Forbes has just released its annual ranking of the most powerful celebrities in the world/galaxy/universe and, J to the L-O, hello, Jennifer Lopez snagged the number one spot.
This may strike you as odd, particularly if you don't watch American Idol and are not Expecting What to Expect When You're Expecting to Expect. A lot of us just don't think about Jennifer Lopez very often anymore.
But remember 2002? She was all we talked about. She was dating Ben Affleck. She was a maid getting Laid in Manhattan. She released two, count ‘em, two, albums and on one of them she dropped the n-bomb and when people pointed out that her doing so was really absurd and hurtful, she popped right back and said those comments were "really absurd and hurtful to me."
Since then, JLo hasn't done as much. She was in a few movies no one saw. She married a vampire and bore him children. She released a song about Louboutins. Her big thing now is that she's a judge on American Idol 3.0: The Nice-ening. At the moment, she's pretending she might leave that.
So how is she the number-one most powerful celebrity in the world?
Maybe Jennifer Lopez, like air or love or h8rz is around us all the time, and we just can't see her.
According to the magazine, Forbes Celebrity 100 rankings are determined with the use of a complicated (arbitrary and mostly fictional) algorithm that takes into account, among other indescribable factors, celebrities' yearly earnings, generated press and "influence on social media."
Yet, a quick glance at the chart provided on the Forbes website reveals that Oprah, ranked #2 by the magazine, is clearly the most powerful celebrity in the world. She earned more than three times as much money last year as Lopez did, and outplaces her in every category except "Web," which is, apparently, the amount of times a celebrity is mentioned on Google blogs.
(Considering her divorce was probably the biggest JLo story of 2012, Lopez didn't even rank very highly in Web, coming in at just number 13. Oprah scored 19th place pretty much by doing nothing.)
One of the most comical aspects of Forbes' JLo-is-Powerful-I-Swear-She-Is-Check-the-Algorithm justification is that Lopez is singled out as a "master of social media," for having 7 million followers on Twitter. Oprah has 11 million followers on Twitter. This unverified Tina Fey egg that has never tweeted and is only following one account called "The Real IRA" (user description: "#realira #terrorism #irish #bombs") has over 31 thousand followers. Every celebrity is a master of social media, just by virtue of already being a celebrity.
However, it must be said that an annual list called Forbes Oprah 100 (where Oprah, the most powerful celebrity in this and all universes, would rightfully claim the top spot year after year) would likely prove even less interesting (and certainly less controversial) than this crazy non-Oprah-centric cocktail of randomness (I believe the kids call that a "New Jersey Turnpike") they serve up every year. They'll probably keep Queen O floating somewhere around the top five slots, until she divorces Marc Anthony, at which point she will shoot back up to number one.
In the meantime, throw on your baby pink Juicy Couture velour shorts-tracksuit, because, for the rest of 2012, it's 2002, baby.
(Incidentally, it's worth noting, as The Washington Post points out, that the Forbes' Celebrity 100 list is different from its World's Most Powerful People list, which for the sake of high brow-edness features many boring people who are not celebrities. That list features Angela Merkel, the Chancellor of Germany, while this list features Adriana Lima, the Arbiter of What Is Sexy.)