2012 VMAs offer few highlights
Published: Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, September 11, 2012 00:09
Each year the MTV Video Music Awards provide viewers with a smorgasbord of celebrity antics that are simultaneously entertaining and painful to watch. This year, the 2012 VMAs were held Thursday night at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. The ceremony was filled with a bevy of musical firsts—debut songs by Top 40 superstars P!nk, Taylor Swift, Green Day and Lil Wayne; first-time VMA performances for One Direction, Frank Ocean, 2 Chainz and Calvin Harris; and first-time VMA hosting duties for actor-comedian Kevin Hart. In comparison to the VMAs of yore, this year’s award ceremony was undeniably tame. Although my expectations for the MTV Video Music Awards are ungodly low each year, this year’s ceremony had a few redeeming moments.
1. British invasion:
One Direction conquers VMAs.
America’s new favorite boy band from across the pond made their first VMA appearance at this year’s ceremony. One Direction took home a total of three MTV Moonmen. The Brits won awards for “Best Pop Video,” “Best New Artist” and “Most Share-Worthy Video” for their chart topper “What Makes You Beautiful.” In addition to racking up trophies, Harry Styles, Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson, Zane Malik and Niall Horan performed their second single “One Thing,” complete with stage elevator, tight, colored trousers and a throng of screaming teenage fan-girls. But forget their debut performance and horde of awards—One Direction’s promo video that aired on MTV for a solid two weeks is what got my attention. Blazer-clad, curly-haired Harry Styles walking in slow motion, framed by a cluster of Union Jack printed hearts? Yes, please. However, the real silver lining of One Direction’s VMA appearance is that if the Brits continue winning awards, that’s at least one year of no Justin Bieber victories. Sign me up.
2. Frank Ocean performs acoustic version of “Thinkin Bout You.”
Arguably the best performance of the night was by R&B crooner Frank Ocean. A campfire lit up the VMA stage, and as the smoke cleared, audience members watched Ocean sitting on stage with the night sky illuminated on screens behind him. As Ocean performed an acoustic version of his single “Thinkin Bout You,” the audience fell silent as Ocean sang a stripped-down, raw rendition of his hit song. Numerous celebs took to Twitter to compliment Ocean’s performance. Pop’s reigning queen Lady Gaga tweeted, “Watch Frank Ocean steal this whole show. I’m dead.” Ocean has been all over celebrity gossip headlines over the past few months thanks to his successful debut album “Channel Orange” as well as the announcement via Tumblr that he once had a romantic relationship with another man. However, Ocean’s shining moment was undoubtedly his sincere performance that showed viewers his true talent.
3. VMAs feature a grab-bag of guest stars.
Each year the VMAs bring out the music world’s most popular stars, but this year, the VMAs featured a random assortment of guest stars including Korean popstar Psy, “Bridesmaids” star Rebel Wilson and the U.S. Olympic gymnastic dream team. Psy, one of the world’s fastest growing pop culture icons, made his VMA debut performing his signature dance alongside host Kevin Hart. The super awkward Korean pop-star’s infectious dance-crazed song “Gangnam Style” has taken over every inch of the pop culture world, racking up over 120 million YouTube views. Australian actress and comedian Rebel Wilson presented the award for “Best Female Video” with yet another British boy band, The Wanted. Wilson donned a T-shirt featuring a cartoon silhouette of a shapely bikini-clad woman and accessorized with a bag of potato chips. Wilson gave The Wanted some unwanted attention as she asked which band member she was going to get to “take home.” Doesn’t hurt to ask, right, Rebel? The United States Olympic gymnastics team, otherwise known as the “Fab Five,” also took the stage, introducing soul songstress Alicia Keys. During Keys’s performance of “Girl on Fire,” gold medalist Gabby Douglas performed a gymnastic routine. The only thing that was more painful to watch than Douglas’s back flips was the Fab Five’s inability to speak simultaneously. Thankfully, diction isn’t a part of the floor routine.