Welcome to Jezebel’s Midweek Madness: Summer Slump edition! For the next few months, local menace Joan Summers will be reporting on her oft-forgotten ignored features and spreads in America’s weekly tabloids. Typically the gossip is too good to waste your time with “Who Wore It Best?” But since the famouses have fled to their yachts behind luxury vacation paywalls, let’s make do with what we’ve got. We’re nothing if not scrappy!

Let’s dive in.

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In Touch:

Looks like we’re about to endure another week of familiar and xenophobic coverage of the “mysterious illness” that’s claimed the lives of 8 Americans in recent weeks. I’ll spare you entirely. Let’s instead continue our ongoing series: Things Joan Often Overlooks In Service of Better Gossip. Ask and you shall receive! Our initial dip in the murky, sunscreen and body tanner-encrusted pool, is an interview with Kathie Lee Gifford. The lede? “I want to get married again!” Here’s what I learned:

  • She wakes up every day “excited about what I’m doing.”
  • On being a widow: “I’ve been blessed to have a great love, but I’d like to think it’s not my last.
  • She’s staring in a romantic comedy called Then Came You, which currently has no distributor and stars Craig Ferguson. A summary is given: “A lonely widow falls in love while travelling around the world.” Live, laugh, and love Kathy Lee! (I also learned that it has the same title as Maisie Williams’ VOD flick, Then Came You.)
  • She’s had one date in four years, but references a lyric for her original song Then Came You, “You don’t find love/Love finds you.”
  • Her kids are grounded because they were raised to love Jesus.
  • She feels for Lori Loughlin, who she considers a friend.
  • When asked about if she’ll ever retire: “Why?”
  • She now drinks wine “much earlier.”

I’m also obsessed with her response to questions about the college admissions scandal gripping her daughters college:

In Touch: [Your kids] went to USC, which is involved with the recent college admissions cheating scandal…

KLG: Yeah, my son graduated from there, and my daughter is still enrolled but rarely goes. She’s an actress, she’s done nine movies and is working on a series. I don’t think college is for everyone. It wasn’t necessary for me.

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So her response to this nation’s gross obsession with wealth and privilege as seen through the college admissions system, is to admit that her rich children skip classes at the expensive private schools they attend? Sounds about right! And because I’m messy, I went looking for a trailer for her Hallmark escapades.

Glad to know that, unlike her academic career, her acting’s paid off! Further in we’re informed of the hot new trend: headbands and bouffants! Allegedly, everyone is wearing them. But as a card carrying member of the Gossip Girl fan club, I’d like to put this on record: Blair Waldorf’s style sensibilities were not dragged through the mud so that Katy Perry could don a leather glove in Gwen Stefani drag.

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Past this award winning fashion advice, Tichina Arnold also shared her typical night at home. While this is a recurring segment that’s supposed to engender a sense of relatability, it always comes off as a desperate bid for press in a tabloid devoid of the iconic “What’s In My Bag.”

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  • She considers politics “her sports.”
  • Her favorite late night reading is Octavia Butler.
  • She’s a Home Goods-a-holic.
  • Since she was “raised around Jews,” she snacks on matzah.
  • Her favorite television binges: Dead Files and Ghost Adventures.
  • She laughs at car commercials.
  • MSNBC has previously brought her to tears.

For our last segment, I’d like to hone in on a weekly tabloid fixture: Friends Reunion Gossip. This week’s cycle began when Jennifer Aniston muddied the waters on the red carpet for her Adam Sandler flick, Murder Mystery: “Stay excited! And possibly something will happen.”

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Then, as everything else in celebrity news, it devolved with an innocuous non-answer on Ellen:

“Well, ‘no’ was getting me nowhere, and ‘maybe’ was getting me nowhere. So I thought I’d try ‘yes.’ See what would happen,” Aniston told ET outside the premiere at the Regency Village Theatre in Westwood, California, on Monday. “Sorry!”

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And since everything is literal and humor is dead, the tabloids have spun this into a “hotly anticipated reunion” already “in production.” Move on, nerds!

Elsewhere, in actual gossip:

  • Lisa Rinna debuted another blonde lob.
  • Robin Givens: “Howard Stern was a magnificent lover. For real. Like unbelievable.”
  • 85% of married women agree that Gwyneth Paltrow is better for living in a separate home from Brad Falchuk. My thoughts? Heterosexuality is a disease!
  • Orlando Bloom had his dog’s skeleton preserved and mounted in his foyer
  • Sofia Vergara poured syrup over pancakes “while in Arkansas working on the latest launch of her denim collection with Walmart.”
  • Jessica Biel outed herself as a notorious anti-vaxxer.
  • Nikki Reed and Malin Akerman attended the 29th Annual Environmental Media Association Awards.

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And as for this week’s blind:

This billionaire is about to sell his $100 million NYC mansion after catching his gorgeous wife making out with a D-list playboy who was cheating on his very-famous much-older girlfriend.

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This broke my brain. Enjoy!

