Stop The Presses!

Jan. 14-21: Britney Vs. Christina–The Rematch

Lyndsey Parker
Stop The Presses!

Hey, remember how only a few years ago, "Britney vs. Christina" was the big headline-making feud in pop? We sure do, and honestly, if we'd had to predict back then which of the two Mouseketeers-turned-babydivas was going to grow up to be the very model of marital bliss and motherhood, and which was going to end up a head-shaving, underwear-forgetting, paparazzi-baiting hot mess...well, quite frankly, our vote would've gone to the artist formerly known as Xtina.

See, back then, sweet little Britney Spears was still espousing virginity (it's hard to believe now that her 2003 confession to W magazine, that she'd made the sexyback with two beasts with then-boyfriend Justin Timberlake, actually qualified as SHOCKING news at the time) and doing yoga with then-BFF Madonna.

Meanwhile, Christina Aguilera was dressing like Dee Snider of Twisted Sister, bathing in vats of neon-orange self-tanner, piercing every spare inch of her orange-tanned flesh with 10-gauge surgical steel, collaborating with Lil' Kim, getting dirrty in some of the most skanktastic music videos ever made, and surfacing in raunchy rumors about alleged affairs with Carson Daly and Fred Durst.

So who could blame us for assuming that Christina (the more talented but seemingly more troubled of the two) was on a Promises-bound downward spiral, while Britney's career had nowhere to go but up, up, up?

Well, obviously a whole lot's changed since then. Maybe, just maybe, these girls' fates were sealed by their choices in husbands.

See, Christina married the sane, successful music-biz mogul Jordan Bratman (subject of "Ain't No Other Man," and the knight in shining Armani armor that she has frequently referred to as her savior, her rock, her hero). Christina subsequently reinvented herself as a retro torch singer, complete with a classy '40s-pinup makeover and mature jazzy sound. And this week, she further reinvented herself as a mommy, happily giving birth to her first child, Max Liron Bratman. And we've got a feeling Max is going to grow up in a much stabler environment than Britney's poor little tykes, Sean Preston and Jayden James.

Anyhoo, as everyone INCLUDING people who've been living in caves know by now, Britney went down a very different, much rockier marital road. First she quickie-wed Jason Alexander in Vegas, then she tied the knot with "rapper" Kevin Federline. She and K-Fed made an unwatchable reality show about their doomed love, Chaotic, mostly shot on a nightvision camcorder; she quickly popped out two babies and then almost as quickly lost interest in them; she filed for divorce from K-Fed; and then things REALLY downward-spiraled from there, as has been detailed in this very blog over the past year.

We can only wonder what might have happened if, in some alternate pop universe, Christina had married one of her backup dancers and Britney had married a nice young exec at her record label instead. But we'll never know. All we can do is offer congratulations to Christina and our continued prayers to Britney.

Oh, and while we're at it, congratulations are also in order for Nicole Richie--who this week gave birth to daughter Harlow, her first child with her rocker boyfriend, Good Charlotte's Joel Madden. We're just hoping that Nicole, who's had her own troubled tabloid past, follows Christina's example instead of Britney's. We suggest that she schedule some playdates for Harlow and Max, pronto.

And on the pregnancy/baby subject (but on a much, much sadder note), our hearts and condolences go out to Lily Allen.

The British pop starlet announced only last month that she was expecting her first child with her boyfriend, Ed Simons of the Chemical Brothers, but now she's confirmed that she is in a "state of shock" after suffering a miscarriage. Very sad stuff. We hope this grieving couple will be able to "Smile" once again soon.

In other news, one diva who's managed to combine Christina's supreme lung-power, Lily's London sassiness, and Britney's career-suicidal (or just plain suicidal) ways into one tiny, trackmarked package is Amy Winehouse. And now it seems Amy's own relationship, with currently incarcerated husband Blake Fielder-Civil (Britain's answer to K-Fed, hence our clever nickname "UK-Fed") may be on the rocks. Rumors are circulating that she is having an affair with her superstar producer Mark Ronson (and, perhaps equally distressingly, that she and Mark are collaborating on a Hannukah album for the 2008 holiday season), but we're wondering if her horrendous new bleach job has anything to do with Blake's reported request for a separation. Seriously, blonde is not a good look for Amy; she'd actually be better off shaving HER head. Anyway, Amy's clearly a major talent, so we're hoping that she can turn her life around like Christina did. Maybe Amy ought to say yes, yes, yes to rehab already.

And finally, while certain overzealous photographers are getting arrested for their hot pursuit of Britney Spears, another crazy-kooky diva is taking paparazzi matters into her own hands: Bjork allegedly attacked a New Zealand shutterbug at the Auckland Airport last weekend, and it's not the first such incident for the swan-dressed Icelandic eccentric. (In 1996, the "Army Of Me" singer launched a one-woman battle against a reporter who attempted to interview her son at an airport in Thailand.) But hey, it could have been worse: At least Bjork didn't use an umbrella in her attack!

And thus concludes another wild, weird week in music. Do come back next Friday for more headspinning headlines (chances are Britney and Amy's names will be among them)...and until then, goodnight, and good music.



1) They Want A Piece Of Her - Four photographers are arrested for reckless driving after a late-night car chase with Britney Spears.

2) What A Mom Wants - Christina Aguilera gives birth to a healthy baby boy.

3) Amy Winehouse's Marriage In Need Of Rehab? - Divorce rumors swirl around the troubled star.

4) The Search For The Next Sanjaya Begins - American Idol kicks off its seventh season.

5) Really "Big" Hitmakers - Mary J. Blige, 50 Cent, Timbaland, and Wyclef Jean are implicated in an ongoing steroid investigation.

6) Nicole Richie & Joel Madden's Life Now A Little Less Simple - They've become parents for the first time.

7) Lily Allen Suffers Miscarriage - The 22-year-old songbird is devastated by her loss.

8) Read Without Prejudice - George Michael inks a $7 million book deal to pen his memoirs.

9) No More "I Love You's" For Annie Lennox & Her Label? - The ex-Eurythmics star claims Sony won't return her calls.

10) It's Oh So Violent - Bjork attacks a photographer in New Zealand.

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