Top 20 Singles of the Year (6-10)

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As 2007 dwindles down, we’re taking a look back at our favorite tracks. Each Tuesday through the end of the month, we’ll sing the praises of the 20 songs that made our year. See what made the cut, and let us know what you think of our choices.

Amy Winehouse, “Rehab,” from Back to Black (Island)

06_amywinehouse.jpgHere’s the track that will probably be remembered as the year’s most portentous song. Belting out her rejection of medical care (for what, as it turns out, was a slew of emotional and mental problems, including drug addiction, bulimia and cutting), the petite British soul star established herself as a crossover hipster with urban appeal. She wooed both the Hot 97 crew and the American Apparel kids vying for face time on the Cobra Snake. Her unfortunate biography aside, the song’s meld of R&B, punk attitude and references to another ill-fated star, Donny Hathaway, marked the arrival of an exciting pop voice. Winehouse’s sound was so radically different than the soft-soul competition, she united disparate elements of the culture — everyone from Jay-Z to Nas, say. Ostensibly, the song’s about a girl abusing liquor to cope with a bad break-up. In the lyrics at least, she knows better: “Didn’t get a lot in class/ but I know it don’t come in a shot glass.” It’s an honest ode to the virtues of being headstrong. It’s too bad, of course, that it turned out Amy herself needed rehab after all.

Mims, “This Is I’m Hot,” Music Is My Savior (Capitol)

07_mims.jpgCan a simple lyric come off like a profound declaration? In hip-hop it can, and out of the blue this mediocre MC dropped a chest-thumping boast that was utterly confident about its one-note message: “I could sell a mil saying nothing on the track,” drawled the New Yorker. That’s not necessarily the artistic crime it sounds like; give it up to Mims – this baby was one of the summer’s early smashes. A key reason: the rich atmosphere created by that ghostly synth setting and that sidewalk-shaking boom. It’s the kind of space dub stuff that sticks in your mind. And it enhances his arrogance. Out to cut the competition (“I’m hot cuz I’m fly/you ain’t cuz you’re not”) a guy who’ll probably never equal this success again came up with a masterpiece of contention.

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Simpson May Get Naked For Her “Art”

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jessica_simpsonJessica Simpson‘s acting career has long been the subject of ridicule, but apparently she’s looking to change that by taking off her clothes for a role. After starring in such bombs as The Dukes of Hazzard and Employee of the Month (as well as the straight to video Blonde Ambition), the box office black widow is considering taking a role that would feature some graphic nudity in order to get her acting career on track.

According to Dlisted, this is the second time Simpson’s been offered a role that required nudity. Simpson’s father (and former Baptist minister) Joe said, “The last script that came to us was for Jessica to be a porn star. We were promised we would win an Oscar with that. I told them, ‘I think we’ll just buy a statue of a little man and keep our clothse on.’” First of all, it appears that Joe’s getting his pronouns mixed up — Oscars are awarded to the actors, not their parents. Secondly, this is from the man who once stated, “She’s got double D’s! you can’t cover those suckers up!”

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The Hills Finale: OMG! Lauren, Heidi & Whitney Travel!

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Holy shhhhhhhhhhhh*t! We can not stop freaking out! The greatest moment of television happened last night, and we lived through it. Barely. We still can’t decide if our favorite part was Whitney getting in a car to go to the airport, Lauren getting in a car to go to the airport, or Heidi getting in a car to go to the airport! Every second of the show was so interesting, so intense, so suspenseful. Would Lauren really pack that many shoes? Could Heidi really make that puckered sad face one hundred times in thirty minutes? And could Whitney save the whole episode with just one adorable face?

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Oh yes. Definitely.

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The Hills Brood Gets Glam

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The action-packed third season of The Hills has come to a (temporary) close. The whole gang strolled the red carpet, sipped champagne, and dished the dirt to the live audience. The only missing Hills-ite was Mr. Spencer Pratt… could it be he wasn’t invited? That’s wishful thinking.

