To paraphrase Heidi Klum: In the entertainment world, one day you're in, and the next, you're out. Some of the celebrities you'll see in this space each week (should) have the spoils of fame and fortune to show for the years that they were in, but may have found themselves closer to being out of the loop recently before climbing their way back toward the top.
Beyond a recording contract and an inherited army of teenage fans, nothing is guaranteed for the winner of American Idol. Sparks embarked on a solid career as a multi-faceted artist and actress following her 2006 Idol win -- including a spot as one of the country's most sought-after National Anthem singers not named Jennifer Hudson -- but she had yet to really blow up as a superstar. She hasn't released a studio album since 2009.
This year looks like Jordin's breakout, however, as she is starring in the recently-released Sparkle -- with a posthumous endorsement as a future R&B diva from co-star Whitney Houston -- and has been on numerous magazine covers showing off her new body after losing a significant amount of weight. Whether you like the thicker Jordin or the thinner version is up to you, but there's no doubting a more mainstream (i.e. skinny) look will help Sparks land more mainstream movie roles and bigger record deals.
You could take just about any of the aging action stars who collaborated for The Expendables 2 and call the summer blockbuster sequel their big comeback -- and I already have with a few of them -- but this week we'll focus on Li.
In the time between the first Expendables and the sequel, Li starred in a couple of Chinese films in 2011 -- The Sorcerer and the White Snake, and Flying Swords of Dragon Gate that were well-received in Asia but didn't get a lot of attention in the U.S. Reprising his role of Yin Yang in the Expendables puts the martial arts legend back in front of the American audience in a film that was this weekend's box-office leader.
Classic children's stories
On the heels of Grimm, Once Upon a Time and the dueling Snow White films, Hollywood is adding more momentum to the runaway train of remaking centuries-old children's tales for adult audiences with Finn & Sawyer. The upcoming ABC drama takes the legendary literary characters Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer, ages them into their 20s, and sticks them in New Orleans as a private-eye duo. Sounds stupid? Agreed.
Who would've guessed that ABC's primetime lineup would turn into storybook hour? Although I can't confirm or deny the rumors that the network is working with Shaquille O'Neal on a Jack and the Beanstalk pilot.
When IMDB says you're biggest claim to fame is your role as a writer on the 2002 Scooby-Doo movie, you might have an issue being taken seriously as a big-time director. That could soon be a non-issue for Gunn, who is reportedly close to signing a deal to direct Marvel Studios' upcoming superhero film Guardians of the Galaxy. As a director, Gunn's most prominent works to date have been Super (2010) and Slither (2006), but this Marvel gig could lead to much bigger things -- and allow him to knock Scooby-Doo from the top of his mantle.
It's been a career's worth of near-misses for Delfino. Before she rose to mid-level fame on the TV series Roswell, the Venezuela-born actress and singer lost out on a potentially star-making role in American Beauty that eventually went to Mena Suvari. In more recent years, Delfino landed roles on two TV shows that were expected to do well -- the Raven Symoné vehicle State of Georgia and Men of a Certain Age -- but were cancelled prematurely.
Delfino is now tied to another promising project that could signal a major comeback. She has reportedly been cast as Fannie, sister of Dwight Schrute (Rainn Wilson), in the anticipated spin-off series of The Office. Described as a "pseudo-intellectual lefty" by The Hollywood Reporter, Delfino's character will debut during an episode of The Office in the new season.