I don’t expect much from the VMAs anymore. I didn’t even watch it last year, but nothing could have prepared me for the horror that took place on stage during Sunday night’s show. I’ll get to that in a moment, but surprisingly, it wasn’t all bad. A boy band reunited, we got to see some old favorites, and despite some glaring sound problems, most of the performances not involving teddy bears were great.
Lady Gaga opened the show paying tribute to herself with her performance of “Applause.” She changed into numerous costumes and wigs, and looked pretty damned good doing it.
Now let’s talk about this mess. Miley Cyrus had the gall to walk, or what she probably thought was strutting, out on stage in some horrid bathing suit surrounding by strippers with teddy bears strapped to their backs. Remember all those anti-drug commercials from the 80s and 90s? “This is your brain on drugs.” If this was our brain on Miley, oops “Molly”, then that is a trip I never want to take. Then Robin Thicke joins her looking like he just got cast in the low budget sequel to ‘Beetlejuice.’ The whole thing was weird, and not in a good way. There was no need for us to see those uncooked chicken cutlets she calls an ass, and Robin, dude, what the hell? It was only two months ago that we were jammin’ to “Blurred Lines” and this is how you do us?
Jared Leto, whose ombre hair is probably natural, introduced Kanye West who performed “Blood On The Leaves.” He was mostly shown in silhouette against a backdrop of the woods. Nice, but we’ve seen better from Ye. It was refreshing after that Miley madness though.
That big to-do about Daft Punk having to cancel their appearance on ‘The Colbert Report’ because they were scheduled for the VMAs, well, it proved to be quite underwhelming. The duo appeared on stage with collaborators Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers to present Best Female Video and didn’t say anything, natch, but I appreciated them stopping by. They hung out in the audience for the rest of the night.
An hour into the show, what all the 90s kids were waiting for, Justin Timberlake‘s big performance. He spun, he twirled, he brought back some old hits and mixed them in with the new, but that didn’t matter. Where was ‘N SYNC?!!! The guys only joined him on stage for “Girlfriend” and “Bye Bye Bye”. Clearly not enough stage time! I doubt we’ll be hearing about a reunion tour, but it’s nice to see that their moves are still on point. Timberlake’s buddy, Jimmy Fallon, presented him with the Video Vanguard award, which he seemed genuinely honored to receive.
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis were big winners, taking home two of those Moonmen. They took to the stage for “Same Love” with Mary Lambert and Jennifer Hudson. I can’t co-sign that powder blue suit, but I know they made a lot of folks in Seattle proud.
TLC introduced Drake who gave us “Started From The Bottom” and his awkward profile. Jaden Smith was really into it. Bruno Mars won the award for Best Male Video, and then almost blinded us during “Gorilla.” Again, the sound was an issue here; it was still nice to hear one of the best songs from ‘Unorthodox Jukebox’ live!
Katy Perry closed the show, performing her single “Roar” under the Brooklyn Bridge. There was a whole boxer theme going on, and jump roping! But it ended abruptly and no one really seemed here, there or anywhere for it. Rihanna won the night even though she didn’t perform and wasn’t nominated for anything. Her shady looks during Miley’s performance, and putting popcorn under some girl’s seat, made her the person to pay attention to.
Also have to give a shout out to the Smith family for their reactions during that talent holocaust. So until next year, when we have to do this all over again!