MTV may be fading deeper and deeper into obscurity, but somehow, its Video Music Awards show maintains its relevance more than ever. It’s no Grammy Awards, but one can certainly make the argument that it’s the biggest conglomeration of popular music stars besides the Grammys. Which may come as a surprise when you consider that nobody has watched an actual music video in 15 years.
Taking place in Brooklyn this year, it marked the 30th annual presentation of the VMAs, and like its predecessors, was not immune to controversy. And speaking of the Grammys, it was well publicized how the producers of that show implemented a strict dress code earlier this year, forbidding women from showing too much skin.
Well, after watching the first 10 minutes of the VMAs, it was evident that it had no such code. In fact, if anything, it appeared that the producers may have sent out a memo to encourage more bareness from its female performers. Indeed, seeing Lady Gaga and Miley Cyrus strip down to practically nothing made me feel like I was watching some type of cheap burlesque show as opposed to a concert.
However, I should not lump the two together, for that would be a giant insult to Lady Gaga. But let’s start with her.
Being her truly theatrical self, her opening number involved several bizarre facial expressions, a giant Tom Hooper/Les Miserables-esque closeup and a costume in which words cannot truly describe. It was actually my first time hearing “Applause,” and not that I was expecting much, but I thought it sucked. It’s disappointing because she truly has an amazing voice, and yet she uses it to create generic pop techno songs that can be sung by practically anybody.
But anyway, I recall reading reports recently about how Lady Gaga had gained weight, so I feel like she was on a mission to prove the world otherwise. She stripped down to a sea-shell bikini, and, yeah, her body looked pretty good to me. She must have went on a furious, Karen Carpenter-like dieting binge to get her body back to bikini shape. Heck, she even kept it on throughout the duration of the show. Since this is a PG-13 blog, I’ll allow you to look it up for yourself. Or just click here.
As for Miley Cyrus, the same absolutely cannot be said. And honestly, I really don’t know what to say about whatever she did on that stage. It certainly wasn’t performing, and it most definitely wasn’t singing. It was like some type of weird theater art piece gone completely and utterly wrong.
I flat out refuse to post a photo because that would require me to Goggle image her and have to weed through dozens of photos, and I just ate, so that’s not going to happen. But her appearance can only be described as repugnant, vile, offensive and grotesque. And that was before she started twerking on Robin Thicke, who, I have no idea what he was thinking by agreeing to collaborate with her.
All the good vibes Robin Thicke accumulated from “Blurred Lined” may have been counteracted by that decision.
Cyrus’s performance can be summed up perfectly by the reaction of every single member of the Smith family, seen here:
To put a close on this, Miley’s performance was so horrid, and set the bar so low, that every other performance that followed was awesome simply by virtue of it not involving Miley Cyrus.
For example, Kanye West performed next, and watching him made feel like I was witnessing the Beatles. The lack of twerking, tongue protruding and foam fingers was an absolutely refreshing sight. Instead, it was just a guy singing a song, and in result, I have never appreciated Kanye more.
And then came the moment that everybody was waiting for: Justin Timberlake with four special guests.
True to my prediction, #NSYNC was a top trending topic nationally on Twitter for the entire night, and not just during their arrival on stage. Although, a lot of people probably became upset by their lack of prominence during Timberlake’s performance.
In what was an incredible 15-minute, 12-song mashup, Timberlake blended his entire catalog into one major performance, and somehow left out Dick in a Box. But seriously, he performed, sang actual live vocals, danced, and not only made it look effortless, but he didn’t even break a sweat. He was about 10 minutes in by the time his NSYNC cohorts joined him, and they were the ones who looked like they had just been prancing around on stage for the last quarter-hour.
They all looked a step slower, and like they each gained whatever the post-boy band version of the Freshman 15 is called. But in their short cameo, the group delivered three of their past songs, and then descended back into the stage, probably not to be seen again for at least another 10 years.
Something that has become pretty apparent about Timberlake is that he’s somehow managed to become universally liked and respected. And I understand why, because the dude is talented as hell, but it still deserves mentioning because that is very hard to do. There’s always a group of “haters” for everything and everyone, and yet, Timberlake seems to have escaped that.
The thing I do like about him, though, is that the man embodies class. He was well dressed for the occasion, was well-spoken and humble during his acceptance speeches, and threw in a couple light-hearted jokes along the way. Heck, he deflected his accolades to his prior groupmates when accepting the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award. So with the night being all about him, it was only appropriate that he took home the biggest and final award at the show’s conclusion.
Other items of note were the infinite amount of camera pans on Taylor Swift throughout the night. I’m wholeheartedly convinced that MTV had a camera devoted solely to her, and made a point to telecast her reaction to practically everything. And I must admit, I’m a little disappointed in Taylor. Not only did her outfit make her look like she was in extra in The Great Gatsby, but the girl just can’t go one night without making a cheapshot at one of her exes. While accepting the “Moon Man” for Best female Video for “I Knew You Were Trouble,” she had to throw in a comment that went something like, “I’d like to thank the person who inspired this song, because he knows exactly who he is.” And of course the camera panned immediately to Harry Styles.
Sorry, I love Taylor with all my heart and soul, but I am convinced that if she was not famous, then she would be the girl who posts ambiguous, sorrowful messages on Facebook.
She’d say something like “Sometimes you just have to accept that things don’t work out…”
And then a non-famous Selena Gomez would “like” the comment and ask, “What’s wrong honey? xoxo ❤ you!”
And Taylor would reply, “Oh, nothing…”
Speaking of One Direction, it’s laughable that their song “Best Song Ever” won the award of Song of the Summer when “Blurred Lines” has now sat atop the Billboard Hot 100 for 14 straight weeks. But that’s the beauty of fan voting, I guess.
Furthermore, when One Direction won that award, I laughed when the camera panned to Daft Punk for an audience reaction shot. Just a tip, MTV, when searching for an emotion-filled shot, avoid the guys who are wearing masks.
Finally, the show ended with a Katy Perry live performance under the Brooklyn Bridge. I thought it was a clever idea, and I guess it speaks a little towards her artistic nature, but, I must say, the performance itself was so dull that I enjoyed watching the backdrop of the bridge basking in the moonlight behind her more than actually looking at Perry herself.
Still, at least she didn’t do any twerking.