Let’s ignore the irony that MTV is still holding an awards show celebrating videos that they don’t play.
Regardless of their commitment to low-rent reality programming, they’ll still, somehow, be the channel most associated with music, so if you’re Taylor Swift or Alicia Keys, why not trot out your new songs on such a visible platform?
Or, if you’re Rihanna, you can also use the occasion to debut your new pixie cut, as she did during the show opening double-shot of “Cockiness,” where she rose from the stage on a throne and gyrated around with her dancers while ASAP Rocky rapped, then waded into the crowd for “We Found Love.”
There were plenty of hydraulics, lasers and balloons but nothing musically stimulating.
The opening monologue by host Kevin Hart was equally flat, as he hit the stage escorted by midgets (“I told MTV I was gonna need a little security and they took it literally,” he said – and that was a good joke) and then spotlighted the Drake/Chris Brown feud, Frank Ocean’s coming out, Snooki’s baby and Kristen Stewart’s cheating scandal.
But then the always luminous Katy Perry arrived to present the first video of the telecast, best pop video, won by U.K. heartthrobs One Direction for “What Makes You Beautiful.”
“We’ve grown up watching this show so to even be here is an honor,” said Niall Horan (the Blondish One). “We’d like to thank the most important people, our fans, who helped us win this award.”
Dwight Howard just arrived on stage to present Hart with a Lakers uniform. And speaking of the Staples Center, where Howard will play next season, this is the first time the MTV Awards have been held there. Frankly, this show is missing its New York vibe so far.
By Melissa Ruggieri, Atlanta Music Scene