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'Welcome to Zombieland': Haunting new images reveal theme park devastated by Hurricane Katrina... and left abandoned ever since

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Desolation: This eerie photograph shows a corroded rollercoaster soaring into the sky behind a graffiti-covered ride at the abandoned Six Flags theme park, New Orleans

New Orleans has made a remarkable recovery since the city was devastated by flooding during Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

But now stunning new images have emerged which show how one part of the Big Easy has yet to be revived - its Six Flags theme park.

The haunting photographs, taken over the past six years, reveal an almost post-apocalyptic landscape dominated by twisted and corroded rides, now silent forever.

Graffiti covers many of the buildings, welcoming visitors to 'Zombieland' - a fitting name for the eerie park, which has been completely abandoned.

Eerie: A smashed-up clown's head looks terrifying amid the abandoned rides, like this rusting rollercoaster car, right. The flood-waters reached up to seven feet high

A smashed-up clowns head lies abandoned on the floor, while most of the rides have been left for the weeds to colonise.

During the flooding, Six Flags, in a low-lying area towards the east of the city, was submerged in up to seven feet of water, which wasn't drained for almost a month.

The combination of sea and river water corroded most of the rides, damaging them beyond repair. According to a report at the time, 80 per cent of the buildings were completely destroyed.

'Welcome to Zombieland, kids': Vandals have taken advantage of the park's devastation to spray graffiti on every surface

Abandoned: Floodwaters ripped through the Six Flags amusement park, flattening 80 per cent of the buildings and damaging most of the rides beyond repair

Drowned: Vegetation has grown over these abandoned trucks, which ironically used to be part of a jungle ride

Only one attraction could be salvaged - Batman: The Ride, which escaped more or less unscathed because its operating platform was higher than the flood waters.

For several months there were rumours that the site's leaseholders, Six Flags, would be able to reopen the park in 2006 or 2007, using an insurance payout.

The firm took over the site, formerly known as Jazzland, in 2002. But it had been losing money and was struggling to attract visitors, making it the chain's least popular park even before Hurricane Katrina.

Derelict: Most of the park has been reduced to tangled, rusty metal, after it was submerged for more than a month in a corrosive mixture of sea and river water

Paradise lost: The blacked-out sign for 'paradise hot dogs' points mockingly at the park, where weeds have been left to grow over many of the abandoned rides

Faded grandeur: These once proud buildings are now slowly falling apart after they were devastated by the floods - but the graffiti oddly supplies a note of hope

In 2006 Six Flags declared the park an 'effective total loss' and tried to get out of its 75-year lease with the City of New Orleans, saying insurers were not paying out enough to repair it.

A year after Katrina, the firm removed Batman: The Ride to be refurbished. Two years later it was reopened at Six Flags Fiesta Texas in San Antonio, where it was called Goliath.

Since then developers have proposed several plans to save the park. In 2008, Southern Star Amusement announced a $70million proposal to take over the lease and double the number of rides to 60, as well as creating a water park.

Fallen silent: This carousel has been left to rust away like the rest of the park, which was already losing money before Katrina hit

Destruction: These computers, left, were smashed to pieces by the floods, while this sorry-looking sign has been left to rust away in the weeds

Washed out: The colour has faded from this once-jaunty sign for a SpongeBob Square Pants ride

In 2009 it revealed it planned to work with Nickelodeon to create the company's biggest-ever theme park, which would create 600 jobs.

But the $165million project has failed to materialise. According to the most recent reports, Southern Star Amusement filed a letter of intent to redevelop the park with the city council in January this year.

Until then, Six Flags will remain as a haunting memorial to the devastation of Katrina.

source: dailymail

TOWIE's Sam and Joey kiss and make up after lovers' tiff turns physical


Tussle: Sam Faiers and Joey Essex wrestle after partying all day at the Ocean Club in Marbella

They've barely been able to keep their hands off each other during their break in Marbella.

But The Only Way Is Essex stars Sam Faiers and Joey Essex were getting physical for another reason yesterday as they stumbled back to their hotel after partying all day at the Ocean Club.

