Not even a week removed, I’d like to be among the few to congratulate MTV on another VMAs that went exactly as planned. Solid performances, pre-show buzz (NSYNC reunion say what?), but most of all, not even a week removed, everyone is still talking about it.
It may have been the better part of two decades since they’ve played an actual music video, but whether or not you are willing to admit it, MTV still knows exactly what you thrive on. They do research, hire professionals. They’re good, they’re very good.
For…ever, MTV has subscribed to the theory that America loves controversy, mainly because we do. When it comes to music awards shows, it’s tough to establish an annual tradition that will bring the viewers back year after year. At the top sits the Grammys, the unheralded standard of music awards shows. The trophy that any artist will proudly position atop their mantel because they know what it means to receive one. Out of every single one of your peers, a panel of professionals chose YOU and YOUR WORK as the best that year. The Grammys are undebatable. Any other awards show starts to falter down the scale of credibility. The Teen Choice Awards were awesome, then you got a locker and five minutes to get to class and this became too much. The country music awards shows are nice, but there’s 37 of them so they kinda drown each other out. Keeping this in mind, there’s only one way MTV can keep the top of the conversation on the water cooler (Twitter) with the VMA’s: Controversy.
MTV has done so for years. Kanye & Taylor Swift, Bruno t-bagging Eminem, Beyoncé announcing her pregnancy and then panning the camera to Jay-Z chilling stage-side with some guy that turned out to be Lady Gaga. Speaking of Gaga…meat dress…all I gotta say.
Oh yeah, and lest we forget MTV gave us Jersey Shore.
This kind of stuff would NEVER fly at the Grammys. One would be banned for life. MTV not only allows this, they embrace it. They want you to be shocked, outraged, offended even. It’s the philosophy of ‘any press is good press’, it’s why the Kardashians are relevant, it’s why we watch.
Especially in the social media generation, where we’re way more likely to complain than compliment. 10.1 Million tuned in for the show, up from last year and a decent number. However, the true victory comes in the social media buzz. Everyone, both online and on-site, were stoked for the possibility that NSYNC were reuniting (don’t kid yourself, yes you were). Although Timberlake didn’t disappoint in ANY way, by far the best performance of the show. Impressive, but it didn’t set the record 360,000 tweets per second, beating Beyoncé’s Super Bowl performance. That would be Miley’s…performance… Like the Sean Connery card in Apples To Apples, controversy trumps all.
Five days removed, Twitter’s still abuzz, meme’s are getting created at record pace and conservative groups have absolutely had it and are letting us all know. It’s what we in the media are trained to look for and talk about, in turn creating a table of debate for you to go at on your Facebook page. Miley’s performance may not define her career forever, but it will definitely be a staple for years to come.
So to the Operations Manager at MTV, I once again congratulate you on getting exactly what you wanted. Again you have the captured the buzz, the press and the general public for a solid week in a way no other awards show can. Many will throw their stones and spit their venom at you, saying you are ruining the values of American society, but you know as well as I do that you are just working the system we have in place to your advantage. I know right, what did they expect? See you next year!