Entertainment USA

‘American Idol’ Stars Kat Luna & Alex Garrido Married: See Pics From Intimate Wedding

‘American Idol’ alums Kat Luna and Alex Garrido have tied the knot! They opened up about their big day, revealing they’ve been talking about it since they first met.

Another American Idol couple have said their ‘I do’s! Former contestants Kat Luna and Alex Garrido tied the knot in an intimate ceremony on January 15. The couple, who auditioned for the reality singing show as a duo last season, wed at Cactus Creek Barn in Dickson, Tennessee, they told PEOPLE — you can see all the gorgeous photos here. The bride, 21, wore a white gown designed by Essense, which featured a lace bodice and a beautiful, embroidered skirt along with a faux fur shawl. “I tried on about seven dresses until I finally said yes to the dress,” Kat told the outlet.

The ‘American Idol’ alums are officially married. Image: ABC

Her husband, 27, rocked a classic tuxedo, along with boots and a cowboy hat. He also got sentimental, carrying some meaningful photos underneath his hat, which he wore during the ceremony. “Alex is going to carry on his tradition of keeping Polaroid photos of us tucked away in his Cowboy hat,” Kat revealed, adding that their guest’s safety at their nuptials was of the highest importance. “Everyone’s safety at our wedding is extremely important to us. We want everyone to have a great time celebrating this amazing day all while being safe.” She also explained that everyone in attendance “played a significant role in our lives both individually and together.”

While they did reduce the number of guests in attendance on their big day, having a small wedding was always the plan for the former reality stars. To adhere to social distancing best practices, there were multiple hand sanitizing stations throughout the venue, while all food was served to each socially distanced table individually. “COVID didn’t really change our plans that much. We already had an intimate wedding idea with a reduced guest list and an outdoor barn venue.” 

The couple chose Alex’s godfather and uncle, Pastor Frank Lopez, to officiate the ceremony and opted out of writing vows ahead of time, rather “saying whatever comes from the heart in the moment.” Kat added, “We’ve been talking about this day since shortly after we met.”

The Buzz

Indian-American pleads guilty to money-laundering charges

Washington, January 12

An Indian-American from Chicago has pleaded guilty to the charges of laundering money from a telemarketing scheme that defrauded elderly victims, the Department of Justice has said.

Hirenkumar P Chaudhari, 27, faces up to 20 years in federal prison. His sentencing is scheduled for April 1.

Chaudhari admitted in a plea agreement that he used a phony Indian passport, false name, and false address to open multiple bank accounts in the US to receive money from victims of the telemarketing scheme, the Department of Justice said on Monday.

The scheme involved phone calls from people falsely claiming to be associated with, among other agencies, the Social Security Administration and US Department of Justice, stating that a victim’s identity had been stolen and that it was necessary to transfer money to various bank accounts, including the accounts opened by Chaudhari.

One of the victims was an elderly woman from Massachusetts who transferred a total of more than USD 900,000 from her bank and retirement accounts to accounts controlled by Chaudhari or others.

On April 19, 2018 – one day after Chaudhari opened an account and received a USD 7,000 transfer from the Massachusetts victim – Chaudhari entered a bank branch in Chicago and withdrew USD 6,500, the plea agreement states.

Chaudhari admitted in the plea agreement that he engaged in this financial transaction knowing that the money represented proceeds of unlawful activity. PTI

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Entertainment USA

Khloe Kardashian Posts Mirror Selfie In Good American Sweats & Fans Think She Looks Just Like Sister Kendall

Khloe Kardashian took to Instagram to post a gorgeous selfie in front of workout equipment and her followers pointed out how similar her features were to Kendall Jenner’s.

Is that Khloe Kardashian or Kendall Jenner? That’s what the former had people asking when she shared a new mirror selfie on Instagram! In the pic, the 36-year-old is bending down with one knee on the floor as she poses in a dark green sweatshirt and matching Good American sweatpants. She’s holding up her phone with one hand and has her other hand resting on her cheek as a bunch of workout equipment is behind her.

“This summer, when all of this is over (manifesting 🙏🏽) I’ll be ready,” she captioned the epic snapshot.

Once the pic was posted, followers quickly took to the comments section to gush over how much Khloe looked like 25-year-old Kendall, who can be seen below, in the pic. “I thought that was Kendall at first no joke,” one follower wrote to which Khloe replied, “OMG stoooopppppp” with kissing emojis. Another wrote, “I mean Kendall is your twin” and Khloe joked, “in my dreams.” 

