By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated December 22, 2003 01:00 PM

SET: “The Simple Life” stars Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie, both just one year above the legal drinking age, will help count down the final moments of 2003 on FOX’s “America’s Party,” airing live New Year’s Eve from Las Vegas’ Venetian Resort Hotel & Casino (which, coincidentally, is not a Hilton hotel). Ashanti, Metallica, Puddle of Mudd, Hootie and the Blowfish and Keith Urban will be among the performers.

SETTLED: “American Idol” winner Ruben Studdard, 25, has settled his lawsuit against the makers of 205 Flava Inc,. a hip-hop clothing maker, reports the Associated Press. Terms were not disclosed. But Studdard’s attorney says the parent company of “American Idol,” 19 Entertainment, will begin marketing 205 Flava products. Studdard filed the lawsuit in August, saying the company unfairly profited by using his unauthorized image to sell its clothing. Studdard wore jerseys emblazoned with 205 (the area code of his hometown, Birmingham, Ala.) while he competed on “Idol.”

BLOCKED: Lawyers representing L.A. Lakers star Kobe Bryant, 25, lost their initial bid to have evidence about his 19-year-old accuser’s medical condition introduced in the rape case. The accuser reputedly attempted suicide twice, which could bring her mental condition into question. District Judge Terry Ruckridge on Friday gave both sides in the case until Jan. 9 to come up with written legal arguments on whether the medical history should be introduced in court.

COMBED: Jennifer Aniston and the Fab Five from “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” were singled out for having the best celebrity hair in an unscientific study conducted by Wella based on appearances at the MTV Video Music Awards, the Emmys and the American Music Awards. Aniston won best overall hair and best highlights, while Alicia Silverstone earned top blonde honors; Jennifer Garner was named best brilliant brunette; and Debra Messing was called the most ravishing redhead. The only pop star to rate a “best” rating was Britney Spears, as best blonde bombshell along with Pamela Anderson. Christina Aguilera and Pink earned dishonors for worst female hair color, while Melissa Rivers was singled out for the worst red carpet hair. Besides the “Queer Eye” cast, best male manes went to Kid Rock and Rob Lowe. For worst, respondents said they want to see Justin Timberlake with longer hair, and Tim McGraw and Adam Sandler to stop wearing hats.

NAMED: “The American Soldier” was announced on Sunday as Time magazine’s Person of the Year, giving credit not to those who formulate the foreign policies of the U.S. but those who face bullets and grenades as they execute those policies. Time Managing Editor Jim Kelly tells Reuters there was a spirited debate about who would best represent that story as Person of the Year. Time made a similar decision in 1950 when “The American Fighting-Man” got the title as the U.S. waged war in Korea.