HOLLYWOOD—It’s the one award show where something epic is bound to happen every year. The MTV Video Music Awards have always been known to have performances or moments that leave everyone talking. Of course we all remember the 2009 awards show when Kanye West stormed the stage and interrupted Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech for Best Female Video.
Jitters were already emerging with the news that Miley Cyrus is hosting the ceremony. Yes, Cyrus left plenty in uproar with her stage presence at the 2013 ceremony alongside Robin Thicke. The ceremony opened with a performance by Nicki Minaj that was not only electrifying, but full of theatrics. It’s very true, Minaj knows how to open a show and leave people talking, by reuniting on stage with Taylor Swift. Hmm, looks like the two were hoping to show the world that the little beef they had on Twitter is long over. It transitioned to Swift singing her hit “Bad Blood.”
When Cyrus hit the stage she kept things very PG which was quite surprising, to say the least. She took center stage with a behind the scenes approach of her Instagram posts with help from Ike Barinholtz and Andy Samberg. The award for Best Male Video was presented by Britney Spears to Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars for “Uptown Funk.”
Jared Leto hit the stage to introduce The Weeknd who brought plenty of sensuality to the audience. It was funny to see Rebel Wilson strip to a T-shirt with a vulgar message MTV was sure didn’t really hit the TV screen. Best Hip-Hop Video went to Nicki Minaj for “Anaconda.” Both ladies took to the stage to shake their buns.
What was with that tiff with Minaj and Miley? I thought it was actually fake at first, but it turned out to be some serious, real beef between the two artists. The award for Best Female Video was presented by Nick Jonas and Big Sean to Taylor Swift for “Blank Space.” Miley had so many dress changes I lost count. Hitting the stage in Downtown Los Angeles was Demi Lovato and Iggy Azalea. All I can say is it seems everyone wanted to sexify the stage this year and that there were plenty of bleeps.
A performance that had many buzzing was the return of Justin Bieber to the stage after being MIA for over 2 years. I will admit the vocals came across slightly off, but the choreography did help a bit. A highlight was seeing Bieber float into the sky and have an emotional breakdown after his performance concluded.
The Moon Men for Best Video with a Social Message went to Big Sean feat. Kanye West and John Legend “One Man Can Change the World.” Tori Kelly hit the stage to perform her single “Should Have Been Us,” and delivered a vocal powerhouse; one of the best performances of the night hands down.
Kanye West was presented the Michael Jackson Vanguard Music Award courtesy of Taylor Swift. I must admit, West have conceived some neat videos throughout his 10 year plus career. She highlighted that she was a big fan of his first album “College Dropout”, which came out when she was the age of 12.
It took West a few moments to collect his composure while on stage; it almost felt as if he was soaking up having all of the attention on him, and reflected on his past mistakes. It was quite honorable to see him acknowledge his past transgressions. Just as the audience thought West was going somewhere, he went on a tangent where it became all about him once again. He admitted while on stage to smoking weed. Ok, he proves once again he will be the biggest talk of the town come tomorrow morning. While his speech may have been about art, he delivered it in a way where the focus was more on him, and made an announcement to run for President of the United States in 2020. Not sure if I should accept that as a joke or not.
Back in Downtown Los Angeles, Pharrell Williams hit the stage to perform his uplifting song “Freedom.” The trophy for Artist to Watch went to Fetty Wap. The award for Video of the Year was presented by Ice Cube and his son O’Shea Jackson Jr. to a very deserving Taylor Swift feat. Kendrick Lamar for “Bad Blood.”
The ceremony wrapped up with a performance by hostess Miley Cyrus who dropped quite a few expletives and appeared on the stage in a get-up that was confusing, to say the least, with a host of drag queens by her side. I will admit, I got bored about 45 minutes into the ceremony. It feels like the MTV VMA ceremonies have gone downhill in the past few years. The lack of star power and big time names are definitely having an impact on delivering excitement for viewers. When more than half of the nominees in the Video of the Year category are no-shows, that is a big problem for an awards show. Miley did a so-so job, but in 2016, MTV will need to bring out the big guns to keep viewers glued to the TV screen.