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article imageLast girl standing: Selena Gomez as Disney's most dependable star

By Shawn Kay     Dec 5, 2011 in Entertainment
Los Angeles - Selena Gomez is the lead and dependable star of The Disney Channel, beloved by millions globally. However, as her tenure with Disney draws to a close, she appears poised to crossover into mainstream Hollywood.
For the past year and a half, Selena Gomez has sat at the helm of the Disney Channel as it's lead and most recognizable star.
The 19 year-old superstar is the face of the Disney Channel and the show in which she stars, Wizards of Waverly Place, is currently the television network's flagship program.
There has been a lot of dark drama associated with Disney recently. Gomez has weathered the storm during some of the most tumultuous periods in the network's otherwise long and illustrious history (chiefly, it's efforts to rein in renegade starlet, Miley Cyrus whose penchance for mischief caused notable damage to the Disney brand). And now that the storm has passed, she is there for the sunny days as well.
Gomez has cheerfully carried the banner and is proud of being the network's premier star while Disney is equally happy to have her in that position.
Now with production recently completed on the fourth and final season of her show, Gomez's tenure with Disney is rapidly drawing to a close.
What is especially notable about all of this is the timing. As Gomez and the network part ways, both are embarking on new beginnings of sorts.
The new television season at the Disney Channel which will began this Fall (actually this past September) will usher in a new generation of starlets that will star in a series of new shows.
Meanwhile, teen sensation Gomez has spent much of the year making a gradual but sure crossover from Disney Channel starlet to mainstream Hollywood star.
As her career with Disney winds down, she has been focusing more on making her crossover complete with this year being her biggest thus far.
Many say that Gomez's projects with Disney have come to fulfillment just in time, leaving her free to pursue her music and film career full-time.
The year of 2011 has been a watershed moment for both Gomez and the Disney Channel.
Selena Gomez and the Disney Channel Relationship
The Walt Disney Company or simply Disney, is the current leader in the American animation industry. This status has been cemented even further by it's 2006 acquisition of Pixar, a computer animation film studio that specializes in major motion films using CGI (Computer Generated Imagery) animation.
Disney's reputation is legend. It is well known globally for selling dreams, fairy-tales, romance and love stories through animation and happy endings that are rarely seen today in the conventional world.
However, while it's bread and butter is in and likely always will be in animation, Disney's expertise and focus extends well beyond that particular area. It is also considered to be a globally leader in the areas of live-action film production, travel, theatre, radio, publishing, and online media as well as owning 14 theme parks. Disney also owns both ABC broadcast television network and ESPN.
Since it's founding in Los Angeles nearly a century ago, it has become the largest media conglomerate in the world in terms of revenue and many even consider it to be the most successful brand in history.
One of the most visible and prolific branches of the Disney empire is that of the Disney Channel.
The Disney Channel is a cable and satellite television network that is under the direction of Disney-ABC Television Group President Anne Sweeney. The channel's headquarters is located on West Alameda Avenue in Burbank, California.
The content featured on the channel is largely tween and kid-driven and family inclusive.
The channel features programing for children through movies and television series geared towards young children from ages 2 - 5 through the Disney Junior programing block. The channel also specializes in third-party programming.
However, the channel's main patronage comes from pre-teens and teenagers ages 9 - 15. The weekend primetime block is aimed at that age group and receives the highest number of viewers. The shows in the weekend primetime block are the most prestigious and feature the network's most elite and high-profile stars.
Those shows have included Hannah Montana, Wizards of Waverly Place and Sonny With A Chance. Other shows have included the Suite Life With Zack and Cody.
Besides the U.S. the Disney Channel is shown in over 160 countries and in 30 languages.
Headquarters of the Disney Channel building at West Alameda Avenue in Burbank  California.
Headquarters of the Disney Channel building at West Alameda Avenue in Burbank, California.
In recent years, the diversity of viewers in the United States has increased with an older audience, typically older teenagers and even young adults as well as young families.
The network's shows often feature a witty but smart subtext that seems to have attracted a secret but growing following of adult viewers over the past few years.
Since late 2010, Selena Gomez. has been sitting pretty at the helm of the colorful and jaunty bubblegum pop world of the Disney Channel as it's lead and most recognizable star. It's a position that she enjoys and takes seriously. Her sense of loyalty, scandal-free nice girl persona and work ethic have endeared her to millions of fans globally as well as making her a darling of the Disney corporation.
Gomez is the star of the immensely popular Disney Channel Original Series Wizards Of Waverly Place. The show is a teen-based fantasy sitcom that centers on the Italian-Mexican Russo family, which includes Alex (Selena Gomez), her older brother Justin (David Henrie), and their younger brother Max (Jake T. Austin). The three Russo siblings are wizards in training and live with their Italian-American father Jerry (David DeLuise), a former wizard, and their Mexican-American mother, Theresa (María Canals Barrera) who is a mortal. Alex's best friend, Harper (Jennifer Stone), is the only mortal outside of the family to be privy to the fact that the Russo's have magical powers.
The show is set on Waverly Place in Manhattan's Greenwich Village neighborhood though the actual filming takes place on location at Hollywood Center Studios in Hollywood, California.
Wizards Of Waverly Place first premiered on the Disney Channel on October 12, 2007. The series won "Outstanding Children's Program" at the 61st Primetime Emmy Awards in 2009. A film adaptation of the series, Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie, premiered as a Disney Channel Original Movie on August 28, 2009. The film, which appeared on the Disney network received 11.4 million viewers and would win the "Outstanding Children's Program" award at the 62nd Primetime Emmy Awards in 2010.
