URBANA – The News-Gazette checked in with actress Marlee Matlin, who was the youngest winner of the Academy Award for best actress for "Children of a Lesser God" in 1986. More recently, you've seen her on "The L Word" on Showtime, NBC's "The West Wing" and the TV movie "Sweet Nothing in My Ear." She also performed in season six of ABC's "Dancing with the Stars."
You can catch Matlin at "An Evening with Marlee Matlin" on the University of Illinois campus next week. The talk is scheduled for 8 p.m. Wednesday in the Illini Rooms at the Illini Union. Admission is free, and the doors open at 7:30 that evening. It's sponsored by the Illini Union Board and LGBT Resource Center.
Steel Magnolia is finding out that living your dream takes a lot of hard work. The country music duo of Charleston native Josh Jones and his girlfriend Meghan Linsey have been on a whirlwind trip since winning Country Music Television's "Can You Duet" singing competition this summer.
The couple won a recording contract with Big Machine records in Nashville and have already released their debut single, "Keep on Loving You." The record company selects about five songs for the winning duet to choose from as their first single.
"You win without going around blowing up about it and bragging about it, and you can lose without crying about it. Then you say, 'Well, let's start all over again.'" – Harold "Red" Grange on playing football
If not for the threat of a few whacks on the butt with a paddle from his fraternity brothers, Harold Grange might never have tried out for the University of Illinois football team. At about 160 pounds, he'd looked around at the other students trying out, decided he'd never make it and went home. But his frat brothers felt differently, and they let him know it.
PHILO – A brand-new home will be unveiled to the Montgomery family sometime this afternoon.
Nathan and Jenny Montgomery and their four children, back in town after a vacation in Disney World, will be driven to their extremely made-over home at 407 N. Harrison St., Philo. The house will be kept hidden from view (behind the "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" bus), until the family and the crowd shouts, "Move that bus!"
PHILO – It was the worst-kept secret in this small town.
Rumors had been circulating for at least a week that Nathan and Jenny Montgomery and their two boys and two girls had been chosen for ABC's "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," the TV show that depicts a family getting a brand-new home built for them within a week, while they are on vacation.
CHAMPAIGN – Area TV stations haven't solidified all their programming changes for fall, but several have committed to new shows.
In terms of syndicated shows, some of the biggest changes will be at WBUI, the CW affiliate in Decatur. It will pick up two comedies, "The Office" and "My Name Is Earl," to be shown weeknights, said Program Director Graham LaMontagne.
CHAMPAIGN – Area TV stations say they aren't planning to add more digital "subchannels" soon, even though they have the flexibility to do so.
When TV stations began broadcasting digitally, they gained the ability to divide their signal across several video subchannels or "feeds."
NASHVILLE – After a decade of trying to get his big break in the music business, Charleston native Josh Jones has won a recording contract and the opportunity of a lifetime.
Steel Magnolia, the singing duo of Jones and his partner Meghan Linsey, were crowned the winners of this season's "Can You Duet" music competition on CMT. The season finale aired Saturday night.
Jones, 28, auditioned with his girlfriend Linsey and they were selected for the show over thousands of other hopefuls. The two have been singing and writing songs together for three years in Nashville.
With just three episodes remaining, Steel Magnolia, the pairing of Josh Jones and Meghan Linsey, are still performing in the "Can You Duet" competition series on CMT.
Jones is a Charleston native and has been singing and writing songs in Nashville with his girlfriend Linsey for the last three years.
It's down to three. All guys, all talented.
Allison Iraheta left Wednesday, leaving Kris Allen, Danny Gokey and Adam Lambert to prove their Idol worthiness in the coming week's competition. Now the three will each perform two songs – one chosen by the judges and the other a personal selection. It will be fascinating to see what the singers choose.