TAMPA, Fla. — Lindsay Lohan looked bored, and she wasn't the only one.
Seated on a white leather couch a few feet from the DJ booth, she halfheartedly greeted actor Christian Slater then returned to her can of Red Bull. She turned at one point to speak to girlfriend Sam Ronson, who waved her off and returned to her playlist at ESPN The Magazine's party.
And that, ladies and gentleman, was the highlight from one of the biggest party nights of the year.
Where were the A-listers? Or even the B-listers?
Obviously not out in full force in Tampa, where the annual Super Bowl bashes have so far been a major bust.
Sure, the local partygoers have crammed the local venues. But the red carpets have been a sea of unrecognizable athletes and reality TV stars, leaving many celebrity watchers disappointed by the poor turnout.
Sean "Diddy" Combs, Fergie, Jermaine Dupri and Mario Lopez were all touted on the RSVP list for Maxim, one of the most anticipated parties of Super Bowl week. But if they showed, nobody saw them.
Just how lame was it? ESPN's on-air and editorial talent was paraded past the cameras at its NEXT party, while Frankie Delgado _ only famous for being Brody Jenner's best friend and co-star on MTV's "Bromance" _ drew a crowd at the sixth annual Leather & Laces event.
Kim Kardashian, headliner at Leather & Laces, arrived an hour after co-hosts Carmen Electra and Jenny McCarthy. She walked the red carpet with her sisters, and spent a considerable amount of time being interviewed by her mother, Kris Jenner, who "covered" the event for The Insider.
She was 20 minutes ahead of boyfriend Reggie Bush, running back for the New Orleans Saints. A wardrobe malfunction _ his tailored pants ended up too short and he scrambled to find a suitable pair _ forced him to arrive separately.
He was still able to join Kardashian for photos, and said his gift to her of a new Louis Vuitton bag had assured no hurt feelings over his tardiness.
Together, they raved about the party scene.
"I love Super Bowl week," Kardashian said. "There is so much to do, so many parties to go, and it's so exciting to see everyone. We've mostly been hanging out with Reggie's friends, and it's been so much fun."
That's because the athletes were the only ones to show up en masse.
Scores of players from the NFL and Major League Baseball made the party rounds, including a decent turnout at ESPN's event, held in a 22,000-square-foot tent. Agent Drew Rosenhaus was one of the first to enter, followed by former NFL players Jerry Rice, Shannon Sharpe, Eric Metcalf and Vinny Testaverde.
Early arrivals got to dance to Ronson's song selections, and she was joined in the DJ booth by Benji Madden of Good Charlotte. They turned it over to headliner Wyclef Jean, who hit the stage about midnight, an hour before Lohan left alone.
Jordin Sparks, the 2007 American Idol winner who had previously walked the carpet at Leather & Laces, had moved over to the ESPN party by then. Probably a smart move, since city police officers were frustratingly trying to manage crowd control and at one point refusing to let anyone else into Jackson's Bistro on Harbour Island.
Snoop Dogg was allegedly in a private room at that party, perhaps killing time before his hour-long performance at a temporary concert venue in a parking lot.
Brian Baumgartner, aka Kevin from NBC's "The Office," made the party rounds and used his appearance at Maxim's event to promote Sunday night's post-Super Bowl episode. Also making her way to the Ritz Ybor was actress Brittany Snow, who was celebrating the game being played in her hometown.
"It's a little crazy," she said. "It's a little like Sundance or L.A. _ if you're from there, people just come there and it's a little overwhelming."
And she was right. Nightly traffic has been moving at a snail's pace through the downtown area ever since Celine Dion's concert Wednesday. Taxis are scarce and hailing one can take up to an hour, making party-hopping a difficult endeavor. The rough economy also took its toll: Playboy and Sports Illustrated canceled their annual events. Maxim's guest list was reduced, and Leather & Laces cut the cost of its general admission tickets _ which were still being sold hours after the event began.
Tickets to the Saturday Night Spectacular, which is co-hosted by Kevin Costner and former N.Y. Giant Michael Strahan, have been reduced from $1,700 last year in Phoenix to $875 for Tampa.
Madden, making the rounds with brother, Joel, was set to DJ a party Saturday night, but had few details of where and when.
"We're going to hit some parties," he said. "One, two, three, maybe four of them. And I'm DJing one of them."
"I'm actually not sure," he sheepishly admitted.
Isn't it Models and Bottles?
"See, you know more than I do," he said before heading off.