The 2011 MTV Video Music Awards Are Handed Out

Highs & Lows

As you should be well aware by now, MTV hosted it’s annual Video Music Awards celebration last night at the Nokia Theater in downtown Los Angeles, CA and by pretty much all accounts, the show wasn’t the best one ever. Because there was no host, the entire show felt messy and disjointed. Some of the performances were stellar (Adele and Beyoncé, I’m lookin’ at you), others were less than stellar (take your pick of the rest) and the show overall just didn’t mesh for me. I was happy for some of the award winners (Britney Spears and Nicki Minaj, lookin’ at you) and very disappointed and offended by others (in particular I’m referring to the blatant and unabashed homophobe that I cannot bring myself to even mention by name who won Best New Artist), which left me with an overall feeling of …. malaise over the whole thing. Click below to see some of the photos from last night’s fete and try to focus on the positives with me, ok?

Beyonce and Jay-Z’s offspring doesn’t even have a name yet, but it was the indisputable breakout star of Sunday’s MTV Video Music Awards, upstaging everyone, even Katy Perry’s win for video of the year. Perry, who had the most nominations coming into the show with 10, came away with three moonman trophies, including video of the year for the inspirational clip “Firework.” “I feel like I’m doing something right when I sing that song,” said Perry, conservatively dressed in a cotton-candy pink jacket, a skirt and something best described as a Green Bay Packers cheesehead decoration. But the night’s big news came from Beyonce, who stole the show before it even began when she announced on the black carpet that after more than three years of marriage, the dazzling couple had produced the ultimate all-star collaboration. Dressed in a loose-fitting, off-the-shoulder red gown, she clutched the baby bump that so many celeb-watchers had been predicting since the two wed. Later, Beyonce performed “Love on Top,” and if Twitter hadn’t already spread the news, her outfit gave clues to her impending motherhood; instead of her typical sexy outfits, she dressed in conservative spangled tux — but still danced around in her signature stilettos. Beyonce didn’t utter a word about the pregnancy, but ended the number by taking off her jacket and rubbing her swollen belly; in the audience, an elated Jay-Z hooted and clapped for his wife as Kanye West hugged him. In an instant, Beyonce and her soon-to-be child managed to overshadow the night’s events. Lady Gaga’s much-hyped opening number, during which she performed as a greasy, leather-jacketed male alter-ego during a performance of “You and I,” became less interesting. So did the evening’s meticulously planned wild moments, from Nicki Minaj’s origami-like outfit to a dance-off between the members of Odd Future and Jack Black, Will Ferrell and Seth Rogen. There was one apparently unscripted moment during Jay-Z’s performance with Kanye West of “Otis,” off their chart-topping joint album “Watch the Throne.” Near the end of the song, someone tried to walk on the stage, but was quickly apprehended by a crew member as a bemused Jay-Z looked on. It was the second time Jay-Z had someone walk on unannounced during an MTV performance; two years ago, it was Lil Mama. Britney Spears captured the night’s first award, for best pop video, and later was honored with an MTV Video Vanguard award for her visual legacy. Lady Gaga, sticking to her gender-switch shtick, leered at Spears as she paid tribute to her. “She’s a pop music legend, and the industry would not be the same without her,” Gaga said. “I used to hang pictures of her on my wall and touch myself when I was in bed.” Later, Gaga fished for a kiss, but as Spears leaned in, she quickly pulled back, reminding viewers, “I’ve done that before.” The show at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles had no official host, though comedian Kevin Hart delivered an opening monologue and was featured in a series of vignettes during the show. Adele had perhaps the highlight of the night as the seven-time nominee delivered a powerfully understated performance of “Someone Like You,” off her top-selling “21″ album … Russell Brand provided the evening’s rare poignant moment during a tribute to his late friend, Amy Winehouse, who died a month ago after struggling for years with drug and alcohol abuse. Brand urged people to remember the 28-year-old for her music, and urged others suffering to get help. “A lot of people just get the disease, not many people get the incredible talent that Amy was blessed with,” said Brand, who successfully battled drug addiction himself. “Let’s remember there is a solution … that solution is available.” Tony Bennett, who joined Winehouse in what is believed to be her last song on his upcoming “Duets II” album, showed the audience a clip of the pair singing “Body and Soul.” Moments later, Bruno Mars sang one of her hits, “Valerie,” but closed the song out with the refrain, “Amy, we’ll miss you baby,” as a somber-faced audience looked on.


