Eight WTF Moments at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards

Gone are the days of Lady Gaga’s ‘Paparazzi.’ Yes, friends, it’s time to throw in the towel because MTV’s VMAs have officially jumped the shark. Maybe I’m just getting older, and maybe this event was always a disaster, but in recent years the content has gone from plucky, alcohol-influenced debauchery, to just a sad attempt for today’s celebrities to one-up the previous year in terms of shock and awe.

In what seemed like the longest (and most confusing) two hours of television I’ve witnessed this year, MTV’s 2015 VMAs gave us nothing of value, except for the lingering feeling of regret that I should have skipped the event all together. However, it did provide us with some laughable moments.

8. Kanye West ‘pretends’ to nap.

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Because MTV cares about nothing but ratings (see Moment #1), they asked Taylor Swift to present Kanye West with the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award, thus making the entire ceremony about their infamous 2009 ‘Imma Let You Finish’ moment, versus talking about Kanye’s career. Like the rest of us, watching Taylor publicly pardon West made all of us want to curl up and fall asleep.

7. Taylor Swift’s Dictatorship

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Am I the only one who is sick of Taylor’s army of model BFFs? Her whole ‘Girl Squad’ has become Page Six’s “Plastics,’ with Regina George wielding her power over who is in, and who is out. Don’t get me wrong, Taylor has done a lot of good, but I’d just like to see other people in the spotlight without having to ask for Taylor’s approval.

6. Taylor and Nicki Minaj’s Duet


Forced. This was SO forced. Ok, glad you girls could make up after that little Twitter misunderstanding, but what could have been a great opportunity for these two to discuss the role of the black woman in todays celeb circuit, turned into a swept-under-the-rug performance that ended in a hug that says ‘It’s all butterflies and sunshine over here.’

5. Kelly Osbourne Dances with Nick Jonas

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I really think she was just confused about where to go when the Pre-Show ended. In a last minute snag, Osbourne forgot to leave the stage and had to improvise by shaking it in her vintage BeetleJuice look surrounded by a bunch of twerking moon babes.

4. Britney Spears Presents an Award

2015 MTV Video Music Awards - Show
This has nothing to do with Britney–she looked amazing last night. However, her presence, along with Kanye and the entire Kardashian family, made me realize one thing: no one should attend the VMAs after the age of 25.

3. Justin Bieber Crying

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Not really sure what happened there. Overall, the guy did a pretty good job with his comeback–he cut back on the flair (and hid that strange new haircut) to remind us why he’s famous (he’s very talented!), but the emotions just got to him in the end. Don’t worry, Justin, you’re just entering into a new phase of your career, hopefully one where you’re less of a jerk and more of an artist.

2. Miley Cyrus’ Everything

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She has a new album. She slipped a nip. She wore every outfit imaginable to make sure she slipped a nip. Her hosting as she would even put it, was unqualified, but it was entertaining. I enjoyed the little sketch with Ike Barinholtz and Andy Samberg, and I’ll always enjoy a segment with Snoop Dogg, so maybe it was her supporting cast that helped her push through.

1. Kanye West’s Speech

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This, by far takes the cake for the #1 WTF moment. I still have no idea where he was going with any of his speech–he talked about how the Hennessy-induced 2009 interruption affected his reputation, but trailed off on that topic. He kept starting a conversation about how having a daughter has changed him, but again, trailed off. It wasn’t until the end of Kanye’s moment that he actually said the most poignant statement: awards shows are pointless. Because, as the VMAs showed us, the awards don’t really matter unless you can bring together a bunch of egotistic celebrities who will get in arguments or flash a boob just to boost ratings.

But in case you were interested: The VMAs do have a ‘Professional’ category, where the people behind the videos get recognition for his or her work. These are not shown on live TV. Here’s the winners for this year:

Best Art Direction: Jason Fijal for Snoop Dogg’s “So Many Pros”

Best Choreography: Ok Go, air:man, and Mori Harano for Ok Go’s “I Won’t Let You Down”

Best Cinematography: Larkin Sieple for Flying Lotus ft. Kendrick Lamar’s “Never Catch Me”

Best Direction: Colin Tilley & The Little Homies for Kendrick Lamar’s “Alright”

Best Editing: Beyonce, Ed Burke, and Jonathan Wing for Beyonce’s “7/11”

