If you missed last night’s VMAs, you missed an… interesting show. While there were a few memorable performances, the lack of host made its mark.
I’m not sure why there wasn’t a host (please tell me if you know), but it should never be done again. The opening and video segments for Best New Artist featured actor/comedian Kevin Hart. And while some of it was funny, it was confusing to see him again and again if he wasn’t hosting.
Nowhere was the lack of host more apparent than in Lady Gaga’s alter ego, Jo Calderone, who was allowed to steal the show. While jarring and intriguing in the opening number, Jo’s theatrics lost their luster when presenting Britney Spears’ Video Vanguard award.
The moment belonged to Brit Brit, but Gaga made it all about her by continuing her performance, rather than stepping back to honor someone else. Britney still seemed moved and gracious throughout the so-so tribute (which was like every Britney Spears song, on speed, performed by teens) to her contribution to music videos and Jo’s antics.
Oddly enough, Britney received her award and then presented Beyonce. Um, MTV, that’s what hosts are for! How can you win the VIDEO VANGUARD AWARD AND THEN PRESENT A PERFORMER?! Sigh.
Luckily performances were strong, overall. Lady Gaga’s You and I showcased her crazy vocal talent. Beyonce, who announced her pregnancy on the red carpet, shined while singing Love on Top with so much happiness and gusto you couldn’t help but jam with her.
Jay-Z and Kanye owned Otis (and later Kanye lovingly teased Jay-Z after Beyonce’s performance). Adele’s Someone Like You was nothing less than the heartfelt pitch-perfect performance we’ve come to expect from the singer.
And Jessie J., despite her injury, was able to rock the house, singing Katy Perry better than Katy Perry!
Another disappointing moment came with The Hunger Games preview, which was promoted as an exclusive clip.
However, we didn’t see much. Just Jennifer Lawrence running through the woods with brown hair. And personally, I didn’t find that all that impressive. I guess we’ll have to wait to see more and properly judge.
Most touching was Russell Brand’s words on Amy Winehouse. Tony Bennett also paid tribute to the singer, saying that Amy Winehouse, “had the whole gift,” before comparing her to greats Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday.
This was followed by Bruno Mars doing a pretty good rendition of Valerie. It was great to see Adele, Nicki Minaj and Katy Perry singing along.
And last, but certainly not least, was Lil Wayne. His performance started a little sleepy, but really took off. And as far as I can tell, everyone wanted his leopard-print pants. (They were really legit) Unfortunately, the lack of host meant that as soon as Weezy finished his performance, the screen cut to credits and then a weird preview of a scripted MTV show.
Basically, the lesson was that the talent is there — which we can’t always say — all we need is someone to make sense of it. Hosting is a tough gig, no matter what the show may be, but it’s necessary. Someone has to control the crazy musicians, take attention away from drunken thank you speeches and make a proper intro and outro.
What was your favorite VMA moment? What was your least favorite? Tell me in the comments!