MTV VMAs 2012: 3 Best and 3 Worst Moments

MTV VMA 2012 Best MomentsThe 2012 MTV Video Music Awards provided a glorious vicory for the House of Slytherin, as five young British wizards going by the collective name “One Direction” took home Best Pop Video and Best New Artist, without ever having to chant “Avada Kedavra” at arch rivals The Wanted.

Pink rocked the house flanked by a chorus line of giant dancing lips, Drake sweetly dedicated his Best Hip-Hop Video trophy to victims of bullying (or as he put it, “any kid that’s had a long walk home by yourself”), and Andy Samberg and Rashida Jones scored some chuckles with their obtuse attempts at “sensitive” rap. Plus, Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong was swallowed alive by the crowd on the floor of the Staples Center after foolishly asking “Who wants to be on TV?” (If the fame-hungry throngs indeed tore him limb from limb, and I’m almost certain they did, none of his appendages were relinquished in front of the cameras.)

Anyhow, here’s my take on the three best and worst moments from the telecast.

Best Moments
3) Alicia Keys debuts “Girl on Fire” with help from U.S. Olympic Gold-Medalist Gabby Douglas | A little peculiar in the staging department, with Keys atop a bright red Rubix Cube, and Douglas doing a modified floor routine after Nicki Minaj dropped the line “’cause I win the Gold like Gabby.” That aside, however, Keys sounded terrific on a powerful, hook-laden ditty, and Douglas can do no wrong, right?

2) Rebel Wilson makes lewd use of co-presenters The Wanted while handing out the VMA for Best Female Video | I could’ve lived without the Bridesmaids/Bachelorette actress’ dress/smock with the painted on bikini (and dubious “waxing” job), but her naughty contention that MTV had promised her a member of the British boy band if she’d present an award was the night’s sole successful moment of shock humor. “This one’s bisexual,” she purred at one Wanted member, apropos of nothing. And later, after threatening to go “finish myself off,” Wilson declared she’d take all five of ‘em. I’d say she earned what’s coming to her, no?

1) Taylor Swift closes the show with a flirty, fun rendition of “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” | I’ll admit I haven’t always been the biggest T.Swift supporter, but “We Are Never…” is one delicious piece of ear candy, and Taylor brought it to life with solid pitch and jaunty house-party staging. Indeed, with her retro striped top and sunglasses making her look ready for a vacation day at the beach, the country superstar was one of the night’s few performers who looked like she was genuinely having fun.

Worst Moments
3) 2 Chainz and Lil Wayne either give a brilliant rap performance (that I can’t appreciate because I’m Old Man River) or makes a whole lot of noise while acting the fool (skateboard included) | I’m pretty sure I caught the line “before canned goods it was Similac.” (Can anyone confirm it wasn’t a hallucination?) Also, how did Wayne’s yellow-and-black print shorts not fall to the ground despite swinging precariously below his butt through the performance? (Double-sided tape? Staples? Hot glue?) Dial up this performance at 1-800-Totally-Hot-Mess.

2) Rihanna rehashes her infamous “crotch-ography” while singing every sixth word of a “song” called “Cockiness.” | J’enough, Riri! Use your words if you want to tell us who sunk your battleship!

1) Kevin Hart flops truly, badly, deeply with his opening monologue | A basic tenet of good writing is “show, don’t tell,” but alas Hart was more interested in boasting about how he planned to tackle controversial celebrity topics than in actually skewering the music-industry types that filled the audience. And when you stoop so low as to enter the stage accompanied by a security detail of little people, then complain that MTV failed to undertand your needs for “a little security,” it’s time to pull a lawn chair to the back yard, take a seat, and try to stay out of trouble. In other words, leaving the hosting duties to someone who can handle the pressure.

What did you think of the 2012 VMAs? Sound off in the comments!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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61 Comments
  1. ktbanks says:

    Maybe I’m just getting old (and by old I mean 24), but this was the WORST VMAs EVER.
    To reference HIMYM, the VMAs may be on my Murtaugh List: “I’m too old for this *stuff*.”

  2. Doniel says:

    Slezak…what. Hart’s monologue was awesome.

  3. TV Gord says:

    Kevin Hart just never impresses me with his comedy. He comes up with stuff that my high school best friend did. I liked him, but he just wasn’t funny enough to get up before the nation and tell that stuff. Now, Hart filled in for Chelsea Handler for a few nights recently and I was blown away by what a great interviewer he was. THAT is where he should be looking for his future. Stop trying to tell us you’re going to be edgy. BE edgy, and we’ll tell YOU you’re edgy. I like him, but I have to agree. Flop.