The reality TV couple got into an argument as they left the party worse for wear, according to witnesses.

After exchanging cross words the couple got into a tussle, with glamour model Sam pulling at her boyfriend's beloved barnet.

Holiday blues: the pair are returning to England today after a week spent in Spain

After their very public necking session the couple enjoyed a Shisha pipe before finally heading back to the hotel.

They were earlier spotted arriving at the Ocean Club, where they drank and danced with friends - their typical day's activity for much of the trip.

Sam, who recently opened up a clothing boutique in Brentwood with her sister Billie, wore a black and white frilled one-piece swimsuit.

She and her co-stars including Amy Childs, Lydia Bright and Lucy Mecklenburgh have been parading about Marbella in a series of bright and skimpy outfits during their stay.

The holiday is finally at an end though, with Sam and Joey flying back to the UK today.

They have spent their last day in Spain with Sam's nanny, after a week of raucous partying.

Party with the girls: Sam took a break from her man to dance with her friends at the Ocean Club party

Sam told her followers on Twitter today: 'Last day sunbathing in Spain :-( with nanny! Then home tonight! X x x'

'Home today. On way to @SamanthaFaiers nannys house 2 have a nice day round the pool.Then airport later! Had 12 hours sleep last nite,' Joey added.

The holiday hasn't been all positive - Joey was robbed mid-week when thieves broke into his hotel room.

Get a room: Joey and Sam couldn't keep their hands off each other during water sports earlier in the week

Among the items stolen were his beloved Hermes belt, orange Ugg boots and £10,000 in cash.

The reality star believes he was targeted by thugs who recognised him from television, according to the Sun.

But the fashion-concious club promoter was bereft for long - his helpful manager flew out to Spain in order to deliver more clothes.

source: dailymail

Michael Jackson's daughter Paris finally has some 'girls time' at the mall


Girls' day out: Paris Jackson enjoys a shopping trip to the mall in Calabasas, Los Angeles, with a friend

With two brothers, Paris Jackson spends most of her time surrounded by the opposite sex.

But it looks like the 13-year-old finally got some 'girl time' as she headed to a mall with a young friend.

The brunette hit the shops in the Los Angeles suburb of Calabasas as she enjoyed the long Memorial Day weekend.

Just a regular teen: Despite her upbringing, Paris looked like a normal teenager hanging at the mall

The tomboy daughter of the late Michael Jackson appeared to be enjoying some time away from her brothers Prince, 14, and Blanket, nine.

Of course, walking around a mall freely is something Paris wasn't able to do when her father was alive.

Paris and her siblings used to wear masks or headscarves to cover their face when out and about with their famous father, who died in June 2009.

Hidden: Paris (left) and her brother Prince used to wear veils when their father was alive

Since moving in with their grandmother Katherine Jackson, the Jackson children no longer have to cover their faces and have more freedom.

They have signed up for a host of after-school activities, including acting classes and karate.

Although some of the children has expressed a wish to become famous like their father, the Jackson family are making sure they have as normal a childhood as possible.

However, Katherine, 80, and their aunt La Toya, 54, who is closely involved in their upbringing, want them to get an education before any attempt to launch themselves fully into the public eye.

Blue-eyed girl: Paris is growing up a pretty young woman

La Toya said in March: ‘They have gone to school and they really like it, so I’m very happy for them. It’s taught them something totally different about people and life.'

Earlier this month, the siblings were spotted on a playdate with Will Smith's children Jaden and Willow.

source: dailymail

As Cheryl and Simon go to war, his people claim she asked for £2.5m to return to British X-Factor


Open neck: Simon Cowell - baring his hairy chest - returned to Britain's Got Talent last night but made no mention of the Cheryl Cole controversy

Only a month ago Simon Cowell told the world Cheryl Cole was ‘special’.

Last night, however, the TV mogul and the pop star were at war – through their ‘people’ – amid claims her advisers demanded £2.5million for her to return to the UK X Factor after her shock axing from the U.S. version of the show.

It came after ITV issued a statement confirming that the Girls Aloud star will not feature in its judging panel for the TV talent contest.

