I think we can all agree that the glory days of high budget video clips (ie. the late 80s/early 90s) are long behind us. To a certain extent it has levelled the playing field, allowing anyone with a clever idea to mix it up with music's big guns but there is something sad about watching our favourite A List divas play with budgets that wouldn't have covered their manicure bills ten years ago. I guess the exception is Lady Gaga but I really find her hit and miss. For every "Telephone", there's an "Alejandro" in which she's just happy to play the shock card and rip off 80s Madonna. To be honest, it's all a bit dull. Anyway, some pop stars still know how to knock out an iconic clip and here are twenty of the best. I'm sure I've forgotten a few but I'm sure you'll let me know in the comments! Here goes:
20. Tranny In The House - La Chiquitta (Video)
2010 was a great year for trannytastic pop videos and Hong Kong's most glamorous drag queen delivered one of the best. Sure, it was probably filmed in less time than it took to La Chiquitta to apply her make up but I love the storyline and relentless sense of fun that bursts from every scene. Time for a sequel!
19. Prisoner - Ayna (Video)
This clip goes to prove that you don't need a 10 million dollar budget - just an incredibly elegant diva in an array of high end couture outfits and some of the classiest special effects captured on film. When is this stunning talent going to bless us with a follow up single?
18. Yesterday - Toni Braxton (Video)
I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall when someone pitched this video. Which genius raised their hand and said "let's put our 43 year old Grammy winner in lacy lingerie, have her make out with a man half her age - that is when she's not writhing in ecstasy on a plastic table. Oh and someone call Brooke Hogan for a cameo!" Needless to say this hot mess is twenty kinds of fabulous.
17. Smack You - Kimberly Cole (Video)
You know, it never ceases to amaze me how superstars like Mariah and Kylie are given ten dollars to shoot a video on their gay best friend's iPhone, while someone funded a five minute homage to Fight Club for "internet phenomenon" Kimberly Cole. Not that I'm complaining. The end result is a glossy, high camp extravaganza that really should be adapted into a feature length movie if only to hear the classic line "and I fucked yo' man!" one more time. A cult classic.
16. Indispensable - Lucero (Video)
Lady Gaga brought many a diva unstuck in 2010 - see Christina Aguilera for exhibit A - but her undeniable impact on pop culture had some truly amusing side effects. Like this hilarious clip from Mexican siren Lucero. Never before has a middle aged balladeer looked quite so tragifabulous. The outfits and zero budget special effects kept me coming back to this gem time and time again.
15. Saturday Night - Victoria Silvstedt (Video)
Victoria is so defining. I could watch her wash dishes and be utterly mesmerised but the supermodel brings her A game to this high brow video by posing in a bikini, sunbaking on a yacht and making every female on the planet jealous of her natural beauty by shaking her boobies in a nightclub. What more could you ask for?
14. Rocket - Goldfrapp (Video)
A funny thing happened in 2010 - Goldfrapp developed a sense of humour. And the first single from their slightly disappointing album showcases it perfectly. Basically, Alison drives a rocket into the desert, does some random dance moves before strapping her man onto said spaceship and sending him off into the universe. That's one way to get rid of a dud boyfriend! I like everything about this from the phallic imagery to the gorgeous shades of pink that permeate every frame. Classy and camp at the same time.
13. Got Dat Work - Mephis Blac ft. Smokahontas Jones (Video)
Khia wishes she was half as real as these two stunning beauties. Watching this hypnotic dose of visual Viagra will leave you hard, breathless and most likely suffering from some kind of STD. Already a cult classic.
12. Diamonds - Twinz (Video)
There is some debate as to whether these incestastic twins hail from Russia or Poland but who really cares when they are swinging around naked on ropes with lights beaming from their private parts? Leave it to Eastern Europe to raise the bar for modern art!
11. Spectacular - Kiely Williams (Video)
Poor Kiely. I'm sure you all remember this trainwreck. You know, the former Cheetah Girl turned streetwalker who tried to eke out a music career by singing about passing out drunk and getting fucked up the arse. Sure, it's a universal theme that we can all identify with but not exactly a ticket to chart success! Anyway, the video is a sordid affair beloved by hos the world over. I give it two thumbs up!
10. Teenage Dream - Katy Perry (Video)
Sometimes a film clip just fits a song perfectly. Katy Perry got it oh so wrong with the ridiculous (but still enjoyable) mess doubling as her "California Gurls" video but redeemed herself with this. "Teenage Dream" drags me kicking and screaming back to the beach parties we had in high school. I can almost smell the Malibu and Clearasil. Sadly, none of the boys looked half as hot as Katy's piece in this video but most of us can identify with her slice of nostalgia regardless of age or sexuality.
