Kanye, Tiger, the Gosselins — our unfortunate 2009
By Nekesa Mumbi Moody
If only there were more Kanye Wests in the world.
No, wait — lemme finish!! Yes, West proved he was a complete jerk when he jumped onstage and interrupted Taylor Swift's glory moment at the MTV Video Music Awards. It was a moment audiences live to see.
But what if West could have interrupted those other moments we didn't want to see? Then we wouldn't be nursing scarred brains caused by 2009's worst moments, such as: a smiling Joe Jackson hawking his record label for cameras a few days after his son Michael's death; octo-dad Jon Gosselin's creepy transformation from henpecked husband to sleazy bachelor; any of Chris Brown's halfhearted apologies; Tiger Woods' transgressions of the heart.
A sampling of more Wacky & Tacky:
TIGER'S SWING: Did you ever think we'd be handicapping Tiger's mistresses instead of his golf game? Sports' ultimate Boy Scout became the tabloid gift that kept on giving when a bizarre car accident outside his home started a chain that revealed he had more side dishes than an all-you-can-eat buffet. From porn stars to waitresses, the married father-of-two showed that his conquests included more than the world of golf.
THIS IS WHY THEY INVENTED THE TERM "NO COMMENT": Let's be honest — when you expect sage social and political commentary from a beauty contestant, you've got a problem (see Sarah Palin). But it's bizarre that Carrie Prejean's anti-gay marriage stance at a Miss USA pageant seemed to set off more fury than when the same sentiments were uttered by any of the nation's elected officials (including our president). Still, it's hard to feel sorry for Prejean, who latched on to the family values contingent; but then it was revealed that she had breast implants, nude photos and a solo sex tape. The only thing she wasn't accused of being was one of Tiger's mistresses. But give it time: The list is still growing.
MAYBE CHINA WAS RIGHT: Sure, a one-child policy might seem a little extreme, but after watching the questionable to downright scary parenting skills of Nadya Suleman and Jon and Kate Gosselin, maybe the United States needs to follow China's lead. All three used the celebrity of their multiple-birth children to stay in the limelight. But karma will soon catch up — in the form of multiple teenagers.
REALITY SHOW FAIL-BALLOON BOY: It's hard to blame Richard and Mayumi Heene — the parents in the infamous balloon boy hoax — for making up the ludicrous plot that their 6-year-old son was floating away in a balloon to garner attention from the press in hopes of getting a reality show. After all, if they watched "Real Housewives," "For the Love of Ray J," "The Hills" or just about any other reality show, there is so much fiction they probably thought their hoax was an appropriate audition. Instead it might get them jail time.
FATHER OF THE YEAR: Even Joe Jackson would shake his head at the shenanigans of this year's winner, Jon Gosselin. The father of eight declared he was standing up for himself by breaking free from his bullying wife, Kate — and then proceeded to act so shamelessly we jumped on the Team Kate bandwagon. He was linked to a young teacher BEFORE they announced their split, took up with a hard-partying twenty-something, and then cheated on HER with a tabloid reporter. He also made the most of his newfound bachelorhood by partying in Vegas (with college girls and his mom), all while trying to defend his honor as a good dad.
APOLOGY FAIL: When you've done something as heinous as attack your girlfriend, you'd better have your "I'm sorry" game on point. Chris Brown was woefully off-message with his apologies — you could almost see the "let me tell you what REALLY happened" look in his eyes. Tweeting that he still loved the woman he attacked also didn't endear him to fans. Even Ike knew when to leave Tina alone.
"YES, I'M ON THE LIST" REALLY DOES WORK: Tareq and Michaele Salahi shocked the society world — and the White House — when they managed to crash the first state dinner of President Obama, despite a guest list that required security clearance and Secret Service screening. All we can say is — big deal. White House security has nothing on entertainment's clipboard-carrying publicists. If they manage to crash a Diddy party, then that's worth talking about.
AT LEAST WE HAVE JERMAJESTY: We all mourned the loss this year of one of the world's most gifted artists, Michael Jackson, and here in the world of Wacky & Tacky, his loss resonates as well: The man provided us with a wealth of material every year. Jackson's death showed us that along with his music, the craziness will also live on. The Jackson family kept his body on ice for more than two months so they could have another memorial that cost more than $1 million, Jermaine Jackson tried to mount a tribute show to his brother that fizzled, LaToya mugged for camera time, Jackson's dermatologist dished on his former patients and the remaining four of the five living Jackson brothers had a reality show by year's end. Can anyone say, "Off the Wall"?
CELEBRITY OF THE YEAR: In an age where celebrities detail their bikini waxes in interviews and debut their new implants at premieres, it was refreshing to see an ungroomed, portly woman from across the Atlantic become the year's biggest sensation. Susan Boyle proved to anyone worried that talentless opportunists were taking over our entertainment world that sometimes, talent does trump looks, substance can rise above style and a voice can win out over auto-tune. But even she wasn't immune to celebrity pitfalls — she had the prerequisite nervous breakdown at the height of her success. Welcome to the club, Susan! You are now official.