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Rating the VH1 Divas

This year’s crop prepare to lipsync for their lives

By Brandon Watson, 3:00PM, Fri. Dec. 14, 2012

Rating the VH1 Divas
photo by brandon watson

With the tragic passing of Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey's preoccupation with achieving inception, our nation is suffering from a serious diva drought.

Perhaps that is why this year’s installment of VH1 Divas seems so lackluster. Having already used Adele, VH1 had the slimmest of pickings. The contemporary pop landscape makes us choose between a cast extra in Pat Benatar’s “Love is a Battlefield” video and the barely-used peach crayon at the bottom of the box. At least Divas Live spared us from the sentient jazz hands that make up Karmin.

Maybe the event organizers have given up on drama in the age of auto-tune. Maybe it is easier to prop up a cardboard cutout and twiddle some knobs. But I’m not ready to give up on pop. Surely there must be someone on the slate that can rise to the occasion. As in all things, I turn to RuPaul, whose infallible test of divatude will surely get us out of this jam. The time has come, so let’s take a look.

Natasha Bedingfield:

Charisma: Despite her recent attempts to crib Kim Gordon’s style, Natasha is only slightly more exciting than the clump of dried out grass in your sidewalk that you’re too lazy to weed. In 2006, her label told her that she needed to cut the Pollyanna act if she wanted to succeed in the US market.

Uniqueness: In her video for “Strip Me,” Natasha borrows from everyone from Goteye to Joanna Lumley. OOH she’s lip-syncing through black lace. I have no choice, I hear her voice.

Nerve: She once wore a leather skirt with dark sunglasses. Edgy.

Talent: Natasha got her chops as a member of Christian rock act The DNA Algorithm, who taught her the ancient secrets of playing guitar by manipulating energy fields with her feet.

Diva Level: 3 – Sandy from Grease

Kelly Rowland:

Charisma: Kelly’s Zumba class has been booked for weeks.

Uniqueness: She was the other one in Destiny’s Child. No, not that other one – the other other one. Beyoncé once let her get a short haircut.

Nerve: Kelly spent $5K on a pink Swarovski crystal encrusted bathtub for Blue Ivy so that Beyoncé would have a constant reminder of how Tina used to make her dress. She neglected to sign Bey’s 31st birthday card.

Talent: Rowland has an impressive vocal range, a fact no one knew when she was in Destiny’s Child because Bey constantly followed her around with an air horn.

Diva Level: 8 – Mary Wells

Ciara:

Charisma: Ciara performances are often derided for her inability to connect to crowds. It is said she prefers the company of robots.

Uniqueness: In a series of blind taste tests, 50 Cent was able to distinguish Ciara from Chelsea Handler three out of four times.

Nerve: CiCi talks a mean game in 150 characters or less, getting in frequent public Twitter feuds with the likes of Fiddy and Rihanna.

Talent: Mama, I want to sing!

Diva Level: 4 – Naomi Campbell’s cell phone

Kelly Clarkson:

Charisma: Although not the most glamorous diva in VH1’s cupboard, Kelly has a certain amount of gee, gosh, golly down-home charm. She’s as comforting as a chicken fried steak on a splatterware plate.

Uniqueness: Kelly sets herself apart from other chart toppers by refusing to cover herself in glue and roll around at Hobby Lobby. She is also a supporter of grinning fountainhead Ron Paul, making her the least intelligent of the divas.

Nerve: She’s fond of telling people that she “could give a crap about being a star,” which is oddly what gives her the most press. She has yet to take a job at Applebees.

Talent: Idolranking.com user Oholibamah calls her voice “thunderous.” He knows because he's been to several Amy Grant concerts.

Diva Level: 7 – Anne Murray

Miley Cyrus:

Charisma: She once suffered such a severe lack of charisma that people had trouble differentiating her from tween pop sensation Hannah Montana, a situation that often led to shenanigans.

Uniqueness: During a salvia-fueled vision quest, Miley had a spiritual awakening and now worships the alien from Alien. Fiancé Liam Hemsworth staged an intervention when she decided to cut her hair in imitation of her revered beast.

Nerve: Although Miley has done much to try to prove she is not that innocent, most of her scandals seem to be designed to piss off her dad.

Talent: Who needs talent when you can have wessonality!

Diva Level: 4 – a Ritz cracker smeared with Easy Cheese

Adam Lambert:

Charisma: His combination of Pirates of the Caribbean make-up, goth clothing, and emo hair makes him seem like the weird kid you sat next to in Chemistry who said he collected souls. He is probably not a vampire.

Uniqueness: He has a penis.

Nerve: At the 2009 American Music Awards, he simulated fellatio on his guitar player. This made several people in Topeka uncomfortable.

Talent: He probably is a vampire.

Diva Level: 5 – Lestat

Better luck next year VH1.

VH1 Divas Live airs Sunday December 16th, 8:00 Central

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