There were talks about a sequel to the Wizards of Waverly Place movie to accompany the fourth season of the series, but Gomez confirmed this past Spring that there would not be another film.
On October 7, 2011 It became the second Disney Channel Original Series to reach 100 episodes (after That's So Raven), and the first to go over that total.
Wizards of Waverly Place currently remains the longest running Disney Channel Original Series, along with the one with the most episodes, surpassing the record once held by the popular series That's So Raven.
The show has been a main-stay of the network's television line-up for several years and is the flagship program for the Disney network. The show is currently approaching the end of it's fourth and final season with the series finale due to air in January 2012.
Selena Gomez Saves The Disney Channel
The current ambiance at the Disney Channel is one of well-being and order. However, things were not always this way.
For the past several years, the Disney Channel has generally revolved around (and thrived) on it's three major stars -Miley Cyrus, Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato - and their shows, Hannah Montana, Wizards Of Waverly Place and Sonny With A Chance, respectively.
The formula for most Disney Channel Original Series center around a single star, thus if there are problems with the star, it puts the whole show in jeopardy. In many cases if there are complications with the star then the show cannot go on. You can usually replace a bit character but it is nearly impossible to replace the actress playing the lead since the entire premise of the show is modeled and based around her character. Miley Cyrus knew this well and was able to hold the Disney Channel hostage through her antics.
The recent years have been a difficult and tumult period for the Disney Channel with regards to a very brutal ratings war with network rival, Nickelodeon, while also confronting critical disturbances from within it's own camp involving some of it's top stars. Most notable has been the network's heated battles with former Hannah Montana star Miley Cyrus.
Cyrus, the original Disney Channel golden girl and chosen one, had fallen out of favor with Disney due to her troublesome predilection for posting scantly-clad images of herself online and wearing rather suggestive outfits in her latest music videos and performances as well as other unDisney-like behavior. All of which are a very big no-no for a Disney Channel starlet who are generally expected to serve as role models and big sister figures to younger girls.
The starlet, who has often spoken about her Christian roots, hinted at moving in a more risqué direction in 2008 with her seductive and polarizing Vanity Fair photo spread.
Cyrus was originally fond of Disney and Hannah Montana but became very mercurial towards the end of the show's four-season run.
She wanted to devote extra time to her music career and also wanted to take on newer and more mature roles in films. Cyrus also longed to be seen as America's newest sex symbol and felt that her good-girl image and commitments to Disney were getting in the way of all of her ambitions.
Cyrus would eventually begin to harbor a very deep hated of Hannah Montana.
Locked into a four-season contract with Disney to produce Hannah Montana and realizing that it would never allow her to pursue her ambitions of becoming America's newest sex symbol, Cyrus sought to get herself fired through actions designed to sabotage the show and enlisted her father Billy Ray Cyrus (who also had a staring role on the series) to support her efforts.
The father and daughter pair began showing up to the set several hours late, stalling production and infuriating the cast and crew. And when she was at work, Cyrus would reportedly cause one problem after another on set.
Insiders reported Billy Ray as saying he believed his daughter could make far more money if she broke away from Disney.
However, the plan to sabotage the show by Cyrus and her father backfired in a big way.
When Disney discovered what the father-daughter duo were up to, the media conglomerate called it's agents, branded them as ingrates and punished them by exercising a clause in their contract that allowed Disney to add six more episodes.
The folks at Disney were not the only ones who saw Cyrus as an ingrate, many fans of the show shared similar sentiments.
Cyrus is currently a mainstream global music and film superstar and has a net-worth of nearly $100 million. But this was only possible through Disney which gave her the chance to showcase her talents and become a household name. Her attempts to rebel against Disney were seen by many as being ungrateful and as biting the hand that fed her.
Cyrus' escapades caused significant damage to the Disney image. The damage was all the more profound due to the fact that she was far more than just another star at the network, rather she was the star at that time and thus was in an exceptional position to cause harm.
Cyrus' father would later blame Disney and Hannah Montana for destroying his family and the hyper-sexualized behavior of his daughter, Miley, as well as his now broken relationship with her.
Hannah Montana, which ended it's run this past January, remains the most successful Disney Channel franchise of all time, grossing well over $1 billion in box office, concerts and merchandise sales world-wide.
And then there was the downfall of Demi Lovato, yet another of the network's promising top stars.
Lovato, the star of her own popular show, Sonny With A Chance, reportedly had difficulty handling the demanding schedule and pressure that comes with being a high-level Disney Channel starlet. The pressure was a significant cause of emotional distress and led the troubled starlet to become bulimic and engage in self-harming.
Lovato went into rehab last November to seek professional help for her emotional problems after suffering an emotional breakdown during an international concert tour with the Jonas Brothers.
Sources have said Lovato's emotional issues, which included childhood bullying and a broken family with an alcoholic father, though not previously known to the public were nonetheless longstanding and were exacerbated by the relentless pace of her work schedule at Disney.
In speaking to the New York Post about Lovato's self-destructive behavior, clinical psychologist Joy Browne, a radio host on WOR said
It’s suicide on training wheels
Though Disney promised her that her job was safe, Lovato made the decision to leave her show and quit Disney upon her discharge from rehab this past January. Lovato, who is also an accomplished pop music superstar, felt that juggling the demanding schedules of both a music career and her Disney commitments would be too stressful and emotionally unhealthy for her. She now focuses solely on her music career.
Gomez and Lovato also happen to be very close friends. In fact, both consider themselves to be best friends and share a close bond. The two starlets have worked on numerous Disney projects together, most notably the Princess Protection Program franchise. Gomez has also guest-starred on Lovato's popular series.
