My gentle readers, I’m sure there have been times in your lives when you have walked around with your zipper down or a big glob of mustard caked onto the corner of your mouth while everyone in the vicinity was either too polite or too timid to pull you aside and tell you.
Inevitably, when you eventually find yourself in front of a mirror and realize your faux pas, you are mortified. You wonder how long you have been walking around oblivious to this embarrassing situation. In those moments, we all pine for that one brave soul willing to set us straight and keep us from looking ridiculous in public.
That’s why today I’m going to do that favor for Gwyneth Paltrow.
So, if you are reading (and I’m sure you are), Gwyn – can I call you Gwyn? – first of all let me assure you that your face is mustard free and your zipper in its upright and locked position. Also, while I’m at it, you look fantastic in those jeans and I really loved you in Iron Man.
Okay, now the awkward part. It’s about your singing. Look, it was cute at first when you started dabbling in singing as a way to promote your movie Country Strong. And it’s admirable that you performed your own vocals in the film – a lot of actors would have just hired a professional singer to do the music for them.
When you performed one of the songs from the film at the CMAs, I was still with you. You sounded pretty good and it seemed like a natural tie-in with the movie.
Then there was your performance on Glee, which all in all was a pretty savvy move. You covered a hugely popular song on a hugely popular show, you looked adorable in that gray skirt and you got to dance around and cut loose, which challenged all of the critics who accuse you of being overly serious and uptight. Best of all, you impressed Cee-Lo Green, which did wonders for your street cred (and gave you an in with The Muppets).
But this whole music thing has officially gone too far. You lucked out at the Oscars when the whole show from start to finish was so utterly bad that no one focused in on your tepid musical performance that night. However, you can’t keep this charade up much longer and, if the latest rumors are true, you are soon going to be confronted with the metaphorical mustard on your face.
According to reports, you have signed a record deal with Atlantic to create an album of original songs. Gwyn, darling, this has to stop now before it’s too late.
I hate to have to be the one to tell you this, but it looks like no one else has the guts too. There’s no easy way to say it, Gwyn, so I’m just going to come right out with it – you aren’t a good singer.
I’m not saying you are terrible. You are certainly far from tone deaf. But the simple fact of the matter is, if you weren’t Gwyneth Paltrow, your singing wouldn’t be good enough to get you cast on American Idol, let alone get you a recording contract.
You coasted by in Country Strong because they gave you songs to sing that were well within your very limited vocal range. The deck was stacked in your favor. As for your performance on Glee, you were so incredibly autotuned that you could have been Serene Branson struggling through a Grammy newscast and you still would have hit all those notes. But if you take away the computers and listen to your raw, unedited vocal track, I guarantee you didn’t sound anything like Cee-Lo.
If you don’t believe me, why don’t you ask your husband if you can actually sing. When Chris answers with “Is my phone ringing? I better go answer that” and quickly bolts out of the room, then you’ll have your answer.
If you still aren’t convinced at that point, then I’m afraid I’ll have to break out the big guns and play you a clip from your long forgotten (and rightfully so) film Duets. And no, I’m not playing the clip of you singing with Huey Lewis. Anyone would sound good sharing a stage with Mr. Back to the Future – that’s the power of Huey.
No Gwyn, I want you to take a long, hard look at this clip of you singing “Bette Davis Eyes.” Then be honest with yourself – does the woman on screen there look and sound like an actual musician?
I know this must be difficult to hear, but it’s the truth. You aren’t a professional singer and unfortunately you never will be. No one is going to buy your CD because you aren’t a real musician. No one wants to see you in concert. I’m sorry, that’s just the way it is. Just try to take solace in the fact that you are still a gorgeous, incredibly wealthy and talented actress and hopefully that will be enough to carry you through the dark times.
Joel Murphy is the creator of HoboTrashcan, which is probably why he has his own column. He loves pugs, hates Jimmy Fallon and has an irrational fear of robots. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.