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Hated the VMAs? Blame MTV, Not Britney

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With cocktails in hand, my friends and I gathered around the television to witness the return of Britney Spears. After weeks of hype and rumors, the evening had finally arrived. Ms Spears was finally returning to MTV’s Video Music Awards in Las Vegas to reclaim her pop star glory. As we all know by now that didn’t happen.

What transpired instead was a bizarre, disconnected performance by a confused young lady who seemed to wake up and realize the world that once embraced her had changed and not for the better. A jillion potshots have already been published around the world this morning about Brit’s performance and you could practically hear the clicking of bloggers’ keyboards as she lip synched her way through her new single “Gimme More”. So any witty “lost stripper comments” by yours truly are already null and void by this point. The Britney debacle was the tip of the iceberg for a show that has been eaten alive by the reality-driven ADD culture that it created.

The show’s format was so jam-packed with multiple cameras, flashing screens, and frenetic pacing, it was hard to even focus on the business at hand. Aside from a few funny zingers, even the reliably funny Sarah Silverman seemed lost and worn out, leaving an uncharismatic Alicia Keys to do the heavy lifting of “getting the party started.”

Some moron at MTV thought it would be a great idea to have several performances in hotel suites at the Palms instead of confining the action to the main stage. It turned out to be a bigger blunder than the crime Britney had previously committed. Instead of full-blown showstoppers, viewers got brief tidbits of Kanye West, Fall Out Boy, and the Foo Fighters. Meanwhile the main stage was left to hand out pointless awards from a channel that rarely even shows videos anymore. Sounds confusing? Well, it was and the head-scratchers didn’t stop there.

Like what was wrong with Jamie Foxx? His rambunctious, frat boy-like rambling clearly rattled former Alias badass Jennifer Garner. I’m not saying he was drunk but he definitely had a DeVito-esque quality about him that can usually be attributed to hanging out with friends like Jack, Jim, or Jose.

And what was with all of the non-stop Timbaland butt-kissing? Okay, fine, he was the show’s musical maestro. And fine, his protégées like Justin Timberlake and Nelly Furtado (who looked like Jessica Lange after an all-nighter) were up for awards. But jeeze, did he have to get up on stage every three minutes? It was like watching a musical dictatorship unfold before your eyes. Clearly, if you hate what’s being played on pop radio today this man is most likely responsible. My friends and I found ourselves reminiscing about the good old days when Timbaland would produce genius tracks for Missy Elliot and stayed in the background.

Also, why wasn’t Fergie there? You know your awards show is in trouble when a woman who will basically show up at an opening of a KFC to sing “Fergalicious” is too busy to swing by and pick up her Female Artist of the Year award. Maybe my friends and I should have taken a page from her book and blown it off as well.

Other questions, like why was rapper Lil Mama wearing a Strawberry Shortcake costume, or what was up with the computer voice that announced the nominees, or who the hell is Megan Fox, could drive a person crazy.

The main question we asked ourselves was “Why are we watching this?”

Once upon a time, the VMAs were the place to tune in and watch knockout performances by your favorite pop stars. Today, it’s closer to the networks' spring break coverage. Stuffing the show with fast editing and pretty faces was the solution for a channel that lost its connection with popular music. MTV wrongly assumed that viewers were like them and no longer cared about music and really just wanted to watch the popular kids party and congratulate each other. Like the worst buffets in Las Vegas, the 2007 VMAs had a lot of options, but none of them were very appetizing.

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About Sean Paul Mahoney

  • Evie VonTess

    You are a really funny writer… this was the first thing that came up when I searched to see what people were saying in regards to last nights show and I really enjoyed reading your opinion – it felt like I was reading what I was already thinking… it’s a shame Britney’s performance was so poor – the song is potentially good and targets the club scene, but if people think of her performing it like she did every time they hear it it will definitly not become a hit. Even though I’m not the greatest fan of her music (of course I won’t lie I’ve liked a few songs in the past) I was really routing for her to do good because she has really been throwing her life away lately, but man she was just such a different person up there, no rhythm, terrible lip syncing, emotionless face… it was like she was actually terrified to be on stage for a change or it was the first time she’d ever performed… As far as MTV in general… well I really haven’t watched them in so long and mainly because they don’t play music anymore. When I was growing up it was on everyday – in the mornings before school with the Morning Dance Workout and then when I got home with the countdown… they were constantly playing videos… now it’s all like bratty rich kid drama as if this somehow makes all us regular people feel better about ourselves or something… It’s sad to see it become what it is today…

    Well again excellent article, love your sense of humor… sorry for the lengthy comment…

  • Sean Mahoney

    Thanks Evie! I’m glad I could provide a laugh.

