Fug Madness 2011, Elite Eight: Charo Bracket


Rihanna easily dispatched Ryan Cabrera to get here, ending his unexpected reign of hair-terror (hairror?), but Mischa Barton ended up beating the Family Smith by only the barest of margins, eventually squeaking to a win by approximately 100 votes after days of back-and-forth drama. If she were a basketball team, this is where the play-by-play dudes would note that she is probably EXHAUSTED.

She might be exhausted, honestly. I don’t know her life:

But how could that skirt not perk a girl up a bit? I feel peppier just looking at it.

It’s a mark of how cracked out this look is that I only just now noticed that Mischa’s companion is basically dressed like Axl Rose. And, if I may paraphrase “November Rain,” thank god nothing lasts forever and we all know clothes can change:

…although that’s not to say said change is necessarily for the best. God. It is hard to hold a candle in the cold November Rain, if by “hold a candle,” you mean, “dress yourself,” and “in the cold November Rain,” you mean, “when your name is Mischa Barton.” And although I have to say, “it’s hard to dress yourself/when your name is Mischa Barton” doesn’t really have the same poetic ring to it, it’s perhaps somewhat less metaphorically obtuse.

In other words, it’s clearly true:

I’m serious. That’s totally the uniform at Islands, right? Because if it is, a) why is Mischa working at Islands? Are things really that bad? and b) If so, girl, I could really use a mango margarita right around now. Yes, I know it’s only 10am. How else do you propose I deal with THIS?

Or this?

Whoever did her make-up for that event must have really hated Marissa Cooper, because the poor girl’s face is the color of Wonder Bread while her legs are Eggo waffles.

At least Rihanna generally seems to be having a good time. Which is more than I would be able to say for myself if I had a job that required me to be constantly vigilant with bikini waxes:

Although that seems to be a theme in this year’s Fug Madness. Everyone, tip your waxer extra, because they’re working overtime in Hollywood lately.

Speaking of ladybits — when are we not, recently? — I also appreciate Rihanna for recognizing that occasionally there comes a time when a girl’s crotch needs its own proscenium:

Parenthetical: CROTCH PROSCENIUM sounds like a truly terrible and yet possibly awesome band. In fact, I suspect RiRi’s greatest sartorial hits may inspire many a faux band:

Like THE BILLOWING CAPE, which would be a sort of poor man’s Arcade Fire and would involve a lot of songs with obscure instruments like the didgeridoo and the mandolin.

Or BUM RUFFLE, which would be a really obnoxious Limp Bizkit-type group. I guess that would have to be spelled BUM RUFL. Regardless, they would NOT open for Rihanna. Instead, Rihanna would complain privately to her friends about how, if she heard that one horrifying BUM RUFL song one more time, she was going to lose her nuts.

She might, however, allow WACKY PANTS to go on tour with her, simply because I don’t think it’s possible to resist the lure of a poster that reads TONIGHT AT THE GREEK: RIHANNA WITH SPECIAL GUEST WACKY PANTS.

And, of course, no one can resist MADONNA SYMPATHIZER.  Oooh, or MADONNA SYNTHESIZER, which is obviously just a dude with a synthesizer playing Madonna songs over and over and over again until his neighbors have him kidnapped.

I need to turn this over to the vote before I start day-dreaming about what happens when MADONNA SYNTHESIZER gets into a slap-fight with BUM RUFL.

Remember! We’re voting on body of work here, so make sure to zip through Rihanna’s and Mischa’s archives if you need a refresher.

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Comments (86):

  1. Bassoonista

    I went for Mischa. She’s got the type of fug that makes you gramma say, “And she used to be such a pretty little girl”

  2. Willow

    Not all of Mischa’s outfits are terrible, I like the idea bahind some of them but her hair ruins everything.

    Rihanna is gorgeous enough to dress as fugly as she wants.

  3. Jeanie

    Mischa Barton’s “outfits” make me cry, so I’m voting for her.