A third agreed with the comment, “At first glance I thought this was Kendall” and Khloe replied again by hilariously saying, “I’m skipping from this comment.” A fourth admitted they thought it was Kendall as well and Khloe explained her own thoughts as to why it might look like her younger sis.

“this is so funny to me. What a complement! I guess when a phone covers more than half my face I look like her LOL,” she wrote. “no seriously I so appreciate the compliment. I’m going to hold a cell phone in front of half my face more often.”

This isn’t the first time Khloe’s looks have been compared to her one of her sisters. The mom-of-one has also showed off pics that looked very similar to her other younger sister, Kylie Jenner, 23, in 2019 and 2020. In the first Instagram photo, she had blonde hair with dark roots like Kylie had at the time while wearing nude makeup and a tight corset top. In the second, she had dark hair while wearing a tie-dye hoodie and black leather skirt.

Khloe pointed out her own opinion about the latter photo in the caption. “I look so young in this photo,” she wrote. “I love it. Lol maybe it’s the hoodie?!”

Entertainment USA

Karlie Kloss Shades Her In-Laws & Calls Donald Trump ’Un-American’ After Riots At Capitol

Karlie Kloss dissed Donald Trump after the chaos his supporters caused at the U.S. Capitol. In doing so, the model revealed she has ‘tried’ to reason with her in-laws, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, too.

Karlie Kloss, 28, is fed up with Donald Trump‘s refusal to accept his loss in the U.S. presidential election. She wasn’t afraid to make her frustrations known in a public tweet on Jan. 6, the very same day Trump’s supporters broke into the U.S. Capitol as Congress tried to certify Joe Biden‘s election win. Karlie made it clear that her frustrations aren’t reserved for Trump alone; the Victoria’s Secret supermodel revealed she has tried to also call out her husband’s own brother, Jared Kushner, and his wife, Donald’s daughter Ivanka Trump.

“Accepting the results of a legitimate democratic election is patriotic. Refusing to do so and inciting violence is anti-American,” Karlie tweeted on Wednesday evening, after the riots at the Captiol building that led to the death of one woman. Trump won’t be able to see the tweet for the next few hours, though, since his Twitter account is temporarily suspended. However, one fan wanted Karlie to relay the same message to her in-laws, too.

“Tell your sister in law and brother [in] law,” a fan wrote back, referring to Ivanka and Jared, who both work as advisors to Trump. In response, Karlie wrote, “I’ve tried.”

Karlie Kloss and Joshua Kushner, pictured above, have been together since 2012. They tied the knot in 2018. (Photo Credit: MEGA/AP)

Karlie has made no secret of her very different politics than her husband’s family. The Project Runway host addressed these differences on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen in Jan. 2020, saying, “Andy, I’m sure I’m not the only person in this country who does not necessarily agree with their family on politics. I voted as a Democrat in 2016, and I plan to do the same in 2020.” Karlie followed through on her promise, too, by telling fans to “vote blue” in the Instagram post below. Her husband, 35-year-old Thrive Capital founder Joshua Kushner, is also a Democrat and was photographed protesting gun violence at a march in 2018.

Karlie’s relationship with Joshua’s family has been a topic of fascination among the public. In 2019, an exposé book about the Kushner family called Kushner, Inc. made waves, since author Vicky Ward wrote a number of allegations about the family’s disapproval towards Karlie.

“For years, people told me, the whole family spoke horribly about Kloss behind her back. A family friend referred to her as ‘the lingerie model,’” Vicky claimed in her book. She also claimed that Jared allegedly said Karlie was not “that smart,” and allegedly said that the family was “not very happy” about Joshua dating a non-Jewish woman. Joshua’s parents, Charles and Seryl, also reportedly “refused” to meet Karlie for six years, according to the book.

Entertainment UK

Selena Gomez accuses tech giants of ‘failing American people’ over Capitol riots

Selena Gomez has accused Facebook, Twitter and Google of helping to spread hate which means they are partly to blame for the shocking violence in Washington DC.

The 28-year-old pop star took aim at the CEO’s of the globe’s biggest tech giants and said they need to do more to stop the spread of disinformation on social media.

Selena named Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Google,, urging them to “fix things moving forward”.

