Can Kim Kardashian win three years in a row? Will any of our top seeds fall to the lowly sixteenth-ranked contenders? Will my bracket bust here as quickly as it does every year in actual March Madness? These are the pressing questions you, Fug Nation’s voters, must help answer as we narrow our 64-person field of the loudest and most habitual fuggers from March 2016-2017 — or post-Oscars to post-Oscars — down to one reluctant champion. And we have the names of those contenders, or pretenders to Kim’s throne, here.
Round One begins on Thursday, March 16, but we do have a play-in game tipping off tomorrow which carries a tremendous amount of weight this year — a substantial berth in the Field of 64 is at stake — and which we hope is an elegant or at least engaging solution to an annual bone of contention. More on that in a second.
First, an apology: Due to a really badly timed trip out of town, the printable bracket — for use in any personal predictions you might want to make — will not be available until tomorrow. If you, for example, enjoy playing Fug Madness Psychic with your pals, you might then either ignore the play-in game altogether, or just discuss amongst yourselves whom you expect to take it.
The Play-In: Every year, there is a fairly testy discussion about whether the Kardashians ought count, dedicated as they are — in an almost unparallelled way — to abject fuggery. We believe they cannot be blitzed from the contest, because like it or not, they are part of the fashion conversation. They have put themselves there, they wear major designers, and they wield major influence (even if we don’t understand over whom, exactly, they are wielding it). And we can’t ascribe intentions to someone’s fuggery unless they have stated it clearly themselves; we just don’t know if a person thinks they look good or not, and in terms of craving flashbulbs, we have no idea if the intentions of, say, a Lily Collins or a Rihanna or a Cate Blanchett are any different than the KardJenners’. We just don’t. But sweeping all that off the table, we also know that family can be an exhausting fuggernaut. And that while each one could rightfully own a top seed in Fug Madness, putting all five of them in could run roughshod over the whole thing in a way Kim already has. There is such a thing a Jenndashian Fatigue, even for someone like me who finds their atrocities amusing because I don’t think they realize what a comedy they are.
And so: All five Kardashian/Jenners will play face off in the Play-In Game: Kourtney, Kim, Khloe, Kendall, and Kylie. The winner gets a no. 1 seed. The rest will go home. Tired of Kim? Don’t vote for her. Think Kourtney gets too little respect for her crimes? Throw your support to her. Does Khloe fly too easily under the radar, or should Kylie be Kim’s heir apparent? Pick one, and the rest of the contest will be a Kard-free zone. And if you hate this idea, well, there’s always next year.
Couple other notes:
1) Per usual, we decided which four celebs landed at each numerical seeding, but we used an Internet randomizer to place them in each of the four brackets. So the resulting matchups, even if they end up being especially delicious, are completely by chance.
2) We’re still disallowing performance-wear, although exceptions may be made IF the performer wore said outfit for a bunch of formal red-carpet-style photos, either backstage or beforehand. So, for example, what Beyonce wore to sing at the Grammys is ineligible because I think she immediately changed out of it instead of hitting the step-and-repeat, but stuff from the Jingle Balls and Wango Tango counts, etc.
3) Remember, your votes determine the winner. There is no electoral college of fuggery. The majority rules. Accordingly, please don’t get angry at the majority. It is what it is. But we invite voter fraud here*! So please do clear your cache and vote as often as you want, if it’s that important to you.
* Obviously voter fraud is not IDEAL, but this is just Fug Madness, so… we won’t slam the door in its face if it brings us a casserole, you know?
4) Please don’t become enraged if your favorites — or least favorites — are not represented. We did try hard to make it a fair field, and sometimes people we assume should be in the equation just didn’t on balance bring enough of their F-game.
And now for the people jockeying for the illustrious title of Fug Madness Champion.
1. Keke Palmer vs. 16. Aja Naomi King
2. Felicity Jones vs. 15. Anne Hathaway
3. Hailee Steinfeld vs 14. Charlie XCX
4. Ashley Graham vs. 13 Kristen Wiig
5. Diane Kruger vs 12. Solange
6. Chloe Sevigny vs 11. Emma Roberts
7. Rihanna vs. 10. Bella Thorne
8. Carrie Underwood vs. 9. Dascha Polanco
I am eyeballing Kruger vs. Solange SO HARD. That one ought to be great.
1. Rita Ora vs. 16. Kate Upton
2. Nicole Kidman vs. 15. Chanel Iman
3. Sarah Jessica Parker vs 14. Tove Lo
4. Michelle Monaghan vs. 13. Selena Gomez
5. Chrissy Teigen vs 12. Gabrielle Union
6. Dakota Johnson vs 11. Bebe Rexha
7. Lea Michele vs. 10. Halsey
8. Kristen Stewart vs. 9. Cara Delevingne
Bebe Rexha is a relative newcomer to the music scene, who has unleashed a pretty impressive avalanche of fug that we’re excited to share with you (because of course). Halsey’s belt tube top is NOT eligible this year, but plenty of other stuff is. And, much like regular March Madness, our #5 vs #12 matchups so far have been really dangerous for the top seeds.
1. Play-In Jenndashian vs. 16. Angela Sarafyan
2. Salma Hayek vs. 15. Michelle Williams
3. Chloe Grace Moretz vs 14. Zoe Saldana
4. Karlie Kloss vs. 13. Karolina Kurkova
5. Jared Leto vs 12. Cate Blanchett
6. Jennifer Lopez vs 11. Nicola Peltz
7. Lady Gaga vs. 10. Kelly Rowland
8. Gwen Stefani vs. 9. Sophie Turner
Okay, this #5 vs #12 just made me laugh out loud. You NEVER know how it’ll go — Cate the Great is very uneven — but that’s one I would really like to see duked out in real life. Because Cate would DOMINATE. And for your edification: Nicola Peltz was on Bates Motel until recently, and she’s coped with that through expensively bad fashion; Angela Sarafyan, you might remember, is on Westworld and just wore a naked dress.
1. Bella Hadid vs. 16. Constance Jablonski
2. Gigi Hadid vs. 15. Haley Bennett
3. Emily Ratajkowski vs 14. Elle Fanning
4. Beyonce vs. 13. Alexa Chung
5. Kerry Washington vs 12. Lena Dunham
6. Kate Hudson vs 11. Marion Cotillard
7. Heidi Klum vs. 10. Zosia Mamet
8. Olivia Munn vs. 9. Ciara
Contance is a model who last year had me type roughly these words: “Don’t let me sleep on Constance Jablonski come Fug Madness time.” Kerry Washington against Lena Dunham is ANOTHER #5 vs #12 that should be good. And Beyonce vs. Alexa Chung… can’t wait.