2010 VMA Simul-blogging:
[I don’t do the whole pre-show, but you should know that Will I. Am just performed in black face. I’m pretty sure he was going for some kind of robot thing, but he achieved minstrelsy.]
Eminem plays the opener in a set made to look like the club where he honed his skills, semi-fictionalized in Eight Mile, then walks out the back, into the venue. Two ways for rap acts to “elevate” for award shows and other celebratory events: 1. Gospel singers, 2. Live Orchestra. Done, and done. Rhianna takes the intermezzo, dressed in a mess of styles: slutty bride, hippy chick, combat boots. (Does she choose a hair color, then match the lipstick, or the reverse?)
Chelsea Handler package, with celebrity cameos all spanking her ass. Lindsay Lohan appearance, uninteresting. Unsurprisingly, the live entrance is a play on “Bad Romance,” with loads of spandexed dancers and Handler wearing a house over her head. And a poorly behaved dove chooses a dancer’s leg. Just like a wedding.
I didn’t realize–16 years since the VMAs was hosted by a woman. Huh. Imagine that.
“Don’t applaud the Jersey Shore kids! They’re the reason MTV doesn’t play your videos!” Nice.
Ellen DeGeneris, Best Female Video: Lady Gaga, Bad Romance. Breaks into tears during a semi-legit thanks, then swears during a compliment of her friends’ attire. Typical.
Commercial 1. Not funny, not just yet.
Jackass 3D cast, Best Rock: 30 Seconds to Mars, “Kings and Queens.” And now we see what life has done to Jared Leto.
Kim Kardashian, introduced as “fashion icon.” PLUESE. Justin Beiber pulling up to his live performance, running from crazed fans, actually paid actors. Pulls off his varsity jacket. And the girls are going NUTS. Changes into another varsity jacket. Girls still nuts. Am I the last to realize he’s got a whole New Edition thing happening? The lead voice is like “Candy Girl,” right? Except…whiter? Wait, why is he taking a drum solo in the middle of his song? Dude, you’re Justin Beiber, not John Bonham.
Commercial 2. Taking a breath after my first Bieber experience. Phew.
Ke$ha and Trey Songs, or z. Songz? Usher. Time for dancing. He’s on some kind of neon playground set. I think we’re supposed to be excited that he’s got those sneakers on with the wheels in the heels. But I’m not. My niece has a pair with lights in them. Also, is this the year of the robot? Why is everyone dancing the robot? I did that in, like, 1988. And now there are dancing ninja paratroopers. I’m seriously confused by the visuals. Is this Tron? And I don’t want to be a jerk, but Usher needs to peep what’s going on at America’s Best Dance Crew. They’ve got the drop on him.
Katy Perry and Nicki Menaj. Who can’t walk in her shoes. Which makes them effing stupid. And wow–their set up is pretty bad. Best male video: Eminem. Who isn’t there, because he’s on a plane to New York. Although he was performing FIVE MINUTES ago.
Commercial 3. And no, I don’t have anything to say about the DJ in the LCD Mikey Mouse head.
Some gal, and Jared Leto: Florence and the Machine intro. Although I’m getting nauseous watching her sing on a circling bed/cake, I do appreciate both the overhead shot, tribute to those Esther Williams swimming films, and the vocal vibrato.
Cast of Glee, second ball joke. Straight intro. Bad choice. Best Pop. Lada Gaga. Bad Romance. She’s now dressed as a black dinosaur. She claims her outfit is too heavy to walk in. She claims to have stood up to MTV’s censorship and roars “We were born this way.” Then she asks god to bless pop music, which seems like the definition of blasphemy.
Taylor Swift: Her song about Kayne West. She opens the song with a video of Kayne interrupting her last year at the awards. She has a brilliant strategy here–both in terms of the industry and life. Her song’s chorus, “You’re still an innocent. 32 and still growing up now” both holds Kayne accountable and emphasizes with him. She appears to relate to him as a more seasoned artist would to someone young and impulsive, though she’s half his age. The performance itself is pretty pared down, and her voice is relatively weak with some pitch issues, all of which seem endearing and like a sign of vulnerability. This is a million-dollar performance concept. Quite possibly the ideal way to handle the situation.
Commercial 5. Ice cream.
Cast of the Social Network (film) introducing Drake (with Swizz Beats on the piano). Already know he’s smart, because Mary J. Blige opens the song. You got me at hello. Is it a Mad Men thing? Very Don Draper in Ten Thousand Oaks. “Oh, you fancy, huh?!” I wish Mary J. Blige was my friend so I could ask her to sing at parties. I think she’d find I’m a good friend. I’d keep her away from the smoke, be her wingwoman in the club, all that. Why is the audience doing the arm wave? Oh, and the closer? “Free Weezy.” How about, Weezy’s in jail for a good reason, so let’s leave him there, just out of like…fairness?
Commercial 6. Is this really done in 40 minutes? OH, no commercial Professional VMAs. Effects, art direction, etc. NOW. Commercial.
(I am so sick of Drew Barrymore saying “Lashblast.”)
The cast of Jerkey Shore: Chelsea Handler gets in the hot tub, will later get out in a pregnancy suit. Sophia from Columbia: Best Hip Hop: Eminem. JAY Z GOT ROBBED. That’s busted. I teach about that Jay Z video. TEACH. Argh.
Selena Gomez and Neo: Paramour and BOB performance. I wish there was a way to de-emphasize the excitement communicated by “meh.” I don’t think this gal from Paramour can hear herself. And the thousands of lightbulbs set reminds me of the end of
WAIT! ROBYN IS SINGING WHY ISN’T SHE ON THE MAIN SHOW SHE IS THE BEST! ARGH!
Romeo from Avantura and Victoria Justice: Best New Artist: Justin Beiber feat. Ludacris. He can’t figure out how to get on stage. His pants fall down, almost off. His voice is quite deep, isn’t it?
Two people from some movie: Linkin Park performance from Griffith Observatory. Again with the running fans. You’d think there was some kind of music apocalypse. Actually, it totally reminds me of that concert bluff performance at the end of Lost Boys.
Cher? Wow–in that same famous outfit. Video of the year. Why is Cher doing this? Lady Gaga. Who is now dressed in that meat outfit from the Japanese magazine. And she sings the title of her new album “Born this Way.”
Kayne West performance? Oh, yes. Kayne West. Red suit. Keyboard. They didn’t bleep his “assholes.” Any of them. “Let’s have a toast to the douchebags. Let’s have a toast to the assholes.” I’m assuming this isn’t the song he wrote for Taylor Swift. Now he’s using a vocodor microphone? And they bleep the “assholes” and “shits” in that? You can’t understand the man.
Well, there it is. Your 2010 VMAs. What have we learned? Red is in. So is swearing. So is talking about the 2009 VMAs. Shame is in, modesty is in, swearing in. That’s what we’ve got. Let’s make a year of it.