After supporters of Donald Trump stormed the US Capitol in unprecedented scenes on Wednesday in which a woman was shot and killed, Twitter and Facebook took action against the president.

Selena said: “Today is the result of allowing people with hate in their hearts to use platforms that should be used to bring people together and allow people to build community.

“Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google, Mark Zuckerberg, Sheryl Sandberg, Jack Dorsey, Sundar Pichai, Susan Wojcicki – you have failed the American people today, and I hope you’re going to fix things moving forward.”

Twitter was first to lock Mr Trump’s account, warning him future violations would result in a permanent suspension.

It demanded he remove three tweets, including a video he posted in which he repeated his unfounded claims about election fraud while urging his supporters to “go home”.

The tweets were then deleted.

Trump supporters storm the Capitol in scenes liked to an ‘insurrection’

Facebook later followed suit, announcing Mr Trump would be unable to post for 24 hours following two violations of its policies.

The moves follow years of intense debate over how the social media giants should handle Mr Trump’s often controversial presence on their platforms.

Like Selena, the British comedian and actor Sacha Baron Cohen has long called for Twitter and Facebook to act on disinformation.

He urged action from both Twitter and Facebook following Wednesday’s violence and said a suspension did not go far enough.

He said: “This is your chance to finally defend democracy. Ban Trump from Twitter-for good!”

In an earlier tweet, Baron Cohen tagged executives from Twitter, Google, YouTube and Facebook and demanded they remove Mr Trump “once and for all”.

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Headline USA

American bride’s ‘ridiculous’ ‘bridesmaid contract’ sparks outrage online

1. I will not try to convince the bride to change anything in her wedding

2. I will not grow sensitive and angry with the bride because I understand that she has a bossy attitude

3. I will not attempt to outdo the bride in any way

4. I will wear the hairstyle the bride chooses for the wedding day

5. I understand that I have to purchase my own dress and shoes and hairstyle for the wedding

6. I understand that the bachelorette party may be a destination getaway

7. I understand that I have to purchase a bachelorette party T-shirt and fund my own trip if it is away

8. I understand that the maid and matron of honour will need help funding some of the events. The wedding and reception are not included

9. I understand that the bride does not want any suggestion and this agreement is on here twice, two different ways because the bride wants it to be clear – only suggestion allowed is a way to get her exact item at a cheaper price

10. I will not drop out of the wedding party for any of the reasons listed above. If I do not like anything listed, I will not sign the contract and I will be replaced. I understand that I do not agree to the above terms it will not ruin the bride and I’s friendship. But if I sign and agree and later want to drop out, then it will ruin our friendship

11. I understand that no friendship to the bride is bigger than anyone in her wedding party and everyone will be treated equally

12. I understand that I may have to do physical activity at the reception and this requires practices provided by the bride

13. No coloured contact lenses allowed

14. No black drawn-on eyebrows or thick drawn-on (matter of fact, revert back to make-up law above)

15. No glossy coloured lipstick allowed (the kind that looks very, very shiny and bright)

16. No colourful nails the day of the wedding. Only colours allowed are American, French or Nudes

17. I will provide the bride with my normal seven-day schedule within five days of signing this contract

18. I will agree to save at least $50 a month for expenses for the next 14 months

19. I will not talk negative about anyone in the wedding

20. I will not gain more than 3kg between now and the wedding

21. I will wear only black or dark brown hair on the day of the wedding (highlights may be accepted with prior approval)

22. I cannot wear any lashes the day of the wedding unless professionally installed

23. I have to attend the bridal shower and bachelorette party, fitting and rehearsals and wedding (only time this can be missed is death or jail, pregnancy over five months and some sickness with recent doctor’s note)

24. I will take care of my skin, hair and nails from now until the wedding

25. The bride will choose my make-up artist the day of the wedding

26. I will agree to wear the dress the bride chooses regardless of my own opinions, style or colour

27. I will not wear any extra accessories, items of clothing or jewellery the day of the wedding except my wedding or engagement ring.