9. Radio Gaga - Tanya (Video)
Damn, this is a good song. I'm so pissed that I can't seem to track it down anywhere. But I digress. Russia's answer to Lady Gaga leaves the American version in her wake with this masterpiece. Tanya not only rocks a series of outfits that would make the fame monster green with envy, she also fellates an ice cream, gets her tits out and watches her husband leave her for a man. Oh and then there's 2010's most disturbing use of a watermelon in a video clip. I love this girl. Tanya, it's time to go international!
8. Body Shots - Kaci Battaglia (Video)
Kaci is my Queen. While lesser divas jump on Gaga's bandwagon or try to be artistic, this former child star puts on a skimpy bathing suit and gets her lezz on. The result is something akin to a Sports Illustrated photoshoot come to life - if the art director was that sleazebag behind Girls Gone Wild. I love the choreography and copious use of alcohol. It's about time that the gays woke up to themselves and jumped on Kaci's booze fueled bandwagon!
7. Telephone - Lady Gaga & Beyoncé (Video)
Probably the year's second most expensive video after "Alejandro" and it was worth every cent. Some critics took aim at the fact that the video's dark storyline has nothing to do with a song about losing reception in a nightclub but they missed the point. This is the closest Lady Gaga has ever come to dropping her mask and just having fun. While "Bad Romance" and "Alejandro" were painfully artistic, this is a trashy ride through the exploitation films of the 70s. I love the over the top fashion (beer can curlers and smoking sunglasses) and the Chained Heat meets Thelma & Louise plot. Needless to say, Bey steals the show with her Golden Globe nominated acting chops and raw beauty but "Telephone" will live on as a camp classic for decades to come.
6. Dance Floor Diva - Karina Bradley (Video)
I honestly can't explain why I love this as much as I do. Karina is a motivational speaker by day/international pop sensation by night who just happened to snatch every wig in the game when she unleashed this piece of movie magic at the beginning of the year. "Dance Floor Diva" is just one of those clips you have to experience yourself - preferably after one too many drinks. It just never fails to amuse me. From Karina's ridiculous outfits to the amazingly bad choreography, this is pop trash gold.
5. Bittersweet - Sophie Ellis-Bextor (Video)
I used to whinge that all Sophie's videos looked the same. Everyone knows she can't dance to save herself, so she usually just stands around looking glamorous while something diverts the viewer's attention from her complete and utter lack of coordination. The thing is - in this day of pussy popping, softcore porn videos - Sophie's old fashioned shtick is positively revolutionary. I adore this clip. She looks like a goddess and the special effects compliment rather than distract from the proceedings. The whole thing is just so fucking pretty.
4. Auld Lang Syne - Mariah (Video)
Can someone please rip this to DVD, put it in a time capsule and bury the fucker as deep as they can dig. When future generations look back on 2010, I want them to know that at least one celebrity had a sense of humour. Despite being 13 months pregnant with twin elephants, Mariah still squeezes into her sexiest dress and preens like a 17 year old prom queen. I'm not sure if she's taking the piss or completely delusional but it doesn't matter. This is still the funniest four minutes of footage I've seen in 2010.
3. I Don't Care - Barb@zul (Video)
Spain's world famous bear band raised the bar for gay videos with this amazing tale of love, betrayal and gay footballers. It works on all levels. There's the perv factor with Lazaro and the smokin' hot guy who plays Juan as well as the soap opera-tastic storyline and even the promise of a sequel. I can't wait. Shit like this makes me want to pack my bags and move to Spain. Bring on part 2!
2. All The Lovers - Kylie (Video)
I can't believe I criticised "All The Lovers" for being boring when the clip first hit the net. Shame on me. In the space of 6 months, it has become positively iconic. I've seen tragic gays piling on top of each other at the Midnight Shift in a misguided attempt to re-create the video and witnessed my Spanish friend bring "All The Lovers" to the streets of Chueca with a spine-tingling performance of "Los Amores" - complete with choreography. Hola, Tony! The simple concept is what makes this stand out from just about everything else released in 2010. It's clever, beautiful and so very Kylie. In retrospect, this is about the only thing they got right in the entire "Aphrodite" campaign.
1. Why Don't You Love Me? - Beyoncé (below)
It's ironic that Queen B spent a fortune on "Videophone" only to end up with a complete stinker, while she apparently churned out this gem in a day on the sniff of an oily rag for a planned but never released DVD collection. "Why Don't You Love Me?" is absolutely irresistible. I love watching Beyoncé camp it up as B.B. Homemaker, drinking martinis and smoking like a chimney. It's cute, funny and sexy without trying too hard. The scene where she dusts her Grammy awards is too fabulous words and retro shtick works a treat. This just proves that you don't need a million dollars to film a great video. Just a good idea and some charisma. It also doesn't hurt if you are the sexiest woman alive.