Jessica Simpson tries like hell to get noticed.
Recently on MTV I discovered a contest, hosted by the ubiquitous Carson Daly, called “Celebrity Dream Date: Jessica Simpson.” 3 fellers were up there aiming to win said date with said popstar.
The problem was, I couldn’t locate Simpson on the stage. There was Daly and his bland, olive loaf smile. There were the three galoops vying for her hand. But where was Jessica? All I could see was a spandex-clad Britney facsimile with plenty of sow-able wild oats and none of Ms. Spears wink-wink nod-nod sex appeal.
If you don’t know (or care), Jessica Simpson is a late comer to the Nubile Popstar Category. But unfortunately for her, all of the good public images had already been tried on by the other girls. First on the scene, Britney’s people molded their charge into a wholesome, yet wholly sexual being who appeals to little girls’ dreams and their older brothers’ fantasies all at once. Followup diva Christina Aguilera’s niche was her Latin background and truly powerful singing voice.
And Jessica? Well…
After signing her to Columbia, label figurehead Tommy “Yeah, I Fucked Mariah Carey” Mottola simply talked up his new girl’s Christian rock upbringing while making up her 18-year old mug to look like a slutty Christie Brinkley. But Britney started milking the good little Christian girl routine in 1998, leaving little room for another pretty young thing cut from the same southern cloth. And with Britney’s routines come only the suggestion of sex. Simpson’s overdone makeup, Carey-esque vocal posturing and dull-lidded glare? Well, let’s just say she’s ready to start sleeping through church. Because of her tardy (and tawdry) arrival to the game, the girl’ll never be anything more than an also-ran, making overt sex appeal her only tangible sales tool. It’s goddamn cold standing in Britney’s shadow. And thus poor Jessica is left balancing on a popstar highwire stretched precariously across a chasm of Penthouse photo shoots and top-lifting appearances on The Howard Stern Show.
According to Jessica’s official bio, “she possesses a voice that is capable of expressing the heartache of first love and the wondrous possibilities of an everlasting tomorrow.” But all she was expressing Monday on MTV was a desire to watch her potential suitors make asses of themselves in front of a jostling crowd of shirtless white college kids. She went through the appropriate motions, smiling wanly at Daly’s platitudes and revving up the crowd with an artificial excitement that those forced to slum in an MTV “celebrity” dating show must mainline backstage. But the sad truth is that no one really knows who Jessica Simpson is, beyond those 70s Farrah glasses and white stretch pants. The jackasses jockeying for a slot next to her would probably line dance on rollerskates for any blonde with a figure such as hers, minor celebrity status or not.
Britney has joined the hallowed pantheon of Pepsi hawkers on her way to a movie career. Christina is crooning with Ricky to further solidify each others’ Latin street cred. They’ve moved on from tripe like MTV’s Spring Break programming. But there’s Jessica Simpson, standing on a stage in Mexico, slugging it out with Carson Daly and a bunch of brainless undergrads, trying like mad to be noticed anyway she can. It’s just my opinion, but I’m pretty sure the dopes in the crowd weren’t applauding so much for Jessica’s new, slow-jammin’ single as much as they were for her phenomenal gams.
Someone get Jim J Bullock on the horn. Are there any open spots on Hollywood Squares?