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This is a preview of our pop culture newsletter The Daily Beast’s Obsessed, written by senior entertainment reporter Kevin Fallon. To receive the full newsletter in your inbox each week, sign up for it here.

If I were to describe my ideal night at a club—although “ideal” and “club” are not two words I would ever use in the same sentence—it would involve having pizza thrown at me by Katy Perry.

(Frankly, pizza thrown at me by anyone.)

My dream became some lucky revelers’ reality. A video went viral this week of the pop star at a Las Vegas party, where she was hyping the crowd up from behind the DJ booth. “What would really get them going?” it appears she thought to herself. “A beat drop? Some confetti?” No, that wouldn’t do. “I’ve got it: pepperonis in their hair.”

In a sequence as thrilling as the climax of Nope, the video shows a paper plate mounted with a slice spin through the air, much like the movie’s UFO seeking its human targets. Pleased with herself, Perry winds up again, this time chucking the slice out plate-free as the crowd grasps for it like it’s the bouquet toss at a wedding. (Note to self: Stellar wedding idea.) It is the only game of frisbee in which I’d ever willingly participate.

My review of this whole ordeal echoes my colleague Kyndall Cunningham, who flagged it earlier this week: “It’s safe to say that this video has brought me enormous joy.”

What I love about this clip is how quickly it went viral. I’m grateful for the variety of reactions to it: Hilarious! Gross! Classic Katy! But, mostly, we were all just united in enjoying it for all its unexpected absurdity. How often are we jolted out of our summer-in-the-apocalypse doldrums by a video of one of the most famous people in the world tossing pizza into a crowd that is living for it? They’re risking it all for a gluten-dairy-combo tummy ache, just to get their mouths on a falling slice. Better than manna from heaven: It’s junk food from Katy Perry.

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Little did I know that Katy Perry’s pizza party would usher in a week of absolute pop-star chaos.

Think about all the headlines, mini-news cycles, viral outrage, memes and jokes, and waves of—brace for an ugly word—discourse there has been this week surrounding our reigning divas. Those of us with an appetite for mess have been eating well.

Beyoncé: Music thief! Taylor Swift: Climate criminal! Katy Perry: Assault with a cheesy weapon!

Our music celebrities are usually under such tight control. Not an errant word allowed to be uttered. Not a step out of place allowed to be made. Not a pepperoni allowed to be airborne.

Especially with Beyoncé and Swift, the militant nature of the micromanagement around them is notorious. Their respective publicists are infamous in media circles for the wizard-like swiftness with which they appear to squash, deny, or clarify any unflattering story.

“Our music celebrities are usually under such tight control. Not an errant word allowed to be uttered. Not a step out of place allowed to be made. Not a pepperoni allowed to be airborne.”

As fans of both, it’s not pleasant for me to bear witness to their respective uproars this week. But as a [redacted]-year-old who can remember when being a music superstar meant being an absolutely ridiculous person who was constantly making mistakes, I miss when this circus of controversy was normal. I actually think that the reason why these news stories hit so big this week is because we’ve veered so far in the direction of controlled perfection.

The most shocking part of the Beyoncé mini-scandals is that there were Beyoncé mini-scandals at all.

Following the release of Renaissance, her latest album and the single reason there’s serotonin detected anywhere in my system, there was backlash because of an ableist slur that was used in one of her songs, which she then changed. She was accused by the artist Kelis of “theft” after one of the tracks borrowed an interpolation of her song but didn’t credit or compensate her. Beyoncé later removed the interpolation. That brouhaha also led to esteemed songwriter Diane Warren questioning why there were so many writer credits on her songs in the first place—a thought that, once the Beyhive arrived, I am certain Warren regretted ever having.

    Outside the confines of an elevator, Beyoncé doesn’t do scandals. Beyoncé controls the story.

    These are things that fans would have expected her team to have clocked and accounted for long before they were out in the world to be scrutinized. The ableist language on Renaissance was the same that Lizzo had to address just a month prior. And artists’ compensation and credits is one of the most talked-about issues in the music industry at the moment. On an album so heavy with samples, how was every single thing not accounted for?

    GIF

    There is something, albeit viewed through the lens of a superfan, that I find admirable in how this was all handled. In both instances, Beyoncé’s team immediately addressed the issues. There were no overwrought statements, excuses, defense, or fighting back. Just a brisk, quiet remedy. It’s almost as if she was saying, “We will be focusing on the music, not any other noise surrounding it.”

    In other words, the opposite of what Swift did.

    When a report came out that claimed the singer was the number one offender of egregious carbon emissions because of private-jet use, I have to say that the memes made me laugh. There were GIFs of planes flying captioned with things like, “Taylor Swift heading to Starbucks across the street.” Daily Mail made me howl with this headline:

    Daily Mail

    And by the time that photo of Swift deplaning a jet with an oversized umbrella over her came out—if I can’t see them, they can’t see me!—I was giddy with laughter. You have to find the humor in it to stave off the rage. Here I am drinking through paper straws like a goddamn idiot while celebrities are treating the hole in the ozone like it’s Hollywood’s hottest club.

