This year’s VMAs might have been the latest nail in the MTV awards show coffin

Miley Cyrus-helmed affair created new memes, memorable gaffes


This past weekend’s 32nd annual VMAs, hosted by Miley Cyrus, were quite the spectacle. In a word, the show was crude, simply put. No one should be surprised, because of Miley’s attention-grabbing, unapologetic personality. Cyrus has been notoriously known for her topless instagram photos, which have becomerather standard. With her tongue wagging in defiance, she is quite vocal about her blatant appreciation of popular drugs marijuana and “molly.”

This year’s show started on a positive note, with Nicki Minaj performing “Trini Dem Girls” in true Trinidadian fashion. With costumes and choreography to die for, her performance got even better as she brought out Taylor Swift to perform “Bad Blood” alongside her. These two female superstars effectively ended their feud from earlier this year with a fantastic performance!

While the tone for the VMAs was fun and light to begin with, things took a turn as soon as Miley took the stage. While some of her jokes were funny, most of them didn’t land and it seemed as though most of them were jokes about how much she loved smoking marijuana. This tired trope became completely unbearable by the end of the show. 

Beyond Miley’s annoying pot-smoking references, insane costumes and incredibly predictable “nip-slip” moment, all of the performances fromt the show were spot on. Macklemore and Ryan Lewis had spot-on choreography, Demi Lovato and Iggy Azalea looked surprisingly good on stage together, Tori Kelly’s voice was beyond perfect, Justin Bieber broke down in tears after his amazing performance and who can forget Miley’s bawdy closing number.

However, it wouldn’t be the VMAs without some shocking moments which sent the Internet ablaze and created fodder for a whole new line of memes. First on the list was Nicki Minaj’s vicious assault on Miley Cyrus. Upon accepting her award for Best Hip Hop Video (“Anaconda”), Nicki thanked her fans and her pastor before shredding Miley on stage. Nicki was referring to a New York Times interview in which Miley Cyrus spoke out against Nicki Minaj for creating controversy with Taylor Swift after not being nominated for Video of the Year.

A shouting match ensued, with Miley and Nicki yelling at one another from across the VMA’s stage. And from this we have now gained a new celebrity feud (which may debatably have been scripted).

The second “meme-able” moment came when Kanye West was awarded the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award. This part of the ceremony was preceded by a short film that featured instrumentals from Kanye West’s song, “Runaway,” and a monologue that talked about how great and visionary an artist Kanye is. After all that prattle, none other than Taylor Swift made an introductory speech about how much she “loved” Kanye. This would have been a great moment, except that Taylor decided to act as though she is a huge Kanye fan and supporter, even after his rude display at the 2009 VMAs.

Taylor went on to state how the first album she ever bought was Kanye West’s debut album “The College Dropout” when she was 12 years old (which seems odd because when that album was released in 2004, Taylor Swift was 14 years old). 

Finally, after Taylor was done trying to be sentimental, Kanye took the stage. Nay, Kanye stole the stage and ranted for over ten minutes. Every few minutes he would say something that would be disjointed, unclear and incoherent, but still incredibly passionate -- consider his introductory “listen to the kids” call to action. Kanye spoke about various topics like his daughter, his hatred of award shows, how much hate he gets for what he did to Taylor Swift, how high he was at the moment and other things that didn’t make any sense. This all culminated in his announcement of his running in the 2020 presidential election. This shocker stirred up tidal waves online, as “#Kanye2020” and “#VoteKanye”” became popular trends.

Lastly, Miley decided to surprise everyone with a new album that was released for free on her website immediately following the show. (Disclaimer: it is nothing like her last, admittedly fantastic album, “Bangerz.”)

Overall, the VMAs provided a huge spectacle, with an insane amount of drug references and a few surprises along the way. It made for good television, of course, but it seems as though the VMAs may be turning into some strange celebrity variety show that doesn’t really celebrate anything of worth. Giving out awards for popular music videos doesn’t seem as cool, or even necessary as it once was. Especially because many music artists do not direct or even write their own music videos. Hopefully MTV can tone it down a bit for the upcoming year and create a show that isn’t so invested in shock value moments, but rather one which showcases and celebrates real talent.

related stories