  4. jen310

    Yes, let Mischa go all the way. Her style is fugly to the highest order. The outfits, the fit of her clothing, the hair accessories, the makeup, everything about Mischa is fug (although, I hope she is a lovely person). And she is not only fug in style but in demeanor (so, so, sad), too. She needs this win and to wear the Fug Madness crown.

  5. jen310

    Yes, let Mischa go all the way. Her style is fugly to the highest order. The outfits, the fit of her clothing, the hair accessories, the makeup, everything about Mischa is fug (although, I hope she is a lovely person). And she is not only fug in style but in demeanor (so, so, sad), too. She needs this win and to wear the Fug Madness 2011 crown.

  6. jen310

    Ugh, double post. My apologies.

  7. Damian

    Nooooo more Mischa. No! No! No!

    *childlike fit*

    Sadly, I feared Mischa would spoil the bracket even more than she already has. At this point, I just want her to lose on principle.

  8. Andrew S.

    Voted for Mischa. Rihanna is doing all of hers on purpose, while Mischa is just subject to her own bad taste.

  9. Karen

    God, these people are terrible.

  10. j

    I feel like Mischa needs this win to stay relevant

  11. fed_esq

    Rihanna is crazy, but I actually like a fair number of h,/ier outfits from the last 12 months. Even some of her cracked out stuff looked good on her.

    Mischa just looked cracked out. Even when I thought a few of her looks might have been saved with a some tweaks, she still managed to look ill. I know she doesn’t meet the criteria for exclusion this year, but I fear I will regret my vote later when it comes out that she has been in the midst of an epic mental breakdown for the last 36 months. Her taste is awful but I can’t help thinking that there is more going on here.

  12. Al

    Rihanna may dress wacky, but she mostly pulls it off by being gorgeous and not looking like she’s trying really hard (like Gaga). Mischa is just a boring mess.

  13. foo


    The pantyhose catsuit w/arm cage made me pause, but only for half a second.

  14. Ducki

    I went with Rihanna because Mischa at least has some sense of style other than, “I’m a girl! Look at my boobies! Now look at my butt! Now look at all my skin everywhere!!!!!” I’m so tired of the Trampy Chic look.

  15. TaraMisu

    Mischa is a style train wreck. Rihanna is dressing for shits, giggles and slack-jaw stares.

  16. The Other Molly

    I am truly dumbfounded that Mischa has not only out done The Family Von Smith, but is now besting Rhianna.
    What The Fug?
    Mischa’s fug is not nearly as bad as either one of those contenders.
    I supposed all these people voting Mischa along will vote for her and against the
    true fug that has made it to the final four.

  17. Sajorina

    I had to vote for Rihanna! Jessica, you had me at ” I suspect RiRi’s greatest sartorial hits may inspire many a faux band”… That’s WAY too funny and so is Ri’s FUG! Mischa’s FUG puts up a good fight, but I can kind of understand her FUG as in “Girl can’t help it”, while Ri’s FUG is who she IS! So, this was a case of “Can’t help but to be FUG” vs “Inherent FUG” and inherent won!!!

  18. Mire

    I don’t get Mischa Barton. She is such a beautiful young lady and yet she keeps on choosing these horrid horrid outfits. They make me weep :(
    I am happy with the current result, though. Rihanna, as much as I dislike her, is putting on an act, she’s a bad girl blah blah *snore*, I don’t think that is how she would dress weren’t she an “artist”. Mischa Barton, on the other hand, is trying to chanel this hipster-cool wave and just fails tragically.

  19. Eurydice

    While Rihanna’s fug is technically flawless, Mischa’s got the edge on artistic interpretation – she can make anything look tragic.

  20. Mandy

    Rihanna is bad on purpose. Mischa is just bad. And pitiful. Seriously, how can someone NOT look at her and just say oh honey, stop.

