I always thought a "diva" was a survivor with a colorful string of lovers and struggles. And some of the VH1 Divas at the Brooklyn Academy of Music - Liza, Jennifer, Toni - definitely qualify. Miley Cyrus? Not so much.

Diva-Licious! At VH1 Divas 2009!

Jennifer Hudson, for instance: an actual survivor. Which, I guess, entitles her to a futuristic suit of armor, if that's what she wants.


Diva-Licious! At VH1 Divas 2009!

Or, obviously, Liza! Sequins, wigs, and single-name-recognition are true diva hallmarks.


Diva-Licious! At VH1 Divas 2009!

Toni Braxton appreciates the drama of the occasion, even if this does swing a little David's Bridal.


Diva-Licious! At VH1 Divas 2009!

And Kathy and Hoda, obviously, needed to be here. Their getups are deliciously frumpy. And I'm kind of feeling all the virginal white - both seasonally and occasionally inappropriate.


Diva-Licious! At VH1 Divas 2009!

Kathy Griffin is a virtual virgin goddess! No, seriously, I really like this gown.


Diva-Licious! At VH1 Divas 2009!

Paula is, of course, the grand mistress of this whole thing. Her rather elegantly subdued dress is saved from too much quiet good taste by ruby slippers and - are those stockings?


Diva-Licious! At VH1 Divas 2009!

Speaking of quiet good taste - and wigs - Kim Zolciak is actually going much looser than usual in azalea-tinted meringue.


Diva-Licious! At VH1 Divas 2009!

Kelly Clarkson, diva-in-training, looks about as youthful as an operatic diva with a long history of Wagner performances behind her.


Diva-Licious! At VH1 Divas 2009!

Jordyn Sparks also skews a little frumpy. Which, given the event, I'm kind of feeling.


Diva-Licious! At VH1 Divas 2009!

India.Arie sort of looks like she has gold spilling from her breasts. Nice skill to have!


Diva-Licious! At VH1 Divas 2009!

The horizontal wrap on Sheryl Crow's gauzy number isn't terribly flattering - but might have been better with a shoe other than these high-cut booties.


Diva-Licious! At VH1 Divas 2009!

If you're dressing around a generous bust, like Sheri Shepherd, tight and one-shouldered isn't really the most flattering option, as it results in the dreaded sling effect.


Diva-Licious! At VH1 Divas 2009!

Adele, embryo diva, continues her run as one of the best-dressed women on the proverbial red carpet of life.


Diva-Licious! At VH1 Divas 2009!

You know who don't qualify as divas? Whitney Port and Lauren Conrad. That said, I'm glad they made a sequin effort.


Diva-Licious! At VH1 Divas 2009!

Also: Miley Cyrus. And her dress is terrible. The end.
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