Celebrity sex! Meltdowns! Rumors! Paternity battles and more!

In Nothing Personal's third annual Readers' Choice Awards, Salon's avid gossip fans make their predictions for 2002.


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Amy Reiter
December 28, 2001 1:00AM (UTC)

Welcome to the third annual Nothing Personal Readers' Choice Awards, that most special occasion when you guys get to be meaner, nastier and funnier than I get to be all year long.

Since Joan Rivers is not here to assault our hapless recipients as they make their way along the red carpet (busy as she is readying herself to accept her own "honorable mention") -- and since my eyeballs are vibrating from sorting through the incredible onslaught of responses that came in this year -- let's get right down to the award-doling business.

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You nominated. I picked. And here they are, the "winners" of the 2001 Nothing Personal Readers' Choice Awards:

1) The Hollywood mother type you'd be most horrified to find getting it on with the slim, shady rapper:

The winner is ...

Florence Henderson: "I just know that underneath Eminem's tough-talking tattooed exterior, there is a Greg Brady just waiting to come out."; "The thought of Marshall Mathers bumping nasties with his Flo-Ho just makes my skin crawl"; "You just know it's at least crossed Flo's mind"; "Marshall Mathers may have a certain Wessonality, but I'll be damned if I want to think about it."

Honorable mentions:

Sally Field: "I can just see her crying 'You like me, you really like me"; "I don't care if he really likes her. That would creep me out."

June Cleaver (Barbara Billingsley): "What would Eddie Haskell think?"; "I may reconsider if they got together in a three-way with Eddie Haskell."

Cher: "So scary, yet so likely."

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Nicole Kidman: "Seems like she's on a high with Oscar buzz, and canoodling with a buzz-saw-wielding rapper may provide just the headlines she needs 'for our consideration.'"

Elizabeth Taylor: "Her affection for misunderstood, sexually confused boy toys is historically proven."

Joan Rivers: "Of course."

Annette Bening: "Because I'd hate to see Warren Beatty unleashed on a new generation of young female stars."

Marion Ross: "After buying the part of Ralph Malph in the hit Broadway musical version of 'Happy Days,' Eminem woos the geriatric honey by rapping: 'I'm the Malph with the Glock and I don't take no shit / from two-bit Potsies of Fonzie pimps / I'll eat Joni's brain and Howard's liver / I'll kick Chachi's ass and barf up Richie's retainer."

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Marge Simpson

2) The celebrity most likely to suffer a Mariah-esque meltdown in the coming year:

The winner is ...

Winona Ryder: "The shoplifting incident is a cry for help. If and when the surveillance footage is released and indeed shows her craftily cutting off those sensor tags, look for a sequel to 'Girl, Interrupted' coming to a theater near you."

Honorable mentions:

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Britney Spears: "She'll collapse after being stalked by Bob Dole"; "Nuptial excitement gone haywire"; "Rug burn from excessive costume changes"; "Justin dumps her for Christina Aguilera. Then she'll get busted for shoplifting. Finally, in a last-ditch effort to save her flagging career, she'll do a Playboy spread, head for Vegas and marry a blackjack dealer named Spike"; "Pressure of remaining a 'virginal' role model is too much to take"; "Excessive consumption of sugar"; "Saline disaster"; "It'll just be a good career move"; "The stress from having to make a '2' when she writes her age overwhelms her."

Jennifer Lopez: "When her butt fails to recover from pregnancy, the insurance company refuses to pay up. She's found camped outside the courthouse, begging for decent clothes."

The Baldwin brothers: "They finally lose it when they are parodied in 'South Park II: Bigger, Harder and Ready to Explode.'"

Melanie Griffith: "Her plastic surgeon will insists he can't make her lips any bigger, so Antonio will leave her for Angelina Jolie."

Pink: "Because it's not easy being Pink."

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Mandy Moore: "Overdose of lip gloss."

George Clooney: "He'll go over the edge when he discovers that arch-nemesis Bill O'Reilly is named People's 'Sexiest Man Alive.'"

