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2K Announces New Studio For The Next BioShock


2K has formed a new internal studio called Cloud Chamber which is handling the next title in the BioShock series. The game will “be in development for the next several years.”

The developer will work out of two locations: 2K’s Novato, California headquarters and a new studio in Montréal, Québec, and Cloud Chamber is headed by Kelley Gilmore. Gilmore has worked within 2K on executive production, marketing, and PR for almost 20 years, including the Civilization and XCOM franchises.

“We are a deeply experienced group of game makers,” said Gilmore in a press release, “including many responsible for BioShock’s principal creation, advancement, and longstanding notoriety, and are honored to be part of the 2K family as stewards of this iconic franchise.”

Ken Schachter, who was general manager for Zynga in Toronto and the founder of indie developer/publisher Trapdoor (which co-published Fez and released Warp in 2012), will be the studio manager for the Montréal location.

Earlier this year, 2K also opened up a studio in Silicon Valley, headed by former Sledgehammer Games founders Glenn Schofield and Michael Condrey.

[Source: Cloud Chamber]



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Baseball

Winners and losers of Stephen Strasburg’s $245 million return to Nationals


Well, the hot stove is officially lit. An eye-popping $245 million deal for ace Stephen Strasburg to return to the Nationals got the fun started on the first day of baseball’s winter meetings in San Diego. As the defending champions bring back their World Series MVP, we asked ESPN.com’s Bradford Doolittle, Sam Miller and David Schoenfield to weigh in on what the deal means for Strasburg, the Nats and the rest of this MLB offseason.

Gut reaction: Do you like this deal for the Nationals?

David Schoenfield: Hey, it’s not my money! This guy just carried your team to a World Series title, but that’s also a very large chump of change for a pitcher who just topped 176 innings for the first time since 2014. There’s nothing wrong with bringing him back and continuing to construct your team around the big three of Strasburg, Max Scherzer and Patrick Corbin, but at this price I’d rather have Anthony Rendon and the more predictable outcome of a position player. Of course, it’s also possible that Strasburg stays healthy and has five or six more dominant seasons — much like his teammate Scherzer has done in his 30s. In fact, if Strasburg continues to pitch well throughout this contract, he’s a sleeper Hall of Fame candidate as he does have 112 career wins, 32.6 WAR and a great record in the postseason.

Bradford Doolittle: If it’s a choice between Strasburg and Rendon, I guess I’d have gone for Rendon. But for all we know at the moment, it’s a choice that might not have existed. Strasburg has made about 85 percent of his starts since his first full season after Tommy John surgery, though he’s hit 200 only twice. It’s that lesser track record of durability that separated him from Gerrit Cole in my mind, so I was thinking five or six years for Stras as opposed to seven or eight for the latter. But no one knows him better than the Nats and if they think he’s ready to reel off a string of 15-20 win seasons, then they can figure out the back end of the deal later. Pitchers this good are just so scarce.

Sam Miller: I do. If your owner has a net worth of $5 billion, it’s a lot harder to find a pitcher like Stephen Strasburg than to find a big pile of money.

This is a True Ace contract, and there’s a tendency to overlook just how highly Strasburg ranks among MLB pitchers-partly because he pitches in the same rotation as one of the few superior pitchers in the world, partly because he shares a free agency class with another of them. But over the past three years Strasburg has the seventh-best ERA in baseball (including the postseason), the 12th-most innings, the sixth-most WAR. It’s true that he’s 31; it’s also true that he’s had his two best seasons over the past three years, and from July 1 onward this year he had a 2.51 ERA, including his month against postseason offenses. He hasn’t had a major injury in nearly a decade. He’s on a team that will compete for a postseason appearance and will find that the margin between making and missing October is one Stephen Strasburg.

Who is the biggest winner of Strasburg re-joining the Nationals?

Schoenfield: Obviously, Strasburg. You kept hearing how he’s comfortable in Washington, had bought a house in the area and preferred to remain with the only organization he’s known. The money made it an easy decision. If there’s a ripple effect here, Madison Bumgarner has to be happy. He can now pitch teams that you can get him for half of Strasburg’s contract — and get a pitcher more than half as good.

