Here’s a new favorite song of mine:
‘The Dear Lord What a Sad Little Life Jane’ speech from Come Dine with Me but it’s performed by an Indie band. pic.twitter.com/5HvyoaCIxI— Michael Fry (@BigDirtyFry) January 5, 2021
Ramble of the Day
Rita Ora sends all the signals of a well known person: she has millions of followers on social media; she has a fairly high profile gig as a judge on the UK’s Masked Singer, and gets a lot of tabloid attention. (I find it necessary to admit that not every well known person has these markers of status as their claims to being well known, but being these things would naturally make anyone fairly well known.) Still, I find her a bit of a conundrum because while I accept these facts easily, I feel like Ora’s source of fame and her prominence is slightly mysterious. It’s like I just stumbled upon her one day and understood that she was well known and ran with it without having any idea of how she got there.
I figured one possible explanation for this could be that Ora’s fame is more concentrated in her native England and that she has only achieved a certain level of fame in the US. One could make an argument that Wendy Williams is a bellwether of American pop culture; she has a talk show that basically runs on pop culture discussion, as many mid-morning/early afternoon shows do. The reason I bring that up is because I am remembering a clip where Williams admits to not knowing who she is (unrelated, but she also mentions not knowing who Millie Bobby Brown is in the same 22 second clip). It feels like the most likely explanation: a mundane truth about a mundane situation.
That said, over the few years I have had any idea of who Ora is, I have never quite developed an opinion of her abilities as a singer, actress, or host. I just developed this idea that she was just there; no one I trusted on matters of entertainment from friends to experts had ever mentioned her, let alone her ability. I can’t name a single one of her songs — I now know the song “Let You Love Me” because of the infamous EE commercial where she’s an extremely creepy AR, but I also got the name of the song wrong twice while writing this so I only know it to a certain degree. It makes me wonder if people rate Ora as an entertainer at all, which challenges a claim I once made that famous people have mostly earned it at some point.
That’s not to say Ora isn’t necessarily talented — she sounds fine in that one song I know, (and whose title I have once again forgotten). I feel like there’s a possibility Ora is still banking on the fame she earned when she broke out, which in itself is a talent (just not one I plan on complimenting too much because it seems to require being friendly to tabloids).
Why am I telling you all this? Well, because I started and I might as well finish, but really I’m wondering if my perception is an inherently American one and I need English perspective. See? There is a real reason for this.
tl;dr: Ramblings about...whether or not Rita Ora is legitimately famous and legitimately talented because while I know who she is, I have no opinion on those particular items.
Stay informed, read this: John Sinnott on the racist abuse suffered by some of India’s cricket players by spectators during a Test match in Australia for CNN
Links of the Day
36 Premier League players and staff and an U-23 USMNT player tested positive for COVID-19.
Cardiff’s Sol Bamba was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma and started treatment.
Crystal Palace’s Eberechi Eze possibly broke COVID-19 protocols by attending QPR’s weekend match without his club’s permission.
Arsenal’s Rob Holding signed a contract extension, keeping him at the club until 2025.
A longer read: Louise Taylor on the fallout in the FA WSL after players across the league tested positive for COVID-19 after traveling abroad, postponing four of the weekend’s six matches for The Guardian