While I personally felt there were quite a few missteps during last night’s VMAs (not the least of which was the painfully disappointing “tribute” to Britney Spears and the totally MORONIC decision to have Bruno Mars — a man arrested for cocaine possession just months ago — pay tribute to the late Amy Winehouse, who herself suffered from drug abuse before her death), there were shining moments that made the show worthwhile. Adele‘s performance literally brought tears from the audience (both in person and at home) and Beyoncé‘s baby news was just too happy and exciting to not find joy in. As much as I LOVE the MTV VMAs, I have to say that this year’s edition was far from their greatest moment. But … there’s always next year, right? Click HERE to see a full list of winners at this year’s MTV VMAs. Did your faves win? Did you enjoy the show?

[Photo credit: Wireimage; Source]

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  1. Overall I thought the show was okay! The guy who opened the show wasn’t funny at all. I didn’t really care for much other than the music. Britt looked stunning!! I was happy Katy won some awards because her music is so fun. I feel like the straight up MOVIE awards on MTV are always better than the VMA’s!

  2. Ashley P

    I loved Beyonce’s performance!! As I watched her I thought “I want to be like her.” However, I can’t carry a tune to save my life! The Britney Spears tribute was a total bummer. It was not even a tribute in my opinion. I loved that she kissed Jason and shout-out to him during her acceptance speech. Overall the VMAs were blah to me this year as well.

  3. adri

    I just couldn’t at the whole awards!

    But I got something happy from the vma’s!!! Britney confirming Criminal as 4th single off of Femme Fatale!

    dead

  4. Britt

    I wish that they would have asked some if the better artists that were nominated to perform. I just didn’t get some of the choices. It would’ve been nice to see Nicki Minaj and Britney perform since they had some of the biggest songs of the year. The whole Beastie Boy act was very lackluster too. I wasn’t very impressed with the production this year.

  5. i looooooove Adele. her performance was pure perfection.
    and well…the show held on to my hope of a trainwreck..and IMO it was a big one from beginning to end.

  6. and total side note…after looking at those pictures…me thinks Jason needs a bit of a hair cut.

    • Tina

      He said on twitter he keeps it long bc that’s how Britney likes it. Given her track record for poor judgement in men.. If his hair is her only current poor judgement I’m a happy Brit fan ;)

  7. krissy

    “totally MORONIC decision to have Bruno Mars — a man arrested for cocaine possession just months ago — pay tribute to the late Amy Winehouse”

    Wow, good point! I totally forgot that he had that arrest. I really liked what Russell had to say before his performance, though.

  8. DC

    Lady Gaga was the most annoying creature last night her and her moronic alter ego or w/e annoyed the crap out of me from start to finish…can’t wait for this lady’s 15min to be up!!

  9. Liz

    I DVRed and had to watch it later because of prior commitment. I was so bored with it after 10 mins of viewing. I turned it off after Britney got her pop award.

  10. CHASE

    - Lady GaGa’s persona of a persona was cool, but it got old REAL quick. It was hilarious when she fell and when all of the audience members were thinking, “WTF?”
    - Adele had the best performance of the night! You could tell she was nervous, though, and her hands were all over the place. Hah
    - Jessie J did good! I know not many ppl like her but her vocals pretty much slaughter everyone’s vocals, so…
    - Katy Perry tried to be funny so many times but fell flat each time. I bet you Kanye wanted to pull a Chris Brown when she mentioned the Taylor incident.
    - All in all, I was so disappointed.

  11. Kiki

    Why did Chris Brown get to perform? And I mean “perform” in the loosest sense of the word. He very obviously lip-synched (way worse than even Britney Spears does it) and all he did was fly around on a wire. Pink had an AMAZING wire performance a few years back AND she sang live while she did it.

    It disgusts me that the audience gave him a standing ovation. Let’s not forget how angry and homophobic and absoutely rude this young man is. He shouldn’t be applauded for anything until he changes his whole attitude.

    • Chivonne Meyers

      THIS is a good point!

      A lot of people here are talking about homophobic comments that were made and yet somehow the whole of America has forgiven Chris Brown for beating Riri and all of the comments he has made since.

