Build Up and Release


By Matthew Breen


Britney Spears

Anticipation: 10. The poor thing lives with paparazzi parasites permanently in tow. Anticipation is permanently at a fever pitch.
Payoff: 20. Alphabetically: Car bashing, car crashing, divorce, drug tests, haircut, losing custody, losing visitation, rehab, rehab again, and the disastrous VMAs: a snark's dream come true.

Jennifer Hudson's Oscar

Anticipation: 8. She was dynamite as Effie and we wanted her to win.
Payoff: 5. She won and it was lovely. But we're still pissed about Brokeback.

Justin Timberlake Conquers the World

Anticipation: 7. We knew his big concert on HBO would be a hit, but JT also hit the big screen in a big way with Shrek the Third, Black Snake Moan, and Alpha Dog, and got favorable reviews. A big HBO concert was icing on the cake. And he never got arrested, threw a public hissy fit, or entered rehab.
Payoff: 8. Getting am Emmy for 'Dick in a Box' was pure genius.

Paris Hilton as Ann-Margret in Kitten with a Whip

Anticipation: 7. Our Paris fatigue started long ago, but -- a light at the end of the tunnel -- she was going to jail!
Payoff: 4. Apart from the 24-hour news channel's zeal for tracking her O.J.-style, she's been boringly mum since the hoosegow.

Lindsay Lohan

Anticipation: 6. Broadway might not go for booze and dope, but Hollywood does.
Payoff: 3. Successful rehab? We're not holding our breath that it sticks this time.

Kanye West

Anticipation: 7. Graduation was poised to hit it big, and it did, in sales.
Payoff: 9. His category 4 hissy fit -- furtively recorded backstage at the VMAs -- was his best video yet. Forget MTV, Kanye. We'll give you an award!