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LeAnn Rimes blasts Guiliana Rancic for commenting on her body

GiulianRancic thinks LeAnn Rimes (pictured) could benefit from eating new Italian restaurant she’s opening sowith her husbBill. | Getty Images

Giuliana Rancic thinks LeAnn Rimes (pictured) could benefit from eating at the new Italian restaurant she’s opening soon with her husband Bill. | Getty Images

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Updated: November 4, 2011 7:22PM

Two Hollywood players now spending a lot of time in Chicago have become involved in a bit of a dust-up.

It started during an interview Guiliana Rancic did with the Huffington Post to promote her and hubby Bill’s Italian restaurant they are launching with RJ, Jerrod and Molly Melman.

Asked which celeb she’d like to feed in the eatery, Rancic targeted LeAnn Rimes, saying, “She has lost a lot of weight from all the stress in her life. She seems a bit thin right now, and I think she looks great when she’s a bit curvier.”

The incensed Rimes (living here while husband Eddie Cibrian tapes “The Playboy Club”) has been the object of past comments calling her too skinny — and always has defended herself as being healthfully thin.

Rimes tweeted Tuesday, “Guiliana Rancic hey, we should go to dinner sometime. You get criticized all the time for how small you are. You can see just HOW much I eat and maybe put a stop to this crazy ‘shrinking’ once and for all.”

† In a chat with the E! network Wednesday, Rancic attempted to cool things down. “I don’t see anything wrong with pointing out that someone looks good curvier. … I wish I was a curvy bombshell! Trust me! … I think this is just a big misunderstanding and hold no hard feelings toward LeAnn.”

FROM JAIL TO TV: As T.I. leaves federal prison in Arkansas after serving nearly a year for violating probation on federal weapons charges, we learn the best-selling rapper will star in a VH1 reality show, slated to debut Dec. 5.

The as-yet-untitled 10-episode series will focus on T.I.’s attempts to rebuild both his personal and professional lives, after his second prison stint within the past three years.

LOCALS IN THE ‘RACE’: Among the 11 teams competing in the new season of “The Amazing Race” (premiering at 7 p.m. Sept. 25 on WBBM-Channel 2), two duos have Chicago or suburban roots.

Project manager Ernie Hal­vor­sen, 29, and his fiancee, brand manager Cindy Chiang, 30, live in the city. Liz Canavan and her 24-year-old twin sister, Marie Canavan, hail from Deerfield. Liz lists her occupation as marketing assistant, but Marie’s is far more intriguing: “soul searching.”

ARTISTIC ACT: The House of Blues will host a Wednesday performance by Blondie tied to a photography exhibition sponsored by The online gallery, launched by Madonna’s partner, Guy Oseary, and LiveNation, specializes in limited edition photos of punk’s greatest acts, including Blondie, the Sex Pistols, the Clash and Joan Jett.

KIMMEL’S AD: Late-night talker and comic Jimmy Kimmel secretly slipped into town in August, just to tape a TV commercial with those wacky brothers from Walter E. Smithe Furniture.

It was Kimmel’s way to celebrate his talk show’s move to 11 p.m. on WLS-Channel 7, immediately following “Nightline.” That’s always been his time slot in most other ABC markets around the country.

In Chicago, “Jimmy Kimmel Live” was delayed an hour by daily repeats of Oprah Winfrey’s chatfest — something that will end Sept. 12.

Earlier this summer, Kimmel and his producers checked out various Chicago companies to find the best one to promote his new time, and the irreverent approach of Tim, Walter Jr., and Mark Smithe struck a chord. The new ad debuts Thursday morning on Channel 7.

“Over the years, we have approached big names like Paula Deen and Lady Gaga and others to appear in our television ads, and some have said yes,” said Tim Smithe. “But this is the first time a celebrity actually came to us to be a part of a campaign!”

BEHIND THE SCENES: There doesn’t seem to be much question that Kim Kardashian and her family are the “mystery” buyers represented by an attorney negotiating to buy the rights from Vivid Entertainment to that sex video “starring” Kim and ex-beau Ray J — to guarantee it’s off the market. Vivid’s owner claims the rights to the video is worth $30 million.

ON HER TOES: George Clooney is said to be amused but unperturbed that ex-girlfriend Elisabetta Canalis will compete on “Dancing With the Stars.” According to several sources, Canalis long has been obsessed with becoming famous in America, “and if she thinks this will do it for her, than more power to her,” one Clooney pal told me.

NOW WE KNOW … why Laurence Fishburne has been seen around town lately. “Riff Raff,” a play he wrote, opens Sept. 22 in a production staged by Mary-Arrchie Theatre Co. at Angel Island, 735 W. Sheridan.

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