Donald Rumsfeld: "His popular, flashy press briefings have created huge expectations by his fans -- and he'll crash and burn next year, showing up at a press conference in an aloha shirt and boxers, bottle of ouzo in one hand and a floozy on his arm, spewing obscenities, ranting about the 'good old days' of the Cold War, and defacing and trashing the situation map in a demonstration of 'grade A guvernmint-issue whoop-ass.'"

Michael Jackson: "He'll finally install mirrors in Neverland and realize he has no nose, and -- oh my gosh! -- he doesn't even have a face!"

Beyonci Knowles: "She'll begin speaking in three distinct voices, continue calling herself a girl group and finally implode when plans for her own reunion fall apart due to lack of advance sales."

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Gwyneth Paltrow: "Panic attacks upon discovering Jennifer Aniston's pregnant."

Martin Sheen: "When he orders airstrikes on Iraq only to learn he's not really the president."

Haley Joel Osment: "He's driven mad by a vision of his future."

3) The celebrity most likely to find him/herself embroiled in a messy paternity suit:

The winner is ...

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Tom Cruise: "He'll sue Kyle Bradford, who, after his upcoming sex change, will be Kylie Bradford and will claim to be pregnant with Tom's baby"; "He'll sue several random knockees for paternity rights, just to prove once and for all he's really -- HELLO, do you hear him? -- not gay."

Honorable mentions:

Justin Timberlake: "He'll father a child by Britney Spears, who will continue to lay claim to her virginity."

Britney Spears: "Justin Timberlake, when asked about it by Jay Leno, replies, 'The father? Throw a rock in the air, dude."

Ben Affleck & Matt Damon: "They'll find themselves involved in a paternity battle with actress Kim 'Tootie' Fields, claiming that they both fathered her child."

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Russell Crowe: "Winona Ryder is the knockee. He's in a band, after all ... "

Madonna: "In an amazingly bodacious publicity stunt, she'll claim to be pregnant with the second coming of the Messiah. She will file papers with the Vatican seeking child support."

Pamela Anderson: "By Kid Rock ... She just doesn't learn."

Garry Shandling: "He'll impregnate Calista Flockhart, but insiders will insist her distended belly is merely the result of half a Philly cheesesteak."

Christina Aguilera: "She'll blame Justin Timberlake."

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Jenna Bush: "The father will be Colby Donaldson."

4) The longtime celebrity couple most likely to head to splitsville:

The winner is ...

Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver: "He'll leave her for Chyna"; "She'll leave him for Senator Jeffords."

Honorable mentions:

Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward: "Surely she's getting tired of his spaghetti sauce by now."

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Siegfried and Roy: "It'll be the tigers that come between them"; "Roy claims to have innocently thought he was wrestling with just another white tiger, but Christina Aguilera's weave is revealed as the saucy estate-wrecker."

John Travolta and Kelly Preston: "Blame L. Ron Hubbard."

Britney and Justin: "She gets pissed when he records, 'I'm Not a Man, Not Yet Really Tied Down to a Woman.'"

Danny DeVito and Rhea Pearlman: "Broken up by Helena Bonham Carter. Who else?"

Will and Jada Pinkett Smith: "He'll leave her for himself."

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Warren Beatty and Annette Bening: "Jerri from 'Survivor' will break them up."

Regis and Joy Philbin: "Weak link caused by that vixen Ann Robinson!"

5) The celebrity who'd get your vote for U.S. prez:

The winner is ...

Martin Sheen: "Job experience"; "Because he's at least as good an actor as Ronald Reagan"; "Because he deserves a second term. Wait, are you telling me he's not really president?"

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Honorable mentions:

Tom Green: "Imagine him at a peace summit with Yasser Arafat and Ariel Sharon!"

Robin Williams: "Really."

David Lynch: "Politics in this country has gotten so weird that I just want somebody who can bring Washington back down to Earth a little."

Harrison Ford: "Charisma, charisma, charisma."

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Warren Beatty: "He was into politics before it was the new celebrity hobby."

Hunter S. Thompson: "The presidential debates would be by far the most entertaining ever."

Jesse Ventura: "Because he believes in assisted suicide, and after he's elected, we might all want to consider that option."

Matthew McConaughey: "Because the pro-hemp lobby gets stronger and more politically savvy every year. His running mate? Woody Harrelson, of course."

Clint Eastwood: "His combination of progressive values with 'make my day' violence prevention makes for sound domestic policy."

