Even though MTV removed 'music' from its name back in 2010, and music videos from the channel long before that, they continue to forge ahead with the Video Music Awards (VMAs) each year for some reason. This year the selling point was "It's in Brooklyn!" but they couldn't be bothered to have a host. So now the VMAs have become the one night a year that MTV actually showcases music. Here's how this year's awards show played out:
9:00 PM - The show starts with an extreme close-up of Lady Gaga as the Flying Nun with her head stuck in a what looks like a giant piece of swiss cheese. The nun outfit soon transforms into a black (and sometimes blue) sequined outfit by her team of dancing sprockets (one of whom slips on the costume as he exits the stage). A wig is added which didn’t land straight so Gaga spends some time performing with lopsided bangs. Moments later, another wig and face paint are added. And yet another costume change occurs when she exits briefly only to return wearing a shell bikini (and she knocks part of her set over when she runs back onstage). After several bows, Gaga leaps into the arms of one of her dancers and is carried offstage. The performance is an interesting attempt at avant garde but Grace Jones did it better 30 years ago.
9:06 PM - The best hair band out there, One Direction present Best Pop Video to Selena Gomez for “Come and Get It.”
9:15 PM - A list of the Professional Categories winners are announced including Best Art Direction, Choreography, Direction and Editing. This is like the technical part of the Oscars except these winners don't even get camera time.
9:17 PM - Marvin Gaye estate suer Robin Thicke and twerking addict Miley Cyrus perform. Cyrus performs with a bunch of dancing bears and her teddy bear teddy is removed to reveal the former Disney child star in latex bra and panties (What's that spinning sound? It's Walt turning in his grave). Thicke arrives to sing "Blurred Lines," his ode to Gaye’s “Got to Give It Up.” Thicke appears in a unflattering striped suit which look like designer prison stripes. With rappers 2 Chainz and Kendrick Lamarr making an appearance, a bevy of dancers, and everyone on separate stages, the performance is disjointed to the point that even the VMA director doesn’t know what camera to cut to.
9:23 PM - Lil Kim, who is dressed like the fourth member of LaBelle and is looking more and more like LaToya Jackson every day presents Best Hip-Hop Video to Macklemore, Ryan Lewis and Ray Dalton who take the stage wearing non-thrift shop clothing.
9:34 PM - Kevin Hart insists he's not hosting (thank God) and instead talks about the size of Gaga’s ass and issuing an Amber Alert if Selena Gomez and Taylor Swift happen to hang out with Robin Thicke. Seriously, thank God Kevin Hart isn’t hosting or we’d have to deal with 2 hours of lame jokes like that.
9:37 PM - Jared Leto who, by the looks of it, has a fantastic colorist, but is wearing a leather outfit that has gone horribly wrong, introduces Kanye West. West performances starts with an extreme close-up and lots of autotune. The extreme close-up cuts to West in silhouette performing against a forest backdrop. The best part of the performance was the lighting.
9:46 PM - Daft Punk, Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers (who it’s great to see onstage) present Best Female video to Taylor Swift for “I Knew You Were Trouble.” Sadly, Kanye West did not interrupt her.
9:50 PM - Ed Sheeran present Best Video with a Social Message (Huh? Is this a new category?) but MTV can’t be bothered to show clips of these message videos. The video goes to Macklemore and Ryan Lewis for “Same Love” and Macklemore states “Gay rights are human rights, there is no separation.”
9:59 PM - Jimmy Fallon introduces Justin Timberlake by calling him “The President of Pop” (I’m assuming this is a self-proclaimed title). Borrowing a page from Taylor Swift’s appearance at the 2013 Billboard Music Awards, Timberlake starts by traveling through the lobby and various levels of the Barclay Center. Cut to Timberlake on stage where he sings and dances (with the still annoying habit of looking down when he dances) through a medley of his hits. Midway through the performance, Timberlake reunites with his former ‘N Sync bandmates. I guess he decided to throw them a bone after refusing to return to the fold when his solo career started taking off 11 years ago. The reunion lasts a whopping 90 seconds as his former bandmates are lowered back below the stage after the briefest medley ever and Timberlake reminds people that he’s a solo artist now breaking into “Suit & Tie.” Too bad Janet Jackson didn’t join him onstage so he could once again expose her breast. Now THAT would’ve been a reunion.
10:17 PM - Timberlake’s performance finally ends and Jimmy Fallon returns to present him with the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard award.
10:26 PM - Kevin Harts returns to again to mention that he’s not hosting. This time it’s funny because the massive set piece behind him malfunctions to the point where the director has to cut away to a crowd shot.
10:28 PM - Two members of Vampire Weekend present Best Song of the Summer (so it has absolutely nothing to do with the music video) to One Direction’s “Baba O’Riley.” Oops, I mean “Best Song Ever”.
10:31 PM - Macklemore and Ryan Lewis perform “Same Love” with a surprise appearance by Jennifer Hudson halfway through. It’s always nice to hear Hudson belt but it does a great disservice to Mary Lambert who is already on stage singing the hook.
10:42 PM - The Artist to Watch award goes to Austin Mahone who manages to thank his Mom and publicist.
10:45 PM - A large roar from the crowd goes out to TLC’s T-Boz and Chili as they introduce Drake who performs “Started From the Bottom.” Thankfully he has stopped doing his hip-hop chicken dance when he performs.
10:55 PM - Taylor Swift presents Best Male Video to Bruno Mars for his Police B-side “Locked Out of Heaven”.
11:03 PM - Bruno Mars performs “Gorilla” on a raised stage complete with fireballs and lasers. His animal print shirt is bit cliche but, other than that, it’s a good performance.
11:15 PM - Video of the Year goes to Justin Timberlake “Mirrors”.
11:18 PM - Katy ‘One Note’ Perry goes all Million Dollar Baby on us and borrowing from both Billy Idol’s “To Be A Lover” and LL Cool J’s “Mama Said Knock You Out” performs "Roar" in a boxing ring by the Brooklyn Bridge. Perry's choreography goes through your standard boxing moves including jumping rope, which Madonna did back in 2008 on her Sticky & Sweet tour during “Into the Groove.” So, once again, Perry brings absolutely nothing new to the table.
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