  4. Roni says:

    Literally they saved the best for last. They put Taylor last so everyone would keep watching. But she KILLED it and thats all that matter

  5. Rachel says:

    Taylor Swift was okay but Alicia Key’s performance was waaaaay better. Also I liked Kevin Hart’s opening monologue. It was actually funny for once. If there was any really bad thing (which there wasn’t) about the VMA’s it would be Frank Ocean’s musician who was bad at the beginning but then got it together later.

  6. Eri says:

    PSY spawning out of the ground with Gangnam Style was definitely the best moment of this broadcast! Everything else was irrelevant, to be honest.

  7. rebecca says:

    i absolutely love Rebel Wilson.

    • Carrie says:

      Dittoooo. Did you see her on Conan reading out the letter she got from her new neighbor? Look it up. It had me laughing so hard I teared up.

  8. Lauren says:

    Is it just me or does Kesha look better in a yoga outfit with her hair up than anything else she ever wears?
    And I agree on Two Chains and Lil Wayne being noise and I’m only 23

  9. I love all the Harry Potter references!

  10. Jon says:

    About Lil Wayne: I am a hip hop fan (and not just “classic”, indie stuff, but modern stuff too) and Lil Wayne is seriously the worst thing that has ever happened to music. Even Nicki Minaj I can stand, but he’s just ridiculous. Don’t worry, you’re not old. ;)

  11. Scott says:

    I think you put your number one choices in the wrong categories.

  12. Jared says:

    Kevin Hart was horrible! And this years VMAs was prolly the worst one in a long time!

    • B says:

      I cannot stand Kevin Hart! I don’t find him funny AT ALL. He’s one of the reasons (albeit there were many) I didn’t bother to watch even a second of this year’s show.

  13. DJ says:

    I’m 24 and when I was a kid (read: 8 years ago), the VMAs had better hosts, better music performances, and were actually entertaining and shocking.

  14. Lisa (@KittyKay3) says:

    This is the worst VMA’s I can remember. It was a clique of the coolest of the cool kids. No one was having fun. It was all staged, lacked spontaneity and a variety of stars. It felt like the Katy and Rhianna show. Alicia keys was good and One Direction was cute. Pink sounded good, but seemed uncomfortable for her, like she wanted to be somewhere else. I was looking forward to Frank Ocean, but his high notes were squeaky and off key. He didn’t live up to the hype for me. I was left feeling I wanted my 90 minutes back.

    Who is Taylor Swift’s song about? The camera zoomed in on Taylor Lautner. I assumed it was about Nick Jonas because of the Indie record line. I like Taylor’s new look.

    • Mikael says:

      Taylor’s song could be about any of the like 12 guys she’s been with in the past couple of years. Taylor Lauter, Nick Jonas, Jake Gyllenhall, John Mayer, etc. The funny thing is that they seem to leave her, but she writes songs as if she leaves them and they’re begging her to take them back. She’s extremely off-putting

    • flutiefan says:

      c’mon guys, get it together…. she was with Joe Jonas, not Nick. and the song is totally about Jake.

  15. Rebel Wilson’s joke was she called the one member of The Wanted, ‘bicep-sual,’ as she squeezed his bicep.

  16. Bonnie says:

    by far one of the most disappointing VMA’s to date.

  17. Ha Ha says:

    Glad I didn’t watch it if Swifty is in the best list.

  18. lisa says:

    Kevin Hart was horrible, straight garbage. He made it seem like he wad going to go off on theses entertainers but instead came up with some weak material. Trying to aim for the recycling bin. “Really ” when we all know the reason was, they both caught feeling for a hoe and made idiots out of themselves. Just saying.

  19. Mr. Sunshine says:

    I’ve always enjoyed most mainstream rap, but the Lil Wayne and 2Chainz was horrible. And, I couldn’t understand a word they said. Lately I’m starting to think… Rap rhymes with %&*(. This was a perfect opportunity for Christina Aguilera to debut her new song IMO. Finally, Taylor Swift is sounding much better than she did a few years ago. Think she finally took some singing lessons. :)

  20. Mr. Sunshine says:

    Oh I do like Alicia Keys new song. :) ;-)

  21. AK says:

    I felt that the VMAs were a complete circus. I swear I feel like I am watching some alien TV being beamed in from some crazy clown college planet. Maybe I am just getting to old for this crap. Im 23 though, so I feel like I should have enjoyed it more. But I didn’t, so thank god there actually is better music out there, I’ll leave this craziness for the dumb, brainwashed, and preteens.

