Brow Beat

A Video of Celebrities Singing “Imagine” So Bad It Can Bring Us All Together in Hatred

Twenty-two hideous performances, ranked.

Side-by-side vertical screenshots of Gal Gadot, Natalie Portman, and Will Ferrell in the video.
Can you imagine? Screenshots from Instagram

It’s nice to see everybody come together in a time of crisis. And for once, regardless of age, gender, race, faith, or political party, we can all agree: Gal Gadot’s video of self-isolated celebrities singing “Imagine” is one of the worst things to have ever happened. In the video, which Gadot posted to Instagram on Wednesday, we see Gadot sing the first line of the treacly John Lennon song, and then it cuts to Kristen Wiig with the next line, then Jamie Dornan, and so on, until we’ve witnessed some two dozen celebrities perform deeply embarrassing displays of earnestness. It’s honestly hard to watch—but not uniformly so. Upon further consideration, some of these performances are definitely worse than others, and a few also raise some questions (such as: Who the hell is that floppy-haired kid?). Below, a ranking of the celebrities in the video from least annoying to most, as well as an explanation of who a few of them are—and what they’re all doing here.


22. Leslie Odom Jr.

The Hamilton star’s is far and away the least annoying performance of the video. Now, that’s mostly because he’s standing outside in front of flowers and getting some really good natural light—at one point, the sun dapples and then shines gloriously onto his face—and most of us have not been outside in days and are starved for sunlight. The outside world, that looks nice.

21. Maya Rudolph

Rudolph’s appearance toward the end of the video is a bit of a “phew!” moment: By then, you’ve lost hope that any of your favorite stars are capable of acting in a non-embarrassing way for a few seconds without overperforming or grossing you out in some other way. Rudolph shows it can be done. Also, what are those curtains behind her? Is that couch millennial pink?

20. Lynda Carter

It took me a few minutes to put together that this whole video is basically a PR maneuver for the new Wonder Woman movie, starring Gal Gadot, that’s supposed to come out this summer, if it doesn’t get yanked from the schedule. Carter’s inclusion is like a subliminal message whispering to us, “Get excited about Wonder Woman 1984!” But that’s not her fault. She looks cute in her turtleneck and headphones, and it’s nice to see her.

19. Amy Adams

Aw, Amy Adams. We can’t ask Amy Adams not to be earnest—that’s like asking an eagle not to soar. It’s cute that she’s a little blurry—still getting used to Insta, Ames?—and her hair looks great.

18. Sarah Silverman

Your mileage may vary with this one, but I would argue that Silverman is one of the only performers in the video who understands exactly how corny the project she’s participating in is. I mean, she does it anyway, so maybe she shouldn’t get points for that, but I appreciate the self-aware, is-this-really-happening way she goes for the “yee hee!” sound effect after her line in the song.

17. Labrinth

This British musician is one of the few people sprinkled into the video whom you might not know, which is reason to go a little easy on him. I like that he’s sitting in a car. Wonder where he’s going.

16. Jimmy Fallon

Not any more or less annoying than the average Jimmy Fallon bit.

15. Sia

Sia definitely showboats in her performance, which is annoying, but she has the vocal chops to do it, especially in comparison with some of the other chumps in the video. Also notable that even though she’s showing her face now, she hasn’t fully stopped trying to obscure her identity; she’s the only performer who gets two lines and switches to a different scene of her singing, making it seem like maybe the second part is a different person. You can’t fool us, Sia.

14. Jamie Dornan

Given that this actor is best known for being the super-self-serious Fifty Shades guy, at least getting to see him sing was something different? He’s still cringey, but not as cringey as some of the others.

13. Annie Mumolo

There’s nothing that egregious about Mumolo’s clip, apart from maybe some weird shadows, but she should have known better. As an actress and screenwriter who isn’t as famous as many of the people in this video, her delusions about her own importance and how much people want to see her right now should be less strong. Alas.

12. James Marsden

Marsden is generally likable, but here he commits the sin of being just a litttttle too proud of his singing. He’s clearly thrilled he got the “Alllllll the pee-pulllllll” line.

11. Norah Jones

I can’t fault her singing, which is appropriately low-key, but it’s unnerving that this is one of the only ones where the person isn’t filming themselves. Imagine the poor schlub she enlisted to film this for her. “I’m gonna make a video for Gal Gadot, and the internet’s gonna love it!” “OK, Norah.” Also, that hat.

10. Mark Ruffalo

We are way too close to Ruffalo’s face, and you can tell he thinks he’s being absolutely adorable. Next.

9. Pedro Pascal

Was anyone out there like, “You know what would comfort me during this pandemic? Hearing the guy from Narcos sing, except he should be barely trying.” No, and yet here we are.

8. Will Ferrell

I guess the hair is supposed to be funny. Instead it adds to the general feeling that maybe he is unwell, maybe they are all unwell.

7. Zoë Kravitz

Another person who’s somehow trying too hard and phoning it in at the same time, as she sits expressionless in front of a fireplace in her so-cool wire-frame glasses. Her skinny arm technique is unparalleled, I’ll give her that.

6. Kristen Wiig

The hat, first of all. The beatific look on her face. The way she tries to hold the note on the word try. Kristen Wiig, you have a better sense of humor than this!

5. Chris O’Dowd and his wife, Dawn O’Porter

Not to be like “Only famous people matter!” but why is his wife there? No one else’s spouse joined them. This is very husband-and-wife-who-share-an-email-address.

4. Natalie Portman

It’s a testament to Portman’s work as an actress that I never realized until today that I really do not like the sound of her voice. She might be the most actually tone-deaf person in the video, as opposed to the more figuratively tone-deaf.

3. Gal Gadot

Gadot’s singing performance on its own isn’t that bad, but she’s the mastermind who put this whole thing together, and she deserves a lot of blame for that.

2. Ashley Benson, Kaia Gerber, and Cara Delevingne

These people are quarantining together?!?! Celebrities showing off their famous friends is insufferable under normal circumstances, but to know they’re isolating together and making up cute little dance routines is even worse. (Reports indicate that Margaret Qualley is there as well, bringing the total number of Pete Davidson exes in the party to two. Maybe this explains why Qualley wasn’t in the video.)

1. Eddie Benjamin

This is the floppy-haired kid whom you didn’t recognize, the one who sort of looks like a bizarro-world Timothée Chalamet. He’s apparently an Australian singer, and he’s dating Maddie Ziegler, the teenage dancer and reality star. Each detail of his biography only makes his performance more annoying. If he’s a professional singer, why is he so bad? No one should be allowed to add a “yeah” while improvising, but especially not this kid.