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Ok!:

Are you interested in the (allegedly) fictional personal lives of the royal children, based on secrets peddled by friends of acquaintances of brothers of cousins of friends? Too bad! Before the dirt, let’s whet our appetites with “Red Hot On The Red Carpet”, a recurring feature on the latest and greatest in celebrity trends. This week’s hot ticket item? Festive embellished mini dresses!

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I won’t even begin to discuss Hilary Rhoda and Carrie Underwood’s frocks, both of which are federal crimes against my delicate sensibilities. Maren Morris took a chance in Fausto Puglisi, but the improper shoe styling and lack of an updo netted a loss for the country starlet. Sarah Hyland’s Redemption armor could have been saved with a higher neckline and longer draping. Instead, she opted for the Rita Repulsa fit. Which I have to respect! Jasmine Tookes soared in the styling department, elevating her Zuhair Murad mini above it’s tragic velvet prison. Fashion!

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As for the iconic and much requested “Who Wore It Better”:

  • Jasmin Savoy wore her lemon-y Gretel Z Suit better than Dania Ramirez, who opted for a lace bustier instead of Jasmin’s chic mustard turtleneck.
  • Constance Wu “wowed” in an A.L.C. tie-dye shirt dress, which I personally think Regina Hall styled better.
  • Both Emmanuelle Chriqui and Nina Dobrev “effortlessly” wore a “sleek Galvan jumpsuit.” Sure!

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Deeper in, my favorite weekly spread, “News In Photos” consists of: (seemingly) sponsored photo-ops, celebrities making faces, and lots of junk food indulgence- which is pandered as humorous or revolutionary!

  • Kristen Chenoweth ate pizza on a sidewalk.
  • Jennifer Aniston stepped out in a leather, mock turtleneck dress.
  • Pete Davidson and Timothee Chalamet’s older sister, Pauline Chalamet, were seen starring in an unidentified Judd Apatow flick. Ominous!
  • Jeff Goldblum filmed segments for his upcoming “show at a local flee market.”
  • Melissa Joan Hart posed with a human sized box of NERDS candy.
  • Jenna Bush Hager held some books.
  • Anthony Anderson was seen in sweats.
  • Antonio Banderas made out with a plastic fish.
  • Hilary Swank “posed with a robot at a special screening of the sci-fi flick” I Am Mother.

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Meanwhile: Eddie Cibrian and Leann Rimes “showed off” their palatial, 8,600 square foot Hidden Hills, California estate. Rihanna was seen with her billionaire boyfriend Hassan Jameel. (Eat the rich!) Some Duck Dynasty “stars” got engaged, DJ Ruckus and Shanina Shaik separated, and Wendy Williams opened up about dating “financial investor” Marc Tomblin. (Wall Street won’t survive the class war!) Sophie Turner “reigned supreme” with her “gorgeous, retro inspired” summer style. And then Tinsley Mortimer promoted a new fake eyelash collaboration while opening up about her “favorite products.” Enjoy!

  • She “won’t do extensions” because “[eyelash] strips are my thing.” And helpfully, she just launched a line of them for purchase now!
  • She loves minidresses, since “I always feel prettier if there’s a ruffle around me.” Interrogate that!
  • She still lives at a hotel because she loves “monogrammed towels and pillows.”
  • Her “must have” fashion accessory is the “Jimmy Choo Cloud clutch. It’s sprinkled with crystals and has a big bow on it.”
  • Like me on my worst days, she employs Batiste dry shampoo.

As for the real gossip?

  • Aubrey Plaza has a “pretty high tolerance for public humiliation.”
  • Melissa McCarthy can do her own stunts. One thing she can’t? “Keep a purse on my shoulder!”
  • Khloe Kardashian was caught in a lie when fans pointed out she’d met Tristan Thompson’s pregnant ex-girlfriend at a wedding, despite previously claiming to have had “no idea.”
  • Channing Tatum is “head over heels” for Jenna Dewan lookalike, Jessie J.
  • Sources claim Julia Roberts is looking to leave her husband, Danny Moder, for Richard Gere. He was her co-star in Pretty Woman almost 30 years ago, a fact that’s played for romanticism while I confront the endless march of time.

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Us Weekly:

As always, we’ll end with the pinnacle of tabloid journalism and its many, many recurring features. Like I told you last week: It’s part of my recent journey on learning to let go of control, especially when the gossip dries up and I’m backed into a corner. And as we strip ourselves bare in the heat of the summer, it will illuminate you to the inner workings of my job parsing this madness.

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First Look:

This is the section where stars are spotted, red carpets are walked, and publicists crowd the backgrounds of paparazzi shots.