28. I will not intentionally fall pregnant before the wedding. (Pregnancy under five months will not be excused from attending wedding events)

29. I will support the bride in everything she chooses

30. I will not consume more than seven units of alcohol during any even except bachelorette party (there will be no limit)

31. I will not bring a date to wedding or reception without bridal approval

32. I will not bring any outside people, except kids, to any meeting

33. I will not bring my kids to the wedding unless they are a part of the wedding party (no exceptions)

34. I will make sure I have an accountable babysitter the day of all events and I understand that no show for no babysitter will not be an acceptable excuse

35. I will not make any advances towards males in the wedding party

36. I will not date anyone in the wedding party that I wasn’t dating before I signed this contract

37. I will be happy and positive at all times during wedding and reception

Headline USA Politics

Two American B-52 Stratofortress bombers fly over the Persian Gulf to warn Iran

Iranian General Qassem Soleimani was killed in a US drone strike on January 3, 2020

The United States flew strategic bombers over the Persian Gulf on Wednesday for the second time this month, in a show of force meant to deter Iran from attacking American or allied targets in the Middle East.

It came after a senior U.S. military official warned that Iran is planning ‘complex’ revenge scenarios to avenge the killing of General Qasem Solemani, who died last January 3.

The senior officer confirmed Wednesday’s flight by two Air Force B-52 ‘Stratofortress’ bombers was in response to signals that Iran may be planning attacks against U.S. allied targets in neighboring Iraq or elsewhere in the region in the coming days, even as President-elect Joe Biden prepares to take office. 

The senior officer said that U.S. intelligence has detected recent signs of ‘fairly substantive threats’ from Iran, and that included planning for possible rocket attacks against U.S. interests in Iraq in connection with the one-year anniversary of the Soleimani killing.  

A U.S. Air Force B-52H "Stratofortress" from Minot Air Force Base, N.D., is refueled by a KC-135 "Stratotanker" on Wednesday near the Persian Gulf. The show of force was meant to deter Iran from attacking American or allied targets in the Middle East

A U.S. Air Force B-52H “Stratofortress” from Minot Air Force Base, N.D., is refueled by a KC-135 “Stratotanker” on Wednesday near the Persian Gulf. The show of force was meant to deter Iran from attacking American or allied targets in the Middle East

U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon escort is aerial refueled during Wednesday's mission. The United States flew strategic bombers over the Persian Gulf for the second time this month

U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon escort is aerial refueled during Wednesday’s mission. The United States flew strategic bombers over the Persian Gulf for the second time this month

The United States has picked up signs that Iran may be considering or planning ‘more complex’ and broader attacks against American targets or interests in the Middle East, the senior U.S. military officer said.

The officer added that the latest intelligence represented the most concerning signs since the days immediately following the Soleimani killing. 

The officer cited indications that advanced weaponry has been flowing from Iran into Iraq recently and that Shiite militia leaders in Iraq may have met with officers of Iran’s Quds force, previously commanded by Soleimani.  

The officer was not authorized to publicly discuss internal assessments based on sensitive intelligence and spoke on condition of anonymity.

The B-52 bomber mission, flown on a round trip from an Air Force base in North Dakota, reflects growing concern in Washington, in the final weeks of President Donald Trump’s administration, that Iran will order further military retaliation for the U.S. killing last January 3 of top Iranian military commander General Soleimani. 

Iran’s initial response, five days after the deadly U.S. drone strike, was a ballistic missile attack on a military base in Iraq that caused brain concussion injuries to about 100 U.S. troops.

The United States flew strategic bombers over the Persian Gulf on Wednesday for the second time this month, a show of force meant to deter Iran from attacking American or allied targets

The United States flew strategic bombers over the Persian Gulf on Wednesday for the second time this month, a show of force meant to deter Iran from attacking American or allied targets


Adding to the tension was a rocket attack last week on the U.S. Embassy compound in Baghdad by Iranian-supported Shiite militia groups. No one was killed, but Trump tweeted afterward that Iran was on notice.

‘Some friendly health advice to Iran: If one American is killed, I will hold Iran responsible. Think it over,’ Trump wrote on Dec. 23.

Because of the potential for escalation that could lead to a wider war, the U.S. has sought to deter Iran from additional attacks. 

Strategic calculations on both sides are further complicated by the political transition in Washington to a Biden administration that may seek new paths to dealing with Iran. 

Biden has said, for example, that he hopes to return the U.S. to a 2015 agreement with world powers in which Iran agreed to limit its nuclear activities in exchange for the lifting of international sanctions.

For its part, Iran has greeted Trump’s electoral defeat, with Iranian Government Spokesman Ali Rabiyee saying: ‘We are happy that Soleimani’s killer will soon leave the scene of the US politics and we are confident that a world without Soleimani’s killer is a safer place for all nations of the world.’