  21. christa

    Guys, GUYS: Mischa has to go all the way this year. HAS TO. LOOK AT THE ARCHIVES.

    I defy you to find one outfit where she decent! Rihanna pretty much always looks awesome (ok, save the harem pants and those insane floral short shorts) despite the epic amounts of fug. It’s her schtick! These are mostly performance outfits. I beseech thee. VOTE MISCHA.

  22. Lindy

    I voted for Mischa. I suspect that her terrible clothes are the result of her decreased clout in Hollywood. She dressed super cute when she was on whatever show she used to be on. She probably doesn’t have a stylist anymore or anyway to borrow clothes.

  23. LoriK

    I agree that Rihanna does it on purpose and at least has her own sense of style. Mischa simply can’t dress herself. She should just have “Oh honey, no” painted on her mirror.

  24. LadyK

    I had to vote for Mischa as at least Rihanna always looks happy and awesome despite the fug.

  25. Weezie

    I had to go with Mischa on this one. Rihanna is mainly in fugly costumes but Mischa is fugging up her day-to-day clothes which has a higher degree of difficulty. It’s the triple axel to Rihanna’s triple lutz.

  26. TonyG

    I want to vote for both, but Mischa deserves this one! Too, I find it hard to vote for fuggers who turn my frown upside down, like Rihanna.

  27. Steph

    I voted for Mischa. Mainly because it seems the majority of outfits Rhianna wears are for show- since she is a “showwoman”. Mischa just dresses horribly to go to the corner store.

  28. Anne B

    Fug Nation. (sets down folder) We need to have a little talk.

    There are those among us who hold us all back. Whose little birds on their dresses (how can that thing even be a dress??) are looking, desperately, for a way to **fly off**. Who hate their clothes. Their bodies. Themselves. Us. LIFE.

    We’ll call these people Team Sad Mischa, and just admit that they’re what is standing between us, a global recovery, and miles of shimmery mornings in which Jon Hamm says to us, “And what else can I do for you, my love?”

    Then there are those who are simply tougher. They react to everything with a bit more ooomph. They’re all, f**k that guy who clobbered me; I’m wearing a puppet show in place of pants! A red satin Dress Of Fug Fire!

    Even when these people put on sad faces, their bodies say: Ohhhh no. She’s in here. She WANTS this life, more than anyone else ever has. Design something the Goddess of Convenience Stores That Sell Only Magic Crystals and Breakfast Cereal would wear; she’ll rock it out.

    I don’t care what she’s trying to say with it. Crazy Broad With Happy Fug: I’m on her side, and I suspect she’s on mine.

    TEAM RIRI. Fug that whacked-out cagesuit of life, Sexy Bozo!

  29. Fuh Ugh

    Rihanna gets points for technical execution as well as artistic merit. Mischa does not; she only gets points for FUG. Therefore, it’s Mischa this round.

  30. Anne B


    I can’t believe you mentioned Islands. I feel nostalgic for terrible restaurants now.

    Also thirsty. :)

  31. Cecily

    I honestly did not see that coming! I thought Rihanna was going to take this, but Mischa’s collective is just too staggeringly tough to beat. And since it looks like Mischa will win this round, I will be so happy to dispense with that naked Bum Rufl dress. Again, I ask, why do people think we want to see them naked?

  32. spinja

    Do not understand the attitude toward Mischa Barton. I must be getting old.

  33. meowmeowdiva

    When the Islands uniform is your most stylish outfit, you are truly deserving. PRAYING for a Simpson/Barton final!

  34. daryl

    i own a pair of the black and white wacky pants that Rianna wore, only they are vintage Hammer pants. Wacky then and wacky now. I voted Rianna, just because i’m sick of seeing her in whatever the “latest” goofy thing is. She is all about “look at me” attention seeking, even in her day to day wear, which i find annoying. Is there a trend that she HASN’T worn? Mischa is just …. “off”… The outfits wouldn’t look quite so bad if she’d fix her hair and makeup.