Their friendship dates back to childhood, originating in the days of the popular children television series Barney and Friends,. Gomez and Lovato were both six years old when they met each other on the set of the show and have been close friends ever since. Barney was their first job and would eventually lead to Disney. Gomez would be the first to sign up with Disney with Lovato following soon after.
When Lovato suffered her emotional breakdown last Fall, Gomez was one of the very first to reach out to her close friend. Gomez would go on to frequently check-in on Lovato during her rehab stint. The two also reaffirmed and renewed their close friendship with one another. The two have always shared a flair for theatrics and like to kid around when together.
And then there was one.
The tabloids all watched and waited with baited breath for Selena Gomez to have a Cyrus-type sex scandal or emotional collapse of her own.
They all waited but they would eventually be disappointed as the much anticipated breakdown never materialized.
It couldn't have been easy for Gomez in any possible sense as the antics of Cyrus and Demi's collapse placed immense pressure on her to carry the banner and defend the Disney image.
When the Disney Channel was taking heavy fire from parental organizations, psychologists and the public for Cyrus' sexually suggestive antics as well Lovato's emotional breakdown, which made many on the outside wonder about how hard the network pushes it's teenage stars, Gomez stayed strong during that stormy period. She showed parents everywhere that Disney had at least one major star left that was stable and capable of being principled and embracing the responsibilities of being a role model to millions.
Demi Lovato at the premiere for Hannah Montana: The Movie - April 2  2009. Lovato is the former star...
Demi Lovato at the premiere for Hannah Montana: The Movie - April 2, 2009. Lovato is the former star of the hit Disney Channel show, "Sonny With A Chance." She released her third studio album, "Unbroken," in September 2011. Lovato and former fellow Disney Channel starlet Selena Gomez share a close friendship that dates back to childhood.
It was a lot of pressure to bear but not only did Gomez successfully bear that pressure, she thrived under it. An obvious testament to her level of perseverance and caliber of character.
When it was time for her to step up, Gomez stepped up for Disney in a major way. She was more than happy to seize upon the opportunity to be the network's lead star, an opportunity Cyrus originally had but eventually became unappreciative and neglectful of.
She played the role of dutiful soldier the entire time, waiting patiently for her moment to be the network's top star.
Gomez has even performed double and triple duty through occasional guest appearances on both Cyrus' and Lovato's Disney Channel shows as well as staring full-time in her own.
With Gomez at the helm of the Disney Channel as it's lead star, the network is rapidly regaining it's reputation as a place for family-friendly viewing and wholesome entertainment.
Though she has already begun somewhat of a phasing out process from Disney, Gomez has left the network in a better position than Cyrus did when she left it. She will leave Disney with out a single trace of controversy.
Gomez made it all the way to the very end.
With both Cyrus and Lovato gone, Gomez is truly the last girl standing. She is the last to go of this current generation of Disney Channel starlets.
The Nice Girl That Finished First
Your children are safe if they are watching Selena Gomez on television or have her as their personal role model. When it comes to Gomez there no racy outfits, and no tales of drug experimentation, drinking or clubbing. With Gomez there is only good clean fun.
Even more, unlike most young women she has no interest in having a bad-boy as a boyfriend (hence her current boyfriend, Justin Bieber).
Gomez is looked upon as a good example of what little girls should grow up to be like and some have even gone as far as to call her the perfect teen role model. Others have wondered if she is too good to be true.
She is stable in her career and life and is a young woman with grace and dignity who seems to be able to do it all. Gomez has taught her fans that anything is possible and that dreams do come true.
Gomez is currently Hollywood's hottest rising young star as her face and name are seen and heard everywhere. Her likeness graces television screens and the covers of magazines while her songs are in constant rotation on the airwaves of many pop music radio stations throughout the United States. There are very few places you can go without seeing her face or hearing her name.
This is Selena Gomez; crossover success and Hollywood's hottest rising star.
Gomez is a smart girl and is very business savvy. She has an impressive understanding of how business and industry works and has been referred to as a "one-woman empire."
A Jill of all trades, Gomez is currently involved in a dizzying array of projects, some of which include:
Music - Selena Gomez and The Scene
After her status as a Disney Channel starlet, Gomez is best known as one of the world's premiere music artists.
Formed in 2009, Selena Gomez and The Scene is a pop music band whose musical genres include Electropop, dance-pop, pop rock and teen pop.
The star and her band have had a prolific presence on the overall pop music scene and have released three albums since 2009. Kiss & Tell is the band's debut studio album and was released in September 2009 by Hollywood Records. The album was certified Gold by the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) in Spring 2010. The album's single, Naturally, was certified Platinum by the RIAA in Summer 2010.
A Year Without Rain is the band's second album and was released in September 2010. The album sold 60,000 copies and debuted on the Billboard 200 at number four. In January 2011, the album was certified Gold by RIAA.
The band's third and latest album, When The Sun Goes Down, was released on June 28, 2011. The album made it's debut at number four on the Billboard 200 and sold over 78,000 copies in just it's first week. The following week the album rose to number three on the Billboard chart, thus making it the band's most successful album yet.
The album's lead single, Who Says was certified Platinum by RIAA in June 2011. It has become the band's highest charting song on Billboard at number 21 on the chart.
The band consists of Gomez on vocals, Ethan Roberts on guitar, Joey Clement on bass, Greg Garman on drums and Dane Forrest on keyboards.
Selena Gomez and Philanthropy
Selena Gomez's kind heart and compassion is one of the reasons why she is the type of person the public want their kids to look up too. She is a very big fan of charity and has used her star power to increase awareness for the disadvantaged.
