1. Ashlee Simpson: Was she the first singer to use a recorded vocal track before a live audience? Hardly. Was she the first singer to be caught in the act before a live audience? Nope. Was she the first singer to try to cover with a "bizarre jig," and an embarrassed slink off the stage? Pretty much. SaidSNL guru Lorne Michaels: "If she were a more seasoned performer then I think she would've taken charge."
2. Nancy Kerrigan: She survived a knee-whacking to take an Olympic figure-skating silver medal, but as a first-time (last-time?) SNL host, she couldn't get a leg up on cue cards—or critics who assailed her "supremely awkward performance."
3. January Jones: Speaking of awkward… Unfortunately, SNL didn't do much to thaw the Mad Men actress' icy Betty Draper persona, mainly because Jones seemed to find it hard to get loose with all those roving cameras. (Hey, not everyone can be aJon Hamm…)
4. Ke$ha: On the strength of the top-selling Animal, the singer had done the late-night talk circuit before moving up to SNL in April 2010. Her coming-out party/Laserium tribute was bashed as a "train wreck," among other (unflattering) phrases.