Don't Forget the Lyrics...And definitely not last night's winner, Patricia Canale

Last night, Patricia Canale owned the stage on FOX's popular game show, "Don't Forget the Lyrics." The only sad thing about her win of $100,000 was that it signaled the end of her vocal performance! At a packed viewing party in the Valley, Patricia caught her breath to dish on karaoke bars, shuffling-off-to-Buffalo, and knowing when to walk away.

Congratulations on beating the system! Are you prepared for people to interrupt you in the grocery store asking you to sing "Maniac"?

I can't wait! I'm a born performer, darling—I'm ready to perform at any moment.

What was the casting process like for you?

My friend was up for the show to be a contestant and I auditioned to be his back-up. He ended up not getting cast and the producers ended up calling me a month later out of the blue and brought me into the studio. I had to pass three written tests and then I was brought to the casting directors, where we did a practice run of karaoke.

Having cast game shows, I'd say you're a dream contestant. Obviously! But have you been on any other game shows?

I was the tap-dancing cupcake on "Grease: You're the One That I Want!" I received the most audience response and producers said if they hadn't cut me, America would have voted me in. That was an exciting thing, as well.

I hear you've actually worked as a tap-dancing cupcake.

I moved to LA from New York, and I was looking for work and I had applied at this place—The Job Factory—and they needed a tap-dancing cupcake, and I figured: what the hell; I'm gonna make a living. It was at JONS in Downey. images-2.jpgI got paid fifty bucks. I was a chocolate cupcake with vanilla icing. Kids would poke at the netting and people would just laugh at me--I was shuffling-off-to-Buffalo near the bread aisle and I was sliding on the supermarket floor. My humble beginnings in show biz!

Can you eat cupcakes now?

I can't.

What were you feeling or doing right before you walked on stage?

I was a little nervous. I'm a Buddhist, so I chanted, and felt really centered because I had done a lot of studying prior to the show. I was pretty confident that I had done enough studying to be successful. I had no idea what curves they were going to throw at me.

And the curves were"¦

The one that cost me a hundred thousand dollars! ("You Can't Hurry Love" by Diana Ross) You think you know these songs, but when you really pick them apart word by word, not so much. They really get you on the specifics of the wording. "My Sharona" was one of those songs that I thought I knew but I didn't really. You don't know which part of the song they're going to use.

Did you try to cram song lyrics prior to the taping?

I actually tried to learn categories I'm not as strong in— 80s, rock, top ten—I trolled the internet. There are millions of sites dedicated to lyrics, but the lyrics aren't the same on all the sites.

Was there a song you were secretly hoping would come on?

Something by Aretha Franklin, Gladys Knight—all the Motown women—Diana Ross being the lone exception. images-4.jpg

Was there a song you were secretly dreading would come on?

I was hoping that there would be no heavy metal because I would be lost—any songs that I had just absolutely no idea. I knew I had a choice of two, so I was concerned that I wouldn't know either one.

How would you describe your chemistry with the host, Wayne Brady?
My chemistry with Wayne Brady was phenomenal. They didn't have time to air images-1.jpgall the banter—it was an instant bond. He said some extremely complimentary things I'll never forget.

Anything you can disclose?

He announced to the audience my name, and then, "Actress, Singer, Comedian," and then said "I'm not worthy!" and started bowing down to me. I was completely floored by that, given Wayne Brady's stature in the business, and I tried to maintain composure. Then he looked at me and said, "You're going to be a star."

How did you stay focused between commercial breaks?

The producers would whisk me off and brief me on things I could say or couldn't say. They kept me separate from my family or anyone who could have helped me in any way. It's nerve racking because the entire studio audience is screaming your name, and knowing that that your family is standing behind you.

Did you really have no clue that your family (she's one of 12) was going to be there?

