“Alright, shut up. We have to finish. I want to go home and watch Love & Hip-Hop,” moans the MTV editor.
“Fine, okay. Yeah,” the other editor yawns, putting down his iPhone. “Let’s turn this shit up: Best Collaboration. Go.”
“Well, Britney obviously,” the first editor starts to type. P!nk‘s was pretty good too. Definitely Robin Thicke. Calvin Harris, I guess. And, um…oh! Justin. Duh.”
“Girl. Britney and Justin in one category? Drama!” the other editor sing-songs.
“I know, right? Are we missing anyone?”
“Anyone relevant?” the second editor sasses, mockingly flipping his hair. “No. No one. Unless you want to put on that awful Pitbull collaboration.”
The first editor giggles madly. “The one with Jennifer Lopez?”
“No…the Christina one!” he spits back.
“Oh my God!” the first editor shrieks. “I remember seeing that once when I was really high. Isn’t that the one where it looks like she’s crouching down and taking a dump on the floor the whole time?”
But their laughter is suddenly cut off by the sound of something crashing to the floor with a deafening, metallic blow.
A trashcan now lays on the ground just behind them, with dozens of papers and elastic bands and unsold copies of Bionic splayed out all across the floor.
“Wh-WHO’S THERE?” one of them stutters. It’s 10 o’clock. Who could still be in the office at this hour?
The trashcan rustles. Did it just cackle?
They stand frozen in terror, staring at the canister. More rustling. Is it a rat? No. Suddenly, a metallic piece of something begins to rise — rise up, like…like a lotus. It’s a crown. Then, a pair of hands emerges — blood-red fingernails grabbing at the rim of the can. A blonde wig protrudes, covered in wads of gum and half-eaten apple cores. And then, a head. The mystery woman looks up and stares them down, flashing a toothy grin.
“Hello fans,” she purrs, picking a banana peel out of her hair. “I think you already know my name.”
Before anyone can react, the Louboutins are already clacking loudly against the wooden floor, as Legendtina struts over to the visibly shaking editors. The terror is palpable.
“Now then,” she says seductively, grabbing the first editor by the chin and staring straight into his eyes. “Tell me: What the fuck is a Vine?”
“It’s — it’s this hot new Twitter App that lets you create 6-second videos. We’re using it to reveal all the nominees tomorrow.”
“6 seconds?” TIME Magazine’s Most Influential Artist of Ever winner spits back, lowering her LipSense-coated lips to his ear. “That wouldn’t even capture half of my longest note,” she whispers.
“AH!” he quivers. “I-I, I know, your Legend. I thought it was crazy too — bu-but you know the kids, and their crazy hashtags and—”
“ENOUGH!” Legendtina roars, slapping him against the mouth with the fan she’d been clutching in her hand. “Save your hashtags for the people who give a shit, like that Barbadian Illuminati goat you’re always writing about. You two must think I’m just a fool!”
“N-no!” stammers the other editor. “We love you!”
Legendtina’s eyes narrow as she moves onto her next victim. “The funny thing about hurt people is they tend to hurt people,” Legendtina purrs, gently stroking his cheek. “And the funny thing about Grammy Award-winning industry veterans is that they tend to win FUCKING VIDEO MUSIC AWARDS!” she screams, reaching into her pants and pulling out a shiny metal canister.
“SAY!” she shouts, tossing it high into the air. For a brief moment, nothing happens. And then: BOOM. A thick spew of smoke comes pouring out, filling the room in a sticky, dense purple haze of putrid Christina Aguilera By Day-scented fog as the two run out of the office screaming, spitting, gagging and holding their shirts up over their eyes.
Legendtina cackles, running over the computer. CURSES. Password protected. She scowls, but she knew this might happen — it’s time to hack the main servers.
The Stripped chanteuse makes her way deeper into the office, until she finally happens upon the wire room — a mess of twisted cables and flashing lights. She grabs a metal chair and slips on her Back To Basics promotional headset. “Alright Max,” she whispers into the microphone. “Let there be Lotus. Work your magic for Mommy.”
On the roof of the office, Baby Max is surveying the unfamiliar landscape. Bright lights, big city. He breathes in deeply and closes his eyes, taking in the humid New York City air. Quietly, he unpacks a few small blue figurines from his OshKosh B’gosh overalls. “Ooh la la, baby don’t be shy,” he coos, gingerly twirling the blonde Smurf around in his hands and dancing. For now, this is temporary bliss.
“MAX!” a voice suddenly screeches from the Walkie-Talkie in his pants. He sighs, sitting down. “Snip the blue wire. Twist the transistor to the left three clicks, then type in the password on the keypad. It’s ‘T33NM0M.'” He waits to hear back — nothing. It must have worked. Jayden James never had to help his mom hack the MTV servers, he thinks.
Back in the studio, Legendtina is cackling with delight. The computer screens glow green with success: ACCESS GRANTED. She runs back to the computer, the monitor still dripping with Christina Aguilera By Day.
She hungrily latches onto the computer, prowling the desktop for the prize. There it is: “VMAnominations.doc.” And now, it’s time to find just the right moment to feel: “Best Male.” “Hmm, I wonder if Lady Gaga’s nominated this year,” she thinks to herself. She keeps scrolling, her mouse now lingering over a new category. “Artist To Watch Presented by Taco Bell.”
“Mmm,” she moans, her tongue hungrily running across her teeth. Is this the moment? Could the still-unreleased video for “Hoy Tengo Ganas De Ti” suffice? Would the winner also receive a lifetime supply of Cheesy Gordita Crunch? “NO!” she roars aloud, banging her fists against the keyboard in frustration. Focus, Legendtina. Time is running out.
“Best Collaboration.” This is it, she realizes.
Justin Timberlake featuring Jay-Z, “Suit & Tie”
“Hmm,” she considers, remembering the Justified & Stripped Tour. Next.
Calvin Harris featuring Ellie Goulding, “I Need Your Love”
“Who featuring who?” Next.
Robin Thicke featuring T.I. and Pharrell, “Blurred Lines”
“Oh! The girl who sings that ‘Dancing On My Own’ song. I don’t mind her, actually.” Next.
P!nk featuring Nate Ruess, “Just Give Me A Reason”
She lets out a low growl, haunted by ghosts of the past. Still, she was no competition. Next.
will.i.am featuring Britney Spears, “Scream & Shout”
A bitter memory washes over the “F.U.S.S.” songstress; back to the day she walked into Baby Max’s nursery to bring him to voice lessons with Linda Perry. That’s when she caught him red-handed: The homemade Jeremy Scott Adidas jacket crafted out of black and gold strips of construction paper. The clip-on ponytail that Mommy wore to the launch of Inspire at the Macy’s Glendale Galleria in 2005. The handography. The painful urban visual still stings to this day.
“Bye bye, Shitney,” she murmurs, feeling renewed with each backspace as she replaces the nomination with a new line.
Legendtina Goduilera featuring Random Bulge, “Feel This Moment”
She stares at her reflejo in the monitor, considering what she’s just done for this moment, which she feels profoundly. Those poor bastards won’t know what hit ’em tomorrow, she thinks.
“Welcome to the 2013 Lotus Music Awards, bitches,” she loudly declares.
She tosses her head back and unleashes a mighty cackle that rings out through the entirety of 1515 Broadway.
Legendtina is an ongoing series.