Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Battle of the Blands

Her Royal Ho-ness
With Britney Spears off in Mommyland, there is a gaping hole left in the world of heavily-processed, contrived, T&A-style pop. What will the easily entertained masses do without their reigning pop queen? Will they patiently await her return to the throne, or will they get bored and crown a new leader? Given the fickle nature of Brit's target audience, I'm guessing it will be the latter unless she loses that baby weight and shows up on MTV in some skimpy outfit P-R-O-N-T-O.

And just who does the public have to choose from? Let's take a look at some of Mrs. Spears-Alexander-Spears-Federline's ladies in waiting and their odds of stepping into her shoes.

Christina Aguilera - She seems to be MIA lately. I'm guessing that while Britney has been off making a baby, Xtina has probably just been busy doing baby-making dry runs. Who knows. Years ago, she would've been the obvious choice to take Brit's crown, but I really haven't heard much from her since that radio-staple, "Beautiful", was finally given a rest. And she's not quite the same as she was when she first hit the scene. She used to be cute and perky, with kind of a valley girl way of speaking. Now she's a stringy-haired greaseball who seems to be trying to channel Rosie Perez every time she opens her mouth. On a positive note, the girl can actually sing, which is a novelty in this market. Here, image is everything. In that regard I think she overshot the mark. She soared right past Provocative Tease Land and landed smack-dab in the middle of Skanky Whoresville. The TRL crowd likes their girls dirty, but dirrty is going a bit too far. Odds: 15-1

Jessica Simpson - Jessica's got the most Britney-esque qualities of all the pop tartlets out there. She's got just the right mix of vocal inability and shamelessness. She even managed to ratchet the dumb Southern belle routine up a few notches, which seemed to be working in her favor. What is working against her though, as Brit's chief rival, is the virginity factor. Both girls claimed to be "waiting for marriage", but we all found out that Britney was rockin' Justin Timberlake's body after all. The public likes that. They don't want to hear about chastity. How can Jessica expect to achieve Spears-size fame if everyone knows that she really is a good girl, deep down? Odds: 10-1

Ashlee Simpson - I suspect that Ashlee has gone blonde again as part of her bid for Pop Queendom. As we all know, brunettes are much too "edgy". Perhaps she's hoping that the new look will confuse people who still recognize her as the SNL hoe-down champion. Like Brit and big sis, she can't sing worth a damn. Unlike those two, she doesn't seem comfortable shaking her cans and doing unnecessary bends and squats. At least when she was brunette she could pretend like she was the anti-pop grrl and could get away with staying covered up. Now that she's one of The Blondes, she's gonna have to at least start wearing push-up bras to stay on the radar. Odds: 50-1

Shakira - Even when she's speaking in English, I have no idea what this chick is saying. It really makes no difference, since I'm betting that it sucks in any language. What she has going for her are big curves, small clothes and some fiery Latina pelvic gyrations that none of the other plain old corn-fed American girls can match. Still, the mall crowd can't be bothered with learning Spanish lyrics. That's almost like, uh, learning or something.
Odds: 15-1

Hilary Duff - The Duffster has the stamp of approval from Disney, much like Brit did at the beginning of her career. (Mickey Mouse has kind of severed his ties to Britney in recent years, because Minnie was getting jealous.) Now, I know I'm not part of the teen set but I can still at least name one song by each of the girls I've already listed. I couldn't tell you one song that Hilary sings. And the very best part is that she recently came out with a Greatest Hits record. When I first heard about "Hilary Duff's Greatest Hits", I thought it was a video collection of her and Lindsay Lohan in various catfights. Who knew she actually had some musical hits under her belt? I know virtually nothing about this chick, but I know I don't like her. And that commercial for Ice Breakers where she and her sister are trying to be all cutesy makes me want to put my fist through the TV. Odds: 50-1

Lindsay Lohan - Now that Lindsay has gotten rid of her natural red and gone blonde, we have to start considering her as one of Britney's possible replacements. Like her arch-rival Duff, she has enjoyed a successful acting career, and felt the need to tarnish that success by trying her hand at something she really wasn't very good at - singing. She's had a few hits, all rather boring and forgettable, but at least I've heard them. I used to really like Lindsay. I thought she was a naturally beautiful girl, and she was very funny in Mean Girls. Then she started hanging out with Paris Hilton and the rest is history. If anyone can help unlock her inner ho, it's Paris. Odds: 30-1

Kelly Clarkson - As you may know if you read this site regularly, I am a fan of Kelly's. Not a rabid fan, but I do like her. Honestly, ever since she was on American Idol, I've always felt that she was destined for stardom but that she was above the Britneys and Xtinas of the world. However, it seems like lately her handlers have been trying to make her over into the prototypical female popster, complete with new dye job and sluttier clothes. At first I thought she was being moved in more of a rock direction, judging by the sound of guitar and drum-fueled hits like "Since U Been Gone" and "Behind These Hazel Eyes". But it turns out that it's the Avril Lavigne definition of rock, which really isn't rock at all, just pop with a bit of a snarl. I have nothing against pop music. The problem with the genre today is that it has nothing to do with music and everything to do with image and marketing. I don't like when labels try to market pop singers as rock singers. It doesn't work. They need to stop dressing Kelly up in these Hot Topic ensembles and trying to pass her off as something she's not. She's a pop singer. She's very good at it. In my opinion, she's the best singer out of all the girls I've listed, including Christina Aguilera. However, as I've been pointing out, becoming Britney really doesn't require that much talent. And even though Kelly's gotten a slightly sexier wardrobe these days, it's nowhere near the realm of streetwalker-chic needed to really put her over the top. Odds: 20-1