Iranians drive on a highway beneath a giant billboard depicting late Revolutionary Guards commander Qasem Soleimani, in the capital Tehran on Wednesday, ahead of the first anniversary of his killing in a US drone attack

Iranians drive on a highway beneath a giant billboard depicting late Revolutionary Guards commander Qasem Soleimani, in the capital Tehran on Wednesday, ahead of the first anniversary of his killing in a US drone attack

In announcing Wednesday’s bomber flight, the head of U.S. Central Command said it was a defensive move.

‘The United States continues to deploy combat-ready capabilities into the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility to deter any potential adversary, and make clear that we are ready and able to respond to any aggression directed at Americans or our interests,’ said Gen. Frank McKenzie, the commander of Central Command. 

‘We do not seek conflict, but no one should underestimate our ability to defend our forces or to act decisively in response to any attack.’

He did not mention Iran by name.

The U.S. is in the process of reducing its troop presence in Iraq from 3,000 to about 2,500. Trump ordered that the reduction be achieved by January 15; officials say it is likely to be reached as early as next week.

The U.S. officer said Iran might have its eye on economic targets, noting the September 2019 missile and drone attack on Saudi oil processing facilities. Iran denied involvement but was blamed by the United States for that attack.

A giant billboard in Tehran on Wednesday depicting late Revolutionary Guards commander Qasem Soleimani (C) and top Iraqi commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis (C L)

A giant billboard in Tehran on Wednesday depicting late Revolutionary Guards commander Qasem Soleimani (C) and top Iraqi commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis (C L)

In recent weeks the U.S. military has taken a range of steps designed to deter Iran, while publicly emphasizing that it is not planning, and has not been instructed, to take unprovoked action against Iran.

Last week, a U.S. Navy guided-missile submarine made an unusual transit of the Strait of Hormuz, the strategic waterway between Iran and the Arabian Peninsula. 

Earlier in December, a pair of B-52 bombers from Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana flew what the military calls a ‘presence’ mission over the Gulf – a demonstration of U.S. force and a signal of U.S. commitment to the region, but not an attack mission. 

That flight was repeated this week, with two B-52s flying nonstop from Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota and heading home Wednesday after cruising over the western side of the Gulf.

Tensions with Iran escalated with the killing in November of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, an Iranian scientist named by the West as the leader of the Islamic Republic’s disbanded military nuclear program. 

Iran has blamed Israel for the killing, but U.S. officials are concerned that any Iranian retaliation could hit U.S. interests.


Dominican expat in UAE desperate to find missing American Bully, offers Dh12,000 reward

Samer Saad with his American Bully Hulkii
Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: An expat from Dominica in Dubai is offering a reward of Dh12,000 to anyone who can reunite him with his missing dog Hulkii.

Hulkii, a three-year-old American Bully, went missing on December 10 from his Barsha South 1 villa, said his owner Samer Saad, 32, who works in the advertising industry.

Saad said Hulkii, who is “super gentle”, probably left the villa through a side door lured by a cat or dog. He was last seen on the CCTV footage of his neighbour at 10pm on December 10. Saad, originally from Palestine, said he filed a missing dog report with Dubai Municipality, made ‘missing’ posters and spread the news on social media and alerted dog groups in the UAE.

“People may think, ‘American Bully, big dog’, but Hulkii is super gentle, he is neutered and has no aggression. He is not dangerous at all. He is the gentlest dog, even with cats and other dogs and children. I just want people to know if they see him, they shouldn’t be afraid of him; he’s not a danger at all,” Saad said. He has received some calls from people saying they may have spotted Hulkii but Saad said people should send photo or video proof so they can verify its Hulkii.

Saad said he got Hulkii from dog rescue group Para UAE seven months ago. “They found him on the street, someone had abandoned him. They took him in and they found him foster families for a while. They did all the tests needed and gave him all the vaccines and then they found me to take him in for good. He was neutered and given to me.”

Saad added that he is offering the Dh12,000 reward as Hulkii’s market value is “very high”. He said: “Some people steal a dog and just wait for the reward call or find someone to buy the dog. I’m pleased to reward that to whoever has him, please come forward and just give him to me. I appreciate people trying to find him. If anybody finds him or has a tip on him, please take a photo so we can see that is indeed him.”

Updates on the search can be seen at ‘Updates’ on Hulkii’s Instagram account @i_am_hulkii. People can also contact Saad on +971552134690.


