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Celebritology 2.0: September 9, 2007 - September 15, 2007

Friday List: A Five-Point Plan for Britney

Today we return to the fine tradition of Friday Lists with a constructive project: crafting a comeback plan for beleaguered pop princess Britney Spears. This is Britney's week, so why buck the trend? Is the pre-teen poptart turned bizarro baby mamma past the point of no return? No way, y'all! Unless and until Brit goes all Michael Richards on us, the door is always open for a return to her former chart-topping glory. All it takes is the right alchemy and -- ring-a-ding-a-ling -- MTV, Timbaland and Pepsi will be lining up to get them some of that Louisiana mojo. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is plotting a five-point course for Spears that will return her to that sweet Shangri-la reserved for popsters-who-top-the-charts even-though-no-one-admits-to-owning-their-CDs. Important: Your comeback strategy must outline success in five moves or less. Example: 1. Hire stylists of every flavor -- hair, make-up, clothing,...

By Liz Kelly  | September 14, 2007; 10:43 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Britney Spears, Friday Lists  
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Morning Mix: Spears Considering Emmy Appearance?

Update, 11:58 a.m. ET: O.J. Simpson suspected in Vegas casino robbery. Headlines: Incognito Shakira takes class at UCLA... For just $15K, book Kevin Dillon to hang at your next family event... Prince plans to sue YouTube to "reclaim his art on the Internet"... Alyssa Milano lands gig as baseball correspondent... T.I. snags nine BET Hip-Hop Award nominations... Kid Rock explains assault on Tommy Lee at VMAs... Goldman family say they published book to punish O.J. Simpson... David Faustino's soon-to-be-ex seeks divorce trial. Rumor Mill: Britney Spears in talks to make Emmy performance?... Latest Spears train wreck explanation: antidepressants... Lindsay Lohan set to check out of Utah rehab?... Did Sting visit German brothel? (NSFW)... Colin Farrell outfits Toronto hobo with outdoor survival gear... Tori Spelling and husband in talks to join New York production of "Chicago." Say What? "We are serious. We plan to buy her underpants, get her bigger shorts...

By Liz Kelly  | September 14, 2007; 7:54 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Daily Mix  
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Creative Captioning: Courtney Love's Celebrity Skin

Oh Courtney, have you ever looked so used up as this? You're a rock goddess -- not only did you marry grunge martyr Kurt Cobain, but you turned out two defining albums with your own band, Hole. We want to love you, but you scare us. And, thanks to the snapshot below you've landed in a very bad place -- as the subject of this week's Creative Captioning contest. Let me explain. Inspired by your pic, Celebritology readers will craft hilarious captions -- some innocuous, some catty, some absurd and some borderline offensive. Doubtless some tsk-tsking will take place to admonish us all for having a little bit of fun at your expense. But, hey, at least you're not wearing Comme Des Garçons (I think). The best caption will be elevated to a position of prominence here in the blahg and its writer will earn the right to tattoo his...

By Liz Kelly  | September 13, 2007; 10:43 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (119)
Categories:  Creative Captioning  
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Morning Mix: Beyonce Tops Best-Dressed List

Headlines: Beyonce tops People list of best-dressed celebs... Demi Moore denounces Hollywood "ageism"... "Fight Clubbers" Brad Pitt and Edward Norton reteam for new movie... Inventive memoirist James Frey lands new book deal... Meredith Vieira returns to "The View" as a guest... Timbaland says Britney Spears should apologize to him... Kanye West to perform at Sunday's Emmy Awards; Video: Kanye's backstage VMA meltdown (NSFW); Timeline: Kanye's public outbursts... Joaquin Phoenix sports new lumberjack persona... Manager says Foxy Brown not pregnant. Rumor Mill: Did Britney Spears have spray-painted abs for VMA show?... Ken Paves says he made "professional decision" to not style her hair... Heath Ledger spotted with Danish model Helena Christensen... "Heroes" cheerleader Hayden Panettiere splits from boyfriend Stephen Coletti. Chat Day: Grab some lunch and join me at a special time -- Noon ET -- to talk Britney, Kanye, Kid Rock vs. Tommy Lee and even non-VMA-related gossip, too....