Doolittle: Gerrit Cole and Scott Boras. My assumption had been that a bat-stuff crazy offer for Cole would end up at something like 8/$280. Now I’m wondering if it ends up 9/$300-plus. Which is nuts. But he’s now a market of one. Of course, while the need for him is ubiquitous, the demand doesn’t exactly correlate because not many teams can play in this arena.

Miller: Strasburg’s eventual biographer. His career-from the most highly touted draft prospect ever to a possible Hall of Famer-is so much more compelling when it all happens in one jersey. The pick of Strasburg in the 2009 draft was the catalyst for a golden age of Washington baseball, climaxing with a World Series run in which Strasburg had an all-time great October. It seems plausible that he’s only peaking now, and the next seven years could comprise-in addition to an eventual decline-more postseason runs, Cy Young votes, milestone pursuits and franchise records. When it’s over, there will be a statue of him outside Nationals Park. They usually don’t put statues up for half careers.

Who is the biggest loser of Strasburg going back to the Nationals?

Schoenfield: The New York Mets. They’ve seen the Phillies sign Zack Wheeler, the Braves sign Cole Hamels and the Nationals re-sign Strasburg. Meanwhile, the Mets have … well, they traded for a center fielder who had a .280 OBP last season.

Doolittle: Padres fans. I don’t know if they even tried to sign Strasburg, though they should have been beating down his door. Inking the hometown kid to head up an emerging pitching staff would have been story book stuff. Of course, perhaps the scenario was always just a fantasy.

Miller: Besides the Mets and the Phillies–who now look like they’ll be fighting for third place again, at least in the short term and barring other major moves–it’s probably whomever ends up with Gerrit Cole. This Strasburg deal comes a day after we heard that the Yankees had offered Cole $245 million. If they really believed they had a shot with that number, they (and anybody else in the running) is going to need to adjust those expectations, by at least $50 million and maybe a lot more. Actually, it’s probably whomever doesn’t end up with Cole. Strasburg is no longer around as a fallback.

Now that Strasburg is returning to the Nationals, who is the favorite to land Anthony Rendon?

Schoenfield: I’ll go with the Rangers. They’ve signed Kye Gibson and Jordan Lyles to join Mike Minor and Lance Lynn in the rotation, but they still have a gaping hole at third base and the money to bring to Rendon back to his home state. Rendon is an intriguing fit for the Dodgers, but based on recent track record of how the Dodgers spend in free agency, the Rangers are more likely to give a bigger, longer-team contract.



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Football

Sources — Florida State adds Auburn OC Kenny Dillingham


Florida State is hiring Auburn offensive coordinator Kenny Dillingham for the same position, a source told ESPN.

Dillingham is the first major addition to the staff of new Seminoles coach Mike Norvell, hired Sunday. Before joining Auburn in 2019, Dillingham spent three seasons working for Norvell at Memphis, coaching quarterbacks and eventually adding the offensive coordinator title. He first began working for Norvell in 2014 at Arizona State when Norvell served as the Sun Devils’ offensive coordinator.

Yahoo Sports first reported Dillingham’s move to Florida State.

Dillingham is the second known assistant for Norvell’s first FSU staff. Norvell said earlier Monday that Florida State associate head coach and defensive line coach Odell Haggins, who has been on the staff since 1994 and is serving as the Seminoles’ interim head coach, will remain.

Former Arkansas coach Chad Morris is a strong candidate to replace Dillingham at Auburn, according to sources. Morris and Auburn coach Gus Malzahn have been close friends since their days coaching high schools in Texas and Arkansas, respectively.



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Lifestyle

Sony PS5 Gets 2020 Release Date with No Load Times, New AI Controllers


ePremier League Finals 2019

Alex PantlingGetty Images

Back in July, Microsoft unveiled its plans for the so-called “Project Scarlett,” its follow-up console to the Xbox One. As expected, it will boast some unprecedented specs, allegedly running four times faster than any console ever released. Rumors have been swirling around for months about Sony’s answer to Project Scarlett, and in a new report from Wired, we finally got some clarity on the PS4 successor.

