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October 25th, 2004

Ashlee Simpson Busted

We all knew Ashlee Simpson was pretty darned untalented, right? I caught five minutes of her reality show last year and determined her voice went through a lot of synthesizing before it hit the record. As I watched Saturday Night Live this past weekend, during Ashleeee’s first song it was painfully clear she was lip-synching. Not only was the voice too “studio” with none of the dynamics of someone singing live, but she wasn’t even close to matching time as she sang. The important part of lip-synching, if you’re going to fool someone, is the actual synching.

Any doubt was removed when Ashleeeeee came on stage for her second song. The music started, but was apparently the wrong song came on (“my band played the wrong song” she said as the show closed). The thing is, parts of the music were clearly being played from another source and Ashleeeeeeee’s vocals started even though her mouth was shut and her microphone was at her side. She bounced around a little bit and walked off stage as her band continued to play for a few moments before they faded to commercial about two minutes early.

My question, though, is why SNL continues to let a decidedly non-“live” act perform on their show. As far as I’m concerned, the Britneys and Ashleeeeeeeeees of the world who can’t manage to perform their own songs shouldn’t be allowed on SNL. It’s bad enough that they sucker fans into paying for their pseudo-live shows for buckets of cash.

Poor, poor Ashleeeeeeeeeeee. Now she surely will lose any of her clearly undeserved popularity (Video here.)

Posted in Television, Movies, and Music

FROM: Dave Walls [E-Mail]
DATE: Monday October 25, 2004 -- 10:03:14 am
She should be treated just like Milli Vanilli. Both crappy artists, both busted for lip synching, both should have absolutely no career afterwards.

The only difference is that Ashleeeeeee, at one point in time, probably *did* use her voice to record her album, and not someone else.

It will certainly be interesting if she takes the amount of flak that she should. Remember, Milli Vanilli was first busted for lip a non televised concert. Even if they had never been found out for being frauds on their album, their credibility was already shot. Does Ashleeeeeeee get the same treatment?

Personally, SNL *should* force their "live" performers to actually
perform LIVE. What a freaking concept. I say we just have Toots, The Roots, and Boots perform again next week to show these kids how this is DONE.

FROM: Joseph
DATE: Monday October 25, 2004 -- 10:43:09 am
Yeah, but remember when the acts did perform live on SNL? The sound engineering was so bad that they were having trouble finding people who would appear.

As for lip-synching--come on people. Milli Vanilli, sucky or not, I don't see what the difference is. In the fifties and sixties actors and actresses sang with dubbed voices without any damage to their careers--in fact, their careers would be enhanced. In this day and age, so we don't have Hollywood musicals anymore--but we have music videos in which musicians are made to act. What's the difference. This is why people are called pop stars anymore. Being called a musician, or a singer, or an actor just doesn't describe all one has to do to be successful. You really have to be all things to all people: sing, act, dance, etc. Not everyone can do it all well, and the line between actors and singers has gotten more and more blurry since the days of Milli Vanilli.

It's all prepackaged entertainment. You want integrity too? Have you listened to pop radio? Geez.

You have to go back at least twenty or thirty years if you want some artistic integrity. It all went out the window with MTV.

It's ironic that I hear a demand for artistic integrity on SNL of all places. That's like asking for SNL comics to write their own jokes, or actually do something funny for a change, for crying out loud.

On the other hand, Gwyneth Paltrow's delightful singing in "Duets" is something I would love to hear more of, dubbed and digitally refined or not. I hate that I'm forced to listen to Huey Lewis in the same song.

FROM: Matt
DATE: Monday October 25, 2004 -- 9:40:50 pm
SNl used to be about breaking new acts and being cutting edge, but that was about a decade ago and prior. I remember in the early 90's seeing Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Fishbone, and Soundgarden amongst others. The only good artists they have had in recent years was that Toots and Matays(sp?) with the Roots etc show from last season.

FROM: Chris
DATE: Monday October 25, 2004 -- 10:54:50 pm
Check this out - hilarious if its really Ashlee

FROM: Monica
DATE: Monday October 25, 2004 -- 11:53:06 pm
saw this excuse today ...

FROM: Dave Walls [E-Mail]
DATE: Tuesday October 26, 2004 -- 12:17:55 am
Hah! Priceless! Good find Monica. :)

FROM: Joseph
DATE: Tuesday October 26, 2004 -- 1:29:54 pm
I heard that acid reflux disease reason/excuse uttered from Ashlee's mouth on Good Morning America.

I guess she's found her "awareness" charity.

Still, who cares? Artists are overdubbed to death on CDs.

Elton John said basically that any performer who lip-syncs should be taken out and shot, especially when you pay seventy quid for a live show. Personally, now that Elton's so old, fat, wheezy and gassy, I'd actually prefer it if he just lip-synced. He's an icon, no doubt. I'm sure I'm pissing off a lot of his fans, but why be a hypocrite? Looks are also part of the package these days and he doesn't have it in that department (not that Ashlee does). But speaking of divas, why do we demand live singing, but expect the pinups to be air-brushed to death?
Our culture demands so much fake perfection that I think it's hypocritical to draw a line on talent. We are a technology driven society, which includes lip sync.

Madonna's latest offerings sound like a Madonna tuned synthesizer, and everyone knows she can't sing, but they love her anyway. Why? Because she tells you to.

I'm not an Ashlee fan and I don't listen to pop music anyway. But let's not pretend that everyone doesn't do it. She got caught. It's embarassing. Big deal. Are we going to pretend like she did something wrong and launch an Ashlee-gate and pretend to be astounded when the entire industry is implicated in the scandal? Puh-lease.

We demand fluff and then get mad when we find out it's fluff? I've heard it all, now.

FROM: Dave Walls [E-Mail]
DATE: Tuesday October 26, 2004 -- 2:40:54 pm
Joesph --

Point taken. I don't think the anger comes from the fact that she was lip syncing. Hell, we ALL knew that.

I think the real outrage comes from those of us who really just put up with the fluff because that is what most radio stations play. Fluff. We're force fed this stuff until we are either brainwashed into thinking Britney and Madonna are, like, the best thing EVAR!....or we turn off MTV and listen to real music.

For those of us who sit through the fluff because we have to (*ahem* radio industry *ahem*), to have someone busted and act like it's no big deal infuriates us, because it's just another slap in the face to real artists who can perform every night with no backup tape rolling.

I'm not much of an Elton John fan, but give him this: If I shelled the bucks to see him live, I would know that I got his BEST that night, and not something pre recorded for him to mail in if he didn't feel up to it.

FROM: Ryan [E-Mail]
DATE: Tuesday October 26, 2004 -- 10:00:36 pm
I can say from experience, Elton John kicks ass live. You can even hear it right after his throat surgery on that one live album from Australia. Dude's talented.

FROM: Joseph
DATE: Wednesday October 27, 2004 -- 5:04:58 pm

I feel your pain.

sam February 28, 2007, 4:32 pm

yeah.. she is terrible live, i know how you feel Dave.

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