— By Emily Exton and Christopher Rosa
Did “Shadow” just get you? Are you an emotional brunette trapped in a bubbly blonde’s body? Did Ryan Cabrera’s frosted tips make you weak in the knees? If you answered “yes” to any of these, then you probably miss The Ashlee Simpson Show more than we do.
In 2004 MTV launched a reality series around Ashlee Simpson, which introduced us to Jessica’s younger sister who tried at every opportunity to remind viewers that she wasn’t like the Newlyweds star. It’s been 10 years since the first episode, and while a lot has changed — including her hair color, nose and status as a recording artist — there are a handful of essential Ashlee moments that will remained ingrained in our brains forever.
With her tomboy ways and goofy sense of humor, Ashlee represented the second child in all of us. Following in the footsteps of a sister whose pin-up girl curves and booming voice launched her to superstardom couldn’t be easy, and Ashlee’s Everywoman personality resonated with fans. Check out 10 things we’ll never forget about the great reality series, and then take Autobiography for a spin.
1. Ashlee was blonde.She’s experimented with different colors over the years, but at the start of her reality series, Jessica’s younger sister was just a former ballerina from Texas with platinum blonde hair.
2. Her first boyfriend was perfect (on the outside).Ashlee was dating Josh Henderson, who appeared as a contestant on the WB series Popstars and now stars on Dallas. Together, Josh and Ashlee looked like the Prom King and Queen of Young Hollywood. And when they broke up, she found herself awash in Serious Songwriting Inspiration.
3. Ashlee’s collection of sassy graphic t-shirts and Volcom swag kept stores like PacSun in business.
4. Ashlee preferred tomboy styles so much that Jessica had to remind her that she’s not a boy.
Biology lessons presented to you from the woman who famously confused chicken and fish.
5. Ashlee dyed her hair to “shock” everybody.
Not to separate herself from her sister. But being totally different is a plus.
6. Ashlee starred in Ryan Cabrera’s music video…Ryan who? You remember! Ashlee obliged her “best friend” by agreeing to star in his music video for “On The Way Down.” At the shoot she surprised him with a kiss — while the cameras were rolling — and the two soon started dating. But not before childish flirting and a disappointing Valentine’s Day.
7. Ashlee became the poster girl for severe acid reflux.
Vocal problems before her very first live show and debut album release? Season 1 was high-stakes drama, and Ashlee’s vocal problems would reappear during a now-infamous SNL appearance.
8. Jessica upstaged Ashlee at her first live show.
Yes, heading out to see your younger sister perform after spending hours in a doctor’s office qualifies as being supportive. But arriving after having Lasik eye surgery (and looking like a deranged ant) is definitely a way to attract attention.
9. “Pieces of Me” became the greatest song of 2004.
And also about Ryan Cabrera. His impact!
10. Ashlee’s “help me!” jig on Saturday Night Live.
Performing to a backing track was doctor’s orders, but the desperate dance was all Ash. She has acid reflux, people! Her lip-synching flub would go on to be replayed on every news channel across the country, but at least The Ashlee Simpson Show gave us a little more context. “If my career’s over because of this, then that’s sad,” Ashlee explained, post-show. Before there was Olivia Pope and Associates, there were the Simpsons, coaching their daughter in how to handle a live television crisis one TRL interview at a time.
[Photo Credit: MTV]