11 VMA Moments That Shaped My Adolescence

OMG U GUYZ THE MTV VMAS ARE THIS SUNDAY WHO ELSE IS EXCITED?!?!

Not me. But there was a time when that was me. When I was prime MTV target demographic, when I was impressionable and bought any artist that made it to the top 10 on TRL (see: Limp Bizkit and P.O.D. CDs in my childhood bedroom). Those formative years when I was a tween and eventual teen who was thriving at Backstreet Boys concerts and making websites on Geocities. Growing up, I was a teenybopper. I’m not gonna be ashamed about it. That’s just who I was. I was the girl who thought MTV was the coolest, the mecca of where all the celebs and musicians were featured. And the VMAs were my Super Bowl.

Back then, all my faves were either nominated, performing, or presenting, so it made sense that I was tuning in like a Michael Jackson popcorn GIF every year. And there were plenty of popcorn-GIF worthy moments that happened on the VMAs when I grew up. These are iconic and unforgettable performances – clips that takes me back to that time in my life when superstardom was out of reach and not a tweet away. Here are some of the MTV VMA moments that shaped my childhood. It’s crazy to think that Katy Perry and co. might have that same effect on tweens at this year’s ceremony. Guys, we are so old.

1994 ♦ Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley Make Out

Isn’t it weird to look back and think that the King of Rock ‘n Roll’s daughter was married to the King of Pop? Like, what even did they pay the music gods to get that love connection? Apparently not enough since their marriage didn’t last that long. However, this kiss is burned in my brain for eternity.

1995 ♦ Courtney Love bombs Madonna’s interview

I remember watching this live and having NO IDEA what was going on. But I don’t think Courtney Love did either. She wasn’t doing great at the time, but nevertheless, this is still rude. But alas, makes for great TV. Remember Kurt Loder? He is also part of my adolescence, which would be a weird thing to say to him IRL, I think.

1998 ♦ Mariah and Whitney Double Up

At the time this aired, I legit thought this was real. Like they definitely accidentally wore the same dress to the VMAs. I was concerned. Of course, it’s just a bit. I love bits. And I love Whitney Houston. Prince of Egypt forever.

1999 ♦ Diana Ross, Lil’ Kim and Lil Kim’s Lil’ Kim

Lil’ Kim’s outfit was outrageous then, and it continues to be even to this day. The 1999 VMAs were (and maybe continue to be?) my favorite VMAs ceremony of all time, and this is definitely one of the reasons why. I admit, I barely knew who Diana Ross was at the time, despite being obsessed with Phil Collins’ cover of The Supremes’ You Can’t Hurry Love. I didn’t know it was the same person! Anyways, I my mouth was agape when Diana bounced Lil’ Kim’s boob, and hoped that neither of my parents saw what had just happened as I watched the VMAs in our living room.

1999 ♦ Britney Spears and ‘N SYNC Take It Back To School

As I mentioned, 9.9.99 (it was on September 9th obvs) was a big year, particularly for pop music. It felt like it was at its height again, thanks to my boys BSB, Christina Aguilera, Britney, ‘N Sync, all the other boy bands, etc. This was one year after Tearin’ Up My Heart was released, but right around the time …Baby One More Time was becoming super popular. We all know the Britney/’N Sync relationship, but this was everything you could’ve wanted in a pop music performance on the VMAs. Singing, dancing, a school story, a surprise element of the ‘N Sync boys at the desks! As a BSB fan, I willingly admit this is and forever will be one of the best VMA performances in the show’s history.

1999 ♦ Backstreet Boys win the Viewer’s Choice VMA

As I mentioned, I am a BSB fan til the day I die, and 1999 was the height of BSB mania. Millennium had been released earlier that year, and the boys had basically shut down Times Square during their MTV special on release day. I was also at the height of my BSB mania, and voted non-stop in hopes they would win the Viewer’s Choice award against their rival (and mine), ‘N Sync. I remember jumping up and down, so ecstatic that “my” hard work paid off, and that my boys earned the much-deserved moonman. And yes, that white dude in the beginning pulled a Kanye before Kanye.

