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      The Ultimate Basic Bitch Tournament

      September 18, 2014

      By now, we all know what it means to be a basic bitch. The internet has exhausted the term and its associated cultural trends to such a degree that we might have reached peak basic, the moment when the world can get none more basic and we all just have to stop talking about it. In this period of basic saturation, we decided that it's time to find the ultimate basic—to choose who will lord over the secret Cape Cod bunker that holds a large cache of capri pants, pumpkin spice lattes, rocket launchers, cases of white wine, Norah Jones CDs, crossbows, M-16s, B-vitamins, Voss water, paperback copies of The Goldfinch, and kale chips in case of an attack on America.

      To do that, we asked three expert judges to join our Ultimate Basic Bitch panel: Big Freedia, bounce music icon and a queen in her own right; Julie Klausner, comedian and host of the "How Was Your Week" podcast; and VICE staff writer Dave Schilling. After a painstaking process of elimination, we believe we found the Ultimate Basic Bitch. From 32, there can be only one Queen of Basics.

      ACTRESS REGION

      GWYNETH PALTROW VS. KATE HUDSON  In pre-tournament office surveys, Gwyneth was a strong favorite, thanks to her very posh, very normal life and her penchant for wearing beige. Kate has the sort of face that belongs in a Sears catalogue, but she's also showbiz royalty and was married to the guy from the Black Crows (weird). She barely skates into this tournament.

      WINNER: Gwyneth Paltrow (2 to 1)

      Big Freedia says: "Oh God, Gwyneth. Her voice puts me to sleep."

      ANNE HATHAWAY VS. BLAKE LIVELY – Anne Hathaway dated a grifter, which is not basic. But public opinion is not in her favor right now. Women find her very, very annoying and bland. In 2012, Blake Lively was named one of People magazine's "Most Beautiful at Every Age." We hope she's ready to win yet another prestigious award.

      WINNER: Anne Hathaway (2 to 1)

      Big Freedia says: "Don't know who either of 'em are."

      JULIA ROBERTS VS. KATIE HOLMES – Julia has made a successful career out of being relatable to normal people. My Best Friend's Wedding might be the ultimate basic movie (other than Maid in Manhattan). On the other hand, Katie Holmes's most well-known film role is the generic doomed love interest in a Batman film—which she didn't even get to film the death scene for, because she abdicated from the part before the filming of The Dark Knight.

      WINNER: Katie Holmes (2 to 1)

      Dave Schilling says: "Had to go with Katie Holmes. Marrying Lyle Lovett is somehow less boring than marrying Tom Cruise."

      JENNIFER ANISTON VS. MICHELLE WILLIAMS [WHITE] – Michelle is the Ledger widow, which automatically makes her a dubious choice for this competition. She's here anyway. Deal. Jennifer Aniston is Jennifer Aniston.

      WINNER: Jennifer Aniston (3 to 0)

      Julie Klausner says: "Jennifer Aniston, because basic bitches across this crapland still ask for her haircut."

      POP STARS REGION

      BRITNEY SPEARS VS. RITA ORA – Britney singlehandedly made carrying a Starbucks cup while wearing sweatpants cool, but also lost her mind in 2007. Losing your mind is not basic. Rita Ora looks fairly wacky, but that also appears to be a bit of a put-on for the sake of alt cred.

      WINNER: Rita Ora (2 to 1)

      Julie Klausner says: "Rita Ora, by far. If her name weren’t so close to 'Ore-Ida' I wouldn’t even remember her. I just pay attention to things that might be potatoes."

      MICHELLE WILLIAMS [BLACK] VS. AVRIL LAVIGNE – It's been hard enough for Michelle these past few years. At least let her win THIS. Avril is married to the lead singer of Nickelback, though it appears they're about to call it quits. Admitting a mistake is not the same as avoiding making that mistake in the first place. 

      WINNER: Michelle Williams—the Black One from Destiny's Child (3 to 0)

      Dave Schilling says: "I wanted to vote for Avril but picked Michelle just because her advancing on a unanimous vote made me laugh."

      CARRIE UNDERWOOD VS. HILARY DUFF – These days, "country music icon" is code for "basic." Yeah, you knew Carrie would be here. If you don't understand why Hilary Duff is basic, then we question why you are even reading this article.

      WINNER: Hilary Duff (2 to 1)

      Big Freedia says: "Hilary Duff. She Disney."

      KELLY CLARKSON VS. JESSICA SIMPSON – Kelly Clarkson is like a living, breathing bowl of marshmallows. Jessica Simpson, on the other hand, has a hard-won reputation for ruining football teams with her vagina.

      WINNER: Kelly Clarkson (3 to 0)

      Julie Klausner says: "Kelly Clarkson, I guess, but if it were Ashlee Simpson vs. Kelly Clarkson, Ashlee would be the basic-est, with a lip-sync jig to match."