  35. amy mck

    Anne b…loved your post…had to give it to Mischa though..the girl is tragic! She looks like Bette Davis in “What ever Happened to Baby Jane?” in that one photo! Yikes!

  36. Georgia

    Anne B, you are brilliant and you made me feel proud to have voted for Rihanna and her puppet show panties. Thank you!

  37. vandalfan

    Anne B, you make me weep with joy, and yet that fact that RiRi’s beauty comes beaming through kind of counteracts her fug, like Kryptonite. Poor Mischa has beauty but dresses so consistently wrong, knows it, and is so unhappy about it, that I wave the checkered Fug flag in her direction.

  38. aeb

    this year, i am taking a hard stance on “costume” vs. real clothing. rhiana, lady gaga, katy perry, et al are what i consider costume. they’re not dressing like that to go to the mall (well, not entirely true, but it is in the name of performance and persona). mischa/jsimp etc are just dressing fugs. bottom line. not even statement dressing.

  39. Frances

    I don’t think Rihanna is fugly. I think Mischa defines fugly. There. My line in the sand is drawn. (Thank gawd this match up was easier than the last one. My soul is still hurting from the Kesha vs Momsen horror show.)

  40. schadenfreudelicious

    there appears to be some method to Rhiana’s madness, while poor Mischa is just dressing like a crazy person….

  41. Leah

    Mischa looks so sad in her photos, like she looks dreadful and she knows it. I’d like to see her start a regime of running and yoga and get herself feeling good again!
    That said, she looks dreadful. I voted for her but am hoping her next matchup – I’m pretty sure she’s moving on – can go to her competitor. Don’t think M needs the dubious honour of being the most fugly of the year!

  42. Lisa

    Oh how the mighty have fallen – she used to be MARISSA COOPER


  43. bdaiss

    I’m sticking with a theme – Rihanna to me is trying to be edgy and having fun…while looking terrible. Mischa is just sad. And trying to hard. So just like the T.Mom vs K$ match-up, I’m going with the fun. It’s Monday. I need some fun.

  44. Jules

    I saw Mischa in NYC at the height of the O.C. fame. And she was so gorgeous, she literally stopped me in my tracks. Seriously, she was the prettiest person I had ever seen. (And I’ve met Duran Duran – LOL) It makes me sad to see what has become of her. How does this happen?

  45. Lindsey

    My vote for Mischa continues… No one should be that mean to their own body! At least Rihanna’s stuff is mostly flattering, though crazy….

  46. Krusticle


  47. Melissa

    Glad to see Mischa getting the recognition she deserves. The problem with Rihanna is no matter how crazy, she still seems to look hot and fun and natural, it just doesn’t tickle the “fug” response mechanism in my brain.

  48. bip

    Mischa’s outfit looks like an traditional indian tunic, quite simply.

  49. Jon

    I voted for Mischa – looking crazy by accident trumps looking crazy by purpose in my book.

  50. Lime

    Rihanna’s style is seriously cracked out, but she has the chutzpah to carry it off. And for me, her Grammy’s performance dress (the Christian Dior) was so incredible that it erased all of her clothing sins. That dress. OMG.

    Mischa’s “style” is also cracked out, but it just makes her sadder and more depressing (if that’s possible). She needs help, of the psychiatric variety. I voted for Rihanna, for that reason only.

  51. Sherri

    Misha looks SO DEPRESSED. RiRi at least looks like she’s having a good time in her weirdrobe. A smile is the perfect accessory becomes so TRUE when looking at these two — and a vague, confused frowny face is FUG.

  52. Bambi Anne Dear

    I think Rhianna would’ve just squeaked in if all her outfits were her street and party wear. The costumes I can cope with but some of those other looks- blech.

  53. Josie

    is there any way that we can see the rest of Mischa’s red dress? skirt? in the first photo? It looks like there are things hanging off it, and now I am consumed with curiousity. Maybe it is really fun to wear.