I had no idea that my family was going to be there. Complete surprise to me. They had called my Uncle Cos and asked him to give him my parents' number in the Bronx. And Fox called my family and flew them all out unbenownst to me. I didn't understand why I had such intense security prior to the show—I had three security guards around me at all times! It was because my family was in the building.

Have you done karaoke since? How is it different?

I did do karaoke this week at The Brass Monkey in LAimages5.jpg--I sang "Son of a Preacher Man," by Dusty Springfield, "Midnight Train," by Gladys Knight, and "Mickey" by Toni Basil--and when people would look at me after I sang, telling me I was the best singer, I would hand out my card and say, "Look for me on "˜Don't Forget the Lyrics' this Thursday."

Do you have a signature karaoke song?

Anything Aretha, any torch singer. Aretha and Gladys "“occasionally I throw in a Heart song, like "Alone," which is always dramatic and fun.images-3.jpg

What's your favorite karaoke place?

I would have to say Robin Hood Pub—it's an English pub in Santa Monica. There are so many foreigners who don't know American music and you get a much more honest and less jaded LA crowd. They would give me money to sing certain songs. I made fifty bucks. They asked me to sing a Whitney Houston song—"One Moment in Time." One of them asked me to sing "Danny Boy." And an Italian guy asked me to sing something by Connie Francis—gave me ten dollars to sing "Where the Boys Are."

Have you had any weird dreams about the show or your performance?

I've been having weird dreams that I was naked on the show—that I was on national television with no clothes on. I think it was just my anxiety about how they were going to edit the show. I was a little nervous about how it was going to sound, etcetera.

What did you think of the way they cut it?

I was a little surprised that they used certain cuts of the songs, because I sang them a couple of times. I didn't know what they were going to play, I had no idea what key they were in. You're trying to sing a song, you don't have a monitor, and you're on stage in front of millions of people and your family. Under those circumstances, I think I did well.

Your uncle helped you at the very end—if he hadn't been there, do you think you would have walked with the money?

Honestly, I knew instinctually that they weren't the right lyrics. Because my uncle was not certain, I took that a sign to walk away. I just knew in my gut that it wasn't right.

What's the response been like from your homies in the Bronx?

My entire family had images-5.jpga confidentiality agreement to sign, but the entire tri-state area knows my family and was rooting me on. It's been announced at every school in New York, pretty much. My father has a deli in the South Bronx—hundred and hundreds of people knew to tune in. They were beyond thrilled.

This kind of publicity is really exciting--I'm being seen for projects I normally wouldn't be seen for and I'm really grateful to this for raising my profile a little bit.

20 Character Actors Who Make Everything They’re in Better

If the main character in your movie is a straitlaced do-gooder, or really, blandly relatable in any way, you’re going to need some eccentric figures to bring some spice to the party. More than mere sidekicks, these characters either make the world they inhabit feel dangerous and chaotic or bring order to insanity by sheer force of personality. They’re characters that make your ears perk just as the movie starts to lose you.

Character actors are tasked with making movies more interesting, but only the best of them succeed. So here are 20 ultra-talented stars who never fail to make good films great, great films classic, and terrible films almost watchable.


Peter Stormare in 'American Gods'
Jan Thijs, Starz Entertainment/FremantleMedia North America

Thank Fargo for this one. Peter Stormare’s magic stems from his range, which runs from Genuinely Kind to Terrifyingly Aggressive. You might expect him to play a growling bad guy every role, but his comic timing and humane sensitivity allow him to play everything from an unlicensed eye doctor in Minority Report to multiple voices on children’s shows to an incompetent nihilist kidnapper in The Big Lebowski.


Octavia Spencer in 'Hidden Figures' (2016)
Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

Octavia Spencer is a world-class actor and producer with the hardware to prove it (including an Oscar, a BAFTA, and a Golden Globe). She’s a dynamite talent who offers a Herculean amount of support to everyone she shares scenes with. It’s possible that her trademark is a wry, knowing sense of humor, but she’s not that easily pinned down or pigeonholed, mightily subverting expectations in genre work like Snowpiercer and gut-wrenching dramas like Fruitvale Station.