      I just don’t understand

    • @Chivonne Meyers — I can assure you, I have neither forgiven nor forgotten anything. Ugh.

  12. Normally I’m ok with Jessie J but she sucked last nite. At one point (I forget which song it was) she sang in a totally different key than what her band was playing. That is NOT ok, it wasn’t a rehearsal… but I guess I give her props for still performing with a broken ankle.
    Gaga’s drag kinda creeped me out (crazy eyes) but I love the simple fact that she stayed in drag all nite as opposed to during just the song performance. Gender is fascinating and so often confused with sexuality so I love that attention is brought to it through her theatrics.
    Adele is flawless.
    So is Beyonce.
    Katy Perry should have won best pop video, hers was the most inventive of the bunch. Britney’s video didn’t deserve to win its category.
    Katy Perry should never speak in public because she just comes off as a dumb tit.
    Britney’s tribute was a fucking joke. She was delightful and handled it all like a pro but she got SO chumped. Unfortunately I think Gaga upstaged her a bit. And who the Fuck allowed her thank you speech to morph to an intro for another artist? AWFUL!!
    MTV needs to issue a statement on selecting an active biggot as best new artist. That is pure wrong.
    I wish I didn’t like Chris Brown’s dancing ability because he is such an angry and destructive little fucker.
    I liked the green lasers.

  13. Rachael

    Curious, have Tyler the Creator’s homophobic comments been things he’s said in public, on Twitter, in his song lyrics, or all three? A few months ago I had watched a couple of his videos along with a video from Earl Sweatshirt … and found myself oddly fascinated. I tend to be bad at paying close attention to lyrics though, so I’m wondering if there were some homophobic lyrics that totally went over my head. I should go back and re-watch the videos, but I’ll have to wait till after work.

    I do know that he got in kind of a Twitter war with one of the chicks from Tegan and Sara pretty recently, but I didn’t know what it was he did that p*ssed her off enough to rant about him in the first place. Must’ve been something.

    • Rachael

      I should add that their lyrics are clearly over the top crazy and offensive to probably every group of people in existence … but I think that was partly what mesmerized me about their videos. It made me think, how does a 15 year old kid wind up making this F*CKED up video?? (I think Earl Sweatshirt is like 15 or 16 and that Tyler kid is more like 19 or 20 right?)

      But I think the fact that almost everything that comes out of these kids’ mouths is offensive to one group or another might have also been what made it so that none of it in particular stood out to me! :-P

    • Smoo

      I researched this and he says he’s not homophobic. If he says he’s not, he’s not. He doesn’t have to care either way to be honest. It is what it is…and I’m a gay man & I’m not offended at all.

    • @Smoo — “I researched this and he says he’s not homophobic. If he says he’s not, he’s not.” I can’t even respond to this. I … just cannot.

    • Rachael

      Testing 123 … my comments are going into outer space …

    • Rachael

      AGGH I just posted a whole detailed comment and lost the entire thing because it went into nowhere after I hit the “Submit” button!! Anyway it was something to the effect of these kids just being dumb teenage boys who are trying to act macho and therefore using every offensive word in the book to try to reach that goal. I think they are using the terms without putting any thought into their actual meaning. I gotta hear the exact lyrics to see if I’m right though.

  14. Dasha

    Adele is a great singer, but girl kept missing her notes. It was not perfection. Beyonce, though, hot damn.

  15. AmandaMarie

    Adele is painfully shy/nervous in front of crowds and cameras. I enjoy her music and person greatly but she has nothing to offer me when I look at her performances. She needs motion, and emotion.

    Gaga again performs solidly. She’s an amazing artist. The alter ego intro was slightly too long. That made her annoying almost to me.

    I really wish Chris Brown was a decent human being because his dancing skills just make me happy. He has a real skill and a decently large audience… He could do great things.

    Beyoncè was the star of the night. She is so classy and sweet.

    Britney felt the most natural I’ve seen her in years. So nice to see.

    Nicki Minaj annoyed me most out of anyone there.

    Demi Lovato was my fave appearance. She looks incredible. She and Beyonce tied for best dressed in my opinion.

    Overall however, I feel as if there was no organization and that it all felt very past minute organized. It was kinda lame. MTV keeps sliding backwards… Makes me sad.

