Lord almighty! Tolkien fans rushed to ring in the New Year with a toast to the stars and crew of the Lord of the Rings trilogy -- our pick as 2003's Entertainers of the Year (#743/744, Dec. 26/Jan. 2). But some felt that not all of the Rings' masters got their due. ''I couldn't agree more with your choice of the Lord of the Rings cast as the entertainers of 2003,'' says Melissa Clarke of North Bay, Ontario. ''But noticeably absent was John Rhys-Davies, whose Gimli, along with Viggo Mortensen and Orlando Bloom's characters, made for an unlikely comedy trio.'' Not chuckling, however, were those shocked to find American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson's single topping the worst-music list. ''Did I read this wrong? 'Miss Independent' as one of the worst songs of the year?'' asks Melissa Shamberg from Chicago. ''I guess you didn't realize it was No. 1 on the Top 40 charts for six weeks, reached No. 9 on the Billboard chart, and was nominated for a Grammy.'' Paula Abdul couldn't have said it better.
Holding EW's entertainers of the Year title can be a dubious precursor to entertainment longevity (Ricky Martin, anyone?), but you could not have been more on the mark for bestowing this distinction upon the cast of The Lord of the Rings. These films will continue to entertain for years to come, growing pleasantly through time as masterpieces of cinema. I can't imagine J.R.R. Tolkien would have wanted it any other way. MELISSA SMITH firstname.lastname@example.org Ann Arbor, Mich.
Thanks, EW, for the year-end issue. My husband and I saw The Return of the King today, and the combination of Tolkien and Peter Jackson has produced the greatest showing of imagination that I have ever seen and may ever see again. And this is coming from a Star Wars geek. NIKKI MILBURN N10jediknight@cs.com Shepherdsville, Ky.
How precious that the entertainers of the Year issue rewarded The Lord of the Rings with the grand title and cover story the weekend The Return of the King opened. I always anticipate this issue, but I'm a bit disappointed this time around. EW, it looks like you have been tempted by the Ring. ALAN ESKEW email@example.com Dallas
The Return of the King was No. 1 on two of your ''Best of 2003'' lists, and I can't see why. King, along with The Two Towers, was decent at best, while The Fellowship of the Ring was entirely boring. Perhaps it's because I'm a Harry Potter fan, but I don't think these movies deserve half as much praise as they get. BRIAN NORRIS-SAUCEDO firstname.lastname@example.org Aurora, Colo.
Dressed to Impress thank you and amen for acknowledging Jack Black and Will Ferrell as two of your Entertainers of the Year. You should have put them on the cover in their Liza Minnelli and David Gest garb. Jack and Will would be perfect for an E! True Hollywood Story of Liza and David's marriage. FRANK DRAKE JR. email@example.com Columbus, Ohio
Take Our Picks
Arrested Development on Ken Tucker's best TV shows of 2003 and a Golden Globe nominee? Is it too soon for a cover? AMY CHRISTENSEN AmyRChristensen@hotmail.com Seattle