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Review: 2014 MTV Video Music Awards

Beyonce arrives on the red carpet at the 2014 MTV VMAs
Photo by Jason Merritt

2014 MTV Video Music Awards


The MTV VMAs could always count on something shocking/embarrassing/appalling to happen during the show that would create a ton of publicity for them in the days following. This year's VMAs can be summed up in two words: Snooze Fest. Once again lacking a host and short on any real star talent, the VMAs sputtered along for a painful two hours. Here's how this year's awards show played out:

9:00 PM - Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj and Jessie J kick off the show with Ariana Grande arriving in a spaceship to perform “Break Free.” After a lot of sequins and twirling by Grande, Minaj and her false assets arrive to perform “Anaconda” with a bevy of back-up dancers dressed somewhere between “Batman Returns” Poison Ivy and actual Anacondas which fits well with their set piece that looks like a cross between a strip joint and a swamp. After Nicki Minaj finishes dry humping a tree stump, Jessie J kicks off “Bang Bang” with Grande and Minaj returning after going through quick changes. While Grande managed to change into a different leotard and thigh high boots, Minaj, who attempted to change into a mini dress, suffers a massive wardrobe malfunction - which is surprising since Justin Timberlake isn’t even in the room. It’s amusing to watch the normally immodest Minaj forced to cover her top and lower half with each arm - not because she’s afraid of displaying. It was fear of a FCC fine that caused that cover up.

9:07 PM - Snoop Dogg and No Doubt’s Gwen Stefani arrive to present the Best Female Video. As Snoop and Stefani trade compliments and rave about the west coast, somewhere in the venue, someone is testing out another mic and it’s coming through on the live feed. Is this the sound engineer’s first day on the job?

9:10 PM - Katy Perry featuring Juicy J win the Best Female Video.

9:12 PM - Jay Pharoah from Saturday Night Live comes out to do an unfunny monologue and reminds everyone what a horrible season SNL had last year.

9:19 PM - Lorde introduces her BFF Taylor Swift who performs “Shake It Off. Wearing a sequined crop top and shorts and surrounded by 20 tuxedo-clad male dancers, Swift, who still hasn’t grown into her limbs, manages to inject some humor into her performance by stopping her performance to climb down from a large neon ‘1989’ set piece (“1989” being the name of her new album - nice plug) instead of leaping into the arms of her male dancers.

9:24 PM - Chelsea Handler presents the Best Male Video and thanks Taylor Swift “for being so white.” An even whiter Ed Sheeran wins for his video for “Sing” beating out the likes of Sam Smith, John Legend and Eminem.

9:31 PM - Jay Pharaoh returns and does his impersonation of Jay-Z. His second visit to the stage is even worse than the first.

9:33 PM - Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels take the stage to plug “Dumb and Dumber To,” which is unusual considering the current demographic for the MTV VMAs were born the year “Dumb and Dumber” came out. After riffing on Burning Man and using Carrey’s scarf as a prop (which include Carrey falling onstage), Carrey delivers the best line with “I hope Sorkin isn’t watching.”

9:36 PM - Ariana Grande wins for Best Pop Video for “Problem”.

9:37 PM - Mrs. Kanye West and her false assets introduces Sam Smith who performs "Stay With Me." The best part is the cutaway to Jennifer Lopez who is inexplicably bouncing up and down on her asset.

9:47 PM - Common calls for a moment of silence for Mike Brown and “for peace in this country and the world.”

9:54 PM - Jay Pharoah returns to continue the Artist to Watch schtick doing his impersonation of Kanye West. It wasn’t funny the first two times. At this point, this is just painful.

9:56 PM - Cast members from “Orange Is The New Black” introduce Usher who performs. Usher, 35, which means he’s a grandfather in MTV years, continues his career as a Michael Jackson impersonator. Nicki Minaj, this time fully clothed, makes a cameo while Usher briefly plays bass, kneels on the floor and alternates banging his shoulder and head against Minaj’s butt. Stay classy Usher.

10:07 PM - Lorde’s “Royals” wins for Best Rock Video - even though it’s the furthest thing from a rock song - beating out other nominees including Imagine Dragons and Linkin Park.

10:15 PM - 5 Seconds of Summer perform. If there was a Moon Man for “Artist Using the Most Hair Product” these guys would win.

10:24 PM - Jay Pharoah is back to present the Artist to Watch to Fifth Harmony. This particular award was voted on via text which means there were a lot of their record label staff texting up until the last possible moment. Great job guys! Pizza for everyone in the conference room tomorrow!

10:26 PM - A video tribute to Robin Williams is shown. It lasts all of 20 seconds. Let's hope the Emmys do a better job.

10:32 PM - Iggy Azalea performs in a black widow setting. As ballerinas twirl around her, dancing from Azalea is minimal and consists of hand-clapping and walking pigeon-toed from one end of the stage to the other.

10:40 PM - Maroon 5’s performance is presented by Kia which is appropriate since singer Adam Levine’s voice sounds like a car horn.

10:45 PM - Former VMA host Jimmy Fallon presents the Video of the Year to Miley Cyrus for “Wrecking Ball.” It what can only be described as Miley’s Marlon Brando-at-the-1973-Oscars moment, Miley sends up a young man named Jesse who talks about the plight of the homeless (which includes himself) while Miley sits on the side of the stage and cries. Unlike Brando, Cyrus is present and accepts the award.

10:49 PM - We cut back to Maroon 5 still performing outside. It's official. MTV is trying to torture us.

10:55 PM - Cut to Beyonce onstage (she doesn’t need an introduction) who will perform a 16 minute medley of every song from her Beyonce album in a bejeweled leotard that must weigh a ton. The performance is the best one of the night but is oddly paced, swinging from Beyonce on a stripper pole, to dancing in front of the word 'FEMINIST' to singing “Bow Down Bitches.” Remember when Jay-Z said he wasn’t going to use the the word “bitch” anymore after the birth of Blue Ivy? Apparently, it's okay for Mama Bey.

11:12 PM - In an attempt to quash divorce rumors, Jay Z and Blue Ivy present Beyonce with the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard award.

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