“Ohhh! What’s this?” the husky-voiced songstress yodeled aloud, picking up the leafy flower attached to a note resting on her dressing room table.
“A gift for you, old friend,” the note read. And then below, in finer print: “Emphasis on old.”
“Huh!” Cher declared, licking her teeth and peering into the mirror. “Kind of looks like one of those things floating in my koi pond,” she chuckled, lingering on a distant memory of that time she tripped into the water years ago. She lifted the flower to her face and took a deep breath. “GAH!” she suddenly shrieked, dropping the flower and wrinkling her nose in disgust. “Chaz almighty, It smells like…”
“Red Sin?“, a seductive voice capable of a 16-second melisma purred behind her, followed by a satisfied, full-bodied cackle. Cher’s eyes widened in the mirror as she recognized who it was instantly: The gleam of the crown. The terse clacking of a pair of Louboutins against the floor.
It was her.
‘Twas the night of the finale of The Voice finale — a talent competition in which hopeful singers from all walks of life fight to take the winning title of the entire competition, only to be forgotten by the time morning rolls around. And, more importantly, it was the night of Legendtina‘s return to her old stomping grounds.
The “Desnudate” chanteuse had been gone for far too long, but strictly for legendary purposes: Being honored as TIME’s Most Influential and Important Artist In The History of Ever, topping the Billboard Dance/Club Play Charts with “Let There Be Love” and recording covers of timeless classics used as theme songs for telenovelas. It was now time to reclaim her red swivel throne, and now, she was standing in her old dressing room — currently being occupied by Cher.
“It’s so good to see you again, Cheryl!” Legendtina half-heartedly cooed, stepping in closer toward the “Believe” songstress. “I’m so glad you’re still around.”
“As in around for the show tonight, or just alive in general?” Cher deadpanned.
“HA!” Legendtina bellowed, as her eyes suddenly narrowed. “Guess.”
“Whatever,” Cher sighed, already bored with the conversation. “Are you here to ask about a Burlesque duet tonight? Because it’s not happening. I don’t even remember filming that piece of shit.”
Legendtina stopped smiling. Suddenly, the voice within stirred. Her hands clenched into fists, she stepped back and snarled. Every part of her inner army of me — the fighter, the wiser, the stronger — was positively seething with fury. But before she could do anything, she was suddenly interrupted.
“Hola, Legendtina!” Shakira loudly chirped behind her, causing Legendtina to jump and emit a stunning whistle note in fear.
“HA! Oh! Fuck. Hello, Shitira. You scared the SAY! out of me. I didn’t think they needed you here tonight,” Legendtina panted, clutching her chest.
“Aw, it’s so nice of you to be able to make it out tonight,” Shakira went on, flipping her crimped curls over her shoulder. “I know you must be terribly busy getting ready to go on tour and promote your new album. All that #lotuspromo, as the kids say.”
Legendtina stood silent for a moment, surveying Shakira’s face. Not knowing entirely whether this was another ruthless shade attack or genuine praise, she answered the same way that she would in either situation: “Thank you, fan.”
“Also, I’m so sorry to hear that you’re getting fired,” the Back to Basics bombshell continued. “I’m sure you had some falsas esperanzas about staying on for another season, but it sounds like they wanted to keep the cast strictly relevant this time around.”
“Actually, they couldn’t afford me. Apparently you agreed to be paid strictly in tubes of LipSense and oversized hand fans, so they decided—”
“I have to get ready to perform now,” Legendtina interrupted. “Remember to buy Lotus!” She quickly dashed out of the dressing room. They’ll get theirs, she thought to herself.
The show was getting ready to begin. Just off-camera, Carson Daly was mumbling to himself in a dark corner and driving safety pins into his thigh. “Fred Durst,” he stammered. “Eminem, it’s so good to see you.” He smiled with each puncture. The pain was a reminder that he was still alive.
It was finally showtime: “Ladies and gentlemen,” Carson wearily announced into the camera, his eyes beginning to glaze over: “Give it up for Pitbull. And our very own…Legendtina.”
And there she appeared: Perched atop a royal platform, the heaven-sent Bionic chanteuse reigned supreme yet again. The legend looked fit, stronger and smaller than ever — smaller, even, than the tiniest Mi Reflejo flower growing in the Desnudate Desert in Lower Woohoo Canyons.
The iconic icon donned a metallic Army of Me metallic crop top, a Red Hot Kinda Pink Love bra and a tight black Elastic Love skirt — all available from the upcoming Legendtina Living collection at Sears. She raised the microphone and crooned those immortal lyrics: “One day meh meh light eh glowing, I’ll be meh meh castle golden…”
She wowed. She amazed. The moment was hers — hers and hers alone. (Well, except for the bald one.) It was her moment to feel, which she was certainly feeling — and feeling this moment was exactly what she was doing in this very moment, which she was feeling. She could feel her vocals penetrating the cameras, diretly into the television screens and out into the living rooms of thousands of fans, encouraging them all to run straight to their computers to buy Lotus on iTunes.
“Wow! Isn’t Mommy doing well?” Legendtina’s hairdresser Sebastian asked backstage in the green room. Baby Max looked up for a moment from his new mini iPad and stared at the monitor. “Wuh?” he mumbled. Define ‘well,’ he thought to himself, unable to properly articulate his contempt. Are there Smurfs dancing around on stage, Sebastian? Do you see a girl group named G.R.L. anywhere? What fucking soundtrack is ‘Feel This Moment’ from, anyway? “Yesh,” he resigned, looking down and pressing play on “Ooh La La” for the 65th time that night. Maybe one day I too can go visit Smurf Village with Sean and JJ, he thought to himself while closing his eyes. Maybe one day.
As Legendtina trotted off the stage in victory, she twirled past Cher’s dressing room. “Follow that, you bitch — and remember to buy Lotus,” she whispered at the door. A cackle erupted down the length of the hallway.
But Cher didn’t hear her. And even if she had, she simply didn’t care.
Cher only sat there quietly, lost in thought while shoveling forkfuls of spaghetti into her mouth out of a Tupperware bowl. She was thinking about her dear friend Kathy Griffin, the financial logistics of prison, and that dot that goes before the “@” symbol on Twitter. The time drew near for her performance. Suddenly, a flutter of gays came tearing into the room, clipping, zipping and tying her into a bedazzled jacket, a strap top and, lastly, a glorious plume of a purple feathered wig gifted to her by a shirtless go-go boy in 1995 during Twinksgiving at Stonewall.
“This’ll do,” she shrugged to herself.
She made her way — or rather, drifted — to the stage: And there she found herself, engulfed in a tremendous explosion of lights and sound and fuckery and messiness. She razzled. She dazzled. She left literally all of her fucks behind in the dressing room, serving Jewish-father-unimpressed-with-the-food-at-this-restaurant realness as she shrugged, meh-ed and casually sauntered her way across the stage while yelping along to her throbbing new female (but let’s face it, still for the gays) empowerment anthem, “Woman’s World.”
And then, it was all over. An unknown was crowned as a soon-to-be future unknown. Dreams came true.
Backstage, Cher settled back into her dressing room to finish off her bowl of spaghetti. Suddenly, she looked down and remembered something she’d heard earlier in the night. She pulled out her iPhone and began to compose a tweet: “wtf is lotus?!? ! [ghost emoji] [ghost emoji] [eggplant emoji].”
“wtf is lotus” would later trend worldwide for the duration of the night. #LotusPromo
GIF via BritneyAddiction.