October 25th 2004 When Good Pop Stars Go Bad

I don’t know if any of you are avid Saturday Night Live fans, but if you missed the episode with Ashlee Simpson, you missed a heck of a show. It seems that Ashlee is a protégé of Milli Vanilli—and has the same sound guy.

Having already performed her song “Pieces of Me” earlier in the show, Ashlee had planned on performing “Autobiography” as her last song. Unfortunately, someone forgot to tell the sound technician, who instead played “Pieces of Me” again. With her microphone down at her waist, Ashlee’s vocals for “Pieces of Me” flooded the stage instead. Embarrassed, Ashlee did a quick little dance while her band tried to switch back to playing music to match the vocals. In the meantime, the brunette pop star wandered offstage while her band finished the song.

This embarrassing escapade begs the question: why exactly is it so hard for a professional singer to perform live. That’s what they get paid to do! They don’t get paid to lip-sync to a taped recording! I can do that in my own house! Fans watched SNL so they could see Ashlee perform live—for real! I’m not even a professional musician, and I still perform live! I’m sure someone lost their job for this incident, but I doubt it was Ashlee.

This performance was already a bit embarrassing, but then at the end of the show, Ashlee had to lay the blame on someone else. “I feel so bad. My band started playing the wrong song. I didn’t know what to do so I thought I’d do a hoe-down.” Right, Ashlee. Right. Blame it on the band. Blame it on the guys who already get little recognition for their contribution to your musical stardom. But let’s be honest here: they were the ones actually playing. You weren’t. You can spin it anyway you want, but you were the one who screwed up. I mean, at the very least, blame it on the guy who was pressing the play button on your CD player!

Divas. Can’t live with ’em, can’t live without ’em.