How Miley Cyrus Got Tongues Wagging -- for the Wrong Reasons -- at MTV's VMAs

2013 MTV Video Music Awards - ShowThe morning after MTV’s Video Music Awards spectacle, perhaps an American Idol summed it up best. Upon sampling the kudoscast, Kelly Clarkson tweeted: “2 words: #pitchystrippers.”

Yet for all of Lady Gaga‘s calling-card outrageousness, her show opener (including a costume change into a seashell bra/thong bikini) was demure when juxtaposed with Miley Cyrus‘ scantily clad writhing during a “We Can’t Stop/Blurred Lines/Give It 2 U” medley with Robin Thicke.

PHOTO GALLERY | The Best and (Even Better!) the Worst of the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards!

Over the course of the six-minute melange, TV’s fallen Disney queen thrust her tongue about 20 times, pointed you to her special place on at least nine occasions and engaged in multiple iterations of what we will politely call “a– play.”

If 20-year-old Miley had mimed the dismemberment of Hannah Montana and subsequent burying of parts in separate graves, and then did a lap dance atop each of the headstones, it would have been less off-putting.

What Britney did with the snake years ago on the VMAs? Positively quaint, by comparison. Hell, even Thicke’s controversial “Blurred Lines” video itself came away from this looking almost classy.

My twin 10-year-old sons are both into pop music, so over the weekend I had the chance to cue up on the DVR a (curated!) screening of this month’s Teen Choice Awards (where “Austin” and Maia Mitchell presenting was for them a huge highlight). When Miley came on stage, they were agog. “What happened to her?” one asked, pulling from his Disney Channel-fueled knowledge base. I fumbled for an answer, ultimately settling for the G-rated, “Oh, she’s just trying to look tough” — since bedtime was nearing and I hadn’t the desire to define “hypersexualized.” (Note: Save for maybe a few red carpet moments and Katy Perry’s “Roar” closer, I shan’t be screening for the lads these VMAs.)

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One (the?) message of Miley’s VMAs peep show seemed to be: I have sex now, y’all. And sure, we get it. Child stars grow up and, often, act out. They shatter conceptions. They twerk with furries. And yes, Cyrus got tongues other than her own wagging as a result — though the majority seemed to be clamoring for a shower to rinse off the raunch of her display. Even her peers in the audience, as evidenced by cutaways, were anywhere from appalled to ashamed of her. For all the talk of blurred lines, Billy Ray’s little girl failed to recognize any in her unabashed bid to be bad.

One silver lining to it all: At least we know Vanessa Bayer will have new material to work with on Saturday Night Live.

Do you think Miley went miles overboard in her explicit display of All Grown Up-ness? Or would her critics also be shocked to find there is gambling in the back of Rick’s?

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