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Singing Showdown

Saturday is a night of cheesy pop and first-name divas. Do you go with the young star in transition to legal sex object? Or the tabloid queen who decided to choose "comeback" over that ultimate career move, the tawdry death?

The easy answer? See Miley at the Thomas & Mack Center on Saturday and the second night of Britney’s "The Circus" tour at Mandalay Bay on Sunday.

But money is tight and higher values may be represented by your vote. Recent basic-cable bombardments of the Ben Stiller comedy "Along Came Polly" make us long for Riskmaster, the insurance-claims software his character used to compare the two women in his life.

For low-tech newspapers, there’s always the ol’ plus or minus system. Follow our lead in each of these categories, plugging in your own preferences to add or subtract points from 0 to 10.

Miley Cyrus, 16: Earned billions for The Walt Disney Company as Hannah Montana. Now seeks to do same for WalMart with exclusive CD release "The Time of Our Lives."

1. Singing: Sometimes Avril Lavigne Lite ("When I Look At You"), sometimes Nashville mall teen channeling Stevie Nicks ("The Time Of Our Lives") and sometimes Stevie Nicks channeling Alvin and The Chipmunks ("Kicking and Screaming"). +4

2. Stripper pole moves: She’s 16. You can’t sexualize her: 0 (Unless you’re 15: +7)

3. Scandal-worthy: Showing her 15-year-old naked back in Vanity Fair? Yawn. Dancing on stripper pole at Teen Choice Awards? Brilliant post-feminist abstraction of the virgin-whore dichotomy! +5.

4. Armed robbery for Disney: At the 2007 peak of "Hannah Montana," $3,479 was bid for one front-row seat in New York. … Attorneys general in two states investigated ticket scalping. … Dollar stores still littered with "Hannah Montana" junk … off the chart! -10.

5. Annoying parent: Lovable doofus Billy Ray Cyrus, plays same on "Hannah Montana." +3

6. Twitter Zen: "Thanks (Seattle) for the weather! You never disappoint. Either I’m basking in your glorious sun or writing a song to the rhythm of your raindrops." — Sept. 16. +6

7. Namechecks Britney: In her summer hit "Party in the U.S.A." +3

8. Gay camp value: Late to the party, but it has begun (See YouTube for "Party In The F.I.P. (Fire Island Pines)." Could steam-roll after recent "VH1 Divas" appearance. +3

9. Concert cover song: Joan Jett "I Love Rock ‘N Roll." +2

10. Dramatic concert entry: Crystal cocoon emerges from bottom of the stage to let her "Breakout." +4

Britney Spears, 27: Made TMZ a cash cow with a thousand sad exploits. Also serves as blank slate for hot producers to craft fun dance music.

1. Singing: Doesn’t much bother. +1

2. Stripper pole moves: "Gimme More"! +8

3. Scandal-worthy: From Vegas wedding/annulment at the Palms in 2004 to belly-roll boogaloo on the MTV Music Awards (also at the Palms) in 2007 … off the chart! +10

4. Armed robbery for Disney: Past sins as Mickey Mouse clubber. Minor, now forgotten. -1

5. Annoying parent: After one daughter’s public meltdown and another’s teen pregnancy, Lynne Spears describes her book, "Through the Storm," as "one simple Southern woman whose family got caught in a tornado called fame." -7

6. Twitter Zen: "What’s up Tulsa? If Your Hungry and you want a piece of me, go Seek AMY in Mexico where she will bring u your chips and salsa. -Brit" — Sept. 15. +1

7. Name-checks Miley: Apparently not, even though Billy Ray reportedly invited her to his Thanksgiving table at the peak of her mental health crisis in 2007. -3

8. Gay camp value: Impersonator Derrick "Boy Britney" Barry bared his navel in "An Evening at La Cage" and on "America’s Got Talent." +9

9. Concert cover song: Alanis Morrissette’s "You Oughta Know," by some reports not even lip-synced! +6

10. Dramatic concert entry: After crowd watches 10 minutes of circus tricks, descends from rafters in egg-shaped cage. +3

Our tally: The champ defends. Britney, 27. Miley, 20. (Unless you’re 15, then it’s 27 and a tie unless you prefer older women.)

Contact reporter Mike Weatherford at mweatherford@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0288.

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