March Madness: Celebrity Version!

March 13, 2007|By John Woestendiek | John Woestendiek,sun reporter

Key up the Entertainment Tonight theme. Alert the paparazzi. Get ready to make your picks: The other NCAA (National Celebrity Annoyance Association) has announced the seeding for its 2007 championship - a tournament that, based on your votes, will decide who is the most annoyingly overexposed celebrity in America.

Who have you seen waaaaaay too much of? Who grates most painfully on your nerves? Who most makes the bile rise when you see their mug, yet again, on TV? Who, quite simply, are you most sick of hearing about?

This year's tournament features some strong contenders (all chosen and seeded by our selections committee) - some of them legends, some of them new to the scene but often annoying nevertheless.

How does this version of March Madness work? Easy. Go to baltimoresun.com/celebrities. Just pick the winner of each first-round pairing - not the ones you like best, but the ones who irk you the most, the ones whose shining (or sometimes, tarnishing) moment has gone on far too long; the ones you would banish from the airwaves, once and for all, if you had the choice.

Those who get more votes than their first-round opponent move on to the next round to face their next fellow celebrity.

After each round, updated brackets will be published online, and it will be time to go online and make your next round of picks.

Betting on the outcome of this tournament is discouraged. No prizes, cash, deep truths or significance are involved, nor should any be inferred. Contest is void where prohibited. Vote only once each round - or more often if you feel really strongly about it.

And remember, celebrity is fleeting. Unfortunately, it's just sometimes not fleeting enough.

Now, on to the brackets.

Not Them Again! Division

1. Paris Hilton

16. Nicole Richie

8. Jared the Subway Guy

9. GEICO Lizard

5. Ryan Seacrest

12. Billy Bush

4. Antonella Barba

13. Paula Abdul

6. Kevin Federline

11. Justin Timberlake

3. Britney Spears

14. Jessica Simpson

7. Lindsay Lohan

10. Mary Kate & Ashley

2. Anna Nicole Smith

15. Lisa Marie Nowak

Talking Head Division

1. Robert Novak

16. Newt Gingrich

8. Tucker Carlson

9. Chris Matthews

5. Jesse Jackson

12. Ralph Nader

4. Michael Moore

13. Patrick Buchanan

6. Ann Coulter

11. Tony Snow

3. Hillary Clinton

14. Barack Obama

7. Al Gore

10. Bill Clinton

2. James Carville

15. Al Sharpton

Can't Seem to Stop Talking Division

1. Donald Trump

16. Regis Philbin

8. Bill O'Reilly

9. Jon Stewart

5. Nancy Grace

12. Verizon "Can You Hear Me Now" Guy

4. Martha Stewart

13. Scott Donahoo

6. Tyra Banks

11. Anderson Cooper

3. Rosie O'Donnell

14. Oprah Winfrey

7. Rachael Ray

10. Katie Couric

2. Dr. Phil

15. Larry King

Way, Way Overexposed Division

1. Peyton Manning

16. Barbaro

8. Michael Jackson

9. O.J. Simpson

5. Kirstie Alley

12. Jennifer Aniston

4. Whitney Houston

13. Beyonce

6. Angelina Jolie

11. Madonna

3. Mel Gibson

14. Tom Cruise

7. Julia Roberts

10. George Clooney

2. Simon Cowell

15. Howard Stern

Some first-round games to watch

Not Them Again! Division, Fluff Fieldhouse, Las Vegas

Paris Hilton (1st seed) vs. Nicole Richie (16th seed) - The top-seeded party girl and hotel heiress will likely trounce her partner in crime and reality TV series co-star. A high-scoring game is expected, and both are likely to get into foul trouble early on. Only one thing's for sure: It'll be hot.

Anna Nicole Smith (2nd seed) vs. Lisa Marie Nowak (15th seed) - Remaining such a high seed even after her death shows Anna has staying power - and much more of it than her opponent, who, despite the rigors of astronaut training and the level of commitment she showed in her 900-mile trek, has quickly faded from public view. Still, anyone can win in this tournament. As Anna Nicole can attest, where there's a will, there's a way - even if your name's not in it (the will, that is).

Britney Spears (3rd seed) vs. Jessica Simpson (14th seed) - Pre-tournament head-shaving saw Britney catapult in the seedings and her multiple rehab attempts all but ensure she will have more than enough momentum to handle Jessica.

Antonella Barba (4th seed) vs. Paula Abdul (13th seed) - It's wanna-be versus has-been, and Antonella, ousted from the American Idol competition last week, is still slightly favored because of her recent, shall we say, exposure. She may have revealed too much of her game plan too early, though and Paula - straight up now - still has some moves.

Ryan Seacrest (5th seed) vs. Billy Bush (12th seed) - These two teams look very much alike on paper, and in real life, too. Both have a talent for ... for ... "hosting," but look for the American Idol moderator to slip past President Bush's first cousin, who co-hosts Access Hollywood and Grease: You're the One that I Want!

Jared the Subway Guy (8th seed) vs. GEICO Lizard (9th seed) - Slimmed down, but not-so-smooth-talking Jared has the weight advantage, but the insurance company lizard is a slick one, and may prove to be too bloody fast for the Subway spokesman.

Talking Head Division, Inside the Beltway Arena, Washington, D.C.

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