      PUBLIC FIGURE/MISC. REGION

      KATE MIDDLETON VS. CASEY ANTHONY – Kate Middleton truly is Her Royal Basicness. She is so tasteful that if she showed up in a Katy Perry music video, it would immediately get nominated for a Peabody Award. You might be asking yourself what Casey Anthony is doing in this tournament. She was accused of murdering her daughter, and during her trial, photos of her setting the Orlando nightlife scene on fire were released to the public. I hear your complaints, but every tournament needs an underdog.

      WINNER: Kate Middleton (2 to 1)

      Julie Klausner says: "Kate Middleton! Obviously! Casey Anthony murdered her daughter! Kate Middleton wears hats! This is not a fair bracket."

      ELISABETH HASSELBECK VS. LAUREN CONRAD – Elisabeth probably owns stock in Lululemon. Still waiting for LC to display any actual talent. Being famous despite a clear lack of charisma is very basic.

      WINNER: Lauren Conrad (2 to 1)

      Julie Klausner says: "Lauren Conrad. Hasselbeck is hateful human toilet garbage; Conrad is beige in the form of a person."

      SHERYL SANDBERG VS. KOURTNEY KARDASHIAN – Sheryl Sandberg is a strong, successful woman brought down by how inspiring she is to people who share inspirational memes on Facebook. It's really not her fault. I'm sorry, Sheryl. Facing off against her is Kourtney Kardashian. Imagine being the least interesting Kardashian. Imagine.

      WINNER: Kourtney Kardashian (2 to 1)

      Julie Klausner says: "Again, not fair. Kourtney is obviously more basic. Just because Sheryl Sandberg knows what Mark Zuckerberg likes on his salad doesn’t mean her accomplishments need to dissipate in the shadow of a reality star."

      PIPPA MIDDLETON VS. SURI CRUISE – Could we get a mother/daughter showdown in the final? Could we get two sisters in the final four? Can a child who can't legally drive a hybrid actually be basic?

      WINNER: Pippa Middleton (3 to 0)

      Big Freedia says: "Pippa, for sure. Suri's gonna have all kinds of issues."

      ICONS REGION

      AUDREY HEPBURN VS. MOTHER TERESA – The Bob Marley of female celebrities, in that most college girls have her poster on their dorm room wall. Mother Teresa is perfect and good in every way.

      WINNER: Audrey Hepburn (2 to 1)

      Julie Klausner says: "Audrey Hepburn. Major snooze, and responsible for Upper East Side basic bitches in little black dresses who date sociopaths from Goldman Sachs just because, one day, they want to buy a really expensive stroller."

      EVA BRAUN VS. SHIRLEY TEMPLE – Gotta be a real beta personality to date the most evil man in history.

      WINNER: Eva Braun (3 to 0)

      Dave Schilling says: "Eva Braun!"

      OLIVA NEWTON JOHN VS. SUSAN BOYLE – Olivia is in this tournament strictly for "Let's Get Physical," both the song and the accompanying music video tragedy. We weep for Susan Boyle.

      WINNER: Susan Boyle (3 to 0)

      Dave Schilling says: "I dreamed a dream that Susan Boyle would win this tournament. Don't sleep on SuBo!"

      JULIE ANDREWS VS. JULIA CHILD – This matchup is kinda like Bosnia vs. Iran in the FIFA World Cup group stage. We just need to get it over with.

      WINNER: Julie Andrews (2 to 0, with one abstention)

      Julie Klausner says: "Neither one of these bitches are basic! I refuse to vote!"

      ROUND 2:

      GWYNETH PALTROW VS. ANNE HATHAWAY

      WINNER: Gwyneth Paltrow (2 to 1) 

      Big Freedia says: "Gwyneth is the most boring person on this planet."

      JENNIFER ANISTON VS. KATIE HOLMES

      WINNER: Jennifer Aniston (3 to 0)

      Julie Klausner says: "Jennifer Aniston. Never married into a cult, wears boring outfits the girls you went to high school with think are sexy."

      MICHELLE WILLIAMS [BLACK] VS. RITA ORTA

      WINNER: Rita Ora (2 to 1)

      Julie Klausner says: "Too soon to tell, but I guess Rita Ora, just because I've seen many photos of her and I still don't know what she looks like."

      KELLY CLARKSON VS. HILARY DUFF

      WINNER: Kelly Clarkson (2 to 1)

      Dave Schilling says: "Seeing these two together is like taking a big bite of vanilla ice cream covered in peppered gravy. By themselves, they are inoffensive, but having to deal with both at once is an overwhelming experience that is bland and unpleasant at the same time. In this case, I pick gravy over vanilla. Kelly wins."

