Fun, irreverent, star-studded 2015 MTV Video Music Awards

SOUNDS FAMILIAR - Baby A. Gil (The Philippine Star) - September 1, 2015 - 10:00am

For an hour or so, I thought that MTV got everything right at the Video Music Awards (VMAs) this year. Well, Nicki Minaj called Miley Cyrus the b…word but everything else was fun, irreverent, socially conscious and best of all the event extolled music and the creators who make them. Music, after all, is the base for the Music Video Awards. Where would music videos be without the music?

Anyway, it was great live viewing last Monday morning on MTV Pinoy, despite the delays, unruly visuals, disappearing sounds, etc. etc. The VMAs more than made up for those with star-power and fantastic production numbers. Taylor Swift and Nicki let bygones be bygones in the opening medley of The Night Is Still Young and Bad Blood. Remember that three-sided Twitter feud that also involved Miley about Nicki’s Anaconda not getting nominated for Video of the Year. It was obvious that Nicki made up with Taylor but not with Miley.

There was the unpredictable Miley as show host keeping televiewers in continued suspense about her outrageous outfits. Did you know that this was the first time that the VMAs had a real host in two years? And they chose Miley who certainly made past VMA shows very interesting. Remember her twerking two years ago?

Then there was the emotional comeback to live performing after nearly three years by Justin Bieber. Taller and slimmer, the kid still has what it takes to mesmerize the audience. Not his ex Selena Gomez though and she was nowhere to be found while The Biebs sobbed his heart out after singing his big hit Where Are You? and new single What Do You Mean?

And there were other great moments. Nice show. But then they brought in Kanye West.

Kanye, who came with his preggy wife Kim Kardashian, is this year’s recipient of the Michael Jackson Vanguard Award, in recognition for his accomplishments as an artist. To make the event more interesting, Taylor was asked to present the award and she graciously agreed. More remembering. Remember what happened six years ago? Taylor was in the middle of her acceptance speech when Kanye went up the stage, grabbed the Moonman and said that it was Beyonce who deserved the award.

Fast forward to 2015 and there they were Taylor and Kanye on stage in what would have been a heartwarming moment. But then, after accepting his trophy and giving Taylor a hug, Kanye went into an epic rant that used up precious air time and taxed the patience of the viewers. After some thank yous, Kanye proceeded to diss award shows for turning artists into losers, for exploiting artists for the sake of ratings like what MTV did by plugging that meeting with Taylor and other stuff.

If he is so committed about the cause of artists being used by the media business then why on earth did he accept the award and the invitation? I can think of many more names who are even more deserving of the Vanguard and who have been nice about it. Why be rude and spoil the fun of everybody watching and the good feelings being enjoyed by the winners. I say remember again. Remember that artists need to be “exploited” by the likes of MTV if they are to become famous and to make money out of record sales, concert tickets, etc. etc. Do you think Kanye would be the rich star he is now if media never told anybody about him?

Anyway, here now is the MTV Video Music Awards 2015 Honor Roll of winners:

Video of the Year: Beyoncé, 7/11; Ed Sheeran, Thinking Out Loud; Taylor Swift featuring Kendrick Lamar, Bad Blood; Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars, Uptown Funk; Kendrick Lamar, Alright

Best Male Video: Ed Sheeran, Thinking Out Loud; Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars, Uptown Funk; Kendrick Lamar, Alright; The Weeknd, Earned It; Nick Jonas, Chains

Female Video: Taylor Swift, Blank Space

Hip Hop Video: Nicki Minaj, Anaconda

Pop Video: Taylor Swift, Blank Space

Rock Video: Fall Out Boy, Uma Thurman

Artist To Watch; Fetty Wap, Trap Queen; Vance Joy, Riptide

Collaboration: Taylor Swift featuring Kendrick Lamar, Bad Blood;

Video with a Social Message: Big Sean featuring Kanye West and John Legend; One Man Can Change The World

Art Direction: Snoop Dogg, So Many Pros (Jason Fijal); Go, I Won’t Let You Down (OK Go, airman and Mori Harano)

Cinematography: Flying Lotus featuring Kendrick Lamar, Never Catch Me (Larkin Sieple)

Direction: Kendrick Lamar, Alright (Colin Tiley & The Little Homies)

Editing: Beyoncé, 7/11 (Beyoncé, Ed Burke, Jonathan Wing)

 Visual Effects: Skrillex & Diplo, Where Are U Now with Justin Bieber (Brewer).

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