Scoot McNairy in 'Halt and Catch Fire'
Eric Ogden, AMC

Possessing leading man looks and chops with a character actor’s transformative ability, Scoot McNairy is a deft craftsman who brings meek powder keg Gordon Clark to life on Halt and Catch Fire as well as embodying slimy slave trader Brown in 12 Years a Slave and amateurish holdup man Frankie in the crime drama Killing Them Softly.


Tilda Swinton in 'Only Lovers Left Alive' (2013)
Sandro Kopp, Sony Pictures Classics

Some character actors are in the hall of fame, some have won awards, but Tilda Swinton is on (and possibly from) another planet. She can more than hold her own as a leading performer, delivering searing portrayals in We Need to Talk About Kevin and deathly mystery in The Only Lovers Left Alive. But it’s her bizarre character work that most endures, like having your brain smacked with a rainbow baseball bat. From her toothy despot in Snowpiercer to her thousand-year-old dowager in The Grand Budapest Hotel to her wintry witch in The Chronicles of Narnia to a dozen other deeply strange performances, Swinton is playing a totally different game than everyone else. If Hollywood ever makes a David Bowie biopic, they know who to hire.


Oliver Platt in FX's 'Fargo'
Chris Large, FX Networks

An actor’s actor, Oliver Platt never seems content to play the same role twice, yet he has the peerless ability to make it feel as if we’ve known a character our whole lives. That bone-deep familiarity is a quality that comes from another level of acting talent. Even if he’s only in one scene, Platt never phones it in. He’s never less than fantastic. Whether droll and off-the-cuff or stridently severe, you get the feeling that Platt is in it for the pure, unbridled love of acting.


Ann Dowd plays Aunt Lydia in 'The Handmaid's Tale'

This Emmy-winning, 30-year veteran is in five movies coming out this year alone. That’s on top of a busy slate of guest starring roles on TV shows where she almost always becomes the best thing about the episode. She just finished up a remarkable run as the dead-eyed, chain-smoking Patti in The Leftovers, but her reign of matronly terror as Aunt Lydia on The Handmaid’s Tale has only just begun.


Giancarlo Esposito in 'Breaking Bad'
Michele K. Short, AMC/Sony Pictures Television

To offer some perspective on Giancarlo Esposito’s genius: he recently did a single episode of Westworld where he delivered a fiery monologue that shook a character to the core, and the creators of Westworld almost definitely hired him because they knew he’d deliver a fiery monologue that would shake an entire audience to its core. Best known as Gus Fring on Breaking Bad (and Better Call Saul), Esposito has appeared in more than 75 movies and a list of TV episodes no one has time to count (though it's worth a reminder that he played Big Bird's camp counselor on Sesame Street). Unfailingly charismatic, Esposito is a modern marvel who, over four decades of acting, has never failed to astound.


Carrie Coon stars in HBO's 'The Leftovers'

Carrie Coon’s acting talent is so outstanding that she often commanded entire sequences in The Leftovers without interacting with anyone else. Her character was marked by isolation, and you could wind up not remembering to blink while watching her complete even the most mundane of tasks with a seemingly infinite pool of sorrow. She brought that concentration of anxiety to Gone Girl, where she played the sister of Ben Affleck’s character, and, most recently, to the third season of the Fargo TV series.


Michael Stuhlbarg in 'A Serious Man' (2009)
Focus Features

Last year, in addition to his starring role in the third season of Fargo, Michael Stulhbarg was in three Best Picture nominees—The Shape of Water, Call Me By Your Name, and The Post—where he played pivotal roles as a modest Soviet spy, a father with a barn-burning monologue of compassionate acceptance, and a cosmopolitan newspaper editor, respectively. Three in one year. That’s incredible, but easy to believe when it comes to a talent like Stuhlbarg, who combines a workmanlike consistency and a stage actor’s perfectionism to create everymen who, far from being boring, are each singularly memorable.


