The Nokia Theater in Los Angeles was the playing field for this year’s Video Music Awards on MTV; hosted by Chelsea Handler (Host of E!’s Chelsea Lately), the ceremony came with a few surprises. Eminem opened the show performing his two songs (Not Afraid and Love the Way You Lie with Rihanna) from his new album Recovery. He showed that despite his absence he can still bring his A-game. After the performance Eminem jetted off to New York to perform a show with Jay-Z (they have a joint venture – Home to Home – that started at Comerica Park in Detroit) and was unable to accept his Best Male and Best Hip Hop Video for Not Afraid; he kept his priorities in check.
The first of a few surprises was the appearance of comeback hopeful Lindsay Lohan. During a pre-recorded skit Chelsea was preparing to host the show she was startled by the Bobby actress after various guys gave her a swift pat on the butt wishing her a good show. Lohan then began to poke fun at herself asking Chelsea why her SCRAM alarm was going off if she wasn’t drinking to which she responded that it was a reminder that her table was ready at the Cheesecake Factory. Lohan then went into a lecture that I’m sure many people who have been following her adventures on TMZ and other media markets wanted to give the actress.
In the tradition of the VMAs, the show was full of stellar performances including Justin Bieber, who was introduced by his “biggest fan” Kim Kardashian, performing Baby outside the theater driving the ladies wild with his dances, moves that would make you reminisce about Michael Jackson’s dance skills. And despite the slip of the drumstick and replacing it, he rocked the drums. Drake took the take stage inside with performing Fancy with Mary J. Blige and Swizz Beatz; the presentation was true to the song’s title.
The performances that were most anticipated was that of the two unlikely “enemies” – Taylor Swift and Kanye West. Taylor’s response to what happened at last year’s show was a song she wrote and performed called Innocent; it is speculated that this was written about the over zealous rapper. The performance was given luke warm reviews. Some felt that she should get over the situation and move on while others felt she could have done a better job. This writer’s opinion is that she was expressing her forgiveness through song. However it is only a matter of time to see of Kanye can really grow up and understand that respect is truly earned and not stolen.
Kanye performed Runaway with Pusha T. the song was as he would put it – a toast to the douchbags and assholes. Unfortunately for the second half of the song he went into auto-tuned mode and it grew to be annoying and nerve wrecking. What a way to end the show.
The big winner of the night was the over the top yet unique fashionista Lady Gaga. With a record 13 VMA nominations, she walked away with 8 including Video of the Year for Bad Romance. What can be considered the biggest surprise of the evening was the presenter of the award – Cher – wearing the next to nothing outfit she wore from her 1989 video If I could Turn Back Time; causing jaws to drop to the floor due to her impeccable ability to stay fit and fab after all these years. The Telephone singer accepted the award in a dress, a matching hat and purse made entirely of meat (she wore a meaty bikini for the cover of Vogue Hommes Japan). Designed by Franc Fernandez, PETA was in an uproar with the display of what they would call misplaced fashion; PETA advocate Ellen DeGeneres was sitting next to her and was not pleased with the dress. Cher on the other hand considered it to be a work of art. Everyone is entitled to their opinion.
All and all this writer feels that Chelsea did a great job hosting; it wasn’t a bad choice to have this woman host (the last woman who hosted was Roseanne Barr in 1994); no one was exempt from her humor. She was in a word – herself.
Like most music award shows, this boils down to networking. Meaning promoting their music, showing off their dance moves, making their fashion statements and working on future collaborations. And we’ll all be looking forward to what’s to come in 2011.
The MTV Video Music Awards is currently in rotation on MTV and highlights can be seen on MTV OnDemand.