The Fix

Simpson fumbles Dolly. Madonna's adoption plans upsetting Ritchie? Plus: Paltrow "proud to be American."

By Scott Lamb
Published December 5, 2006 2:30PM (EST)

Morning Briefing:
Simpson's bad Dolly: Jessica Simpson's attempted tribute to Dolly Parton at the Kennedy Center Honors on Sunday night -- where Parton was one of five honorees -- ended in stunned silence. Simpson came out to sing Parton's hit "9 to 5," but tiptoed timidly through the song, barely singing the words and clutching at her tummy. She then fled the stage early, saying "so nervous" before disappearing. Simpson was in tears when she later reappeared onstage as part of an ensemble tribute to Dolly. As Simpson's flack explained to Page Six: "Jessica was overcome with emotion while performing because she's idolized Dolly her whole life." (Page Six)

Tension chez Madonna? With the pop diva reportedly wanting to adopt another baby from Malawi, all is allegedly not well at home between Madonna and Guy Ritchie. "She drove the whole adoption process on from start to finish and Guy was left trailing in her slipstream just nodding and going along with things," a source close to the couple tells the U.K.'s People. "Guy doesn't want to go through all the media attention again, which he hates ... he thinks they should be both concentrating on their own relationship at this time, not adding a new one." (Via the Scoop)

Mel -- the man, the myth: The New York Times on Tuesday parses the dilemma facing Oscar voters as they contemplate Mel Gibson's "Apocalypto" -- how to separate Mel the man from Mel the director? While noting that "at least one influential publicist has declined to work on an 'Apocalypto' Oscar campaign because of objections to Mr. Gibson's views," the Times wonders, "And yet, can the 5,830 voting members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences -- an organization that like broader Hollywood, includes many people who are Jewish -- ignore a film that may well be considered by critics to be among the best of the year?" (N.Y. Times)

"Prison Break" star Lane Garrison has hired a lawyer in the wake of a traffic accident on Saturday in which a 17-year-old boy riding in the back seat was killed when Garrison's car jumped the median and crashed into a tree. The actor's blood tests -- which may show that he was either intoxicated or on drugs -- have not yet come back. (TMZ) ... Rumors say Jay-Z and Beyoncé Knowles will finally get hitched this weekend during the rapper's 37th birthday festivities. A source tells Page Six: "Beyoncé is throwing Jay a four-day birthday party, but it's really a wedding." (Page Six) ... Actor Rip Torn was arrested Monday night in North Salem, N.Y., for DWI after getting in an accident, but refused to submit to a blood-alcohol test. He was last arrested for drunken driving in 2004, but was found not guilty despite his angry on-camera rant against his arresting officers. (TMZ) ... David Letterman has signed on for four more years with CBS, keeping his show on the air until 2010 at least. (L.A. Times) ... "The Cross," by James Patterson, stays atop this week's New York Times bestsellers fiction list, while John Grisham tops the nonfiction list with "The Innocent Man." (N.Y. Times) ... Max, George Clooney's pet potbellied pig -- with whom the actor once said he'd enjoyed "the longest relationship of my life" -- died on Friday. "I was really surprised, because he's been a big part of my life," Clooney told USA Today. He said isn't planning to replace the oinker: "I think Max covered all my pig needs." (BBC News) ... Now that he has plenty of free time on his hands, Donald Rumsfeld needs your help playing dress-up -- ballerina, hobo, C3P0 or a mix of all three, it's up to you. (Via

Money Quote:
Gwyneth Paltrow, denying that she recently told a Portuguese newspaper that "the British are much more intelligent and civilized than the Americans": "First of all I feel so lucky to be American. When you look at the rest of the world, we're so lucky, and that's something my dad always instilled in me. I feel so proud to be American ... This is what I said: I said that Europe is a much older culture and there's a difference. I always say in America, people live to work and in Europe, people work to live. There are positives in both. Obviously I need to go back to seventh-grade Spanish!" (People)

Turn On:
Tuesday night, the holiday classic "Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town" (ABC, 8 p.m. EST) is followed later by "The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show" (CBS, 10 p.m. EST), while there's a new episode of "Nip/Tuck" (FX, 10 p.m. EST).

On the Talk Shows:
Larry King (CNN, 9 p.m. EST): Kathy Griffin
David Letterman (CBS, 11:30 p.m. EST): Ventriloquist Jay Johnson and Darwin, Patrick Dempsey, Kasabian (repeat)
Jay Leno (NBC, 11:35 p.m. EST): Dennis Miller, San Diego Charger LaDainian Tomlinson, K.T. Tunstall
Conan O'Brien (NBC, 12:35 a.m. EST): Kevin Nealon, Deftones
Craig Ferguson (CBS, 12:35 a.m. EST): Ice-T, Henry Cho
Jimmy Kimmel (ABC, 12:05 a.m. EST): David Allen Grier, Tatum O'Neal, Lily Allen
Jon Stewart (Comedy Central, 11 p.m. EST): Sen. John Danforth
Stephen Colbert (Comedy Central, 11:30 p.m. EST): Steven D. Leavitt

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Scott Lamb

Scott Lamb is a senior editor at

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