American University of Sharjah researchers get US patent for unique breast cancer treatment

The American University of Sharjah
Image Credit:

SHARJAH: A team of researchers at the American University of Sharjah (AUS) has obtained a US patent for systems and methods for targeted breast cancer therapies.

The Ultrasound in Cancer Research Group has been working on a chemotherapy platform that uses minute capsules to target cancerous cells while bypassing healthy cells, thus reducing the treatment’s adverse effects.

The team applied for the patent in 2017 and received their notice of allowance in August 2020. The patent was issued on December 15 this year.

Such innovation can help cancer patients avoid some of the harsh, and sometimes debilitating side effects that result from current treatments.

“The patent describes a chemotherapy platform that uses Herceptin-targeted nanocarriers that encapsulate several anti-neoplastic (anti-cancer) agents. Once the nano-vehicles reach and bind to the breast cancer tissues, the drug is released using ultrasound waves. This will ensure the delivery of high concentrations of the therapeutic to the diseased tissues while avoiding its interaction with healthy cells in the body, thus reducing the side effects of conventional chemotherapy,” said Dr Ghaleb Husseini, professor of Chemical Engineering at AUS, Dana Gas Endowed Chair for Chemical Engineering, and founder of the Ultrasound in Cancer Research Group at AUS.

In this new method, the nanocarriers target the protein called human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2), which promotes the growth of cancer cells. Once the nanocarriers are bound to the malignant cells, ultrasound is used to release the chemotherapy drug at the targeted site. Dr Husseini explained that using ultrasound is ideal because it is simple to use and it is widely understood.

Also working on related research is the AUS Drug Delivery Group. This team of researchers has applied for a US patent for its innovation that uses estrone-liposomes to deliver chemotherapy drugs in the treatment of breast cancer.

AUS graduate and undergraduate students majoring in chemical, biomedical and electrical engineering have been able to gain hands-on research experience as part of these research teams.

Football USA

Alabama dominating All-American nods shows how big gap really is

Come Friday, No. 1 Alabama gets another chance to prove it is the best team in the country when it faces Notre Dame in the Rose Bowl, being played in Arlington, Texas. But on Monday, the talent gap between the Crimson Tide and the competition was again made clear, with six Alabama players named Associated Press First Team All-Americans.

No other program earned more than two selections.

Heisman Trophy finalists Mac Jones and DeVonta Smith were joined by running back Najee Harris, tackle Alex Leatherwood, cornerback Patrick Surtain II and center Landon Dickerson, who is out following knee surgery. The inclusion of Jones, Smith and Harris makes Alabama the first team to have a quarterback, running back and wide receiver all receive first-team honors since the AP’s current format was created in 1980.

No. 3 Ohio State and No. 4 Notre Dame each earned two selections. Buckeyes lineman Wyatt Davis and cornerback Shaun Wade were honored, as well as Fighting Irish lineman Aaron Banks and linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah.

The highest-paid assistant in college football met expectations.

Alabama offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian was named the Broyles Award winner, given to the top assistant coach in the country. In his second full season leading the offense, the Crimson Tide averaged 49.7 points per game. The 46-year-old also filled in as interim head coach in a 42-13 Iron Bowl win over Auburn, while Nick Saban quarantined with a COVID-19 infection.

Sarkisian, the former USC and Washington head coach, earns $2.5 million per season as Saban’s top lieutenant. He recently turned down an interview opportunity for Auburn’s open head-coaching position.

“Sark’s done an outstanding job in terms of system and scheme, how he teaches the players,” Alabama head coach Nick Saban said Monday. “He’s contributed as much as anybody that we’ve ever had here in terms of his knowledge and experience.”

Other finalists for the award included BYU offensive coordinator Jeff Grimes, Cincinnati defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman, Indiana defensive coordinator Kane Wommack and Northwestern defensive coordinator Mike Hankwitz.

Saban hasn’t shut the door on Jaylen Waddle returning from an ankle injury this season, but the window is quickly closing on the electric wide receiver.

Waddle, who hasn’t played since fracturing his ankle against Tennessee on Oct. 24, still hasn’t returned to practice.

“He’s coming along,” Saban said. “He’s doing dry-land running. Still working to try to get back. He is making progress. We’re happy to see him be able at least go out there and do some running and do some things, but he’s not back in practice yet.”