MTV VMA’s 2009: Performances

Published: Sunday 13th Sep 2009 by Sam
The 2009 MTV Video Music Awards took place tonight in New York’s Radio City Music Hall. Peep That Grape Juice’s performance review at the end of the post, in the meanwhile, enjoy the performances below:

Janet Jackson – Michael Jackson Tribute

Kanye West / Taylor Swift Incident

Lady GaGa – Paparazzi

Beyonce – Sweet Dreams / Single Ladies

 Pink – Sober

 Beyonce Gives Taylor Swift Acceptance Speech Time

Jay-Z & Alicia Keys – Empire State of Mind


The dust has settled and the many stories that emanated from last night’s MTV Video Music Awards 2009 are making the rounds. Prior to giving my 2 Pence on last night’s happenings, I must give MTV kudos for delivering their best show since 2003. From the outlandish outfits (GaGa had me rolling with her final ensemble) to the shocking unscripted moments and of course the great performances, MTV did the damn thing last night and deserve a lot of credit for it.
As expected Janet Jackson stole the show with her electrifying tribute to her late brother, the King of Pop Michael Jackson. The performance, which saw a fantastic introduction from Madonna, lived up to my expectations, yet wasn’t what I expected (if that makes any sense?). Since news broke of Janet’s performance, I envisioned she’d be dancing like Michael, be dressed like him etc. Instead we get the fierceness that is Janet still do ‘her’ during ‘Scream’, whilst giving a nod to her brother. Ms. Jackson (if you’re nasty!) tore down the house (snatching wigs off many of today’s ‘stars’ in the process!). As we collectively say goodbye to MJ, we should be saying hello again to Ms. Janet, as she is officially back! Not being insensitive about the situation, but after last night, I’d imagine many a label will come a knocking – and rightfully so. She is still beast of a performer on stage. Loved it!
The night’s other show-stealers were IMO Beyonce, Pink and Lady GaGa to a lesser extent. After thinking we were in for another, (albeit great…but another)…standard ‘Single Ladies’ performance, Bouncy proved once again why she is the very best at the moment. As ever, killer vocals and incomparable energy, Ms. Knowles-Carter gave visual spectacle with her mass routine, a showing that encapsulated everything that should be a great award show performance. Say what you want about her, but she is the business!
Can’t say much more than I love Pink! While many in our Urban domain still harp on about her ditching R&B, as a MUSIC lover myself, I feel she has been creatively consistent and continually bettering her artistry with every album and with her stage show. Original, daring, and awesomely executed, her performance of ‘Sober’ ensured she continues to earn my respect. More power to her.
Is it me or was GaGa’s pretty cool performance, hampered by some questionable vocals? I mean close your eyes and listen to it and see if you don’t screw your face up at some parts. Perhaps it’s may be because ‘Paparazzi is my least favourite song of hers’ . Still, I guess much of her appeal is her eccentricity and stage theatrics, which were served up plentifully last night.
I probably am the only one, but Jay-Z’s ‘Empire State of Mind’ doesn’t really rock my world, hence neither did his and Alicia’s performance. By no means bad, just not as great as folk seem to be hyping it up to be…IMO. Lil’ Mama, love, what were you doing?! No, but really. I nearly peed myself when neither Jay or Alica even acknowledged her. How embarrassing.
KANYE…Kanye, Kanye, Kanye. If ever there was a hot ass mess embodied, it would just have to be Kanye West. His behaviour towards Taylor Swift was the epitome of uncalled for, and has IMO done some irreparable damage to his career. Does he think industry folk are gonna be flocking to work with him? Fans rushing to support his singles anytime soon? I mean stranger things have happened, but as powerful as he may be in today’s industry, the media machine that powers this all, is much more powerful – and they aren’t gonna let this one go for a while. I mean, aside from the fact he made himself look like a buffoon, as he wasn’t even nominated in the category he was whining about, he couldn’t have picked a worse ‘victim’. Taylor Swift: Caucasian, young, blonde, pure and innocent seeming. And before you think it, ‘Yes I went there!’ Really not wanting to play the race card, but Kanye really didn’t represent my people in a good light at all. No he’s not an embodiment of every black person, but the way the media can and probably spin it, such generalised undertones will be present. Such a shame. Such a shame.
Anyway, with any good award show being about memorable moments, Beyonce earned new level of respect from me when she graciously called Taylor back on stage to have her ‘moment’. While some will argue it was contrived and she did it for strategic reasons, I feel otherwise. She deserves kudos for that…major props. I can’t say I care too much for Taylor just because of what happened, but how cute was her acceptance speech? Great stuff.
After a series of disappointments in recent years, MTV really came through with the quality of last night’s show; it was well-produced, had great cast of performers and presenters and above all kept me on the edge of my seat. This is how an award show should be done!

* It’s kinda ironic that Janet stole the show this year, as part of the reason the VMA’s have been so rubbish in recent years was because of the repercussions they suffered after the Superbowl. As producers of the infamous half-time Superbowl event in 2004, they received heavy fines and subsequently their live programming steered away from any ‘risqué’ content, which was dry as that is exactly what makes great television! Thank goodness they got it right this year!
* Did anyone else notice Jennifer Lopez wildly cheering on Janet’s performance, which prominently featured her ex husband, dancer Chris Judd – while standing with new hubby Marc Anthony. No, I’m not being messy, just an interesting observation (the connections in the room).
* During Janet’s performance did anyone else spot the dancer almost fall over during the ‘lean’ in ‘Smooth Criminal’? I was like “don’t mess up my Michael’s ish!!!”
* Beyonce’s bodyguard Julius got the side-eye from Bouncy if there ever was one when he was being abrasive and rude during the pre-show. Not professional on his part at all.
* I have had approximately 2 hours sleep, as the show ended London time 5.00am. It was worth it though. Shout-out to those who kept me entertained and were hopefully entertained by our live commentary on Twitter!
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