By Liz Kelly  | September 13, 2007; 8:10 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (32)
Categories:  Daily Mix  
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Who's to Blame for Brit's Belly Flop?

Spears performs at Sunday night's VMAs. (AP) After getting burned with yesterday's sweet little paean to Jane Wyman (who knew?), we boomerang back into the land of teetering starlets with a neat little ethical puzzler courtesy of one Kanye West. Despite the fact that West has a chronic case of being a whiny baby who'd do better to keep quiet and continue making money, he inadvertently dropped some wisdom following Sunday's slo-mo career-killing Britney Spears performance: "Man, they [MTV] were just trying to get ratings, and they knew she wasn't ready and they exploited her." Sincere or not (he went on to say he should have opened the show with his single "Stronger"), Kanye is the only one calling MTV on the carpet for booking Brit, who has hardly given any indication that she was ready to deliver a stellar performance. In retrospect, how could anyone -- most of...

By Liz Kelly  | September 12, 2007; 10:43 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (106)
Categories:  Britney Spears, Celebrities, TV  
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Morning Mix: Rosie Says Barbara Walters Should Retire

Headlines: Rosie O'Donnell thinks Barbara Walters should retire... Britney Spears's spin control team People magazine works overtime to stall tailspin following Sunday's performance... Tommy Lee apologizes for interrupting Alicia Keys's performance... Kanye West's album sales outpacing 50 Cent so far, but is Kanye blowing promo ops?... Kathy Griffin's Jesus remarks cut from Emmy broadcast... Diana Ross, Brian Wilson, Steve Martin among Kennedy Center honorees... Justin Timberlake cancels tour dates to rest his voice... Led Zeppelin to reunite for one show... Heath Ledger fugs it up... Former "Full House-er" Jodie Sweetin pregnant... Judge sets April trial date for Lindsay Lohan 2005 car crash... Rapper Trick Daddy arrested in strip club scuffle. Rumor Mill: Jon Stewart tapped to host Academy Awards... Owen Wilson hires "sober companion" in lieu of rehab... Jessica Simpson, a little bit country?... Oprah to leave $30 million to dogs?... Mom calls Michael Jackson addiction claims "defamatory"... Diddy's perfume...

By Liz Kelly  | September 12, 2007; 7:53 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (56)
Categories:  Daily Mix  
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Remembering Jane Wyman

Jane Wyman at the height of her 'Falcon Crest' reign. (HO/AFP/Getty Images) I don't claim to know any more about Jane Wyman than the average bear. She was a starlet back when "starlet" meant someone who actually punched a clock at one of Hollywood's major studios. She was the first wife of Republican deity Ronald Reagan. And she presided over one of last of the great primetime soaps, "Falcon Crest." It was in this last role that she entered my orbit. As a snot-nosed Army brat living in Naples, Italy in the early '80s, I hungrily devoured tapes of American TV shipped overseas for trade in the ex-pat "Betamax club." These tapes were my first introduction to the sublime canon of early-80s TV -- "The Facts of Life," "Too Close for Comfort," "The Barbara Mandrell Show," "Simon and Simon" and, of course, "Falcon Crest." While "Dallas" left me somewhat...

By Liz Kelly  | September 11, 2007; 10:42 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Celebrities, In Praise Of..., Miscellaneous  
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Morning Mix: Britney's Embarrassed, Y'all

Headlines: Britney Spears "embarrassed" following VMA flop... Kevin Federline throws birthday party for boys... Jennifer Hudson signs on to "Sex and the City" movie... David Letterman sits down with Oprah Winfrey... Actress, former wife of Ronald Reagan Jane Wyman dies... Phil Spector murder case goes to jury... Actor Tom Sizemore starts serving time in California state prison. Rumor Mill: Eve celebrated removal of alcohol-monitoring bracelet with a little champagne (5th item). Say What? "They exploited Britney in helping to end her career. When Britney was opening [the VMA telecast], near the end, I felt so bad for her. I said, 'Man, it's a dirty game. This game will chew you up and spit you out.'" -- Kanye West on Monday, following Spears's wobbly VMA performance "Honestly, I really don't care. I don't give a f--k about Britney performing." -- Kanye West on Saturday, prior to Spears's performance....

