Who caught the VMAs last night? What did you think? Let us know.
I need to know what kind of apparition Justin Bieber thought he was watching as Lady Gaga’s alter ego Jo Calderone strutted across the stage. Not just Bieber actually, there were others who seemed unable to grasp her latest incarnation, although JB was certainly the flummoxed onlooker the cameras turned to most. Maybe they just wanted to see what was up with those glasses.
What was your favorite part? Did it involve laser beams, Bruno Mars, Will Ferrell, Tyler The Creator or that chick with the broken leg? I’ve been watching the VMA’s for several years now and even though they still make me feel vaguely out of touch on account of some of the newbies I’ve never heard of, I’m no longer shocked by the antics or the profanity.
Lady Gaga was brave, bold and kind of creepy but you have to hand it to her for taking things to another level. Plus, her message is fundamentally one of inclusion and we can’t fault that. Or we shouldn’t, if you ask me. I’m okay being a little monster even if she is Madonna 2.0. Particularly since I like Madonna 1.0 anyway.
(BTW – does anyone remember Annie Lennox in drag at the 1984 Grammys?)
Russell Brand continues to shine and he too managed to get a message across without sugarcoating anything. He’s also an extremely gifted and poised speaker. I thought he handled the Amy Winehouse tribute beautifully. Adele surprised no one with an ultra-simple, uber- heartfelt number (although why didn’t she sing the Big Song?) The Young The Giant number seemed a tad forced (bring 250 of your best fans so you won’t seem dwarfed by the Nokia audience which doesn’t really know who you are). Oh, and what Hunger Games clip did we watch? All I saw was Jennifer Lawrence jogging through some woods and given the deluxe, expository trailers MTV serves up for the Twilight crowd, this felt weak. But then again I don’t quite grasp the Hunger Games’ appeal and I’m a Twilight fan.
Speaking of comprehension, I just plain don’t get the Nicki Minaj appeal at all, nor do I understand why Drake insisted on wearing a Mom Cardigan, but I’m sure those are good kinds of mysteries.
And whether you like her music or not, Beyonce does tend to make other performers seem largely unrehearsed; her’s are numbers while someone like Lil Wayne flashes by and all you’re aware of are his expletives and his underpants.
All in all the show was quite entertaining and slickly produced, although I cannot help but wonder what they would have done had Amy Winehouse not passed away. Her tribute was by far the most powerful part of the show; it leant a gravitas to the event that ironically put some of the much-needed music back into MTV. For a network that’s under attack over how little it actually has to do with its original core content (the M part) evenings like last night are fleeting reminders of just what a great product they could nurture. Once they got rid of the zombies, the jackasses, the werewolves, the pregnant teens, the kids stuck living together, and those insufferable Garden State morons.
2) Lady Gaga (Jo Calderone)
3) Bruno Mars
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