VMAs – Very Mediocre Awards

By: James Sorensen

Well, the VMAs, or the video music awards, were on MTV recently, and boy, they sure were something.

For those who do not know, the VMAs are an awards show dedicated to honoring the best and most popular acts and musicians in pop music each year. Now, for the past couple of years, this award show has acquired a reputation for being a traveling circus of sorts that serves no more purpose than to show celebrities act ridiculous and crazy for one night and add fuel to the fire that our generation is weird and wacky.

Of course, I went into this with a neutral opinion, just ready to see people talk about their job as entertainers and what it is like writing music in the modern world, but I was left with more surprise than I could have imagined.

Let us start with some positives just because there are only a few, and it is always important to look on the brighter side. Popular artist The Weekend got on stage to perform his new single “I Can’t Feel My Face”, which is a great song.

After that, media darling Taylor Swift accepted the first in what would be many awards she would win that night for Song of the Year and gave a speech on how she hopes to inspire people to live in a world where “boys can play with dolls and girls can play soldier”.

And then, umm, well, uhh, that’s kind of it for the positives. Maybe it is just me being ignorant, but there were not a lot of positive things to mention about the rest of the night.

Therefore, on to the negatives, (and don’t we all really prefer to talk about the negatives, anyway?) which just might have been the rest of the nearly two hours of show I suffered through.

First off, the costumes made people look that they had been rejected from a job at Cirque du Soleil. Miley Cyrus, the host for the evening, let that thought sink in for a moment, seemed to display this more than anyone in her typical “style”.

Miley and some of her many "outfits". Even Lady Gaga was quoted as saying, "I wouldn't even wear that."

Miley and some of her many “outfits”. Lady Gaga was quoted as saying, “I wouldn’t even wear that.”

Second, is the rest of the performances themselves. Odd pairings for duets like Demi Lovato and Iggy Azalea or Nicki Minaj and Taylor Swift did not work well in my eyes. Their harmonies clashed a bit and the songs they attempted to combine didn’t really work well together.

Then, of course, there is the woman of the hour(s) herself, Miley Cyrus. In my humble, yet correct, opinion, she has been on a steady decline in popularity since 2013, as evidenced by the fact she has not had any hit songs since then and her sales have begun to shrink.

This event apparently was meant to serve as a vehicle to bring her back into mainstream society but served more as a reminder to why we forgot her in the first place. Her on stage persona served to do nothing more than shock people without providing any substantial quality in her music. Her singing voice has not improved in recent years and still sounds too squeaky, and the lyrics do no better to convince fans with such gems as “Yo, sing about love, love is what you need. Loving what you sing, and loving smoking weed” or “I feel like a slab of butter that is melting in the sun.”

I didn’t even get to other events like Nicki Minaj’s call out to Miley Cyrus for blasting her in news the previous week or the now infamous announcement that artist Kanye West will be running for president in 2020 (that should be something).

Prior to watching this one, for the review, I had not seen any of the VMAs, I thought that this year might just be an exception and the others were decent. Unfortunately, when I went back to view clips they were just as bad and, at times, seemed worse.

I do not know who is managing these things at MTV, but for the next one, I would definitely take a long look at what they have done before and try to make a show that people can be proud to say they watched live and not something they make fun of with their friends.

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