    I also feel like “OneDirection” was concocted in some crazy music industry lab, they looked like robots on stage, and were terribly lip singing. When I did hear actual voices it hurt. I feel we have gone over a decade without boy bands, do we really need another one? We already got Bieber. How much more generic, computerized, altered lyrics do we need? Good mainstream music died in 1999. RIP.

  22. Jen says:

    I also think a basic tenet of good writing is not using the word tennant when you mean tenet.

    • Michael Slezak says:

      Touché, Jen. In my defense, though, watching the VMAs damaged a lot of my brain cells, so I feel like I’ve got a pretty solid excuse.

  23. angelasl813 says:

    What disappoimted me was that there was no tribute of some sort to Whitney Houston.What the hell MTV?

  24. Becka says:

    I don’t understand how MTV has VMAs anymore. The ONLY time they show music videos is at like 3am-7am…maybe 8. The shows are too big..and poorly run. The hosts mostly suck. Kevin Hart was just flat out awful. And didn’t it seem like the show only had a few award categories…when there used to be so much. I may be showing my age here, but I watched MTV from the first day it started in the 80s. Back when the the channel was ALL about music videos and music news. I really hate what it has become :(

    • Lisa says:

      I listen to SiriusXM’s 80s on 8 (80’s station) and the original MTV VJs are the DJs for that station. It makes me so nostalgic. MTV used to be so awesome. The channel found success in Real World (which was great the first couple of seasons) and then just took its reality TV way too far. MTV doesn’t stand for Music Television anymore–in order to watch music television you have to get VH1 Classic and Paladia, and those stations just don’t capture the fun that was 1980-90s MTV.

      But there’s another problem besides MTVs severe lack of music programming–the music now is, in general, just bad. Not all of it… most of it (generally most of what is played on Top 40 radio). And when I start thinking about how bad it is, I’ll wonder if it’s just because I’m an old crankypants. Then I’ll hear about a study that studied popular songs and determined that they are getting less and less differentiated from each other (i.e., they’re all starting to sound the same) and I realize it’s not just my age. So music television with bad music and a lot of lame reality stars with some “cool” movie actors (in essence, the VMAs) will generally always be mostly sucky.

      • I was a kid during the 80’s but I used to love MTV. I had a young mom so she always wanted to put on MTV while we did chores and it was awesome. We’d watch videos and Remote Control most weekends. Now when I clean my own house, I generally put on VH1 Classic. My sister and I had posters of Bon Jovi and Guns’n’Roses on our walls at the ages of 4 and 8,respectively. Late at night my bf and I will be flipping channels and end up watching old rock videos for hours. As for the awards themselves, I think all the forced banter and jokes are cringe inducing. It just sounds awkward and I feel bad that the presenters have to say them, but then I remember they get paid a lot of money for it and the sympathy disappears. I hate when people lip sync a performance. If you doing a live show, do a live show otherwise what is the point of being there? Way back in 2003 my friend and I were seatfillers for the red carpet show when the awards were at Radio City Music Hall. We saw a bunch of people up close and Lars Ulrich shook my hand. It was awesome and my friend yelled “We love you Metallica” which could be heard on the television broadcast as they were being interviewed. I think that was the last year I watched the show.

  25. Matt says:

    I just don’t get the Taylor Swift love. I find her music bland and I don’t think she can sing at all.

    • Rain says:

      You are not alone, Matt. Every time I hear her I wonder who on earth thinks she’s actually talented!

    • soundscene says:

      She’s the pop* equivelent of a Hershey’s chocolate bar. It’s not, by any means, the best quality chocolate. But it’s cheap and familiar with an unoffensive taste that doesn’t require a complex palate to understand the flavor. It’s in every grocery store, mostly by the checkout counter, so you buy it because it’s there. It’s always there. Always.

      *She’s not country. She never was.

  26. Jay says:

    I don’t even know what channel MTV is on anymore. Its all crap!

  27. Jerah says:

    I actually enjoyed watching the DNC much more. It was a lazy production to say the least. Kevin Hart fooled the crowd by promising to be ‘shocking’ and he completely failed. Not that everything on MTV needs that critical shock factor, but don’t promise what you can’t deliver. And the very lazy MCA tribute got me annoyed – Lil Wayne could only wish he could be as prolific. Meh.

