2009 was one of the craziest celebrity years of ALL TIME. Here's The Juice*'s third annual peek in the rearview mirror at 12 months in which the world met Glambert and Gaga, lost Jacko and Swayze, and we all learned the meaning of Twitter. — Compiled by Joshua Gillin firstname.lastname@example.org
MISS ANTI-MANNERS AWARD
Usually when Kanye West blabs about his opinions, IT'S IN ALL CAPS ON HIS BLOG, so no one really notices. Unfortunately, his greatest outburst came when Taylor Swift won Best Female Video for You Belong With Me at the MTV Video Music Awards. If ever we wondered what the greatest video of all time was, Kanye let us know. And we didn't even know Beyonce's Single Ladies was all that. At least Kanye acted contrite — he even actually called Swift after an appearance on The View. Don't let it be said he doesn't call a woman back, ladies!
JUICE*Y PERSON OF THE YEAR
Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta is the modern embodiment of the American dream. If at first you don't succeed at being famous, then make up a persona, dress in outrageous outfits, use your musical talents (she almost attended Juilliard) to create mindless but mildly entertaining dance tracks even if you can't sing that well, and watch the cash roll in. Yes, that's actually Lady Gaga playing the piano, although she hocks a leg up on the keyboard to make it "edgy." Yes, she claims she dresses this way all the time, although if you've seen paparazzi photos of her with friends, she dresses in nothing like her showstopping getups. Yes, she was signed to Def Jam at age 19 after being heard by L.A. Reid, but she claims to have never been approached by the man. Yes, she claims to be completely original, although her performances have been carefully crafted from years as a stripper and in a burlesque revue, and her very name is taken from Queen's Radio Ga Ga. Yes, she's apparently had some plastic surgery, but still sports a very uncommercial bone structure and a honkin' schnoz. She is the amalgamation of influences that is today's pop cultural landscape: a mashup of club hits, questionable fashion sense (really, what was up with that Kermit the Frog cape?), crass commercialism, classical ability and marketable talent. And her acceptance of — nay, desire for — this makes her our Juice*y Person of the Year.
THANK GOODNESS THAT'S OVER WITH AWARD
Jon and Kate Gosselin
We know we banned this pair from our pages, so we'll make it brief. All we can say about the show is, without the eight kids, it's about a doughy, unemployed slob with bad fashion sense and his spiky haired, OCD champion nagfest wife. Who wants to watch that?
WE ALL NEED COUNSELING AWARD
Chris Brown and Rihanna
When news broke that Chris Brown had beaten up his girlfriend Rihanna in February, the pair instantly went from power couple of R&B to the new Ike and Tina Turner. But even the most jaded gossip hounds (read: us) were appalled at the brutality of the incident. The match to this powderkeg: Rihanna accusing her boyfriend of getting text messages from another woman. Details of how Brown bashed Rihanna's head into a car window, choked her and bit her hand and fingers as she tried to fight him off turned him into a monster in the eyes of the media. But then strange things began to happen — or rather, not happen. Far from being abandoned by his fans, many, including a surprising number of women, were saying it was Rihanna's fault for daring to question her man. Instead of coming out immediately with an anti-abuse message, Rihanna kept quiet, and even asked a judge to be lenient on him. Brown went on tour after being sentenced to probation and community service, giving anyone and everyone a disjointed message that yes, he understands hitting women is wrong, but you have to realize he ain't like that. This is an attack none of us is liable to recover from soon.
HOW TO HANDLE A WOMANIZING SCANDAL AWARD
When word came that a man was busted for trying to extort David Letterman for having an affair with a female staffer, the Late Night host did something we expect of all celebrities, but rarely get: He came clean and said it was true. He devoted time on his show to explain that someone had threatened to destroy Dave's life in order to get $2 million from him. Well, his personal life may have its problems, but you'll note that the Letterman stories have stopped. It's simply not a good story when the wrongdoer admits doing wrong, but it points out it's really no one's business but his and his family's.
HOW NOT TO HANDLE A WOMANIZING SCANDAL AWARD
The Juice* tried to resist this one as long as it could, since every news outlet from here to Jupiter took it upon itself to single-handedly destroy the poster boy for making golf cool. But Tiger Woods made two mistakes here: not keeping his 9-iron in his pants and letting news of his profligate extramarital exploits break on a holiday weekend. While he initially tried to spin his SUV crash outside his home as an unfortunate accident, a gossip-starved media descended on his suburban Orlando home like a horde of locusts, finding every trashy mistress from here to Pebble Beach and back again, and promptly profiling them, quoting them and blogging about every single turn of phrase. All Tiger could muster was a weakly worded message on his Web site and a shroud of silence to rival the Communist Bloc. Meanwhile, the effigies burn, the sponsors drop and the total of women from every port continue to mount.
BIGGEST HYPOCRITE AWARD
When the former Miss California came in as runner-up for Miss USA, her troubles were just beginning. Claiming to be an all-American girl, she cried out that she lost because she expressed her opposition to gay marriage. She was stripped of her title in June because of "contract violations," officially that she hadn't been showing up for events. When she countersued, it was revealed that she'd posed for topless photos and had a sex tape, two things that are frowned upon in the pageant world (even if the sex tape starred just herself). She started saying it was because she was a conservative woman and somehow brought politics into the mix. Calling the sex tape the biggest mistake of her life, she touted a memoir titled Still Standing, despite the fact that EIGHT MORE solo sex tapes appeared. She played the conservative card again, threatening to walk out on Larry King after he dared ask about her videotaping habits. Which leads us to ask: Is the media really attacking you if you actually did the things they are saying about you?
MOST OVERBLOWN MUSIC PERFORMANCE
You mean Adam Lambert is gay, and gay people kiss people of their own gender? Shocking. But not as shocking as the backlash against this America Idol product, who took it upon himself to spice up the closing performance of the American Music Awards last month. So what if he kissed a band member and introduced a dancer's face to his crotch? It was after 11 p.m. on an awards show — most people had gone to bed by then.
MOST LIKELY TO BE ON 'CELEBRITY REHAB' AWARD
We hadn't seen hide nor hair of the erstwhile Andy Keaton, until he was charged last week with second-degree assault for hitting a friend in the face with a bar stool in Boulder, Colo. It seems the onetime contemporary of Michael J. Fox has fallen on hard times, allegedly violating probation from a 2-year-old charge of beating his girlfriend and abusing all manner of controlled substances. In addition, at some point between leaving Family Ties and becoming so broke he couldn't afford a $7,500 bond, Bonsall apparently went to a tattoo parlor and asked for a giant illustration of failure on his throat. Dr. Drew Pinsky will be waiting for you in two to six years, Bri.
WOMAN'S BEST FRIEND AWARD
Jessica Simpson's dog
Remember how Jessica's dog Daisy was snatched by a coyote from their Texas home? We're not going to rag on that, because that's kinda sad. Nick Lachey gave her that maltipoo! But like anyone who'd ever seen Newlyweds, we could tell you from jump that the poor dog was no more. So why were we being inundated with Twitter messages, Facebook updates and CNN breaking news alerts about finding that mutt? You'd think people on a Texas ranch would be more realistic about such things. Guess what? They didn't find that poor dog. We'd like to think it was simply escaping the Simpson homestead.