Best Visual Effects: Brewer for Skrillex & Diplo’s “Where Are U Now” with Justin Bieber

In Defense of Kanye West

kanye_west_live_wallpaperThe VMAs are upon us–once again, music’s elite will flock to the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, CA to bring us what may typically be described as the ‘most unpredictable event of the year.’ The VMAs traditionally bring us some of music’s most shocking moments: Madonna and Britney Spears’ kiss on stage in 2003; Eminem’s 2000 performance of ‘The Real Slim Shady’ with way too many Slim Shadys; Lady Gaga’s ‘Meat Dress’ of 2010 (although I will forever love her for her 2009 performance of ‘Paparazzi’ when she started bleeding on the stage from her stomach.). But let’s not forget the most popular of controversial VMA actions: the interruptions; and our reigning King of Interruptions: Kanye West.

2009 was the year Kanye infamously interrupted Taylor Swift during her VMA acceptance, telling her Beyonce’s video deserved the coveted award, sending Swift into silence as she tried to collect herself. (Beyonce would later bring Swift back up onstage to stare the spotlight, as only Beyonce could do.)  Since then, Kanye’s reputation seems to struggle to shake that moment from the public’s eye, despite his achievements over the last six years and the forgiveness Tay Tay so graciously gave him this year.

With the VMAs only days away now, Kanye has already nabbed the spotlight, but this time for a different reason–he’s accepting the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award. What is the MJVVA, you ask? Well, it’s essentially a Lifetime Achievement Award for artists who have contributed significantly to the MTV culture. Prior to its renaming in 1991, the Video Vanguard Award was given to artists including The Beatles, David Bowie, Madonna, The Beastie Boys, Janet Jackson, and most recently, Beyonce, who accepted the award following a 16-minute performance from her 2014 self-titled album.

Which bring us to our next question: Why Kanye?

Beyond the outspoken, hot headed, self-aggrandizing Kanye we’ve come to know and love, there’s no denying that as an artist, he’s revolutionary. His 40-minute film to accompany Runaway comes to mind as a modern take on the extended music video, while some of his other noteworthy works include “All Falls Down” and “All of the Lights.” Rolling Stone reports that West has received nominations for 30 VMAs, winning two–one in 2005 for Best Male Video and another in 2008 for Best Special Effects. And who can forget his 2008 performance of ‘Love Lockdown.’

So really, the question should be, why not Kanye? The man’s career has shaped much of modern music–he’s produced some of the most iconic songs of the 21st century, collaborated with the industries finest (his most recent album has Paul McCartney in the credits), and isn’t afraid to use his music to talk about bigger issues (2005’s ‘Diamonds from Sierra Leone,’ for example, shed light on the diamond conflict in West Africa).

Yes, Kanye might not be everyone’s favorite person, but there’s no denying it, the man has achieved so much in the world of music. He deserves that recognition. I’m personally very excited to see what he does prior to his acceptance–maybe a best of set? Or a new song? Maybe he’ll surprise drop his new album that we’ve anxiously waited for. Or maybe he’ll just stir the pot in the most recent Taylor Swift-Katy Perry feud. We’ll find out this Sunday.

Just Another Typical Thursday

2016 Republican Candidates from Thursday, August 6 debate.

2016 Republican Candidates from Thursday, August 6 debate.

The world woke up today in a haze. It seems like over the past 12 hours, we’ve experienced this emotional roller coaster–our night was chock filled with ups and owns as we watched America’s top 10 contenders debate over who will be Hillary’s runner up the Republican candidate in the 2016 presidential election, and swiftly changed over to Comedy Central to bid farewell to our beloved Jon Stewart.

Let’ start with the debate, and oh what a debate it was! Trump vs. Bush, Christie vs. Paul, FOX vs. Trump, the verbal punches were coming from every angle. But what did we get out of the debate? Here’s my take away:

– The Republicans are STILL bitter about New Jersey’s Governor, Chris Christie, hugging Obama. Answering a question on NSA spying, Christie cited his experience with the Patriot Act post-9/11 as to why these surveillances can aid against future attacks. Senator Rand Paul, who has criticized this overall program, calling it a violation of the Fourth Amendment, was quick to jump in to defend himself, turning the conversation into one of the more entertaining back and forths of the night, ending ultimately with Paul delivering a mic drop to Christie: “I don’t trust President Obama with our records. I know you gave him a big hug, and if you want to give him a big hug again, go right ahead.”

