she wanted to interview 16 of my war buddies that were in prison with me.
"And now, after the book was finished, all of my college buddies are dead, all of my war buddies are dead. It's sad to realize that you've lost all your friends. But I think I made up for it. I made a new friend - Angelina Jolie. And the gal really loves me, she hugs me and kisses me, so I can't complain."
* According to court records, Lamar Sally, the husband of comedian and "The View" co-host Sherri Shepherd, has filed for legal separation after nearly three years of marriage.
Lamar filed for separation May 2 in L.A. Superior Court. The pair married in August 2011, and Sally's filing states they are expecting a son, being carried by a surrogate, who is due in July.
He is seeking custody of the unborn child. Sherri can visit.
Lamar also wants spousal support from Sherri. His filing asks a judge to invalidate the couple's prenup based on fraud. It does not provide any further details.
* Roots leader (and Philly guy) Questlove is exec producing a music series for VH1 that will feature three artists performing simultaneously on one stage. "SoundClash" debuts July 23 with Lil Wayne, Fall Out Boy and British group London Grammar.
The concept (a variation on the British music show "Later . . . with Jools Holland") is to showcase A-listers and rising acts performing a range of songs, from current hits to covers to collaborative numbers.
Ed Sheeran, Sia and Grouplove will appear on the second episode, July 30. Diplo hosts.
* Writer-comic Larry Wilmore of "The Daily Show" has earned Stephen Colbert's coveted Comedy Central time slot following Jon Stewart each night.
Wilmore will host "The Minority Report" at 11:30 each weeknight, starting in January.
Comedy Central said "The Minority Report" will provide a platform for "underrepresented voices in comedy and media." It was created and will be produced by Stewart, who will continue to host "The Daily Show."
Wilmore, 52, serves as senior black correspondent on "The Daily Show," which he joined in 2006. Before that, among many credits, he had written for "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" and co-created the "Bernie Mac Show."
* "Thor" star Chris Hemsworth is reportedly in talks to star in a remake of "Lethal Weapon," possibly as the son of Mel Gibson's Martin Riggs. "Fast and Furious" helmer Justin Lin is attached to direct, according to CinemaBlend.com.
No word yet if Gibson or Danny Glover will take part, but if the money is lethal enough . . .
* Hugh Jackman has had another cancerous growth removed.
He told the Associated Press he had a basal-cell carcinoma removed from his nose.
Want to get kids to wear sunscreen? Make a PSA with Wolverine removing the growth.
* Jon Hamm's wax figure was unveiled Friday at New York's Madame Tussauds.
If the rumors about Hamm are true, we're surprised he doesn't have a silicone rubber figure.
- Daily News wire services
contributed to this report.
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