In August 2009, she was named ambassador for UNICEF. Gomez, who was 17 years-old at the time was the youngest person ever to be appointed to that position.
In her position as ambassador, Gomez took part in her first field mission when she traveled to Ghana for one week in September 2009 to witness first hand the stark living conditions of the people living there.
On October 6, 2009, Gomez made a surprise visit to the Chamock elementary school in Los Angeles as part of the "A Day Made Better" program that was sponsored by OfficeMax. During her visit, Gomez gave the school an award and $1,000 worth of school supplies. Gomez spent the day having her picture taken with adoring students (and teachers) and spoke on the importance of charity and giving back to the community.
Gomez is also the ambassador of DoSomething.Org and is involved with the charity Island Dog, which helps homeless and abused dogs in Puerto Rico. Taylor Swift, a very close and dear friend of Gomez's held an auction to support Selena and benefit her charity, IslandDog. The famed country/pop music superstar held a contest where people could bid to win a personally signed guitar. Gomez is the owner of five rescue dogs and describes herself as a "huge animal-lover."
The star has also engaged in numerous charity projects during her tenure with Disney.
Sponsorships and Entrepreneurial Ventures
Selena Gomez is showcasing her fashion sense and enterpreurship skills through her very own clothing line.
The clothing line, called "Dream Out Loud by Selena Gomez" launched in the Fall 2010.
Gomez lunched her own production company, July Moon Productions, in October 2008.
She was also apart of Sears back-to-school fashion ad campaign in August 2009.
Film Roles
Perhaps one of the most significant indicators of her pending crossover has been the increase in motion pictures that Gomez have starred in over the past years that were not Disney related.
This past Summer, Gomez stared in the film Monte Carlo alongside Leighton Meester and Kaite Cassidy. In the film Gomez plays Grace, a girl who's mistaken for a socialite while on a trip to Paris. The film was one of the most popular of this year and grossed over $39 million in box offices worldwide.
The Summer prior to that Gomez stared in the motion film Ramona & Beezus.
The demands of her schedule were made vividly evident when Gomez was briefly hospitalized for exhaustion this past Summer.
Gomez is in the process of cementing her crossover into mainstream celebritydom complete. However, what is particularly notable is how she pulled off that crossover.
Contrasting Gomez's crossover with that of former Disney starlet Cyrus reveals their glaringly different styles and outlooks.
As A-List stars, Gomez and Cyrus are polar opposites of each other.
Cyrus made her crossover first and almost a full year before Gomez did.
Her crossover from Disney into the mainstream was very blunt and forced. In an effort to distance herself from her wholesome Disney image and portray herself as more mature, she vamped-up her image. She became more sexually provocative in her style, music, and live performances.
Cyrus was attempting to bring herself to an adult audience-by emphasizing her sexuality.
Her antics burned Disney as well as a lot of parents. Her 'tween fans were left perplexed by her new attitude and style with many of them feeling betrayed and abandoned by their teen role model.
Critics say that the star has clearly adopted a “thanks for getting me here, but screw you” attitude towards her fans and Disney who were instrumental in helping her realize mainstream fame.
Cyrus took a scorched Earth approach, burning all bridges to her Disney past as well as the fan base that was associated with it.
However, the former renegade Disney starlet defended her new image in an interview with Prestige Magazine this past September,
I'm not some crazy lady who's gone off the deep end, because I definitely haven't. I just always try to be real. Every 18-year-old explores sexuality and experiments and tries things. For me there's no reason to change that. You have to be true to yourself.
Cyrus may be too "real" for her own good.
According to a online poll by Hollywood Life asking respondents whether Gomez or Cyrus were their favorite Disney star, 59% of respondents said that they prefer Gomez's straight-laced style over those of Cyrus' wild-child ways who garnered 40% of the votes.
Selena Gomez performing Love You Like A Love Song live on Good Morning America - June 17  2011
Selena Gomez performing Love You Like A Love Song live on Good Morning America - June 17, 2011
Hoangquan hientrang
It doesn't always pay to be the bad girl and the vixen. Critics say that by burning her original fan base and her former employer Disney, Cyrus may have burned herself far worse in the process. Her popularity is said to be plummeting and rather than having the lengthy music and film career she has always envisioned, her star may soon burn out.
Gomez on the other hand, was able to gently breakaway from the Disney brand while remaining on good terms with it. Even more, she has maintained her loyal fans who followed and supported her during her time at Disney while also garnering new fans through her post-Disney starlet career and music.
In fact, those who are familiar with her understand how important her fans are to her. She reportedly didn't want to just dump her fans and leave them feeling abandoned just because she was leaving Disney thus she has maintained a familiar image even as she expands into the mainstream. Gomez is said to care deeply for her fans. All of her career moves are made with them in mind.
Gomez has frequently said that she is going to make her transition very slowly and not go immediately into anything that's off the charts, because her goal is to keep her audience and have them grow with her.
Rather than breakaway from her good-girl image and sully it with scandal as her celebrity counterpart Cyrus has done, the rather demure young lady has reinforced it and vigorously defends it. She does not feel the need to prove herself "mature" by vamping up her image and engaging in provocative behavior. She's has no rivalries and is basically an all-around likable person.
In short, Gomez's crossover was smooth and respectful as well as amicable to all involved including her fans and parents and Disney itself.
Another notable distinction between the two stars is how Cyrus was hell-bent and desperate to break free of Disney whereas Gomez actually wanted to stay longer and was "heartbroken" and sad about leaving.