  • Dean

    You captured it perfectly. Bravo.

  • mafe

    This critique it is more than accurate, I really support everything you said, the VMAs were horrific, the lightning whats to overpowering and there were very few awards…I really hated that performance of Linkin Park and Timbaland JEEZ, horrific, no more words…It was such a waste of time.

  • Damien

    Give the girl a break! Damn, so she screwed up, life goes on!
    I think the person who needs counseling is Kanyae West. Can’ this guy shut his mouth? I think we should boycott his ass , I’m sick of his ” i should have won” or ” why didn’t i get to host?” uhhh, maybe because you act like a big baby!
    btw. i’m not a fan of britney’s, never was, just sick of all this stupid attention she’s been getting.

  • Starla

    Your blog is perfection I was expecting so much more and honestly I just felt sorry for her. The audience was silent, poptart rhianna was actually laughing at her as if that could never be her!(She should be reminded of the Brit from 4 years ago), she looked terrified like she really didn’t want to be there. It wasn’t funny and it wasn’t about her less than washboard abs her confidence was just shot.

    As for the awards themselves I actually had to look it up online afterwards to see who won and for what because I couldn’t remember between the 70 performances they stuffed into 2 hours. Which I guess is appropriate as they only play 3 hours of videos every day and most of which is around 4am. Perfect point of view!

  • Divina

    Nobody could have said it better. I feel like you went inside my head and saw every little detail I also picked on. That was the most accurate precise, truthful and funny review I’ve read today. Congratulations! Awesome writing.

  • rick

    You hit the nail on the head.. but I disagree with your comments about Timbaland. There’s a reason he’s getting so much more attention now as opposed to the days he produced with Missy Elliott. He’s crossing musical boundries between pop and hip hop and even bombay that works. You can not simply label Timbaland as “pop”.

  • notvlol

    Why do you even care about MTV? You are part of the problem, the audience is equally culpable in the dumbification of society.

    Stop listening to their music, stop watching their TV shows, stop blogging about their group masturbation sessions they call “awards shows”, and they will go away. How hard is this to understand?

  • brit

    totally agree, the end. britney was a train wreck, and im not a britney hater, i have liked her songs in the past, other vma performances from her have been really really great and because of all the negative publicity about her i really wanted her to perform like she used to…i was truely pulling for her…and then it began and she *sang* and *danced* and yes she completely acted new to the stage, scared, all of that..that said however sarah silvermans comments were not appreciated and not appropriate…w/e oh well

  • emily

    Your article= my thoughts exactly! Your writing style is incredible too! =)

  • Sean Mahoney

    Thanks Emily, Brit, Divina, Starla,mafe, and Rick for the kind words. I’m just sorry that Britney didn’t recieve any today. As a fan of pop star comebacks, I was really hoping that she would nail this one. Nobody wants to see a trainwreck but sadly that’s what she provided. She needs a good team to whip her into shape, STAT!

  • dude

    how can you not know who Megan Fox is? she’s the hot chick lead from the biggest summer blockbuster. this is a TV / Film section, no?

  • http://www.chenowski.com Chenowski

    The MTV VMA show was a casting call for “My Name is Earl.” Britney Spears auditions for Club Chubby; K. West seeks role as Crab Man’s evil twin; Pamela Anderson wants to be cast as Joy’s older sister; Kid Rock and Tommy Lee co-write an episode and enact plot twist for producers. Welcome to Club Chubby trash culture.

  • Monica

    What a great article to read. I absolutely agree with almost everything. Except about Britney. She knows exactly what these shows are like and it is her own fault her performance sucked. It was not MTVs fault. But as for the horribly co-ordinated event that was shown on tv, yes, you have it absolutely right.

