Good or bad, there’s always something to talk about from MTV’s Video Music Awards. This year is no exception. Kanye West failed to interrupt anyone and Lady Gaga didn’t wear any dress, never mind one made of meat. But it wasn’t a completely boring show. Here are five things we loved, hated, or just scratched our heads over from the 2011 VMAs.
5. Jessie J sings from The Throne of Awkwardness
Jessie J was a trooper to show up to the VMAs on her crutches, having broken her foot in a stage fall a couple of months ago. But maybe she should’ve just stayed home. It was weird to see her sit in some kind of stage throne, singing between performances as part of the MTV house band. They didn’t need a house band and having her there in her little throne just wasted time better spent with other artists. Like Adele again. There can never be too much Adele.
4. Adele reminds us what good singing sounds like
Adele has serious pipes. She could win The Voice in a heartbeat. No frills. No big band. No distortion. Just that voice. When she sang “Someone Like You,” everyone seemed captivated. The show needed a lot more of that and less of the Jessie J stuff, the awkward banter between the presenters and whatever Lady Gaga was actually trying to do.
3. Amy Winehouse is honored
Russell Brand didn’t host the VMAs this year, but he ran the stage like a host toward the end of the show in a speech to honor Amy Winehouse. He talked about first hearing her voice and realizing she was more than just another great London singer. He also mentioned her issues with drug and alcohol addiction and reminded others that there is help out there. Tony Bennett also showed up — because it’s not enough to have Cloris Leachman represent old people — to talk about performing with Amy. Then Bruno Mars sang a tribute for her as Adele looked touched in the audience. It wasn’t your typical mournful tribute, but more of a mini celebration. Short and sweet.
2. Lady Gaga’s male alter ego starts the show and never leaves
We knew Gaga would do something interesting, but… it’s like she didn’t even show up. Instead, this annoying, creepy, scruffy New Yorker showed up swearing and smoking and staggering around on stage in a bad off-Broadway routine. This Joe Calderone (or Jo, however she spells it) alter ego couldn’t even get the gig opening for whoever opens for Gaga. Why couldn’t she show up herself? Disappointing.
1. Beyonce is pregnant! And just plain awesome!
While B was on the red carpet, she dropped the bomb: She’s preggers. That was it. The show was over before it began. The news spread on Twitter and became the event of the night, even if it was never addressed on air beyond her rubbing her belly. Even without knowing she was carrying her first child with Jay-Z, B owned the night. Lady Gaga presented the Michael Jackson MTV Video Vanguard Award to Britney Spears, but even Brit’s moment with Gaga’s creepy alter ego turned into a We Worship Beyonce speech introducing B’s sparkly “Love On Top” performance. Long live Queen B and Baby B!