Spice Girls at the Olympics

Posted on August 13, 2012

Good morning, kittens. We have something of an Olympics hangover this morning. You spend 3 hours tweeting your every brain fart during the closing ceremonies and see how you feel. We dreamed of newspaper-covered people and Brazilians with bad microphones all night.

Thankfully, in the middle of all the puzzlement, the zenith of human culture was reached.

Victoria Beckham, Geri Halliwell, Emma Bunton, Melanie Chisholm and Melanie Brown of The Spice Girls perform during the Olympic Games Closing Ceremony in London.

The Girls of Spice returned.

Children wept. Old men fell to their knees in gratitude.


The entirety of western civilization paused and held its breath, wondering if one of these Holy Ladies was going to go ass-over-teakettle off the top of a London cab in front of a crowd of hundreds of millions.

Let’s assess them all, shall we?


Victoria Beckham in Giles Deacon



Vicki, of course, did better than the rest of them, fashion-wise. We would expect no less from her. Frankly we were surprised to see her so animated. She hasn’t moved that much in years. We were seriously afraid a limb was gonna break off and go flying into the crowd. It’s not much of a dress for performing, but at least it’s chic.


Geri Halliwell in Suzanne Neville

Oh, Ginger. Never change. Actually, you can change one thing: your hair. What’s the point of having two blonde Spice Girls, we ask you? Ginger Spice needs to be ginger. A cute red dress isn’t going to change that.


Emma Bunton in Maggie Cooke

It’s comforting to know that Baby still doesn’t know how to dress herself.


Melanie Chisholm in JD Sports

Ugh. Come on, Sporty. You’re at THE OLYMPICS. This is tailor-made for your persona and the best you can do is this minimalist take on chavs? VERY disappointing.


Melanie Brown in Zuhair Murad

Scary BROUGHT IT. She seemed to be the only one who understood they were PERFORMING for an AUDIENCE and that their image is all about glittery, tacky, exuberance and ’90s-style Girl Power. Vicki Posh may have brought the chic, but Scary brought the showmanship.



[Photo Credit: Getty]

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  • homespunner

    I smell Old Spice.

    • GorgeousThings

      I nearly spewed my coffee!!!

    • I salute you. Brilliant comment!

    • Vanja

       I liked their zimmer frames.

    • TheDivineMissAnn

       Like x1000

    • schadenfreudelicious

      homespunner wins the internet today!

  • Sobaika

    Did anyone else catch the PM positively JAMMIN to their performance? Made my night!

    • Kristin McNamara

      YES. We laughed out loud at that here at my house.

      • formerlyAnon

        Ditto. Then I wondered “Is this what my kids see when I think I’m dancing?”

    • NicholasGirling

       Someone made a gif of it for posterity: http://www.imagebam.com/image/e9fe4d205776691

    • Corsetmaker

      PM Cameron was relatively restrained but Boris Johnson was throwing himself right into it 😀

  • Violina23

    I have to admit, seeing the Spice Girls perform made me oddly happy. Or maybe that was the 90’s teenager in me being revived…

  • Patricia Gillett

    In Total Agreement. Mel B got the memo to be bitchin’ fabulous. The others didn’t.Loves me some Scary.

  • Snorting with laughter
    You guys ALMOST make me sorry I missed this overblown, tasteless spectacle.  

    • Kristin McNamara

      You bite your tongue, sir!

    • formerlyAnon

      Dude, after a certain point it was non stop WTF.  I’d tell you to find it online and watch, except half the joy came from waiting and waiting and waiting for it to coalesce into a coherent presentation with some hint of the usual “This Is An International Event” gravitas and gradually coming to realize that it wasn’t ever going to do so.

      I am convinced that during the planning the words “Oh why [the f***] not?” were uttered.

      • Oh I suspect, from what I have heard and read, that that happened more often than just once.

        • formerlyAnon

          It was possibly the mission statement.

          • Quite likely. I chose not to indulge in the Olympics madness at all this time out. But from what I read and heard about both ceremonies, it seems enough was not even CLOSE to enough.