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Samuel L. Jackson: "This world would finally know the truth about how smoove we can be."

Mr. Rogers: "I just want to see if he'll keep his boat shoes and sweater in the same closet where Clinton fondled that woman, Miss Lewinsky."

Susan Sarandon: "She's whip smart, she knows her politics, and she keeps her private life private."

James Earl Jones: "Because he actually sounds intelligent and authoritative."

Billy Bob Thornton: "If only to see the presidential seal tattoos."

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Neil Young: "'Rockin' in the Free World' becomes new national anthem and Crazy Horse is appointed to fill the Cabinet. Plus, we'd finally have an 'official weed of the United States.'"

Barbra: "Who wouldn't vote for someone with such sensible advice for Californians as to hang your wash on a clothesline to conserve energy? I'm sure her help does her laundry just as she recommends. And she loves people."

Jim Carrey: "Because then it would really be dumb and dumber."

Gene Hackman: "Just so he wouldn't have to do his own driving."

Drew Carey: "Anyone who can dream up caffeinated beer belongs in the White House."

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Tom Hanks: "Stable home life. Tremendous public support. Every man's man. A shoe-in for political office."

Martha Stewart: "She has the poise, charm and ability to a) delegate all her work to a massive staff while b) taking all the credit for their accomplishments that would make running the U.S. a cinch."

Hugh Jackman: "I think it's high time we had a president who didn't require the rejoinder, 'I bet they were hot when they were younger.'"

6) The celebrity most likely to make an incredible claim in the year ahead:

The winner is ...

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George W. Bush: "He'll declare that he writes his own speeches;" "He'll claim that he actually finished that biography of Dean Atcheson he said he was reading on the campaign trail, and that he can't wait for the movie."

Honorable mentions:

Dr. Dre: "He'll claim that he's never smoked weed and the whole reason he ever rapped about it was for the "kids.'"

Ellen DeGeneres: "She'll declare that she's straight."

George Clooney: "He'll insist he's a one-woman guy."

Michael Jackson: "He'll announce that he's leaving public life because the camera flashes are detrimental to his delicate complexion."

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J.Lo.: "She will declare that she is low-maintenance."

Beyonci Knowles: "She'll claim that Destiny's Child was a beautiful friendship and meeting of artistic minds, and not just a means to an end."

Denise Richards: "She'll claim that she's actually a physicist."

Carrot Top: "He'll insist that he's 'proud to be over.'"

Britney Spears: "The release of her next book, 'Proud to be a Virgin,' will be timed to coincide with the delivery of her first child by Justin Timberlake."

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Kathie Lee Gifford: "She'll appear in a bikini-waxing gun infomercial and proclaim during the scripted, introductory small talk: 'Since leaving my show with Regis, I'm overwhelmed with new career opportunities. Things have never been better, especially since I've bought the Bushtamer 3000."

7) The TV show you'd most like to see singing and dancing its way onto Broadway:

The winner is ...

"Survivor: The Musical": "I can't wait for the duet between Richard Hatch and Jerri Manthey!"

Honorable mentions:

"Beavis and Butt-head: The Musical"

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"COPS: The Musical": "Musical numbers will include 'Are You Lying To Me?', 'I'm Calling For Backup,' and the catchy show-stopper 'There He Goes -- Get Him!' Unfavorable reviews will describe it as a cross between 'Cop Rock' and 'Oz.'"

"Temptation Island: The Musical"

"Everyone Loves Raymond: The Musical"

"Seinfeld: The Musical"

"The Brady Bunch: The Musical"

"The Dukes of Hazzard: The Musical"

"Sanford and Son, The Musical": "Hey, c'mon, it would be huge! There would have to be a mournful ballad called "Hold on, Elizabeth, I'm on my way."

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"Roots: The Musical"

"Rhoda: The Musical"

"Law and Order: The Musical"

"Mr. Ed: The Musical"

"West Wing: The Musical"

"MASH: The Musical"

"X-Files: The Musical": "Trippy!"

"The A-Team: The Musical: "Guns, explosions, crashing cars -- it has all the ingredients of a Broadway smash"; "I pity the fool who won't see that one."

