Current Weather
The Spy FM

The MTV Video Music Awards In Pictures: Lady Gaga Is Not Herself

Filed by KOSU News in Art & Life.
August 29, 2011

The MTV Video Music Awards are always ridiculous.

By that I mean that they are intended to be ridiculous. They are meant to have one big moment — Kanye West interrupting Taylor Swift, Taylor Swift forgiving Kanye West in song, Madonna and Britney Spears kissing, whatever — and the rest is just sort of … happening.

Sunday night’s VMAs were no exception. They got off to a surprisingly warm and sweet start when news broke that Beyonce had announced her pregnancy on the “black carpet,” the VMAs version of the awards-show red carpet. (Nothing pleases MTV quite like erroneously believing itself to be edgy.)

The show itself opened with Lady Gaga in character as someone she called “Joe Calderone,” a man who spoke of himself as Lady Gaga’s … boyfriend? Something like that? She would remain in character all night, making several appearances as Joe: to accept the award for Best Female Video on Gaga’s behalf, to present Britney Spears with the Video Vanguard Award while making lewd references to how much Joe used to enjoy lying in bed and thinking of Britney, and, of course, performing the opening number.

The rest was surprisingly tame, even in its wilder moments: Lil Wayne was bleeped with such frequency that it became utterly comical watching him running around the stage in his underpants madly screaming words nobody was hearing. Honestly, swearing at the VMAs is a little like streaking on the radio: there’s really no point except proving you can do it in a situation where you know nobody’s going to actually witness it.

Britney Spears, once such a wild child of MTV herself, oddly came off as the calmest, most bewildered presence there, briefly acting like she might start making out with Gaga/Joe before going to the microphone and straightforwardly accepting her Vanguard award.

Late in the evening, Russell Brand introduced a tribute to Amy Winehouse that included his recollections of meeting her in London, a few words from Tony Bennett about her staggering talent as a jazz singer, and a fairly odd performance by Bruno Mars, who essentially paid tribute to Amy Winehouse by covering “Valerie,” a song she also covered with Mark Ronson. With all the women who have been influenced by Winehouse — including Adele, who offered a stunning performance of “Someone Like You” — it seems odd that the best MTV could think of for a tribute was Bruno Mars.

All in all, a strange night, but one that at least didn’t result in anyone jumping up on the stage and interrupting anyone else. [Copyright 2011 National Public Radio]

Leave a Reply

5AM to 9AM Morning Edition

Morning Edition

For more than two decades, NPR's Morning Edition has prepared listeners for the day ahead with two hours of up-to-the-minute news, background analysis, commentary, and coverage of arts and sports.

Listen Live Now!

9AM to 10AM The Takeaway

The Takeaway

A fresh alternative in morning news, "The Takeaway" provides a breadth and depth of world, national and regional news coverage that is unprecedented in public media.

View the program guide!

10AM to 11PM On Point

On Point

On Point unites distinct and provocative voices with passionate discussion as it confronts the stories that are at the center of what is important in the world today. Leaving no perspective unchallenged, On Point digs past the surface and into the core of a subject, exposing each of its real world implications.

View the program guide!

Upcoming Events in your area (Submit your event today!)

Streaming audio and podcasts

Stream KOSU on your smartphone

Phone Streaming

SmartPhone listening options on this page are intended for many iPhones, Blackberries, etc. with low-cost software applications available to listen to our full-time web streams, both News on KOSU-1 and Classical on KOSU-2.

Learn more about our complete range of streaming services

We're perfecting the patient experience - Stillwater Medical Center