Friday, August 19, 2005

Us Weekly Photo Death Match - Issue 550 - Aug. 29, 2005 (Aniston By 2)

This is one for the books, people. Seriously, take a long breath, because I'm taking you deep this week. Please, do not attempt to wade through this week's issue alone. Without my stern, fatherly hand, readers may experience the kind of hurt confusion that usually stems from tuning in to Bring It On Again fifteen minutes late.

(1) Jennifer Aniston. 10 images.
UN Spacy's heart has been with Aniston through two straight weeks of grotesque Us humiliation, often at the hands of her ex-husband and his lippy lover. So it's with relief and a sense of righteous entitlement that UN Spacy calls this one for Jen amid controversy and glaring technicalities. You see, Us loves to show pictures of stars gazing at or preening near copies of Us. You'll recall that last week's cover featured Brad and Jen, and no less than three of Jen's ten are the result of Nicole Richie's and Ryan Seacrest's proximity to copies of that issue. This counts, people, and it crowns a new queen. UN Spacy's more "pomo" readers will take additional pleasure in knowing that Jen's win this week was way meta.

(2) Jennifer Garner. 8 images.
(tie) Ben Affleck. 8 images.
These expecting cover darlings win solely on the basis of their feature article, which covers all the usual Baby Machine Weekly topics. Even if they're the most yawn-inducing celebrity couple of all time, they did the impossible by both beating Photo Death Match titan Jessica Simpson, who, I should mention, is going to save the goddamn world plus maintain a sexy bikini bod! Expect the arrival of the couple's new (coughdemonseedcough) baby girl to keep them on or near the top late in the year.

(4) Cojo. 7 images.
After his body rejected a recent kidney transplant, Steven Cojocaru is again in need of a new kidney, which earns him a feature story. Seriously, I won't tolerate any questioning of Cojo's impressive performance. He may look like Dave Grohl's muppet doppelganger, but really, where would Us (or us) be without Cojo?

(5) Matt LeBlanc. 6 images.
(tie) Jessica Alba. 6 images.
Yammer on about lapdances long enough, and you might just find a backdoor entrance to the winners circle. Well played, Matt. Well played. Alba was basically a given on this list, to my mind, if only because of those bikini-readjusting shots that just won't stop rearing their blurry heads. That and she's a trained sonar expert.

(tie) Rachel McAdams. 6 images.
Ms. McAdams presents a special case - two of her six are technicalites. One shot features McAdams standing in front of a mirror; given that we see both McAdams and her reflection, I chalked it as a double. I'm willing to entertain debate on that one. One I won't accept debate on is an ad for her new Red Eye, which shows only a dainty, feminine hand arched in desperate terror below McAdam's starring credit. I realize that there's about a 0.7% chance that it's actually McAdams hand, but in this smoke-and-mirrors biz, I can't see that it makes a difference. Beyonce's own ass was airbrush-reduced for her Maxim cover, and Tara Reid's rack isn't real either, so I'm calling this one official. Love it or hate it, but deal with it. McAdams, UN Spacy welcomes you to the games.

(tie) Jessica Simpson. 6 images.
Last, but obviously not least, Our Savior's Us approval ratings have plummeted, settling for a troubling half of last week's coverage. Seemingly invincible, the last time Jess couldn't muster a win, it was only because Jude Law balled his unattractive nanny on a goddamn pool table! Clearly Simpson doesn't work in a vacuum - a week ago no one could've predicted she'd fall to the hands of Cojo or LeBlanc. All the same, Simpson could've done a great, great deal more to keep her numbers steeled. Though I don't have a polling staff at my disposal, my suspicion is that Us readers are disatisfied with Simpson's follow-through and resolve on her promised saving of the world. It's been seven days, and I dunno if you've looked out a window lately, Jess, but the world looks pretty much un-saved right now. That might be acceptable, but only if the public feels strongly that a firm world-saving plan is in place. I don't want to sound reactionary, but I think I speak for many Us readers when I say that you've lead us into something of a quagmire. That, or you have a $200,000.00 (or more) exclusive contract with OK!

Other notables include Brad Pitt, who racks up five through the same technicality that rocketed Aniston to number one. Meanwhile Angelina Jolie drops to three shots, with Maddox (1) and Zahara (2) lagging further. Paris, LiLo, and Nicole snag five apiece, which is only respectable if compared to their recent failures. Britney Spears can't elevate herself beyond one shot - and she's pregnant! Sienna Miller, one of August's three number ones, appears only once. Eva Longoria (who I expect to perform well next week) shows up twice. Hilary Duff again surprises me, scoring four - but two of those are from an ad, and one is with Rob Schneider, which surely warrants a point deduction of some kind.

Next week I see Tara Reid, Eva Longoria, Diddy, Eminem, and Mandy Moore bringing the heat, but after the mayhem of the last two weeks, I won't make any guesses on who scores the top spot.

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