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  • Reese Witherspoon stepped out in a troubling. $3,000 Monique Lhuillier frock dress with $745 Christian Louboutin pumps, a $5,800 Salvatore Ferragamo bag, $3,650 Jennifer Meyer ring, $2,420 Dana Rebecca earrings, and some equally expensive (and unpriced) Celiné shades. Her outfit could pay my rent for almost 3 years!
  • The latest red carpet trend is, as always, Jenny Packham sequin gowns.
  • Bella Hadid paired her Roberto Cavalli red cutout gown with a sleek updo and bold red lip. Sharon Stone, in the same dress, opted for a simple blowout and a nude lip. Guess who “wore it better”!
  • Eva Longoria allegedly wore a tan Alberta Ferretti suit better than Dua Lipa.
  • Katherine Schwarzenegger and Joey King stepped out in matching Adeam blazers, a brand known for being worn by people like Katherine Schwarzenegger.

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Loose Talk:

This is where Us Weekly employs an intern whose sole job is scouring Instagram and reading celebrity tweets. It’s also the section that’s kept Dax Shepard employed for over a decade. (Thanks to Loose Talk, I’ve never seen an episode of James Corden’s late night show but could quote it word for word!)

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  • Mindy Kaling has felt “40 for eight years.”
  • Tessa Thompson once tweeted: “I want to have a goat and name it Gal Da-goat.”
  • Sophie Turner thinks Michael Fassbender’s Magneto looks like he’s “straining for that shit” each time he uses his superpowers.
  • Jamie Foxx was so sweaty during the live taping of The Jeffersons “it looked like I was filming my scenes in the rain.”

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Hot Pics:

Having aggregated thousands of photos on their dot com, Us Weekly prints those with the largest cache in their print magazine. Usual tropes include: parenting, anyone named Jennifer, men holding babies, and Selena Gomez.

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  • Kate Middleton “noshed” on a “nibble” while visiting furry friends at Keswick Market with Prince William.
  • Katy Perry once again stepped out in a hamburger suit.
  • Hilary Duff “took a casual stroll.”
  • Kate Hudson walked the yellow carpet at the Bvlgari High Jewelry Exhibition.
  • Gabrielle Union posed with Jessica Alba and her headband.
  • Selena Gomez stepped out in sequins before heading to Jimmy Fallon’s The Tonight Show.
  • The Friends posed together, sparking another round of endless rumor mongering.
  • Kim Kardashian debuted a bob.
  • Gayle King also debuted a bob.
  • Yara Shahidi posed in pleather(?) with her Maltipoo.
  • Taylor Swift employed a menacing, rainbow waist-trainer.
  • Willow Smith, like me, purchased some Kombucha from the corner store.
  • Whitney Port and her Gucci crossbody were spotted at the farmer’s market.

They’re Just Like Us!

This is the “comedy corner,” where Us Weekly brings in a stand-up from the local Comedy Shack and tasks them with the incredible feat of making jokes about famouses.

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  • They grab a slice!
  • They shop for antiques!
  • They eat on the go!

What’s In My Bag:

A staple feature in Us Weekly’s arsenal, What’s In My Bag is usually an innocuous outlet for celebrities to breed relatability, shill their sponsored products, or grab the attention of the Daily Mail news circuit. Here’s what in Winnie Harlow’s “jam-packed Dior Diorama.”

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  • She always carries a travel size box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch for when she’s on airplanes.
  • She never leaves the house without a bottle of Pellegrino.
  • She “loves carrying Polaroids” because they’re “good memories, good vibes.”
  • Understandably, she plugs Rihanna’s FENTY lip-gloss.
  • She always has a Baby Bottle Pop and “only eats the sugar.” Excuse me?

There’s also a feature on Julianne Hough’s hockey husband, Brooks Laich, and his new podcast. I simply can ignore this!

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  • Us Weekly consistently delivers: “When you hear the name Brooks Lauch, you likely think “Julianne Hough’s husband. Now you can add podcast host to his impressive roster!”
  • His new podcast, “How Men Think,” is about “impacting the quality of people’s lives in a way that also entertains them.” He wants to have “high level” conversations about “topics I don’t know a lot about or feel strongly educated in.” Sounds like a recipe for success!
  • He brought Gavin Degraw on because “he’s a traveling artist” with a unique view on life. “I am blown away by his depth, his thought process, his authenticity. We want the conversation to be polarizing.”
  • Here’s a sample: In the first episode, they discuss gratitude and change. Deep!

25 Things You Didn’t Know About Me (with Erika Jayne)

The name speaks for itself.

  • She doesn’t like seaweed.
  • Her first car was a BMW.
  • She loves Target, CVS, and Walgreens.
  • She was fired from a go-go bar in New Jersey.
  • Her biggest pet peeve is when someone says “seent,” a very specific linguistic phrasing that makes me think this is a subtweet of her employees.
  • If she wasn’t a performer she’d be a “criminal mastermind.”
  • Mila Kunis once recognized her.
  • She plugs her Shoedazzle collection.
  • Her life in hashtags: #FuckingFabulous, #PrettyMess, #Billionairess.
  • Quoting Albert Einstein: “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”

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And that’s it! That’s literally the entire magazine. (The more you write about celebrities, the more you come to understand just how boring they are.)

Enjoy this week’s collage!