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If you were a fan of the pop music blog Idolator, it’s been a disheartening couple of weeks. On Monday, November 9, Maura Johnston—who edited and contributed to the site for more than three years—announced that she would be stepping down, effective immediately. The next morning readers were greeted by her replacements, Robbie Daw and Becky Bain.
The duo, who arrived without so much as an introduction, greatly shifted Idolator’s tone.
Johnston’s approach to pop coverage was, to put it lightly, a little bit arch—she cut her American Idol coverage with a healthy dose of snark and wasn’t afraid to piss off name-brand rockers. Robbie and Becky chose to take things in a different direction.
Needless to say, this has not gone over well. Some people just don’t like them. Others have implied that they are, in fact, illiterate. Since then, Robbie and Becky have become the blog world’s answer to Coy and Vance—much maligned replacements for a well-loved cast.
The criticism is not entirely unfounded, though. Some of their blog posts have been, to put it lightly, flummoxing. For instance:
“Following up with Danish cheeseballs Aqua releasing their Greatest Hits collection stateside and unveiling the surprisingly dark video for “My Mamma Said” comes news of the foursome’s new holiday jam, “Spin Me Your Christmas.”
Huh? Apparently, I’m not the only one who was confused. After grappling with the above post for a few minutes, I refreshed the page and found that some kindly editor had come along and re-worked the lede:
“It should hardly be a surprise that the artists who once dreamed up “Barbie Girl” still know how to merchandise. Along with the release of their Greatest Hits collection, Danish cheeseballs Aqua released a darkly buzzworthy video for “My Mamma Said” and now comes a nicely timed holiday jam, “Spin Me Your Christmas.” It’s like they somehow knew Christmas was coming.”
Luckily, the originals are still out there! A few blog aggregators have, helpfully, preserved the posts as they were at first publication. I’ve gone ahead and A/B’ed a few examples after the jump:
Original Fallout Boy Lede: “So Fall Out Boy is taking a break. Or maybe they aren’t, and it’s really just a sugar-coated break-up? They’re denying it’s nothing of the sort , so we’ll give them the benefit of the doubt, but in the meantime we have a few suggestions for how Pete, Patrick & Co. should invest their free time:”
Revision: “So Fall Out Boy is taking a break. Or maybe they aren’t, and it’s really just a sugar-coated break-up? They’re denying it’s anything of the sort, so we’ll give them the benefit of the doubt, but in the meantime we have a few suggestions for how Pete, Patrick & Co. should invest their free time:”
Original Susan Boyle Lede: “Noting that Britain’s Got Talent winner-turned-America’s-sweetheart Susan Boyle has found that her album just leaked might be a bit irrelevant. After all, judging by the stealth pre-order sales for I Dreamed A Dream, there probably isn’t anyone left who hasn’t already paid for the set of standards.”
Revision: “If an album leaks on the Internet, but everyone’s already pre-ordered it, does it make a sound? The upcoming debut of Britain’s Got Talent winner-turned-America’s-sweetheart Susan Boyle has made its way online. But judging from stealth pre-order sales for I Dreamed A Dream, there may not be many fans left who didn’t already pay for her collection.”