          • akprincess72

            Yes, I believe it was.

      • Little_Olive

        You know what? I actually really liked that the show was not about choreographing thousands of children around but all about the UK. They were hosts. Pop/rock would definitely NOT be the same without them. They earned their night. 

        (One Direction aside, yes)

        • formerlyAnon

          Oh, I liked it. A lot. Partly because of the WTF factor, since a lot of the singing was done by persons who shouldn’t have been singing such iconic songs.

    • MilaXX

       seriously go to the NBC site and watch. It’s so crazy, it’s good.

    • turtleemily

      Pff, what do you mean “tasteless”? Russell Brand was there!

      • The prosecution, rests.

      • julnyes

         I am a huge Russell fan and even I can admit that his performance was a travesty.

  • I know this qualifies me as being gayer than gay, but I’ll be damned if this wasn’t the highlight of last night’s show.

    • Vanja

      For me the highlight was Freddie Mercury commanding the crowd via a screen….. and then they had to ruin the moment by letting Jessie J sing his part. Hated her outfit.

      • schadenfreudelicious

        Jessie J singing Freddie was a crime against nature…and fashion!

        • Little_Olive

          And Ed Sheeran (is it?) singing Wish You Were Here? That hurt. 

        • When she came on to sing with Queen my husband said, “I don’t know who she is but I wish she wasn’t singing right now.” I said, “Me too but what in the HELL is she wearing?!” I seriously wonder where she gets her clothes. So much WTF goes on her body it’s unreal.

          • schadenfreudelicious

            my thoughts exactly, an abomination on all fronts!

      • formerlyAnon

        Once I got over being stunned that ginormous screens of Freddie were leading the crowd in song, I was really hoping that the recorded Freddie Mercury was going to sing lead throughout and the live performers were just supporting. 

        Sadly, no.

        • Kimbolina

          Yeah, I was hoping they were going to do one of those holograms with the rest of the band.

          • akprincess72

            Me too, THAT would have been iconic.  Freddie was ROCKING it.

        • Vanja

          The whole night was like that. Teasing me with Kate Bush and then David Bowie, but not following through with the real thing… and then a live performance of the gorgeous ‘Wish you were here’ with Mason on drums, but without David Gilmour singing and playing. It was a disappointing mess. I did love the opening ceremony.

          • The whole Pink Floyd thing was a freaking mess. ONE member of the band? REALLY? REALLY!?! Gah.

      • bitchybitchybitchy

        With Freddy gone, there is no Queen. sorry, I just can’t sign off on some hoochie in a strapless one-legged catsuit profaning Freddy’s memory.

        • Vanja

          I always liked John Deacon for deciding not to go on with Queen without Freddie and also because he’s a great writer and bass player. Not a fan of Jessie J’s catsuit collection.

        • understateddiva

          Freddy would have worn a WAY better catsuit! 😉

          • formerlyAnon

            & looked better in it.

          • bitchybitchybitchy


  • Carrieanno

    As an unabashed Anglophile, I LOVED it!

  • This made my night! 

    • dress_up_doll

      Mine, too! I thought they brought more energy to the festivities than most of the other performers.

  • My husband and son were looking at me with wide-eyed wonderment (fear?) when I was dancing my arse off and cheering like a schoolgirl when they came on.  I too was in awe of how animated Vicky was! It was fantastic!

  • Deac82

     I remember when their song came out stateside…summer of ’97???  Its been 15 years and they still look great. 

  • annie_wonder

    I love that they modernised the outfits that they were so famous for: Ginger’s Union Jack dress, Posh’s classic LBD, Sporty’s white tracksuit, Baby’s short pink dress and Scary Spice’s body suit (albeit glitter rather than the leopard print of yore).  You could tell Posh would rather eat a whole buffet table than go through it all again though.  Bless.

  • Thanks for tweeting last night, TLo. I had fun imagining to what you were referring while I attempted to fall asleep.

