This year, Hollywood reminded us of one long Kanye West rant — somewhat intelligible yet completely nonsensical; intriguing but annoying; and something you wanted to ignore but just could not look away.
How else to describe the feeling we had after watching West and Kim Kardashian simulate the conception of their daughter North West with the video “Bound 2”? Or hearing about another profane Alec Baldwin meltdown? Or watching Lady Gaga and R. Kelly grinding up against each other on “Saturday Night Live”? Miley twerking with little people? Or digesting the news that Simon Cowell will be someone’s father?
It was bewildering, off-putting, jarring — yet entertaining at the same time. As bad as celebrity antics were this year, they remained our guilty pleasure. We’ll never admit it, but these are the moments that had us riveted in 2013.
ISN’T THE COVER OF US WEEKLY ENOUGH?
Kanye West had many righteous things to rage about this year, from the fashion industry not giving him credit for brilliant, life-changing designs like leather jogging pants, to not getting respect from President Obama. But nothing seemed to upset him more than Vogue’s apparent refusal to put his baby mama, Kim Kardashian, on the magazine cover. He likened her to this generation’s Marilyn Monroe, called her the most beautiful woman on the planet, and scoffed that two-time Vogue cover girl Michelle Obama couldn’t Instagram a selfie photo of her nearly bare backside like Kim and cause the stir that Kardashian did. We see a rant about an IRS audit coming in 2015.
AT LEAST HE GOT OUT OF THE KARDASHIAN CHRISTMAS CARD
Khloe Kardashian called it quits with troubled basketball star Lamar Odom after four years of marriage and months of endless tabloid headlines juicier than anything we’d seen in their reality show. The last straw for Kardashian allegedly came after video surfaced of a shirtless Odom and a male friend rapping semi-incoherently about smoking weed and scoring with lots of women. It doomed their marriage, but is a pretty good pilot for another Odom TV show.
CAN WE STOP NOW . PLEASE?
This year felt like Miley Cyrus plowed into our consciousness with a concrete wrecking ball — oh wait, that really did happen. From her twerk-a-thon at awards shows to her nearly nude poses to that now- infamous tongue, we saw too many different sides (not to mention the backside) of the former teen queen. Please tell us that it was all a dream — and that Billy Ray is going to pop out and explain to Hannah Montana what can happen when you eat brownies but you don’t know who baked them.
WE STOPPED BIEBLIEVING A WHILE AGO
What happened to our favorite teen moppet? Over the past year, Justin Bieber went on a world tour of mayhem, from speeding in the streets of Los Angeles, to suggestions of smoking weed to spraying illegal graffiti in Colombia to stepping on the Argentinian flag (he said he meant no offense). We expected more from a young Canadian lad. Let’s hope Toronto mayor Rob Ford hasn’t become his new role model.
IS THAT WHY HER RECIPES CALL FOR WHITE SUGAR?
Paula Deen let fly a career-ender when, during a deposition in a racial discrimination case, she admitted to using the N-word and described the vision she had of using all-Black waiters to serve in a mock plantation scenario. Deen fell on her butter knife during a tearful, defiant interview with Matt Lauer on the “Today” show, but her empire crumbled, with everyone from Walmart to the Food Network dropping her like a hot cinnamon roll. Perhaps Deen can find a new gig catering holiday meals for the “Duck Dynasty” clan.
WE’RE CRINGING ON PURPOSE
Brad Paisley and LL Cool J’s “Accidental Racist,” designed to be an ode to racial understanding, united people of all colors: We recoiled together after hearing lines like “If you don’t judge my do-rag/I won’t judge your red flag” and perhaps the topper, “If you don’t judge my gold chains/I’ll forget the iron chains.” Paisley said he’d only wanted to try and have an honest conversation about race relations (and vowed never to have Deen write his lyrics again).
PAYING TRIBUTE, AL JOLSON STYLE
Julianne Hough’s decision to don blackface for Halloween to portray her favorite character from the Netflix show “Orange is the New Black” sparked an uproar, and drew an eventual apology from the actress, who said she never intended to hurt anyone (and that’s the last time she’ll let Deen come up with her costume).
TALK ABOUT WATCHING YOUR MOUTH
Michael Douglas caused a stir — and in some circles, perhaps a panic — when, in an interview, he was quoted suggesting that he got his throat cancer from oral sex (though he later backtracked). We’re hoping it’s just a coincidence that he and Catherine Zeta-Jones announced a trial separation a few months later.
BEST PERFORMANCE ON FILM
Goes to Reese Witherspoon. Unfortunately for her, it was on a police video cam, not a movie screen. Witherspoon made headlines when she was arrested for drunkenly interfering in an officer’s attempt to arrest her husband on a DUI charge. In the video, Witherspoon immediately went into character development, telling the officer she was pregnant (an admitted lie). She also trotted out that well-worn line of fading stars: “Do you know my name?” Given the box-office performance of her last few films, she should have expected that he wouldn’t.
Follow Nekesa Mumbi Moody at https://www.twitter.com/nekesamumbi