The 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.
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.
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!