Check out pics below of Lauren, Audrina, Whitney, Lo, Brody (channeling Justin Bobby with his floppy hat), and even Jen Bunney. Which star looked the most fab?

Another Day, Another Oompa Loompa Rescued by Paris Hilton

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paris-121007.jpgJust a typical day in the life of Paris Hilton! At a performance in Miami this weekend, a rowdy crowd shoved performer Robin Sherwood (dressed as one of Willy Wonka’s Oompa Loompas) so hard that he sliced his leg open on a metal part of the stage support. But never fear! It’s a bird! It’s a skanky heiress! It’s…Paris Hilton? Yes, the waste of space in a fancy dress “rescued” the fallen little man like the hero that she is! A witness revealed, “Paris screamed for help and jumped up to move everyone away from him. She held Robin’s hand and said the sweetest things to keep him calm. She stayed with him until he was safely in the ambulance on his way to the hospital.”

Sherwood ended up getting 50 stitches and is recovering – thank goodness he’ll be okay and credit has been given where credit is due. Paris deserves some sort of award for her life-saving skills and selfless behavior. Then she can resume her mission of rescuing imaginary elf-like creatures across the globe! [NYDN. Image: Getty]

Zep Tears Sh!t Up in London

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Yep, it happened last night. The ’70s kingpins Led Zeppelin reunited to celebrate their music biz pal Ahmet Ertegun and tickle a global fanbase that remains fervent four decades after the band first began. The set list ranged from “Rock and Roll” to “No Quarter” to “Dazed and Confused.” The audience members ranged from Mick Jagger to Dave Grohl to Pink to Naomi Campbell. More reports and live clips coming in soon. Keep checking back throughout the day.

Didn’t make the show? Watch a block of Led Zeppelin videos to relieve the frustration. Don’t overlook some of their coolest tracks.

Tuesday: Jessica’s a High Maintenance Pal

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jessica-eva.jpgJessica Simpson’s Got Beef with Pal Eva
Jess is supposedly all pissed that her BFF Eva Longoria was spotted hanging with John Mayer. Bros before annoying whiny pains in the ass, right Eva? [NYP]

Madonna Stepping Up to Back Hillary
Look out Oprah, there’s a new famous lady campaigning for a Dem in town! [NYDN]

J.Lo’s Twin’s Are Already Spoiled
These mofo’s are having three different nurseries designed for them – one at each mansion. Let’s just leave it at that. [NYDN]

Britney Acts Crazy, Looks Like Crap
Hey ya’ll! Just me and my pink wig, driving around like a freak! Ya’ll should buy my album so I can afford more Frappucinos! [TMZ]

Angelina Names Shiloh the Family Outcast
Jolie calls her biological baby the family outcast because she’s looks different from her other kids. She’s just giving Shiloh that much more ammo to use against her when she turns 13. [DListed]

Best Picture of the Year?

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This morning VH1 and the Broadcast Film Critics Association announced the nominees for the 13th annual Critics’ Choice Awards, which VH1 head-honcho Tom Calderone called “the New Hampshire primary” of awards season. Leading the passel is Into the Wild, which picked up nods for Best Picture, Best Director (Sean Penn), Best Actor (Emile Hirsch) and Best Supporting Actress (Catherine Keener). Meanwhile, Juno, No Country for Old Men, Atonement, Michael Clayton, Hairspray and Sweeney Todd (which hasn’t even come out yet!) were no slouches, either, garnering multiple nominations. On-hand to help out were NY1‘s film critic Neil Rosen, renowned for his Big Apple rating scale, and, of course, Academy Award-winner Marisa Tomei, currently appearing in a theater near you as part of the cast of Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead.

The action goes down on January 7th, 2008, broadcast live by VH1 from the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium in Los Angeles, hosted by comedian D.L. Hughley. For a complete list of nominees — start those fantasy movie pools soon, people — check criticschoice.vh1.com.