Politics isn't my only love. Being a music lover as well I decided to tune in to MTV's Video Music Awards Sunday evening. I regret that I did. Though only 50, watching this show left me feeling completely out of touch with today's music scene. I'm sorry, but I'm still trying to make my way through the Pearl Jam catalogue. I simply have no idea who or what a Drake or a Ne-yo is. And what about Kings and Queens? Isn't that the sitcom with the chubby guy?
So watch I did, taking notes, and wondering how the entire music biz has seemingly passed me by.
The program was hosted by comedienne and talk show host Chelsea Handler, who proudly acknowledged that she was the first female host in the show's 16 years. And what a great choice she was. This woman is not only funny, as my much-cooler-than-I 24- and 22-year-old daughters have been trying to tell me, she's also smart, sexy and wickedly brash, with a tongue so sharp she could cut right through Pauly D's hair. In her intro she threw props to toddler heartthrob Justin Bieber:
"His song "Baby" is so amazing, an amazing love song...imagine how good his music will be when he sees a vagina."
Poor Bieber. During his performance he surrounded himself with a gaggle of 6-year-old back-up dancers in a desperate attempt to look older than 10.
And am I the only one who was a little tired of seeing the uber-tanned and talentless Jersey Shore mooks? Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino is clearly starting to believe his own hype, while "Snookers" can't, no matter how hard she tries, hide her "what the fuck am I doing here" look, as if she knows she's in minute-9 of her countdown from 15.
Will.i.am came out looking like a cross between Blue Man Group and Al Jolson in a wet-suit. He did a duet with Nicki Minaj, a hip-hop cutie with an ass so big the Israelis could build settlements on it. She makes J-Lo look like she needs butt-cheek implants.
And what's with all the futuristic garb? Why does every performer have to look like they're auditioning for the next Star Wars film? Can we please bring back a little flannel for the old man? Also, must every singer have a phalanx of dancer boys/girls behind them like some cheesy Vegas burlesque revue? Whatever happened to just coming out and singing? Maybe all the dancers are just a distraction from the lack of real talent in front of them?
Outside of the awesome Eminem and Mary J. Blige, the room seemed all style and no substance. And speaking of Mary, did they have to pair her up with Drake? Blige has such an amazingly beautiful, soulful voice which was drowned out by the young ring-ding. Having her do a duet with the Canadian rapper was like having to watch George Clooney do a table-reading with Snooki. Jeez, you know there's slim pickings for a 50-year old when he starts rooting for Taylor Swift.
Sofia Vergara looked gorgeous, but was so hard to understand she made 70's Latin star Charo sound like William F. Buckley.
My favorite moment of the night was a very "If I Could Turn Back Time" decked out Cher (looking about 35, mind you), handing out the Video of the Year award to pop sensation Lady Gaga, who took home a total of eight awards. It was sort of a cool passing-of-the-torch moment. Only thing is, Cher's torch officially blew out about 40 years ago. (By the way, if Lady Gaga married Goo Goo Dolls lead singer John Rzeznik, would she be Lady GooGoo GaGa?)
And my least favorite moment? The megalomaniacal, pathetically self-important Kanye West's closing number with the following chorus: "Let's have a toast for the douchebags, let's have a toast for the assholes, let's have a toast for the scumbags, let's have a toast for the jerkoffs?" Clearly, West dug from deep within for the inspiration for this one.