Hung just as surprised as us

In the third season of “American Idol,” Hong Kong-born William Hung proved a laughably bad singer. Yet somehow, he stood out from the rest of “Idol’s” inept warblers as a fan fave.

“He’s the only one of the terrible people from our show who sort of revels in being terrible,” Simon Cowell has said. “What’s astonishing about William is he doesn’t understand that people are taking advantage of him because he’s useless. I heard he’s talking about writing a second album. There’s not going to be a second album, William! The joke’s over.”

Ah, but is it? Turns out, Hung recently released his second CD, cheekily titled “Hung for the Holidays.” Here, the 21-year-old tells TV Guide Online why he’s smiling all the way to the bank.

TVGO: It’s amazing how much radio play your cover of Ricky Martin’s “She Bangs” got this year.

Hung: Oh my goodness, I can’t believe it. In the car, I was like, “Whoa! That’s me?”

TVGO: Simon Cowell said you’d never have a career as a singer. Think you’ve proved him wrong?

Hung: Well, I don’t know. I think nobody knows what’s going to happen. I just kept giving it my best job and don’t give up on anything I want to do.

TVGO: Simon was pretty tough on you, though.

Hung: Well, I remember him saying, “You can’t sing. You can’t dance.” That sort of thing. Simon does that to a lot of people. I’m not afraid of it because I just do my best.

TVGO: You’re billed as a novelty act, but do you actually consider yourself a for-real singer?

Hung: Yeah, of course! I can be both an entertainer and a serious singer as well. I had vocal lessons recently, and “Hung for the Holidays” is a much more serious album. I sing a lot of my favorite Christmas songs. My two favorites are “Deck the Halls” and “O Come All Ye Faithful.”

Scarlett denies Jeter rumor

Scarlett Johansson is using her publicity commitments for “A Love Song for Bobby Long” and “In Good Company” to ridicule the whispers that she’s dating a very eligible Yankee, reports MSN.com.

“Recently I read I was dating Derek Jeter,” the 20-year-old says. “We were at a mutual friend’s party, and no, we are not dating.”

Reports of the major league hook-up started circulating soon after paparazzi caught Johansson planting a smooch on boyfriend Jared Leto as he indifferently checked the messages on his phone.

“It was creepy, horrible,” she says of the November incident. “As long as people keep buying tabloids, they’ll keep harassing people in the public eye. They’ll make up stories.”

Phish dress to be on display

Drummer Jon Fishman’s offbeat “sonic rhythm dress” – which is stitched together from recycled cassette tapes – is going on display at a museum this month.

The dress commissioned by Fishman, of the enormously popular jam band Phish, is going on display at Fuller Craft Museum in Brockton, The Boston Globe reported in Thursday’s editions.

The dress includes sound collages of some of Fishman’s favorite artists. The bodice includes Jimi Hendrix, Sun Ra, Led Zeppelin and Prince, the newspaper reported. The fabric retains its magnetism and emits a sound when rubbed with a tape head.

The dress was commissioned by the Vermont rocker and designed by New York artist Alyce Santoro.

Phish, which called it quits last year, experimented with myriad musical genres. The band’s legions of dedicated fans made them a younger version of The Grateful Dead.

Another Williams on stage

Singer-songwriter Holly Williams, granddaughter of country legend Hank Williams, is proud of her roots but wants to be known for her music instead of her name.

“When I first played in Nashville, I never told people who I was because I wanted to know if they liked me for my music first,” Williams, daughter of Hank Williams Jr., told the Los Angeles Times. “Even at my shows now not many people know who I am unless I tell them – which I don’t – or unless they’ve read up on my Web site.”

But Williams, 23, isn’t afraid of invoking her famous family in her music. Her debut album, “The Ones We Never Knew,” includes a track in which she wishes she were “an angel in ‘52, in a blue Cadillac on the eve of the New Year,” a reference to her grandfather’s death at age 29.

“I don’t really contemplate his death,” she says. “It’s so hard to feel like he’s my grandfather because there’s not that many people still alive who knew him. … It’s so far away from me.”

Williams says she didn’t listen to much music in her early teens, but she later picked up a guitar and couldn’t put it down.

“Something changed when I was 17,” she says. “I remember saying “Who’s Bob Dylan? Who’s Joni Mitchell?’ … I kind of became immersed.”

Kyra not upset about path

Kyra Sedgwick isn’t too proud to admit she’s no longer on Hollywood’s A-list.

“To be perfectly frank, there was a time when I was on a really fast trajectory toward movie stardom,” the 39-year-old actress tells TV Guide Online. “Then, I got married and had kids. And you know what? I kind of blew it.

“I didn’t really blow it, of course,” she adds, “but I stopped my own flow. I met the right person, we wanted to have kids and we did. Somewhere along the way, doing studio pictures just stopped for me and I don’t know why. But I can tell you that it’s my road and it won’t look like anyone else’s and for that, I’m very proud.”

The latest stop on Sedgwick’s career path is a just-released indie film, “The Woodsman.” She plays Vickie, a woman with a troubled past who falls in love with Walter, a convicted pedophile recently released from prison. Tough stuff, made even tougher by the fact that Sedgwick’s costar in the movie is her real-life husband Kevin Bacon.

“It’s the hardest acting job I’ve ever had to do by far,” Sedgwick says of working with Bacon. “There’s a trust there that lets us go to deep places, but we know we can go to deep places anyway. He’s an unbelievably amazing actor. You throw the ball and he throws it back in an interesting and surprising way. As much as I know him, I’m constantly amazed at his choices, which really is where your talent lies.”


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