The 2013 MTV Video Music Awards are a wrap. The *NSYNC rumors were true, the Daft Punk ones weren’t, but the show ended seven minutes early so that made the lack of “Get Lucky” easier to swallow. So did the maybe-best lineup in VMA history deliver? Yeah, sure? Lady Gaga‘s opening performance of “Applause” was a clever career retrospective and (for her) understated. Kanye West likewise turned out a restrained performance of his bold “Blood On The Leaves,” featuring the rapper mostly faceless and backlit. Speaking of singing rappers, Drake started off with “Hold On We’re Going Home” without AutoTune (!) before turning it up for “Started From The Bottom.”
The centerpiece of the show, though, was Justin Timberlake‘s medley, a pitch perfect showcase of his skills as a performer (he stormed through about ten songs in ten minutes without missing a beat) and it served as a reminder of his status as a hit factory (not that we forgot). And let’s take a minute to point out how gracious JT was in honoring his former bandmates. He didn’t have to invite them up there for the performance, and he went one step further by praising them during his acceptance speech. Class act, that Justin.
But the biggest conversation following the show will probably revolve around Miley Cyrus and Robin Thicke‘s raunchy skeeve-fest of hip thrusts and crotch grabs and giant teddy bears. That was all self-consciously odd, while Katy Perry‘s performance was endearingly strange. She channeled her inner Rocky and gave a serious rope-a-dope workout. Literally, it was a workout: she jumped rope and did some float like a butterfly moves around the boxing ring during “Roar.” But one of the best moments had to be Macklemore & Ryan Lewis doing their gay equality anthem “Same Love,” with featured singer Mary Lambert and special guest Jennifer Hudson. Got us a little verklempt at Idolator HQ.
S0 yeah, I guess we did see some great stuff at the VMAs this year. The actual awards, on the other hand…
There were some perplexing choices. I mean, how does “Blurred Lines” not win anything? How does “Locked Out Of Heaven” win Best Male Video despite being one of the weakest visuals of the whole roster of nominees? How does Macklemore win Best Hip-Hop Video a few subway stops away from the birthplace of hip-hop? These are questions only the legion of VMAs voters can answer (also known as stans).
What we do know is that our brains are fried. Thank God we have 12 months to recover, because we need it.
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