The crowd jeers as Simpson wraps up her halftime performance in Miami

By Stephen M. Silverman
January 05, 2005 01:00 PM

The New Year doesn’t appear to be bringing better luck to Ashlee Simpson, when, in front of some 72,000 people at Florida’s Orange Bowl on Tuesday, her voice failed to reach the high notes of her song – and produced a screech instead. Then came the boos.

“You make me want to scream,” were the inopportune lyrics warbled by Simpson at the pivotal moment that her voice gave out.

The raven-haired singer is still recoiling from a disastrous moment on Saturday Night Live, when it was revealed that she was lip-synching her song “Pieces of Me.”

Simpson’s performance Tuesday topped off a halftime act that also featured American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson.

Once Simpson started floundering, a TV camera pulled in for a close-up of her face – only to pull back again quickly once the boos started coming from the crowd.

Simpson is coming off a successful New Year’s Eve performance in which she helped ring in 2005 with Regis Philbin who was subbing for Dick Clark on ABC’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve special. The show handily beat out competing New Year’s programs hosted by Carson Daly and Ryan Seacrest.

In the current issue of PEOPLE, Simpson, 20, says that the SNL gaffe was her biggest disappointment of 2004. “But the best part of it was overcoming it,” she adds. “Just saying, you know, that’s life. Everybody has their ups, everybody has their downs.”

Simpson wasn t the only one having a bad day at the Orange Bowl. By the fourth quarter, it was clearly over for the Oklahoma Sooners, who lost 55-19 to the University of Southern California Trojans.