Pop Culture

Experienced singers don’t bother ‘Idol’ exec

Up until now, this season of “American Idol” has been mostly scandal-free. But contestant Joanna Pacitti has some fans crying foul because she isn’t exactly a performance novice.

Pacitti was briefly part of the 1996 cast of “Annie” (she was fired just before the show hit Broadway), inked a development deal with A&M, released an album “This Crazy Life,” and has appeared in an MTV reality show.

Does this mean that Pacitti shouldn’t be able to compete alongside some of the contestants who’ve truly never had a break in the business?

“Idol” executive producer Ken Warwick doesn’t seem to think it matters.

At the start of the season he said, “The question isn’t ‘have you ever had a deal’ it’s ‘do you have one now.’ If the answer is no, then you can compete. If you were already a professional, you wouldn’t be auditioning, after all.”

The scandal is reminiscent of the Carly Smithson brouhaha of season 7, when viewers were outraged that Smithson, who once had a recording contract under the name Carly Hennessy, was allowed on the show.

This time around though, there was no playing coy about Pacitti’s past as there had been with Smithson. Judge Kara DioGuardi immediately recognized her, saying, “I know you, you were on A&M.”

Is this sort of like Donny Osmond being allowed to compete on "Dancing With the Stars"? Should “Idol” contestants with past musical contracts be ineligible to compete?

Click here to cast your vote.

What would Betty Draper wear?Good news for those of us who adore the clothing that appears on “Mad Men.”

The show’s costume designer, Janie Bryant, dropped a hint to Glamour that a line of “Mad Men”-inspired clothing might be in the works.

“I’m working on some things right now," Bryant told the magazine. “I hate to be so mysterious but I can’t really say! It would have my name attached to it though.”

Fingers crossed…

Simpson’s leaked exercise video
An exercise video featuring Jessica Simpson and produced by workout company Speedfit was leaked to the Internet Jan. 27 by Speedfit owner Alex Astilean. The video’s since been taken off YouTube, and Astilean is seething.

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“This is a vendetta between me and (Jessica's father) Joe Simpson,” Astilean said.

In 2007, Astilean sued Jessica Simpson for $10 million after she prevented the release of the video. Astilean says he paid Simpson a million dollars for her participation, and that she injured “millions of fat people” by not allowing its release.

The case has lingered on so long, Astilean says he can no longer afford an attorney and will have to represent himself.

“I have a conference call with the judge on Feb. 5 and I will have to tell the judge that my house is being foreclosed on, I cannot afford an attorney," says Astilean. “But look at the pictures of her — karma has hunted Jessica to the ground and she knows it.”

Britney Spears upset about K-Fed’s flame
Photos of Kevin Federline’s girlfriend Victoria Prince playing stepmom to Britney Spears' young sons have the singer “distraught” according to OK! magazine.

The pics were snapped Jan. 19 outside the Japanese Kitchen Steak & Seafood House in Fresno, Calif.

“(Spears) hates the thought of this woman mothering her sons,” a source told the magazine. “She’s afraid she’s going to take her place. And it’s tearing her up inside.”

Courtney Hazlett delivers the Scoop Monday through Friday on msnbc.com.

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