Who knew crushing the dreams, stomping the souls and ripping out the hearts of aspiring singers could be such a ridiculously lucrative gig? The London Guardian posits that truth-telling "American Idol" judge Simon Cowell could stand to pocket between $100 million and $144 million next year, a ballpark figure we suggest you take with a Randy Jackson-sized grain of salt (this article explains why). That sum would be quite a jump from the reported $36 million he's currently earning to spar with Paula Abdul, flash his thicket of chest hair and offer would-be stars such helpful critiques of their vocal stylings as, "It was like watching a horror movie," and, "It sounded like cats jumping off the Empire State Building." The official word from Simon on his contract renewal? "We're in a very amicable negotiation," he tells "Access Hollywood." "I'm not commenting about the money. It hasn't even been discussed yet."
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In this week's least shocking tabloid story, Amy Winehouse apparently has fleas and needs to be fumigated. The London Sun says the issues-plagued singer has been rescuing dogs during her extended stay on the Caribbean island of St. Lucia, which has left her swanky digs at a resort complex jumping with the teeny biting insects. "Management initially turned a blind eye to what Amy was doing. But she's adopted about five or six dogs now," alleges a source. "They're all strays, without the proper vaccinations and they all have fleas. The management did not want the risk of any of the fleas infecting any of the other rooms. So they got a firm of fumigators in to blitz Amy's quarters and told her not to bring any more animals on site."
Meanwhile, we can think of few things less amusing than bogus celebrity death reports (although Carrot Top telling knock-knock jokes comes close), but the Internet continues to try to kill off the stars. The latest death hoax target is George Clooney, who follows in the not-so-dearly departed footsteps of Jeff Goldblum, Harrison Ford and Britney Spears. TMZ.com reports the rep for the Oscar-winning former Sexiest Man Alive has received a barrage of "frantic calls" from "legitimate media outlets" after rumors surfaced that he'd gone to that palatial Italian villa in the sky. Even some of Clooney's concerned friends checked in after hearing the rumblings. George was last seen in Milan a few days back filming a commercial for Nespresso (during which he was probably only dying a little inside). By the by, Goldblum is taking reports of his demise -- he supposedly took a header off a cliff in New Zealand -- in stride. He appeared on Monday's "The Colbert Report" and paid moving tribute to himself, opining that his performances "combined the muscularity of Brando, the pathos of Streep and the musky sensuality of a pride of baboons."
And finally, Mariah Carey: Eminem impersonator or seedy-looking guy with questionable taste in facial hair? Or both? That's the question being asked after the normally cleavage-flaunting chanteuse was photographed decked out -- disturbingly so -- as a dude who dresses like Eminem while filming a video for her song "Obsessed" in New York on Monday. The tune is reportedly a dis-laden answer to Eminem's "Bagpipes From Baghdad," in which he alludes to his alleged 2001 romance with Mrs. Nick Cannon (she's denied they were an item). Fingers crossed that Eminem takes this seeming portrayal as a dig and responds with his on-camera Mariah mocking, perhaps by slipping into a low-cut, made-of-sausage-casing minidress and towering stilettos.