#VMAs2013 Recap: @MileyCyrus and @LadyGaGa go for shock, while @JTimberlake leaves us in awe
That show. From the multiple TSwift memes (reference her “Shut the F**K UP” to One Direction) to Miley Cyrus and Lady GaGa‘s “interesting” performances, the first half of the show was all shock. It wasn’t until Justin Timberlake (and *NSYNC!!!!!!) took the stage that the show came into the awe. I’ll break it down into two acts for you.
Act 1: GaGa opens the show wearing a square on her head to perform “Applause.” And pays homage to her five-year career by changing into various costumes that represented the various personas she adopted. And yes, there are more than five personas… And, as usual, her moves are sharp (too sharp for my enjoyment, but, admittedly, after seeing it again during the repeat version of the award show, it started to grow on me just a little bit). The part that surprised me the most was that she wore the seashell costume from the video. Now, as a piece of art within the video, it is beautiful and artful. But as a part of the actual performance on live television, I was surprised at just how little it left to the imagination. Don’t get me wrong, GaGa looks amazing (Kevin Hart made sure that everyone knew how much he dug GaGa’s body), but I was just taken aback by the costume itself. I guess I was not expecting that type of wardrobe choice THAT early in the show.
From here, Selena Gomez won the pop video moonman for her amazing “Come & Get It” (the Bollywood and Britney Spears-inspired dance hit). That video (and song) really helped push Gomez away form her Disney image and allow music critics and audiences alike to take her more seriously as a mature musician. Throughout the video (and even this whole Stars Dance era) she managed to become more risqué while maintaining a sense of classiness, something the next performer and fellow Disney alum Miley Cyrus should have learned from.
Once announced, Cyrus dry-humped everything on stage and twerked away any sense of innocence. For highlights regarding her teddy bear-filled,
probably ecstasy-fueled definitely inappropriate but utterly hilarious in a can’t-turn-away-from-this-car-crash way performance, click here. The part that I was most sad about regarding her performance was the blatant use of the foam finger as a sexual object. I mean, is she really THAT immature to turn anything relatively phallic-shaped into a sexual object to writhe on? Wasn’t that the whole point of her twerking on Robin Thicke anyways (which, by the way, I do NOT approve of – Robin is off-limits to you, Miley. He’s a “good” father and husband. And so dreamy,even when he looks like Beetlejuice’s cousin)?
While I appreciate the crazy epicness that is her “We Can’t Stop” video and song, I can’t appreciate the random twerking during Robin Thicke’s performance. It just seemed out of place and all done for attention. The last thing I will say regarding her and Thicke’s performances is what are their fathers thinking to themselves at this moment?
Of course, I was very happy for both the performance and wins for Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. Their song, “Same Love,” which ultimately became the anthem of the same-sex legislation movement, won best song with a purpose. And yes, there was no real competition (except for Kelly Clarkson‘s “People Like Us…” But alas, Kelly, you had to know that going head-to-head with Macklemore’s serene and immaculate “Same Love” was a suicide mission). God, it’s such a beautiful song and message. I’m sorry, Kelly, you had no chance 😦
AND THEN CAME JUSTIN’S PERFORMANCE. (Act 2)
AND THE WORLD CAME TO A HALT AS JUSTIN PERFORMED MOST OF HIS EPIC SINGLES FROM THE PAST TEN YEARS (except for “LoveStoned,” “Summer Love,” “Until The End of Time,” “I’m Lovin’ It” and “Tunnel Vision” – which I’m really glad he didn’t perform, since I hate that video).
AND THEN THE WORLD GASPED WHEN FOUR OTHER PEOPLE CAME OUT TO JOIN JUSTIN AS THE BEGINNING OF “PUSHER LOVE GIRL” PLAYED IN THE BACKGROUND.
AND THE WORLD SWOONED AS THE GROUP KNOWN AS *NSYNC CAME TOGETHER TO PERFORM (only three 😦 ) THEIR HITS. AND THEN TIMBERLAKE WENT AND DID HIS SOLO THING AGAIN, PERFORMING MY FAVORITES “SUIT & TIE” AND “MIRRORS.”
The performance itself was amazing. Definitely a departure from Timberlake’s lackluster showing at the Grammys. Timberlake seemed to be in control from the beginning and definitely owned the hell out of the VMAs and that stage. EVERYONE, and I mean everyone, at my viewing party was literally singing all of the words to his hits and when *NSYNC came on stage, we went wild. It literally made our nights. And while Twitter was going on and on about the boy band members’ weight and out-of-breath-ness, I was just sitting there thinking, “These guys have not been training as consistently as Timberlake, so of course they are going to look out of shape compared to him — I mean, the guy is in the middle of a world tour in which he performs non-stop for two hours every night. He has stamina.”
Side note: this was one of the biggest teases of the year since the
Beyoncé’s-backup-singers Anonymous Club meeting “Destiny’s Child reunion” at BeyoncéBowl Superbowl XLVII this year. But really, the medley was one of the best moments of the show. And it’s getting me SOOOOOOO excited to see him in December!
From here, the show was relatively uneventful (even Kanye’s three-minutes-of-no-camera-movement performance, “Blood On The Leaves,” which is actually a great song — along with the rest of the album), except for Bruno Mars‘ inspiring performance. Mars is just so talented and a delight to watch; he knows how to work the stage, even when performing a more low-key arrangement like “Gorilla.” Personally, I would have liked to see him perform “Treasure,” with the big-band stylings I know he has a knack for, but as always, any performance he delivers would have blown me away.
Lastly, I was happy with Justin’s Video of the Year win for “Mirrors” (one of the few videos I actually shed tears watching this year) and Katy Perry‘s “ROAR”-ing performance. Perry traded in the candy canes and rainbows for a more empowering feel, similar to her “Part of Me” performance at last year’s Grammys.
Okay. For a list of winners, click here. And regarding fashion at the event, click here. Ellie Goulding definitely stole the preshow with her dress, but Darren Criss and Robin Thicke represented for the men, sporting suits contoured to their styles (here and here, respectively).
Now, I’m finished, friends. I liked the show a lot. The only thing that could have made it even better would have been a performance or appearance by my girl Britney Spears, but alas, it was not meant to be.
I’ll leave you with “Mirrors.”