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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, May 17, 2009

Stars flock to flamboyant HIV/AIDS gala


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Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Eva Longoria Parker

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Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Alexander Rybak

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"Desperate Housewives" star Eva Longoria Parker, former President Bill Clinton and singer Katy Perry attended a flamboyant Austrian charity gala yesterday dedicated to raising money for people with HIV and AIDS.

Other celebrities spotted at the Life Ball in Vienna were actress Fran Drescher, former "Baywatch" babe Pamela Anderson and model Amber Valletta.

The annual bash, held in and around Vienna's neo-gothic city hall, draws thousands of revelers in quirky and kinky costumes and yesterday's partygoers did their best not to disappoint. A couple covered in blue body paint kissed for photographers, and another scantily-clad duo resembled silver sea urchins.

FIDDLER WINS EUROVISION SONG CONTEST

A boyish, fiddle-wielding Norwegian singer won the Eurovision Song Contest in Moscow last night, his bouncy ditty the highlight of the musical bonanza studded with pyrotechnic artistry and stunning electronic visuals on an epic scale.

Twenty-five performers from across Europe competed in Moscow in a musical bonanza that is one of the most watched annual television events in the world, despite being written off by some as European kitsch.

"Fairytale," penned and performed by 23-year-old fiddler Alexander Rybak, blew away competition from Iceland's Yohanna, who finished second, and Azerbaijan's AySel & Arash, who was third, with a folksy melody to the accompaniment of an acrobatic dance routine and two female support singers.

DEGENERES LAUDS TULANE'S 'KATRINA CLASS'

Talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres and actor-musician Harry Connick Jr. returned yesterday to their hometown of New Orleans to cheer on Tulane University's graduating "Katrina Class" the students displaced by Hurricane Katrina nearly four years ago.

"Look at you," DeGeneres told the 2,000-plus graduates who received diplomas at the Louisiana Superdome. "Usually when you're wearing a robe at 10 in the morning, it means you've given up."

As in 2006, when she made a surprise appearance at Tulane's first commencement ceremony after Katrina, DeGeneres stole the show. She had the crowd laughing and dancing as she strutted through the aisles as she does on her TV talk show, "The Ellen DeGeneres Show."

NEW FILM HIGHLIGHTS SOLDIERS' STRUGGLES

MEXICO CITY "Ugly Betty" star America Ferrera is hoping her new film will inspire Americans to address the struggles soldiers face after they come home from Iraq or Afghanistan.

The 25-year-old is starring in and producing "The Dry Land," which follows a young man's difficulties readapting to small-town life following a tour of duty.

Ferrera says the United States "should have an honest discussion about the effects that war has on our society, on the men who come back, on the families that are broken from it."