Less-annoying folks fall by the wayside

March Madness: Celebrity Version

March 17, 2007|By John Woestendiek | John Woestendiek,sun reporter

Jessica Simpson. James Carville. Scott Donahoo. The Verizon "Can You Hear Me Now?" Guy.

Annoying? To many folks, absolutely. But not irksome enough to get past the first round of The Sun's NCAA-style tournament aimed at picking America's most overexposed celebrity.

More than 2,500 readers cast votes online in the first round, and second-round voting is under way. The biggest winners, or, more accurately, losers - those who are voted most annoying advance - were Paris Hilton, Britney Spears, Donald Trump, Tom Cruise, Rosie O'Donnell and Ann Coulter, all of whom won in landslides.

Other first-round matchups went down to the wire: Katie Couric squeaked past the always-squeaky Rachael Ray, right-winger Patrick Buchanan won a nail-biter over left-winger Michael Moore, and Simon Cowell was judged slightly more noxious than the king of obnoxious, Howard Stern. In the closest match of all, Newt Gingrich, probably by virtue of his buzzer-beating disclosure that he was having an extra-marital affair even while lambasting former President Bill Clinton for his, bullied his way past pugnacious pundit Robert Novak, but only by 23 votes.

Not all the losers were pleased.

"I want a [expletive] recount! I'm much more annoying than Martha Stewart," said Baltimore auto dealer Scott Donahoo, whose outrageous TV ads helped him garner 754 votes - more than Regis, Oprah and Larry King, but not enough to beat his first-round opponent. "If I had known about this, I would have had all my employees go online and vote for me."

Other tournament highlights:

In the "Not Them Again!" Division, second-round action will see Britney Spears go up against her ex, Kevin Federline, after trouncing Jessica Simpson in Round 1. Meanwhile, top vote-getter Paris Hilton will face off with Jared, the Subway Guy.

In the "Talking Heads" Division, Ann Coulter faces Hillary Rodham Clinton, (me-OW!) and, in a battle of the Als, the Rev. Sharpton, who ousted James Carville, goes up against former Vice President Gore, who got past Bill Clinton.

In the "Can't Seem to Shut Up Division," Nancy Grace, who easily beat the Verizon "Can You Hear Me Now?" Guy into submission, goes up against the coolly formidable Stewart.

In the "Way, Way Overexposed" Division, Indianapolis Colt quarterback Peyton Manning outlasted the late Barbaro in a closer race than expected (56 percent to 44 percent).

john.woestendiek@baltsun.com

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