MTV Goes Mainstream

On Sunday, Aug. 28, MTV premiered the 28th Annual Video Music Awards, their monumental award show dedicated to honoring the best music videos of the year. Over the past years the VMAs have given us some memorable performances and exposed us to many stars, but unfortunately I found this year’s VMAs very disappointing.

First off, this year’s VMAs concept was a little different because there was no host. I am confused as to why MTV came to this decision, because without a host, the show lacked direction and focus.

The show began with an interesting performance by Lady Gaga. She came onto the stage dressed as a man named “Jo Calderone,” who was dating the star, and then performed her latest single “Yoü and I.” While I first found the alter ego intriguing, she kept it up the entire night and it became annoying when she overshadowed Britney Spears’ Michael Jackson Vanguard In honor of Spears’ award, several dancers performed a tribute of her various hits. Despite the cool idea of having young girls interpret Spears’ songs, I thought that for a tribute performance it should have been much more elaborate. Later, Chris Brown performed his two singles “Yeah 3x” and “Beautiful People.” It was one of the most egotistical scenes I have seen.

There were some highlights, like when Will Ferrell, Jack Black and Seth Rogen dressed up as the Beastie Boys of the Future and presented Nicki Minaj with the award for Best Hip Hop Video. Bruno Mars performed a cover of the song “Valerie” in honor of the late Amy Winehouse, and media went abuzz after Beyoncé announced on the show that she was pregnant.

Lil Wayne closed the night, singing a medley of his hit single “How to Love” and “John,” but to my dismay Wayne lacked energy.

Katy Perry won the greatest honor of the night: Video of the Year for her song “Firework,” and Lady Gaga won Best Female Video for her single, “Born this Way,” while the Foo Fighters won Best Rock Video for “Walk.” The winners overall reflected a very mainstream viewpoint. It appears that MTV is no longer the epicenter of music culture, a sad thing to think about since the network is credited for making the music video an integral part of the music industry. Maybe MTV should spend more time investigating the latest up and coming acts instead of broadcasting a slew of fake reality shows and other non-music programming.

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