2000 ♦ Eminem and A Fuck Ton of Real Slim Shadys

Eminem also was a hot commodity in this era, releasing hit after hit after hit, including The Real Slim Shady. The song posits that there are many wannabes but only one Marshall Mathers, and because of that, he invited a whole lot of white guys in white t-shirts and jeans to be extras in his performance. Is this where my real fear of white men started? JK. A little.

2001 ♦ Britney and the Snake

I mean, obviously, right?

2002 ♦ Eminem vs. Moby and Christina Aguilera

Eminem wasn’t necessarily known to be a congenial person that got along with every artist that came across his path. He had beef with DJ Moby, which is why this awkward exchange with Triumph the Insult Comic Dog happened – right before Eminem won a moonman. Which as you can see from the clip, was handed to him by Christina Aguilera. If you recall, Em name-dropped Xtina in The Real Slim Shady, saying:

“Yo Shit, Christina Aguilera better switch me chairs
So I can sit next to Carson Daly and Fred Durst
And hear ’em argue over who she gave head to first
Little bitch, put me on blast on MTV
“Yeah, he’s cute, but I think he’s married to Kim, hee-hee!”
I should download her audio on MP3
And show the whole world how you gave Eminem VD”

Which makes this clip even more memorable (and chilly) thanks to the shade from Ms. Aguilera herself.

2003 ♦ Britney, Madonna and Christina, You Know

The Mickey Mouse Club Was nothing but a memory after this performance.

2011 ♦  Beyonce and Blue

This did not have a hold on my adolescence, but I was still very much awakened when B revealed she was preggo with Blue after singing Love on Top.

Advertisements

Miley Cyrus as the VMAs host? It Could Be Worse

There’s nothing that makes us feel more old than the Teen Choice Awards, as we’ve discussed before. Now a few weeks after our faces have gone back to normal, we’re faced with the annual MTV Video Music Awards. Growing up, I always thought of the VMAs to be the edgiest out of all the awards shows – the one that if I showed up to school the next day and talked about it in 5th grade, I would feel super cool. That didn’t mean I actually was. Over the years, whether we care to admit it or not, the VMAs are a gem in the zeitgeist crown. Even if we don’t know some of the songs or artists nominated, there will ALWAYS be something to talk about around the watercooler (or conversational landmark of your choosing) the next day. This year, plenty of people have already been talking about the show, thanks to their choice of host:

Having not abused my eyes with this picture for a while, it looks absolutely ridiculous. What even is this world we’re living in. Beetlejuice and a grown-up nude Kewpie doll are grinding.

No it’s not Robin Thicke OR that foam finger. It’s obviously Miley Cyrus. Good ol’ Destiny Hope is returning to the VMAs stage two years after the performance that rocked her entire career. One year after she weirdly let her homeless friend accept an award on her behalf:

KATY AND SAM COORDINATED SIDE EYE FTW

But let’s be real here folks, no matter what you think of Miley, we can all agree that whatever she does is entertaining and will garner the attention of… everyone, whether it be positive or negative. I can’t wait to see what she’ll do at the VMAs, and I might be watching with my head down shaking it in disappointment, but I’m looking forward to what she’ll do. Also, brilliant move by MTV.

In saying this, there have been way worse hosts of the VMAs than I expect Miley to be, so let’s just thank MTV head honchos for at least making us want to tune in. Here are some questionable emecees MTV has hired over the years that pretty much make me long for Miley.

1984: Dan Aykroyd and Bette Midler

Ok, let’s attribute this choice to the fact it was the inaugural VMAs, and in the early era of MTV itself. Maybe they didn’t know what they were doing, or what kind of audience they were going for. I guess to be fair, Dan Aykroyd was popular at the time because of SNL and Ghostbusters, and Bette Midler was, more Bette Midler than she is now. But were they really the voice of the youth culture back then? Also, who decided to put these two together? Couldn’t have been one or the other? I have a lot of questions.