PlayStation 5, as Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan confirmed, is the official title for the upcoming console. The system will debut in the 2020 holiday season, and like Project Scarlett, the technology packed in the PS5 sounds absolutely wild. As Wired writes, both consoles will have “a CPU based on AMD Ryzen line and a GPU based on its Navi family; [they] will ditch the spinning hard drive for a solid-state drive.” What this means is, you probably won’t have to anticipate much, if any, load times on Sony’s next-gen console. But that’s not the only thing to be excited about here.

The PS5 will allegedly be able to support ray-tracing. This means we may finally get a home console that allows for, as Wired says, “complex lighting and sound effects in 3D environments.” So you can expect video games to get a lot more immersive and atmospheric come winter 2020. And since the console will be running off a solid state drive, everything will be faster, too. Booting up games and waiting around on long, complicated menu screens will be a thing of the past.

Sony reps also told Wired that players will now be able to jump right into “joinable activities in real time.” So instead of logging into Star Wars Battlefront II, loading up the main menu, navigating to the multiplayer menu, then waiting around again to be dropped into a session, the PS5 UI will have you simply hop right into a game.

Sony is plugging in an AI assistant into its new console, too. The forthcoming DualShock controller, which as of now is still unnamed, reportedly has a spot for a “voice-driven AI assistant.” It also was reported that the controllers will have more complex haptic feedback, in addition to triggers with programmable tension, to make a “machine gun feel far different from a shotgun.” This gives developers a world of new experiences to explore for players.

From support for machine learning to real-time UI, the PS5 seems like a huge leap into unexplored territory for the industry of gaming. If you compare gaming to the medium of cinema, which itself is only about 130 years old, video games at this current moment are just barely stepping out of the black-and-white era. With only about half a century of gaming so far, forward-thinking consoles like the PS5 could push the industry into artistic worlds both exciting and unknown. (For reference, Citizen Kane came out just a little more than 50 years after cinema was invented.)

With the PS5, we could be arriving upon a new golden era for the video game industry. Hopefully, the console lives up to the anticipation.



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Soccer

It’s Stanford’s Year – Equalizer Soccer


Stanford won the 2019 NCAA championship on Sunday, defeating North Carolina in a sudden-death, penalty-kick shootout after a scoreless game through regulation and extra time. The victory was Stanford’s second in three years and third of the decade. It was the second straight year in which North Carolina fell in the College Cup final. The Tar Heels last won the national title in 2012.

John Halloran and Ray Curren discuss the matches from the College Cup weekend, from the contrasting styles on display to the standout players who seem to have a future in the National Women’s Soccer League and, potentially, with the United States women’s national team. What they agree on is this: The best team of the 2019 season won the national championship.

Listen to this pod on:  Apple  |  Spotify  |  Google Podcasts  |  Stitcher  |  Anchor  |  PodBean  |  Pocket Casts  |  Breaker  |  Overcast  |  RadioPublic

Episode highlights

Special thanks to our podcast sponsor, FBref.com, where you can find comprehensive NWSL and women’s soccer statistics. Each episode, we bring you the FBRef.com Stat of the Week. Sign up for the Stathead Newsletter to get curated stats, recaps, how-tos and more from the Sports-Reference network in your inbox.

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Tv Shows

Watchmen Star Talks Doctor Manhattan Mega-Twist And ‘Liberating’ Full-Frontal Nudity


doctor manhattan watchmen hbo

Major spoilers below for the latest episode of Watchmen, so be sure and watch before reading on.

With its eighth episode, HBO’s Watchmen finally opened up a can of Doctor Manhattan worms, giving viewers long-awaited answers to questions we’ve had all season long. “A God Walks Into Abar” fully detailed Angela’s relationship with Doctor Manhattan, from their quirky flirting to that heartbreaking tragedy in the final moments. Granted, not everything got resolved, but that’s the nature of a Damon Lindelof HBO series.

