After last year’s shenanigans, I proclaimed that I probably wouldn’t be checking in on the MTV VMAs for another decade or so. I meant it at the time, but with the benefit of hindsight it is obvious what an important cultural event the VMAs were. Sure this is an award show where the awards are almost completely irrelevant, but there’s no debating that the 2013 VMAs made an impact. After all, this was the show that had the twerking that was heard round the world and that may or may not have led to the breakup of a marriage. When’s the last time the Oscars did that? The VMAs are a train wreck, but that’s half the fun.
I was still a little on the fence about watching the 2014 VMAs since the Emmys are the next day and I worried about award show fatigue. But then I heard that one of Nicki MInaj’s dancers was bitten by a boa constrictor during rehearsal. I repeat: Bitten by a boa constrictor. That’s enough for me – I’m in. It’s got to be better than whatever disappointing crap they have planned for the True Blood finale. The shooting of Suge Knight and Iggy Azalea falling off the stage Saturday night only adds to the weirdness – and the show hasn’t even happened yet. I’ll probably regret this, but what the hell….2014 VMAs, here I come.
As I’ve done in the past, here’s a running diary of my thoughts as I watch.
8:00 pm – Sway is still around? Isn’t he too old to be on MTV? He’s been wearing stupid hats since before Pharell made it cool.
8:03 – Jason Derulio. I already don’t like you because of that stupid Wiggle song. You are not helping your case by getting the fans to do the wave. #Ihatethewave
8:05 – Ariana Grande apparently went from having a show on Nickelodeon to being a dominatrix.
8:06 – If you are winning an award that they are giving away on the red carpet, you probably aren’t that important.
8:07 – I only learned that 5 Seconds of Summer existed this week.
8:08 – The only time I ever hear about Becky G is at this stupid awards show. Do they just keep her in a box until they need her? Otherwise she needs a better publicist.
8:13 – Ugh. I’m not ready to deal with Taylor Swift this early in the broadcast. I’m also confused by her outfit. I do not get this romper trend. At all.
8:14 – Swift was born in 1989? That makes sense, but I’ve never done the math before. That’s depressing.
8:15 – Who in the hell are Fifth Harmony? Are these the children of the Pussycat Dolls?
8:18 – So a fan asks Iggy a question and she and Sway totally ignore it and answer a different question. That was poor social media integration.
8:19 – Ah….It appears that they had the questions in the wrong order. This show is already going off the rails.
8:20 – “So I need to ask you about your hair.” Silence. No follow up question. Sway should be better at this.
8:21 – Gwen Stefani has not aged in 20 years. That is not fair.
8:24 – “One year later. In the same place. Except we’re not in New York” Oh Miley – don’t ever change.
8:25 – I have no idea why this cracks me up, but Miley’s leather pants inexplicably have pockets.
8:27 – Only at the VMAs does Adam Levine look like he’s someone’s dad. A hot dad, but a dad nonetheless.
8:28 – I have no idea if Dylan O’Brian is an actor or a singer.
8:29 – Guess he’s an actor.
8:30 – Um, that is not Usher. Unless he’s had a lot of work, I’m pretty sure that’s J Lo.Y’all can’t do this to Sway. STICK TO THE SCRIPT. The old man is getting confused.
8:31 – There he is! Usher is in the crowd. The people in the crowd do not seem to give a crap about this.
8:38 – I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone perform on the actual red carpet. Does this mean that the rest of the celebrities didn’t want to talk to anyone?
8:40 – I don’t know who this Charli XCX is, but I’ve at least heard of this song. Or something pretty similar. It’s a pretty derivative pop song. And her coat looks like something from Clueless.
8:41 – Oh. That’s the girl who sings the chorus on “Fancy.” I guess I always thought that was Ariana Grande too. All these collaborations are too hard to keep track of.
8:43 – The only thing I know about Rita Ora is that she dated Rob Kardashian and did not sleep with Jay Z.
8:54 – Apparently someone is making a big arrival, but the video feed is on a relatively empty arena. Well done MTV. You are killing it.
