By most standards, I am pop-culturally retarded. Or at least I thought I was until I started visiting http://www.perezhilton.com everyday. Now I’m Hollywood-rumor educated. Somehow that seemed to make watching MTV’s VMA’s (Video Music Awards) a good idea.
Perez Hilton summarized the VMA’s in a 5 1/2 minute drunken v-blog, but it takes me a bit longer to do the play by play. And yes, you can now feel bad for the people who watch TV with me.
Britney Spears opens the awards and I have a lump in my throat; I don’t want her to mess up but secretly hope for a live screw up. She looks great and mostly un-drugged. She reads through the introduction in 8 seconds flat and sticks her tongue out with a deep sigh as she finishes. I mimic her deep sigh and hope she rips off her dress, revealing a rhinestone clad bikini. She doesn’t.
Rihanna takes stage to perform Disturbia. Her and dozens of other black-leather, silver chain-wearing dancers who comprise her posse.
Russell Brand is the host; he played the boyfriend in Forgetting Sarah Marshall. He welcomes me to the show, his fair fashioned by what must be Amy Winehouse’s stylist. Britney is now in the audience next to some future bad-for-her dude. The Russell dude admits that his hair could be confused for mental illness. He asks me to vote for Obama. In England, he says, George Bush wouldn’t be trusted with a pair of scissors.
“Sarah Palin is a VILF (Vice President I’d Like to F&*^)”, he says, but feels remorse for the preggers daughter in this PR stunt. “Use a condom or become Republican.”
Jonas Brothers time. They apparently plead abstinence and wear a promise ring as their commitment to God. Russell thinks the ring would be better served on their genitals. Really? Remember when Brit said she would wait until marriage. I think this extreme thing doesn’t bode well for Hollywood kids.
Jamie Foxx takes the stage. He likes Rihanna’s outfit – Chris Brown is a lucky guy he says. He makes a joke about bail money and says ‘don’t shoot me.’ He says he is there to support the ladies. Go figure.
Best Female Video. Surprisingly I recognize all the nominees and have actually heard of most of the songs. I have not seen any of the videos. I should mention that I have probably watched less than a handful of music videos in my life and even fewer that I could remember. I love music and love TV but somehow missed out on the whole music meets TV thing. I rebelled popularity and never caught on.
The winner for Best Female Video is Britney Spears. 16 nominations over the years and this is her first win. She’s speechless. “It’s an honor,” she says.
Katy Perry, who wears a Wonder Woman-like, cream colored underwear and a rhinestone bustier as her outfit, looks pissed as she finagles with the diamond brooch in her hair. She said the brooch belonged elsewhere but she threw some bobby pins together and poof. Some ugly stage manager lady (my boyfriend says they’re all fat and ugly like his ex-girlfriend, now stage manager) is whispering something in Katy’s ear. Was that supposed to be on camera?
Britney thanks God first and foremost for blessing her like this. She looks fit and seemingly healthy. She thanks her family, her beautiful boys and her fans. Short, coached and sweet. Good for you, Brit Brit.
Russell comes back to annoy us to text vote for Best New Artist. Apparently the winner is totally up to me. Sponsored by Pepsi and Verizon, of course. Mr. Ashley Simpson, Pete Wentz, is talking to Heidi and Spencer something. They’re on some show I don’t watch and remind me of a fly buzzing around your ear as you fall asleep at night; I just want to shut them up with a life-size swatter. Are their 15 minutes not so over?
A commercial lets me know that Paris Hilton has a new reality show where 18 people will audition to be her BFF. What does Paris look for in a BFF? Kind and loyal, always there when you need them, isn’t jealous or fake; never stabs you in the back. Game on, bitches.
Demi Moore comes out. Wow – I think she is the oldest woman to walk across the stage tonight. In an oh-shit moment, she realizes she doesn’t have a microphone. She looks svelte; definitely Botoxed with toned legs in a short black skirt. She is giving out the award for Best Male Video. The nominees are Chris Brown (Rihanna’s BF), Flo Rida (thanks to Ellen DeGeneres I now know how to pronounce it – Flo – ridah … like he’s going on a ride), T.I., Usher, and Lil Wayne.
Winner – Chris Brown. Oh he’s cute. Like a little boy, wearing a white shirt and jacket and bright blue tie. He thanks “EVERYBODY,” his fans, names a bunch of people, his family, everybody, God, his fans again, everybody again, his brother Rijo, and then he’s off. No Rihanna! What is he thinking? We all remember what happened after Hillary Swank forgot to thank her husband Chad Lowe at the Oscars while the camera stayed squarely focused on his face. No thank you to Chad meant no thank you to Hillary and now they’re splitsville. Chris Brown – learn from Hillary Swank!
