Friday, February 14, 2003

Dog show draws highest ratings

New York -- The Westminster Kennel Club dog show drew its highest TV audience yet, attracting an average of 4.6 million viewers per night on the USA Network.

A Kerry blue terrier named Mick won best in show Tuesday night, capping the two-day competition at America's most prestigious canine event.

The network's two-night average household rating of 3.7 was up 9 percent from last year's 3.4.

The USA Network has televised the Westminster show for 20 years.

Above, handler Bill McFadden holds Mick, a Kerry blue terrier, after winning best in show this year.

'American Idol' contestant booted

Los Angeles -- Frenchie Davis is out on "American Idol," and Fox says her job history is the reason: She once worked for an adult-oriented Web site.

Davis, a big-voiced singer from Washington, D.C., will be replaced by an alternate on the episode airing Feb. 25, Fox said. The reality series is broadcast Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

The experience still may pay off for the 23-year-old Davis, who Fox said acknowledged working for the Web site four years ago. She's getting support from "American Idol" co-producer 19 Entertainment.

The company, which gives series winners a recording contract, said it would "endeavor to do all in its power to help Frenchie further her music career."

The series relies on three judges and viewer voting to whittle its pool of contestants to the finalist who gets a record deal. The formula proved to be smash hit for Fox last year, when Kelly Clarkson was chosen the first "idol."

Kelly Osbourne cites terror fears

London -- Kelly Osbourne pulled out of a British awards show Thursday because of fears terrorists might attack London, her British publicist said.

The teenage daughter of heavy metal legend Ozzy Osbourne had been scheduled to perform later Thursday at the NME awards, but became concerned after seeing tanks and soldiers patrolling near London's Heathrow airport, said spokeswoman Naz Ahmed.

Britain has sent hundreds of soldiers to Heathrow, Europe's busiest airport, and beefed up security at airports and other sites this week after police warned that al-Qaida might try attacking London during the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha.

"Kelly's parents were in New York on Sept. 11 when the Twin Towers came down so you can imagine how they feel," Ahmed said. "The decision wasn't taken lightly and Kelly has thought long and hard about it."