8:58 – Did Katy Perry just pay homage to Justin and Britney’s denim outfits back in the day? And did she just arrive with the guy that James Franco based his Spring Breakers character on?
8:59 – Ha! Yes on both counts. THIS.IS. EVERYTHING.
9 pm – Kicking off the show with Ariana Grande. Watch the full opening performance here.
9:01 – Are those dancers wearing rain coats?
9:02 – Nicki Minaj – here we go!
9:03 – Kardashians are in the house
9:04 – The sound quality is terrible
9:04 – Wait – I was promised snakes. I see no snakes.
9:05 – So this must be Jessie J. That is one hell of a slit up the side of her dress.
9:06 – Is Nicki holding her outfit on? This is a wardrobe malfunction waiting to happen.
9:07 – Well, if nothing else, we know that Snoop Dogg knows his L.A. regional geography.
9:08 – Umm….I’m hearing other audio over this. I think I could produce this show better.
9:10 – Katy Perry wins the first award of the evening. Not surprising given that she’s sitting to close to the stage.
9:11 – Are Juicy J and Jessie J related?
9:12 – Jay Pharoah is this year’s host who isn’t a host.
9:13 – The first “Anaconda” joke and statutory Ariana Grande joke of the evening. That didn’t take long. Pretty low hanging fruit for this early in the show.
9:19 – Lorde is delightfully weird.
9:20 – Well at least we’re getting the Taylor Swift performance out of the way early. Watch her full performance here.
9:21 – She looks like a flapper.
9:22 – She’s wisely left the cultural appropriation at home.
9:22 – Is it the audio or is her pitch a little off?? This audio seems to indicate the latter.
9:23 – Taylor Swift rapping will never not be hilarious.
9:23 – I don’t know if Miley is hypnotized by Taylor’s performance or just really, really high.
9:24 – There is no way that Chelsea Handler isn’t drunk. That’s not a criticism.
9:26 – Best Male Video winner– Ron Weasley Ed Sheeran. God I hate that song.
9:27 – Best thing about this award show is the very short acceptance speeches.
9:32 – Jay Pharoah does do a sweet Jay Z impression.
9:33 – I would totally buy HOVA-tussin “sold at local pharmacies and strip clubs.”
9:34 – Jim Carey and Jeff Daniels are doing better with this crowd than I would have anticipated, considering most of the people in the audience weren’t even born when Dumb And Dumber was released.
9:35 – Best pop video – Ariana Grande for “Problem.” I’m kind of surprised that beat “Fancy.”
9:36 – Ariana leaves Riff Raff hanging for a high five:
9:37 – Let’s see if Kim Kardashian-West can read better than her little sister. Not a high hurdle to pass.
9:38 – I do not buy for a second that she and Sam Smith are friends.
9:39 – I don’t like this Sam Smith song either. It appears that I have a lot of problems with pop music currently. Watch his performance here.
9:46 – This just got really serious. I’m not sure the VMAs is the best place to discuss Ferguson.
9:47 – MTV probably could have shown some non-black people during that moment of silence.
9:47 – The Kardashian/Jenners apparently forgot about the audience cam since this is what they were allegedly doing during the moment of silence:
9:48 – Drake wins best hip hop video, but isn’t there.
9:53 – Now Jay Pharoah is doing his Kanye. Again, it’s pretty spot on.
9:54 – The Jenners are finding this hilarious.
9:56 – Orange is the New Black in da house!
9:57 – Usher. Finally someone I actually like. Watch his performance here.
10:01 – I hope Nicki Minaj is getting paid per performance.
10:02 – I hope Usher didn’t give himself a concussion when he bumped his head off Nicki’s butt.
10:07 – This is a weird combination – Trey Songz and Nina Dobrev.
10:08 – This is also a weird grouping of nominees. Lorde, Imagine Dragons, Artic Monkeys and Lincoln Park all in the same category?
10:08 – Hey Trey Songz – don’t so sound so surprised that a lady was nominated in the Rock category.
10:09 – Taylor Swift is very happy that Lorde won.
10:09 – They gave her the wrong camera direction.