Young guy … he will be paying for this one. I say he writes a song just for Rihanna because he forgot to thank her.
Now Russell comes out and pours salt on the wound by saying, that Chris Brown is in a lovely romance with Rihanna.
Taylor Swift introduces the Jonas Brothers; she reminds me a bit of Kiersten Dunst meets Carrie Underwood, but I think it’s just too much eye makeup.
The Jonas Brothers are performing on the Back Lot of Paramount Studios, on a stoop that recreates the streets of New York City. Taylor tells us that it’s been featured in Seinfeld and Friends but as Joe, Nick, and Kevin come out, they look like they’re on the steps of Sesame Street.
I notice they all wear a silver ring of chastity on their wedding ring fingers. As these three young, good looking boys sing about being struck by a lovebug in front of thousands of screaming enamored girls, I’m sure many of them wouldn’t mind sucking that little ring off their fingers. The boys’ performance moves from the steps to on stage as the Back Lot explodes with girls running and screaming from fake doorways left and right. It’s ridiculous that they want us to believe that they’re virgins. They can join the club with John, Paul, George and Ringo too. New Kids on the Block and Menudo were members.
14 minutes until the Best New Artist is announced.
Michael Phelps comes out – “a True American Hero.” He’s wearing fat stereophonic headphones and walks out like a boxer from the audience. He takes off the 80s-style earphones and speaks. He often used music as an accomplice during the Olympics, he says; it put him “in the zone” before competition. He mentions Jay Z, Eminem and someone I couldn’t understand through his muttering.
He introduces a Million Dollar Man, who it turns out is a beautiful girl with an orchestra of strings behind her. She sings, “Please don’t let me be misunderstood.”
She’s joined by a dread-locked rapper with big black sunglasses and bright white pants that he holds up by his holding his scrotum tightly against his groin. He is entirely tattooed with thick silver chains around his neck and dripping from his pants. A red bandana-like scarf hangs from his back pocket. He’s rapping too fast for me to understand but something is bleeped out and a guy from the strings orchestra looks shocked.
The pretty voice comes back but the rapper starts up again and this time I can’t understand anything because it’s all bleeped out. I hear “Mighty-cha cha cha – mighty cha –beep beep beep – pop them like – beep beep – Chris! Beep, beep, beep!” He is joined by a crony who is dressed head to toe in a black and silver outfit, complete with chains and a shiny top hat. A big diamond initial pendant that says NB hangs around his neck.
Turns out this is Lil Wayne and T-Pain.
They are rocking the audience and most people are loving it, while some pull back into their seats. Jonah Hill from the opening act is all about them; Paris wiggles in her chair. The two rapping Rockers jump back onto stage and I’m amazed his pants are still up. The strings orchestra is still going and at this point the song is actually catchy – the music part that is, with no beeping in between the cha cha mighty. They get a long standing ovation, especially from a man with a really large diamond watch.
Lindsay Lohan and Ciara come out. Lindsay is wearing a Tuxedo sleeveless top, like Playboy Bunny minus the bowtie. She has a very Farrah Fawcett hairdo and actually looks pretty. Ciara is the other girl in a sequined short dress.
They are announcing the winner for the VMA Dance Winner. I tuned this part out earlier so their excitement seems rather anticlimactic. Now they’re doing best dancing in a video.
I’ve actually heard of all the songs although I wouldn’t have been able to name them or their artists. I have seen zero of the videos. Best Dancing in a Video goes to The Pussy Cat Dolls. Who are these girls? Is one of them Kim Kardashian? She looks like her a little. Oh are they like the Spice Girls? The Kim look-alike thanks God for being awesome to them. When she first starts speaking she sounds like she just sucked a helium balloon but then starts to sound a bit more normal.
Miley sings live in 19 minutes.
This generation of fans has been raised in an environment where our society has mandated that we be told our expecting waiting times. In lines at the amusement park, on hold with the cable company, in movie previews, in television commercials, in magazines. Everything is coming and we need to schedule it all in.
Pete Wentz is back again to beg us to text vote for best new artist. This is very telethon. We as consumers have now been burdened with a lot more responsibility. We make our own coffee, check out our own groceries, and pick our own Award winners – all while paying someone else to sell it all to us.
Now some young people come out – from a movie adaptation of some book series for kids I gather. They introduce Paramore; the girl rocks out in skin tight yellow pants and pink hair, live from the Whiskey-a-go-go.
Take cover – Miley Cyrus loves 7 things about Russell Brand in 8 minutes.