      KATE MIDDLETON VS. LAUREN CONRAD

      WINNER: Lauren Conrad (3 to 0)

      Julie Klausner says: "Lauren Conrad, who makes me 'Con-sad' when I think of her, but I'm sad for myself because I've wasted my time."

      Big Freedia says: "Lauren Conrad. Kate is about to be a queen. I love her."

      PIPPA MIDDLETON VS. KOURTNEY KARDASHIAN

      WINNER: Kourtney Kardashian (3 to 0)

      Julie Klausner says: "Kourtney, who's morally and spiritually invisible."

      Big Freedia says: "Kourtney. Isn't she one of the sisters? What's interesting about her?"

      AUDREY HEPBURN VS. EVA BRAUN

      WINNER: Audrey Hepburn (2 to 0, with one abstention)

      Julie Klausner says: "Audrey Hepburn, who's responsible for basic women everywhere wearing black capris."

      Big Freedia says: "Never heard of either of them."

      JULIE ANDREWS VS. SUSAN BOYLE

      WINNER: Susan Boyle (2 to 1)

      Dave Schilling says: "Susan Boyle actually has very serious problems in her life, and we probably should leave her alone. I'm sorry, Susan."

      ROUND 3:

      GWYNETH PALTROW VS. JENNIFER ANISTON

      WINNER: Gwyneth Paltrow (2 to 1)

      Dave Schilling says: "Gwyneth. This was a total push, but Jennifer Aniston's boyfriend is Justin Theroux, and I guess he's pretty cool. He, like, wears leather jackets on the regular."

      KELLY CLARKSON VS. RITA ORA

      WINNER: Kelly Clarkson (2 to 1)

      Julie Klausner says: "Kelly, whom I can picture in jeans you can buy at a grocery store."

      Dave Schilling says: "American Idol winner. Basic Bitch Champion. Has a nice ring to it, doesn't it? I say Kelly. By the way, I highly recommend revisiting From Justin to Kelly. If I ever chose to slowly end my life, Nic-Cage-in-Leaving-Las-Vegas-style, this would be the movie I'd drunkenly fall asleep to. There'd be no chance I'd wake up having second thoughts about deliberately killing myself through alcohol poisoning."

      LAUREN CONRAD VS. KOURTNEY KARDASHIAN

      WINNER: Lauren Conrad (3 to 0)

      Julie Klausner says: "Lauren Conrad. OG of Basic. Poster girl for nothing."

      Dave Schilling says: "Kourtney's sister might be O. J. Simpson's love child with Kris Jenner. That makes her slightly edgier, just by association with a convicted felon. LC takes this one by a nose. Kourtney Kardashian's old nose."

      AUDREY HEPBURN VS. SUSAN BOYLE

      WINNER: Audrey Hepburn (2 to 1)

      Julie Klausner says: "Audrey is basically the high priestess of basic because of all the lame girls in ballet flats she inspired."

      FINAL FOUR:

      GWYNETH PALTROW VS. KELLY CLARKSON

      WINNER: Gwyneth Paltrow (2 to 1)

      Big Freedia says: "Gwyneth, child. Come on."

      Julie Klausner says: "Gwyneth is sort of a John Waters villain. Like, I could see her sucking on David Lochary's toes."

      AUDREY HEPBURN VS. LAUREN CONRAD

      WINNER: Lauren Conrad (3 to 0)

      Julie Klausner says: "Lauren Conrad. Because in five years, or five minutes, you could show somebody who sees her every day a photo of Lauren Conrad, and they'll be like, Who is that?"

      Big Freedia says: "I'll say Lauren Conrad. She one of those famous girls with no talent?"

      FINALS:

      GWYNETH PALTROW VS. LAUREN CONRAD

      ULTIMATE BASIC BITCH QUEEN: Gwyneth Paltrow (2 to 1)

      Was there ever a question? Gwyneth is the Beyoncé of basics—we can pretend like the rest of the contenders have a chance, but the book has already been written. When even Martha Stewart comes out to throw shade in your direction, it's time to stop fighting your true nature and ascend to the throne. Sometimes, the cream does rise to the top.

      Congratulations, Queen Gwen! May your reign bring tasteful home decor and unsolicited life advice to the world!

      Follow Dave, Freedia, and Julie on Twitter.

      Topics: gwyneth paltrow, basics, Basic Bitches, being basic, in defense of the basic bitch, Blake Lively, Anne Hathaway, Eva Braun, Ultimate Basic Bitch Tournament, Jennifer Aniston, Britney Spears, rita ora, Casey Anthony, Jessica Simpson, Kourtney Kardashian, Julie Andrews, julia child, Suri Cruise, Kate Hudson, katie holmes, Lauren Conrad, kate middleton, Pippa Middleton, Kelly Clarkson, Michelle Williams, Michelle Williams from Destiny's Child, Julia Roberts

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