Show Review: MTV VMAs 2011

August 29, 2011 at 3:50 am Leave a comment

Tonight, the hottest stars in entertainment entered Los Angeles’ Nokia Theater for MTV’s Video Music Awards. 

Electropop rockers Cobra Starship opened the pre-show with “You Make Me Feel..”. The performance also featured 2011 breakout star Sabi, who got to the red carpet in a very short amount of time, thanks to her featured performances on Britney Spears‘ latest record, Femme Fatale. Though Cobra vocalist Gabe Saporta claimed to be nervous, the band pulled off a fun and well-executed performance.

Lady Gaga was the first winner of the night in a category that was created just this year – Best Video with a Message (for “Born This Way”). After some awkward banter between co-host Selena Gomez and boyfriend Justin Bieber (“My snake is named Johnson”??) as well as outrageous comments from Tyler the Creator, a crazy outfit from Nicki Minaj and a few annoying interjections from the Jersey Shore cast, the show finally began.

Undoubtedly one of the night’s most anticipated performers, Gaga took the stage first. But it wasn’t really Lady Gaga…it was her male alterego, Jo Calderone. Jo gave an emotionally charged monologue about his tumultuous relationship with Gaga before launching into “Yoü And I” at a piano. After the first chorus, he jumped up to dance to a remixed version of the song with matching male backup dancers, only to be joined later by Brian May of Queen (who played the guitar solo on the original recording).

The first award of the night, Best Pop Video, went to Britney Spears (for “Till The World Ends”), who looked just as fabulous as always. Foo Fighters took home the Moon Man for Best Rock Video (for “Walk”) before Kanye and Jay-Z (aka The Throne) appeared to do a not-so-surprising surprise performance of “Otis”, which was pretty lackluster. I guess if the performance was put together last minute, it was fine…I just expected something a little more exciting from the two biggest stars in hip hop.

Speaking of hip hop, Best Hip Hop Video went to Britney’s fellow Femme Fatale, Nicki Minaj, for this summer’s smash hit “Super Bass.” Best Collaboration was taken by Katy Perry and Kanye for “E.T.” I think everyone was a little nervous to see ‘Ye approaching the mic after 2009’s Taylor Swift debacle… but Perry made some kind of awkward joke about it and the two walked away arm-in-arm.

Pitbull and Ne-Yo then took the stage to perform 2011’s most overplayed song, “Give Me Everything.” As they’ve performed this exact song a million times on TV already, it was nothing we hadn’t seen before. Same thing went for Adele‘s performance of “Someone Like You” (I still have yet to understand the fanaticsm over her, though…*shrug*).

Justin Bieber winning Best Male Video for “U Smile” was upsetting (#TeamBruno), but not at all surprising, since these awards are determined by fan votes. Chris Brown delivered a high-energy dance performance to hits of the past before flying high and flipping above the audience during his own song, “Beautiful People.” For a show that had so far been playing it fairly safe, this was a standout moment.

Jo Calderone reappeared to begin the Britney Spears “tribute,” which was actually just a rapidfire dance medley done by young girls in Britney-inspired outfits. I don’t think I was the only Britney superfan disappointed by it, and Britney was just laughing through the whole thing. Not really much else you could do. She came up to receive the award afterwards, and stood staring at Jo for many uncomfortable moments, contemplating a kiss, before stating “I’ve already done that!” She was, of course, referring to her 2003 performance with Christina Aguilera, Missy Elliot and Madonna, and the infamous Madonna kiss.

As always, Beyoncé delivered a flawless performance with “Love on Top,” cradling her pregnant belly afterwards to thunderous applause. I have to admit that seeing Kanye and Jay-Z grinning and cheering for the baby was a cute moment!

I must say though, I was disappointed to see that Tyler, The Creator won Best New Artist. I’ve never heard the guy’s music, but his attitude during the pre-show (“If Bruno Mars wins tonight, I’ll kill myself”? REALLY?) was enough to make me sure to never give him a shot.

Young the Giant took the stage next (was I the only one who had never heard of them before?) and put on quite the show. Congrats on the VMA debut, guys!

Jo Calderone came back on stage to accept Gaga’s award for Best Female Video. At this point, I’m pretty shocked that she has stayed in character and in the same clothes for the entire night. I bet all the fashion bloggers are disappointed that there’s no meat dress to chat about this year!

Funnyman Russell Brand was asked to give an introduction to Tony Bennett’s and Bruno Mars’ tribute to Amy Winehouse. As a personal friend of Amy’s, he acknowledged her “crazy,” “dark” and “loopy” personality, her addiction and, of course, her amazing gift for singing. Bruno gave a showstopping performance of Winehouse’s song “Valerie” (take THAT, Tyler) that truly honored Amy’s legacy (and had the whole room clapping along).

Katy Perry won Video of the Year (don’t get me started…) and Lil’ Wayne closed out the show, with every other autotuned word getting bleeped out. Boring.

All in all, the show was full of great performances (watch them all here), and I was happy with most of the winners. What did you guys think? Who was your favorite performer/presenter? Sound off in the comments below!

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