  54. ksd1123

    At least Rihanna 1) usually looks ok from the neck up, and 2) almost always looks like she’s having a good time being out and about, dressed up like a lunatic. Mischa’s just a depressing disaster.

  55. Aurora

    Rihanna is a performer, which makes all the difference. She’s wearing costumes in most of these pictures, so of course they’ll look ridiculous. Mischa on the other hand, ust can’t dress.

  56. Aurora

    oops, i meant just

  57. Mahastee

    I’m just happy that CROTCH PROSCENIUM has now entered my vocabulary :)

  58. jeannette

    the satin ruffle on the bottom riri’s tutu bra is just so ugly and tacky and ill-sewn (as is the white cage outfit, btw) that i have to give her the vote. at least mischa’s stuff is sewn properly, even if i get a cramp just thinking about how long it takes to troll the world looking for such consistently HIDEOUS if better sewn swag. dang, you’d think she could pick something nice by accident. argghhhhh.
    but riri has a tackiness in her conspicuous consumption that mimi lacks. fug to the bone.

  59. Kristin88

    Even though I picked Rhianna for the Final 4, I think I have to go with Barton just because she’s so pathetic. I mean, she’s not trying to look crazy, and yet she is. Rhianna is trying to look as insane as possible. It just comes down to the age old question of “What is fug?”

    Side note: the Axl Rose friend looks like a young Genie Francis (Laura of General Hospital’s Luke & Laura).

  60. moja31

    that “raggedy ann cut up her dress in a fit of crack fueled madness” getup, will probably win this whole competition for mischa.

  61. Suzy

    Totally agree with the consensus above: Rihanna is picking these crazy stage costumes intentionally, but Mischa can’t help having horrendous taste.

    I do just want to say how thoroughly I loathe Rihanna’s red hair, though.

  62. Cheryl G

    At least Rihanna looks CLEAN!
    Mischa? Not so much.

  63. granny

    Speaking of crotches, whatever happened to Beyonce?

  64. Gabi

    While I voted for Mischa because she (like JSimp) is just completely incapable of dressing herself and is therefore much more fug than RiRi who totally works it, I have to cast a side vote for BUM RUFL and WACKY PANTS FTW!! I wish I had a band just so I could steal one of those names :)

  65. jenny

    Ooh, I kind of love RiRi in that last outfit. And Islands has great fries! That is all.

  66. rebeccacdm

    Misha FTW! Actually, I just want Misha to win so she can have something positive in her life. She looks miserable…

  67. Alicia

    Mischa dresses like an elderly woman. Rihanna always looks good…..from the neck up.

  68. colleen

    I predict Mischa will stay the course and emerge triumphant. She has never worn anything any remotely presentable. EVER!

  69. Ben

    I’ve been having ridiculous amounts of fun with Fug Madness. Refreshing like a crazy person, despite having around 0 interest in fashion. Your writing is just insanely funny, dudettes.

    This round was totally unexpected. I had no idea which way I’d swing, but after the Barton exhibit, I barely scanned RiRi’s shit. I laughed, cringed, snarted (cheers Liz Lemon) and harumphed my way through the Mischa stuff, and just nodded at Rihanna’s insanity. I know there’s an enormous Fug Nation debate about the nature of Fug, and whether intentional crazy trumps accidental hideousness, and I believe I’ve firmly come down on the ‘whoops’ side of fugly. Mischa just amuses me so much – at some point she was ‘stylish’, no? So many people are, for a lil while, but few take their brief moment in the sun to such horrific extremes. Meester me all you like, but Barton is just the best. Colour-blind toddlers could dress her better than the lady herself. This speaks volumes of lulz.

  70. Ben

    Fug Nation, you’ve made me so happy. Mischa *should* have ‘Oh honey, no’ printed on her mirror. She *should* know that a t-shirt and jeans are preferable to pretty much anything she likes.

