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Media Monitor

Few awards shows provide the fusion of talent and tackiness that is the Video Music Awards on MTV. And this year's show, which handed out its moon men statuettes to artists ranging from 'N Sync to Eminem, continued the tradition of tasteless stunts and indulgent fanaticism that has been the show's requirements ever since Madonna danced around in that infamous wedding dress.

But despite all the money that goes into putting the annual spectacle together - not to mention the hype that surrounds the three hour shock-fest --- one can't help but wonder: What is the real purpose of the show? Do people really care about who wins the award for Best Group Video or are audiences more fascinated by Christina Aguilera's midriff?

2000 MTV Video Music Awards

On the opposite end of the spectrum, Britney Spears sported a flesh-colored body suit in which a sparkly material was the only thing keeping her from being completely naked. Surprisingly, Spears walked away empty-handed, as did her blonder counterpart, Aguilera.

Aside from 'N Sync's win in the categories of Best Choreography and Viewer's Choice (which was bound to be a TRL record breaker), mainstream pop music didn't fare well, despite the genre's many nominations. This unexpected trend makes me wonder - what exactly makes a video moon man-worthy?

Sex appeal obviously isn't a good indicator of a winning video, otherwise, D'Angelo's physical perfection would have earned him many an award. Popularity wasn't exactly a must to win - Macy Gray received an award for her obscure "Do Something." Bjork's "All is Full of Love" video won for Breakthrough Video and Best Special Effects, proving that a less frequently played video could come out on top.

But a more pressing question about this year's awards show should involve its two hosts Marlon and Shawn Wayans. After mimicking Chris Rock, the opening act relied on stale jokes (one was about MC Hammer) and after the audience's prolonged silence, the Wayans resorted to gross-out tactics. Viewers got more than they bargained for when Marlon Wayans dropped his pants, revealing his bare behind for way too long. In fact, one of the show's only funny moments was Jimmy Fallon's debut as 'N Sync's puppet master.

Medley performances were also disappointing, especially Spears' version of the Rolling Stones' classic "Satisfaction." What a way to spoil a good song. Sisqo, as well as the boys from 'N Sync, started their mini-sets with ballads that definitely took away from the crowd-pleasing nature of their big hits.

Overall, the VMAs were a major letdown. With all the awards shows out there, the three hours it takes to get through one of them should be time well spent. Or maybe I've just outgrown MTV and its moon men.


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