Music, Reviews, Showbiz

My favourite awful pop songs (that are really just guilty pleasures)

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By Jamie Tuohy

I have a confession to make, this post is billing itself as my favourite AWFUL pop songs, but in reality, these are probably my favourite songs full stop. However, for the purposes of self-preservation (which now seems rather pointless in the face of my revelation) and the feigning of any proper musical taste, I’ve decided to compile a list of the best 5 pop icons flops. From Kim Kardashian to Paris Hilton, sometimes songs are so dreadful that you have to look beyond the ear-ache-inducing clamour and just accept that they are simply genius and iconic.

Jam (Turn It Up) – Kim Kardashian

Not that I am in the business of likening Kim Kardashian’s musical efforts to significant events in Irish history, but when W.B. Yeats wrote of the Irish 1916 Rising that “a terrible beauty is born”, it seems a rather fitting description of Kim Kardashian’s hilarious attempt at singing. Sorry Willy. “I’m goin’ out tonight, it’s goin’ down, headin’ straight to the front of the line”, she mutters in the most deliciously monotone and uninterested voice you’ve ever heard. Watch the above video and try not to acknowledge how monstrously glorious this song really is. Thank you so much Kimberley, this really is a gift.

Stars are Blind – Paris Hilton

Ah, Paris. I remember the day the video for Stars are Blind premiered on MTV way back in 2006. I was 12 and on holidays in Bulgaria with my family. Of course, the only thing on my mind that day was how exactly I was going to see Paris’ debut. So, cunningly, as my family lounged by the pool, I suddenly came over all dizzy and clenched my stomach for dramatic effect. When my mother suggested I go to bed back in the apartment for a few hours, I reluctantly agreed and selflessly told everyone to stay by the pool. “I’ll be fine, I’ll just sleep it off.” Muahahahaha, you fools! As soon as I glided through the door and made some popcorn, I danced forebodingly around the apartment waiting for Paris to come on and wow me with her vocals. And wow me she did. Paris, you were my guilty pleasure in 2006 and in 2013, nothing has changed.

This Groove – Victoria Beckham

2003 marked a pivotal year for the Beckhams and indeed for me. As David signed his deal with Real Madrid, Victoria decided to head back into the studio and this was the beginning of my obsession with them. It was the kind of obsession that makes Directioners and Beliebers look sane. These were the days when Victoria’s D&G obsession was at its height and diamond-encrusted Jacob & Co. watches were synonymous with Posh ‘n’ Becks. When they released their Real Beckhams DVD, detailing David’s move to Spain and Victoria’s vocal exploits, it became a type of Bible for me. The Gospel according to the Beckhams was punctuated by the chimes of Victoria and This Groove is one of my favourites. Ah, it takes me back.

Let Your Head Go – Victoria Beckham *Amazing video alert, just sayin’*

Yes, I know, Victoria gets to appear twice, but I’m not going to lie; I’d fill this post up with her albums if I could. Let Your Head Go was released as a double-A side with This Groove and it’s probably one of Victoria’s best. I don’t mean to fill this paragraph with superlatives, but the video is mind-blowingly brilliant. It sees Victoria playing an exaggerated version of herself, where she tears up clothes and flowers, has nightmares where she sees her head on a crow, as she edges closer to a coveted OBE (remember David had just received one in 2003) and we get to see her being taken away by psychologists as she descends into an imagined madness. Hamlet say whaaah? If you watch one video from this post, make it Let Your Head Go. It will change your life. If you’re unwilling to watch it all (ARE YOU CRAZY??!), then skip to the end, where you can see Victoria sitting on a throne, polishing her crown. And that’s not a euphemism. How amazing is she?!

Insatiable – (KWEEN) Nadine Coyle

Okay, we all know how I feel about Nadine and I’m sure nobody thinks that I truly believe this song is awful or a guilty pleasure. I obviously adore this woman and think she’s flawlessly gifted, but I’m told this song is a dreadful flop (ugh, peasants), so it seems appropriate to include Insatiable as the final tune in this list. Nadine’s ‘exclusive retailing deal with Tesco’ failed to set the charts alight and Insatiable didn’t have the same industry impact as Cheryl’s debut song Fight for This Love did. But, bless, you have to love Nadine for trying. Apparently she recorded most of this song in her bathroom because ‘theeee acooosticks wur beytur’ and surprisingly you can’t even hear the sound of a toilet flushing in the background. Hair flicking, dodgy accents and mediocre marketing: it’s all perfection. Love you long time Nadine.

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Music, Showbiz

How to be iconic like Nadine Coyle

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Indifference

Nadine is the queen of indifference. Flicking that hair, talking like a transatlantic explosion of brilliance, she just doesn’t give a shit. Take this video for example: as Cheryl worries about looking like a “dickhead”, Nadine just continues to play with her hair and feigns interest. Cheryl may as well be speaking Mandarin because Nadine litch just doesn’t pay her bandmate a drop of attentch. Don’t you love it? You do!

Steal the show

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Nadine is a notorious show stealer and anytime she has ever been on stage with Girls Aloud, her ad libs are fantastically and hilariously flamboyant, often causing Nicola to give her the odd dirty look. ADORE.

Embellish the truth / Just lie

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For example: “Date of birth? 15/6/85 making me a Gemini!” or “yes, Cheryl and I still talk and we’re good friends!” Nobody can fully become Nadine Coyle without telling a few porkies!

