I did a preview of Christina Aguilera’s W Magazine cover and pictorial a few days ago, and now W Magazine has released the interview. It’s five pages of drunken X-Tina genius. And by “genius” I mean “seriously, she’s a raging alcoholic, and she tries to play everything like she’s the biggest victim in the world.” If you like denial, sketchiness and drag queen hot messes, I suggest you read the full piece. Here are lots of highlights (sorry I did so much, there was a lot of whining and denial!):
Trauma and The Sound of Music: “I felt caged by my childhood. And unsafe: Bad things happened in my home; there was violence. The Sound of Music looked like a form of release. I would open my bedroom window to sing out like Maria. In my own way, I’d be in those hills. Sometimes… especially in the last six months, I still feel like going to the window and singing out all my troubles… I laugh a lot lately. People expect me to cry, but I always laugh when things go wrong.”
A summary of how Christina both mocked and copied Lady Gaga: While Aguilera once owned the little-girl-with-the-big-voice pop-star niche, with Bionic, she willfully entered the land of Lady Gaga. In the press, she pretended not to care or notice. “Oh, the newcomer?” Aguilera told reporters when asked about Gaga. “This person was just brought to my attention not too long ago. I’m not quite sure who this person is, to be honest. I don’t know if it is a man or a woman.” Despite her feeble claims to confusion over Gaga’s gender and her uncharitable reluctance to give her credit, the video for “Not Myself Tonight,” Bionic’s first single, had eerily similar tableaux to Gaga’s smash video “Bad Romance.” Image for S&M image, they matched up. Old fans of Aguilera’s weren’t intrigued by her revamped identity, and new fans didn’t materialize. As the album sputtered, her 20-city summer tour didn’t sell and was canceled, at a cost of millions. There were rumors that her record company wanted to drop her. Things were not good.
She claims her ex-husband Jordan Bratman screwed around too: “At one time or another,” Aguilera told me, hinting at affairs on both sides, “we were both not angels. It got to a point where our life at home was reminding me of my own childhood. I will not have my son grow up in a tension-filled home. I knew there would be a negative reaction in the press to my divorce, but I am not going to live my life because of something someone might say. That goes against everything I sing on my records. I have to be myself.”
Behind the scenes on Burlesque: By all accounts, Burlesque was a tumultuous set: Steve Antin, the first-time director, and Clint Culpepper, the head of the studio, were longtime boyfriends who clashed and almost broke up over the movie. Their fights were loud, constant, and often physical. During one skirmish, Culpepper reportedly poured an iced tea over Antin’s head. “There was a lot of incestuous energy in that movie,” Aguilera recalled. “And it was very hard to be in the center of all that. A lot was riding on the film, and I bore the brunt. I was like, ‘Hey, stop fighting—this is my career.’”
On the failure of Burlesque: “I was sad, but I’m still glad that I did the movie,” she said. “During production, I was going through a lot of self-discovery. As a quote-unquote pop star, you have your entourage with you at all times. When you enter and leave a place, backstage, even at home—you always have your team. On the movie set, I didn’t have anyone around me. And it felt good. When I first met my husband, I needed that helping hand to take the reins and look after me. After the movie, I grew out of being that little girl: I became more of an adult.”
Plus, she met Matt Rutler on the set: “I could depend on him for everything. Matt was working on the movie, and he was so supportive. And he still is. We’ve been through a lot in the past year.”
Flubbing the National Anthem: “Everything on the field at the Super Bowl was vividly bright, and I was having a moment,” Aguilera recalled. “I got lost in the emotion of being there and I messed up the lyrics to the song.” Instead of singing, “O’er the ramparts we watch’d were so gallantly streaming,” she belted out, “What so proudly we watched at the twilight’s last reaming.” Her improvised line made instant headlines. “I knew the press would glom onto it,” she said. “I went to dinner after the Super Bowl with Matt and I laughed about how I’d made myself into a Trivial Pursuit question: ‘In 2011 what female singer flubbed the lyrics to the national anthem?’”
About that story about passing out in Jeremy Renner’s bed: The weirdness was compounded by a bizarre incident that had happened a few weeks earlier, when Rutler and Aguilera attended a birthday party at actor Jeremy Renner’s house. “Matt was the one who was invited—I went as his girlfriend,” Aguilera recalled. “It was an open party, and everyone was spread out all over the house. At one point I sat on the edge of a bed. It was a guest room. But it only takes one person to start the negativity, and then everyone wants to hop aboard and continue the story.” The story, according to Renner, was that Aguilera climbed into his bed. He insinuated that she was intoxicated or cuckoo or both.
Falling down drunk at the Grammys, people saying she’s a mess: “I know what everyone was saying. And during that Grammy moment, when I nearly collapsed, I was thinking, Are you kidding me? I’ve always been really good with my heels. Even pregnant, I could perform in heels. Note to self: Never wear a train onstage. My heel got caught in my train, and if it wasn’t for Jennifer Hudson, who picked me up as I went down, I would have fallen to the floor.” Aguilera paused. “When it happened,” she continued, “it was just like, What else, God?! What else?! I threw my hands up in the air and started smiling, because what else could go wrong?”
On The Voice versus American Idol: “I’ve never watched an entire episode of American Idol,” Aguilera said, explaining her initial resistance to The Voice. “It’s too mean. Why would anyone want to go on a show to be ripped apart? I don’t want to be tough with my singers, but I do want to tell them on The Voice that if you really want this, you’ll be kicked when you’re down. You have to be willing to roll with those punches. You have to really want it.” As an ambitious nine-year-old, Aguilera competed on Star Search, performing “Sunday Kind of Love.” She lost in the semifinals. “Do we even remember who I lost to?” she joked. “At that age, I always sang songs meant for older people. That fit my personality—I had pain to sing about. If there had been a show like The Voice, I would have gone on it. It would have been amazing to be coached by a mentor.”
Matthew Rutler’s arrest for DUI (which was later dropped) and the reports that Christina was hammered too: “It never should have happened in the first place,” Aguilera told me. “The police knew my recent history and wanted to jump on the bandwagon. I don’t mean to martyr myself, but I think I was a victim of celebrity. I don’t drive, I wasn’t driving, and I committed no crimes, but they put me in jail. They called me a ‘political hot potato.’ They said, ‘What are we going to do with this woman?’ I think they were bored that night.”
In the end: “I really admire all the greats,” Aguilera said. “They’ve had their ups and downs during their careers. And I would never go down without a fight. I still have my eyes on the prize: I want to be that old lady onstage shaking her hips and singing her greatest hits.”
[From W Magazine]
Basically, nothing is ever Christina’s fault and every bad story you ever hear about her was made up out of thin air. If you see her drunkenly flub a line during the National Anthem, or you see her drunkenly bust her ass at the Grammys, you should just ignore it because it didn’t happen and you’re a horrible person for bringing it up, but now that you’ve brought it up, Christina would like you to know that ALL OF IT has made her STRONGER.
Look, I know some of you love her voice, and yeah, she has pipes. But those pipes are attached to a crazy, narcissistic monster who surrounds herself with enablers, sycophants and yes-men. She’s not a victim. Stop treating her like one.
Photos courtesy of W Magazine/The Mail.