  • Spreecord

    Really? Vicky’s getting a pass on the mullet skirt? Scary fucking BROUGHT IT, though.

  • I said pretty much the same thing. Scary put them all to SHAME. WERK.

  • SayWTH

    Ginger looks like she is pooing the Union Jack. But her “cab handler” is a welcome addition!!

    • Kristin McNamara

      I know! I’m surprised TLo didn’t say anything about her cab handler making that face…. while seemingly looking right up her skirt hahaha

  • Jessi03

    I thought Ginger was rocking it out.  I loved that she wore the Union Jack just like she used to!  She and Scary seemed to be the only ones REALLY having fun.  Awww, I missed the girls!

  • “holy ladies” might be an understatement, when they get together, all 5 of them, they’re larger than life itself

  • call_me_schmeg

    i love the guy enjoying his upskirt shot of ginger. yeah, buddy!

  • VioletFem

    My favorite Spice Girl is and has always been Scary Spice and last nights performance perfectly exemplified why, so energetic and upbeat. Posh Spice’s dress is probably the only instance where I’ve seen a mullet helm deployed so well for a performance. 

  • Thank you!!! The TLo tweets were the second best part of the closing ceremonies. (Spice was the first)

  • I thought Baby Spice looked fantastic. 

    I will admit I was jammin’ along. I mean, I wasn’t a stan of Spice Girls during their heyday but I appreciated their music.

    • RebeccaKW

       I loved her fishnets

  • Jessi03

    Was it super exciting to anyone else that you could tell which girl was in which cab by how is was decorated?  I thought it was perfect!  Ok, now I’m going to go home after work and pull out my Blockbuster Pre-Viewed VHS of Spice World.  

    • siriuslover

      Disqus isn’t letting me like your post for some reason, but I’ll keep trying until it does. Can’t mention Spice World without a like!

    • I LOVED the cab entry. 

  • redgauntlet

    I thought Mel C not only looked best but met the brief of projecting her old Spice persona and showing off her body which, by the way, looks like the best of the bunch.

  • fringebenefit

    In my book, the Spice Girls were bland as table salt…except for Scary. For an event and production values of this magnitude, they should have coordinated their outfits so that each represented her Spice Girl persona but all shared some cohesive thread–color, fabric, designer–something! Posh’s elegant dress just did not communicate over the vast distance and the others (except for perfect Scary) looked as though they could have been customers pulled from a booth at the Macaroni Grille and thrown atop London cabs. Come on–get it together. You were one of the main events! Hugely disappointing from a fashion perspective. 

    • Kristin McNamara

      But they always dressed so differently from each other… hardly ever with a theme to tie their different outfits into one another. That was one of their defining characteristics! And frankly, I don’t think any of them (besides Posh) was ever very in tune with “fashion” per se.

  • mjude

    i have to admit i couldnt wait to see the spice girls.

  • This made me so happy.

  • Pants_are_a_must

    SCARY SPICE. Everything needed more Scary Spice last night.

    Vicky could not look more done with it all the minute she got onstage, but that train fluttering in the air behind her as the cab rode was FAB.

  • formerlyAnon

    I thought the whole damn thing was inexplicable, but fun.

  • nannypoo

    I never liked the Spice Girls when they were a thing and now I think they’re just ridiculous. But apparently I had forgotten the most famous Spice Girl of all: Gloomy Fashion Whore Spice.

  • HomeOfficeGirl

    They all look fantastic!

  • Call me Bee

    Oh my sweet Lord that thing last night was the weirdest sh*t I’ve seen on TV in a long time.  Gentlemen, your tweets saved the day!  As does this post.  My children were more into grunge and alt-music than these pop-queens during the 90s, so I really know nothing about them except what I’ve read on this blog about VB. 
    So thanks for the post.  I feel more edu-ma-cated now.

  • gabbilevy

    If there was ever a person for which platform tennis shoes were made, it’s Scary Spice. The first time I’ve seen those make sens.