Literally invent an accent

Nadine swears blind that she can’t fathom why anyone would think her accent is any different to other people from Derry, but there’s no denying that Nadine’s Northern brogue has all the inflections of a Californian princess. The result is a transatlantic twang that manifests itself when Nadine sings, so much so that the exaggeration and show-stealing adds to her iconic persona. Shhh, don’t question it. Watch the above vid of Nadz on Daybreak interview where she is quizzed on her eclectic accent.

Flick your hair

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When Nadine released her hurtfully and disgracefully-underrated Insatiable (which I obviously adore), she gave a lesson in flicking your hair. She even said that she pulled a muscle from tossing her mane around so ferociously. (Me on a night out, tbh). It has become her signature dance move and it’s an essential part of her iconic allure.

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girls aloud
Music, Showbiz

Girls Aloud to call it quits after 10 year anniversary | Jamie Tuohy

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Fans are waiting in eager anticipation for Girls Aloud’s BIG ANNOUNCEMENT (which Cheryl has actually already revealed) this Friday, but the forthcoming news will be slightly dampened by the revelations that their reunion comeback tour will mark the end of the band.

In her newly-released autobiography, My Story, Cheryl has revealed that Girls Aloud will be embarking upon a farewell tour and a greatest hits album.

She writes, “We’ll be working on a tour and greatest hits album. Then I think that’s it for Girls Aloud. We’ve achieved more than any of us ever dared to dream of.”

The anticipation for the announcement has been heightened through the band’s new website, www.girlsaloud.com, which is hosting a countdown, right to the very second.

Speaking on Alan Carr’s Chattyman, Cheryl revealed that her book caused anger amongst her management, as she spoiled the surprise. She said, “The book was supposed to come out after we said something, so to put it quite frankly I’ve dropped myself in the sh*t.” Oh well.”

Girls Aloud have enjoyed record-breaking chart success and became the most successful girl band to emerge from a talent-show, but with Cheryl emerging as the band’s most famous and successful star, it was speculated that the tension between her and the band’s lead-singer Nadine was a major force in their ‘taking some time out.’

However, in her book, Cheryl dispels such notions, but does concede that when Nadine didn’t show up to the 2008 BRIT Awards with the rest of the band, it was a slap in the face for the girls.

“I think we all expected her to come up with some sort of excuse, but she actually just admitted, ‘It’s not really my thing’.”

“I can remember a sort of stunned silence, like we’d all be slapped in the face, but I was so cut up about my marriage this didn’t really make the impact it probably should have.”

Nadine recently tweeted that she ‘never ever’ wants Girls Aloud to end, but it looks like her hopes and the wishes of millions of loyal supporters are about to be dashed.

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ed westwick
Movies, Music, Showbiz, Television

Celebrity Accent Changes | Jamie Tuohy

Everyone remembers Tom Cruise’s AWFUL attempt at an Irish accent in Far and Away. His potato-wielding, leprechaun accent was truly horrendous and sadly he isn’t the only star to annihilate the Irish tones.  Of course, actors and actresses will be required to change their accent to suit the dialect of their character’s origins and therefore, in pop culture, there are a host of good, bad and downright strange accent impressions floating around. Here are some of the best and worst, and also, I’ve decided to take a look at some stars who have randomly changed their accent to suit their image, or in some cases, to cling onto their dwindling relevance.

The Good:

Hugh Laurie

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As Dr. Gregory House, in the TV show House, Hugh Laurie’s American accent is impeccable. It’s not surprising that most people are shocked to learn that Laurie is British, hailing from Oxford, and found fame alongside Stephen Fry in Blackadder and Fry and Laurie.

Ed Westwick

As the smooth-talking Chuck Bass in Gossip Girl, British actor Ed Westwick has mastered the Upper-East Side lingo and managed to pull off a seriously impressive New York accent.

Cate Blanchett

Portraying the life and death of tragic Irish journalist, Veronica Guerin, Cate Blanchett delivered a poignant and convincing performance and her mastery of the Irish accent was spot-on!

The Bad

Tom Cruise:

No words. That accent was extremely FAR and a long way AWAY from Ireland.

Mischa Barton

Considering Mischa Barton was born in Britain, one would expect her impression of her mother tongue to be slightly better than the disastrous effort she put forth in St. Trinians. As JJ French, she scarcely even  tried to mimic British tones.

Brad Pitt

And once again, we have a case of the destruction of an Irish accent on the big screen. Brad’s imitation of the Irish brogue was bad enough in The Devil’s Own to last us a lifetime. Why he decided to break it out again in Snatch, I’ll never know. Accents, as Pitt has admitted, aren’t his strong point. Too true Brad, too true!

The Suspicious:

Nadine Coyle

“I’m from Derry. Date of birth: 15/6/85, making me a Gemini and … what date of birth did I say there?” Remember that? Nadine Coyle’s infamous lie on the Irish Popstars show is testament to the old adage of “every cloud has a silver lining.” Since becoming 1/5 of Girls Aloud, Nadine has become a bigger star than she ever could have as part of Six. She now resides in LA and consequently, has adopted a hilarious transatlantic accent, comprising of a strong Derry tone and strange Californian inflections.

Madonna

Give me strength. Madge, you were born in Detroit. Where are you going with the London accent? Get a grip, woman!

Victoria Beckham

VB has undergone a metamorphosis in recent years, swapping the champagne, WAG lifestyle, for a sophisticated career as a fashion designer and world-renowned style icon. Long gone are the days of her ‘zig-ah-zig-ahh-ing’, as Victoria has lost her Essex twang and traded it in for a more fashion-friendly accent.

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