- - Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Steven Tyler is mum on whether he or Jennifer Lopez will return to the judging panel on “American Idol” next year, but the rocker said he has loved the experience of sitting next to her.

“She’s a sexy beast,” Mr. Tyler said in an Associated Press phone interview Monday. “I feed off that female energy with her.”

He added: “I’m always flirting with her. It’s not a bad thing. It’s really a good thing. The best part of it all is that we’ve been able to pick some good talent. Just look at this year.”

Phillip Phillips and Jessica Sanchez are the final two contestants. The winner will be crowned Wednesday night. If 16-year-old Jessica wins, she’ll be first girl to win the competition since Jordin Sparks took home the crown five years ago.

Mr. Tyler gives her the edge: “She sings so good you can’t deny, but America votes for it, so we’ll see.”

While Mr. Tyler deflected a question as to whether he or Ms. Lopez would return to the show next season, the 64-year old rocker said he has loved the experience. He said he has been comfortable judging the talent competition and feels he’s the same guy as an “American Idol” judge that he has been as a vocalist who has rocked audiences for 40 years.

“It doesn’t really matter because I’m that big-lipped guy that fronts Aerosmith,” Mr. Tyler joked.

When he took the job in 2010, it was rumored the band, which has had its share of friction over the years, would not survive. But this summer, Aerosmith is touring and is set to release its first studio album in 10 years.

Mr. Tyler said his “Idol” gig never was a problem for the band.

“There was no working through it. I took a job. I took a day job [and] for whatever reason it was very successful,” he said.

Mr. Tyler attributes his “Idol” success to the chemistry among the judges and host Ryan Seacrest.

“The ride has been nothing but good. I think people at home see that realness. I didn’t think it would transcend like that and God bless that it did.”

ABC demands Wallenda be tethered for Niagara Falls crossing

Daredevil Nik Wallenda said he’s not happy about it, but he’ll probably be tethered to the tightrope he plans to walk on over Niagara Falls next month.

Mr. Wallenda said Monday that ABC is adamant about making him wear the safety device out of consideration for viewers who tune in to the network’s three-hour, prime-time special on June 15.

“It seems as though that’s what I’m going to be doing,” he told the Associated Press as he prepared to walk a practice wire outside the Seneca Niagara Casino, where a firetruck sprayed water and a jet-boat motor served as a powerful fan to simulate the mist and wind that occurs as water rushes over Niagara Falls to the rocky gorge below.

“I’m upset. I’m not used to it,” he said. “I’ve never worn a tether before so it’s just something else I have to contend with when I’m out there.”

Daredevils routinely used to make tightrope walks over the Niagara River gorge, downstream of the falls, until the practice was banned. Mr. Wallenda’s stunt will be the first attempted walk over the falls themselves.

ABC spokesman Jeffrey Schneider said the network has said all along that safety measures would be in place during the live broadcast.

“We’ve been saying from the start that we were going to try to have every safety measure in place to make it an exciting and thrilling walk, something that would be safe and comfortable for parents to watch with their kids,” he said.

Mr. Wallenda has been practicing on a two-inch cable at the casino in front of crowds of onlookers since May 12. His final two practices were planned for Tuesday.

Mr. Wallenda is a seventh-generation member of the famous daredevil family the Great Wallendas. His great-grandfather, Karl, fell to his death in a tightrope walk in Puerto Rico at age 78.

‘Good Morning America’ coming to the afternoon

“Good Morning America” is reaching into the afternoon this summer.

ABC announced Monday that a one-hour spinoff of the morning news show called “Good Afternoon America” will premiere at 2 p.m. July 9. It will air weekday afternoons for nine weeks.

Anchoring the new broadcast will be Josh Elliott and Lara Spencer from “GMA.” Their team of Sam Champion, Robin Roberts and George Stephanopoulos will make special appearances.

The network said “Good Afternoon America” will feature celebrities, musical performances, pop culture news and other reporting.

It is replacing the canceled lifestyle show, “The Revolution,” which premiered in January.

Pregnant Snooki won’t be living in ‘Shore’ house

Pregnancy will not keep Snooki from filming another season of “Jersey Shore” this summer.

She does have her limits, however: The reality star will not be residing in the house of debauchery shared by her MTV castmates, a source close to the show confirmed to the Hollywood Reporter.

Instead, she’ll find a place near her co-stars Pauly D, JWoww and the Situation.

A representative for Snooki did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Earlier this year, the reality star announced she and fiance Jionni LaValle were expecting their first child together; the 24-year-old soon will be seen on the small screen brandishing her baby bump in the “Jersey Shore” spinoff, “Snooki & JWoww,” premiering June 21 on MTV.

“I feel very good. I’m not getting sick at all. Just a little tired sometimes, but I don’t even feel pregnant,” she told the Hollywood Reporter in an interview last month. “I’m only 24 years old, and I want to embrace being 24 and pregnant. So I don’t want to wear muumuus and flats. I want to still be fashionable and young.”

Compiled from Web and wire reports