Dreadful. That’s the one word I’d use to sum up this year’s VMAs. Really, that should come to no surprise after last year’s horrific show and my post-VMAs round up. (Myspace blog sucks, so you might have to search for post). We’ve been down this road before, VMA night is like my Oscar night. It’s the ONE big award show I look forward to every year (way less this year after last year’s debacle, but still…). Why the VMAs? Because I am the MTV generation. I grew up on MTV, for better or worse, some of my earliest childhood memories are linked to music videos and of course the award ceremony.
Truthfully, I didn’t have very high expectations going in last night after hearing the performance line-up, Lil Wayne, Jonas Brothers, Paramore, TI, Rihanna (way TOO much of her). Then of course there was all the Britney hype and hype it was. Will she open? Will she perform? Will she crash and burn? The countdowns…the teasers…the spectualation all for nothing. Britney opened, she took part in bland skit with (sometimes funny) Jonah Hill, but after 15 seconds we got the point. Then they showed Brit Brit walking from her dressing room to the stage only to announce Russell Brand. Boooorrring…
That’s not a knock on Brit, it was nice to see her looking at least somewhat happy and sane. It’s just to say that MTV billed it to be so much more, anyone watching couldn’t help but be disappointed. So the real opening act was Rihanna performing “Disturbia” with dozens of dancers wildly banging large glow sticks. Huh? I don’t get it. Then Rihanna floated in the auditorium on some giant cake only to reveal a less than flattering outfit. Problem is, Disturbia has no words other than the chorus so it was a wasted effort – only enjoyable part of the performance was when the band went into White Stripes’ “Seven Nation Army.” Poor Jack White.
Fast forward through a somewhat amusing monologue by Brand who apparently is not a fan of Republicans or the current President of the U.S.. Then of course he latched on to the Jonas Bros purity rings and never let go. No really, it was the only thing he rambled about ALL NIGHT LONG. We get it Russell, you like sex, we just can’t tell which gender you prefer it with.
Unfortunately, Brand didn’t knock the Jonas Brothers for the one thing he should’ve — their performance. I felt like I was watching Sesame Street – as the three of them sat on stairs and sang some acoustic rendition of “Lovebug” or something to that effect. After 2 long minutes of pre-pubescent screeching by Nick, the stage opened to reveal a full on band and the Jonas Bros screamed the remainder of the song as young girls and gay boys. I don’t get it. I’ve jumped on the bandwagon of a lot of random pop acts in my time, but the Jonas Bros, I just don’t get them at all. It’s not for lack of trying either.
Let’s speed this along… Lil Wayne ran around the audience with his pants falling off (wearing a belt mind you!), while grabbing his crotch and choking over the words to his own song leaving him inaudible through most of the performance. T-Pain joined him, but lip-synced. Really, rappers that lip-sync piss me off more than anything — Yup, that goes for you too, T.I…
You know what, there was so much bad, let’s just focus on the few highlights:
Britney winning her first VMA, then second, then third. Hoping these weren’t awarded to her out of pity, but either way, she was pretty, classy and humbly accept her award with a genuinely sweet speech (did you ever think you’d see those words together when describing Britney of late?!)
Pink. She performed her single “So What” on the backlot studio and it was amazing. Now THIS was a performance worthy of VMA show opening, too bad it can about an hour and half too late. There was excitment, stunts, fire, a sexy costume reveal, and oh yeah, and LIVE singing. Can’t beat it.
Travis Barker and DJ AM – but more so Travis Barker. The dude ripped it on the drumset. I would’ve much preferred to listen to him bang away to random hip-hop songs all night than watch half of the performers take the stage.
Sadly, Britney reclaiming her career, Pink tearing it up (as always), and a drummer were the only worthwhile portions of the 2 hour and 15 minute show. There was no Britney performance and no sighting of MJ or any Jackson for that matter. In Russell Brand’s opening monologue he noted MTV’s storied past, but how the show was all about the future. Well, if last night’s show was any indication of what’s in store for music – we should all be worried. I mean, even Christina Aguilera lip-synced, ’nuff said.
Here’s some friends who live-blogged or tried to at least: