Some would say it makes no sense for MTV to award the very art form – music videos – that it barely plays. What the network has evolved to be was not lost as we celebrated their 30th anniversary. In fact, during the pre-show to their Video Music Awards (VMAs for short), the emcees fawned over as many reality TV stars as they did musical acts. Yet the show has a history of capturing the most over-the-top appearances (like Lady Gaga’s meat dress one year) and stars show up to bring their most creative set designs and performances.
So I tuned in last night ready to be entertained. Aside from the brilliance that was Adele singing “Someone Like You,” I got:
- Lady Gaga opening the show with a rambling monologue while dressed as a man then singing “You and I” a bit too long.
- Chris Brown dancing like a fiend while failing at lip-synching.
- Britney Spears being given the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard award by Lady Gaga who, still dressed in drag, force-fed us her character acting.
- Beyonce screaming through a performance as usual then rubbing her belly to further emphasize her pregnancy announcement.
- Lil Wayne demonstrating the downfall of Autotune then stripping to perform a song with more bleeps than actual rap lyrics.
Enter Jessie J.
Jessie is singer from London who recently had the irritating song “Price Tag” on the U.S. singles chart. She is also an accomplished songwriter with her most famous credit being co-writer of Miley Cyrus’ mindless platinum hit “Party in the U.S.A.” If you listen closely, the melody of the two songs could meld within each other. I forgave her for both last night.
As the house artist for the show, Jessie – sitting on a throne-like chair with a broken ankle – performed a mix of her songs and covers as we led into each commercial break. That lady can sing. Her voice has an earthy quality that brings to mind both Adele and Amy Winehouse. Why MTV didn’t have her sing part or all of the tribute to Amy is beyond me (Bruno Mars sang “Valerie”). The best though was Jessie singing Katy Perry’s ” Firework” a zillion times better than Katy’s live and studio versions. Yeah, Katy was in the audience. Awkward.
Did you watch the VMAs? What were your favorite performances? Least favorite?