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TYRA BANKS STAYS MUM ABOUT 'ANTM' FIRINGS

While you were agog at yet another season of ludicrous narcissism in the latest cycle of America's Next Top Model on Wednesday night (you know, when you should have been watching President Barack Obama address Congress), you may have missed the fireworks between Tyra Banks and Cynthia McFadden on ABC's Nightline later on. You can't expect us to learn about health care and watch a newsmagazine in the same night, can you? "Both Paulina Porizkova and Janice Dickinson, when they left the show, were not very nice about you," McFadden said, mispronouncing the former's name as "Paula Porvikova," thus proving she was qualified to conduct the interview. The pregnant pause was filled only with Tyra smiling with her eyes and saying nothing. "Let's not go there," Tyra's publicist Lisa Israel said. "I am going to go there," McFadden replied. "I am going to ask that question." Watch it at blogs.tampabay.com/juice. Unfortunately, she got no answer, as it faded to an audition in New York in which hopefuls were seen nearly rioting (although Nightline failed to mention it was because a car backfiring prompted a panic over an alleged bombing). And really, who cares that Janice was fired after Cycle 4 for being a diva and Paulina got the boot on her birthday after last season? Ty Ty shares the spotlight with no one!

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Juliette Lewis playing Orlando

There are a million Scientologist actors. There are a million Scientologist rock stars. But a Scientologist actor and rock star? Those are rare. Isaac Hayes, maybe? Bijou Phillips? Beck, if you count his guest spot on Futurama? The most well-known might be Juliette Lewis. Which is why we were a little surprised to see the Oscar-nominated actress (and nothing-nominated musician) is skipping Clearwater - and Tampa Bay as a whole - on her upcoming fall tour. She will, however, be playing The Social in Orlando on Sept. 26, alongside American Bang and The Ettes. Tickets to the show are $15-$17. While we remain skeptical, we'll at least give her the nod over Kevin Costner and Modern West. Man, what is it with these celebrities? First Kevin Bacon kicks Tampa, then Juliette gives us the slip. Dogstar, you are officially on notice.

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Heigl adopting Korean baby

Katherine Heigl has been having lots of problems with her image lately, so she's doing what all the cool actresses are doing - adopting a foreign baby. Are there no more orphaned children available in this country? Gee, that's good to know. Heigl and husband Josh Kelley are finalizing the adoption of a girl from Korea, Star reports: "It is a little girl and she'll be 10 months at the end of this month," Katherine said on The Ellen DeGeneres Showin an episode that will air today. "Her name is Naleigh. Well, I am naming her after my mother and sister - Nancy, Leigh. So we call her Naleigh. I wanted to tell everybody so you don't think I stole a Korean baby." For you Heigl followers this is no surprise, because rumors already had been swirling about her plans. We wonder if this means that she'll be taking even more time off from Grey's Anatomy. That would be a real shame.

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Pitt's $82k gerbil house

Brad Pitt has found something to blow his paycheck from Inglourious Basterds on, and it's not killing NAT-sees. He just shelled out $82,000 for a house for his kids' pet gerbils. Yes, that's with three zeroes at the end. The National Enquirer says Brad designed the habitat himself, putting in labyrinths, tunnels, platforms, seesaws and heated swimming pools for the pets Maddox and Pax picked out with Angelina Jolie in France: "The boys were really keen to get the gerbils and it was Angelina who reached into the cage to pet them before a store worker got them out," a source told the rag. First of all, what a lame quote; Angie picked out a couple rodents? Woo. Second, is it really surprising he blew twice the median Floridian annual income on a Habitrail? This is a guy who could bathe in dodo blood every day, he's so rich. But why did it cost so much? Was it chiseled out of marble? We'll have to wait until it's featured in Architectural Digest.

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Leary can't run a charity

Someone should rescue Denis Leary's bottom line. The comic and actor has been an outspoken supporter of fire departments through his Leary Firefighters Foundation. But according to the New York Post, watchdog group Charity Navigator says Leary's foundation was the lowest rated of 92 nonprofits in a new ranking thanks to its miserable financial performance - a $55,000 deficit - in 2007. "They have a huge vision, and that's wonderful, but the revenue stream needs to match it," said Joanne Reisser, Charity Navigator's VP of development. An example of the foundation's not-so-hot work: Earlier this year, they reneged on a $205,000 bill for a new truck, which angered Boston's fire commissioner. Mardi Grant, the foundation's executive director, blamed the poor performance on pledges that didn't materialize until 2008, and has since changed its fundraising tactics. Man, if only Bill Hicks had a plan for financial success that Leary could borrow ...

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Globetrotters have leg up in 'Race'

One team will have a leg up on the competition in the upcoming season of The Amazing Race. Two of the Harlem Globetrotters are among the 12 teams starring in the 15th edition of the CBS reality show, which premieres Sept. 27. Nathaniel "The Big Easy" Lofton and Herbert "Flight Time" Lang told the AP that their experience will help them dominate this season's course, which spans eight countries in 21 days. Racers will set off from the Los Angeles River, then head to Tokyo first to complete several zany tasks. "I've been to about 65 countries around the world," Lang said. "I definitely think that gives us a little bit of an advantage." Besides, there were all those times when the old gang with Curley and Meadowlark solved those mysteries with Scooby-Doo. That has to be worth something, right?

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Get your Juice* on Facebook

Why bother working at your desk when you could blow off your job duties and check out our fan page on Facebook? See your favorite (or least-favorite) celebrities doing stupid things while you waste time all day - bosses love that. Go to tinyurl.com/juicefacebook RIGHT NOW!!!

jgillin@tampabay.com

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