  • Nikki

    I am so sick and tired of the perfect body syndrome- get over yourself! The media has created these sick disgusting looking anorexic bird boned women we are seeing who are ill! Literally! No one can have a perfect body 24/7 – forever! Grow up people! Let’s see you step into this young lady’s shoes! I do NOT even like her- never have, always said from her earliest days of performing that she is a poor role model to the girls who adored her, and she had poor advisement from day one! Here is the result! But really- FAT! Come on folks live in the real world! Most of you would PAY- literally to look that good! She is maturing physically has had 2 babies people! Maybe too early in life for her. And what- she is to look like a 12 year old with boobs! Pediphileish- creepy even! And really- you need to give up the- “don’t eat to look good in an outfit” thing! She does look good- we have all been brainwashed by airbrushing, anorexia, and money grubbing plastic surgeons into thinking we CAN have a perfect body. You need to accept your body style and size and be comfortable and other people need to get over themselves- they are just too afraid to do the same! Whatever- people are messed up focusing on this crap and not real life anyhow!

  • Evie VonTess

    @Nikki – Your comment sound rather heated, but I’m curious as to why – I don’t see anywhere in this article or comments that someone is making a big deal about her weight… maybe tv is and I agree with you it’s pathetic, but your comments sounds like it’s attacking the writer as if they made a comment about it and I just read it 2 more times to be sure and I don’t see one anywhere…. Try not to be so aggressive about it…

    I couldn’t agree with you more though… I thought she looked damn good. Sure she has a little remnant of a baby belly (very little I might ad) but that’s the size of regular people’s bellies without babies and they look good… everyone’s just expecting to see those teenager abs she used to have… and well sorry world – Britney’s all grown up… I think aside from her emotionless face and her weave she looked really good actually… I really don’t understand how society has leaned towards this pro ana-mia way of thinking – striving for thinness… in the old days you were only considered beautiful if you were full of curves, if your body could sustain child birth – this was gorgeous… shit even Marilyn Monroe was a size 10 and was considered every mans dream (not even that long ago) and the comparable to that today is a 0 or 1 tops… which is basically unachievable for any grown woman without the help of ana, mia, or coke/crack – non of which I would ever suggest… It’s sad how important appearance has become – people will do just about anything to look/feel beautiful.

  • Nikki

    You are right Evie- it does seem heated towards the original writer here but I did not mean it to be. I think I was responding more to #14’s comments and TV/media info. I am angry about hat because I have personally had friends and family who have gone off the edge trying to look like these gals. One spent her savings for a house for her and her kids on plastic surgery. One who is very ill from diet pills…
    Sorry if I seemed too harsh :)

  • Sean Mahoney

    Thanks Evie. I actually thought she looked fabulous. I’m tired of Pez Machine girls with no curves.

  • http://www.chenowski.com Chenowski

    The “chubby” in Club Chubby, an exotic dance club in the TV show “My Name Is Earl,” is a slang usage referring to the state of male arousal, not body weight, but that’s the beauty of double entendre. It’s interesting to note the growing use of lap and pole dancing in pop music and visuals. I’m waiting for my daughter to plead her case for changing from the barre to the bar.

  • Rita

    WHY YOU PEOPLE TALKING ABOUT BRITNEY SPEARS?
    THATS GONE BREAK HER HEART AND SHE WANT BE ABLE TO ACT ANYMORE

  • patricia S.

    I didn’t care much for the show. I only wanted to see Britney, then I ended up feeling really bad for her. She is a mess, but if everyone on earth was watching you only to see how bad you are going to do, you’d be a little nervous too. My grandmother, who doesn’t even know what MTV is, was watching just to see the damn Britney performance! BTW- I love your writing style! Do you have anyother articles?

  • http://www.cathetel.com A Key

    As long as the idiot masses watch, it has no need to excel. Recently I had the fortunate misfortune of stumbling across a rectangular lump, only to pick it up, break it open and discover something I used to know called “a book”. It gave me more pleasure than watching those artificially engineered entertainers the masses drool over. I must be weird.