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"Who's the Boss? The Musical"

"When Animals Attack: The Musical": "They could enjoy economies of scale by using/ripping to shreds old "Lion King" costumes."

"The Newshour with Jim Lehrer: The Musical": "With Jack Nicholson in the title role."

"The Sopranos: The Musical": "Though maybe it'd be better as an opera."

"Airwolf": "Because an unemployed Jan-Michael Vincent is a murder spree waiting to happen."

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"Twin Peaks: The Musical"

"Good Times: The Musical": "With the triumphant return of Jimmy "J.J." Walker? Dyn-o-mite!"

"Laverne and Shirley: The Musical": "For the theme song alone."

"Real World: The Musical": "All of the cast is plucked from the audience and forced to learn the score and lyrics in front of us. The directors walk around the stage whispering in all their ears about how fat they look."

"7th Heaven: The Musical": "The only thing better than a musical would be a production on ice."

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"Northern Exposure: The Musical": "Live moose walking around onstage!"

"Baywatch: The Musical": "While singing the plaintive tunes that have made him such a pop legend in Germany, Hasselhoff could end the show getting broadsided by the thousand silicone breast implants the show's producers strong-armed the 'girls' into stuffing their pectoral cavities like overstuffed luggage."

"Big Brother: The Musical": "Use the costumers from 'The Lion King,' add a dab of 'Waiting for Godot,' a smattering of 'Starlight Express' and you could just line up the Tony Awards on your dresser, you insane genius, you."

8) The celebrity you'd be cool with your spouse sleeping with:

The winner is ...

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Michael Jackson: "That way I know nothing will happen."

Honorable Mentions:

Angelina Jolie: "Because I could probably sleep with her, too."

Martha Stewart: "I could use the decorating advice."

David Bowie:"It wouldn't be infidelity; it would be a privilege."

Jason Alexander:"I just couldn't possibly get jealous."

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Tom Cruise: "Well, maybe not. We're gay, and I don't want to get sued."

Leonardo di Caprio: "Because they're both self-obsessed, childlike men."

Elmo from Sesame Street: "He's awfully cuddly."

Bill Gates: "As long as (1) he leaves his trade-secret-filled laptop in the living room for me to peruse, and (2) I don't have to watch."

Anthony Michael Hall: "I don't have a spouse, but any future relationship I might have would be subject to the 'Anthony Michael Hall' escape clause."

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Strom Thurmond: "Not likely to threaten her fidelity."

Antonio Banderas: "He's a good-looking dude. (I am secure enough in my masculinity to admit this.)"

Ellen DeGeneres: "She'd keep him laughing, and she'd never fall for him."

Pauly Shore: "He is really annoying and that would give me an excuse to beat the snot out of him. Of course, if he beat the snot out of me, that would be, like, totally bogus."

9) The ancient celebrity rumor you'd be sorriest to see go:

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The winner is ...

Richard Gere and the gerbil: "I'd hate to see the end (tee-hee) of that one."

Honorable mentions:

"Paul Is Dead": "Though you just know someone will try to run an Old Paul/New Paul DNA test one of these days."

Elvis lives on: "I saw him just the other day at a truck stop in Idaho."

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10) The celebrity you secretly suspect is way more normal than he/she would have us believe:

The winner (by a landslide) is ...

Marilyn Manson: "He's so obviously just a couch potato with delusions of grandeur. I think he goes home, takes out the satanic contacts and tries to figure out which potpie to make for dinner, which romantic comedy to watch and which wildlife charities to write one of his Snoopy checks to"; "He shops at Abercrombie & Fitch, dines at TGI Friday's and secretly admires U2's pragmatic optimism"; "I bet he lives in the 'burbs with a dog and a cat and picket fences. He probably hangs out at the Moose lodge drinking Roy Rogers, complaining about taxes and pretending to know more than the coach of his favorite pro football team"; "At home he likes to put on a crisp pair of khakis and watch the local news in his perfectly worn in Lazyboy recliner"; "I can just imagine him taking the kids to soccer practice in an SUV while listening to the latest Anita Baker CD."

Honorable mentions:

Anne Heche

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Michael Jackson

Bonus: And the "Never met a charity I didn't like" award goes jointly to ... Sting and Bono


Amy Reiter

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