Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

The VMAs Are For Children

As part of my ongoing quest to bring you, dear readers, the best in Hater reportage, last night I set up all of my Twilight barbies (still in their original packaging) on the couch, punched myself in the skull a couple of times just to prime my brain for a pummeling, and sat down to watch the 26th annual Video Music Awards.  It was a truly shrugtastic experience!

The show opened with the Michael Jackson tribute we've all been waiting to see. How do I know that this was the MJ tribute we've all been waiting to see? Because in the last 10 minutes of the endless pre-show, the MTV news team uttered that phrase almost as many times as the phrase "text with your Verizon Vcast phone," which is to say no fewer than 68 times. And you know what? They were right. You can never have too many Michael Jackson tributes! Even through the wall-to-wall MJ coverage, and the many memorial services, not to mention the ads for tasteful lithographs, I think it's safe to say that we were all yearning for a Michael Jackson tribute in which Madonna spent 10 minutes on stage sketching out the similarities between herself and MJ, recalling their brief friendship, and scolding us for letting MJ down. (She's right, by the way. Even though Madonna was the one with the means to contact, reach out to, and help Michael Jackson, we all let Michael Jackson down. We are the world.) Michael Jackson never had a childhood, Madonna reminded us over and over again. Pete Wentz bowed his head in silence, because all he's had is a childhood.

Then Janet Jackson came out and ghost danced with her brother in the "Scream" video. Never have silver-spray-painted bouncy toys looked so mournful.

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Three minutes later we treated to "We Will Rock You" as performed by Katy & Joe Perry (Get it? They have the same last name! This qualifies as a joke to Russell Brand), heralding the grand entrance of 19th century carnival barker, Russell Brand. Somewhere in the Great Beyond, Michael Jackson gazed down at the proceedings, furrowed his adorable cartoon doe brow (in the afterlife, Michael Jackson has taken the form of Bambi), and yelled out, "Who the hell is Russell Brand, and why does he get a tribute?"

There was no answer.  There never are answers at the VMAs—only a thick, putrid fog of confusion that sits in the air long after the show ends. But still, I watched it, so here are some superlatives:

Best Impression Of Kanye West: Kanye West

Ha. Good Kanye, Kanye. No one does egotistical asshole at an awards show quite like you.  Also, thanks for empowering Taylor Swift even more. She is gonna write such a mean song about you, just you wait. She'll sing about how she was just a little band geek dreaming of white horses, and how you were a bully who knocked her down and took her lunch money, but it didn't matter because she kept dreaming, and, OMG!, is that a castle in the distance? It's a self-confidence story, baby, just say yes.

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How is it possible that a person who has been to so many MTV awards shows still doesn't understand how those shows work, or, more importantly who those shows are for? The VMAs are for children, Kanye. (As a child yourself, you should understand this.) Did you not notice iCarly presenting an award? Or the Twilight kids? Or the fact that they can introduce Jack Black as "the world's greatest comic actor" with a straight face? Do you think anyone over the age of 15 would nominate Asher Roth for anything besides "World's Biggest Ugh"? Maybe you didn't see how the entire show was being hosted by a verbose birthday party clown who has forgotten his balloons? Of course Taylor Swift is going to win an award: Kids love Taylor Swift. She sings about fairy tales and the most clichéd of high school clichés.

When you went up on stage, Kanye, all those kids heard was "Get off my lawn, Taylor Swift!"—which, don't get me wrong, is a valid sentiment, eloquently expressed, but maybe not the best thing to say to a theater-ful of tweens.

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Worst Flash Mob: Taylor Swift's Performance

Coincidentally, this performance also wins for Worst "Only In New York" And "Best Musical Equivalent Of Oatmeal." Keep it mushy and bland, Taylor!

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Best Joke That Never Gets Old: Cut To Lady Gaga In Ridiculous Face-mask 

Can Lady Gaga sit in the audience of every awards show? Because, honestly, cutting to her and seeing that she's now wearing a bird's nest on her face:

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Or a red-lace veil/crown:

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Or whatever this is:

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never stops being funny. She should stock up on club-kid headdresses now. Awards Season 2010 is just around the corner.

Most Hilariously Desperate Performance: Cirque Du Pink

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"Hey, Pink, did you hear that Lady Gaga's going to smear herself with blood and string herself up like a dead animal for her VMA performance? What are you gonna do?"

"Wear a sparkly leotard and practice Beginner's Circus Skills."

"Oh."

"Also, I'm spelling my name with an exclamation point now. P!nk. So that's exciting."

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"Oh."

Oh, indeed.

Most Seamless Product Placement: Jennifer Lopez For Rags In A Box

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Instead of carrying the Rags-In-A-Box up on stage with her, she draped herself in them. Smooth, Jenny From The Block.

Flimsiest Excuse For A VMA Performance Slot: Muse

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Muse - New Music - More Music Videos

Do you know why this band got a slot at the VMAs? Because they're Stephenie Meyer, author of Twilight's fave band. Apparently they inspired her to write about abstinence vampires, and after listening to them, it's easy to see how: Most people would do anything—go for a run, make a pie crust from scratch, watch Bravo, write an abstinence vampire series—to get away from this band and whatever that was.

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