RAVE and WRECK of the week: Aug 31 2011

The Chronicle

RAVE of the week: VMA’s live performances

MTV held its annual Video Music Awards this Sunday, and several live performances proved to be the show’s most entertaining highlights.

Lady Gaga opened the show with her latest single, “Yoü and I,” but with no contest, Adele stole the show with her emotional love song, “Someone Like You.” There were no theatrics or auto tune, just Adele and a pianist. The performance was both strong and captivating.

Next up was the newly pregnant Beyoncé, who performed her single “Love on Top.” The performance featured slow and simple choreography, now that she’s singing for two.

Other live performances featured two memorable tributes. The first honored Britney Spears, in which a mix of adult and child performers danced to an impressive mashup of Britney’s hits in honor of her acceptance of Michael Jackson’s Video Vanguard Award. The second was in memory of the late Amy Winehouse — Bruno Mars performed a medley of Winehouse’s song, “Valerie.”

This year’s VMAs reminded audiences that true vocal talent is still recognized and appreciated in today’s music industry. Although none of the performances donned over-the-top special effects, the vocals were the true stars of the show. –AC


WRECK of the week: VMA’s goes no-host

Remember the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards when Chelsea Handler climbed into a hot tub onstage with the “Jersey Shore” cast? Remember the 2009 VMAs with Russell Brand’s raunchy monologue that insulted everyone from the Jonas Brothers to the U.S. healthcare system? You won’t remember anything like this from Sunday night’s VMAs since the show blatantly lacked a central host. Instead, MTV attempted to keep audiences entertained with Jessie J, the show’s chosen house artist. And what a failed attempt that was. Jessie is the British singer most known for her radio hit “Price Tag,” featuring B.o.B. Sporting a big plaster cast due to a broken foot, Jessie was entirely sedentary throughout the night, resulting in a series of awkward and boring performances. Although the singer had a good live voice, she yelled and screeched through several songs, especially during her cover of Katy Perry’s “Firework.” In addition, Jessie J’s sporadic performances were completely outshone by the likes of Beyoncé, Adele and Bruno Mars. The lack of a central host also limited the number of insults, feuds and controversies—important aspects of the VMAs. Hopefully future award shows will learn from MTV’s giant mistake and provide viewers with better live TV. –NF