The All-Singing, All-Dancing Triplets of Channel Forty-Nine
The reporter swaggered in. Fake tan. Bleach Blond. Singapore manufactured Prada bag clutched under her chipped pink nails. It was easy to tell what kind of interview this was going to be. The triplets; Justina, Martina and Pristina relaxed- in union- into their seats. They'd learned to do everything in unison over the last year. Pulls in the viewers. The fans love the symmetry.
"So tell me," the reporter began, pulling on a huge, pearly white smile, "your lives must have changed so dramatically when you won Britain's got Mediocrity. How's the past year been for you?"
Martina waved a jewelled hand, fluttering her painted eyelids. "Oh, it's just been so hectic!" she exclaimed. "And it was such a quick change too. One minute we were living with our parents in Slough, shop attendants at Spar… the next we're on national television, making an album and presenting our own show! BgM changed our lives."
"It was like, so cool," Pristina added in a lowered voice. "We got to meet all these famous celebs. Did you know we met Britney Spears? It was like, deadly."
"Sounds like a rollercoaster of a time," the reporter said, chuckling. "But have you been enjoying your new found fame?"
"Absolutely," they chanted together, though the harmony fell woefully out of sync.
"And anymore chances of another no. 1 to top I've Been Flushed From The Bathroom Of Your Heart? Loved the song, by the way. You really made it yours."
"Thanks," said Martina, but her winning grin faltered. "We… ah…"
"Well, we have made a few singles since then, but they haven't done so well… um…" Pristina tailed off. Justina nudged her in the ribs. "I mean, I'm sure we'll make Christmas no. 1."
"And what's your relationship together like?" the reporter asked, scribbling furiously at her pad.
"We get on very well. We were born together y'know, so it makes sense we'd spend every moment of our lives with each other." Martina's charming smile returned. The spokeswoman of the group, Martina always knew how to charm. Despite their identical appearance, the only thing that matches these girls is their singing ability. Or lack of it.
"Except for when we go to the bathroom," Pristina added innocently. She yelped as Justina booted her under the table.
"Yes, we do everything together," Justina announced, as if not just to convince the world, but herself. "We share…" there was a three second pause as they all attempted to get the timing right.
The antique vase, renaissance, priceless, shattered against the wall.
"When I mentioned sharing, I didn't mean sharing my boyfriend!"
A glass lamp exploded inches from Pristina's head. In the triplets' penthouse suite, Justina picked up the nearest object and stalked over, brandishing the hairbrush at her sister like a lethal weapon. Spit clung to her lip as she screamed at her.
"Oh, I'm sorry, I'm sorry!" Pristina whimpered, cowering against the wall, hands protecting her face. Justina battered her with the hairbrush.
"Sorry doesn't cut it, you little bitch—"
"So so sorry-"
"I ought to kill you--"
"Oh! Please don't!"
"You'd better beg."
"Please, please, please!"
Justina stepped back and eyed her sister with disgust.
"You're pathetic," she said, glistening lip curled back into a snarl. Pristina took this lapse to jump back to her feet. She took a deep breath.
"Yeah, well- your boyfriend can't like you that much," she said very quickly. "It's been like, six months and he still can't even recognise you. He made a pass at Martina, too!"
"What?" she screeched. "I'm going to-"
"Oh no!" Martina wailed. The door banged open and she flew in, tabloid held at arms length like a poisonous animal, mascara dripping down her face. The luxury penthouse in ruins, Justina and Pristina paused in their fight.
"What is it Marty?" Pristina asked, startled.
"Look at this," she screamed, thrusting the paper in their faces. "That reporter wasn't from Heat at all. She was from the Mail!"
A sharp intake of breath.
"Let me see," Justina said grimly. Martina sobbed and shoved it into her hands, collapsing down into a chair. The article sported a picture of the triplets in their matching sequinned flamenco dresses, performing the song that won them Britain's got Mediocrity, the Lonnie Donegan classic, Does Your Chewing Gum Lose It's Flavour. Blazoned above was the headline;
Is fifteen minutes of fame over for the singing, dancing triplets, who cannot sing nor dance?
Justina scanned through the article, quivering with anger the further she read. Pristina leant over her shoulder, their fight postponed due to urgent business.
"Talentless. Shameless. Worthless," Justina spat. "An icon of the UK's moral decay. Figure heads of Broken Britain. And…" she paused, outraged, unbelieving of what she was seeing. "They can't sing!" She threw the paper down and spat venomously on it.
Martina wilted further into her seat.
"Maybe they're right…" she whispered. "Maybe we really have… lost it."
"They never thought we had it in the first place," Justina snapped.
Pristina sank down next to Martina, putting her arm around her.
"Maybe we should just get real jobs," she said. They were silent for a long time.
"No!" Justina grabbed hold of Martina and pulled her from her seat. "We shouldn't care what they say. There's no such thing as fifteen minutes of fame anymore. This is the age of the celebrity!"
Pristina was roused from her stupor.
"Do you really think so?"
"I know so. Listen; we're due on Who Wants to be Filthy Rich next week, and The Price is Right after that. With the extra publicity, it's a cert we'll make the Christmas no. 1."
Hope dawned on their faces, for once, in union.
"Fifteen minutes is so 1970's," Justina said. "This is the Teenies, and we're going for the half hour mark!"