The star lamented leaving Disney in an interview with Canada MSN Entertainment
The Disney Channel has been my security blanket. I feel safe with them because I've been with them for so long and I think losing that is what makes me nervous.
However, insiders say Gomez has nothing to be concerned about if 2011 is any indicator of what the rest of future will become.
For years, Cyrus has been the bigger star of the two in both the music and film world but Gomez has finally caught up to her and is even beginning to surpass her. There are many who say that it will not be long before Gomez's star fully eclipses that of Cyrus'.
During their days at Disney, there was much talk about an ongoing rivalry between both Gomez and Cyrus because they had largely similar careers. In fact, Gomez's profile at Disney began to slowly rise in stature as Cyrus' began it's decline as she sought to distance herself from her goody-goody Disney image through various antics, beginning with the Vanity Fair scandal.
At the height of Cyrus' antics, Disney executives reportedly had very serious talks about firing the renegade starlet and replacing her with Gomez who would have served as the lead personality of the Disney network. However, Disney executives chose not to act on their plan and instead weathered the storm and allowed Cyrus to close out her Hannah Montana series and tenure with the network.
It's no secret that Gomez and Cyrus are not close friends though neither have confirmed the existence of a rivalry. In fact, Gomez insists that there was no rivalry between her and Cyrus during their Disney days or now for that matter.
Coincidentally, Gomez once had a reoccurring role on Hannah Montana as Mikayla, a rival pop music singer opposite the pop music star depicted by Cyrus in the series.
The New Boyfriend - And Death Threats Too
Capping off what has been thus far a whirlwind year, 2011 saw Selena Gomez enter into a serious romantic relationship with 17 year-old R&B/pop music superstar, Justin Bieber.
Gomez and Bieber are the most popular young couple in Hollywood. Their relationship is a hot item topic for celebrity watchers and entertainment news, generating much publicity and intrigue.
From vacations at resorts in the sun and surf of Hawaii to extravagant and intimate evenings involving dinner and private screenings of Titanic at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, to an alleged (and admittedly frightening) paparazzi-initiated car chase through streets of a Canadian city, the ongoing relationship between the two stars is as white hot as their careers currently are.
Justin Bieber
Justin Bieber
Creative Commons
Because the two lead separate lives that keep them extremely busy in various locations throughout the world, they rarely have time for each other. However, when they finally do get together they tend to make up for that lost time by treating themselves to vacations together or monumental dates.
But not all of their dates have been lavish and monumental affairs. Some have been low-key and conventional like that of an evening spent shopping at a mall in Las Vegas and grabbing a bite to eat. Or having an outing at the Zoo.
Earlier this year, Gomez got a temporary tattoo (written with a magic marker) of her boyfriend's name on right wrist.
Despite rumors of a break-up this past September, Gomez and Bieber are still very much together. In fact, their relationship shows no sign of slowing down and may even be on course to intensify.
It's very obvious to anyone who has observed them that the two are very much in love with each other.
In what may perhaps be a thinly-veiled hint to Gomez, Bieber has publicly said that he hopes to get married in his mid-20's and wants to have children by the age of 25. While it is not clear if Gomez shares his sentiments, it does appear as if the young couple has flirted with the idea of playing house as is evident by a mock family photo posted by Gomez's boyfriend.
Last month the couple adopted a puppy from a rescue animal shelter in the Canadian city of Winnipeg. The couple, who the couple named Baylor, recently experienced a health scare with the puppy, but everything was fine after a visit to the vet.
In many ways it is only fitting that the two stars with the most wholesome images in the entertainment world would end up in a exclusive relationship together.
The two strongly project a humble girl and boy-next-door type of persona and come from families that are deeply religious - Gomez's family is Roman Catholic while Bieber's is Christian - and that also harbor traditional and conservative beliefs.
Their equally squeaky clean images, which both happen to be very proud of, compliment each other very well.
Gomez and Bieber have received rave reviews from parents nationally for not only having wholesome public images but for also embracing and taking pride in that image as well as encouraging others through their deeds to follow suit. In a world where it has become increasingly popular to be negative and bad, the young power couple stand out as having made it cool for their followers to be positive and good.
Selena Gomez performing live at KISS 108 Jingle Ball December 2010 in Boston.
Selena Gomez performing live at KISS 108 Jingle Ball December 2010 in Boston.
Mikey Hennessy
However, the relationship hasn't all been hearts and roses.
Over the Summer their relationship was alleged to have ended for a time after Gomez laid down the law with Bieber. She took issue with Bieber's choice of friends which included R&B music superstar Chris Brown, who beat ex-lover Rihanna; hip hop superstar Sean Kingston, 21 – a former child burglar; and hip-hop legend Lil Wayne who was once arrested and convicted on gun charges. Gomez demanded her beau stop hanging out with the rappers whom she called "bad influences" and reportedly issued an "it's me or them" ultimatum. Though it's not clear if Bieber ended his friendships with the bad-boy rappers, he is still currently with Gomez. She has also chide him on a few occasions for wearing his pants too low.
Meanwhile, Bieber's mom is reported to be slightly concerned that her son and Gomez are getting too serious too quickly. However, according to In Touch Magazine, she also highly approves of his choice of a girlfriend. She likes Gomez a lot and is happy with her good-girl image.
Gomez says that her mother is equally satisfied with her choice of a boyfriend. During an appearance on the Tonight Show this past June, she tells host Jay Leno that Bieber "passed the test."
Bieber is the protégé of legendary R&B singer, Usher whose hit songs include Moving Mountains and many others. The two have a very close relationship with Usher serving as a mentor to Bieber, helping the young star to navigate the twists and turns of the entertainment industry and stardom.
