When Tom Cruise jumped on Oprah's couch and told the world he was in love with Katie Holmes, he set a new standard for celebrity behavior. While much of the free world debated whether he was nuts or not, a whole lot of Hollywood took note—he got A LOT of attention and they were clearly inspired.
How else to explain the rash of Tom Topping celebrity behavior in 2007? Has there ever been a year before this when so many celebrities have gone so far? Here are my six contenders for the Tom toppers of 2007. Who gets your vote?
Contender #1: Britney! Who knew a former Mouseketeer could be this creative? I challenge anyone to have come up with this pop tartlet stunts this year. For your consideration—shaving her head in full view in a salon in a strip mall, attacking a paparazzi's car with an umbrella outside the gates of Kevin Federline's house, driving through a red light with a court-appointed monitor and her two sons strapped in the car, blowing off her MTV Video Music Awards performance of her new single "Gimme More," taking a shower in the middle of a national radio interview with Ryan Seacrest, forgetting to wear underwear innumerable times and making sure the world knew...I could go on.
Contender #2: Jamie Lynn Spears! Watch out, Britney. It looked like you had a lock on chief Tom Topper of 2007 and then from out of nowhere your innocent-looking little sis could have just zoomed right in and snatched away your crown. Most surprisingly, she skipped right past the partying without panties and went straight to teen pregnancy at 16! Furthermore, she may have taken a page right out of your book and may not be completely telling the truth about everything — specifically two big things. First &mdash Star magazine hears that she may be six months pregnant with a due date of March 7 and not the 12 weeks along that she is claiming. Secondly, her boyfriend, 18-year-old Casey Aldridge, may not even be the baby daddy. Two Spears family insiders are telling Star that the baby's real father may be a much older executive at Jamie Lynn's show, Zoey 101. Now THAT'S a biggie!
Contender #3: Rosie! for verbally feuding with Donald Trump, Barbara Walters and Elizabeth Hasselbeck. After the Miss USA underage drinking controversy, she called The Donald a "snake oil salesman," which prompted him to retaliate by labeling her a "slob" and a "degenerate"—and then he brought his old pal and her boss Barbara Walters into the ring. After Barbara tried to defend herself against accusations that she was not being supportive, Rosie called them both "[bleeping] liars." If that wasn't enough flying fur for one year, she finally quit her View job after coming close to blows with Elizabeth Hasselback, and having one of her associates tossed out of the offices for drawing mustaches on photos of Elizabeth.
Contender #4: Lindsay Lohan! Shamelessness seems to define celebs with the potential to Top Tom, and my vote goes to Lindsay in this category. The redhead turned bottle blonde has exhibited not a hint of embarrassment over her exploits! Most of us would die a thousand deaths if our best friends ever saw us passed out in the back of a car with our mouths hanging open after a hard night of partying, let alone if we were immortalized doing that in paparazzi pics. Not Lindsay. Then let's not forget how she kidnapped a car and its backseat passengers so she could chase the mother of her personal assistant who had just quit (could you blame her?). She got caught by the cops with cocaine in her pocket and claimed she was holding it for a friend—yeah, yeah, we've heard that one before, crashed another car into a hedge, did three stints in rehab, broke up a marriage, and was photographed playing with large, scary knives with her good friend Vanessa Minnillo. Now that's a busy year!
Contender #5: Paris! This 26-year-old managed to do something no one else has been able to—take the cake away from Martha Stewart. She stole her crown as unlikeliest jailbird ever. The scene of Paris being dragged back to prison after her early release, sobbing and crying for her mother, surely rivals Tom's couch jumping. It's nice to know that she has recovered so completely that she's gone from the clinker to promoting the new Paris Hilton brand of champagne in a can.
Contender #6: Nicole Richie! Most viewers of the Simple Life pegged Nicole as playing second fiddle to her best pal Paris. Well she sure showed them! That all changed when Nicole stopped eating almost everything and shrunk to skeletal proportions. In late 2006 she checked in and then ran away from rehab after 72 hours—she celebrated her release by eating chocolate cake. But a few weeks later, she was arrested for DUI after driving the wrong way on the highway. She then defied the fertility odds and turned up pregnant by Hillary Duff's ex, Joel Madden. Whew! I'm exhausted just recalling her Tom Topping antics. Now, the reformed heroin addict and skimpy eater appears to be blissfully awaiting the birth of her baby.
These may be my top six, but if you have other favorites feel free to nominate them now. Others to consider: Shia LeBoeuf, for being arrested for refusing to leave a Walgreens, Kid Rock for getting arrested for brawling in a Waffle House, and then slipping in under the 2007 wire, Pamela Anderson for getting married for a third time (and the second time in a year) to sex tape purveyor Rick Salomon, and then filing for divorce just 72 days later.
All I can say to celebrities is: You tried really hard to Top Tom. I just don't know how you're going to top all this in 2008!
Follow Bonnie Fuller on Twitter: www.twitter.com/bonniefuller