Since I had an inside seat at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards, I’d like to set the record straight on the much-talked about performances, drama and behind-the-scenes action.
Let’s start with Miley Cyrus‘ now viral performance alongside Robin Thicke. It may have been the adrenaline pumping, but witnessing the performance from inside the Barclays Center about 15 feet from the stage, the performance wasn’t as shock-worthy as one might think. After all, this is the VMA’s we’re talking about, one of the major award shows where shock-value and ratings are key.
While the rest of the world is out bashing Miley, I’ll give you my perspective on the truth behind the raunchy performance. I think we can all agree that when Miley was still performing as “Hannah Montana” her audience was strictly Disney Channel groupies. Now that she and her fans have grown up, and her music has become more mainstream, she has to cater to a more mature audience. Maybe dry-humping a married man on stage isn’t the answer (he’s in the wrong as well), but how many of your news feeds are still gawking about it? In my honest opinion, I think she has a great publicist who knows how to keep her in the press. Since the performance, the majority of America has been fascinated by the incident and I’m sure we can expect to see more gigs for her in the near future for the mere sake of ratings. After all, any press is good press… right?
Moving onto more behind-the-scenes drama, we noticed commotion in the celebrity seats before the show even started. Lil’ Kim was among the first celebrities to take her seat, but about 15 minutes later she was surrounded by police officers and security, as there was apparently some celeb-on-celeb cattiness. Also from the celebrity seats, I noticed a charming, but unexpected moment when the animated Joseph Gordon-Levitt approached the nearly clad Lady Gaga during a commercial break, when the two embraced and danced dramatically in an aisle. Adorable, but who knew they were so tight?
Back on stage, Kanye West’s performance confused me immensely. When he first approached the stage, I couldn’t exactly recognize him. Something was off, but I couldn’t pinpoint it… was he shorter, skinnier? My instincts were just telling me it wasn’t him, and some others in the area, and even some at home agreed. Kanye West and Kim Kardashian have been known to release body-doubles to throw off the press, but would he really use a body double at an award show? I think so! When you’re done reading, I dare you to Google a picture of Kanye West on the red carpet at the 2013 VMA’s. It doesn’t exist. Could it be that red carpet-happy, fame-hungry West didn’t walk? No, he just didn’t show. I and many others believe his performance was pre-recorded for television and that a body double stood in his place at Barclays Center. Did anyone also notice that everyone sang live except for “Kanye” who obviously mouthed the words to a backtrack? West’s performance was also the one time that security kept yelling “no cell phones.” Coincidence? I think not.
Lastly, and not nearly as dramatic, when One Direction won “Song of the Summer” award, the audience actually booed. You can’t really hear it on TV, but it happened. However, this award was one that fans could vote on. The majority of the stadium was adults who probably prefer the opposing artists, but when you’re a boy band capturing the hearts of young social media-crazed teens, your votes will naturally skyrocket.
Other than that, the show was great. Lady Gaga’s “Applause” was the perfect fit to re-introduce the fashionable star and open the show. Justin Timberlake’s iconic performance will go down in VMA history, and was one of those magical live moments when every single person in the stadium (except Rihanna) stood to rock out to his greatest hits, and you could literally feel a sense of heightened energy in the room- the kind that you’ll look back on and remember forever. After Justin tore down the house and N’SYNC said “Bye, Bye, Bye” once more, it was hard for those following to even compare. Macklemore’s performance featuring Jennifer Hudson was great, but somewhat felt like the one that you run to the bathroom during, as did Drake’s. Bruno Mars on the other hand wowed the venue with his soaring vocals and mesmerizing laser show.
Over all, I’d say this year’s VMA’s will be forever remembered for so many reasons, and it’ll be hard to top next year!