The singer, whose hit songs include Never Let You Go, One Time and Somebody To Love, is as much of a pop culture phenomenon as is his girlfriend. The star is worth over $100 million and has a global fan following of countless millions of females ranging in age from as young as six to as old as 40.
The millions of frenzied females that make up Bieber's fan base collectively call themselves, "Beliebers."
But despite the millions of girls that fantasize about being Mrs. Bieber, the star apparently only has eyes for Gomez.
Bieber has reportedly long had a crush on Gomez. The teen-heart throb that has captured the hearts of millions of girls globally, was himself smitten with the Disney starlet.
Though the two made their relationship official by coming out at the Vanity Fair party this past Spring, it was widely believed that the two were already secretly dating for several months prior to that.
In fact, there are some insiders and even die-hard fans of the two stars who believe that the two love birds may have been dating as far back as December 2010. Speculation as to the two being an item first arose when Bieber invited Gomez onto a stage during a New Year's Eve performance.
Fans began to suspect that there was more than friendship going on between the two stars when Bieber invited her on stage during a performance of his popular song One Less Lonely Girl at a televised New Year's Eve celebration in New York's Times Square last year.
The two secretly dated each other for the first few months in 2011 before finally deciding to go public with their relationship.
The Beliebers didn't take the news very well.
While being the world's most popular boy-singer and teenage heart-throb can't be easy, Gomez is learning that it is much harder being his girlfriend as she deals with increased public attention - both positive and negative - as well as what could be considered nothing less than sheer madness.
Justin Bieber
Justin Bieber
Once they decided to go public with their relationship the flood gates opened from which a torrent of very strong and bitter emotions flowed from the Beliebers, emotions that were directed entirely at Gomez.
Throughout much of the year she has had to endure mean-spirited taunts and even death threats. As someone who is used to being loved and accepted by everyone, being on the receiving end of such malice was something new for Gomez, especially the repeated death threats.
In the past, Bieber's crazed followers have been known to lash out at his alleged love interests on the Web.
There have even been rumors of Gomez being assaulted by an unruly and jealous Bieber fan this past Spring. In that incident, Gomez and Bieber were leaving a restaurant in Los Angeles after celebrating his birthday when she was set upon by a crazed fan. The Belieber was alleged to have punched Gomez in the face, giving her a busted lip.
Photos taken of Gomez by paparazzi after she was reportedly punched have been making the rounds on Twitter.
What's even more disturbing is how millions of teenage girls took delight and rejoiced over Gomez being assaulted. Many of those girl's are Beliebers and are jealous of the fact she is his girlfriend.
Hundreds of girls posted comments on social forums such as Twitter expressing their support and approval of the attack on Gomez. One girl left a Twitter comment saying that the crazed fan should have punched Gomez harder.
However, Gomez's reps deny that she was assaulted though they also refused to provide an official explanation as to why the starlet had a fat lip.
Nonetheless, the death threats and hate webpages and videos directed towards Gomez by Beliebers are indisputable as they are plentiful and constant.
One angry fan posted a threatening Twitter message saying, "I'm gonna kill ya in the night underneath your smell bed." While another equally chilling message read, "Selena Gomez is dangerously close to a long, slow painful death."
Though Gomez has her own loyal and passionate following of millions globally, they are not as frenzied and rabid as Bieber's.
The fans of Gomez's beau have made clear their venomous hatred for her.
However, over the past few months, the intensity of the hate campaign being waged by Beliebers against Gomez has waned to a considerable degree as many Beliebers have become more accepting of the relationship. Most resigning themselves to the fact that the romance between Hollywood's youngest and hottest couple is indeed a serious long-term relationship.
Within the past few weeks those same fans have directed their fury at a new target - Mariah Yeater.
This past November, Yeater, a 20 year-old woman from San Diego went public with the shocking allegation that she had a liaison with Bieber last year while backstage after a concert he had at the Staples Center in Los Angeles and that he is the father of her three-month old son.
In court papers that include an affidavit sworn under penalty of perjury, Yeater says Bieber told her it was his “first time” and did not wear a condom. She is asking the court for a DNA test and if Bieber is proven to be the father that he provide child support.
A court hearing in the paternity case is scheduled for December 15.
For his part, Bieber says he has never met Yeater and that none of her allegations are true. He also welcomes the upcoming paternity test which he says will exonerate him of the allegations before him. Bieber is currently promoting his Christmas album in Europe but will be back in California on or before the scheduled date for the paternity test.
Meanwhile, Belibers have unleashed their rage at Yeter, deluging her daily with online taunts, insults as well as numerous death threats.
A story released last week by the New York Post in which Yeater originally told her ex-boyfriend that he was the father of her baby - and not Bieber, has put serious cracks in her credibility.
There have also been allegations that Yeater is mentally unstable.
Yeater however has said that she is willing to take a lie detector test to prove that she is telling the truth and has said that she has nothing to hide.
Insiders generally believe that Gomez's beau is being targeted because of his fame.
During an interview earlier this month on The Today Show, Bieber was interviewed by host Matt Lauer and said
I'd just like to say, basically, that none of those allegations are true.
He went on to say
I know that I'm going to be a target, but I'm never going to be a victim.
Bieber's legal team has vowed to sue Yeater for perjury if the paternity test proves the singer not to be the father of her child.
Despite rumors that the two have ended their relationship over this current controversy, Gomez has reportedly been steadfast in her support of Bieber and believes him. In fact, insiders say that the controversy brought upon Bieber by Yeater has only brought the couple closer together. The two lovers view this entire affair as yet another obstacle that must be surmounted.
