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Published Oct. 12, 2003|Updated Sep. 1, 2005

AND THEN THERE'S "PULLING A BRITNEY": Sideshow is now willing to say that Jessica Simpson is taking an unfair amount of criticism for the airheaded lines she utters on her MTV reality show, a habit that has spawned the phrase "pulling a Jessica."

How can we so easily have forgotten Britney Spears, another ditzy blond singer who has given us much bubbleheaded wisdom in the past? And with an album coming out next month, she is in fine form in an Esquire interview to promote it.

About that album, In the Zone, she said: "The record label wanted me to do certain kinds of songs, and I was like, "Look, if you want me to be some kind of sex thing, that's not me.' "

That would be wonderful by itself, but it comes on the heels of her near-nude Rolling Stone cover and her kiss with Madonna at the MTV Video Music Awards, and appears in an issue of Esquire in which she is on the cover in a short white sweater and high heels, re-creating a famous pose by Angie Dickinson.

She also tells the magazine: "I'm famous, but I'm not famous like freaking Brad Pitt or Jennifer Aniston." If she didn't have a music career, she would be a teacher, "because I love kids. Either that, or an entertainment lawyer."

"THE LORD OF THE RINGS,' AS TOLD BY FRODO'S EVIL TWIN: The first details are trickling in about the stage musical version of The Lord of the Rings scheduled to premiere in 2005.

The most interesting is that it won't have a lot to do with what J.R.R. Tolkien wrote.

"Tolkien wrote the story like it was history, and that is how we are treating it," director Matthew Warchus told the New York Times after the first workshop performance. "This will be a different account of events. It's sort of like different versions of the Gospels."

And Warchus doesn't care if Rings purists start spewing indignation of biblical proportions. To him, it's like defending his choice to serve only one kind of chip dip at a party: "It's impossible to please everyone," he said.

WHAT'S HOBBIT-SPEAK FOR "HAKUNA MATATA"? As for the songs in the Rings musical, Warchus is comparing them to those in The Lion King, but the folky ones, the New York Times says.

BORED WITH OBSESSING OVER THE WEDDING, THE NATION TURNS TO JENNIFER LOPEZ'S LIPS: "Even though it appears that Jennifer Lopez has had her lips reduced, lip enlargement is continuing to increase in popularity," says a news release from Dr. Edward Domanskis, a plastic surgeon in Newport Beach, Calif.

In the past five years, the number of lip enlargements has gone from too few to keep track of to 20,000 in the past year, the release says, citing the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.

No figures are given for lip reductions.


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