"Obviously we're entertainers. We are trying to entertain in every aspect of our lives." - Heidi Montag
The celebrity news world is simultaneously bursting and flat.
The unbalance of Britney Spears, the growing pains of Miley Cyrus and the druggy tailspin of Amy Winehouse - to name a few favorite plots - add up over the hours to grand narratives and debates about femininity, drug use, mental health, sexuality, motherhood, legal proceedings, parenting and violence.
But the celebrity gossip world is flat in that every story seems just as important as every other - and this is a monster that needs feeding.
That's what celeb news fame is now: Weekly, and sometimes hourly, we must have stories; the lives of the chosen people must appear to move forward.
Into the breach between supply and demand have stepped Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt, the villainous couple from MTV's docu-soap The Hills.
While Heidi Montag may not be the most famous, she's definitely fame-ish. Creatures of the game in every way, she and Spencer, the arch-enemies of Lauren Conrad, have mastered the new realities of celebrity culture.
The two know what commodity they're selling and what its value is: "There's only so much gossip," as Heidi said over lunch recently.
"We're always the juicier story," Spencer Pratt interjected.
Switching to the third person, he added, "Heidi and Spencer are gossip machines. Every day, it's like, 'What did Heidi and Spencer do?'"
Heidi and Spencer. "Speidi" for short.
He's 24, went to Crossroads School and then USC, having grown up in Santa Monica and the Palisades. She's 21 and was raised in Crested Butte, Colo., which she referred to as "the smallest place in the world."
Heidi Montag came to L.A. in August 2005 after a miserable fashion school year in San Francisco where she met Lauren Conrad, late of MTV's Laguna Beach, whose move to L.A. was to become the raison d'Ãªtre for The Hills.
TMZ calls them "celebutards."
Perez Hilton calls them "famewhores" and "promosexuals."
Spencer Pratt's response: "Anybody who wants to promote our brand, negative or positive, give me a call."
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