    • oooh i agree about Demi, home girl looked fantastic. it made me sad to read that people were calling her fat on twitter last night.

    • Feliciao

      Demi looked amazing!!! I think she looks 100 times better now than she did before – she’s naturally beautiful so I’m glad she’s taking the natural approach to her size :). She’s Hispanic for goodness sake.

  16. aimie

    i think adele may have been sick she seemed to be strugling a bit, though i was brought to tears in my living room. i was mad about the britney tribute, it was cute with the kids dancing and all, but she gets up there says thank you and… this long schpeil about beyonce…. wtf? big fail mtv! huge fail!!!

  17. Loved some stuff, hated some stuff… Overall I agree with you Trent.

  18. JP

    Adele has really bad stage fright which is why she grasps her hands so much. Also that song is very emotional for her to sing anytime she sings it. She sings from the heart. She wrote the song and it’s a personal experience to her. Not many artists out there who do that. She did an amazing job and she is perfection. I hope she never changes. I find the emotion and heart someone sings with that causes imperfections to be some of the best moments. GaGa is just trying to be shocking and it’s not at all. It’s not even artistic anymore. Beyonce was adorable and killed it as she always does. Britney’s tribute was a joke, but she looking flawless. Oh and… maybe they picked Bruno because I don’t know maybe he had a problem and is/has cleaned his act up and can relate? Do you know personally what has happened since his cocaine bust? He did a very touching tribute and the video of Amy and Tony Bennett’s duet brought tears to my eyes as it was her last recording. The whole Amy tribute was very respectful and still very honest. Other than that… the rest of the show was pointless.

  19. krib

    Um, Selena Gomez, hello, skeleton arm??!!

  20. Smoo

    TERRIBLE VMA’S. Adele and Beyonce were the only stars. WORST EVER!!!

  21. Wende

    I completely disagree with your Bruno Mars comment. I don’t know how deep his issues with substance use are, but after working in addictions medicine for nearly 20 years I can assure you that as Russell Brand says, addiction IS a disease. If (big if) Bruno Mars is having struggles of his own with the disease that actually makes him a good choice. Shame on you for perpetuating stigma about a poorly understood disease.

    • @Wende — What was the comment you disagree with? How am I perpetuating any such stigma?

    • Balito

      Yep… I think WENDE has a point!!! The stigma thing not so much….

    • Ok, Wende. Take it easy. Trent deserves no shame here, not at all.
      I agree with you in one respect, though… I think Bruno Mars was a good choice to pay tribute to Amy Winehouse, especially because of his own experience with drugs. Sure, the PR aspect of him doing it is certainly questionable, but perhaps doing it might be the thing that helps him see his own addiction issues and do something about them before he winds up dead like Amy Winehouse. Or for viewers with addition, seeing him do the tribute might make them think twice about their own disease, too.
      Addiction, in its own way, is as tragic for people as is cancer or AIDS, for example. If a cancer survivor like Christina Applegate paid tribute to Farrah Fawcett, I don’t think anybody would mind. In fact, they’d probably give an ovation.

  22. Chivonne Meyers

    In my opinion the whole show just pisses me off. Congrats on the winners but this morning all you heard about was Beyonce being pregnant. Great for her but I watched a bridge float down a river and a house burn surrounded by water. People here on the East Coast are devastated and it’s bullshit how no one seems to care. Where is the celebrity support and the media attention? Oh, right, talking about Beyonce and Lady Gaga.

  23. Evan

    I’m confused about where you’re drawing your personal line with homophobic actions. I mean, you’re obviously offended by Tyler, the Creator – and you have a right to be… but what does it say about your views when you have no problem posting things about Eminem – who has also openly used homophobic lyrics and you retweet a joke insinuating that Kanye West is gay (something along the lines of his bandana meaning he wants to bottom for a military man)?

    I mean – does using “the f-word” occasionally not count? Is making a joke and calling someone (albeit indirectly) gay alright?

    While you certainly have a right to your opinion, I’m just confused about where you’re coming from…

    • Smoo

      I could not agree more! Don’t go to Eminem concert & be proud of how’s he’s from Detroit who mentions the word “fa**ot” in Romans Revenge which JUST came out last year. Lets not pick and choose here.

