Stop The Presses!

Sept. 17-23: Kanye vs. 50, Manilow vs. The View, Britney vs. Herself

Lyndsey Parker
Stop The Presses!

You know, here at That's Really Week we heart cracking jokes. It's fun. And certainly Britney Spears has provided us with plenty of comedic fodder ever since she first donned that Catholic schoolgirl skirt of hers. Whether she was getting hitched and then quickly un-hitched in Vegas, padding around barefoot in gas station bathrooms, starring with her hanger-on husband in horrifically bad UPN reality shows, demonstrating little awareness of baby-carseat safety, or giving weepy/snotty Today Show interviews, Britney never failed to, um, titillate (insert Beavis & Butthead-style snicker here).

But now we must say: It's just not funny anymore. Nope, when Britney committed career suicide--um, we mean, "performed"--on the VMAs last week, no one was laughing. At least not with her. Sadly, the continuing breakneck-paced downward spiral of the fallen former teen star's life over the past week, let alone the past year, could fill an entire season's worth of E! True Hollywood Stories. And unfortch, none of those THS's would have a happy, rising-from-ashes ending.

It's a dang shame, because for a while there, it seemed like Britney was on the comeback trail. Like, remember when she was plastered all over magazine covers as some sort of Weight Watchers success story, flaunting a post-baby body that she'd whipped back into pre-pregnancy shape practically the moment Jayden James's umbilical cord was snipped? Or when she made that surprise appearance on Letterman, looking all healthy and happy because she'd shed about 170 more pounds by dumping Kevin Federline? And then there were rumors of a Justin Timberlake reunion duet and a Timbaland collaboration. It looked like Britney just might pull off an odds-defying comeback that'd make Mariah Carey's post-Glitter revival look like nuthin'.

But then...well, Britney seemed determined to disprove the old adage that any publicity is good publicity. She flashed her private Brit-bits for all the paparazzi to see. She shaved her head. She engaged in assault with a deadly umbrella. She skipped quite a few PTA meetings. She foolishly turned down Justin (who revealed to Oprah Winfrey this week that he has not spoken to Brit since their painful, public breakup) and Timbaland, the Midas-touch dynamic duo that could have saved her. But then her Timbaland-free but still dancefloor-friendly single "Gimme More" came out, and hopes of a comeback were once again raised. Hopes that were swiftly dashed on VMA night.

So this week, Brit tops our report again. Sure, we wish we had someone else to write about, but frankly until the Phil Spector trial verdict finally comes in, Britney is unfortunately still the most headline-grabbing bonkers pop icon in the blogosphere. Britney herself was in court again this week (the same week she switched lawyers TWICE and split with management company The Firm, by the way).

First, Brit was told by a judge that she must undergo random drug/alcohol testing in order to keep custody of her sons. (And how did she commemorate this ruling? Oh, by partying into the wee hours at Hollywood hot spot Hyde with her cousin/assistant Alli Sims and new gal pal Avril Lavigne. Uh-oh.) Then she was charged Friday with misdemeanor counts of hit-and-run and driving without a license...charges that could land her in jail for six months. And finally, Britney was reportedly kicked out of the restaurant at L.A.'s posh Chateau Marmont hotel for "acting weird" and smearing food on her face. Talk about a mess!

OK, moving on, finally. 50 Cent's career is clearly not in nearly as much trouble as Britney's, given that his album Curtis sold an impressive 600,000+ copies this week. But Kanye West's Graduation shifted a substantially more impressive 900,000 or so units--and Kanye beat out Fiddy for Best Hip-Hop Act at Britain's MOBO Awards, too. D'oh! No word yet on whether 50 will make good on his promise to quit the music biz because Kanye outsold him, but he did just postpone some European tour dates due to "unforeseen and unanticipated" circumstances, thus fueling those retirement rumors. Well, at least 50 Cent can take solace in the fact that Kanye lost out to Rainn Wilson at the Emmys this week, right?

You know, Alicia Keys's new album comes out November 13, the same day as Britney's. We wonder if Britney will retire if she sells less than Alicia that week? It might not be a bad idea, actually...

Oh, there we go, starting feuds again. And hey, you know who else is starting feuds these days? Bizarrely, it's the normally cuddly 'n' complacent Barry Manilow. Yes, he may write the songs

that make the whole world sing, but he'd apparently prefer it if The View's co-hostess Elisabeth Hasselbeck refrain from joining in on that globe-spanning singalong, thank you very much. This week Barry, a prominent Democratic fundraiser, cancelled his appearance on estrogen-immersed chat program The View, because he didn't want to be interviewed by the "dangerous" and "offensive" Elisabeth. Well, don't you worry, Barry. We're sure if Rosie O'Donnell ever gets another talk show, you'll be welcome on her panel any time!

All right, much like Britney and Justin, Britney and K-Fed, or Barry Manilow and The View, we must split. But do come back next Friday for more amusing, confusing, and downright excitement-oozing news, and until then, goodnight, and good music.

 

THIS WEEK'S TOP 10 STORIES:

1) Britney Continues Her Toxic Lifestyle - And she might even lose custody of her kids as a result.

2) 50 Cent To Cash In His 401(K)? - Looks like he might have to retire after all.

3) Phil Spector Jury Deadlocked - The Wall Of Sound producer's trial hits a wall.

4) Barry Manilow Obstructs The View - He refuses to appear on the show alongside Elisabeth Hasselbeck.

5) Sex Pistols, Reloaded - The paunchy punks will reunite in London for a one-off anniversary show.

6) Foo Fighter Says Phooey To Paris Hilton - Dave Grohl makes it clear he's not a fan of the heiress.

7) Justin & Britney Never Bringing Sexy Back - JT reveals he's not spoken to his infamous ex in years.

8) George Michael: Careless Tryster - The Wham! man admits, in an interview that will now never air, that he doesn't take regular HIV tests.

9) Girl Power Fizzles Out - An all-female, Lilth Fair-style concert is cancelled due to low ticket sales.

10) Ian Brown Throws Stones At Bono - Perhaps not coincidentally, the ex-Stone Roses frontman makes these newsworthy remarks right before his solo album drops.

 

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