The 2009 MTV Video Music Awards were this Sunday and it was definitely an anticipated event. I was looking forward to it as soon as I heard that Janet Jackson was doing a tribute performance for her brother, Michael Jackson. I was so excited. I couldn’t wait to see her back on stage because Janet is my favorite artist of all time. When I saw her in concert last year, I cried.
The night turned out to be crazy, unpredictable and was one of the best VMA”s in recent years. For the past four or five years MTV tried different things with the VMA’s, in 2004 and 2005 they moved the show to Miami instead of having it in New York, in 2007 the show was held in the Palm’s Hotel in Vegas and last year it was in LA. This year they went back to the source and had the show at Radio City Music Hall in NYC. There was one main stage instead of three or four that they’ve tried in previous years, one host and celebrities coming out to present awards. It was back to the kind of VMA’s I remember watching in the late 90’s and early 2000’s.
Madonna opened the show with a nice speech about her friendship with Michael Jackson. It was all very touching but I was praying that she’d hurry the hell up so Janet could come on. After Madonna got off stage, the ’20 dancers’ that I kept hearing about appeared on stage for a dance tribute. I loved it. I believe that’s the way to remember Michael, through the dance and the movement. It was really cool to see the dancers doing that original, timeless choreography with images of Michael in the background at the same time.
Finally, after the dance tribute “Scream” started and Janet came out. It was a wonderful (short) performance. It was awesome to see her back on stage, even cooler to see her do that iconic choreography with it looking like Michael was right beside her (she screwed up a bit, but hey, it’s okay). But what got me screaming my head off was who was dancing behind her.
Brace yourself, I’m about to go on a rant here. The dancers who danced with Janet on Sunday night are probably the most legendary professional dancers in the business and have been dancing for years and years. On stage with her were Laurie Ann Gibson, Tyce Diorio, Jeri Slaughter, Travis Payne, Cris Judd, Tina Landon, Brian Friedman, and if I’m not mistaken Wade Robson. Every single one of these dancers has inspired me for years. Laurie Ann Gibson has worked with Diddy, choreographed the movie ‘Honey’ and does all of Lady Gaga’s stuff. Tyce Diorio danced with Janet in 1997 on the Velvet Rope Tour, Travis Payne has my heart! I’ve created characters in some of my books after him. He was one of the choreographers for Micheal’s last tour. Jeri Slaughter has done all of Christina Aguleira’s stuff, Brian Friedman has worked with Britney from day one, Cris Judd was married to JLO, and I don’t have to say anything about Wade Robson. He’s just genius. But out of all of them, the biggest surprise was seeing Tina Landon and Janet Jackson back on stage together. The two of them were best friends in the 90’s, Tina coming up with some of Janet’s most famous choreography like ‘If’, “Together Again” and “I Get Lonely.” Then they had a falling out and never worked together again. To see them back on stage together was magical. There is not a better, more talented group of dancers Janet could have picked. It gives me chills to see all of them every single time I watch that performance.
Okay, end of rant. I’m a dance freak. It’s not healthy. Anyway, of course what overshadowed Janet’s moment was the Kanye/Taylor Swift/Beyonce situation. Everyone’s talked about it to death, Kanye’s apologized, Taylor has accepted his apology, there’s not really anything else to add. I think it was so wrong of him to do it and hopefully he takes some time away to heal whatever emotional wounds he has.
The host, Russel Brand, got terrible reviews. Americans really hate him. I happen to love him. I don’t think he was that funny this year, he was way funnier last year, but I don’t think he was terrible. I enjoy him.
The two best performances of the night besides Janet were Lady Gaga and Beyonce. Gaga sang live and performed a theatrical version of “Paparazzi” where at the end she was bleeding and died. I loved it. I think she’s an amazing artist, she might not be the best dancer but she tries.
Beyonce smashed her choreography. Even though Single Ladies has been done to death, she made it fresh by focusing on the steps, even adding in some new ones. She just has this swag on stage that is so cool. Say what you want about her, but she’s one hell of a performer.
I turned the VMA’s off at eleven to watch True Blood and missed the Lil’ Mama/Jay-Z/Alicia Keys moment, but have seen the video. Instead of finding it funny, i think it’s awkward and kind of sad. Lil’ Mama’s a weirdo. I never really liked her and liked her even less after what she said to Vogue Evolution’s Leyomi on Dance Crew.
It was an eventful show and very entertaining. This is the way the VMA’s are supposed to be. I hope MTV realizes this and keeps the show going like this for years to come.
Thanks for reading my rant folks!