1986: MTV VJs: Downtown Julie Brown, Mark Goodman, Alan Hunter, Martha Quinn & Dweezil Zappa

Again, for perspective, MTV was a huge deal in the ’80s, primarily because there was no network like it ever before. MTV was a channel that wasn’t ABC/CBS/NBC, that didn’t show scripted programming, and dedicated entirely to showing visual representations of music heard on the radio. It was groundbreaking, and in those first few years, it was such a big deal that the first VJs subsequently became a big deal too. So again, it makes sense that these folks were the hosts. But come on, that must have been a bore for the regular viewers. Even spreading them out throughout the country – and London? – is mediocre at best. They see these people all the time. It wouldn’t hurt for some new blood in there. I imagine it was so boring that that’s why I couldn’t really find any good clips of them. Which is why I’m sharing this video of a young Whitney singing How Will I Know. There’s something so special about her just singing and dancing without anything else except the neon MTV logos behind her. It’s a  far cry from the superproduced performances we’ve seen over the past decade. ‘N Sync and Britney, much? (As a BSB fan, I admit this is one of the best in VMA history).

1993: Christian Slater

You’re reading this right. Christian Slater, movie star and 90s hunk/bad boy, hosted the Video Music Awards. At the time, he was the hottie from Heathers and on the verge of hitting rave reviews in True Romance, so he was more or less the Zac Efron type of the era. However, he still didn’t quite fit into host of the VMAs, as evidenced by this clip of his monologue. He’s going through it as if he’s reading a presentation in science class. Except making horrible jokes like, “How ’bout that Madonna? I didn’t want that number to end but I ran out of quarters backstage”, in reference to this performance. He also made a joke about the Moonman being able to see up Sharon Stone’s dress from the stage, so, I mean, obviously a solid night.

 

1994: Roseanne

I do not like Roseanne. I do not think she’s funny. I hated her sitcom. The above outfit is physically hurting my eyes. I can’t even get myself to watch this clip of her hosting, but I’m assuming it’s bad.

2008 and 2009 Russell Brand

It’s not that I think Russell Brand isn’t funny. Because sometimes he can be. But also he can be a lot annoying, and bottom line is that I don’t find him entertaining. But hey, who am I to say what the youth of the world finds entertaining these days? I’m just saying do we trust a man with that hair and who divorces someone over the phone???

 

2014: A GIF-tastic Retrospective

Well we’re almost to the end of the year, folks. And that means you get to see Best Of lists everywhere you look. Including here. But rather than countdown our favorite albums or TV shows or Poehler moments, we’re opting to compile the best moments of the year in GIF form, one of the greatest gifts the Internet has ever given us. Did your faves make the list?

**Warning – this is obviously iamge heavy, so just be patient!

{January} Jennifer Lawrence being Jennifer Lawrence and sneaking up on Taylor Swift during the Golden Globes red carpet but not realizing she’s also in the show. And also on live TV.

{January} “I want you to know that the red underneath my shoes is my blood.” – Emma Thompson not giving any fucks while presenting at the Golden Globes {x}

{January} POEHLER FINALLY WON A GOLDEN GLOBE/AWARD AND I THOUGHT I WASN’T SEEING CORRECTLY BECAUSE OF MY TEARS OF JOY, BUT THIS MAKE OUT SESH WITH BONO REALLY DID HAPPEN.

{January} Good recovery on Swift’s part when she thought she won Best Album at the Grammys. Her team – not so much.

{January} Joe Biden being all Joe Biden-y at the State of the Union. John Boehner orange and bored, per usual.

{February} Bob Costas, Olympics broadcasting icon, got pink eye and we didn’t know what to do with ourselves, so we made this gif instead.

{February} Olympic ice skater Ashley Wagner calls bullshit with her horrible scores, becomes meme.

{February} Ice skater Jeremy Abbott falls rulll hard on the ice, slams into the wall, lays there for a bit, THEN GETS BACK UP AND FINISHES HIS ROUTINE.

{February} Jimmy Fallon takes over the Tonight Show and I sob like a baby.

