Sunday, September 13, 2009

Highs and Lows of the 2009 VMAs

The MTV Video Music Awards are always sure to bring uncivilized entertainment along with crazy celebrity antics and jaw-dropping moments. Then throw in a Michael Jackson tribute, Kanye West, and a "New Moon" preview and you have one crazy night.

The show opened with Madonna, several dancers, and Janet Jackson in a tribute to Michael Jackson. The tribute was shorter than expected, considering that Jackson was a pioneer in the music video industry. And with Madonna continually saying, "We turned our backs on him," we can't help but feel like she was blaming the whole world for his life and death. Yet she also managed to throw around the word "creature" a few times. We can't honestly disagree, but that just wasn't very nice.

Moving on, Kanye West made his appearance. As always, drama ensued. Clearly not learning anything from the controversy caused by his comment made during a Hurricane Katrina benefit, he appeared on stage to make a comment that wasn't exactly welcomed. While Taylor Swift accepted her award for Best Female Video, Kanye took the microphone from her hands and declared that Beyonce, not Swift, had one of the best videos of the year.* (Seriously, Kanye, someone else already put a ring on it. You can stop trying to show off now.)

Lady GaGa's performance of "Paparazzi" scared us from start to finish. First, because it began with the sound of breaking glass, we assumed that Kanye was back. But the performance was even more strange than should be expected from Lady GaGa. After a few of what seemed like the longest minutes ever, the performance ended in lots of blood and a presumed suicide. The ending left us unable to categorize this part of the show as a high or low. Maybe a thrilling disaster?

Adding to the list of lows, the extended trailer for the film New Moon aired for the first time. We're sure many viewers enjoyed it, but to us, this avalanche of vampire stuff really sucks. Add Lady GaGa's multiple wardrobe changes, including lace covering her face up to the brim of a straw hat worn like a lion's mane, and it made us decide that everyone on MTV is crazy, even people who aren't vampires or Kanye West.

But, although they were hardly noticeable among the madness, there were a few moments that were definite highs this year. First, Beyonce gave Taylor Swift a chance to come on stage and finish her speech when Beyonce won for Music Video of the Year. It was just nice to see this act of compassion. But by far the highest high came when there was audible disapproval when Kanye's name was mentioned, and the fact that he didn't win any of the awards he'd been nominated for.

By the end of it all, our eyes were permanently rolled back, our ears hurt, and millions of brain cells had fallen out of a our heads. Even this won't keep us away next year, but it sure would be nice if someone at MTV could at least accidentally forget to put Kanye on the 2010 guest list.

*We'd post video, but YouTube has gone totally corporate and pulls any "Viacom property" as soon as it goes up there.

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