Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Us Weekly Photo Death Match - Issue 553 - Sept. 19, 2005 (Spears By 4)

Nothing I can say will prepare you for what follows. This arrived in the mail late Monday afternoon. I immediately processed the data, but it took me the whole night to actually let myself believe what's happened in this issue.

(1) Britney Spears. 12 images.
And the winner is... not Jessica Simpson. So begins this week's clash of the also-ran. Britney's win has everything to do with an Us regurgitation of Elle's recent photo shoot (including this picture) and some quoted highlights from the accompanying interview, which contains no interesting information.

(2) Lindsay Lohan. 8 images.
It is really, really great to have Lindsay back. Even though she has less photos in this ish than last week's, she climbs two spots from last week's Number 4 position. And she does it the way only LiLo can - without lifting a finger. No cover story, no interview, no style secrets page. She places simply because Us knows that, for lack topical content to print, pictures of Lindsay are the best use of page space. A piece on the end of summer? How 'bout Lindsay in a bikini? Hurricane Katrina? How 'bout LiLo in a formal? While we're at it, how 'bout just "Lindsay Lohan took to the streets of NYC Sept. 2"? That is star power.

(3) Jennifer Lopez. 6 images.
(tie) Brad Pitt. 6 images.
Is it scaring the crap out of you yet that you've still not seen the name of Our Savior on this scoresheet? Because it still scares me, and I've had a night to sleep on it. J.Lo wins simply by virtue of Jessica's absense, and Brad Pitt is the linking figure in a whole summer's worth of cover stories, hence his admirable position.

(5) Angelina Jolie. 5 images.
(tie) Jennifer Aniston. 5 images.
(tie) Paris Hilton. 5 images.
Like Pitt, Jolie and Aniston are still working off their amazing summer of headline-grabbing. They've delivered some tough blows to one another, but this week lazily settle for an unremarkable tie for Number Five. More exciting is Paris Hilton's return to the games. Five pics is by no means a miraculous week, but it's my hope and belief that she can translate this into some momentum and reclaim the crown that is by right hers. Everything I said about Lindsay above goes double for Paris, it's just that Paris hasn't been flexing her powers much lately.

So just what did happen to Jessica Simpson? She scored a dizzyingly low two shots. I'm telling you, as I turned the last page I threw up in my mouth a little. This is freaking unheard of, people. To put this into perspective, Jessica did not better than Kimberly Stewart this week. Ditto DJ AM, Calista Flockhart, Fergie and Debra Messing. You getting what I'm saying? Jessica was outperformed by Rachel McAdams (4). Lemme step it up a notch here. One of Jessica's two shots was in Fashion Police! And the other was a "Who Wore It Best?" survey... against Haylie Duff! The best Our Savior can do is out-poll the grotesque skeleton in Hilary Duff's plush-toy-and-lipgloss-filled closet! But let's not work ourselves into a panic. Gleeful cries of "Ding-dong the witch is dead" notwithstanding, I think it foolish to assume she's left the games for long. Perhaps this was just a slap on the wrist for the OK! contract - but this is officially the last time I let Jess use that excuse.

This week's other poor performers include last week's best-dressed bobblehead Nicole Richie (1), Us Weekly's patron saint Sienna Miller (1), and Hilary Duff (1). Also Jessica Alba (1), which is crazy when you consider her pole-vaulting skills.

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