Margo Martindale in 'The Americans'
FX Networks

The one. The only. Margo Martindale is so transcendent that BoJack Horseman features a character called “Beloved Character Actress Margo Martindale” (which is voiced by Martindale). Perhaps the most famous character actor currently working, she brings a maternal energy to even her craziest characters, which probably makes them seem even crazier. She also excels in roles that exude a sense of cool confidence, which helps if you’re handling soviet spies on The Americans or leading a weed-dealing family on Justified.


Walton Goggins in FX's 'Justified'
FX Networks

Speaking of Justified: Walton Goggins earned an Emmy nomination for his portrayal of gritty-yet-charming criminal Boyd Crowder on the show, but he deserves so many more awards (though it's worth noting that he did win an Oscar in 2002, when The Accountant—a short film he produced and starred in—was named Best Live-Action Short Film). He’s got a flare for playing wild-eyed thugs and weirdos blissfully lacking self-awareness, but the scummy majesty he offers isn’t solely used for black hats. Goggins popping up randomly in movies and TV shows is always a delight because he’s a hell of an actor who seems to have time traveled here from the Wild West.


CCH Pounder in 'NCIS: New Orleans'

CCH Pounder’s niche is serious professionals in police stations and emergency rooms, but she’s also brought steely playfulness to the neighborhood witch Madame Dorothea in the Mortal Instruments franchise. She’s consistently fantastic, drawing on years of expertise, natural magnetism, and an amazing number of starring and guest-starring roles on TV.


Stephen Root in 'Idiotsitter' (2014)
Comedy Central

Stephen Root has portrayed so many outlandish characters that it’s shocking when he turns up in a movie in khakis and a Polo shirt. There are no limits on his range, and you can take your pick from a metric ton of favorites: Office Space, O Brother, Where Art Thou?, Dodgeball, Idiocracy, King of the Hill, NewsRadio, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and Get Out are just a few. In his TV career, he’s been in over 700 episodes and continues to elevate his game. This is legendary character actor status here.


Allison Janney in 'I, Tonya' (2017)

West Wing fans have known about Allison Janney’s ability to command a room either with charm, severity, or by doing "The Jackal" since the late 1990s. But she solidified her place in the Character Actor Hall of Fame with her Oscar-winning turn as Tonya Harding’s abusive, bird enthusiast mother in I, Tonya. With a comic edge that echoes vaudeville (see: Hairspray) and a scary intensity when things get serious, Janney excels in any role you lay at her feet.


Pat Healy in 'The Innkeepers' (2011)
Magnolia Pictures

Often portraying the disturbing or the disturbed, Pat Healy is willing to push extremes of manic glee while staying grounded. He most notably shines through the grit in Cheap Thrills as the downtrodden mechanic Craig who performs increasingly violent and degrading stunts for a bigger pot of money. He also menaced Ann Dowd and Dreama Walker by phone in Compliance and was menaced by ghosts in The Innkeepers.


Michelle Hurst in 'Orange Is the New Black'

If you’re a fan of Law & Order and its 1000 spinoffs, you’ve seen (and likely marveled at) Michelle Hurst a dozen times. She possesses a sharp ferocity, as proven by her portrayal of the acerbic Miss Claudette on the first season of Orange is the New Black. She was sidelined after a 2013 car accident, but she’s back this year in a supporting role in the romantic comedy Permission, so hopefully casting directors will take of this criminally underused powerhouse.


Michael Peña in 'CHIPS' (2017)
Peter Iovino, Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

If you only know Michael Peña as the fast-talking goof in Ant-Man, you’d be forgiven for not realizing the dangerous dramatic work he has done since Crash. He’s the rare talent who’s at the top of his game whether trying to make us laugh, cry, or wrestle with difficult truths. How else can you explain him stealing scenes in Marvel’s miniature superhero film a year after transforming wholesale into Cesar Chavez for a biopic of the civil rights activist?


