‘There’s nothing more relatable than someone with a net worth of approximately 590 million euro philosophising about how the virus doesn’t care how rich or poor you are.’ Esther O’Moore Donohoe on the best celeb faux pas moments of 2020…[restrict]
LISTEN to this piece here, or read below:
The past ten months have forced celebrities to draw on their creative reserves like never before. In 2020, we witnessed many of them take on the greatest roles of their lives to date, namely, Pretending to be Normal. It was going to be tough, but they assured us that we’d get through this challenging time together. Phew! It was a huge relief to know that the rich and famous were feeling just as stressed as we were as they locked down in their 12,000 square feet compounds surrounded by hidden staff.
Some even did Insta-Lives of them cooking in their how you say in English, kitchens? I ask you! Would a non-normal celeb do that? Frankly, their experiences were so like our lives, it was scary. It didn’t matter to them if we were chimney sweeps or cheese-smiths or did other normal jobs non-famous people like us do, we were all in the same virus-filled boat. But perhaps the most entertaining things they did this year was making absolute fizzing tits of themselves, documenting it all on social media.
1. AND THEY’RE OFF!
The celebrities kicked the pandemic patio doors wide open when Gal Gadot recruited 20 of her well-known pals, including the lovely Chris O’Dowd, to sing a buttock-clenching rendition of Imagine by John Lennon… for no reason at all. Public reaction was swift ‘What on Godot’s green earth were they thinking?’ Who knows, in 2021 they might get the band back together one more time and have a go at The Vengabus by Vengaboys?
2. WATER LOAD OF *%$£@!!!
‘Wigs for budgies’ and ‘backpacks for cats’ are just two of the great ideas I’ve had recently whilst in the shower. More than once I’ve mused to myself how much easier life would be if I had a social media manager, tripod and full lighting rig set up in the loo so I could broadcast my genius as I washed my shins. If you’re Madonna however, you can make such dreams a reality. That is why, back in March she decided to broadcast to her 15.6 million followers stark bollock naked from the bath. Against a soundtrack of plinky piano music and surrounded by floating rose petals, she shared with the world that coronavirus was ‘the great equaliser’. I mean, there’s nothing more relatable than someone with a net worth of approximately 590 million euro philosophising about how the virus doesn’t care how rich or poor you are. Madonna remains a queen, however.
3. PORTIA DE ROSSI
Early in the pandemic Portia de Rossi played the role of ‘Rich Person Who Can’t Cook #IsThisEndearingYet?’ to an award winning level. I watched her first few attempts at making dinner thinking ‘this shtick has to end soon surely?’ But, oh no. She made a meal of making a meal for weeks. Of course, not everyone needs to be arsed about cooking, but some celebrities tried on domestic chores like it was cosplay. Show us footage of you cooking Birdseye Potato Waffles in the toaster after walking home from an eight hour shift in the rain and maybe we’ll think it’s cute then, CELEBS.
4. DID SOMEBODY SAY ‘MULTIPLE HEALTH SCREENINGS?”
Absolutely no one:
After 2 weeks of multiple health screens and asking everyone to quarantine, I surprised my closest inner circle with a trip to a private island where we could pretend things were normal just for a brief moment in time. We danced, rode bikes, swam near whales, kayaked, watched a movie on the beach and so much more.
Kim really kicked us in the Kardashians in October when she shared pics of her friends and family on a tropical island, celebrating her 40th birthday. When the furthest some of us (me) have gone in ten months is Dun Laoghaire, it was a cruel blow. That said, if I had Kimberley Noel’s money, I would do exactly the same thing. I’d just keep the pics to myself.
5. Directed by: STEPHEN DONNELLY
In an interview with Zara King back in August, Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly compared the risk of children contracting Covid 19 in school to the risk kids take every day when playing on trampolines. Predictably Twitter lost its reason and a thousand memes were born. For my money though, the video he released in October marking his 100 days in office takes the Tone Deaf Trophy. I admire the fact that despite rising case numbers at the time and myriad public relations snafus, Stephen gave the green light to his social media team to make a video telling everyone how terrific he was. Grant me the confidence of a mediocre white man etc.
6. THE CLAP HEARD AROUND THE WORLD
2020 was a huge year for clapping. In London, New York and New Delhi, people showed their support and appreciation for frontline workers by smacking their hands together like giant seals. Clapping was spreading and it wasn’t long before Priyanka Chopra Jonas caught a dose. But I wondered, Carrie Bradshaw style, if P.C.J claps on her veranda with no one around to hear her, does it make a sound? She has since deleted the video.
7. LIVE BY THE INSTA-LIVE, DIE BY THE INSTA-LIVE
The internet collectively screamed at High School Musical star Vanessa Hudgens when during an Instagram Live she declared ‘But like it’s a virus, I get it, I respect it but even if everybody gets it… like… people are going to die, which is terrible… but inevitable?”
MOVE OVER SEAMUS HEANEY, there’s a new wordsmith in town. We’re all in this together! Eh Vanessa?
8. SEA WHAT HE DID?
Some people endured lockdown in crowded room shares, their landlords constantly threatening eviction. Elsewhere, on Planet Loaded, billionaire David Geffen isolated on his $590 million yacht in the Caribbean. He made us all feel terrific by posting photos of his mega yacht, Rising Sun, on Instagram and sharing his good fortune with us. Get in the sea Geffen!
9. DON’T QUOTE ME
Unless he can work ‘Discovered by the Germans in 1904, they named it San Diego, which of course in German means a whale’s vagina’ from Anchorman into a 2021 speech, Leo Varadkar quoting films must stop.
10. BOSTON, SPAIN.
And finally, just when we think the celebrities have tuckered themselves out and have all flown to St Barts for a little hollybop, in flamencos Hilary ‘Hilaria’ Baldwin. Hilaria had been alluding to being Spanish since she entered the public eye in 2014 following her marriage to Alec Baldwin. It turns out, she is not in fact Spanish but was born and raised in Boston. It reminds me of the time in Senior Infants when I implied that I knew Bosco personally. I didn’t come out directly and say ‘Oh. Bosco’s my best friend’ but I’d sometimes drop things like ‘Oh Bosco would LOVE this Fisher Price farm set’ into conversations at play time. If my fellow 6-year-olds wanted to infer that me and Bosco were friends, it was out of my hands. So, in a way, I can relate to Hilary B.
Celebrities, they’re just like us eh?
At time of going to press, there is still no known cure for celebrities who are unable to read a room. Thoughts and prayers to all our celeb friends who will undoubtedly continue to struggle with tone deafness in 2021.
Main image from @kimkardashian on Instagram