Plus: Survivor Tom back on job, Janice exits Model, and more

By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated May 27, 2005 08:00 AM

NOTCHED: It’s officially a comeback for Mariah Carey. The diva, 35, has another No.-1 hit – her 16th – on the Billboard Top 100 singles chart this week with the ballad “We Belong Together,” from the album The Emancipation of Mimi, which has sold more than 2 million copies after less than two months on the charts. This is a record bettered only by the Beatles and Elvis Presley, who had 20 and 18 No. 1 singles, respectively. “I don’t know that it’s actually sunken in yet,” Carey tells the Associated Press. Mimi is her first album since the 2002’s disappointing Charmbracelet (which followed her 2001 flop with the Glitter movie and soundtrack, as well as her breakdown from exhaustion). Asked why the new album is doing so well, Carey says: “I feel like it was just timing and that, for the first time, I feel like this is an expression of who I am.” She adds: “I look at this moment as an incredible blessing. It’s part of my struggle. It’s made me a stronger person and made me appreciate this.”

RETURNED: Survivor: Palau $1-million winner Tom Westman, 41, was back on his job as a Brooklyn’s Ladder 108 firefighter on Thursday, New York’s Daily News reports. And his buddies greeted him with open arms, with the firehouse decorated with banners. But the silver-haired hunk joked that fame and fortune have their drawbacks, too. “I’m the current winner of Survivor who let the grass grow too long,” he said. The News also pointed out that he hasn’t changed his wheels. Westman pulled up to the firehouse in his dented 1990 Honda.

EXITED: Janice Dickinson has said goodbye to Tyra Banks and left the UPN series America’s Next Top Model in order “to pursue other projects,” the network has announced, adding: “We wish her well in her future endeavors.” She will be replaced on season five of the series by British ’60s modeling sensation Twiggy, who will join judges Banks, fashion photographer Nigel Barker and runway expert J. Alexander come September, according to the New York Post.

PERMITTED: Michael Jackson’s prosecutors will be allowed to finish their case where it began – with a July 2003 tape of Jackson’s accuser talking to police for the first time about his claims that the singer molested him. Judge Rodney S. Melville decided Thursday to permit jurors to see the tape, which presents the possibility of a second courtroom confrontation between Jackson and the boy, whom defense attorneys want to question after the tape is played. Jackson’s lawyers said they may also want to call the boy’s mother and other witnesses. The case had been expected to go to the jury next week, but that became uncertain with the possibility of extensive new testimony, AP reports.

RELEASED: When Brad Pitt turned 40 last year, then-wife Jennifer Aniston gifted him with a $5,000 silkscreen portrait of his favorite actor, Steve McQueen, PEOPLE reported. Now Brad can treat himself to all the McQueen he wants. No fewer than three new DVD collections starring the screen rebel (1930-80) have come to market: The Essential Steve McQueen Collection, which includes a 2-disc special edition of his chase classic Bullitt; The Steve McQueen Collection which contains the favorite The Great Escape; and (due June 7), the first season of the Western TV series that launched McQueen’s star, Wanted: Dead or Alive. Also included in the latter is a 6-part McQueen bio – aptly titled Life in the Fast Lane.