Grrr! Will the Real Kellie Pickler Please Stand Up?

Is "American Idol" contestant Kellie Pickler really that dumb?

Of course not. But she's shrewd.

After asking Simon "What's a ballsy?" after he said her performance was that, and stating that she thought Cowell was calling her a fur coat when he referred to her as a "naughty little minx," comparisons to that other "dumb" blonde, Jessica Simpson, have cropped up in newspapers, blogs and television entertainment shows.

And while I did like her rendition of "Walking After Midnight" a few episodes ago, Pickler, while she is cute, is not my favorite to win. In fact, I find her completely unauthentic, which would put her in the same file as that other Simpson, lip-synching Ashlee.

Why, you ask?

After her first audition and her "tear-jerker" story about how her Grandpa is all she has and how her pops is in lockup, I wanted to like her. But immediately after she was awarded her trip to Hollywood, she made a point to act out "writing to her father" by simulating paper and pen in hand, as if to emphasize that he's in jail.

As jaded as I am, I saw through Pickler's "aw-shucks" act immediately.

That's not to say Kellie's not talented. It's not to say that I'm hoping she loses. On the contrary, I hope that "American Idol" is her ticket out of whatever hardships she endures and that all the fame and fortune providence bestows on her brings her the happiness she needs.

I also hope that in her mind she's made it, because then, presumably, she'd have nothing more to prove except to herself, and she won't have to lie to millions of people.

Did she really say that she never sang in public before?

Come on Kellie, I can't tell you how many photos of you singing in pageants have been e-mailed to the Grrr! column. Here's one on a fan site of a yearbook pic where your Daddy writes an open letter to his little sweetheart about how proud he is of you and how much you inspire him.

Touching, really.

Here's a whole page dedicated to "older performances."

Let me guess, you come from the "fake it 'til you make it" school of stardom? Is memoirist James Frey your favorite author? What, it's not enough to make it to the biggest show on television?

After making it this far in the competition, Kellie's back story would have come out anyway, and it would have sounded a whole lot better coming from someone else than it does coming from her.

It might even be accurate.

Instead, she's her own publicity machine, going right for the sympathy vote. It is the American public, after all, who decides on the next "American Idol." Having us on her side is in her best interest, and she's manipulating the system like a pro.

Is telling a little white lie like "I've never sang in public before" when in fact, she did, that big of a deal? Of course not.

In the early '70s, Harrison Ford built a sound studio for Brazilian musician Sergio Mendes in California with very little experience as a professional carpenter. The then struggling actor acted his way through Mendes' interview process, and he was awarded a $100,000 contract to do the job.

Ford did such a good job he became the "carpenter to the stars," and during one of his jobs building a door outside of George Lucas' casting office, he became Han Solo.

The rest is history.

The irony is, while Kellie Pickler longs to escape and presumably to be an inspiration to young women who share her circumstances around the world, one can see by the words her father put to paper that she's already made it. Fame and fortune are just the icing.

I'm not Grrring Kellie as a person. Indeed, anybody who gets this far on "American Idol" deserves to be there. But I am Grrring how she played to our sympathies in the beginning, and now she's playing to our "cuteness radar" by playing dumb.

Nick Lachey Crackin' Up

You know, it took me years to get rid of Reese Witherspoon, now Scarlett Johansson keeps calling.

I don't get it, really. I'm just the Grrr! guy, but apparently Oscar winners and nominees can't seem to get enough of me. Go figure.

Hopefully, now that Johansson was voted No. 1 in FHM magazine's "Sexiest 100 Women in the World" reader poll, she may be distracted for a few days and lose my number.

Then again, she might take her winning vote as yet another opportunity to call me. After all, what better opening line than "Hi Mike, it's me Scarlett, the sexiest woman in the world."

Now of course I'm joking here, but if Nick Lachey can be accosted by the ghost of Marilyn Monroe in an elevator at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, well then Reese Witherspoon and Scarlett Johansson can be stalking me, too.

Did you hear this one?

According to columnist Liz Smith, Lachey told one of his buddies that he got on an elevator with a hot blonde, but when he turned to get a better look at her, she had vanished. He then said the woman looked a lot like Marilyn Monroe, who is said to be a frequent apparition at the storied hotel.

Hmmm. Sounds like our boy Nick is cracking up, but then again, marrying into the opportunistic Simpson family with the manager/daddy would be enough to make most men go out of their minds.

Lachey is a good guy who got more than he bargained for when Jessica Simpson hitched her wagon on his connections and fame. It didn't take long for her to skyrocket into a higher tax bracket and level of celebrity, and when Lachey saw what this "marriage" was all about, he disengaged, and Simpson divorced him. Or at least that's what I think happened.

Prenup? Nah. It's a lesson most men of means learn the hard way, but in this case, it's Jessica Simpson who is going to pay up big time.

Poetic justice if you ask me.

Am I the only one sick and tired of seeing these celebrity relationships that really just make for great pictures in tabloid magazines? For the most part, it's always the guy who is made out to be the cad, but trust me, the women can be just as bad.

I know, I know, I'm just a misogynist.

"Frailty, thy name is woman." But I digress. And to say that I'm the president of the He-Man Women Haters Club misses the point.

In the end, everyone gets what they deserve when entering into relationships for the wrong reasons, whether celebs do it to further their careers in the spotlight, or ordinary women go for the older guy for financial security or the older guy goes for the young babe to boost his ego, those are all the wrong reasons.

I know women who only date bankers. They don't care if the guy's a womanizing dirtbag as long as he's got enough money to take her shopping or a killer pad to move into.

I know men who will only date gorgeous women, even if she's the most high maintenance pain in the butt you've ever met. She's hot and all my friends want her, so that's OK with me.

Man, I'm so happy I'm not single, because I wouldn't know which way was up anymore. Everybody has an angle, and I, for one, flunked geometry.

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