‘American Idol’ Revs Up for Fifth Season

Gah, it feels like it’s been forever since I wrote the last edition of “Gossip.”

Oh wait, it has. Is it just me, or was winter break the longest break ever?

I feel like we were out of school for like three months. I almost didn’t come back. Anyway, as promised, here is the holiday wrap-up edition of “Gossip.”

Y’all know that I usually start the column off by talking about my girl, Britney Spears. I’d really like to have some kind of juicy something to talk about, but, sadly, I don’t.

She didn’t do anything over the holiday but walk around looking trashy, sometimes with Kevin, sometimes with Sean Preston and sometimes by herself.

The Federline family made a trip to Vegas, but nothing happened there, either. Oh yeah, she got her hair extensions taken out. Yep, that’s about it.

I think 2005 can be officially deemed the Year-O-Break-ups. Everyone broke up or got and Reese Witherspoon for “Walk the Line,” Geena Davis for ABC’s “Commander in Chief” and Felicity Huffman for “Transamerica.”

“Brokeback Mountain” also won several awards, including Best Picture (Drama) and Best Director (Ang Lee). I saw “Brokeback” in Tupelo last weekend, and it was definitely one of the best movies of the year (and that I’ve ever seen, ever).

I’d recommend it to anyone, and I really hope it comes to Oxford.

One of the new features for this semester’s edition of “Gossip” is coverage of Fox’s “American Idol.” That show is so good!

I wasn’t really excited about it this year, but when I sat down Tuesday night to watch the two-hour premiere episode, I was instantly reminded of why I love it so much.

There isn’t much to say about it right now because it’s just the auditions, but when they get to the top people, and especially the top 12, you guys will know my opinion.

Last year, I was behind Carrie Underwood the entire time. I hope someone like her sticks out to me (and then wins!) again this year.

In other “American Idol” news, season-one winner Kelly Clarkson had a little tiff with the show earlier this week over the licensing of her songs.

Kelly was approached by the show to get permission to sing her songs during the competition part of the show, but she denied them the chance.

Simon Cowell had his opinion, of course, saying, “I think that by ignoring the show you’re ignoring the audience who put you there.”

While I’m on Kelly’s side and agree with her trying to “Breakaway” (get it?) from her “American Idol” roots, she reconsidered and said she will now allow her songs to be sung on a case-by-case basis.

Great, that means we can look forward to kids who can’t sing belting out “Miss Independent” this season.

Does anyone remember the good ol’ days (or maybe just the good old day?) of Heather Graham?

She’s tried to make a comeback several times over the past years, with her latest attempt being ABC’s sitcom “Emily’s Reasons Why Not.”

In the show, Heather plays a woman named Emily who _” wait, why am I talking about this? That show just got cancelled, and after only one episode. Sorry, Heather, better luck next lifetime.

And, in closing this week, a little Mariah Carey news. After having both the most successful single as well as album of 2005, what is the comeback queen planning to do?

Apparently, she plans to be seen everywhere. Mimi isn’t going to let us forget she’s back, performing on every show and at every event imaginable in 2005.

She was the featured performer for Dick Clark’s New Year’s Eve to bring in 2006, and now she is slated to perform at this year’s Grammy awards. Good for her, though.

I hope her next album will be as good as and give her as much exposure as “The Emancipation of Mimi” has. She really has been emancipated. divorced this year.

One of the biggest, of course, was the official split of Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey. I wonder what went wrong.

Was Nick cheating? Did the cameras keep them together? Did MTV edit out all of the bickering?

Nick is quoted as saying that he just never understood Jessica. Funny, it seems like it would be the other way around.

Another heartbreaking romance that fell apart at the end of this year was that of Hilary Swank and Chad Lowe.

The couple hasn’t divorced yet but is officially separated, and I just can’t get over how sad that is.

She often spoke of Chad in interviews, and they always seemed happy in public. I really hope they can work things out.

In pregnancy news this holiday, the biggest spill was, of course, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. I love how celebrities look thin and deny they are dating anyone one day, then pop-up pregnant and with a huge baby bump two weeks later.

Gwyneth Paltrow, who also kept quiet about her pregnancy for a while, confirmed she is once again pregnant and then showed up at the Golden Globes with a huge belly. Silly, secretive celebs.

Speaking of the Golden Globes, this past Monday was the night of the “biggest party of the year.” The stars gathered in Hollywood for the event (and the open bar), and everyone actually looked pretty good. It seems like those awful dresses we used to see at Hollywood events are no more: There haven’t been any big fashion no-no’s in a while.

Where are Bjork’s swan dress or Britney’s orange pimp suit when you need them?

A few of the winners at the Globes were Joaquin Phoenix.