10:15 – Oh HELL no. They did NOT just call the 1990s“the good old days.”
10:15 – I’m confused how 5 Seconds of Summer were influenced by Blink 182 and Green Day. This sounds nothing like either band. Like, even remotely. And when they say “great bands of the 90s” neither of those bands are what come to mind. Watch their performance here.
10:19 – Ha! Katy Perry just golf clapped that performance. She can’t even.
10:25 – I don’t know if this is Miley backlash or what, but these VMAs are really boring.
10:26 – I should have guessed that Simon Cowell was someohow behind Fifth Harmony. They win Artist to watch. Yawn.
10:27 – With absolutely no transition, let’s honor Robin Williams (who had nothing to do with music).
10:32 – J Lo here to present Iggy Azalea, who she is hyping on her “Booty” remix. Watch her performance here.
10:33 – I guarantee someone will make a GIF of Taylor Swift getting down to Iggy.
10:33 – Literally 30 seconds later…..
10:34 – This is a pretty low energy performance.
10:36 – J Lo’s face just then “Oh sh*t. I hitched my star to this wagon?”
10:41 – Jason Derulo and Demi Lovato pimping their own tours when they should be introducing Maroon 5.
10:41 – Poor Maroon 5 aren’t even allowed to perform inside. Watch their performance here.
10:43 – This sounds terrible….and I normally like Maroon 5 just fine.
10:45 – Jimmy Fallon! But you host The Tonight Show – you are better this. And f&* you for playing “Cotton Eyed Joe” during this segment.
10:46 – I’m sorry Jimmy. I’m not really mad at you ❤
10:47 – Miley wins. This might finally get exciting.
10:47 – Wait. What the hell? Who is this dude?
10:48 – This got serious real fast. But kudos to Miley for using this time for something important. But you know producers were PISSED that just happened. And it sounded like a bunch of the douchebags in the audience booed.
More info on Miley’s effort to help end youth homelessness is here.
10:48 – For those of you keeping track at home – last year, she was a twerking furry. This year, an ambassador of charity. That Miley is unpredictable.
10:49 – Why are we abruptly jumping back to Maroon 5?
10:55 – Poor Sway – now they are cutting him off mid-promo. #FreeSway
10:56 – FINALLY!! Beyoncé takes the stage. Watch her entire performance here.
10:57 – I still think that it’s kind of messed up that Justin Timberlake won this vanguard award before Queen B. #nodisrespecttoJT
10:58 “MTV welcome to my world.” She’s right – it’s her world, we’re all just living in it.
11:00 This tweet cracked me up:
11:01 – Beyoncé looks amazing, but she also looks like she’s wearing a stained glass window.
11:02 – That is a lot of glitter in potentially uncomfortable places. Eh – it looks cool.
11:03 – I will never fail to be amused by Beyoncé singing about a “surfboard.”
11:03 – Jay Z is there, but more importantly – was that our first look at Blue Ivy’s face?? If that wasn’t supposed to happen, some cameraman is about to be taken down by the Illuminati.
11:07 – “Bow down bitches.” No truer words have been spoken.
11:08 – Hmm….they used the remix version of “Flawless” with the “billion dollars in an elevator” line. Interesting.
11:08 – THIS.
11:09 – Blue Ivy is already a better dancer than I am.
11:11 – Where’s my Kardashian reaction to this performance?
11:12 – Did the cameraman just read my mind?
11:12 – OMG – BLUE IVY SPEAKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! “Good job Mommy.”
11:13 – “I have nothing to say. I am filled with so much gratitude. I just thank God for this moment. I love y’all so much. Blue blue, I love you. My beloved, I love you. My fans, I love you. MTV, I love you. Goodnight.” The Queen has spoken
11:15 – Carter family OUT. Fade to black. End scene.
And there you have it…another VMAs in the books. Other than the epic-ness that is Beyonce, this show was kind of a snooze. I don’t know if they were overcompensating for the coo-coo bananas stuff that happened last year, but not much exciting happened. If for some reason you are interested, here’s the complete list of winners.