Believability rating: 2. We haven't read this much about either Hough or Seacrest since, well ... possibly ever, which seems a little too opportune. And Seacrest has been down this road before — remember Teri Hatcher? Except this time … Ryan, you're 35, and she is younger than Ferris Bueller's Day Off. What do you talk about? Hair products?
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Kanye West and Amber Rose
Dates: 2008 to July 2010
Background: Ms. Rose appeared on Kanye's arm at nearly every event he attended for at least a solid year, including Fashion Week and the infamous VMAs at which he stage-bombed Taylor Swift. She must have been so proud.
Believability rating: 6. We can see why Amber would benefit from dating Kanye, but he doesn't need to be swanning around with a no-name video vixen in order to make a splash. So beyond merely wanting to be the most famous person in all his relationships, on some level he legitimately must have liked either Amber or, at least, her closetful of catsuits.
Background: Newly divorced socialite meets Broadway star who sometimes looks like he wants to wash down your kidney with a shot of blood ... oldest story in the book, right? But aside from bland non-answers about their courtship, there isn't much hard evidence of any actual relationship beyond the awkward "dating" footage that appeared in Tinsley's failed reality show, High Society, which premiered about two weeks after they were last seen arm-in-arm.
Background: We had an inkling something was going on with them when Cruise did the cha-cha on Oprah's couch about his beloved's untold glories. You also may have heard they had a baby together, and like to clutch at each other on the red carpet while she wears tall shoes and he does a variety of things to his bangs.
Believability rating: 6. We were floored when Maverick declared his undying eternal passion for Joey flippin' Potter. And sometimes we do think we spy a terrified zombie gleam in Katie's eye, as if she is a deer staring into headlights her lawyers are not skilled enough to figure out how to switch off; however, they're still married, and neither has taken a tire iron to the other's knees, so that's a promising sign Tom and Katie at least like each other most of the time.
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Jessica Simpson and Billy Corgan
Dates: December 2009 to about January or February 2010
Believability rating: 1. While we do not doubt Jessica Simpson would like a tall drink of street cred, we don't for a second think there was a passionate love affair happening between Daisy Duke and a dude who once dated Courtney Love. But nice try.
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Jessica Simpson and Jeremy Renner
Dates: March 2010 to about two hours later in March 2010
Dates: Pick a year, any year. Currently, it's 2009 to present.
Background: George isn't shy about stepping out with his string of near-identical lovelies: First it was chestnut-tressed Lisa Snowdon and Krista Allen, and then in 2007 he unearthed brown-haired Sarah Larson from a Las Vegas bar. Now he's squiring Italian Total Request Live host Elisabetta Canalis (pictured), who is — yes — a brunette. But don't get attached enough to any of these ladies to make a mash-up nickname; the all-purpose Cloonette will do just fine.
Believability rating: 5. Spending time with hot, tall, leggy model types doesn't seem arduous. But is it true love, as People always wants it to be? Don’t count anyone's lady-eggs before they hatch: These things always end after said brunette gets roughly a year of publicity, leaving Clooney's eternal-bachelor reputation intact.
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Ryan Cabrera and Audrina Patridge
Dates: The time it took to film two-thirds of the final season of The Hills.
Background: On The Hills, Ryan and his hair gel pretended to be jealous of Justin Bobby, while Audrina agonized over where their "relationship" was going and then dumped him for poorly articulated reasons. Off-camera, Cabrerina provided endless photos of themselves entering and exiting L.A. restaurants — which is enough in this town to convince people you're engaged.
Believability rating: 4. This pairing might have been more plausible if (a) The Hills weren't The Hills, and (b) The Hills hadn't been the third reality show on which Cabrera wooed one of the ladies while totally coincidentally singing one of his new songs. On the other hand, Cabrera did seem bummed when Audrina kicked him to the curb, and he doesn't seem like he's that great of an actor.
Believability rating: 4. Staying mum until The End almost makes them seem more legit, but we actually think the coyness was an attempt to make Camilla and Joe look interesting and mysterious, and the ensuing breakup press release was a desperate stab at milking something interesting out of a big fat snore.
Believability rating: 9. A PR genius like Madonna, who rarely does anything without considering her image, probably couldn't resist tweaking the religious imagery even if Jesus were a potbellied, mullet-clad goon for hire. But we also bet she simply felt like having a hot twentysomething hard body squiring her around. Maybe she is Seacrest's inspiration for robbing the cradle, although Madge makes a more convincing burglar.
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Bradley Cooper and Renee Zellweger
Dates: July 2009 to present
Background: The tabs have created an entire love story for these two, based mostly on photos of the couple dining out internationally during Cooper's Hangover junket, and getting coffee in New York while Bradley looks dreamy and Renee looks like she's been wearing the same dreary capri-length leggings for six months and has cut her own hair with a pair of nail scissors.
Believability rating: 5. Cooper's career is so hot that he doesn't need to be dating anyone for press (in fact, he should be tomcatting it — as opposed to TomKatting it — like the stud he is). And Renee seems too low-key to care about sham relationships. Still, something about their pairing just doesn't ring true. Maybe it's just that they often look bored and awkward with each other, but we think it's mostly because if he truly loved her, he'd buy her a really great wig.
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Taylors Swift and Lautner
Dates: October to December 2009
Background: You surely remember allusions to the relationship from both Taylors during their respective SNL-hosting stints.
Believability rating: 8. While it was certainly handy for the people promoting Valentine's Day that their two Taylors started dating — especially since one is America's Sweetheart, and the other, America's Werewolf — the fact that this relationship quickly fizzled months before the movie even premiered means the Taylors probably were sort of sweet on one another. Until, in the grand tradition of most relationships involving a 17-year-old boy, it all went to hell. Still waiting for that song, Swift …
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Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Erin Andrews
Dates: March 2010 until ... present?
Background: Everyone who watched their turn on Dancing With the Stars claimed they oozed sexual chemistry, and the two of them pimped that out to the tabloids at every opportunity, right down to pieces whose slavish tone implied they were all but licking each other's arms during the interview.
Believability rating: 9. Just because they begged us all to care doesn't mean they weren't totally horny for each other. If tight pants, illusion netting, glitter, and a lot of writhing can't spawn a relationship, what hope do any of us have?
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Danielle Staub and Lori Michaels
Dates: June 2010 to present
Background: In the grand tradition of Bravo Housewives, New Jersey nut-job Staub went on Bravo's Watch What Happens to premiere her new single, a cozy love song with lesbian singer Lori Michaels — after which she refused to confirm they are dating, then coyly and continuously hinted that of course they were.
Believability rating: 1. Staub would do anything for press. Look for her to use next season of the Real Housewives of New Jersey to introduce her new boy toy, Ryan Cabrera.
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Spencer and Heidi Pratt
Dates: 2006 to present (maybe?)
Background: Where to begin? Speidi's relationship spans love and fights on The Hills; a "spur of the moment" "marriage" that Us Weekly just happened to be in Mexico to chronicle; a real L.A. wedding; twin metamorphoses into a crystal-wearing rageaholic and a plastic-surgery addict, respectively; and an alleged divorce ... maybe.
Believability rating: N/A. You know you're through the rabbit hole of Fake Celebrity Relationships when you announce a semi-phony couple may be faking a breakup. But Speidi gets too much of a kick from exploiting their coupling's ludicrous and scripted ups-and-downs for it to be a total lie, and in that sense, they're made for each other. Ergo, they are the alpha and omega of celebrity love chicanery, and simultaneously receive both a 10 and a 0 on the believability index. Which we think means it's time for them quit and move to the Ozarks. Please?