Kathryn Hahn in 'Happyish'

Kathryn Hahn has been outshining her leading counterparts for years, but Bad Moms really gave her room to run. She absolutely has the skills to heighten the drama in movies like Revolutionary Road and This Is Where I Leave You, but the sweet spot of her talent is in finding humor by playing an exaggerated version of our funny best friend. Jill Soloway’s Afternoon Delight proved Hahn could shoulder a starring role, but it’s great that she has found her stride as the bar-hopping, sexually adventurous single mother ripping through stereotypes in a budding Bad Moms franchise and continues to command the screen in ensembles.


Keith David and Parker Young in 'Enlisted'
Adam Taylor, Fox

This Juilliard graduate got his cinematic start with The Thing and Platoon, then went on to lend his unmistakable, Emmy-worthy voice and stature to a slew of harrowing dramas. But Keith David’s secret weapon is his comic perfection as an exasperated authority figure on display in There’s Something About Mary, Rick and Morty, the short-lived-but-brilliant Enlisted, and later seasons of Community. You can count on the Tony winner for acting perfection on screen or on stage.


Drew Barrymore and Beth Grant in 'Donnie Darko' (2001)
Newmarket Films

If you need an actor to play a religious zealot or snappy rule-enforcer, Beth Grant is your first and last phone call. She’s the consummate stick in the mud, crafting figures who scold and harangue the main character for having even the tiniest bit of fun. We often love to hate the characters she portrays in movies like Donnie Darko and No Country for Old Men (not to mention her regular role on The Mindy Project), but she always transforms flat antagonists into fully realized humans by carving out space for sympathy.

Afternoon Map
The Most Popular Infomercial Product in Each State

You don't have to pay $19.95 plus shipping and handling to discover the most popular infomercial product in each state: AT&T retailer All Home Connections is giving that information away for free via a handy map.

The map was compiled by cross-referencing the top-grossing infomercial products of all time with Google Trends search interest from the past calendar year. So, which crazy products do people order most from their TVs?

Folks in Arizona know that it's too hot there to wear layers; that's why they invest in the Cami Secret—a clip-on, mock top that gives them the look of a camisole without all the added fabric. No-nonsense New Yorkers are protecting themselves from identity theft with the RFID-blocking Aluma wallet. Delaware's priorities are all sorted out, because tons of its residents are still riding the Snuggie wave. Meanwhile, Vermont has figured out that Pajama Jeans are the way to go—because who needs real pants?

Unsurprisingly, the most popular product in many states has to do with fitness and weight loss, because when you're watching TV late enough to start seeing infomercials, you're probably also thinking to yourself: "I need to get my life together. I should get in shape." Seven states—Colorado, Idaho, Kentucky, Montana, Nebraska, Utah, and Wisconsin—have invested in the P90X home fitness system, while West Virginia and Arkansas prefer the gentler workout provided by the Shake Weight. The ThighMaster is still a thing in Illinois and Washington, while Total Gym and Bowflex were favored by South Dakota and Wyoming, respectively. 

Kitchen items are clearly another category ripe for impulse-buying: Alabama and North Dakota are all over the George Forman Grill; Alaska and Rhode Island are mixing things up with the Magic Bullet; and Floridians must be using their Slice-o-matics to chop up limes for their poolside margaritas.

Cleaning products like OxiClean (D.C. and Hawaii), Sani Sticks (North Carolina), and the infamous ShamWow (which claims the loyalty of Mainers) are also popular, but it's Proactiv that turned out to be the big winner. The beloved skin care system claimed the top spot in eight states—California, Mississippi, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, and Texas—making it the most popular item on the map.

Peep the full map above, or check out the full study from All Home Connections here.


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