Star Yahya Abdul-Mateen II had his work cut out for him in the episode, having to flip from playing a compassionate husband and father to portraying the most powerful being in the entire universe. (At least so far.) The actor wasn’t aware of the Doctor Manhattan switcheroo when he was cast, but fully embraced the reveal once he understood what it all meant. In his words:

It was wild. Just reading it and realizing how all these things are connected, there’s a lot of plot holes to be filled when Episode 8 came together and started to connect things. This is a story about history, about race relations in America and inherited trauma passed down from generation to generation. But at its core it’s a love story. It’s a really beautiful revelation to step into Dr. Manhattan’s shoes and play those three versions of him.

That’s right, Watchmen fans, some congrats are in order for those who presumed it was Yahya Abdul-Mateen II doing the voice of Doctor Manhattan inside Eddy’s Bar in Vietnam. The actor confirmed that he did indeed provide the soft-spoken and introspective dialogue during Manhattan’s first conversation with Regina King’s Angela. According to Abdul-Mateen II, he combined the voices of show creator Damon Lindelof, Apple brainiac Steve Jobs and Yale Drama Dean James Bundy in order to find Doctor Manhattan’s detached vocal patterns.

hbo watchmen cal as doctor manhattan

Viewers will have to wait until the Watchmen season finale to see exactly what will happen with Doctor Manhattan, though Yahya Abdul-Mateen II says that the series’ recurring theme of “Nothing Ever Ends” hints that things might swing in the super-being’s favor in some way. That said, his comment does nothing to soothe worries about Seventh Kavalry’s potential to succeed with their teleportation scheme in some way. After all, it’s still not exactly clear what Senator Joe Keene would want to do with Doctor Manhattan’s powers, though we can easily assume that his actions would be racially motivated.

Speaking with EW, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II talked about how surprised and proud he his after all the vocal support for Watchmen shockingly twisting Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ comic book so that Doctor Manhattan would be a black man. (And in a different way from how the show handled Hooded Justice’s reveal.) It’s interesting (though perhaps plot-necessary) that Keene & Co. obviously knew that Cal was Doctor Manhattan, yet refrained from showing any visible prejudice to the notion of such black supremacy. Here’s how Abdul-Mateen II put it:

Online I’ve been really surprised by how much people are moved by Dr. Manhattan living in the embodiment of a black man. People have been really moved. I didn’t see that coming. I was just playing the guy who happens to be the vessel but I’ve been noticing how important that is to people — to the see the possibility of a ‘god’ living in a black man. Especially in a world where the antagonists are a white supremacist organization. It’s really powerful imagery we’re putting forth and I’m proud to be part of that imagery of representation.

Through smart and clever writing, as well as engrossing cinematography, Damon Lindelof and the Watchmen creative team completely flipped the racial script on this well-worn narrative, and have since been wholly championed for it by critics and viewers. It’s certainly a different outcome from what plenty of other Hollywood projects face upon revealing gender-swaps and race changes. Again, though, it goes back to the writing.

Doctor Manhattan naked hbo watchmen

Say Hello To Doctor Manhattan’s Big Black Penis

Logically, if someone is going to take the time to figure out a way to turn Watchmen‘s Doctor Manhattan into a modern black American, it’s almost contractually obligated for that person to find a way to substitute Manhattan’s big blue genitalia for the stereotypically similar private parts of a black man. Lo and behold, Watchmen did it in Episode 8, and didn’t even bother with using Doctor Manhattan’s signature blue glow.

The key moment in question came when Doctor Manhattan paid a visit to Jeremy Irons’ Adrian Veidt in the latter’s Antarctic retreat. As viewers saw, the character clearly wasn’t affected by the cold weather, and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II said it was liberating to be able to walk around the sets while nude. In his words:

I knew as soon as I heard I had to get into shape. My thought was this is HBO and it’s Dr. Manhattan so let’s step into it and have some fun. I got into the best shape that I could so I could look good. I’m playing a character who is above shame. He’s confident in who he is. It was fun for me to step into that space. I was joking in Aquaman I have a Black Manta suit, in Watchmen I have my birthday suit. . . . Walking around naked was so liberating. It felt really good! We had an intimacy coordinator — that’s something HBO does whenever there’s nudity involved. I always had a choice in how we would shoot the scene and what they would show. They made sure I was comfortable and that I always had the choice, even at the last minute on the day. They definitely took care of me.