By Liz Kelly  | September 11, 2007; 7:54 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (39)
Categories:  Daily Mix  
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Comment Box: When Does Celebrity End?

My question is, when does someone stop being a celebrity? At what point do we say, "This person does not have talent, never had talent and is now losing whatever looks made her a compelling pop idol for the tween set?" -- Posted by jes to Britney Spears: The Naked Truth Good question, Jes, and one that came up again last night following Brit's cringe-worthy VMA performance. One Celebritology reader vented her frustration about Spears news, questioning the time we devote to a woman whose career is clearly flatlining. But almost immediately, reader H3 chimed in with a formula that sums up our continued interest in Brit: "Sure, there are plenty of performers with more talent, but how many performers have more celebrity? If the blog were Talentology, we could get rid of her... but I think Britney is here to stay!" And, for better or worse, H3's formula applies...

By Liz Kelly  | September 10, 2007; 10:42 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (52)
Categories:  Comment Box  
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Morning Mix: Britney Bombs at VMAs

Rapper Lil' Mama and blogger Perez Hilton arrive at Sunday night's VMAs in Las Vegas. (Reuters) Headlines: Britney Spears blows VMA "comeback" performance; VMA pix... Maybe because Spears spent VMA eve partying till dawn with Diddy?... Rihanna, Justin Timberlake take home top honors... Mourners give Luciano Pavarotti standing ovation at funeral... Russell Crowe films movie scenes in Annapolis... Beckhams snap bedroom pix to promote new perfume... Hundreds of guests attend first birthday party for Anna Nicole Smith's daughter... Ludacris celebrates 30th birthday in Las Vegas... Paris Hilton suing Hallmark over "That's Hot" card, spills Christina Aguilera's baby news... Nicky Hilton makes Fashion Week debut... Foxy Brown sentenced to a year in jail for probation violation. Rumor Mill: Rosie O'Donnell calls Donald Trump "garden slug" in upcoming book... Actress Julia Ormond and husband splitting... Mischa Barton has wardrobe malfunction at charity event. Say What? "Stop all this white-on-white violence." --...

By Liz Kelly  | September 10, 2007; 7:52 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (81)
Categories:  Daily Mix  
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Insta-Poll: Britney's VMA Performance?

Britney Spears opened Sunday night's MTV Video Music Awards with a performance touted as the opening salvo of her "comeback." But despite early buzz about a stage show including illusions courtesy of Criss Angel, Brit's rendition of her new single "Gimme More" was confined to song and dance, with the only mystery remaining the lack of surprises. (Vote below.) (Reuters) div.TWIIGSPOLL { width: 250px; } div.TWIIGSPOLL a.TWIIGSPOLLquestionlink { font: bold 11px arial; color: #333333; } div.TWIIGSPOLL a.TWIIGSPOLLlink { text-decoration: none; font: 10px verdana; color: #DD8500; } div.TWIIGSPOLL a.TWIIGSPOLLmorelink { text-decoration: none; font: 11px arial; color: #DD8500; } div.TWIIGSPOLL li.TWIIGSPOLLanswerselectionitem { font: 11px arial; color: #333333; } div.TWIIGSPOLL input.TWIIGSPOLLanswertext { /*width: 190px !important;*/ font: 11px arial; color: #333333; } div.TWIIGSPOLL input.TWIIGSPOLLanswercheckbox { font: 11px arial; color: #333333; } div.TWIIGSPOLL input.TWIIGSPOLLanswerradio { font: 11px arial; color: #333333; } div.TWIIGSPOLL input.TWIIGSPOLLsubmit { font: 10px verdana; color: #333333; } div.TWIIGSPOLL div.TWIIGSPOLLtopresults { font: 11px...

By Liz Kelly  | September 9, 2007; 9:57 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (50)
Categories:  Britney Spears, Celebrities  
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