The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

VIEWPOINT – Gossip steals show from performances at VMAs

by Jamil Oakford/se news editor

MTV’s Video Music Awards might very well be the channel’s single biggest night. Artists come together not only to celebrate each other’s accomplishments but to control their own image and press.

Nothing is wrong with an artist trying to control the publicity that comes out about them, but it does mean that music becomes less important than the spectacle.

As MTV shifted away from a continuous music platform, the VMAs doubled as the network’s one night to focus solely on artists and music.
One of the biggest eye-popping and headline-grabbing moments came in 2003 with the scandalous lip-lock Britney Spears, Madonna and Christina Aguilera shared onstage.

Since then, producers have upped the ante, even hiring controversial comedian Russell Brand as host in 2008. He spent the night making fun of the Jonas Brothers’ virginity and called then President George W. Bush a “retarded cowboy.” The antics only got more elaborate and seemingly staged.

The following year, during Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech for best female video, Kanye West hopped on stage and interrupted her to speak Beyonce’s praises.

But best noted, a memory seared into many of those lucky enough to have caught the performance last year was Miley Cyrus and Robin Thicke teaming up for his smash hit last summer, “Blurred Lines.” The twerking, the foam finger, the outfit, the tongue — this is the performance everyone still talks about when Cyrus’ name pops up in conversation, overshadowing Justin Timberlake’s iconic reunion with former group ‘NSYNC for the first time.

Headlines for this year’s event on Aug. 24 focused more on the gossip end of the show than the actual music despite a relatively quiet ceremony.
Beyoncé gave a mind-blowing 16-minute performance to accept the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award. Instead of focusing on the performance, the headline the next day was her silencing divorce rumors between her and husband Jay-Z.

According to Billboard, the ratings were significantly lower for the ceremony, garnering 8.3 million viewers, 18 percent less than last year, yet it was still the most watched Sunday night show.

So they must be doing something right.

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