PASSAGES: Vegas Oddsmakers Pick Justin

09/04/2002 11:00AM

FAVORED: Las Vegas oddsmakers are voting on Justin Guarini, and not Kelly Clarkson, to walk away with the recording contract on Wednesday's finale of the Fox hit "American Idol," the Associated Press reports. The 23-year-old mop-top is favored 5-to-6 over Clarkson, 20. Meanwhile, the New York Post reports that Guarini's mother, Philadelphia real-estate broker Kathy Guarini, underwent surgery last Thursday. Details were not disclosed, but she is expected to be in the Kodak Theater audience Wednesday night for the finale.

CANCELED: Despite respectable ratings, TNT's "Witchblade," which went on temporary hiatus this year while series star Yancy Butler underwent alcohol rehab, will not be renewed, Variety reports. (TNT, like PEOPLE, is part of AOL Time Warner.) The supernatural series, now in its second season, starred Butler, 32, as a New York detective.

DECLINED: Heather Mills, 34, offered to sign a prenuptial agreement with new husband Paul McCartney but the former Beatle, 60, one of the wealthiest musicians in the world, turned down the offer, the bride tells Vanity Fair magazine. "I wanted to prove that I love him for him," she is quoted as saying. "He said, 'I wouldn't let you'." She also said that the couple would like to have a child.

DOUSED: "Big Brother 3" contestant Eric Ouellette has been suspended for two weeks from his job as a Connecticut firefighter after he swapped shifts with colleagues, in violation of department procedures, his chief tells the AP. Ouellette made the change so he would have time off to appear on the reality show, thus worrying Chief Todd Paige that his men would be tired because they are filling in for him.

SUED: Computer techies Gibron Jones and Michael Bell claim in court papers that they were the victims of a "brutal assault" by Wu-Tang Clan founder Robert "RZA" Diggs and others acting upon the rapper's orders, according to the New York Post. The civil suit, filed in Manhattan Superior Court, seeks $10.5 million in damages and the return of computer equipment. No comment from the rapper's camp.

CAST: British actor Orlando Bloom (Legolas Greenleaf in "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring") will join Johnny Depp in Disney's "Pirates of the Caribbean," an adaptation of the theme park ride, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Bloom, 25, will play a young man who teams up with an honorable pirate (Depp) to save the woman he loves from danger. Geoffrey Rush is set to portray Capt. Blackheart, who, with a name like that, is obviously the villain. Yo ho ho.

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