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NASTIEST GUILTY PLEASURE
After three seasons, American Idol judges Simon Cowell (left), Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson returned for a fourth round of aural torture Jan. 18 and scored more than 33 million viewers – up 14 percent from last year's debut. But don't chalk it up to good talent: Cowell, whose scowl matched his assessment of the wannabes, tossed out a wincing "dreadful" for every embarrassing note.
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BIGGEST PARTY HOPPERS
President George Bush and the First Lady spent more time traveling than dancing Jan. 20, hitting 10 inaugural balls after he took his oath of office for a second time in Washington, D.C. In her Oscar de la Renta gown, Laura Bush – who noticeably shed about 20 lbs. since the last galas four years ago – hit the dance floor with the Commander in Chief for all of 8 mins., 54 sec. They were back home at the White House by 10:03 p.m.
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MOST SIGNIFICANT MOVE
As they begin a new semester at New York University, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, 18, are trying life apart. The sisters moved into separate digs upon starting school Jan. 18, though their rep insists "they are as close as ever." And, a source adds, they still plan on living together once their West Village penthouse is renovated.
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BEST OSCAR PREDICTOR
Leonardo DiCaprio and Hilary Swank, both 30, emerged as Oscar front-runners after being called to the podium as best actor and actress in the film drama categories at the Golden Globes on Jan. 17. But The Aviator's DiCaprio will have more than just friendly competition on his hands if Chris Rock has his way: The Academy Awards host says fellow Globe winner and Ray star Jamie Foxx "is not going to walk out of that place without an Oscar." Nominations are due Jan. 25.
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Martha Stewart could give Donald Trump a run for his billions: The CEO of domesticity has signed on for a prime-time Apprentice spin-off with producer Mark Burnett. Though Stewart, 63, is still serving her five-month prison sentence for obstruction of justice, plans for the reality show are under way, amid speculation that she could pick up the fourth season of The Apprentice, for which Trump has yet to sign a contract.
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"Life is about choices, and I've chosen to move forward with my life in a healthy and positive way," Courtney Love said in a statement last week after regaining custody of 12-year-old daughter Frances Bean (with deceased Nirvana singer Kurt Cobain) in Los Angeles. The rocker, 40, completed a court-ordered rehab program after having overdosed in front of Frances in 2003. Love still faces multiple charges, however, including assault with a deadly weapon.
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BEST USE OF FAME
Callers jammed phone lines to talk to A-list Hollywood operators Jamie Foxx and Meg Ryan (left), Ben Affleck and others to pledge funds to aid victims of the Asian tsunami disaster during NBC's Concert for Hope on Jan. 15. Even skeptical FOX News commentator Bill O'Reilly made an appearance, after first sparring in the press with organizer George Clooney over the dispersal of funds. O'Reilly agreed to appear after hearing that all money raised – which turned out to be an estimated $18.3 million – would go to the Red Cross.
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WORST HIDING PLACE
Even the IRS was watching: Survivor's first $1 million winner, Richard Hatch, agreed to plead guilty to two felony counts of tax evasion Jan. 18 after the government charged him with failing to report his winnings in 2000. Hatch, 43, is also charged with omitting $300,000 in income as a radio show co-host in Boston.
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MOST CIVIL BREAKUP
Still wearing their rings, newly separated Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston went on with rebuilding their lives amid heavy media scrutiny. While Brad took time to man the phones at the Tsunami Aid telethon and comb a Santa Barbara beach, Jen was busy working on the L.A. set of Friends with Money. "They're still friends," a source tells PEOPLE. "Both of them are in a good place."