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Man, it had been so long since America had a good lip-syncing controversy to talk about, so thanks Lorne Michaels, Marci Klein and Joe Simpson! Everyone is buzzing about Ashlee Simpson, the "punkier" (but only in that pre-fab, third generation Avril Lavigne, Urban Outfitters way) sister of Jessica Simpson. Ashlee was either punk'd or revealed on Saturday Night Live when, during her second song, someone played the wrong vocal track (what played was Pieces of You, which she performed earlier). D'oh! As father/manager Joe was probably ripping his earring out, Ashlee and bandmates stood there dumbly, and then Ashlee vamped by doing a jig (bad, blurry photo of Ashelee in mid-jig below)...and then walked off. At the close of the show, she "apologized," explaining, "I feel so bad my band started playing the wrong song and I didn't know what to do so I thought I'd do a hoe-down- I'm sorry." The Post notes that SNL producers claim they were told it was a backing vocal. Yeah.

Father Joe: Lesson number one to Ashlee should have been that usually singers can change the songs they sing midway through. Think Elvis Costello's 1977 SNL appearance, when he started to play Less Than Zero but then switched to Radio, Radio; SNL hadn't wanted him to play Radio, Radio, which criticized his record label, but Elvis showed them. Anyway, Gothamist did think that Ashlee sounded surprisingly less screechy during first song Pieces of Me (we've seen her MTV show, and boy, can she not really sing), so it wasn't a surprise that she lip synced - the shock and surprise is that it was unveiled like this. Ashlee's limited talent aside, we'd like to point out that the fish stinks from the head - management, record labels, the marketing machine, etc., for encouraging and supporting a culture of lip syncers, and the fact is that tons of singers do it. Odds are that Ashlee will develop at least a very bad rash, if not another inferiority complex, from this incident. We can only wait for the next Teen People to address this. And the poor talent team of Jude Law - he was the one supposed to be at the center of attention.

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stereogum has links to the non-performance and the explanation, as well as spirited comments (stereogum's Zapruder comment is also spot-on). The Media Drop also has extensive coverage, including these links to AVI and WMV files. We can't wait to see what Whatevs says. And the musical guest this Saturday will be Eminem, with host Kate Winslet.