2010 MTV VMA’s: Will There Be Surprises?

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So Chelsea Handler’s going to host the 2010 Video Music Awards… remember the first time you even became aware of the VMA’s? (Hint: it was probably back when MTV actually had videos. You know, before the network  became wildly successful churning out reality shows featuring young people in various stages of development & clothing confronting one another in random metropolitan areas). Here’s some trivia you can toss out – the first hosts of the MTV VMA’s in 1984? Dan Aykroyd and Bette Midler. Next time you run into either of them be sure to ask how that went.  If you recall, last year’s VMA’s included (a let’s hope pixilated) Kanye West stealing the spotlight from Taylor Swift. There were other moments that involved Lady Gaga and Beyonce and Russell Brand, who hosted, but I’m not sure anybody remembers much besides the Kanye /Taylor debacle. So what will go down this September 12th when this year’s show airs? Will there be more trouble? Many people were a teensy bit surprised that Kanye was actually invited back to the VMA’s this year at all, much less to sing, and to them I would politely inquire: when’s the last time someone’s less-than-exemplary-but-ratings-grabbing–antics were deliberately squelched? What network would voluntarily turn away from the huge curiosity and the ridiculous tune-in that a return visit from both Kanye and Taylor has already  promised? I can’t name one TV channel that would willingly turn its back on that level of buzz (besides the ones selling  a) diamond pinky rings, b) those blenders that can make a tasty smoothie out of a chair leg or c) the return of Our Lord). So we’ll watch & wait & see. Although these awards shows with the massive youth component (e.g., Teen Choice, MTV Movie Awards, etc.) must now feel so forced to push the envelope and shock folks that I can no longer  tell what is “outrageous & beyond the pale” behavior and what is actually “scripted outrageous & beyond the pale” behavior. But again, maybe some of this will change with Chelsea Handler. Many years ago she came in as a guest on the radio station where I worked. When she arrived and began chatting with us on the air I knew only that she was an up-and-coming comedienne. Which seemed incongruous. More astonishing was the fact that she’s gorgeous, hilarious, articulate and really smart which is unusual (now before you go thinking me sexist let me finish the sentence) for ANYONE at 6:15 in the morning. But this one was easygoing and completely charming and I’m guessing she will handle the VMA’s nicely. Not that Russell Brand didn’t do a good job last year, but I suspect she’ll infuse it with a different vibe altogether. Particularly with the curiosity factor. I’ll certainly watch. Now, here’s where you can weigh in on the VMA’s winningest performers. Voice your choice in today’s featured poll and tell us, of the acts who have won the most Video Music Awards, which is your favorite:

1)    Madonna (20)

2)    Green Day (11)

3)    R.E.M. (12)

4)    Peter Gabriel (13)

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