  • siriuslover

    I loved seeing the Spice Girls! Actually, I loved the entire closing ceremonies. Sigh…I want to go to London…

  • MilaXX

    First of all NBC can blow me for the worse Olympic coverage ever. At one point it took no less than 3 devices to get decent coverage. I have a tv to watch, well, tv. I do not want to watch on my computer. As annoyed as I was I am glad I choose to watch the show live online at 4pm because NBC’s editing choices sucked. No Muse, no Kate Bush & you interrupt the show for a stupid sitcom instead of show The Who?

    Anyhoo I loved seeing the gals again. I think overall they all look pretty good considering their heyday was 15 years & several tears ago. I had to laugh because the camera caught Vicky at one point when the car was moving with a distinctly “Whoa!” face going on.


    • sockandaphone

       yeah im ready to not watch NBC for a good while after the past two weeks.

      • Kimbolina

        Yup, now that the Olympics are over, I have no reason to watch NBC.  They have the contract until 2020, let’s hope they lose the bid after that…

      • DeborahJozayt

        Same here! If I see another Chevy commercial with that Asian lady saying “Good job, baby….” 

      • MilaXX

        I already gave up The Today Show after the Ann Curry debacle & I haven’t watch douche-y Jay Leno since the Conan mess. There are only a handfull of NBC shows I do watch right now.

    • 3Beaz

      Completely agree on the coverage! The epitome of if for me was this weekend when I wanted to watch the gold medal women’s volleyball match.  Between 3 NBC channels they were showing:  mountain biking… race walking… and rhythmic gymnastics.  Ok, i love watching the gymnastics but the other two???  are you kidding me????  Maybe if nothing else was going on but IMHO none of those should have trumped the GOLD medal vball match. Ridiculous.  I had to stream a fuzzy broadcast of BBC coverage to see the whole thing.  There were a ton of examples of this throughout the games.  I know they were trying to save certain coverage for ‘prime time’ but the way they edit and drag everything out is so painful.  …Ok rant over, the games are over and done with.  I think I’ll just go see them in person in Rio 🙂

      • MilaXX

        I actually like the minor sporting events and which they had gotten better coverage. What pissed me off was they would show basketball or wrestling on 2 channels at the same time when they could have given that time to the minor players who won’t get the big money endorsement deals, but work just as hard. Why they couldn’t just show the basketball or whatever on one channel and leave the other for the minor sports was beyond me. Also after my browser kept crashing I finally figured out that unless you had an iPad/Mac it was better to use Internet Explorer to watch online. The stupid saving for primetime was ridiculous because unless you went on a social media blackout and walked ab=round all day with your eyes closed and ears plugged up, you were bound to be spoiled.

    • and speaking of posh, that dress was so short that those gathered round the stage must of been getting some high class beaver shots.  talk about the good china…

  • MilaXX

     I want to go to the Olympics at least once before I die.

    • DeborahJozayt

      Go to Rio! That place is freaking crazy! You’ll see drunk, naked Olympians everywhere you turn!

      • add in the samba, and that sounds like my kind of party…too bad i’m broke.  and i’m a little old for anyone else to enjoy my nakedness.  my husband would love it, though.

        • DeborahJozayt

          Well, the problem with Rio is that they’re physically not prepared for the hordes of people that are going down there. I think they have around 34k hotel rooms and no mode for public transportation outside of bendi-buses. So maybe you can go to Russia and wear a Babushka instead! At least you’ll be covered!

    • Oh MilaXX, you have to! When they were here in LA, it was the best ever, like the city was having one big 17-day party. We were fortunate to get tickets for four events in the ticket lottery, including the closing ceremony. When we weren’t at events, my kids and I went to different venues and traded pins. Such a let-down when it was over. And who doesn’t want to go to Rio?

      • MilaXX

        I’m going to try.

  • StelledelMare

    I was highly anticipating them and truly, the didn’t disappoint me.  The only good part of a very shitty closing ceremony. Well them and Annie Lennox.

