ROLL CALL: Clarkson Trims Her Team & '90210's 'Dancing' Steam

Kelly Clarkson Idol finale blurb Kelly Clarkson Idol finale blurb

Your Daily Dispatch of Celebrity Shenanigans by Tommy Vergason

June 13, 2007

NEVER AGAIN: Following conflicting reports that Kelly Clarkson faced an uphill battle with her record label over the production and distribution of her self-penned album, “My December,” PEOPLE reports that she has parted ways with her manager, Jeff Kwatinetz (of the LA-based company The Firm). In a reported exclusive statement to PEOPLE, a spokesperson for The Firm says, “Kelly Clarkson is an enormously talented artist. We are pleased to have served as her managers during her well-deserved rise to stardom and are proud of the role we played in backing her creative choices. “We believed in Kelly from the day we met her and believe in her now. We have only the best wishes and hopes for her in the future.” Clarkson says in a statement: “I am blessed to work with so many talented people. We’ve accomplished some amazing things together. I wish them all the best.” Rumors have swirled that RCA chief Clive Davis had voiced concerns that “My December” didn’t have a guaranteed radio hit. But sources at RCA reportedly tell PEOPLE that, despite reports, the label plans to support Clarkson’s album release (scheduled for June 26) and nationwide summer tour, which begins July 11.

More Celebrity Scoop After the Video!

RYAN & SIMON’S LATEST SPAT: Although “American Idol” mainstays Ryan Seacrest and Simon Cowell parted ways last month following the show’s season finale, their infamous tongue-in-cheek bickering sessions continue. Seacrest reportedly joked to the TORONTO GLOBE AND MAIL on Thursday that “Idol’s” ratings, while still huge, had slipped a bit last season - and jokingly blamed Cowell for the slump. “Well, the knee-jerk reaction would be Simon,” he reportedly said. “Clearly there’s an over-saturation of his character.” On Seacrest’s KIIS-FM radio show yesterday, he and Cowell followed up on Seacrest’s quote with an on-air phone conversation, reports USMAGAZINE.COM. Seacrest reportedly argued that Cowell, who co-created Idol, “believe[s] that [he’s] created everything for all of us.” “Everything good goes to you,” Seacrest reportedly told Cowell. “If there’s any hiccup along the way, we are obligated to blame you. You want the credit, you get the blame.” Cowell reportedly countered with his usual snark: “When I’m allowed more airtime, we get 34 million viewers. When I say nothing and you’re talking, we get 12 million less.”

‘DANCING’ 90210: Another reality-based competition series, “Dancing With the Stars,” is about to get another “90210” injection, reports IN TOUCH WEEKLY. According to the report, actress Jennie Garth is following in the footsteps of fellow Beverly Hills, 90210 alum Ian Ziering as a contestant on the ABC hit show’s upcoming season. Ziering (last season’s 4th-place finalist) told IN TOUCH that it was he who convinced Garth to join the show, and while she’s reportedly “excited” to dance on the show, she was nervous about it initially. “We texted each other back and forth,” Ziering reportedly said. “She had a lot of trepidation at first. And as an actor, it’s scary because there is no second take. If you screw up, it’s out there for everyone to see.” Garth’s publicist, Nicole Nassar, tells Access that “it’s official” — she will be doing the show next season. But back in April, Access’ Shaun Robinson asked Garth if she would join the show if asked. Garth replied, “Don’t even say it, no. I can’t imagine for my sake and all of America’s sake, it would not be good.” ABC had no comment when contacted by Access, saying that they do not comment on casting news.

CALM AFTER THE STORM: As Garth prepares to join a TV show, “Sopranos” star Edie Falco (Carmela Soprano) is finding that she has more time on her hands now that her show has ended its run — and may take this opportunity to adopt another child! “I now actually feel great,” Falco reportedly told THE NY POST’s CINDY ADAMS. “I never expected something this huge would ever have happened, and it’s terrific that it did, but I understand life has to move on. It’s time. I’m ready. I’m a grown-up. And since this was nothing that was planned, I’m sure something else that wasn’t deliberately planned will also come into my experience.” She reportedly adds, “Sure, I was a little scared at first [about the show ending]. But that fear of ‘Oh, God, what’ll I do?’ - this fear of life after the show has begun to subside. My son fills my life and means more to me than anything. I may even adopt another child. I have free time all of a sudden. I have friends.”

USHERING IN THE GOOD TIMES: R&B stars R. Kelly and Usher are friends, if their behavior on the set of a new music video is any indication. MTV.COM reports that the two men filmed a video for their duet, “Same Girl,” in Atlanta recently. In the video, the two find out that they’ve both been messing around with the same woman, but the rivalry did not extend beyond the scenes. “There was no ego when they got together,” Lil’ X, the video’s director, reportedly told MTV. “They were playing basketball on lunch breaks, it was all good. No egos. No gangs. It’s all straight, it’s all good. Just the chemistry and good vibes. You’ll feel it off the screen.” He added that the video plays more like a mini-movie than the traditional music video. “We didn’t go too dancey in this. We do definitely get a nice performance part in this, but for the most part it’s really the story. A little movie and I give people a little moment.”

TOO OLD FOR ‘YOUNG’: Actress Cloris Leachman won’t be getting her “little moment” in the Broadway production of “Young Frankenstein,” despite her vigorous attempts at securing the role she made famous in the film version. Leachman, 81, is reportedly “heartbroken” over being told that she’s “too old” to play the part of Frau Blucher in the Mel Brooks production, reports THE NY POST’s PAGE SIX. Broadway insiders reportedly told PAGE SIX that Leachman had a “wonderful audition . . . She was involved in a workshop recently and everyone loved her . . . but it was obvious she was too old” to perform eight shows a week. Brooks reportedly told VARIETY columnist Army Archerd, “We’re afraid the show might stop her - it could kill her . . . We don’t want her to die on stage.” In a statement to PAGE SIX, Leachman’s rep reportedly said, “Cloris challenges Mel to three rounds in the ring, and we’ll see who’s left standing.” “Young Frankenstein,” scheduled to debut in October, also stars Megan Mullally, Roger Bart, and “SCTV” vet Andrea Martin as Frau Blucher.

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