    Also, worried commenter(s), this has nothing to do with her acting. I know none of it – avoiding the OC like the plague over here. She’d be as fugtastic if she had a career. Or not? She might have a stylist, or at least a coat-tail-rider who cared if that were the case. I could wonder all night, but I think I’ll just surrender to the Fug and browse her archive of hilarity.

  71. Grace

    I was torn–On the one hand, I honestly think Mischa should probably win this whole contest, based on outfits alone. On the other hand, seeing Marissa Cooper (star of my tween days) like this makes me so sad I half want her out of the competition immediately.
    Of course, my capacity for pity is small–had to go with Mischa.

  72. exquisite red

    Christa – heh I’ve been saying this too & you hit the nail on the head – the archives are HORRIBLE. Like, has Mischa ever looked good? At least Rihanna looks good some of the time. And a lot of this is performance wear…Mischa wears her stuff just out on the street!

    I didn’t watch a single ep of the OC. So I don’t know anything about Marissa Cooper other than Mischa played her. But this is serious, serious fug. Mischa needs to go all the way to the top!

  73. Mereki

    Mischa Barton’s conpanion is none other than Miss Lightfingers herself Lyndsey Lohan.

  74. s

    CROTCH PROSCENIUM! I hope that makes it into common parlance.
    Still cannot believe that Mischa beat the Family Smith! I thought they had it in the bag – a child in a straight jacket!

  75. Soapstef

    Between that crazy Mrs. Claus skirt with goth sleeves and that tie-dye skull dress…Mischa may have this whole sewn up!

  76. Anna

    Had to go with Mischa. She just always looks so sad and frumpy. At least Rihanna doesn’t look tired all the time.

  77. LostinTranslation

    Voted for Mischa! She does look so sad and maybe winning this will mean a lot to her! And the first red skirt / dress – I am fairly sure that’s the top half of a traditional Indian outfit and comes with leggings……but she does like going pantless doesn’t she?

  78. Cora

    Put some umlauts in “BUM RUFL” — that way, it can be a Spinal Tap tribute band.

  79. coexxi

    This was a Rhianna for me…. she is so tacky (ok, I’m influenced by the Rolling Stone Cover which isn’t for vote… but I can’t help it) so she is a fugger in the cheapest sense. Even so: I can live with Mischa B. as a winner….

  80. Kristina

    I’ll say it again – I will not reward performative fug. Lady Gaga, Nikki Minaj, Rihanna, all the same sort of desperate grasping for attention with their dirty wigs, fetish-type footwear, ass-cleavage-revealing whatevers. Mischa Barton and Paz de la Huerta’s respective fugs are as unintentional as they are unique, like bright green unicorns frolicking in the 3-and-under games aisle of your nearest Walmart.

  81. Amanda

    I’m with Kristina… Preformative fug is not my brand. I mourn the loss of Paz and I voted for Mischa without a moment’s hesitation.

  82. Eddie

    everything about Mischa is fug (although, I hope she is a lovely person)

    She’s not. I seem to recall a particularly ugly interview published when The O.C. was still in its first or second season.

  83. Sarah

    Wow, mischa went under the radar in previous years but this year, long after her tenure the limelight, she’s kicking ass. This victory against RiRi really surprises me. Can she pull through against Lady Gaga? What I love about Mischa is that the same dirty loafers she wears to a Starbucks, she wears to a red carpet event (or is it a driving shoe? I don’t know what to call those things).

  84. Patricia

    Proscenium in a sentence. Jessica you are my language hero

  85. Alicia

    Theres a difference. Half the time rhianna dresses crazy is when shes performing. She’s supposed to look entertaining. Mischa looks crazy because she is….crazy.

  86. Rebecca

    Riri takes risks and gets it right sometimes. MB NEVER EVER DOES ANYTHING RIGHT EVER. Sorry, Mischa. It’s true.