Herald’s Turkey of the Year Awards

Bradenton Herald – After a hiatus last year — it seems as if everyone was on their best behavior — we are back to present the Herald’s annual Turkey of the Year Award. And if you’ve been keeping a list for 2009, you’ll know that turkeys abound.

Several of our readers will be glad to know that Britney Spears, our winner from 2007, didn’t make a dent on our list this year. I’m sure she was just as horrified as you were that the Herald featured her as Turkey of the Year. But it was enough to prompt her to get her act together for the most part. Look at her now, chart-topping singles and all. A comeback queen.

It proves that our award has the power to change lives for the better. Or something like that.

Here are the runners-up:

Chris Brown

An obvious choice. After beating former girlfriend, celebrity R&B singer Rihanna, back in February, he’s got Turkey written all over him. The news shocked the entertainment world since the young couple seemed like the perfect picture of love. Hopefully that six months of community service and five years probation for the horrendous act will keep Brown’s head on straight.

The Hogans

Troubled marriages reached a new low when the Hogans put themselves on the celebrity divorce list. They didn’t just fight over money and a Harley-Davidson. Hulk and ex-wife Linda had to start dating people young enough to be in the Mickey Mouse Club. And to top it off, their new partners are dead ringers of their children. How creepy is that?

Wait, Hulk publicly sympathizing with OJ Simpson per Rolling Stone Magazine is creepier: “You live half a mile from the 20,000-square-foot home you can’t go to anymore, you’re driving through downtown Clearwater and see a 19-year-old boy driving your Escalade, and you know that a 19-year-old boy is sleeping in your bed, with your wife . . . I totally understand OJ. I get it.”

Where’s Dr. Phil when you need him?

South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford

Proving that government is far more interesting to follow than Chef Gordon Ramsay’s conniption fits on “Hell’s Kitchen,” Sanford’s mysterious disappearance in June played out like a Where’s Waldo saga. Not even the state’s top advisers could pin down their leader. At home? Nope. Preparing a speech for father of the year? Ah . . . right. Coming up with a horrible alibi? You bet. The story of a secret hike through the Appalachian Trail might have worked if he wasn’t spotted at the Atlanta airport catching a plane. When the media greeted the Republican party’s next presidential frontrunner at the airport on his return trip from “the hike,” it was all downhill from there. News quickly leaked that Waldo went rogue with a trip to Argentina to say goodbye to his mistress. Then came the steamy e-mails. Oh, and crying, too. The whole situation had the makings for a made-for-TV-movie.

Kanye West

So yeah, Kanye can put out some decent, danceable top 40 tunes. But when the music stops playing, truth be known, Kanye keeps talking. He has a big mouth, and instead of just sticking a foot in it, he always seems to find a microphone, too. His recent faux pas was at MTV’s Video Music Awards in September. There, his sudden hijacking of Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech for Best Female Video left poor Taylor, and everyone else, speechless. Kanye, haven’t you ever heard of manners? If we could, we’d send you to charm school. Or better yet, lock you in a box for the duration of 2010 — with “Love Lockdown” playing over and over.

That might make it much worse, though.

Our loser: Jon Gosselin

Somehow, this man stays stapled to the headlines day after day, as if the world can’t seem to breathe without him. Dear World, we are suffocating from him. Please stop paying attention to this man. Sincerely, the Herald.

First, it was the rumors of cheating on estranged wife Kate, then running around with Hailey Glassman (also now an ex) for the world to see while Kate, and her crazy hair-do, were busy tending to the kids. Then after he leaves the show, thus, not getting a paycheck, he suddenly has an epiphany: His children will be ruined if they stay on TV and shuts down the production. Then there was the $231,000 he took out of the couple’s joint bank account, leaving Kate practically penniless, according to some tabloids. Of course, a judge ordered Gosselin to return most of the money. Throw in TLC’s lawsuit against him for breach of contract and Gosselin’s countersuit, stating his reputation has been damaged and our eyes start to glaze over. Seriously, the madness has got to stop.

It makes one wonder what Kate saw in him to begin with and

what America saw in “Jon and Kate Plus 8.” At least the show has finally come to its end this week. Though there’s talk of a new “Kate Plus Eight” sometime next year. Oh, the joy.

We predict that Jon will go where all lost TV personalities go — to his own reality show to whine about how he’s too famous to get a real job.

posted Nov. 26, 2009

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