It wasn’t the best way it was once. Then once more, nothing is in 2020.
After the 2020 MTV VMAs had been moved from Barclays Middle to varied out of doors places within the metropolis — in addition to remotely from Los Angeles and, for Ok-pop sensation BTS, South Korea — it was clear that this wasn’t going to look or really feel like every other VMAs.
And it didn’t. As the primary main dwell awards show within the COVID period, it didn’t have the identical power that we’re used to from one of many greatest nights in show biz.
Nonetheless, the show — hosted by “Hustlers” actress-singer Keke Palmer — needed to go on. And thanks principally to The Weeknd, who received video of the 12 months for “Blinding Lights,” and Woman Gaga, who picked up probably the most Moon Individuals with 5 awards, it had its moments. However in the long run, like a lot of 2020, this will go down as a VMAs to overlook.
Best: The Weeknd’s speech
The Weeknd didn’t have to do anything after his show-opening efficiency that set the bar ridiculously larger — actually, greater than 1,000 ft within the air — than what few performers not named Gaga may match. However when he received for finest R&B video for “Blinding Lights,” the common-or-garden star shined a lightweight on the social points happening which can be far greater than the VMAs. “It’s actually laborious for me to rejoice proper now and take pleasure in this second,” he mentioned. “So I’m simply gonna say, ‘Justice for Jacob Blake’ and ‘Justice for Breonna Taylor.’ ” Little question, it was a second that was past the music — and necessary sufficient to say it a second time when he received for video of the 12 months.
Best: Chadwick Boseman dedication
Such has been the twisted 12 months that’s 2020 that it began off with the Grammys having to go on the night time after Kobe Bryant died — in the exact same location of his Los Angeles Lakers dwelling. In one other merciless twist, the VMAs needed to go on lower than two days after the world discovered concerning the surprising demise of Chadwick Boseman, who received for finest efficiency in a film and finest hero on the MTV Film & TV Awards in 2018 for his position as Black Panther. Fittingly, host Keke Palmer began the night time by dedicating the show to Boseman, who died at simply 43 from colon most cancers. “We dedicate tonight’s show to a person whose spirit touched so many,” she mentioned. “He was a real hero, not simply onscreen however in every thing he did.” Amen.
Worst: DaBaby’s efficiency
After his highly effective, if controversial, reenactment of George Floyd’s homicide on the BET Awards, this efficiency by the “Rockstar” was a letdown. To begin with, it had the misfortune of following The Weeknd’s breathtaking efficiency up within the skies. In contrast, DaBaby’s medley, carried out from Los Angeles, felt like a video that maybe set the tone for the remainder of the night time. Possibly the distant location had one thing to do with how flat it felt. It’s not that it was dangerous, it simply fully lacked the power that’s laborious to muster with out performing in entrance of an actual dwell viewers.
Best and Worst: Miley Cyrus’ flashback
Final 12 months, Miley Cyrus carried out an emotional model of “Slide Away” within the wake of her cut up from ex-husband Liam Hemsworth. This 12 months, she was aiming to return to the Miley who twerked it up with Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams whereas performing “Blurred Strains” in 2013. However in performing her new single “Midnight Sky,” in what was primarily a music video, Cyrus wasn’t in a position to recapture that magic that went down previously at Barclays Middle. That’s, till she reached again into her bag of star-power tips to recreate her “Wrecking Ball” video and reminded everybody of the pop powerhouse she as soon as was. That was the sort of buzzy second that was very a lot wanted at this year’s VMAs.
Worst: BTS’ debut
With all of the hype surrounding them, it’s a disgrace that the Ok-pop sensations had been denied their second to make their VMAs debut efficiency in correct vogue — with tons of squealing followers on the US stage. As a substitute, the boy band needed to carry out their new single, “Dynamite,” all the best way from South Korea, and it amounted to a music video that wasn’t pretty much as good because the one which has damaged YouTube information. They deserve a do-over when COVID is over.
Best: Woman Gaga’s efficiency
You simply knew Woman Gaga was going to deliver it as a lot as doable underneath the circumstances, and she positive did, rocking a masks the entire time whereas performing “911,” “Silly Love” and “Rain on Me,” her No. 1 duet with Ariana Grande. And whereas 2020 has positively been a 12 months of firsts, she managed to show her loopy assortment of face coverings into one among her signature vogue statements. Though it was laborious to inform if Gaga — and Grande — had been actually singing underneath these masks, no one cared as a result of it was simply the sort of large pop manufacturing that we’ve been lacking within the COVID period.
Worst: Doja Cat
With an enormous stage to show the world precisely who she is as an artist, Doja Cat didn’t announce herself as a serious new diva. Her efficiency of her No. 1 hit “Say So” was first rate sufficient, but it surely didn’t reveal something about her character, and as a singer, rapper and dancer, she was simply, nicely, mediocre. You’ll be able to simply think about how a lot a pregnant Nicki Minaj, who seems on the “Say So” remix with Doja Cat, would have taken this efficiency to a different degree. However maybe she would have uncovered Doja’s shortcomings much more. And if the VMAs had been trying to anoint a brand new queen on the scene, the place the hell was Megan Thee Stallion? The “WAP” rapper ought to have been supplied the world to show up.
Worst: The Black Eyed Peas
Actually? With no Fergie reunion? If there was something that raised the questionable relevance of the VMAs in 2020, it was how on the earth the Black Eyed Peas — who haven’t been the identical since that efficiency as one of many worst Tremendous Bowl halftime headliners of all time in 2011 — ever obtained booked. They introduced a has-been feeling to the night time when someway they closed the show.