In return to NYC, the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards came in true fashion and I wasn’t a bit disappointed. MTV kicked off the VMAs with a red carpet that most notably allowed us to witness yet another attention-grabbing outfit by the wacky, lovable Lady Gaga, who arrived with her date Kermit the Frog (a wink and a nod to an oufit she wore in a German interview), who she repeatedly kissed. (She changed multiple times into even more memorable outfits during the show) Other notable entrances included Taylor Swift, who came in on a white horse-drawn carriage (a nod to her single, “White Horse”), and P!nk, who arrived on an NYFD fire truck with husband Cary Hart.
The show itself was set off as it should, with a touching, edgy, tear-jerking, exciting tribute to Michael Jackson that started with a monologue by Madonna. In it she told a story about her friendly date with Michael, which I found very revealing. A dance montage of Michael’s greatest hits followed: Thriller, Bad, Smooth Criminal, and finally: Scream! The iconic video played behind dozens of dancers and the King of Pop’s little sis herself, Janet Jackson, danced alongside her brother Michael onstage just as she did in the video. Host Russell Brand made a very cool entrance as Katy Perry sang Queen’s “We Will Rock You” with guitarist Joe Perry.
It wouldn’t be a post about the VMAs if I didn’t mention Kanye’s outburst when Beyoncé didn’t win for Best Female Video. The award went to Taylor Swift, to the dismay of both Kanye and others. West, who must’ve been drunk after swigging on a bottle with GF Amber Rose on the red carpet, proclaimed “I’m really happy for you, I’m gonna let you finish, but Beyoncé had one of the best videos of all time…” Well, Beyoncé did win the biggest award of the night, Video of the Year, which on the VMA red carpet she told MTV VJ Sway was the award she’d most like to win. Once onstage, she said, “I’d like for Taylor to come out and have her moment…” and greeted Taylor with a hug. Taylor then joked “Maybe we could try this again…” and thanked her supporters and fans. Kanye has since apologized, after fans and famous folk alike had not so nice things to say to him. The apology didn’t do much. Other big winners were Lady Gaga, for Best New Artist, T.I. for Best Male Video (He out beat Eminem and Kanye, but couldn’t be there to accept because of a prison sentence), and Britney Spears who upset the “leading lady battle” for Best Pop Video. She won for Womanizer and accepted the award via satellite from her tour.
The performances almost always outshine the Moonmen winner, and this year was no exception. Lady Gaga was easily one of the best and most memorable performances of the night, performing a blood gushing, chandelier crashing rendition of her latest single, “Paparazzi,” which showcased her talents well, in my opinion. P!nk performed her single “Sober” suspended from a high wire, doing acrobatic spins and flips while blindfolded—and sang well all the while. Beyoncé did a mass version of single ladies that took a while to get going, but finally kicked o fat the end. B’s husband Jay-Z had what was one of the coolest entrances to a performance I’ve ever seen, as cameras captured him entering Radio City Music Hall from his car and followed him all the way to the stage, where he met with Alicia Keys to perform their latest single, “Empire State of Mind”. At the performance’s end Lil Mama (randomly) appeared onstage, to which Jay replied: “You gonna T-Pain me?” The remark was an allusion to when T-Pain (again, randomly) stood onstage and watched Jay-Z perform his then-latest track “D.O.A. (Death of Auto-Tune)” at the Hot 97 (WQHT) Summer Jam. Lil Mama has since apologized.
The VMAs are always a spectacle, and Sunday night was no exception. Complete with outburst, blood-gushing, trapeze-swinging, a mass “Single Ladies” dance, and an incredible tribute to Michael Jackson, the 2009 MTV VMAs were the best Video Music Awards the network has had in years.
See this moment and many more (relive the Kanye incident… or not…) at: http://www.mtv.com/videos/home.jhtml