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?