Welcome to the final Midweek Madness of the year, in which the tabloids inform us that we're all overweight Americans.
This week, the mags are about 90 percent celebrity weight loss stories and 10 percent entirely made up cover stories about stars who might get married, reproduce, or not reproduce in 2009. Below, we pick out the small bits of gossip sprinkled like confetti throughout the pages of Ok!, Us, Life & Style, In Touch and Star.
It's unclear why the mag describes the 28 pages of blathering about celebrity diets as a "bonus" on the cover, since that makes up almost the entire issue. Here's some New Year's Eve advice: If you want to look like Britney or Jennifer Aniston just start eating fish ... and doing two hours of yoga per day. Elisabeth Hasselbeck is a "baby weight winner" because she lost 20 lbs by obsessively working out and insisting she has celiac disease. Hef once told Kendra from The Girls Next Door that she was getting fat and suggested she hit the gym. Charming. Here's some actual gossip: After a W magazine photo shoot with model Jesus Luz, Madonna invited the 20-year-old to a party in Brazil where they kissed, hugged, and danced until 5:30am, when they both retired to Madge's hotel room. A source says, "she goes after the youngest, hottest thing around," so it looks like 33-year-old A-Rod is out. Is Drew Barrymore dating Jason Segel? Segel's rep says they're just friends, but at the very least they're friends who make out at Chateau Marmont.
Grade: F (Standing out in the snow for hours to see the ball drop)
Brad "longs to hold another infant" but Ok! theorizes that since Angie reportedly developed preeclampsia and gestational diabetes and had two emergency C-sections, having another biological child would be risky. Brad will have to settle for holding the two six-month-old babies he has at home or the African infant he is possibly adopting. Next: In an interview with the mag Alanis Morisette reveals that she lost 20 lbs by following a vegan diet. The mag says realizing she had gained weight was harder for Alanis to swallow than a "Jagged Little Pill." Sigh. Sort of moving on: Even more diet tips! Ok! suggests if you want to look like the stars you should become a professional dancer like Julianne Hough, breastfeed and have six kids like Angie, or get some plastic surgery like Heidi Montag. We finish with 12-pages of 2009 horoscopes. They advise that if you're a cancer, "the stork could drop by for a visit, especially after October 29." So should we be looking for a baby bump on cancers Ashley Tisdale, Meryl Streep, and Harrison Ford?
Grade: F+ (Having to watch a few minutes of Ryan Seacrest to see the ball drop on TV)
Life & Style
The cover claims they have the first photos of Bronx Mowgli, but it's just that picture Ashlee Simpson and Pete Wentz put online a few days ago. False advertising! Next up, brace yourselves: George Clooney went to dinner with Paris Hilton two nights in a row and an insider says "they definitely plan to get together in the new year." Paris's new BFF came on both "dates" and Ridley Scott and Marvel studios chairman David Maisel were in attendance for the second dinner, so we're hoping for George's sake this was just business. Moving on: K-Fed didn't want to let the boys visit Britney on various stops during her upcoming tour, so Brit invited Kevin to join them. The pair did fall in love on tour, but a friend points out that Kevin's relationship with his bowling teammate is getting pretty serious. Mandy Moore and DJ AM split up again. Finally, the best celebrity weight loss story of the week: "Obama Shapes Up to Be President." An Obama insider describes how the future president shed a few pounds by not having to eat "corn dogs at the Iowa State Fair or ribs in Austin, Texas," like he did on the campaign trail. Yes, there is a shirtless before and after picture. (Fig. 1)
Grade D- (Noisemaker-induced temporary deafness)
Nicole Richie is planning on conceiving a second child, so like most moms-to-be she's taking pre-natal vitamins, dropping her intense vegan diet, and sketching maternity clothes she'll have made for herself. In other news, Katie Holmes spent her 30th birthday alone because Tom Cruise was away promoting Valkyrie. Katie is stressed and exhausted (as evidenced by a cold sore on her lip) because Tom nixed a ladies-only spa weekend with her mom and girlfriends. Next: Angelina Jolie's long-time bodyguard Michey Brett quit recently because he clashed with Brad, and now he's threatening to write a tell-all book. Judging from his revelation that Brad and Angie forced him to buy them supplies from a sex shop, including "kinky rubber suits and face masks," it's going to be a good read. Moving on: Anne Hathaway has been dating boyfriend Adam Shulman for a few months, which clearly means they'll be getting married in 2009. Star thinks Anne is trying to send secret messages about her impending wedding because her most recent projects are Rachel Getting Married, Bride Wars, and the upcoming film The Fiance. Blind Item: Which Disney heartthrob better pass next time someone offers him a puff? The teen's taste for pot has become a real problem on the set of his latest project. Finally, some celebrities have hideous physical flaws that the editors of Star would like to point out to you. Victoria Beckham had some gunk in her ear, Kelly Rowland forgot to shave her armpits once before hitting the red carpet, and J.Lo has some back fat. How dare they.
Grade: D (Champagne headache)
Jen and Angelina are in a made-up race to the altar, which means the mag has to plan two made-up weddings! Jen is going to make it a classy affair by borrowing Girls Gone Wild host Joe Francis's Mexican villa for a spring wedding. Angie wants her fake wedding to be smaller and will wed in September at Chateau Miraval with only family in attendance. Moving on: In Touch has an exclusive interview with Tori Spelling called, "How I got my bikini body back" which we did not read because it involves photos of a bikini-clad Spelling making sexy faces and we had to turn the page. In the requisite article about Jessica Alba losing the baby weight they use a photo of her pregnant for the "before" and the photoshopped Campari ad for the "after." Ha! Next up: OMG. "Is Oprah too hung up on Obama?" Oprah's friendship with the president-elect is described as "oddly close" and there is a sidebar pondering if Stedman and Michelle might be jealous. A psychiatrist who doesn't treat anyone involved says Stedman and Michelle "likely realize they can't relate to Oprah and Barack on a certain level because the pals share the "loneliness-at-the-top syndrome, which could draw them closer." Finally, "Hollywood's hooked on hookers." This article is like a three page blind item, with both gay and straight prostitutes recounting their adventures with anonymous A-list stars. We most want to know the identity of the straight "manly man" whose dominatrix invited gay porn star Nick Capra to her "dungeon" to see how far she could make her celebrity "slave" go.
Grade: D+ (Confetti in your underwear)