Holed up: Cheryl has not been seen since returning from America

Cowell himself has remained unusually silent on the issue – other than a subtle reference on last night’s Britain’s Got Talent, where he also raised eyebrows by arriving for a turn as guest judge in a suit and unbuttoned shirt which bared his hairy chest.

But according to senior sources at both his production company Syco, and ITV, associates of Mrs Cole believed to be led by pop star William Adams – known as Will.i.am and who became her manager a month ago – wanted the broadcaster to agree to the huge fee.

Happier times: Cheryl and Simon smile together on the judging panel of the X Factor in December 2009

The friend said: ‘Will.i.am doesn’t want her to have anything to do with Cowell anymore. Cowell thought she would come running back and take the UK job – but why would she when she’s been hung out to dry in the U.S..’

Since her humiliating sacking, Mrs Cole has been uncontactable – with sources suggesting she did not even know of the demands allegedly being made on her behalf.

She has refused to take telephone calls from TV executives, including Cowell.

Allies: Cheryl with her new manager Will.i.am of Black Eyed Peas who is believed to have demanded the huge fee for her to return to X Factor

Within hours, it was confirmed that Tulisa Contostavlos – from pop band N-Dubz – was joining the show alongside Louis Walsh, U.S. pop star Kelly Rowland and Take That singer Gary Barlow.

An X Factor source revealed: ‘There was a Plan A we already had which we’re happy with and is a great team. It got to a point with Cheryl where we had to move on.

New panel: Tulisa Contostavlos and Kelly Rowland will join Gary Barlow and Louis Walsh on the judging panel

That public statement also signalled the end of Cowell and Mrs Cole’s professional relationship, which began when she joined the X Factor in 2008.

Even a month ago, he said of Mrs Cole: ‘She’s got a great ability to communicate. She’s a great judge. She’s smart. You meet someone special a few times in your life and this girl is special.’

Within days of that comment, Mrs Cole had surprisingly axed Hilary Shaw – her manager since 2005 – to hand control to Mr Adams, who has found worldwide fame with the Black Eyed Peas.

Lost her 'mojo': A TV source said Cheryl seemed to have completely 'lost her mojo' after arriving in America

source: dailymail

America's Idol Scotty McCreery is mobbed by fans as he visits Disney World


Famous friends: American Idol's Scotty McCreery celebrates with Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse at Disney's Hollywood Studios in Florida

After being named American Idol Scotty McCreery won't get much time to relax and enjoy himself.

After recording and promoting his winner's single he has an entire album to put together as quickly as possible in order to capitalise on his current celebrity.

But today Scotty enjoyed the fun side of fame as he was treated to a VIP trip to Disney World in Florida.

The 17-year-old country singer joined Mickey and Minnie Mouse as he celebrated his win with the help of the Memorial Day crowds.

Scotty was mobbed by excited fans, who gathered to watch as he joined a motorcade along 'Hollywood Boulevard' at the Hollywood Studios themepark.

He then performed his debut single I Love You This Big in front of The American Idol Experience, based on the television show which made him famous.

It's a hit: Scotty performed his new single I Love You This Big in front of The American Idol Experience attraction

The attraction allows visitors to audition, with some then selected to perform in front of a live audience.

They receive critique from judges and their performance is voted on. the best from each day then gets a free pass to go to the front of the queue at a regional audition for the TV show.

Since being named the latest Idol Scotty has been touring the country, promoting his new single.

Mobbed: Excited fans gathered as Scotty made his way through the theme park

Yo Dawg! Pluto is obviously a fan of Randy Jackson's
From trying his first piece of sushi to performing at Microsoft, it has all been a learning experience for the teen.

After his performance at Disney he was rushed off to board a plane to New York, where he will continue the hard work.

Scotty tweeted to fans: 'gonna catch a few zzz's real quick on this plane. Not gonna be a lot of sleeping these next couple of days for me. haha.'

Off to the next gig: Scotty was later seen arriving in New York, with his runners up Lauren Alaina and Haley Reinhardt

source: dailymail

Tall order! Lady Gaga totters on killer heels and slips into fishnets for Starbucks stop


Standing out: Lady Gaga arrived at a Starbucks in Los Angeles today wearing a customary outrageous outfit

Naturally, a stop at a coffee shop demands nothing short of full on costume for Lady Gaga.

