Thursday, January 3, 2013

Kelly Clarkson – “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)”

  We start off with two different Kellys wearing two different outfits, one of them singing and the other one banging around with some electronic equipment, so maybe they’re in a competition of some kind, with one of them getting a nice fruit basket or another house for doing a better job. Or maybe the wardrobe people just really screwed up and Kelly didn’t want to say anything harsh because the AMA’s were coming up and she didn’t want to piss anybody off until after they voted.

  Anyway, Singing Kelly starts in with the lyrics, mainly because she’s the one with the microphone and the special light behind her that makes her glow as she sings. Diddling Kelly is in what might be a mixing booth, pushing buttons and sliding knobs, sporting a hairdo and outfit that says “Intergalactic Princess with Combat Training”. I’m thinking Diddles got the harder job, but we’ll see how it goes.

  Diddling Kelly also appears to be in charge of various video monitors, and it’s the activities taking place on these monitors that becomes the central motif of this particular Kelly experience. (Oh, wait, Diddles just picked up her own microphone, one that also appears to have an outer-space theme, so somebody on the production team must have watched a marathon on the Sci-Fi Channel.) Diddles sings for a little bit, but then throws the thing back down because she has more knobs to slide and she shouldn’t be playing with Lt. Uhura’s things anyway.

  Then we start visiting the places that the monitors are monitoring, and first up is a trio of businessman in a courtyard in an unnamed city or the parking lot of the recording studio. One of them puts down his expensive wireless phone and, just as the rousing chorus kicks in, he starts dancing to the tune in a self-empowerment way, fist-thrust and all. This move apparently sends a signal to the rest of the world, and spontaneous line-dancing begins to sweep the planet in a Benetton explosion.

  We jump from place to place (and I should probably know these places, but I’m not going to take a stab at guessing because I’ll get one of them wrong and there will be hate mail and dissatisfaction), with large and small groups making a brave attempt at expressing synchronized joy and self-worth. (You can tell that some of the groups studied and practiced hard, maybe even took online courses, and those performances are quite pleasing.  The other groups? Not so much.)

  Eventually the chorus ends and we go back to the quieter lyrics, because that’s how songs work, and we head back into the studio with the special light so we can watch Singing Kelly emote up close and personal. (Diddling Kelly won’t sit still long enough for us to develop a deeper relationship with that particular personality, so we’ll have to wait for her shift to end and then maybe go have coffee.) I do have to say that I’m glad the bad dude in the song lryics is no longer sleeping in Kelly’s bed, because single Singing Sister Girl looks HOT. Mmm hmm. She needs to break off relationships more often.

  More chorus, more dancing, with the locations getting a little unusual. One group is performing underwater, with some of them wearing mermaid outfits. (I’m guessing this might be a reference of some kind, I just didn’t see the right movie or read the right book, which often happens with me.) Another group appears to have been captured by a hidden camera, which means it’s either illegal to be openly rhythmic in that country or people really do suddenly start dancing in the streets for no reason like they tried to teach us in that movie Fame, the one where Irene Cara became a huge star and then we never heard from her again.

  Hold up. I’m starting to realize that most of these groups are doing the same moves, even though they are miles and countries apart. So somebody had to show these people the steps, which means that Kelly has her very own dance to one of her songs. This is very exciting because I’ve always wanted to have a dance to go with one of my songs, even though I don’t sing and I have been arrested for my dancing. (Okay, drinking then dancing is more what it was, and some people did not find the combination to be very attractive or legal.)

  But still, her own dance? Keep watching while I go look this mess up on the web.

  Okay, it seems that Kelly held a competition where you submitted a video of you and your energetic friends copying the dance that she (or her stylist) created. Well, then. So this not the result of “I’m such a super fan of you and this song that I decided to make a video showing my spontaneous joy” and more of a “I don’t have any personal creative skills but I sure am good at following directions, woo hoo!”.

  Knocks a bit of the air out of the balloon, but it’s still a lot of fun. Especially now that I know I can make fun of the dancing styles of some of the folks since it’s not really their fault, it’s Kelly’s. She made them do it. (And that’s what I should have told the police officer. Kelly’s song told me to “breakaway” from being sober and fully-clothed.)

  I get back to the video right as there’s another shot of the underwater mermaids wriggling among the bubbles, and I realize I really can’t blame Kelly for the decisions behind a development like this. These folks clearly have too much time on their hands,  and they apparently have direct access to the Titanic wreckage site, judging by the submerged and twisted metal they are dancing on. And why isn’t the lead singer wearing a mermaid tail like the rest of the clan? Girl, those boots you’re wearing instead are really cute, but you need to stay in character if you want to make it to Hollywood week.

  Now Diddling Kelly is starting to ignore her important button-pushing in the control room, and she’s prancing around and belting the song. (This could lead to complete chaos, so somebody should probably text her.) Singing Kelly is still doing just that, so she understands job assignments better. But I guess who is doing what is not really all that important, because we’re about to kick off the biggest flash mob of the video, and we need to hurry if want to get the best seats.

  And look, Singing Kelly is joining them for this one, so this wasn’t completely staged at all. She’s right in the prominent center of things, with hundreds of people around her, so it’s probably just like another Grammy Awards show for her. But she’s a trooper, and she leads the crowd as they go through the whole dance routine, instead of just the disjointed multicultural snippets we’ve had up to this point.

  This turns out to be a major Hollywood production, with thousands of people bouncing around in their carefully-selected wardrobes chosen by her stylist. Or maybe not. If this part of the video was filmed in California, a strong possibility, there are strict laws about wearing unfashionable attire, even if you are just running to the mailbox, so it’s possible that all these people wandered in off the streets looking like this and already knew all the choreography.

  Anyway, the aerobic empowerment continues for quite some time, because if you can get Kelly and her busy schedule to stay in one place for any length of time you better take advantage of it. Shiny happy people are everywhere, with their energetic smiles indicating that dancing with Kelly is way beyond any sex that they’ve ever had. (There is one questionable moment when all of the folks around Kelly go flying backwards as if there’s been an explosion. Poor Kelly. I’ve tried to warn her about eating spicy Chinese right before a performance but she doesn’t always take my phone calls.)

  We finally get to the end of the flash mob business, and all of these people who supposedly bonded through the miracle of dance just up and walk away without saying goodbye or exchanging email addresses. Well, except for this one small group of people who continue to perform some vaguely ninja-style moves whilst giggling. Perhaps they’re dancing to one of the remix versions and the song isn’t over yet. Or they’re just drunk. It’s really not my place to judge, as long as they are happy. And they avoid the po-po, because you do NOT want to be thrown in the slammer and have to explain to your cellmate, Bubba, that you like to dance and sing. Trust me.

  We get a final shot of Kelly looking super-hot (keep breaking up with those loser boyfriends, girl, it does wonders for your complexion) and then the video fades to black.

  I’m still a little troubled by the mermaid thing, but I’m sure there are medications that I can take…

Click Here to Watch this Video on YouTube.

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