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May 29, 2009 at 2:00 PM

Boyle not leaving 'Talent' before finale

LONDON, May 29 (UPI) -- A message posted on the "Britain's Got Talent" Web site says popular contestant Susan Boyle won't be quitting the competition as some have speculated.

Media reports this week suggested the beloved 48-year-old Scottish underdog is cracking under the pressure of her newfound fame.

But the show's Web site said Boyle continues to rehearse and is expected to compete in Saturday's finale.

"Susan Boyle is still very much part of the 'Britain's Got Talent.' She is looking forward to the Grand Final and she is rehearsing hard to prepare for the biggest night of her life," a show representative said in a statement. "She, like all of our contestants, is being closely looked after by program makers. Susan's personal welfare is very important to us, and we will continue to do everything we can to make sure she remains happy and well."

The representative also said reports claiming Boyle has gotten angry, burst into tears or threatened to quit the show were taken out of context and exaggerated.

"I want nothing more than to stay and sing in the 'Britain's Got Talent' final," Boyle added. "I've spent weeks rehearsing -- it's all I've been thinking about. I'm not going to throw away my big chance now."

Kansas girl, 13, wins 'Bee'

WASHINGTON, May 29 (UPI) -- Kavya Shivashankar, a 13-year-old girl from Kansas, won "The 2009 Scripps National Spelling Bee" in Washington Thursday.

The eighth grader won the competition after correctly spelling the word Laodicean, which she was told means "lukewarm or indifferent in religion or politics."

Tim Ruiter, 12, of Virginia, came in second. The word he was ousted for misspelling was Maecenas.

Aishwarya Pastapur, 13, of Illinois, came in third place. She was eliminated after spelling the word menhir wrong.

"Dancing with the Stars" host Tom Bergeron presided over the Bee, while current "DWTS" champion Shawn Johnson made an appearance on the show. Johnson is also to be the keynote speaker at an awards banquet for the spellers to be held Friday night.

The competition featured 293 champion spellers, ranging in age from 9 to 15. Spellers participating in the national competition qualified by winning locally sponsored spelling bees in their home communities.

The Bee featured top spellers from across the United States, as well as competitors from Guam, U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, The Bahamas, Canada, New Zealand, Ghana and South Korea. Students from U.S. Defense and State Department schools in Europe and from American and international schools in China also participated.

Lawyer: Rihanna will testify if called

LOS ANGELES, May 29 (UPI) -- Rihanna's lawyer said Los Angeles prosecutors are expected to call the pop star to testify at singer Chris Brown's court hearing next month.

Brown, 20, was arrested and charged with assaulting Rihanna, his 21-year-old girlfriend, in February during a heated argument in a car.

He has pleaded innocent to the charges and his next court hearing is June 22, EW.com said.

"The D.A. has advised me that she will be subpoenaed (to testify,)" Rihanna attorney Donald Etra told People.com. "She absolutely will comply."

Tennant to play Hamlet in BBC production

LONDON, May 29 (UPI) -- Scottish actor David Tennant has signed on to reprise the title role he played on stage in "Hamlet" in a BBC television production of the drama.

Best known for his portrayal of TV's "Doctor Who," Tennant was credited for drawing large audiences to the Royal Shakespeare Company's 2008-09 staging of "Hamlet."

However, the actor missed numerous performances after the show moved from Stratford-Upon-Avon to London's West End because he had to undergo, then recuperate from back surgery.

BBC Two controller Janice Hadlow told The Daily Telegraph the three-hour-long, small-screen production of "Hamlet," with Tennant in the starring role, is "a wonderful opportunity ... to bring one of the great stage successes of last year to a wider audience."

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