Slash and Shia LaBeouf come out. What a weird combo. Slash wears a tight black leather vest with his frizzy black hair exploding from the confinement of a black top hat. Shia dons a gray conservative suit with his hair slicked back. They are presenting for Best Rock Video.
Linkin Park – Shadow of the Day wins. Paramore, who I thought were just performing from Whiskey somewhere else are magically in the audience – and seem annoyed. Linkin Park seems like nice guys; they tell Shia that Transformers was awesome.
Russell interrupts Miley while she’s playing Rock Band (would a doctor play doctor at home?) so she can introduce Pink, who’s now performing on the Back Lot set.
Pink gives a pretty serious performance wearing a royal blue regal Elizabethan cape-like coat thingy and then rips it off to reveal a black satin button down body suit. She sports this outfit unbuckled halfway with bouncing boobies and no bra; four columns of flames shooting behind her. She takes ownership over that stage, that song, and the crowd as she belts out about being a rock star with rock moves. When her shirt busts open too much, it reveals a silver sparkly X covering her nipples. Hot seems like the overall appropriate descriptor word.
When they come back from commercial, a blonde girl is performing with a huge cushion-covered drum stick. I cannot understand what she is saying and think she may be German. Her outfit is 70s meets 80s punk rock and there is a blonde man with a tight zebra-print t-shirt and white sunglasses playing guitar and singing with her. They end with “I am freaky, I am freaky … let me go!”
Pete and Ashley are back. She’s sending text messages and looks pretty preggers. He’s doing the telethon thing again. She acts like she doesn’t care that she’s getting fat, but you could tell it’s killing her. I bet Jessica is loving that her sister is getting fat. Pete looks shorter than Jessica and really looks like a dweeb. He’s wearing some awkward silver tuxedo thing and he always looks like he should be in the Adam’s Family. I didn’t even watch that show, but I don’t listen to his music, so it should all work out.
Best Hip Hop Video. Slipknot is presenting and they’re acting weird; all wearing scary Freddy-like masks. They’re joined by the funny guy who played McLovin in Superbad. I try to predict this one and say Flo Rida. The winner is Lil Wayne, the guy who did the performance earlier with the white pants. Go figure. What a night for this little dude. He really is tiny. He thanks God, his family and y’all.
Jordin Sparks comes out; she looks very pretty but a bit large. She makes a jab about promise rings and not being a slut; solidarity for the Jonas boys. T.I. does a performance where he walks and raps through a make-shift night club filled with overly beautiful people on the Back Lot. They say great job; I say boring.
Now someone takes the stage singing something familiar – the Numa Numa song! Now this I know. It’s Rihanna … using my numa numa song in a mix! She looks and sounds fantastic.
The High School the Musical people come out. They look like children dressed up for Halloweens as Hollywood stars. Over tanned, over made up, and under lived. They introduce Christina Aguilera.
She looks like she is Cat Woman with a blonde wig and big blue eyes in a vinyl black skin tight suit. She is doing remakes of her old hits. The set is neon meets NYC future. “How to Succeed in Business” meets the cross roads of Gotham and Vegas. She sings about being a Super Bitch while she looking a bit super human.
Lauren Conrad (The Hills) and Chace Crawford (Gossip Girl) come out. I don’t watch either show. She seems really young and her boobs are the kind that still need a training bra, which explains why she must find it OK not to wear one with this top.
They announce the winner for Best New Artist – the ones that people have been voting for all night. They are called Tokio Hotel. In the pre-show, they rode up in a Monster Truck and had a spectacular entrance.
Paris Hilton comes out and looks the wrong way. Then reads from the teleprompter for Best Pop Video. In the pre-show she said she hoped Britney would win. Britney wins and she comes up to accept her award in a different outfit. She still looks great. She gives a similar demure speech.
Drake and Josh are next up. I have no idea who they are but they too seem like two high-school students in SING; they introduce a drunk Kid Rock. He does this song that I thought was a remix of Sweet Home Alabama, but turns out is his own song. Lil Wayne comes on and makes another appearance.
Kobe Bryant comes out to as loud an applause as I’ve heard. He speaks about the Olympics. He presents Best Video of the Year. Britney Spears wins this too. This is pretty funny.
She is in shock right now. She dedicates this to her fans. She staggers off the stage onto a golf cart with Russell. They drive off onto the Back Lot. This is where the scheduled show ends.
What happened to Miley Cyrus performing live?
Because I had taped the post-show, I am able to see Kanye give a stellar closing performance – my pick for the best of the evening. He sounds amazing, the stage is fantastical and there are fireworks. Kanye knows how it’s done. At the end he looked pissed that he didn’t win anything.
And so it goes – a play by play of the VMA’s as told by a VMA virgin.