“Saturday Night Live” alumnus Will Forte stops off at the Cinefamily Theatre in Los Angeles as he promotes his new movie, “Nebraska,” with with Bruce Dern.(Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)
Hugh Hefner, who founded Playboy in 1953 and turned it into a multimedia empire, remains the magazine’s editor in chief.(Liz O. Baylen/Los Angeles Times)
Actor Vin Diesel is the producer and star of the sci-fi thriller “Riddick.”(Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times)
Director Guillermo del Toro, in the mixing studio at Warner Bros. in Burbank, has a new movie coming out called “Pacific Rim,” a shot of which is on in the background, about an alien attack threatening the Earth’s existence. Giant robots piloted by humans are deployed to fight off the menace.(Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)
Last year, in addition to a winner, “The Voice” finale brought us Cher. This year, before learning that Tessanne Chin had taken top honors on Tuesday’s Season 5 finale, we got Lady Gaga, performing in matchy-matchy outfits with Christina Aguilera.
It was riveting -- and unexpectedly inspiring.
The divas’ circled around each other and then joined hands. Together, they strutted the stage in their ultrashiny gold duds, which, though similar, also highlighted their differences: Gaga’s jumpsuit all sharp, off-kilter angles; Aguilera’s slinky-sexy gown emphasizing her smooth curves.
They shared a self-conscious caress and raised their glasses and voices triumphantly, seeming to urge each other on and fire each other up as they sang Lady Gaga’s “Do What U Want.”
The song’s lyrics evoke both surrender and strength (“You can’t stop my voice cause / You don’t own my life but / Do what you want with my body”) and the way the media can twist things around -- hurtfully -- for effect (“I, I stand up, and then I’m OK / But then you print that [stuff] / That makes me want to scream”).
That made it the perfect choice to supposedly end a feud that may or may not have existed outside the gossip-blog echo chamber, where the tale of an established diva (Aguilera) feeling threatened by ambitious up-and-comer (Gaga) had apparently long ago taken hold.
After consummating their onstage union by linking arms in a toast, smashing their glasses and embracing, both singers subtly scuttled the sexist, stereotypical story line (which both have addressed directly before).
“I was really excited because ‘The Voice’ called and wanted me to perform on the finale, and I obviously can’t refuse such an amazing show,” Gaga, who had tweeted her support for Team Christina’s Jacquie Lee the day before, explained, having been asked how the collaboration had come about. “And I said, ‘I’ll do it, but I want to know if Christina wants to do it with me.’”
“This is the first time we’ve ever met, and I have to say, when I heard she wanted to collaborate, I said, of course, Lady Gaga,” Aguilera weighed in. “I’ve been waiting to meet her. She’s such an innovative artist and a risk taker, and as a fellow female, I have so much respect for that. And I just have to say, guys, she’s, like, the most down-to-earth, real person that I’ve met in this business. And female to female in this industry, it’s really hard to find that kind of a person. So I love you, girl, and you deserve everything you’ve earned.”
Later, Aguilera took to Twitter to further underscore her admiration. “She is such a powerhouse vocalist and I was honored to join the stage with @ladygaga tonight on #TheVoice! xo,” she wrote.
Do what you want with their story, gossip lovers, but it sounds like they’ve just done their best to set it straight.