MTV was hyping this year’s MTV Video Music Awards to be super crazy and off the rails. There was even talk about the program being put on a slight delay. Why? Well, because Miley Cyrus was hosting them and let’s just say she knows a thing or two about crazy. All you have to do is take a quick look at her Instagram to see why. Ever since she left her squeaky clean Hannah Montana image behind her, she has redefined what it means to be an attention grabber. With her hosting the VMAs, things were probably going to get weird…except they didn’t. It was actually a relatively tame showing from Miley, with the emphasis being put on the multitude of performances.
Nicki Minaj started off the night with a raucous performance of “Trini Dem Girls,” complete with tribal dancing and vaginal slapping, pretty much par for the course when it comes to a Nicki Minaj performance. She then moved on to “The Night Is Still Young,” where the crowd was met with a surprise when Taylor Swift came out to join her on stage. If you didn’t know already, the two had some beef brewing between them, but if this performance meant anything, the beef between them had finally been squashed. What a way to start the show.
With one celebrity squabble crushed another one was built up…by Nicki Minaj of course. After being presented the award for Best Hip-Hop Video, Nicki Minaj proceeded to call out Miley Cyrus who was standing on the other side of the stage. Miley Cyrus was talking negatively about her in an interview a while back and Nicki thought the bright stage of the VMAs would be the best place to settle things. Things didn’t really settle however, but only got worse, leaving us with a pretty awkward moment.
Now that we’re on the topic of Miley Cyrus, let’s talk about her hosting performance shall we? She was pretty tame in terms of the things she did. She started with a brief little monologue talking about how MTV will probably go back to having no hosts by the time the night is over. The monologue had some other jokes here and there that pretty much fell completely flat. Miley Cyrus is better when she does her own thing, without a script put in front of her. She had numerous wardrobe changes, some more interesting than others, as the night went on. There were also a number of sketches that were sprinkled in between. Aside from an “accidental” nip slip towards the end and a head scratching performance at the end, Miley wasn’t really the Miley that most were probably expecting. In fact, she kind of left me disappointed. She got progressively more annoying as the night went on and definitely less funny as well. Perhaps the most surprising thing coming from her end was a surprise announcement of a free album, “Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz.” Pretty bold move…
As far as other performances go, there wasn’t really any “bad” performances. Macklemore and Ryan Lewis graced the outdoor stage outside the theater with a performance of their newest single “Downtown.” The Weeknd gave a pretty solid performance of “Can’t Feel My Face,” complete with flames galore. Twenty One Pilots and A$AP Rocky might have given us the most interesting and different performance of the night with a mash up of their songs. I didn’t know what to expect from it at first, but I liked it. Demi Lovato took the outdoor stage with a fun performance of “Cool for the Summer” with surprise guest Iggy Azalea…who no one particularly asked for. There was also a cool performance from Pharrell Williams of his newest song “Freedom” that took place on the outdoor stage as well. I thought the stage outside the Orpheum Theater in the streets of Los Angeles was a pretty cool setting in my opinion.
Justin Bieber made his return to the VMA stage after a five year hiatus. That span of five years has been pretty tough for the young rascal and he looked like a changed man last night. He gave an electric performance of “Where Are U Now,” followed by his newest song “What Do You Mean” which ended with Bieber literally flying in the sky performing some acrobatics. After making his landing safe and sound, the artist was in tears…for no apparent reason. Perhaps it was because he felt good to finally be back on stage again after all he has been through…or maybe it was the straps that might have rubbed him the wrong way…your guess is as good as mine.
As far as the televised awards go, Taylor Swift might have to be considered the big winner. She took home the Best Female Video award for “Blank Space” and Video of the Year award for “Bad Blood,” among others. Artist to Watch was given to Fetty Wap, most notably for his hit “Trap Queen.” Best Male Video was given to Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars for their infectious jam “Uptown Funk.” Finally, the award for Best Video with A Social Message went to Big Sean, Kanye West, and John Legend for “One Man Can Change the World.” Big Sean probably gave the acceptance speech of the night, dedicating it to his late Grandma who was a war pilot. It was a well-deserved award for Sean.
Let’s be serious though, perhaps the most talked about and most important portion of the night was the presentation of the Video Vanguard Award, which was presented to Kanye West. It was only fitting that Taylor Swift would be the one to present Kanye his award because of their past VMA history. Anyway, Kanye soon took the stage and just stood there for a good minute, soaking it all up. The crowd was going crazy, shouting “Yeezy” chants left and right. Kanye finally took the mic and started rambling on and on about a whole variety of different things ranging from his daughter to groceries to celebrity beef to award show and the culture that surround them. I have to admit, I kind of lost him a couple of times, but it was still fascinating to watch. He ended the big speech with a joke about running for president in 2020 before dropping the mic and walking off stage. It was a very Kanye thing to do, setting the social media sphere in flames.
Even though the show could have done just fine without the “crazy” antics and mischief from Miley, 2015’s VMAs still had its fair share of fun and talk-worthy moments. The emphasis was on the performances, which only makes sense in this day and age. No one watches award shows for the awards anymore. It’s all about which performance topped them all, and this year’s VMAs gave us a whole lot of performances to think about. I struggle to pick which one was my favorite because they were all equally great and exciting. The VMAs continue to provide a fun award show experience that tops most award shows on TV these days. I hope this trend continues on…but let’s have Miley sit out next time please?
Video of the Year: Taylor Swift feat. Kendrick Lamar – “Bad Blood”
Best Male Video: Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars – “Uptown Funk”
Best Female Video: Taylor Swift – “Blank Space”
Artist to Watch: Fetty Wap – “Trap Queen”
Best Pop Video: Taylor Swift – “Blank Space”
Best Hip-Hop Video: Nicki Minaj – “Anaconda”
Best Rock Video: Fall Out Boy – “Uma Thurman”
Best Video With A Social Message: Big Sean feat. Kanye West and John Legend – “One Man Can Change The World”
Song of the Summer: 5 Seconds of Summer – “She’s Kinda Hot”