The Week’s Winners And Losers: indie beef, Mel B’s bad form press tour and Justin Bieber’s crap prank

Round six! Ding-ding!

We’re a month-and-a-half into the Week’s Winners And Losers, a column in which we sift through seven days of pop culture frippery and establish who came out on top and who, sadly, resides at the bottom of the barrel. And you know what? I think it’s time for a bit of controversy. It’s time to kick up a bit of a stink, to try and whip up a Twitterstorm, to stamp and stomp our feet like a toddler in need of attention. Look at me! Look at me! Mum! Look at me!

The winners

Our first controversial winner this week is Mel B, who has managed to spice up a lacklustre Spice Girls reunion (I mean, I know nobody wants new music from Baby and the gang, but watching the four of them – minus Victoria, who’s wisely chosen to swerve the whole sorry affair – jump around The Stadium Of Light for a couple of hundred a go? All I can say is: zig-a-zag-ah, sorry, I’m off to see Little Mix instead) by making some delightfully tasteless remarks.

Yes, a couple of weeks ago the pop star told wallet-faced ham Piers Morgan, as part of his gruelling Life Stories TV show, that back in the day she and Geri once had a one-night and that – brace yourselves – Ginger Spice had “great boobs”. Well, anyway, that would have been that, but this week Geri denied the claims, with one of her people saying it’s “simply not true”.


Obviously it was exceptionally bad form for Mel B to say such a thing without a) consulting Geri first and b) thinking of us having to witness the smug look on Morgan’s face when she peppered up his gammony show – but, oh boy, what a way to put the cat amongst the pigeons. Rehearsals for the tour are imminent and it all kicks off in just a few months. It’s going to be hella awkward, but at least now there’s something interesting to say about the thing.

In other news, Nicolas Cage has annulled his shortest marriage ever. You might think the fact that we can use the phrase “his shortest marriage ever” would be enough to make the actor ask himself, “Should I just stop getting married?” – but no! Nicolas Cage will marry you and everyone you love, if you give him half the chance. This one lasted just four days, and was annulled because, his lawyer said, he was pissed at the time and couldn’t “recognise or understand the full impact of his actions”.

We’ve all been there: scratchy throat, tight feeling behind the rib cage, pounding head, body slick with sweat, face down in the pillow, thinking: “I did something stupid last night, didn’t I? Yes: somewhere between the first pint and the half-cooked Dr. Oetker. Fuck. Fuck. Got married again, didn’t I? Fuck.”

The losers

In a week when the winners won through a tasteless remark and a habit of besmirching the sanctity of marriage, you know the losers have plumbed some truly astonishing depths. And so we turn our attention to Justin Bieber, who’s done that thing where really famous, handsome people grow bad facial hair to see if they can trick you into forgetting how unbelievably beautiful they are. We see you, Biebs. It didn’t work for Brad Pitt and it won’t work for you.


No, Bieber doesn’t lose for the facial hair – although it hasn’t helped his overall score – but for his April Fool’s ‘prank’: he shared an Instagram post of a random ultrasound photo with no caption, the implication being that his wife Hailey Baldwin was pregnant. This was considered bad form from those who said it was insensitive to people who can’t have children. It didn’t help that Biebs revealed the gag with a dog Photoshopped onto the ultrasound.

He’s since apologised, but the point is: April Fools are literally never funny, are they? Like – never.

It’s something you learn with age, after a childhood and early adolescence of buckets propped atop doors, clingfilm wrapped over toilet seats, dogs Photoshopped onto ultrasound photos. On the plus side, the foetus in the photo will get a few new Twitter followers every decade or so when reputable news outlets run articles headlined The kid from Justin Bieber’s ill-advised April Fool doesn’t looks like this any more! The dog, too, come to think of it.

From one king of controversy to another: Elon Musk has released an autotuned rap song about Harambe, the gorilla who was briefly famous for being killed in a Cincinnati zoo in 2016. I’ve listened to it and, in rap parlance, Musk’s hip-hop career is as dead as Harambe the gorilla.

The inbetweeners

Rap beefs: generally quite entertaining, an essential way of greasing hip-hop’s wheels. Indie beefs: gut-wrenchingly embarrassing, claw-your-eyes-out-with-a-winkle-picker bad. Sleaford Mods frontman Jason Williamson has been bashing fellow righteous punks Idles for ages, once claiming they’ve ‘appropriated’ working class culture. Now Idles frontman Joe Talbot has hit back, telling The Independent that he no longer considers Williamson “a hero”. Plus one point for making some good headlines, minus one point for being grown men who should really know better. Anyway, all we really want to know is: has anyone in your band shagged?