Is Awkwardness the New Controversy?: A Question Posed by the 2015 VMAs

It’s no secret that the VMA’s have been in sharp decline since the infamous Britney/Madonna (and Christina) kiss in 2003, but the depths of just how low it continues to sink never ceases to amaze. This year, the intent behind choosing Miley Cyrus as the host of the event was an overt attempt at a ratings grab on MTV’s part. And yet, Cyrus’ attention whoring did little to eclipse uncomfortable moments involving Kanye West, Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift.

Swift: everyone's favorite good girl invariably set to go bad
Swift: everyone’s favorite good girl invariably set to go bad
Of course, Cyrus’ spotlight was up a little too high after Nicki Minaj called her out for talking a bit of smack in a New York Times interview, in which she essentially stated that Minaj’s comments about the “Anaconda” video being boxed out of the category for Best Video had to do with her race and body type were generalizing and cliche. Ironically, the two recently appeared together in Madonna’s answer to “Bad Blood” and its celebrity cameos, “Bitch I’m Madonna.”
The most uncomfortable couple of all time
The most uncomfortable couple of all time
The squeamish factor persisted with Justin Bieber’s performance of “Where Are U Now” and “What Do You Mean”–not just that he performed them, but that he broke down crying upon completion. Whether genuine or “part of the performance,” it was extremely torturous. And then there was the final cherry on top of the hard-to-watch genre the MTV VMAs have mastered so carefully: Kanye West and Taylor Swift.
Britney, looking less like her 2001 VMA self
Britney, looking less like her 2001 VMA self
The latter presented West with the increasingly meaningless Video Vanguard Award, MTV’s meta reference to yet another awkward moment from the 2009 VMAs during which Kanye interrupted her acceptance speech for Best Female Video was contrived, to say the least, and came across as yet another somehow forced element of Swift’s good girl persona (at this rate, she’s keeping her lid on so tight that she’s going to be Cyrus on steroids about a year from now). Kanye then spoke interminably about nothing and concluded with what is hopefully an ill-advised joke about running for president in 2020 (what hath Donald Trump wrought?). In any case, if you ever want to test your threshold for discomfiture, just watch the VMAs.

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  1. Pingback: VMAs 2016: Rihanna Lip Syncs, Beyoncé Slays, Teyana Taylor’s Body & Britney’s FlaccidCulled Culture | Culled Culture

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