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Posted at 10:44 AM ET, 10/ 4/2006

Rethinking Ashlee (I'm Sure It'll Pass)

By Liz Kelly

"Chicago-ans" Ashlee Simpson and Usher. (Getty Images)

I'm the last person one would expect to find defending Ashlee Simpson and maybe I don't have to; maybe I'm overreacting to the catty remarks I've seen peppered around blog comment threads lately (including this blog's) bashing Ashlee's performance in London's production of "Chicago."

Actually, it isn't her performance that's being criticized (especially since most keyboard critiquers have only seen a few minutes of video posted online) and, in fact, she's getting rave reviews from the press. What seems to be irking folks -- like one anonymous Us Weekly online reader, whose comment is excerpted below -- is that this junior poptart would even aspire to set foot on stage not owned by MTV.

"Goes to show it's not what you know but who you know to get a leg up in the industry. She would have never made it had she tried to do it all on her own. Her voice is mediocre and all her songs are written for her. Give thanks to your sister, Ashlee, she got you where you are."

As someone smart once said, lots of different keys will get you in the door, but it's up to you (and your talent) to stay in. Yes, we seem to be going through some kind of phase in which every Tom, Dick and Usher is rotating through "Chicago's" line-up, but so what? It shakes things up and gives otherwise pigeon-holed stars a relatively safe way to test their creative wings.

So, leave Ashlee alone -- at least when it comes to her turn as Roxie Hart. If you really want to criticize her, there's plenty of material to work with (her "SNL" lip-synching, her nose job, her sudden morph into a clone of her sister, her dad's inability to drive his over-priced car).

By Liz Kelly  | October 4, 2006; 10:44 AM ET
Categories:  Celebrities  
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