– Social Issues, specifically Women’s Health and trending topic #BlackLivesMatter, were not worth the candidates’ time. These topics weren’t addressed until the final 20 minutes of the debate, and we barely touched the surface. Maybe those conversations are set aside for a later date, but with the recent (like 48 hours earlier) blocking of the Republican’s attempt to defund Planned Parenthood, you would think that this would be the time to talk about it. They did address abortions though, which is always what I love to see–ten white men trying to tell me what’s best for my body. Deep sigh.

– Ted Cruz is terrifying. Most of his actual debate was read right off of a cue card, but it was his closing statements that really stuck with me. In short, he’d reverse everything that the Obama administration achieved. He’d  take his own religious beliefs to the table, go to war with Planned Parenthood, and rescind the Iran deal he so avidly opposes. Of course, after the bell told him to shut up, he had to throw in that his father fled from Cuba. Just FYI.

– Ohio Governor John Kasich actually did well. One of the lesser-known candidates in the pool, he was thrown a question about same sex marriage, and how he would address the issue to his children. Ask this to any of the other guys there, and they’d throw in statements about how homosexuality is against the Bible, and blah blah blah, but Kasich was very poignant. His general acceptance of same sex marriage might give him a boost over the other candidates down the line. Maybe?

– Scott Walker and Marco Rubio debate well. You forget that some of these clowns can actually make a point without jumping down each other’s throats.

– Jeb Bush and Donald Trump go head to head. Over the past few weeks, Bush, who was as surprised as many of us about Trump throwing his name into the hat, has called Trump a “Buffoon” and an “Asshole,” but denied such allegations when confronted during the debate. The best moment to me was when Trump addressed Bush’s statements, causing Bush to step back for a moment just to smile.

Bush Thoughts:

Bush Thoughts: “Why wasn’t I invited to his wedding?!”

– FOX News doesn’t even want Trump to be President. For the other nine candidates, the focus was on the issues, but each time it was Trump’s turn to speak, FOX superstar Megyn Kelly (I think she won the debate) threw facts on top of the questions to show viewers just how awful Trump is. In the first three minutes, she pointed out his misogynistic tendencies–“You’ve called women fat pigs, dogs, slobs, disgusting animals,” she said to Trump. His response: “Only Rosie O’Donnell.” THAT was by far the worst comment of the night. It had nothing to do with the election, nothing to do with the issues. It was Trump, once again putting himself front and center and showing the world that yes, he is in fact a horrible person. If elected, he’d guarantee to make his own personal problems his main concern, starting with insulting the women he dislikes. Is that really what we want? Absolutely not. (Side note: Rosie, you did not deserve that low blow. Keep your head up, the majority knows that that statement was rude, crude, and absolutely wrong.).

Relationship Goals.

Relationship Goals.

Luckily, after two hours of watching Cleveland burn, we were granted with part two of evening–the finale of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. I don’t have much to say as of yet, but it was the high note I needed to wash the taste of GOP morons out of my mouth before bed. My thoughts:

– It was all about the crew. I loved that Jon, who for the last 16 years has been the face of The Daily Show, made his last night about the people who helped make the show great. Really heartwarming, and made me want to quit my job and stand outside of the studio with my resume.

– Stephen Colbert. In typical Colbert fashion, his entire speech was touching, with a dash of hilarity. The whole Lord of the Rings analogy had nerds like me cry consecutive happy/sad tears, but after his bit about Frodo (Jon) leading the way, he said what we all needed to say: Thank you, Jon. Colbert wouldn’t have his job without Jon Stewart. Steve Carrell, John Oliver, so many great comedians went on to amazing things because The Daily Show gave them a chance. (Sorry, I need to wipe my eyes again).

– Jon Stewart changed the news. Yes, The Daily Show was meant to be satire, but it turned into a reliable and entertaining phenomenon, which, through the years of jokes, gave us insight into the truth. And it gave us a personality that made us come back night after night. So thank you, Jon Stewart, for 16 glorious years. I can’t wait to see what you do next.

BONUS ROUND: In case you missed it, my girl Kimmy K. gave us a gift last night. This glorious selfie that says ‘Yes, I support Hillary.”

Kim breaks the Internet, again. (Hi Kanye!)

Kim breaks the Internet, again. (Hi Kanye!)