April 08, 2005 08:00 AM

LOST: After losing yet another immunity challenge on Thursday’s Survivor Palau, Stephenie LaGrossa and Bobby Jon Drinkard (the two remaining members of Ulong) paddled to tribal council to compete to be the last Ulong standing. She won, which sent the 27-year-old waiter from Alabama packing. Assessing his opponent, Bobby Jon said: “She’s honestly probably the top player in the game.” Having suffered his final loss, Bobby Jon wished Stephenie good luck as he became the ninth castaway to leave.

SOUGHT: Chris Rock won’t be back as Oscar host, not next year at least, according to Bruce Davis, executive director of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Though he gave newbie Rock, 40, points for how he handled his chores (critics didn’t), Davis said: “When you have a new host that strikes some sparks, there is evidence that ratings go up.” But, Davis went on to say, it is rare that anyone has ever hosted for two years in a row. Among the possibilities for next March’s 78th annual show, the Associated Press speculates, might be a return of Billy Crystal or first-time attempts by Ellen DeGeneres or Jay Leno.

UNSETTLED: It’s not over yet for Pierce Brosnan, 52, who could still be back in the Bond seat for a fifth time in the next 007 screen adventure. Variety reports that the film series’ producers had “patched things up” with Brosnan and were negotiating a two-film deal worth $40 million. Brosnan’s publicist Jennifer Allen declined to confirm any of the conflicting stories. Variety also said actor Daniel Craig was not a “certainty” to land the role, despite reports this week that he had the job in hand. Also mentioned as possible Brosnan successors: Clive Owen, Jude Law, Ewan McGregor, Hugh Jackman and Eric Bana.

DIED: Groundbreaker Dale Messick, whose long-running comic strip “Brenda Starr, Reporter” gave her entry into the male world of the funny pages, died Tuesday at age 98, said her daughter, Starr Rohrman, who had been caring for her mother at her home in Sonoma County, Calif. Messick, whose strip ran in 250 newspapers at its peak in the 1950s, had jettisoned her given name Dalia to further her career, and once said the redheaded Brenda had “everything I didn’t have.”

ORDERED: Sean "P. Diddy" Combs, 35, was told to pay $21,000 a month in child support to the 11-year-old son of celebrity stylist Misa Hylton-Brim, reports the New York Post of the New York State Supreme Court Appellate Division decision. Combs had been paying about $5,000 a month in support, says the paper, though he had been ordered to shell out $35,000. (The $21,000 figure represents a cut in the financial demand.) “It’s a bit of a mixed bag,” said Hylton-Brim’s lawyer of the decision, while Combs’s lawyer says his client hopes the “excessive” demand in the decision will be overturned.

DIETED: The nation?s obesity epidemic has even affected Sesame Street star Cookie Monster, who is now advocating eating healthy. In his new song, “A Cookie Is a Sometimes Food,” the furry blue creature learns there are “anytime” foods and “sometimes” foods, and cookies are decidedly “sometimes.” Furthermore, Dr. Rosemarie T. Truglio, the TV show’s vice president of research and education, tells the Associated Press that the Street also will introduce new characters, such as talking eggplants and carrots, and guest stars will address healthy activities – such as Alicia Keys talking and singing about physical activity. Now if only Oscarcould stop being grouchy …

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