Back in August, when Ashlee Simpson announced plans to perform again on Saturday Night Live, I wondered why she (and SNL) would want to tempt fate and risk a replay of last year’s fiasco. Now, however, I think it’s a smart move. For the last two months, in a strategy that’s surely the work of papa/manager Joe Simpson, Ashlee has been laying the groundwork for a comeback, dipping her toe into live performance (as witnessed by PopWatch last week) and spinning last year’s lip-synch embarrassment (in interviews like this one, published at MTV News yesterday) as a character-building experience, one she cites as the inspiration for two songs on her forthcoming CD, I Am Me (due Oct. 18).
Her SNL visit this weekend should be the capstone moment. Surely, the SNL scribes will craft a sketch for her (a la last weekend’s bit with Kanye West) that acknowledges last year’s debacle without actually making fun of her for it. Whether she actually delivers the goods during her songs will be irrelevant; she’ll look like a good sport just for showing up and risking mockery, even though there won’t actually be any.
Of course, it’s possible that there’s more than just spin doctoring going on, and that Ashlee really is a more seasoned performer now who can actually deliver the goods. Think she deserves the benefit of the doubt? Will you be watching SNL this weekend? (I will, but I’m going to cop out and tell people it’s because Napoleon Dynamite‘s Jon Heder is hosting. Sweet!)
addCredit(“Ashlee Simpson: Scott Gries/Getty Images”)
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