Avril Lavigne - As I mentioned above, Avril has tried to pass herself off as a rocker, a punk and the anti-Britney. She can put on all the smoky black eyeshadow she wants; she's still no Chrissie Hynde. Avril also has the distinction of being one of the few among these girls who can carry a tune, but she doesn't act like a tramp and she doesn't seem to like the media. She's got no chance at this title. Odds: 100-1

Carrie Underwood - Another American Idol winner, who seems to be doing fairly well for herself right now. It's a little too early to tell what direction her career will go in, but she's definitely most at home in the country genre. I'd like to say that Carrie might go on to enjoy crossover chart success like Faith Hill and Shania Twain, but I have a feeling that she may be treated to a pop-tart makeover as well. We'll see. Right now, putting her up against Britney would be like having a cage match between Debby Boone and the devil. Pointless, and not pretty. Odds: Slim to none


The Everglades said...

You should try and get this published somewhere for pay. It is so indepth. I can't name one of Duff's singles either. The fact that she has a greatest hits album coming out almost makes me impotent below. Seriously. And I agree, anything Shakira says is brutal no matter the language.

I like Clarkson because she is a hometown girl just outside of Dallas (where I toil).

Total crack up.


Doggie Extraordinaire's Mom said...

I've got my money on Jessica Simpson, because despite the wholesome image she has now, in a period of about six months, she could have an affair, be dumped by her hubby, and embrace her inner skank like few others. What I've learned is that images (even the wholesome ones), are often just that. My boyfriend has a theory about her, one I disagree with, but I'll share anyway. He says her dippy blonde act is just an act, and she's probably much smarter than any of us would believe. Frankly, I don't care. She bores me. Then again, so did Spears.

Edge said...

Are there any other options? Please .. I beg you ... please, give me another option ...

Mr. Happy said...

I agree that you should be getting paid for this. Like I've said before, I would totally watch you on E.

I think Jessica is pushing hard for the title. Her "Boots are made for walking" video wardrobe attest to that. But I don't really think she has what it takes. It's seems a little forced.

Her little sister sucks and just needs to go away, FOREVER.

Xtina - I think she's bored with the scene.

Lindsay and Hillary - Who cares, really?

Shakira's hip gyrations are fun to watch but sometimes her voice has the fingernail/chalkboard effect on me.

Kelly - I like her too and I'm a little sickened by her makeover, plus she has no chest which doesn't help.

Avril - She thinks she's too punk rock.

Carrie - Might want to shed that country bumpkin image but I don't think America will buy it.

I think there's probably some newcommer on the horizon that will swoop in and take the title.

Bonanza Jellybean said...

I'm with Jeff- is there anyone else to pick from???

Truthfully, I hope Britney keeps it. I just love seeing white trash hit it big...

Bar Bar A said...

See, I told you you should get paid for this stuff, Blake agrees.

Ahh, the mention of Chrissie Hynde, she is best female rocker ever (IMHO).

As for pop queens...Brit will be back with even bigger boobs, remember Madonna's appearance after her first child at the Academy Awards!!! Who can forget that cleavage!

Lee Ann said...

In my opinion,
Britney ~ no longer a smash, she is trash.
Christina ~ fantastic singing voice, but what the heck? I think she got in with the wrong crowd.
Jessica ~ cute body, probably the one true "good girl" in this group. Too bad she doesn't sing as well as she performs.
Ashlee ~ I thought it was good for her to be brunette, I at least took her more seriously.
Shakira ~ I see her out there more lately, but she creeps me out.
Hilary ~ I couldn't tell you what she sings either, but she has cute looks.
Lindsay ~ should stick to acting, she may make something bigger of herself there.
Kelly ~ I vote for Kelly. She has matured in stage presence and has the best voice of any of them.
Avril ~ She tries too hard to act like she is not trying.
Carrie ~ Seems like a sweet girl with a good voice. Maybe if they take her the path of Faith and Shania she will do well.
In my opinion, Kelly should take the title. I like that she doesn't try to act too sexy or too cutsie!

The Zombie Lama said...

Hilary Duff is the devil. 'Nuff said.

BeckEye said...

Well thank you folks for all the kind words, as far as your hopes for me becoming a writer-for-hire. If I could work for any publication, it would be Entertainment Weekly. Definitely not Rolling Stone, unless they paid me mucho dinero. How far they've fallen. They like to pretend they're still a credible music mag, yet when given the opportunity to put one of the aforementioned blondes on the cover, they suddenly turn into Maxim or a PG-13 version of Hustler.

An80sNut said...

Oh, lord! Female pop music has really come to this! I wish that I could say that I like any of them. I believe that Britney took the right time to go on hiatus. Her leg injuries hurt her live shows, she had just released a 'best of' and her last studio album showed a decline in her fan base. A little time off for parenthood will re-energize and give her a chance to follow any advice Madonna gave her in their talks. But I don't see her place being taken easily because people have seen her go from inexperienced "...Baby One More Time" to downright trashy "Toxic." Anyone else would have to take some time to develop that rapport and she'll be back by then.

Masha said...

i loved this post...and i think it's a toss up between Jess and Hillary


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