Gomez's relationship with Bieber has developed a fan following that has been steadily growing since the Summer. Fans of the relationship have shown their support by creating numerous Youtube videos and Facebook pages dedicated to them. The two are occasionally referred to as "Jelena" by fans.
A poll on Hollywood Life asking if the two stars will get married showed in it's results 62% of respondents saying yes while the rest said no.
Another poll asking if they will be together forever showed at least 75% of respondents answering yes.
Crazed Stalker Scare
While Gomez's boyfriend, Justin Bieber has been dealing with crazed fan Mariah Yeater, the starlet has had to address concerns involving a crazed stalker.
This past October, a man by the name of Thomas Brodnicki, 46, from the Illinois town of Elk Grove told his psychiatrist that he wanted to kill Gomez. Brodnicki told his shrink that he traveled from Chicago to Los Angeles on at least three separate occasions between the months of July and August to try and track down the starlet, even showing up at her workplace. Though he was unsuccessful in his efforts to meet Gomez in person, he did tell people at her workplace that he had conversations with God about killing her.
The witnesses and Brodnicki's psychiatrist notified the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) and informed them of his desire to harm the singer and actress. Detectives in the LAPD's Threat Management Unit immediately began an investigation targeting Brodnicki.
The detectives are said to be taking Brodnicki and his threats to harm Gomez "very seriously" because of his extensive history of psychiatric problems as well as a criminal history of stalking other women.
The threats made against Gomez by Brodnicki are considered to be far more serious than those made against her earlier this year by jealous Bieber fans blowing off steam.
Gomez and her attorney, Blair Berk have taken legal action through an October 13 filing of a restraining order against Brodnicki. The restraining order states that the stalker is not allowed within 100 feet of Gomez.
On October 31, the LAPD were able to detain Brodnicki on what is known in the state of California as a 5150 psychiatric hold and have him hospitalized for psychiatric attention in relation to his threats against Gomez.
Brodnicki was also hospitalized for an emergency psychiatric evaluation this past September in Chicago after threatening to scratch out the eyes of passersby on the street.
The LAPD and mental health officials were in the process of sending Brodnicki back to his home state of Illinois when a judge dismissed the 5150 psychiatric hold and called for Brodnicki to be released after a November 16 court hearing.
The judge ordered the 5150 psychiatric hold overturned because he did not feel that prosecutors had provided sufficient proof that Brodnicki had intended to harm the star.
Gomez suffered another legal setback when her attorney's request to have the restraining order against Brodnicki extended to three-years was denied by the same judge. However, the judge involved in the case ultimately decided to just extend the temporary restraining order that Gomez already had against Brodnicki until a hearing could be held on January 6, 2012.
In a rather bizarre interview with TMZ, Brodnicki told the entertainment news outlet
Selena Gomez and I are the holy chosen ones of God
He also said
One of my favorite scenarios is [Selena] flies out here on March 23, 2016. We start seeing each other, and we don't even touch each other for a month.
However, Brodnicki has also said that he would respect the restraining order that Gomez has against him.
The LAPD is not taking any chances and have not been deterred by the fact that a judge dismissed the original 5150 psychiatric hold. Detectives are doggedly keeping tabs on Brodnicki and have said that if he threatens Gomez again or proves to be a threat to the general public, they would return to court and seek to have him placed under a conservatorship which would basically make him a ward of Los Angeles County. From there, detectives would work with local mental health officials as well as those in Illinois to have the mentally unstable man shipped back to that state where he would be interned at a mental health facility.
New Beginnings
Miley Cyrus and Demi Lovato have long since departed and Selena Gomez is in the process of being phased out of Disney. With all of it's top stars gone or soon to be, where does this leave the pop culture juggernaut otherwise known as the Disney Channel?
In many ways, the departure of all of it's main stars means starting over.
Debby Ryan has emerged this Fall as the network's new "It" girl and top starlet. The 18 year-old starlet stars in her own show Jessie, a teen sitcom which made it's debut on the network this past September.
She is poised to assume the position of lead starlet once the phasing out of Gomez is complete in December or January.
Ryan and her show Jessie, will usher in a new era of stars and programing for the Disney.
As the network looks towards it's next generation of shows and stars, it's long ratings war with rival network, Nickelodeon, continues to heat up.
The competition that the Disney Channel is facing off against in Nickelodeon is bold, fierce and dangerous.
The much acclaimed hit series iCarly was originally Nickelodeon's answer to the Disney Channel's mega-popular Hannah Montana franchise and Miley Cyrus. However, the show has not only outlived that storied Disney franchise but has also gone on to outlive Lovato's series, Sonny With A Chance and even Gomez's, Wizards Of Waverly Place.
In fact, the series is one of the most popular and longest running on Nickelodeon. It has long been an anchor of that network's lineup with over five seasons on the air and was recently renewed for a sixth season in 2012. iCarly is currently the flagship program of the Nickelodeon network.
The star of iCarly, 18 year-old Miranda Cosgrove, earns $180,000 per episode and holds the slot in the 2012 edition of the Guinness Book Of World Records for Highest Paid Child Actress.
The Disney Channel often fights an epic seesaw ratings battle with Nickelodeon for the title of most popular network among the 'tween demographic. But lately it appears there may be more than just the 'tween demographic at stake as the Disney Channel and iCarly have both garnered a very large base of adult viewers within the past few years.
iCarly is especially known for having an adult fan base that is said to be larger than that of the combined adult viewing audience for all of the Disney Channel's current shows.
