My 2008 MTV “Video Music Awards” Wrap Up!

Remember when the VMA’s were a credible awards show filled with memorable performances and moments?

Remember when there were comedians who hosted the big night and they actually made you laugh?

Does anyone remember when Rock Music was actually featured during the show? I can remember when the VMA’s were an important night of TV viewing in my home, but when I tuned in last night I realized that I am either way too old for this shit anymore, or music does in fact suck.

The VMA’s should be the biggest night on MTV, but you wouldn’t know that from the relatively small scale of the auditorium. And herein lies issue #1. Is the network skimping on the budget? The arena looked like a high school gymnasium. The stage was small and looked like an iPod dock. And the sound was terrible. By looking at the show last night, it would be hard to distinguish it apart from the network’s other show “F’NMTV”.

Britney Spears, the woman who severely faltered during her EPIC FAIL of a performance last year, did a short appearance at the top of the show. It was heavily rumored that Britney would indeed perform as a surprise and take a shot at redemption, but that was not meant to be. Britney showed up, looked great, and collected her first ever Moonman for Best Female Video soon after. Britney was the night’s biggest winner with 3 awards in top categories for her song “Piece of Me” including Video of the Year. Many people were quick to criticize the sudden accolades for Britney as “Pity” awards or MTV’s way of sucking up to her for putting her out there last year when she was mentally incapable of doing so.

But I say no. Her album “Blackout” was released during a dark period in her life and it was to my surprise a solid album. It was one of the best pop/dance albums in recent years. So for her to win is not far off. Especially since she was nominated alongside a bunch of people who didn’t deserve to win.

The host Russell Brand was OK. While I personally find him funny. I was increasingly irritated by the way he praised every performance right after. It was silly. The funniest thing he said was “A career defining performance by The Jonas Brothers”. That made me laugh out loud. And speaking of performances, last night’s were lackluster save for a few bright spots.

Rihanna showed everyone that she should never sing live with her off key rendition of “Disturbia”. The stage show may have looked great, but I am starting to wonder why Rihanna doesn’t dance. Can she? She did nothing on stage but warble and move in place. It was just weak.

Here is another issue I had with the show. People who are proven sellers with established careers should be allowed to perform on the big show. Anyone else who is just a blip on the radar should be relegated to the pre-show. And the pre-show should contain less arrival interviews that amount to nothing, and more performances by people who by next years VMA’s should be established enough to perform the following year during the main event. Paramore, The Jonas Brothers, and Katy Perry should have all been pre-show opening acts. No Doubt at one point was not big enough for the main show and they were opening acts. Let these kids earn that spot on the stage.

Quick Rant: Move the show back to Thursday night and back to Radio City Music Hall.

Quick Rant #2: Lil’ Wayne pull up your damn pants.

Speaking of Rap, while I personally disliked Eminem, I couldn’t deny his memorable VMA performance with the fake Slim Shady’s on 6th avenue. If all you are going to do is rap with your pants down your ass and have half of your song censored, stay your ass home. TI did a better job, but something that I found stupid was the idea of these disjointed performances all over the place. They should all be on the main stage.

Quick Rant #3: Rock music isn’t dead. So why weren’t there more Rock acts on the bill? Metallica has a highly anticipated album coming out this week. Coldplay has a big hit album on the chart. Daughtry, Nickleback, Linkin Park are all still alive. And your current American Idol winner David Cook is a rock singer. So what gives with the lack of love to Rock music. And no having Kid Rock hold the fort doesn’t make up for it.

Pink came and surprised me with a good performance full of spectacle. But I hate how her back up singers always drown her out. She has a good voice, even when singing a wack song, and her body looked great.

Question of the night? Who was that boxy tranny in a catsuit pretending to be Christina Aguilera? Because the Christina Aguilera I know has one of the greatest voices right now in music, she would NEVER lip synch in a too tight catsuit to a lame Lady Ga Ga wannabe techno song. What happened here? Leona Lewis upstaged Aguilera in the singing department last night, although it was for an all too brief moment and while singing with Lil’Wayne.

The night ended with Kanye West in typical drama mode closing the show just after Britney won her final award for Video of the Year.

And with no last minute reappearance by Ms. Spears to do a surprise performance, we are all left empty and wondering if the VMA’s have become the Teen Choice Awards? But this shouldn’t have surprised me since MTV used a new episode of “The Hills” to lead into the show. What a mess.

Hopefully next year they will fix their problems, move back to NY, hire a good host that fits for the show, and fill the bill with music from start to finish. No ADD half performances all over the place and jamming with DJs during commercial breaks. Real full on performances that are memorable.

Is that too damn hard to ask?

PS: Miley, if R. Brand upset you with his G.W. Bush bashing, and Jordin Sparks, if R. Brand upset you with purity ring jokes, don’t show up to the big kids award show. Stay your asses on the Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards if you want to be free of a comedian making fun of something you don’t like. The awards have a long history of the comedians making fun of performers. Britney and N’Sync (who were arguably bigger than you were at the time) were lambasted by Chris Rock before their performance in the late 90’s. And Britney was bashed by Sarah Silverman RIGHT AFTER her performance last year. What makes you guys so special? If you can’t take it, hide back under the security blanket of the Disney Channel.

And finally, I know plenty of people who don’t rock purity rings and they aren’t sluts Jordin. Poor choice of words my dear.