      “I’m not homophobic. I just think ‘fa**ot’ hits and hurts people. It hits. And ‘gay’ just means you’re stupid. I don’t know, we don’t think about it, we’re just kids. We don’t think about that sh*t.” is what he said. Ignorance is NOT homophobia. Homophobia is a blatant attack on gays which he’s not advocating.

    • Rachael

      I tried to ask this same question in a different thread and this site is refusing to take the comment. I dunno what’s wrong so lemme just try asking it here instead. Trent seems to like Eminem so I am curious why he can “forgive” him for his usage of these bad words?

    • @Smoo – You are wrong. Homophobia IS ignorance and vice versa. Learn it, know it, live it. It is your responsibility to educate yourself! Homophobia is not limited to physical attacks against gays. It is a mindset that results from lack of education, exposure and compassion. It is a mindset that is rooted in and fuelled by fear. (Hello, “phobia”!) That mindset plays out differently in different individuals. Some turn out to be famous people who mistakenly believe it’s okay to incorporate homophobia into song lyrics. Others take baseball bats to the heads of innocent people. But in the end, there’s no difference. ALL OF IT is hateful toward gays, ALL OF IT is homophobia. Your first step here needs to be to teach yourself what homophobia really is and then you can cease from letting it slide.

    • Evan

      I’m still a little surprised that Trent hasn’t updated to clarify his opinion – regardless of if his opinion is “I don’t care what you people have to say…”

  24. JJ

    I absolutely ADORE Adele, she gives me hope. She can stand on stage with only a piano, microphone, and spotlight and create nothing but magic. She doesn’t need any flashy backup dancers,lasers,smoke machines,and revealing outfits to hold your attention. The fact that her voice falters at moments makes her human, and makes a live performance just that… LIVE.

    Bruno Mars… I don’t even know what to say about that. To have him pay tribute to Amy Winehouse, when he may or may not have issues with drugs… poor planning on MTV’s part. Now if he had mentioned that he is going to learn from Amy, or that if anyone out there struggles with addiction, know that there is help and maybe have MTV put up a website with information scroll across the screen… just something. To me it just felt like he was using Amy’s death as a prop, as part of his performance.

    Brit deserved so much more. This girl came seriously close to losing her career, family, and her own sanity. She got help, she FOUGHT, and she has her spark back. MTV totally gave her the shaft. Beyonce’s pregnancy got more recognition and air time on stage. Yes, being pregnant is a big deal, and I wish nothing but the best for her. But it’s like she stole the show with her constant grabbing of her new baby bump. Does anyone else feel like MTV must have given her a deal, paid her off, or something to broadcast her pregnancy like that?

    • @JJ – I totally agree with you RE: “if he had mentioned that he is going to learn from Amy, or that if anyone out there struggles with addiction, know that there is help and maybe have MTV put up a website with information scroll across the screen… just something.”

  25. diva

    Bruno did a good job! Nobody is perfect and Amy Winehouse is a good example of that. Wish Britney got a better tribute. Beyonce….smh publicity whoring at it’s best.

  26. Feliciao

    This years VMAs were so painfully boring, I didn’t even notice when they were over until 15 minutes later and the show after was on. So disappointing. The only part I remember taking the time to look up from my computer at was when Beyonce performed <3.

  27. Wende

    By describing the decision to use Bruno Mars as moronic due to his cocaine arrest (not convicted yet, as far as I know), you seem to be stigmatizing drug users as inappropriate or unworthy.

    • @Wende — How about the stigma of illegal activity? Not every recreational drug user has an illness, many of them are just criminals. I thought Bruno did a fine job but it seemed like a very bad decision to have a person who was recently arrested for the crime of drug possession pay tribute to a deceased person who had a very public battle with drugs.

    • Tina

      I gotta agree with Trent here. It just seamed a slightly tacky choice. That said he did a fine job.

  28. Satty

    @trent what is your response to the similarities between Tyler the creater and Eminem? I am curious to know. Does race play a factor? I’ve heard Tyler the creator’s music and its no where near as bad as Eminem…so what say you?

    • @Satty — I say homophobia in all instances is wrong.

    • Satty

      Which we are both in aggreement but why do you have such negative feelings (u wont even say his name) towards tyler but praise for eminem…btw im just curious im not trying to attack you =) that would be the same as me saying i love mel gibson and hate tracy morgan…they both have said equally offensive things…

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