While the Disney Channel faces a familiar and enduring threat to it's ratings in iCarly, they also face a new and dynamic one in Victorious.
Victorious, a relatively new television teen sitcom stars network veteran, Victoria Justice as a new student and musical prodigy at an elite Los Angeles high school for gifted students in the performance arts. The series debuted in March 2010 on Nickelodeon.
Prior to landing her own show on the network, Justice has appeared in many of Nickelodeon's most popular series over the past few years, including iCarly. Justice, who is also a singer-songwriter and dancer is working on her first studio album. Interestingly, prior to her becoming Nickelodeon's newest top starlet, Justice was once a Disney Channel starlet.
However, critics had generally mixed reviews about Victorious though most were positive about Justice's performance and suggested that the series' potential hinged largely on her.
David Hinkley, an film and television columnist with the New York Daily News comments,
At this point, Justice is better at singing than acting, and the show doesn't flow as smoothly as iCarly, but Justice has the personality and talent needed for a shot at being 'the Next Big Teen Thing'
While Mark A. Perigard of the Boston Hearld describes her as
undeniably appealing
Nickelodeon and it's programing is popular with teens and young adults who dislike what is often perceived to be as an overwhelmingly corporate image and taste associated with most things Disney.
While Nickelodeon manages to hold steady against Disney and on occasion even surpass it in the ratings wars, it's stars have traditionally had very poor crossover appeal or success. Nickelodeon's stars are not well known beyond the realm of that network, whereas all of the Disney Channel's top starlets both past and present are household names and enjoy near universal recognition in the mass media and pop culture. In most cases, a top-level Disney Channel starlet can look with confidence towards a long career in film and/or music. Many insiders believe that the mainstream success enjoyed by Disney starlets can largely be attributed to the immense and vast financial, material and other resources of the media empire in promoting their starlets internationally, an area in which Nickelodeon is frequently outmatched.
As with the starlets who came before her, Ryan will also enjoy the full-force of the Disney star machine. The Disney empire will be backing her in not just the ratings war but also in any ambitions she may later have to crossover into mainstream celebritydom to become an actress or music star. The Disney star machine has had a long and storied reputation for producing winners and unsurpassed talent.
Debby Ryan  18  seen at the 36th annual Gracie Awards. She currently stars in her own Disney Channel...
Debby Ryan, 18, seen at the 36th annual Gracie Awards. She currently stars in her own Disney Channel series, "Jessie," and is the new "It" girl. Ryan is the network's new lead starlet, a position once held by Miley Cyrus and Selena Gomez. She was discovered by Disney during a national talent search.
There are many who may wonder why such teen stars as Ryan, Justice, Cosgrove, Cyrus, Lovato, Gomez and others as well as the shows that they star in garner so much interest from the media.
The answer to that question lies in the promise of what is yet to come.
The teen stars on these shows generate much interest because some go on to become major-league Hollywood stars when they eventually leave their respective networks (either Disney or Nickelodeon).
It's akin to following college basketball or football and observing players who seem destine to go pro in a few years or compete at the Olympics.
The Disney Channel and Nickelodeon are in many ways a training ground for those who may go on to be future big-name stars much the same way high school is a training ground for life with teenagers.
As for Gomez, she has frequently described her departure from Disney as a new beginning and as starting over. Though she fondly reminisces on her days at Disney, she is also said to be excited about the future. With her tenure at the Disney network all but over and it's rivalry with Nickelodeon now largely behind her, it will now be up to her successor, Ryan, to represent the network in it's battle for ratings supremacy.
Gomez continues to pursue her song and film career and is looking forward to 2012 which is also already shaping up to be a big year for her.
She is also currently in talks to star in the film Spring Breakers along side James Franco, Emma Roberts and perhaps former (though disgraced) Disney starlet Vanessa Hudgens. The movie is a drama that centers on four college girls who finance their beach trip with the money they get after robbing a restaurant. The film is a comedy about an armed robbery girl gang and features James Franco as a “drug and arms dealer,” who helps by bailing the wild girls out of jail. Roberts is on board as a southern belle who enjoys trouble, while Gomez will portray a religious girl. It wasn’t clear what role Hudgens would take on in the film.
Spring Breakers is scheduled to begin filming this upcoming Spring in Florida.
Gomez is also due to release her own fragrance in Spring 2012. The singer/actress signed a license agreement with Adrenalina, an extreme sports and adventure-themed lifestyle brand, to develop, manufacture, and distribute the her fragrance.
Gomez also remains in high demand as a host for music awards shows. So far this year she has hosted the Much Music Awards, the MTV VMAs (Video Music Awards) pre-show in August, and has hosted the MTV EMA (Europe Music Awards) this past November in Belfast.
In a lead up to the MTV EMAs, Gomez was featured in a entertaining promo that spoofed her nice-girl princess image.
While she certainly has a promising future to look towards in Hollywood, Gomez has made it known in the past that she does not intend to make a career out of being an actress and singer.
Within the next few years, the raven-haired 19 year-old beauty hopes to leave the entertainment world behind and enroll at a college or university. Illinois' Northwestern University is reportedly her top choice and "dream" school. Gomez has declared her passion to study journalism and hopes to one day fulfill her ultimate ambition of becoming a broadcast news journalist.
Though Gomez has finished filming the fourth and final season of her acclaimed series Wizards Of Waverly Place this past Summer and has no other commitments or projects with the Disney Channel, she continues to maintain a notable presence at the network if only through her post-production works.
Gomez will remain a fixture at the network in some form at least until the series finale of her show airs next month. The two-part series finale of Wizards Of Waverly Place is scheduled to air on January 6, 2012.
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