The 25-year-old singer turned heads as she paid a visit to a local Starbucks in Los Angeles today, clad in a customary outlandish outfit.

Never one to miss an opportunity for self-promotion, the star was wearing a Born This Way T-shirt - which also acted as a kind of skirt.

Walking tall: The singer, who stormed to to the top of the UK album charts yesterday, wore fishnets and sky high Christian Louboutin heels

She completed the look with sky high Christian Louboutin heels, black fishnet tights, a gold studded jacket and a standout red hat.

The singer has currently on a promotional blitz promoting her new album, which rocketed to the top of the UK charts yesterday selling more copies than the rest of the Top 10 put together.

With more than 215,000 records sold in the first week, her gravity-defying second album was the biggest mover for an album so far this year, the Official Charts Company said.

Standing out: She topped off the look with a Lady Gaga Born This Way T-shirt, sunglasses and a gold studded jacket

Famed for her eye-catching, sometimes outrageous, outfits, she said: 'I feel so honoured to have the highest first week sales in the UK this year.

'I wrote the album's first single Born This Way in Manchester because I was so inspired by the confidence and bravery characteristic of my fans: Little Monsters,' she said.

Meanwhile, in the States, the star is poised to sell over one million copies of the LP in it opening week, Billboard has predicted.

She was initially set to move around 800,000 copies, but an Amazon offer that saw it sold for 99cents for two days has helped to send it over the 1.15m mark.

source: dailymail

So that's where she gets it from! Suri Cruise and Katie Holmes sink into the sand in their heels at beach party


Beachside glamour: Katie Holmes and her daughter Suri Cruise stepped out in heels today for a Memorial Day beach party in Malibu

They may have been relaxing beachside, but that still didn't stop Katie Holmes and Suri Cruise from putting their best foot forward.

The mother and daughter duo both wore high heels as they attended a Memorial Day beach party in Malibu, today.

The five-year-old toddler slipped her tiny feet into some gold strappy platforms, while her 32-year-old mother opted for some charcoal kitten-heels as they took to the sand for some seaside fun.

Suri paired her grown-up shoes with a pretty pink floral skirt and a white long-sleeved top, and wore her chocolate locks out and loose around her shoulders.

Her mother looked equally chic in a pair of denim shorts, a white v-neck tee and a black linen blazer.

She finished off the look with which a straw fedora hat.

The pair had a ball under the warm Californian sun, with Katie keeping a close eye on Suri who was particularly taken by a pink balloon.

Suri watched wide-eyed as other children played nearby with beach toys, but made sure to keep close to her mother.

Well-heeled: Suri appeared to be taking style tips from her mother

After their seaside fun, the tired tot required a helping hand up the stairs from Katie, as they made their way back into the party.

Katie husband and Suri's dad Tom Cruise was also at the bash.

The 48-year-old actor, who was also wearing a fedora hat, opted to stay closer indoors with his other son Connor, 16.

This isn't the first time Suri has emerged in her glamorous pair of gilded heels.
Just a couple of weeks ago, the little girl jetted out of Miami with her mother in a private jet, again wearing the golden shoes.

With gusts created by the plane's turbines, the smiling tot was left grabbing on to her head as her hair billowed everywhere.

Sinking in the sand: The five-year-old toddler slipped her tiny feet into some gold strappy platforms, while her 32-year-old mother opted for some charcoal kitten-heeled shoes, but their footwear sank into the sand

The stylish youngster was dressed in green leggings, a grey top and gold shoes.
Her father Tom, 48, was seen taking a protective hold of his daughter as Katie, disembarked from the car.

The family had been spending their last few days in Miami while Tom had started filming on his new project Rock Of Ages alongside Alec Baldwin, Malin Akerman, Russell Brand and Catherine Zeta-Jones.

