MTV Video Music Awards

Those shows aren't what they used to be

MTV Video Music Awards Odd Future

By Sergio del Amo

There was a time when MTV was synonymous to spectacle, scandal for the puritan minds and surprises that had a big impact on pop history. But last night we saw none of the above. In a show like this, seemingly eternal thanks to the ads every five minutes, while sacrificing hours of sleep, one would like to see at least something worthwhile. But during little over two hours, we did nothing but yawn. Nevertheless, there was some news at the Nokia Theatre in Los Ángeles in the form of pregnancies, transvestism and a couple of tributes to people alive and dead. Welcome to the show bizz circus.

Lady Gaga taken over by Joe Calderone's sideburns

The butchers of the world could breathe easily this time: Lady Gaga chose not to dress up as an piece of prime beef again. While Katy Perry and Nicki Minaj took care of this year's impossible dresses, Gaga opened the ball in a less extravagant fashion than usual, transformed into her Italian alter ego, the one she showed off in the Japanese edition of Vogue Hommes. As Joe Calderone, Gaga played “Yöu And I” on the piano, busted a couple of the track's unnecessary dance moves and invited Brian May to play along, making Dave Grohl happy in the process. It wasn't her best performance ever, not even close, but we curse the TV director for not showing us Gaga when she slipped when stepping away from the piano. If you know you can fall, don't throw beer on the floor, stupid. She went home with two awards in spite of it: the ludicrous “Best Video With A Message” and “Best Female Video” for “Born This Way”.

Adele: a lady who didn't find her place

The Adele phenomenon is now a fact in the United States. With seven nominations, she left empty-handed, but that doesn't change the fact that, with her melancholic ballads and a lot of merit, she has established herself as one of the best voices of recent times. She played “Someone Like You” without too much glory, her feet glued to the stage and visibly nervous. The sigh at the end of the song gave her away. She was probably the first one to ask herself what on earth she was doing there, with that granny dress. Although there's nothing better than to give the finger to the smoking ban and ask Gaga for a fag, like on this image taken during an ad break.

Chris Brown: the reappearance of a social paria

The man who gave Rihanna his own particular make-over had been hiding for a couple of months, avoiding events like this. That's why, taking the opportunity now that his former girlfriend wasn't in the building, Chris Brown decided to return in front of the cameras for a playback. Jumping on the dance bandwagon (they've just discovered the goose with the golden eggs in the US), Brown dislocated some bones on stage and started flying (literally) like a Cirque du Soleil extra. We're sorry though: Madonna did that ten years ago during the “Drowned World Tour”.

Beyoncé: pregnancy of the year

Yes, that's right: Beyoncé is with child. Main headline of the night. Minutes before the show started she was already showing off her belly on the “black carpet”. But at the end of her magnificent performance of “Love On Top” she threw off her jacket and touched her lower abdomen like the proud mother that she'll be. The first rows shouted the name of the daddy (who earlier on performed, alongside Kanye West, their recent track “Otis” with an overdose of smoke, flares and the XL-size American flag) after the surprising news. At PlayGround HQ we're already raising some money to buy the kid a couple of nice bootees.

Amy Winehouse: dodgy tribute

MTV didn't really go all out to pay tribute to the great soul voice recently passed. Last week everyone assumed Lady Gaga and Adele would sing “Body And Soul” with Tony Bennett, the track she recorded with the historical Sinatra competitor for his upcoming duet album. Well, they didn't. There was a speech by Russell Brand, obviously eager to get his mug on telly, a recording of Bennett and Amy recording the track at Abbey Road and that boring Bruno Mars singing “Valerie”. She deserved better than that.

Britney Spears: pleased to meet her

With the great moments Britney has given us in earlier editions of the awards show in mind (for example her disastrous performance of “Gimme More”, back in 2007), sooner or later, the channel that made her famous had to pay tribute to her while she was still alive. Lady Gaga/Joe Calderone gave her the “Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award” for her video efforts and Britney (who looked great, it has to be said) had a few laughs with Gaga in one of the most delirious acceptance speeches of recent years. There was a suggestion of a kiss, but the kiss of death Madonna gave her in 2003 was the start of her schizo era, so she shouldn't tempt fate. Apart from the tribute, she also won “Best Pop Video” for “Till The World Ends”.

Katy Perry: the walking out-of-tune-ness that won

What's going on with Katy Perry is truly amazing. She sings out of tune like a cat in season, her performances need props to divert our attention and even like that she's capable of getting her fifth number one on the sales charts with one album, equalling Michael Jackson's achievement with “Bad”. The pop singer, one of the favourites of the night, went home with the award for the “Best Collaboration”, thanks to the help of Kanye West on “E.T.” (the rapper didn't interrupt her acceptance speech like he did when ruining Taylor Swift's moment years ago, even though he was competing in the same category with “All Of The Lights”), and for “Video Of The Year” for “Firework”. Some people are just born lucky.

Tyler, The Creator: the victory of the enfant terrible of hip-hop

He was the big surprise of the night. Tyler, The Creator got the award for “Best New Artist” (the only one that could be voted for during the show, via text message) and his name began to shine. He himself couldn't even imagine, minutes earlier, when he was in the midst of a dancing battle with Jack Black and Will Ferrell (posing as the new Beastie Boys) along with the Odd Future crew, he would be going on stage to pick up the award. He couldn't find the words and his mother was crying like a baby. Will we see him play live next year. If so, please let him bring the cockroach form “Yonkers”.

List of winners

Best Video With A Message: “Born This Way”, Lady Gaga

Best Pop Video: “Till The World Ends”, Britney Spears

Best Rock Video: “Walk”, Foo Fighters

Best Hip-Hop Video: “Super Bass”, Nicki Minaj

Best Collaboration: “E.T. (feat. Kanye West)”, Katy Perry

Best Male Video: “U Smile”, Justin Bieber

Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award: Britney Spears

Best Female Video: “Born This Way”, Lady Gaga

Best New Artist: “Yonkers”, Tyler, The Creator

Video Of The Year: “Firework”, Katy Perry We stayed up last night to witness the MTV Video Awards 2011, hoping for greatness, and we yawned, and not because we were sleepy. Among the winners are Katy Perry, Britney Spears and Tyler, The Creator. Which was nice.

The best videos of 2011 so far

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