Beyoncé is the Carmen Sandiego of Pop

Today in celebrity gossip: Beyoncé's schedule of secret recordings and video shoots will make you dizzy, Mariah Carey performed a possibly ill-advised gig in Nigeria, and the Judd Family remains a nightmare.

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Today in celebrity gossip: Beyoncé's schedule of secret recordings and video shoots will make you dizzy, Mariah Carey performed a possibly ill-advised gig in Nigeria, and the Judd Family remains a nightmare.

When Beyoncé's self-titled new album dropped like a surprise air raid last week, nearly everybody marveled at the fact that it had not only NOT leaked early, but nobody even knew it existed. The release was some next-level sneakery that managed to upstage the elaborate, drawn-out, and overly orchestrated buzz campaigns that accompanied every other big album release this year. So how did one of the most-watched superstars in the world manage to pull off such a surprise? By becoming a modern day Carmen Sandiego, basically! Except instead of surreptitiously globe-hopping to steal all of our precious treasures, Beyoncé globe-hopped in order to GIVE US precious treasures. Radar Online pieced together an impossible (by human standards, but not Beyoncé standards) timeline, which found an occasionally disguised Beyoncé sneaking in recording sessions and video shoots during the precious few minutes she wasn't onstage (or suspended from wires above them). The number or flights this project required was as dizzying as the diversity of its locales, serving to remind us that no matter what the actual album sounds like, Beyoncé is probably a sorceress to be feared or admired or both. [Radar Online]

Mariah Carey's no stranger to jet-setting, but recently, she booked a gig that strikes people as slightly shadier than usual. After 'gramming a selfie captioned "Backstage in Nigeria" it came to peoples' attention that she was performing a private concert for something called the Access Bank. As Radar points out, the institution itself is "reputable," but perhaps associating herself with a country almost entirely propped up by internet scams and currently experiencing issues with human trafficking and a scourge of mass murders was not great for Mariah Carey's personal brand? Sure, Mariah Carey gotta eat, but still. Just who does she think she is? [Radar Online]

In case you've been kept awake at night worried about whether or not comedic actresses Melissa McCarthy and Rebel Wilson plan to suddenly slim down into unsettling grotesqueries, fear not. Both ladies intend to keep their shapely figures and have, apparently, turned to each other for support. A pact. A gentlewomen's agreement. A funnylady safe zone, membership: two. See,  after Rex Reed infamously compared Melissa McCarthy to a "female hippo" in his New York Observer review of Identity Thief, fans and strawmen everywhere grew concerned that McCarthy would cave to pressure from the Hollywood image police. But nope! That is not going to happen. Melissa McCarthy and Rebel Wilson are going to look how they want to look, and we are going to continue loving them for a long while. Everybody relax. [Daily Mail]

Our long national nightmare is over! Zac Efron's face is okay. It's more than okay, actually. It's Zac Efron's face, after all. Even a very busted version of Zac Efron's face would still be a terrific face. But after breaking his jaw in a round-the-house slip 'n fall (which: sure), there was cause for alarm about the condition of the Platonic Ideal version of Zac Efron's face, a face that until the jaw-breaking was either the face of an angelhunk or a cross-eyed cat, depending on your level of depravity. Anyway, Efron just posted a selfie of himself smiling brightly at some kind of sporting event (who knows; doesn't matter). It's Zac Efron smiling! Welcome back, Zac Efron's perfect face. [Daily Mail]

Being a Judd has never seemed particularly easy or appealing in the slightest, but occasionally it seems like a straight-up nightmare? That seems to be the case this week after Ashley Judd discovered a GPS tracking device planted on her car, allegedly installed by none other than her own sister Wynonna Judd. So, you know, it's just a pretty run-of-the-mill case of the Judd sisters using aggressive spy tactics against one another, no big deal. To her credit, Wynonna Judd claims she was merely trying to track the whereabouts of her daughter who occasionally drives Ashley Judd's car. So, a perfect explanation. Nevermind. The Judds seem very normal and chill. [TMZ]

It won't shock you to learn that Matt Lauer makes a lot of money hosting Today, nor will it shock you to learn that he's generous enough to pay for the entire office holiday party himself. But would it shock you to learn that the Today holiday party began at 11:30 a.m.? Well, the Today holiday party began at 11:30 a.m. Like, what is the point of attending a morning holiday party? Unless you're hosting the fourth hour of Today, there is NO excuse to get plastered that early. [Page Six]

Erstwhile Girls co-star Zosia Mamet was recently photographed carrying some kind of framed artwork in a black plastic bag, ostensibly to protect it from the rain. But the Daily Mail would like you to know that in doing so Mamet resembled a "bag lady" and is a "homely actress" in general. Just FYI! [Daily Mail]

As 2013 races toward the gutter like a melted popsicle, our attention has begun turning toward year-end lists, achievements, and retrospectives. In case you were wondering, below are the #1 most-watched video on YouTube and the #1 most-"liked" photo on Instagram, respectively. Please close-examine both and leave elaborate, thoughtful comments below on how well they do or do not encapsulate this year for you. Show your work! [People; People]

-The year's top YouTube video: PSY, "Gentleman"

-The year's top Instagram: These guys.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.