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Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Katy Perry suffers wardrobe malfunction on otherwise perfect 'American Idol' episode


Mara Justine, 15: “Love on the Brain”

This spitfire and Idol superfan took Rihanna’s song to church and back with a growling, vampy performance. Such sass, such spunk, such soul! She had enough confidence to make Michelle Sussett seem shy, and she earned a standing ovation and instant golden ticket. “This is a top 10 … That’s worth doing American Idol,” gushed Katy

Griffin Tucker, 15: “Lady Madonna”
A Kurt Cobain lookalike playing a groovy piano Beatles tune, with a voice deeper than Scotty “Baby Lock Them Doors” McCreery? What’s not to love? “You’re 15, but you’re like 7,000 years old,” said Katy. “Your level of talent is staggering,” raved Lionel.


William Casanova, 26: “A Song for You”
This flirty, overconfident women’s shoe salesman seemed like a novelty contestant, but then he showcased a smoky crooner voice (Lionel called it “smooooove”) that lived up to his cheesy, self-appointed surname. His foot fetish (he was way too excited about Katy’s well-manicured toes when she handed him his golden ticket) was a little odd, though.


Brandon Diaz, 21: “Unaware”
Meet the the Constantine Maroulis (or maybe Michael Johns) of 2018. With his pinup-worthy curls and bedroom eyes, Brandon is major heartthrob material. But he’s also the “best male singer we’ve seen so far,” according to Katy. His falsetto on the Allen Stone staple was “very clean” (said Lionel) and “badass” (said Luke), and that’ll be his real secret weapon on the show.


Trevor Holmes, 27: “In Case You Didn’t Know”
Here comes another heartthrob! Trevor (who’s crushed on Katy for years) and Katy had a moment as he serenaded her, altering Brett Young’s lyrics to “Katy, I’m crazy about you!” I feared producers were about to have another Paula Abdul/Corey Clark scandal on their hands … until Trevor’s girlfriend rushed in, just as Katy was flirtatiously handing him his golden ticket. Alas, Trevor and Katy’s romance was not meant to be. But with his lovely, intimate singing style, Trevor could still go far.


Laine Hardy, 17: “Hurricane”
Meet the Phillip Phillips of 2018. This shy Louisiana bayou kid had such a swampy voice (no pun intended) on the Band of Heathens song, with gravel, grizzle, and grit that was practically Tom Waits-level. I did not expect a voice like this! Laine is my favorite male singer so far. “If you ain’t careful, you might win,” proclaimed Luke.


Gabbii Jones, 20: “Dangerous Woman”
A “full package and then some,” this delightful, vivacious soul/pop dynamo could be dangerous competition. There was some BeyoncĂ©-level slayage going on here. Lionel was so impressed, he got up from the table and hugged her. “There are things we can tone down,” he said of her over-the-top personality, “but the basic core of you is exciting.”



Thaddeus Johnson, 25: “Don’t You Worry Child”
Thaddeus tried out before — eight years and 162 pounds ago — and after becoming nearly suicidal following his Hollywood Week elimination, he dropped his excess weight (see before/after photos below) to improve his vocal stamina. And that he did! I loved his silky R&B rendition of Swedish House Mafia’s EDM smash. Another congratulatory hug from Papa Lionel ensued as Lionel told him, “You’re here for a reason.”

Thaddeus Johnson, before and after. (Photos: Fox/ABC)
Rissa Watson, 17: “When We Were Young”
This small-town guitar girl needs to work on her playing, but she gave me Crystal Bowersox vibes with her sparkling country vibrato (“the voice of an angel,” said Luke) and effortless delivery. “I got full body chills,” said Katy.
David Francisco, 25: “Isn’t She Lovely”
After being paralyzed from the waist down in a car accident just three weeks after moving to Nashville, this Casey James look-alike made a miraculous recovery and is back to pursuing his dream. His coffeehouse cover of the Stevie Wonder classic was pretty and pleasant, but what made his audition truly stand out was how he serenaded his supportive fiancĂ©e. Their pure love was so evident that an emotional Katy sobbed. (Maybe she was imagining Trevor Holmes singing to her that way?) Another Lionel hug followed, as he told David, “You’re an inspiration to us all.”
And so, an inspiring first week of auditions comes to a close. I dare say, the talent this season totally eclipses that of The Voice this year. Can Idol make a real TV comeback? Watch this space.
But in recent years, scientists have uncovered some behaviors that may also influence Alzheimer’s risk. In the latest study published in JAMA Neurology, a group of them report how sleep — daytime sleepiness, in particular — may be an indicator of Alzheimer’s.
Prashanthi Vemuri, an associate professor of radiology at the Mayo Clinic, and her colleagues wanted to address a puzzling problem in the field. Studies showed that people with Alzheimer’s disease tend to have disrupted sleep, which made sense: biological studies have recently revealed that while the brain sleeps, it clears away deposits of amyloid, the protein that builds up and eventually strangles nerve cells in Alzheimer’s disease. But it wasn’t clear whether the amyloid plaque deposits led to the disrupted sleep, or whether changes in sleep habits contributed to the buildup of the protein.
To find out, Vemuri and her team took advantage of a long-running study of nearly 3,000 older people in the Mayo Clinic Study of Aging, all of whom were recruited from Olmsted County, Minn. For the study, Vemuri selected 283 people without dementia who were over 70, who answered questions about their sleep habits and agreed to have several brain scans for amyloid over the seven-year study period.
Among the people in the study, 22% reported problems with daytime sleepiness, a sign of disordered sleep. When Vemuri compared the brain scans of all of the volunteers from the start of the study to the end, she found that people who reported excessive daytime sleepiness at the start of the study were more likely to show increases in amyloid in their brains as the study progressed. These people also tended to show faster deposition of the protein than those who did not report daytime drowsiness. What’s more, the amyloid was heaviest in two regions of the brain: the anterior cingulate and cingulate precuneus, which typically show high levels of amyloid in people with Alzheimer’s.
“We found that daytime sleepiness was causing more deposition of amyloid in people who are already amyloid positive, so it was influencing the rate of deposition over time,” says Vemuri.
While the study went to great lengths to try to track how amyloid levels in the brain change over time in people with and without daytime sleepiness, it still does not provide a definitive answer about whether sleep disruptions contribute to amyloid buildup or whether sleep problems emerge as amyloid starts to pile up. But the findings reinforce the importance of good sleep in keeping the brain healthy.
“I would hope that people understand that good sleep habits are important to have a healthy brain, since it can prevent amyloid, which is one of the primary proteins underlying Alzheimer’s disease,” says Vemuri.
Researchers are already studying whether improving people’s sleep habits might have an impact on amyloid buildup. But they realize these studies need to begin when people are in their 40s and 50s, since the buildup of amyloid begins at least a decade, if not more, before cognitive symptoms start to become obvious. That means that if sleep is going to be one way to delay or even prevent Alzheimer’s, people will need to get in the habit of getting a good night’s sleep as early and as often as possible.

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