It's no secret to anyone now that my exposure to contemporary music is limited to VH1's Jump Start and Top 20 Countdown, which I watch at the gym on weekend morns. That established, my attention was turned this past Saturday to a pair of vids that had me seeing double, if not triple - not that I'm at all complaining, given the content.

First up, there was "Beautiful Liar," featuring what I consider to be the unlikely duet of Beyoncé (whose voice, frankly, I would not recognize in any other crowd of two) and Shakira. But as unexpected of collaborators as they are, the video's concept demonstrated what a fitting pairing they are, at least visually. Starting off in similar yet decidedly different outfits, each occupying their own spaces while crooning the tune, the ladies gradually start looking more and more like each other - Shakira finds a flat iron, Beyoncé bares her belly - until ultimately and rather astonishingly, the two are veritable doppelgangers for each other. In fact, the video ends with Shakira and Beyoncé in identical outfits and hairstyles, literally mirroring each other's dance moves, to such a convincing effect that it was near impossible to tell who was who during any quick-cut. As neat a trick as it was, the unexpected nature of it was what really took my eyes off the magazine also before me. I mean, Miss "Hips Don't Lie" and Ms. "To the Left," separated at birth? Who knew.

Perhaps on purpose, VH1 followed "Beautiful Liar" with Christina Aguilera's "Candyman," a lively track and video in which the lucky, lucky Jordan Bratman's wife fashions herself as not one or two but three USO singers, red, white (-blonde) and bru(nette). This vid has been out a few weeks, and I've never paid it much mind before, but this time, my powers of observation roused by the Shakironcé creature, I truly took notice of the excellent camera trickery. Though on previous occasions I've used this here forum to mock Christina's poor music-video acting skills, she really sells you on her "Candyman" trio, with, say, Brunette darting her eyes to look and smile at Blonde while they bop. To wrap up the tune, Christina pours herself into a shirt and shorts combo so negligible it's beyond generous to use the terms shirt and shorts, all the while keeping the beat bubbling, the "For the boys" theme trumpeting. But what this video made me realize more than anything else is that while Britney Spears has been asleep at the Norelco, Xtina has stepped up and laid lasting claim to the blonde and bodacious pop siren title - with the emphasis on siren, as her pipes of course are leaps and bounds beyond what Brit's ever were or will be.

Speaking of sultry sirens, we conclude this discussion with Justin Timberlake's "What Goes Around," the video for which costars no less than Scarlett Johansson as a ripe-for-the-taking sexpot who at first strays from her steady to be with JT, only to later prove that a tigress doesn't change her stripes. When I wasn't distracted from my wondering whether JT was singing in the Waldorf-Astoria lobby, I couldn't help but cringe that the script for the video was ripped out of Josh Hartnett's diary.

Let's just hope Scarlett's a better driver than her video-vixen alter ego.