Welcome back to Midweek Madness! Every Wednesday, we slog through the weeklies in search of good celebrity gossip; this time around we found Ashlee Simpson instead. She's on the cover of Us and inside Life & Style, OK!, In Touch, and Star. Must be a slow week in Hollywood news! In fact, it's been a slow year for Life & Style, In Touch and OK!: circulation numbers are down, reports MediaWeek. (Star is doing fine, Us has yet to post numbers.) Invaluable Intern Sharon helps us read and rate the tabloids, after the jump.
"How A Makeover Changed My Life." Ashlee says, "I used to look at a beautiful girl on the cover of a magazine and think I could never be that." She battled an eating disorder when she was 11 and "contended" with baby fat until she was 21. But Ash is confident now, because she's had a nose job. Awesome. Also inside: There's a rumor that Kevin Federline will play the hunky UPS guy in Legally Blonde on Broadway. Bend and snap. Brad and Angelina were considering moving to France but Brad couldn't put a motorcycle track on the 5 acres of land behind the house they had their eye on. Lastly, a random quote: Dita Von Teese says, "I have always found the artificial to be very beautiful."
Grade: D- (Ashlee Simpson singing)
"At Home With Britney." Four pages of pictures of Britney's house! By the same photographer who shot Brit and her boys. Leather sofas, warm colors, dark wood, traditional touches. Classy! Britney is heavier now because she is eating three square meals a day — prepared by her chef dad in her "state-of-the-art" kitchen. But March 5, she apparently sent a text message to a friend that read, "I'm so bored. I hate my life." In her downtime, Britney is obsessed with cleaning. And! She has a shrine to first love Justin Timberlake in her home. Also inside: Jennifer Aniston wants a baby daddy and her options are Owen Wilson or key grip Brian Bouma, whom she met on set in Vancouver. Rumor: Johnny Depp might be the face of Trojan condoms. But it's just a rumor, say the Trojan people. Lastly: At a club in L.A., Posh Spice was overheard saying, "I'm drunk... Again."
Grade: D (Ashlee Simpson acting)
Life & Style
"Angelina Trashes Jen." Intern Sharon only read part of this story because, in her words, "Who gives a fuck." But Angelina's brother James Haven says Angelina didn't go to that pre-Oscar party where Jen was sure to be because she didn't want to offend Jen. But a psychologist who doesn't treat anyone involved claims that Angie's comments put Jen in the role of the victim and are disingenuous, blah, blah, blah. Moving on: Tallulah Willis says of Ashton Kutcher: "I find it weird that people think my stepdad is hot." The Spears family is going broke? Lynne went into a jewelry store but she wasn't there to buy; the mag insinuates that she needed to sell some diamonds. A Brit paper predicts Britney could out of money by the time she is 30. Meanwhile, Jamie Lynn doesn't get her Nickelodeon TV show money because it sits in a trust fund until she turns 18. Nicole Richie and Joel Madden have hired a wedding planner and might get married at Lionel Richie's mansion — Lionel will sing! Lindsay Lohan won't be in mom Dina's reality show and doesn't know much about it. When she went to entertain the troops in Kuwait, Jessica Simpson brought a copy of her movie, Major Movie Star and the soldiers loved watching her go through boot camp. Ashlee Simpson has new tattoos, has been "partying too much" and drinks vodka and Johnny Walker Black. Lastly: Javier Bardem used to be a stripper? In Spain? But when his boss wanted him to perform nude, he quit.
Grade: D+ (Ashlee Simpson lipsyncing)
"Baby Joy!" Impending fatherhood has made Matthew McConaughey quit drinking and buy a house, even though he used to say he'd always live in his trailer. He loves his baby mama because he finally met a girl to go hiking with who doesn't mind not showering for a week. Also inside: On a photo of Ali and Lindsay Lohan (Fig. 1), the copy reads "Which sister is older again?" Oh, snap! Angelina Jolie believes Brad Pitt saved her life, because he rescued her from "a life of manic breakdowns, meaningless sex and self-destructive behavior." And that's why she'll marry him. Or so says the mag. Now that she's living with her dad, Britney is "calmer and more upbeat," says a source. "Britney never had a normal childhood, and now she does. She has a curfew, an allowance and her father tells her who she can and can't see." Camera engineer Brian Bouma visited Jen Aniston in L.A. for ten days. She really likes him but she is "still pessimistic about love," says a source. Don't tell Paula Abdul, but her live-in love JT Torregiani was seen diamond-shopping and might pop the question! Plus: Lindsay Lohan has squandered her $15 million fortune on rehab, clothes, vacations and bodyguards. The magazine estimates some of her expenses: Drinks, $10K a night; hotels, $1 million a year; beauty/makeup artists/tanning, $1 million ($70,000 on tanning alone!). Lastly: "The List" this week is "Hollywood's Most Unlikely Studs" is all the icky fugly guys who somehow end up getting laid: Cisco Adler, Zach Braff, Marilyn Manson, Travis Barker... David Spade is No. 1.
Grade: C (Ashlee Simpson dancing)
"Stars Without Makeup!" Young'uns Ashley Tisdale, Miley Cyrus, and Rachel Bilson look basically the same — or better — without makeup. Katherine Heigl, Katie Holmes and Jessica Biel are victims of unflattering photographs. Jennifer Love Hewitt has great skin and looks like she's 18, period. Moving on. Britney may or may not be carrying Adnan Ghalib's baby, but they did go out March 8. Rumer, Scout and Tallulah Willis are all in "adolescent hell." Demi Moore and Bruce Willis are dealing with three teenage daughters and that means "raging emotions, rebellious attitudes and boys, boys boys." It's sexist but kinda funny. Even though she is 19, Rumer's out at clubs every night, uh-oh! Blind item! "Which fair-haired actor, who has been battling personal demons, was seen stumbling out of a swank Miami hot spot last weekend?" Jennifer Lopez is a Momzilla! She hired a color consultant, who told her to decorate the babies' rooms in aquamarine, because it's soothing and intellectually stimulating. Also, the twins' cribs are studded with diamonds, rubies and sapphires. Baby bling! Miley Cyrus' family tree has some scandalous branches: Her mom, Tish, was a groupie and got knocked up by a drummer when she was 19; Miley's half-sister Brandi, 20, plays guitar in Miley's backing band. As for Billy Ray, he got a waitress pregnant in 1991. Nicole and Joel have purchased a NYC apartment on Bowery and Spring. Also, Nicole is hoping Paris' relationship with Joel's brother Benji goes down the toilet; "she wants to get on with her life without Paris," a source spills. George Clooney will marry girlfriend Sarah Larson at his villa on Lake Como in Italy this summer. Lisa Marie Presley says: "I'm not fat, I'm pregnant." And it's twins! And she's five foot three, so she's huge right now. Plus: Ashlee Simpson is out of control. She's what we call a drunkorexic: Wasted all the time and not eating much. People say Pete Wentz is a bad influence. Side by side pix of her in 2004 and now show she used to be much cuter (Fig. 2).
Grade: C+ (Ashlee Simpson in a photograph from 2004)