I Watched Fifteen Minutes Of The VMAs And It Almost Killed Me
Tonight there was a thirty minute space in my viewing schedule between the “King of the Hill” series finale (R.I.P.) and an “American Dad” rerun. Against my better judgment, I flipped to MTV to watch the beginning of the 2009 Video Music Awards. I knew they were doing some kind of Michael Jackson thing up front, and I was curious to see how it compared to all that screaming Al Sharpton did at MJ’s funeral.
When Madonna first strode out to give her Gettysburg Address on Michael, I swear to God I thought she was a newly chubby and Botox-addicted Dakota Fanning. Does that reflect positively or negatively on the MTV lighting guy? I’m not sure. So Madge goes into her “I went on a couple dates with Mike, I hate all you media jackals, my kids love to grab their own crotches in tribute” tribute speech, and it’s just so wooden and emotionless I want to throw my shoes at the TV. They pan to various celebs in the audience all wearing warm, Oprah-esque expressions, and that makes me want to throw my pants at the TV.
Abraham Kabbalah finishes her spiel and walks off. She can’t be bothered to actually perform in memory of Michael. Fuck no, that’d be too expensive! Besides, it’s Sunday. They’re lucky they got a speech. Instead, they show a few clips from MJ videos while the lowest rent impersonators I’ve ever seen dance around on stage. There’s a snippet of “Thriller” and a snippet of “Bad” and then a snippet of “Scream.” Suddenly, from out of fucking nowhere, Janet Jackson pops out (the only Jackson who can handle the physical rigors of three minutes of dancing) and starts lip synching to the worst vocal track ever recorded. Swear to Christ, it sounded like Al Jolson’s underwater version of “Scream.” They should fire the twelve year old Harlem runaway that was singing it backstage.
Janet literally does only two verses of “Scream” and it’s over. That’s the big MJ tribute. A speech, some dancing, and two verses of bad lip synching. I’ve seen more dynamic talent on the high school level. Then again, we’re in a recession. For all I know, that dog and pony show cost a million dollars a second.
I’m about to go whiz when who should pop up but Steve Perry AND Katy Perry, rocking out a rather whack-ass version of “We Will Rock You.” This is host Russell Brand’s introduction. Whatever. Russell comes out dressed like Thrift Store Willy Wonka, makes some dick/pussy jokes, and reminds the whole of America why we left Britain in the first place. Now, the best part of Russell’s opening monologue was when he started naming all the celebs in attendance.
“We’ve got Madonna! We’ve got Jay-Z!” he’s yelling. Then he says, “We’ve got [SOMEBODY], we’ve got Megan Fox!”
They cut to Megan Fox, the recently crowned mega-bitch of Hollywood, and she’s clearly saying to the person next to her, “Did they announce so-and-so before ME?” My eyes rolled so hard I went flying behind the couch into another dimension. I’m gonna laugh when Marilyn Monroe rises from the dead and eats Megan Fox’s brain.
At this point, I’m overloading. I feel like I can’t take another damn second of this US Weekly come to life. I start to feel light-headed. I zone out. Then, THEN, they hand out the first award. Female Video of the Year.
The nominees are a Lady GaGa video that’s just Lady GaGa’s face over and over again, a Kelly Clarkson video that was apparently shot entirely inside a Chrysler LeBaron, Pink’s latest parade of clownishness, that Beyoncé video where she’s just dancing in black and white, and a Taylor Swift video in which Taylor Swift stops being a nerd and starts rocking(?). None of these videos looked like the best anything, not even the best dinosaur fart or snot bubble. Still, they give the Moon Man to Miss Swift, who goes up and starts prattling on about how she’s a little country and MTV is so, uh, not country.
By now we all know what happened next—Kanye West rushed the stage, violently body-checked Taylor Swift into the third row, picked up her microphone, and began desperately begging Beyoncé to dump Jay-Z and marry him on the surface of Mars. A riot broke out, Fred Durst descended from the ceiling with Limp Bizkit (who began playing “Break Stuff”), and Jay-Z drunkenly declared war on Key West. This caused Sway’s head wrap to unravel, which in turn caused Kurt Loder to melt like everyone at the end of Raiders. Radio City Music Hall blew up, but not before Pete Wentz ran out of the building and declared that the Jonas Brothers were made of people.
Naw, I’m just kiddin’. Kurt Loder didn’t melt. But he will…one day.
By this point, “American Dad” was coming on, so I didn’t have to look at this train wreck a minute longer. I did flip back for a second, accidentally, and some nine year old with a swoop hair cut and a southern accent was making the crowd “give it up” for Taylor Swift. Naturally, this brought on the roughest of seizures. I’m currently typing this from Beth Israel Hospital. Give all my stuff to Goodwill if I don’t pull through!