  28. Amanda says:

    So, Taylor Swift with a horribly sung performance, horrific “dancing” and band members dressed as furries was really the best of the night?

  29. Bob Smith says:

    I was channel surfing last night and saw who I thought was Brigitte Nielsen, and was wondering what movie it was since she was singing and I didn’t think she ever sang in any movie. Then I realized it wasn’t her but someone named Pink and I changed the channel. So in all I watched about 30 seconds of this crap because I thought it was something else.

    • soundscene says:

      P!nk is one of the few popular pop singers that can actually sing and writes her own (pretty amazing) songs. Shame you chose to change the channel on her when there were so many untalented performers you could have zapped.

  30. Mary says:

    I started watching but turned it off, I guess I don’t enjoy a show where everything has to be bleep out. I must be to old, because I do not see where One Direction is that good, yes there song is catchy, but I am old school. I like singers to sing. I don’t need the shock factor to enjoy music.

    • tripoli says:

      I didn’t watch the show, but in their defense, I saw One Direction on SNL and they were pretty damn good. Not my cup of tea but I was fairly impressed by their voices and stage presence.

  31. Stephanie says:

    I agree with the majority of what you guys said, it was mostly a very boring show but I did enjoy Alicia Keys, Pink and Taylor Swift. I thought they were the show! The rest was just garbage imo.

  32. I thought it couldn’t get worse after Kevin Hart’s opening monologue… Then Taylor Swift took the stage. Hey, I respect the girl for not doing crotchography like Rihanna and keeping it girly and PG-13, but that felt like someone stuck a candy cane up my a** and then injected pink glitter in my retina.

  33. The worst VMAs in a while and that’s saying something. I ended up just having it on as background noise. Kevin Hart was horrible as host. The only highlights for me were, Pink, Taylor Swift, One Direction, and Alicia keys.

  34. Domenico Venezia says:

    Let’s be honest this was the worst VMA’s ever, the host was stupid, he pretended to be controversiall and it turned out to be idiotic, then for me the best performance was from Taylor , I’m not a fan of her, but the song and vocals are pretty amazing followed by the performance of Pink which was original. Rihanna was a huge disappointment, Alicia Keys and Frank Ocean after watching all their performance and hearing them sing I can tell you a word that describes their performance BORING!!! For a moment I fell asleep. When I saw Kesha I thought she was gonna sing and really awake the VMA’s, but that was Taylor’s job.

  35. brandy says:

    This VMA show was just the worst. It was like they just gave up and threw out there whoever they could get to appear. I so miss the New York shows with elaborate production sets, spontaneous moments, actual celebrities up front in the seats, and the theater feel. The arena set makes it feel generic, the performances were lacking, the constant crowd cheering sounded like the Kids Choice Awards, and Kevin Hart was trying so hard with no payoff.

  36. nooch says:

    Yes, I caught the “canned goods/Similac” line, and it struck me as weird. My baby girl drinks that formula, so I heard that word loud and clear. And as someone above said, at 36, the VMAs are now on my Murtagh List. I still love Pink though.

  37. Tanesha says:

    Okay let me just clear one thing up Taylor Swift and Nick Jonas NEVER EVER went out with one another. I dont know if you you were SMOKING that night or what but you would CLEARLY have known Taylor dated Joe Jonas and if you were asking if that song was written for joe NO the HELL IT WASNT it was written for jake. And personly i loved Kevin Harts monolge or wht ever it was called kevin was dead ass funny. !!!!!!!

    • Lisa (@KittyKay3) says:

      Thanks. I didn’t realize I typed Nick. I knew she dated Joe, not Nick. Why do you think it is about Jake?

    • Mary says:

      Who cares what guy TS song was written about. Hopefully one day these guys will smarten up and not date her then she will have nothing to write about. ALL of her songs are the same, she needs to grow up and start writing new material. Really, did she think she had a chance in H..ll with any of these guys??? I think she does it just for new material.

  38. jw79bull says:

    Alicia Keys sounded a hot MESS!!! ugh!!

  39. waldorf says:

    i didn’t watch the whole thing! i got bored after a while though i really, really liked Pink (yay she was awesome) also for taylor uhm. well i don’t like the song very much because it’s not her style but beside this single she’s a good songwriter.

  40. carrie says:

    Just to clarify both the Wanted and New Directions are only 4/5th’s British bands, as Niall from ND and Siva from the Wanted are Irish and Ireland is NOT part of Britain. It would be great if you could correct this mistake ASAP. Thank you.

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