Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Let’s Get Awkwardly Physical

Do you love Olivia Newton-John but feel that her greatest achievements could be improved upon? Then you might have a bit in common with Vanessa, the Dutch-born singer who recorded the song “Upside-Down” in 1982, about a year after Newton-John released “Let’s Get Physical.”

It’s not so much that the song itself draws on “Let’s Get Physical” but just that Vanessa — who looks like Vanna White as styled by Dolly Parton — decided to steal the original video’s whole workout motif. Not that Olivia should have owned for eternity, exactly, but she at least deserved to keep it for a year or so. I’d imagine that Vanessa and friends didn’t realize that the early 80s vibe and the decidedly low-budge aesthetic, when combined with the gym setting, either skews porny or specifically gay porny. (You know, in the way that happened with that awful thing that Bruce Jenner did. No, the other one. No, the other one.) Either way, if you do not feel weird about touching surfaces after watching this video, you are weird.

Overall, the result is enthusiastically baffling. Bonus points for the part at 1:49, when the ridiculousness of doing the whole situation overcomes the dude with the mustache and he starts laughing. I have to hand it to him: He lasted longer than I would have gone without laughing or barfing.

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