- The Washington Times - Monday, December 18, 2006

In the doghouse

When it comes to celebrity dog-parenting skills, Oprah Winfrey is tops, and Britney Spears is the world’s worst, according to an online vote by readers of two dog magazines.

“Britney was the overwhelming choice” for worst celebrity dog owner for 2006, said Hilary O’Hagan, editor of New York Dog and Hollywood Dog magazines.

“She once had three Chihuahuas … and never left home without at least one of them on her arm,” Miss O’Hagan said. “As soon as she met K-Fed and had kids [the dogs] disappeared.”

Miss Spears has filed for divorce from aspiring rapper Kevin Federline. The 25-year-old pop singer and Mr. Federline, 28, have a 1-year-old son, Sean Preston, and a 3-month-old son, Jayden James.

Paris Hilton, 2005’s “worst” winner, placed second for “treating her dogs like accessories,” the magazines said.

Miss Winfrey, who owns five dogs, was voted this year’s best celebrity dog owner. The talk-show titan soundly clobbered competition from Tori Spelling, Nicollette Sheridan and Beth Ostrosky, Howard Stern’s girlfriend, Associated Press reports.

Joining Justin

Justin Timberlake may have said “Bye, Bye, Bye” to his ‘N Sync band mates, but he’s looking for a singing partner for the Grammys.

So the Recording Academy is holding a contest together with CBS Corp. and Yahoo Inc. to find an unsigned artist to perform with the 25-year-old “SexyBack” singer at the 49th annual Grammy Awards, airing live on CBS from the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Feb. 11. Contestants are being asked to submit a 60-second video clip of themselves singing one of nine songs selected by Mr. Timberlake, all of which have won Grammys.

A panel will whittle the contestants to 12 and then — in the manner of “American Idol” — regular people will vote online to narrow the field, AP reports. Three finalists will be announced during Super Bowl weekend (Feb. 4) and will attend the Grammy Awards ceremony. The winner will be announced during the show and hop onstage to sing with Mr. Timberlake.

Potential contenders, listen up: The songs to be performed for the audition tape are: Alicia Keys’ “If I Ain’t Got You,” Luther Vandross’ “Dance With My Father,” Melissa Etheridge’s “Come to My Window,” Mr. Timberlake’s “Cry Me a River,” Faith Hill’s “Breathe,” Tina Turner’s “What’s Love Got to Do With It,” Aretha Franklin’s “Respect,” Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” and Mariah Carey’s “Vision of Love.

Compiled by Kevin Chaffee from wire reports

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