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Friday, September 7, 2012

MTV Video Music Awards Recap

The annual Music TeleVision Video Music Awards took place at the Staples Center in Los Angeles last night. 

The red carpet preshow was special this year, sporting a double decker platform red carpet where Demi Lovato won the first VMA of the evening for Best Video With A Message and coincidently performed the hit song, "Give Your Heart a Break." Calvin Harris won the second award at the preshow, Best Electronic Dance Music Video for "Feel So Close" and later DJ’d between awards and musical guests. Rapper Wiz Khalifa and fiancée Amber Rose made the big announcement that they are having baby.

Rihanna kicked off the show with the first performance of the evening with spectacular lasers, graphics, and choreography. She performed “Cockiness” featuring A$AP Rocky, and her megahit, "We Found Love" which won her the big award for the evening, Video Of The Year. Stand-up comedian Kevin Hart MC’d the event. The first award of the evening was presented to One Direction for Best Pop Video. One Direction took home the most Moonmen of the evening with 3 wins. Pink performed “Blow Me (One Last Kiss)” while doing her signature aerial flying stunt. In another interesting visual twist, Pink’s backup dancers wore costumes turning them into giant dancing lips. Say what you want about Pink’s hair, clothes or attitude; that girl can sing!

Alicia Keys sang her new single “Girl On Fire” from her album of the same name, due out November 27. Joining Keys on stage was Nicki Minaj and Gold-medal Olympian Gaby Douglas who did a bit of light tumbling during the tail end of the performance. Taylor Swift closed the show with her smash hit “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” to promote her upcoming album Red which drops on October 22.

The women of the evening rocked the house with the strongest performances of the night. Overall, however, the show was rather disappointing. It felt very staged and predictable with awards going to only the artists in attendance. Many big stars were not in the audience, and quite a few nominated artists like Gotye, Carly Rae Jepsen and Justin Beiber were also missing. Although she has a good excuse with her delivery date getting close, expectant-mother Adele’s absence was also noticeable.  

British-heartthrobs One Direction probably made the biggest splash of all the stars in attendance. Not only are they young, hip, and British, they have revived the boy band phenomenon and have as large a following as The Backstreet Boys or New Kids On the Block did at their respective primes. Surprisingly though, their performance of “One Thing” was mediocre at best.

For a network that has become known primarily for shock-value programming, there was no singular “Wow!” moment this year. There was no ‘meat dress’, Kanye West wasn’t there to take away a microphone, and Britney Spears didn’t show up looking like a train-wreck. On the flip side of that coin, with VMA go-to performers gone, there were no stellar acts even close to Beyonce’s “Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)” from 2009 or Gaga’s “Paparazzi” also from 2009.

With the show being televised on a Thursday evening, the lack of star power, and the safe middle of the road performances, the future impact of this award show is questionable. The days when celebrities from all walks of fame attended the VMAs to see and be seen are apparently on the way out and we’re getting close to the time when Music TeleVision will no longer be able to justify the ‘Music’ portion of their name. Only time will determine the importance of this show in American pop culture.

2012 MTV Video Music Awards -- Winners List
Video of the Year  Rihanna feat. Calvin Harris -- "We Found Love"
Best Male Video Chris Brown -- "Turn Up the Music"
Best Female Video Nicki Minaj -- "Starships"
Best New Artist  One Direction -- "What Makes You Beautiful"
Best Pop Video One Direction -- "What Makes You Beautiful"
Best Rock Video Coldplay -- "Paradise"
Best Hip-Hop Video Drake feat. Lil Wayne -- "HYFR"
Best Electronic Dance Video Calvin Harris -- "Feel So Close"
Best Video With a Message Demi Lovato -- "Skyscraper"
Most Share-Worthy Video One Direction -- "What Makes You Beautiful"
Best Director M.I.A. -- "Bad Girls"
Best Choreography Chris Brown -- "Turn Up the Music"
Best Visual Effects Skrillex -- "First of the Year (Equinox)"
Best Art Direction Katy Perry -- "Wide Awake"
Best Cinematography M.I.A. -- "Bad Girls"
Best Editing Beyonce -- "Countdown"

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