Dressed to the nines: Suri paired her grown-up shoes with a pretty pink floral skirt and a white long-sleeved top and wore her chocolate locks out and loose around her shoulders

Amused: Suri seemed particularly taken with her pink balloon shaped like an animal

Suri has been credited — and blamed — for sparking a multi-million-dollar mania for putting pampered kids in designer labels after stepping out in $800 miniature Marc Jacobs heels and $2,100 Dolce & Gabbana trench coats.

Suri has been wearing high heels for two years, with Katie describing them as 'ballroom dancing shoes for kids.'

Thanks to a serious shopping habit that has been indulged ever since she was a toddler, Suri's wardrobe is said to be worth nearly $3.3million.

What are they doing mom? Suri watched wide-eyed as other children played nearby with beach toys, but made sure to keep close to her mother

Father and son: Tom Cruise, who was also wearing a fedora hat, and his son Connor stayed closer indoors at the bash

The toddler has also been wearing make-up for two years and was spotted earlier this year making selections at beauty chain Sephora in New York.

She favours pink lipstick for daytime and a dramatic slash of red at night.

She also has her own designer bags to carry her books and cuddly toys — she has a smaller version of her mother’s Ferragamo Sofia bag and often carries her very own $18,000 Hermes handbag.

Keeping prim: Katie made sure that Suri looked presentable throughout the day

Helping hand: After their seaside fun, the tired tot required a helping hand up the stairs from Katie as they made their way back into the party

source: dailymail

Getting revved up: Amanda Holden arrives on motorbike at Britain's Got Talent studios ahead of tonight's first live semi-final


Racy lady: Amanda Holden arrived at the Britain's Got Talent studios this evening on the back of a motorbike to avoid the Bank Holiday traffic

It's the moment that fans have been waiting for - the return of Britain's Got Talent head judge Simon Cowell on tonight's show.

And his co-judge Amanda Holden was leaving nothing to chance when it came to getting to the show studios on time today - she was whisked there on the back of a motorbike to avoid getting stuck in Bank Holiday traffic.

Amanda was wearing an unusual biking outfit of grey miniskirt, black sunglasses, jacket and towering black patent stilettos, with her huge pink patent handbag tied behind her on the parcel rack.

Easy rider: The judge proved to be a proficient pillion passenger and even dismounted with ease, despite wearing a short grey mini skirt and towering stilettos

However, she still managed to dismount the bike with decorum before she then removed her helmet and made her way into make-up.

Keen: Amanda wrote on her Twitter page that she 'couldn't wait' to join 'her boys' including Simon Cowell on tonight's show - so made a speedy entrance on a motorbike

The star had revealed earlier today that she couldn't wait for tonight's show - though she revealed she was feeling nervous.

Writing on her Twitter page, she said: 'Woken up with major butterflies!! Cannot wait to see all the boys later and especially Simon! Hooray x'

Petrol head: The judge will be hoping to fire on all cylinders for tonight's first live semi-final - and she might want to hold on to her hard hat to protect her from co-judge Simon Cowell's comments about the acts she's helped put through...

Going through to the live semi-finals: Pippa Langhorne and her dog Buddy (left) and Romanian dancer Razy Gogonea were chosen by the judges

Flying high: Joe Oakley amazed the audience with his bike stunt tricks and progressed to the semis

Nerve-wracking: Oakley persuaded his father and a friend to lie on the floor while he jumped over them on his bike

Keyboardist Jessica Hobson, 19, and teen soprano Georgia Odette, 13, both made it through with their renditions of Billie Jean and You'll Never Walk Alone respectively.

Singing duo Mr and Mrs - who are an actual married couple comprising of a school teacher and social worker - also went through.

Infectious personality: Former music teacher Jean Martyn wowed the audience with her rock 'n' roll piano playing

But the next act received three yeses after receiving a standing ovation from the audience.

Former music teacher Jean Martyn, 59, got the whole audience moving with her energetic rock 'n' roll piano routine to Great Balls Of Fire.

Mcintyre said: 'Your smile is infectious. Wildly entertaining.'

• The first Britain's Got Final semi-final is on tonight at 7:30pm.

Decision time: The Britain's Got Talent judges had to whittle down 220 acts to 40 ahead of this week's semi-finals

source: dailymail