    • formerlyAnon

      Lennox is always killer, but the staging of her number was stand out.  I think it was as I was trying to relate a skeletal ship o’ death sailing into the stadium with tattered sails & Lennox at the prow to ANY kind of “Our Glorious Country’s Farewell Salute to International Sport” theme that the penny dropped and I realized that this was not going to be the closing ceremonies I anticipated.

  • Still smiling!!

  • I don’t care, I STILL LOVE THEM!

  • jmorino08

    Scary Spice got 75% of the airtime and she earned every second of it!

    Baby Spice looks George Jetson’s daughter.

  • sarahjane1912

    Thanks so much for the pocket update, TLo. I watched it live [midnight my time] and was feverishly checking Twitter to see if NBC just might have decided to show it live to you guys, but no cigar. I had to log on this morning for the absolute TICKLE that your tweets provided me [and now, quite a few of my friends!]. Brilliant stuff. 

    Liked the Spiceys, and their outfits all worked for me as updated modes of their earlier incarnations. And they looked like they were having fun [even Mrs Becks]. Also sensible of them to perform two very well-known hits [as opposed to George M who bizarrely chose to roadtest a new single rather than following ‘Freedom’ up with another song familiar to the audience. Ah well. Loved seeing him despite that, though you guys were spot on about his skull belt!

    Well done. And thanks again. 🙂

  • Posh and Scary were always my favorites – I feel very vindicated, haha. 
    So, the Brits decided to make a Superbowl Halftime Show, and to make it 3 hours long, huh?
    I checked out after Eric Idle. I was done. 

    • Also, does anyone know why there were fashion shows in the middle? Was it a McQueen tribute? The majority of the dresses didn’t look very McQueen to me, but… something? 

      • formerlyAnon

        As best as I can tell (the commentary was worse than even the NBC standard for the Olympics & I couldn’t be bothered to look it up) the theme was Britain’s contributions to music & fashion.

        • Ah. I wish there’d been some way to tell who did what dresses… INTERNET TO THE RESCUE: “British super models Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss, Georgia May Jagger, Karen Elson, Stella Tennant, Lily Cole, Lily Donaldson, Jourdan Dunn and the handsome David Gandy walked the Olympic catwalk to Bowie’s hit “Fashion” wearing Alexander McQueen, Burberry, Christopher Kane, Victoria Beckham, Paul Smith, Jonathan Saunders and Stephen Jones.”
          No clue about the intermittent fashion models between musical numbers though. Oh well. 

        • 3Beaz

           I also found it amusing that the commentator during the fashion portion started to list off the models names and got as far as Kate and Naomi before he was completely at a loss.  lol

          • formerlyAnon

             Yeah. That was exactly the point where I decided that no, I was NOT being hard on the commentators.

  • Scary gets the gold!

    • sporty may have gone low key, but i always loved her.  she was my daughter’s favorite.  lesbo spice rules!

  • Stubenville

    Did Emma Bunton borrow her outfit from Melania Trump? Because it sure looks like some of the outer space couture we’ve seen Mrs. Donald wear…

  • 3Beaz

    I knew I could count on you guys for a Spice Girls recap!  I was sitting like a little kid on the floor super close to the tv, I was so excited!  I was a huge huge fan of theirs growing up, LOVED this.    The closing ceremonies would have been greatly improved had they just made the whole thing a spice girls concert…   

  • DezzyB

    Pet Shop Boys brought it !!  West End – Spice – Girls !!

  • sockandaphone

    i was dancing like i was 10-years-old again when they came up. it was a beautiful moment. scary spice was on point.

    • too bad you missed the who.  they will always be awesome,  and they totally brought it old school style.  talkin’ bout my generation!

      • sockandaphone

        i watched it online later! yay internet.

  • Anathema_Device

    I think they did a good job of looking like older versions of their characters.

    Now can I rant that they freakin’ cut out Ray Davies singing “Waterloo Sunset” while showing Russell Brand defiling the Beatles??!! Are you kidding me??!!!!

