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Greg Michaels’ Take on the MTV VMAs

Before I start this take on the MTV Video Music Awards, I know I’m outside its demographic or target audience but it along with pop music is still part of what I do for a living so here we go.

Last night I knew before watching there would be a few “moments,” but I still every year let my kids watch the MTV VMAs as they are young and like the music. Every year I tell the kids that until you’re on the stage famous, rich and performing it’s not the way the you dress or act. The boys get that, at least I think. Like I was told when I was young, Axl Rose is the only who can get away with dressing like Axl Rose and be successful. So anyway last night my 14-year-old niece was over and watching it with us. I’m not sure if her Mom would have let her watch it or not, but she did with us all the same.

The show opened with Lady Gaga’s performance of “Applause.” Is it just me or have I heard this song before like 30 years ago? It’s an OK song, but not her best at least in my opinion. I think Lady Gaga on stage was Lady Gaga being Lady Gaga. Actually she was I thought tamer than she had been in previous years.  

Now we’re on to Miley Cyrus’ performance. What can I say? It kind of struck me as forced and encouraged by her management. The performance almost looked to the point where Cyrus herself didn’t even want to be out there doing the song that way. Here is where I stop defending her. I know she wants people to forget ‘Hannah Montana,’ but as a parent, I think to myself why does she want people to forget that role? It made her who she is or was until now. There is giving the audience a “wow” moment and then there was what we saw. A total epic fail in my opinion. It wasn’t sexy, sultry or provocative, I couldn’t find a socially progressive message in there either. She totally missed the mark. Yes we are talking about it so in that case Cyrus’ performance was a success, but Madonna earned the right to be lewd after being a bona fide pop star for 10 years. To say the least it made for a very awkward moment while watching it with my sister-in-law’s 14 year old daughter. Even the other stars including Will Smith and Rihanna look horrified at Miley Cyrus while she was performing. I’ll say it again, Rihanna was shocked. That says something.  

Thank goodness for Justin Timberlake, he stole the show on a positive note. Although I was hoping for more regarding the N*SYNC reunion, but then again even my son Dylan who is 14 this week didn’t understand the significance of Joey, Lance and the other two. I told him they were Justin Timberlake’s old back up singers.

The only other performance I wanted to touch upon was Katy Perry’s. Katy Perry I thought was awesome. Yes a little rehearsed, but I dig the simple message in “Roar” and the more natural look during the performance.

As a final note, not much in pop music is natural or has total integrity. Labels, management usually make their decisions and the artist follows the lead. Yes there was tons of lip synching and Miley Cyrus trying to be something she’s not, but it is MTV and they’re trying to be cool.

Not suitable for more impressionable children but Lady Gaga’s performance.

Miley Cyrus, MTV VMAs. Same warning as above.

Best performance of the night in my opinion, Justin Timbertake.

Katy Perry’s “Roar” from the MTV VMAs

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