    Her team’s response—that Swift’s jet is often lent to other people and all of the attributed trips were not for her—is fair, as is the argument that she’s extremely not alone when it comes to A-listers overusing PJs.

    With this Holy Trinity of pop divas serving as agents of chaos this week, I quickly scanned to see what the others were up to. Demi Lovato is updating her pronouns to include she/her after a year. Lizzo is eating spicy chicken wings. Rihanna is living her best life ignoring the hell out of all of us, and bless her for that.

    Then there’s Lady Gaga, who never disappoints. She, unfortunately, confirmed this week that she will be joining the extremely cursed sequel to Joker, an offense to gays everywhere. Why, Stefani? I guess there can be 100 clowns in a room and 99 of them are telling you not to make this movie. But all it takes is one Joaquin Phoenix—and one week of chaos—to believe that this could ever be a good idea.

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    DWTS Contestant Concerns Fans After Opening Up About Challenging Time

    ABC/ "Dancing With the Stars" Bond Night Elimination

    Some fans are concerned about “Dancing With the Stars” contestant and “Jersey Shore” star Vinny Guadagnino after he received harsh criticism from the judges for the second time on the competition show.

    Guadagnino and his partner, Koko Iwasaki, danced the Rumba to “Thunderball” by Tom Jones for their “James Bond” week performance. Afterward, judges Bruno Tonioli, Len Goodman, Derek Hough and Carrie Ann Inaba shared that they didn’t think it was his strongest dance of the season.

    Inaba even suggested that he should be rehearsing more, maybe an hour or two a day, she told the couple.

    “You were trying very hard and it showed,” Inaba said. “No diss at all, that’s totally full of respect.”

    Still, the two earned a low score of 23 out of 40, putting them near the bottom of the leaderboard. They did not end up in the bottom two of the night, though, meaning they move on to dance another day for “Disney+ Night,” which is set to air on Monday, October 10, 2022.

    Guadagnino Says the Journey Has Been Challenging View this post on Instagram

    A post shared by Vinny (@vinnyguadagnino)

    After the show, Guadagnino went live on Instagram to talk to his fans and viewers.

    “Hi guys, you saved me again,” he said. “I made it another week on ‘Dancing With the Stars,’ I had the lowest scores again. This is very challenging. It’s fun, but it is challenging, and there’s a lot that goes into it. And, I’m really on a journey here and you guys are saving me.”

    He added that he appreciates everyone voting for him throughout his journey.

    “I’m not a dancer, and I just, I don’t know what’s gonna happen every week,” Guadagnino shared on his Instagram Stories. “So, just want to say thank you and I’m going to keep pushing forward, try to find more dances that work for me, that are fun, and keep entertaining you guys, you know? I’m being myself out there, ultimately, and that’s what matters, right?”

    In press after the show, Guadagnino agreed that he should work harder.

    “Carrie Ann actually said like, ‘Look, you’re in this competition. It’s time you have to really start working on those technical things,’” he told Us Weekly. “And she’s right. Like, my charm and wit and all that stuff, I dunno how far it’s gonna take me. You have to do the technical stuff, which I struggle with, I’m not gonna lie.”

    Fans Think Guadagnino Is Sad & Are Worried He’ll Quit

    Fans took to Reddit after the show and after the “Jersey Shore” star’s video to share their support and concern for the reality TV star.

    “Maybe it’s better he just gets eliminated so he’s out of his misery?” the post reads.

    Fans showed their support in the replies.

    “he’s reddit user and prob reading this so – VINCENZO, I’m rooting for you., You are doing great so far with the insane schedule,” one person wrote. “Super proud of you. Make sure nicole gets out there next week and don’t let production give you descendants that show blws.”

    One person said they want to watch Guadagnino enjoying himself during at least one of the live shows.

    “They’re so mean and for what,” one person wrote. “This is why this show bugs me. He’s trying and he’s not a dancer. Meanwhile other people on this show are so over-praised and scored.”

    Another person commented, “Aww you can really tell it’s taking a toll on him:( it sucks because he’s most likely not in the best mental space while dancing which is impacting his score.”

    Some commented that they thought he might quit the show because of the criticism, but others compared him to season 30 winner Iman Shumpert, who started the season getting low scores but came back around.

    “The show is getting harder to watch. They are so critical of the ones who are trying and learning and praise their favorites. It’s called dancing with the stars, not dancing with the pros,” a comment reads.

    “Dancing With the Stars” airs on Mondays at 8 p.m. Eastern/5 p.m. Pacific time on Disney+.

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