Kanye, GaGa and a Bit of D.C. -- VMAs Revisited
I won't lie -- watching the MTV Video Music Awards is a painful, depressing, embarrassing experience. You know, sort of like watching a Redskins game. But at least the show leaves you with plenty to talk about. So here are five things that still resonate the morning after. To re-live the VMAs in real time you can always peruse our Twitter coverage from last night.
1) Kanye's Stage Crashing
It's always best to be skeptical in a situation like this. Was Kanye West taking the microphone out of Taylor Swift's hand as she was in the middle of her acceptance speech for Best Female Video a staged moment? Yes and no. Taylor Swift had no idea it was coming. But Kanye knew exactly what he was doing, exactly who he was doing it to and exactly the stage.
Kanye loves to be the villain. He relishes it. Maybe he wasn't feeling enough hate lately so he felt like changing that. There's nobody better to pick on than America's country-pop princess. He knew Swift would win that award just as surely as he knew she would win it partly because Beyonce would win video of the year for "Single Ladies." As awards-obsessed as West is, he knows these things. I guarantee it. So he picked his moment, early in the show, and did his thing, ensuring he'd be at the forefront of the media cycle for the next few days. The man is not a dummy. And he's probably not even that much of a jerk, but he sure wants you to think it is.
(More after the jump.)
2) The Bizarre World of Lady GaGa
If it wasn't for Kanye's Dirt McGirt moment the big talk coming out of last night's show would have been something like, "Lady GaGa WTF?!?!" Her outfits went from outrageous to downright frightening, like a cross between "Eyes Wide Shut" and "The Blair Witch Project." (You can see when I stopped going to movies.) When Beyonce won Video of the Year, Lady GaGa almost stole the spotlight with her Hostess snowball beard-dress. I don't know what else to call it. Oh, and then there was her performance of "Paparazzi," clearly the most memorable performance of the evening, that ended with a fake-assassination and GaGa covered in fake blood while suspended from a meathook. Pink did a trapeze act later in the evening and it seemed trite by comparison. GaGa also won Best New Artist.
This was shaping up to be her big night if not for the spotlight being stolen by her future tourmate. Oh yeah, that. Kanye and GaGa will head out on the road together this fall. Kanye knew that this was going to be GaGa's big coming out party. Kanye doesn't want to be seen as the "other" act on his big tour. All part of the plan. Meanwhile, I am now extremely excited and equally terrified to be reviewing GaGa's show at Constitution Hall in a couple weeks.
3) Michael Jackson Tribute Letdown
There were basically four components to this tribute: 1) A long-winded speech from Madonna in which she made herself the focal point, 2) A medley of dances by non-famous people to a bunch of Michael's songs, 3) A little less than two minutes of Janet Jackson painfully lip-syncing and dancing her way through everyone's 72nd favorite Jackson song, 4) A preview for the cash-grab movie that will hit theaters next month. Enough already.
4) Radio City Lip-Sync Hall
It should be expected by now but it's still jarring to see almost every performance featuring lip-syncing. Janet Jackson, Taylor Swift, Beyonce, Lady GaGa, Pink -- none of them were singing live. But there's such a huge expectation of spectacle from female performers now, so that's a secondary concern behind doing something "entertaining." Like perform in a subway or get fake assassinated or do a Cirque du Soleil thing or put on the most hypnotic display of gyrating in recent memory.
5) Little Bit of Local Love
Local go-go stalwarts UCB didn't get any mentions from host Russell Brand but at least Wale threw their name out there at one point. The Wale + UCB combo sounded mighty fine in their limited time. It was when the special guests joined them that things got bad. Particularly 3oh!3. It's well-established that Wale isn't afraid to collaborate with just about anyone and everyone but even he looked embarrassed when he was up there next to those idiots. And he also broke the news that his album "Attention Deficit" was pushed back yet again, from Oct. 20 to Nov. 3. Tentative, no doubt. Will you be able to play that album at your Thanksgiving gathering? 70/30, I'd say. Good job to Wale for representing the Curly W on MTV.
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