SnapBack #5: Heidi and Spencer Pratt

Tabloid stars Heidi and Spencer Pratt are up to a lot of very specific nothings. They share it all on Snapchat. Every excruciating detail. 

Megan Kirby: This month we’re talking about Spencer and Heidi Pratt, couple name: Speidi. Reality TV and tabloid stars.

Mark Heffernan: Heidi and Spencer started on The Hills, on MTV. Heidi was friends with the main girl, Lauren Conrad. She dated Spencer on the show. They kind of became Lauren’s enemies. Then they became really well-known for their tabloid coverage and Heidi’s plastic surgery. She had like 10 surgeries at once. Now, they’re… What are they up to?

MK: Wow. A lot of nothing. A lot of very specific nothings.

MH: They are Snapping a lot, but I don’t know what they’re doing all day.

MK: Heidi doesn’t Snap that much. She Snaps a lot with her dogs. I think they have four dogs, but the weird thing is that she walks them each separately--because she has no job and nothing to do. The dogs are pretty cute. Four seems like a sane number in the realm of celebrities, but also I feel like if she was Ariana Grande rich, she’d also have 12 dogs and a goat.

MH: They live on the ocean. I think that house is Spencer’s parent’s former vacation house, so I don’t know how much money they have, and I don’t know if they pay to live there. They love to go to the beach and watch the sunset. Bring a dog or two with.

MK: Heidi also loves Bitmoji. One of my favorite things she does every day is post a picture of—not the Bible, but a book about the bible? Like a daily affirmation. And she just covers it in Bitmojis of herself.

MH: Heidi snaps with her own music a lot, and I love it. I love her. I think she and Spencer are in on the joke, but they also view it as sly self-promotion. Like, “Yeah, we know this is a little embarrassing, but you’re also hearing our music.”

MK: When’s the last time Heidi released a song?

MH: Five years ago, maybe? That’s a guess. I love “Superficial.” I quote it a lot, and I don’t know if people always get it.

MK: Uh, I don’t think they do.

MH: And then… there’s Spencer. What would you say about Spencer?

MK: Spencer’s Snapchat is the definition of extra. He has certain schticks that he does pretty much every day. Spencer is really into espresso. He measures out the ounces of espresso, and then he takes a video of himself—usually listening to aggressive hip-hop and sort of squatting down while he drinks a shot of espresso. He does this every. Single. Morning. Do I like it? I guess in theory. It’s funny to do something every single day, but it’s not just one or two Snaps.

MH: It’s like 15 Snaps, all 10-second long videos of him drinking espresso. Which ends up being like a minute and a half.

MK: After you see it happen for a few days, you start to flip through, because he’s not doing anything new. We don’t need to see every single second.

MH: Then after espresso, Spencer does karate. He films himself in the mirror of the karate studio dancing, but everyone else behind him is in a class doing karate in unison. How many moments of his life is Spencer listening to music and Snapping while people around him are being normal?

MK: Then there’s the crystals.

MH: Spencer is deep into crystals. He’s always carrying them around and talking about what they all do. He has large ones, which I imagine are pretty expensive. And he’s always rubbing them and taking them places.

MK: He has them on string and he hangs them around his neck. He said he “got off crystals” for awhile because they made him too crazy, like he was vibrating at a higher cosmic frequency. I don’t know. Sounds real.

MH: It’s weird because on The Hills, I thought the crystals were a gimmick they were doing to keep the show interesting. Now that crystals are still happening, it’s like, “Oh, he’s just in this.”

MK: On Snapchat, he would go stand in front of the ocean with the waves crashing and dangle a crystal in front of the camera while listening to Enya. It felt very spiritual. At one point he said, “You know your crystal’s working when you squeeze it and your teeth get all metallic-y and tingly and you’re just like ‘whoa.’”

MH: He was having a moment. I would love to see a pictures of the crystals all together.

MK: Yeah, do they have a crystal room? Like at the Field Museum? Does Heidi use crystals? I feel like she kind of just humors him. Do you think they really love each other?

MH: I do! You know, they don’t seem as fake as you think they would.

MK: And I think with a little finesse, their Snapchats could be so funny. It’s like, the ingredients are right but there is too much of everything. You can’t make a good cake with three tons of flour.

MH: Their career track is interesting. They’re pretty vocal about doing paparazzi shoots for money. And they do gimmicky things because that’s how they get attention. They’re so vocal about it that it doesn’t bother me.

MK: They’re good at this certain kind of fame. They know how to work the D-list celebrity system, which I honestly respect.

MH: They have so much free time. I’m seeing a lot of, like, sitting at home and drinking wine directly out of the bottle. And hours of gossip magazines.  

MK: And Spencer snaps every single page of every single gossip magazine. If it was on YouTube it’d be like, “Do you want to watch this 13-minute video of Spencer Pratt reading gossip magazines?” Hard no.

MH: You know what else I like? Heidi and Spencer have a lot of framed gossip magazine covers of themselves. If I was on gossip magazines, I would also do that in a heartbeat.

MK: So Spencer had one main storyline he crafted that had a lot of twists and turns: There was a hummingbird nest outside of their front door, and for days he would snap these newborn hummingbirds. He called them “my babies.” He had a camera recording 24/7.

MH: And he would snap them every day, growing. And then there was an incident. Something upsetting happened. One of Spencer’s baby hummingbirds got eaten by a mouse.

MK: And this is when things really amped up.

MH: He got the mouse attack on camera. He did show the recording of the mouse crawling up to the nest. Then it set off a series of busy days. I actually thought about this in my daily life, like, “Oh, I know what Spencer has scheduled today.” He went on a journey to save the other hummingbird.

MK: He cut the nest out of the tree and put it in a box. He surrounded it in rose quartz--for protection, obviously. And then he brought it to a wildlife sanctuary.

MH: He put 20 to 30 mousetraps in their bushes. Which was upsetting.

MK: He talked about the hummingbirds incessantly.

MH: I was pretty invested in the hummingbird for awhile. Honestly, though, I got burned out.

MK: Spencer posts too much. I counted and one day, he posted 117 times--most often 10-second videos. Which means there was 17 straight minutes of Spencer Pratt in a single day! I don’t need that! That’s over an hour a week. I can’t do it anymore.

MH: I no longer look at their Snaps. I just quickly blur through. It needs to be reduced--I would say by 50 percent.

MK: If he posted a quarter of his content, I’d say follow. If it was 25 Snaps a day, tops. Because he’s doing weird stuff and he’s funny and he’s actually pretty good at crafting a narrative. In the week we watched, we had a hummingbird story with a beginning, middle and end. including a snap of a beautiful sunset that said, “I forgive the mouse.”

MH: He’s very funny. When I first started, I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it. But when I realized the amount of Snaps, I didn’t want it anymore.

MH: He has so many genuinely funny Snaps. But it’s too much. It felt like a chore to keep up. Eventually, I dreaded getting to their Snap Stories.

MK: And Heidi’s pretty boring on her own. You really need them together. I wouldn’t just follow Heidi. You know, though, I think I’ll be lowkey interested in what they’re up to for the rest of my life. Do you think they will stay famous, or ever get more famous?

MH: What do you think they can do?

[long pause]

MK: Uh oh.

MH: Right.