    • sockandaphone

      i didnt even know this happened until I read about it this morning. Ridiculous.

    • The American Broadcast cut SO MUCH out- I was glad that we got the whole thing in Canada, because there was some good stuff nobody saw in the US!

    • formerlyAnon

       Yeah, if they had to choose one, I’d have preferred Davies BUT.

      Russell Brand’s turn (and it was one of the ones that more strongly reminded me of a turn on the variety/burlesque stage) was a **priceless** WTF moment in a show stuffed with ’em.  The song from Charlie & the Chocolate Factory he entered on was pretty shaky, but not nearly as shaky as the idea that the fella sashaying out of that bus was gonna get near any child whose parents saw him first!

      I swear to god, I wouldn’t have missed that one for the world.

      • Anathema_Device

        Yes, I guess that part ranks up there with Rob Lowe singing and dancing in that Oscars broadcast some years back.

  • librarygrrl64

    “this minimalist take on chavs” I love you so much for knowing and using this reference (which I learned from Misfits). SO. DAMNED. MUCH. 

  • CQAussie

    And holding on for dear life!!!

  • jilly_d

    was it windy in there?

  • Posh-
    It seemed that she almost fell off at one point. The driver started abruptly.
    Did anyone else see that?

    My mom kept saying, “It can’t be Victoria. This girl isn’t skinny.”

    •  did notice some meat on her for a change,  and she was almost smiling at times.  was this a doppelganger?  or did she learn to eat?

  • It is all about showmanship. Many costumes last night did not work well on TV or in a stadium. Case in point: Look at the rags on George Michael.

  • minimalist chav. hahahahaha

  • TheOriginalLulu

    I like Mel B. and Geri’s outfits best. I love Posh and all, but that’s a mullet dress and I can’t with that.

  • The Spice Girls being on the Olympics kind of made my week. And I just consumed my morning coffee by reminiscing over old Spice Girls videos. Also need to put Spice World in my Netflix queue stat.

    To ladies (and gay men, I suppose) who grew up in the 90s, this was pretty much epic. Vicki Posh seemed irritated and all “F this” the whole time…but somehow seemed appropriate. And Scary? Girlfriend definitely brought it! Earned every bit of that screen time indeed.

  • JMansm

    Wasn’t it weird that Jessie J and Scary were in similar outfits. Also that Jessie J was in four numbers and Adele wasn’t there at all!?!?

    • LesYeuxHiboux

       I was quite displeased by the preponderance of Jessie J, and the lack of Adele/Florence + The Machine

      • Adele was invited but decided not to appear since she is heavily pregnant…

  • Kate4queen

    As a Brit living in the U.S. I was quite proud of my little island for bringing the crazy party to the normally ‘we are the children’ vibe of the closing ceremony. It was like one giant laugh. 🙂

  • Scarlet39

    I think that for the most part, they looked like modern versions of their Spice personas.  Except for Geri. “She kind of looked like time stood still for her (and not in a good way).

        Scary by far blew the others out the water, though.  She looked amazing

  • So much fun. But I am with you in that I was terrified that one of them was going to fall. That would have put a damper on things. 

  • It’s like those hideous sneaker wedges were born just to be on Sporty Spice’s feet. 

  • quiltrx

    Scary FTW.

    And if all the “assistants” looked like Ginger’s, we need a post about them, too.

    And what about Annie Lennox, boys?

  • ThaliaMenninger

    I love Scary. I’m not kidding. I want her to be my friend and take me shopping, where we will howl and roll on the floor over her outfits. She’s adorable.

  • Jessi03

    One of my friends sent that to me yesterday! I laughed so hard.

  • Hai Yen Nguyen

    I thought they looked amazing! Better than they did back in the day. Ginger Spice’s bod looks out of control.

  • I thought they looked like themselves. Like they picked out their outfits, which was pretty cool. and the whole idea of the cars … wow. it was pretty good. 

  • BigWhiteGrannyPanties

    I’m sure someone already asked this – but why didn’t Victoria design her own outfit for this thing?