More of Doctor Manhattan’s blue skin could be seen in the brief scenes on Europa as viewers grasped how memories from Jon’s youth informed the process of cloning Tom Mison’s Mr. Phillips and Sara Vickers’ Ms. Crookshank. But nowhere was the episode’s skin quotient more present than during Manhattan and Veidt’s important conversation. The show has now offered viewers a faux-Manhattan dong via Tom Mison’s stunt penis actor, a manufactured Manhattan dong via Laurie’s heavy metal dildo Excalibur (Ex-Cal Abar), and a non-blue official Manhattan dong. It’s as if Damon Lindelof thought of every loophole he could fill.

While waiting for the big Season 1 finale, anyone interested in checking out all the big comic book references that Watchmen has delivered so far can scope out our rundowns for Episode 1, Episode 2, Episode 3, Episode 4, Episode 5, Episode 6, Episode 7 and Episode 8.

Watchmen will air its Season 1 finale on Sunday, December 15, at 8:00 p.m. Be sure to watch and spread the word so that HBO knows how valuable a Season 2 renewal would be within the fanbase.

 



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Music

Weekly Dope: Roddy Ricch, Fat Joe, Jay Electronica & More


With another seven days in the books, we’re back recapping the best in music with the 179th installment of our Weekly Dope playlist.

On the artwork this week, I decided to flip Fat Joe and Dre‘s Family Ties album cover with a mix of Roddy Ricch for delivering a solid debut in Please Excuse Me For Being Antisocial, and Jay Electronica, Dave East and 070 Phi for their “No Hoodie (Nothin’ to Lose)” collaboration.

(Normally, I’d sequence the songs for a more natural listening experience,
but I just didn’t have the time to do it this week. My apologies.)

  1. Dave East, Jay Electronica & 070 Phi, “No Hoodie”
  2. Fat Joe & Dre, “Projects”
  3. Fat Joe & Dre, “Heaven & Hell”
  4. Roddy Ricch, “Boom Boom Room”
  5. Roddy Ricch, “Bacc Seat” f. Ty Dolla $ign
  6. Roddy Ricch, “Peta” f. Meek Mill
  7. Max B, “Ride On Em” f. Jadakiss
  8. Max B, “Goodbye” f. Cam’ron & Dave East
  9. French Montana, “Coke Wave Boys” f. Chinx & Max B
  10. KXNG Crooked, “East Side Libations”
  11. CJ Fly, “City We From” f. Conway
  12. Termanology, “Nobody” f. Eto & Tek
  13. Sean Price & Lil Fame, “Center Stage”
  14. CZARFACE, “Bizarro”
  15. Airplane James, “Lay Low ’19”
  16. Flatbush ZOMBiES, “Monica” f. Tech N9ne
  17. G herbo, “My Bro’s A Legend”
  18. Rich the Kid, “That’s Tuff” f. Quavo
  19. Camila Cabello, “My Oh My” f. DaBaby
  20. Please Wait, “Rush” f. Alayna
  21. Terrace Martin, “The Deuce”
  22. Lucky Daye, “Fly”
  23. Joël, “Disarm”
  24. Tame Impala, “Posthumous Forgiveness”
  25. Caribou, “You and I”
  26. August Alsina, “Today”
  27. Alayna, “Tender”
  28. Teyana Taylor, “We Got Love”
  29. Mayer Hawthorne, “Healing”
  30. Duke & Jones, “Burner” f. Sophie Strauss
  31. Emma Sameth, “Homesick”
  32. Allie X & Troye Sivan, “Love Me Wrong”
  33. JVSMINE, “Lonely”
  34. Brandon Banks, “Self” f. Mereba
  35. Yoshi Flower, “Falling Apart”

Updated every Monday morning, the playlist can be heard below and is available on Apple MusicSpotify, SoundCloud, and TIDAL.

Weekly Dope: Roddy Ricch, Fat Joe, Jay Electronica & More was last modified: December 9th, 2019 by Shake





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Movies

Todd Phillips Discusses Joker Sequel Rumors Following Golden Globe Nominations



As if it wasn’t already abundantly clear that Joker has been incredibly successful, the Golden Globe nominations came out this morning, and the Clown Prince of Crime’s origin story will compete in four categories in the next ceremony. Now that Joker’s been showered with even more accolades, does this mean there’s a stronger chance that it might get a sequel, which has been talked even before the movie came out.

