In the last few weeks, quite a few gringo celebrities have made their way to Rio de Janeiro.
After that, Madonna arrived to be with her boyfriend Jesus to attend Carnival. Maybe someone tipped her off that meeting with a presidential candidate during an election year is kind of, well, unkosher, since this time she made appearances with both major candidates, perhaps in an attempt to be impartial. She made a little trip to São Paulo to hang out with the Governor Serra to discuss setting up a branch of her NGO there, and then she spent a night at the Sambadrome hosted by the Rio governor and joined by Lula's chief of staff, Dilma Rousseff, who is also running for president. (She also brought two of her kids and Jesus along for the twelve hour bash).
Paris Hilton is also in Rio for Carnival, since she's being paid by Devassa beer to promote their brand. (I'm wondering if anyone told her what devassa means in Portuguese. I'd hope so, but assuming they did, it makes the whole affair even less tasteful). Meanwhile, at one of the sponsored events, she danced around ridiculously and got so drunk she basically couldn't stand up, giving a writer at Globo the opportunity to write one of the dumbest headlines of all time.
Also in town for the festivities were Brazilian actor Rodrigo Santoro and Scottish actor Gerard Butler, who hung out together at the Copacabana Palace ball and at the Sambodrome with Madonna.
It's great that Brazil is attracting celebrities with Madonna and Beyonce's star power, and it will hopefully attract more celebrities along those lines in the near future, though hopefully not just for Carnival, and hopefully not just in Rio. The goal is for celebrities to take Brazil seriously, sort of like Beyonce did, as a (dignified) business opportunity, and not just a wild party. Because no good can come of this Paris Hilton business, not even a new hotel.
Addendum: Totally forgot but meant to include that Madonna decided to waltz out onto the avenida during Imperatriz's performance and created a huge scene and messed up their procession, which possibly made them lose points with the judges. Lovely.
And in a new detail thanks to Marina's tip, the governor of Rio, Sergio Cabral, supposed introduced Dilma as "the first female president of Brazil" to Madonna.