Yes, MTV still hold award ceremonies no, not for ‘Best Pregnant 16 Year Old’ , ‘Most Vacant Stare (Hills Cast Special)’ or “Negative Stereotype of the Year” but for actual music videos, y’know the ones they never show anymore…
The VMAs are supposed to be ever so controversial, ever so punk rawk. It’s the anti-awards ceremony where anything can happen ( so the endless clip shows tell us) Where ODB fled from the FBI, Where Courtney Love took over a Madonna interview, where Krist Novoselic battered himself with his own bass, where a member of Rage Against the Machine CLIMBED UP SOMETHING HE WASN’T SUPPOSED TO!!!
This year the real insanity started at the pre-awards black carpet, where amongst the over excited VJs pretending to be in delirious ecstasy watching Snooki struggling over how to pronounce the word ‘bass’ and Tyler the Creator call his Mam a ‘bitch ho’ there stood tiny, tweenie, candyfloss-mouthed zygote Selena Gomez interviewing her boyfriend, bowl headed, embryonic fuzzball Justin Bieber.
God-fearing Bieber dressed as a midget Justin Timberlake, minus the wet broccoli head, decided to announce to little Selena that he wanted to speak about his wooden snake called Johnson. Thankfully Bieber and his tadpole were quickly ushered away to a nearby confession box to be replaced by the BritneyBot set to ‘lively’ who managed to utter at least two words and grinned just the right side of manically into the camera like the last surviving cheerleader in a slasher movie.
Perhaps she got wind of the nightmare to come, the special ‘tribute to Britney’ performance that consisted of lots of very young girls in different Britney outfits flipping themselves round the stage in front of the lady herself as if to say ‘this is what you used to be like before you went weird and bald’. Say what you like about Madonna but she would have never agreed to that. Thankfully the warped trip through the Disney wing of the Priory was cut short by the arrival of Gaga.
Frankly in latter years the controversy of the VMAs were usually synonymous with the slick musical soft porn of the girl variety from Britney’s baby oiled body writhing around with a cobra, the Pussycat Dolls whipping and stripping in 2005 and the girl on girl exploitation extravaganza of the Madonna, Christina & Britney slobberfest. No wonder Bieber has a wooden snake…This sticky spell was eliminated with Gaga’s onstage blood bath in 2009, the unforgettable meat dress in 2010 and now this…this is Jo Calderone.
Back to terrorize Middle America and a panicked Taylor Lautner by the looks of it, this is Gaga’s homage to the beauty of Drag Kings. Jo, part West Side Story greaser, part Beatnik beau, and a little like a pretty Julian Casablancas, took Gaga’s place under the spotlight ruminating on the big three, fame, sex and power as a more confused than usual Katy Perry looked on and pondered on how to make the bargain basement copy (but y’know…”sexy”) .
Banging out ‘You and I’ cigarette in mouth it was a refreshing, encouraging moment for MTV. A place where homophobia and sexism dominate, where an idiot accused of beating his girlfriend is welcomed back to do a wire show dance act, where they pay lip service to their ‘Video with a Message’ award by lauding Odd Future with praise, Gaga stands alone an image of individuality as vital as ever. Sadly, this is only the beginning of a disappointing night that descended into the standard award show shtick although not without unintentional hilarity ,most of it deriving from Jessie J being stuck in a chair and faded out to the break every time she opened her gob to sing was truly genius.
Apart from the aforementioned Chris Brown horrorshow wire work (never before has an audience willed a performance to go wrong), it was pretty much ladies night with Adele doing her usual ‘I can sing so I’m just going to stand here’ bit and Beyoncé unveiling her baby bump like a human crystal ball, the boys didn’t get a look in – well other than Bieber who not only thanked God but also Jesus in his speech – the Holy Spirit was sadly absent…
This being MTV they saved the most tragic for last. Another tribute, this time to Amy Winehouse which fully confirmed that MTV have no idea what she meant, who she was or how fundamentally important a talent like hers was to the landscape of music. Russell Brand was initially wheeled out to add some local authenticity to the affair delivering an edited version of his Guardian article to the indifferent crowd before the real desecration began.
Amy was not a facsimile of soul, she was not a gloopy, saccharine Hallmark doo-wop fool she was not Bruno Mars. Yes, it was Bruno Mars, the new Glen Medeiros who was chosen to bellow out his ‘heartfelt’ love of Amy by crying ‘Amy we miss you!’ during a cover or her cover of The Zuton’s ‘Valerie’ under a hundred Warhol style prints of Amy. Postmodern doesn’t even cover it. I guess it could have been worse, it could have been Snooki trundling round the stage to ‘You Know I’m No Good’…sadly there’s always next year.
Originally published on state.ie