According to director Todd Phillips, even though Joker is now surrounded by all this awards buzz, a decision still hasn’t been made regarding whether Arthur Fleck’s story will continue, let along any significant discussions. Phillips said:

Todd Phillips was among the Golden Globe nominees Variety talked with following the nominations announcement, with Phillips is competing in the Best Director category. As he laid out in his comment, he knew the movie would be something unique, particularly when it came to Joaquin Phoenix’s performance as Arthur Fleck, but he never attempted to predict how Joker would fare at the box office or if it would even walk away with awards buzz.

Cut to now, two months after Joker’s release, the movie has been a powerhouse in both regards. It’s soared past the $1 billion mark at the box office, and in addition to Todd Phillips’ Best Director nod, Joker will also compete in the Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Original Score categories at the next Golden Globes ceremony. But even with all this success, that doesn’t guarantee that Joker will get a sequel.

Before Joker’s release, the movie was positioned as a standalone, one-off story, and Todd Phillips said that it was not set up to have a sequel, though he and Joaquin Phoenix did toss some ideas around. But following Joker’s standout performance at the box office, the idea of delivering a sequel has been reexamined, and Phoenix seems game to reprise the eponymous role.

Last month, it was reported that a Joker sequel was in development, with Joaquin Phoenix, Todd Phillips and co-writer Scott Silver all expected to return. However, that report was soon debunked, and Phillips later clarified that while he and Phoenix have talked a little bit about a hypothetical Joker 2, no deals had been signed and nothing had been officially cemented. Clearly that hasn’t changed, though that doesn’t mean the idea of moving forward with Joker 2 has been tossed aside either.

Joker’s time in theaters is winding down, but you can watch the movie in the comfort of your own home when it drops on Digital HD December 17, followed by the Blu-ray and DVD copies hitting shelves on January 7. Joker will also be available on HBO Max when the streaming service launches.

Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for any updates on the status of a Joker sequel, but in the meantime, plan your trips to the theater next year with our 2020 release schedule.



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Trending News

Lizzo’s “Good as Hell” Music Video Is an Ode to Her Marching Band Roots


After literal years of bopping to the song, Lizzo has unveiled a brand new music video for “Good as Hell,” and it pays homage to her own marching band roots.

On Dec. 9, Lizzo put out the accompanying music video for the track, which originally came out in 2016 as part of her Coconut Oil EP (and had a different music video that year). To illustrate the fan-favorite bop, the Detroit-born singer took a page straight out of her own yearbook.

In the almost four-minute video, we follow the real stories of various black students at Baton Rouge, Louisiana’s Southern University as they prepare for homecoming week. Featuring SU’s Human Jukebox marching band and Fabulous Dancing Dolls, Lizzo honors the tradition of marching bands in Black culture, and especially in HBCUs like Southern University. Lizzo isn’t the only person to reference marching bands in her work — who can forget Beyoncé and her momentous Coachella performance — but Lizzo seemingly drew from her own experiences in marching band, too.

“I was in marching band from eighth grade all the way up until college, the Cougar marching band at University of Houston,” Lizzo told NPR in 2016. “I was a piccolo player. I was the baddest piccolo in the land, ’cause I got big lungs. And I was really determined. I rented the flute, and I just started listening to James Galway and songs on the radio, really trying to sound good and be the best.”

Throughout the various situations in the feel-good video, we find Lizzo clad in her own twist on SU’s band uniform as she serves as conductor and confidant for the students. She also dances through the practice room, the bleachers, the field and even her very own custom “Lizzo” school bus — instances which, not-so-coincidentally, also seem to mimic Lizzo’s IRL experiences. “There was a lot of freestyling on the bus,” the singer also told NPR. “There was a lot of freestyling in the cafeteria, and there was a lot of freestyling on the radio.”

Watch the music video for “Good as Hell” below.

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Want more from Teen Vogue? Check this out: Lizzo Transformed Herself Into a Bow for Her Jingle Ball Performance





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