{March} Jennifer Lawrence falls at the Oscars. Again. This time on the red carpet. On a traffic cone. Just getting out of the car. #Bless

{March} Still the best selfie ever taken in the storied history of selfies. (JLaw obvs said the boob comment)

{March} The time we all thought wecollectively had a stroke, then realized John Travolta just can’t read.

{March} And the entire world sobbed as Lupita won her first Oscar.

{March} Marshmallows united and wait 10 years for this. Worth it.

{April} In one of the final episodes of Mad Men, Ginsberg actually goes mad. Luckily, Ben Feldman is much more sane (and hot) than this.

{April} When the internet made the most of this cute chubby future king nugget

 

{April} Rita Ora became a national hero by ripping Zefron’s clothes off as he accepted his Best Shirtless Performance prize at the MTV Movie Awards

{May} Coming up – coming down – Solange kick yo ass up in a gownnn.

{May} The collective exclamation of How I Met Your Mother fans everywhere.

{May} This was a confusing thing Ryan Gosling and Macaulay Culklin did.

{May} 50 Cent proves he’s much better at ANYTHING ELSE

{June} I didn’t care about the World Cup but I cared about this guy.

{July} A lot of celebrities died as part of the Sharknado 2 wrath

{August} Pratt.

{August} This lil guy.

{August} Ebola was a thing we freaked out about

{August} Andy Cohen takes a Belfie (butt selfie, obvs) with Kim K.

{August} People poured a bucket of ice water over themselves for charity and Ben Affleck pushed his wife into the pool.

{August} A joke set up at the beginning about their Seinfeld past paid off with this makeout sesh right before Julia Louis-Dreyfus accepted her 10,290th Emmy award. Bonus JFal.

{August} ‘Please welcome my beautiful, amazing, and talented friend: Beyonce!’

 

{August} Disregard Miley’s tears and put all your attention to the shade Katy Perry and Sam Smith are throwing in the back.

{August} Bow.Down.Bitches.

{August} If there’s anyone to upstage Beyonce while performing a 15 minute routine at the VMAs, it’s Blue Ivy. I’ve watched this Vine more times that I should admit.

{September} “This week, Amal Alamuddin, a brilliant Oxford educated human rights lawyer and former UN advisor settled for a 52 year old man.”

{September} Diamond Dan guys. Diamond FREAKING Dan.

{October} Taylor Swift became a pop star by doing this.

{December} Walken proved that you can just fake it til you make it if you’re in a live musical of Peter Pan

{December} This reunion made me feel all the feels.

{December} The King and Queen meet Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge

 

5 Things You Missed At The VMAs

Missed the VMAs yesterday? Don’t worry, because I got you covered. And it’s probably for the best because there was a good amount of people on the red carpet that I had absolutely NO IDEA who they were. I am old.

Also, before I go into the top moments from the show, can I just share something that’s annoyed me since I started watching this awards show back in the day? WHY is it called the VMAs – as in Video Music Awards? Shouldn’t it be MVAs – Music Video Awards?? Someone from MTV get back to me on that.

Anyways, the storied “VMAs” headed back to NYC and for the first time were held in Brooklyn at Barclay’s Center – aka the place where Jay Z’s basketball team plays. To me, MTV goes hand in hand with New York, probably because of the TRL days, so it’s great that the show was back in the Big Apple.

People are probably going to be talking about things that happened during the show, so here’s a breakdown of the things that went down on Sunday so you can talk to your 20-year-old co-worker/intern about what happened…

5) Amen! Hallelujah! Praise Yeezus

^click for video^

Kanye is on hand (without North or Kimmy K) to sing Blood on the Leaves. He starts off with a red light on his face as he raps into a mic, and then pans out to show just his shadow against this background, and it’s actually really great. Just him performing without all the extra shit. If anyone saw him on Kris Jenner’s show on Friday, he talked about how he went to art school, had three scholarships, and considers himself an artist above anything else. This performance just proved it.

4) Taylor Swift is still an asshat (see here)

So the very first award of the night is for Best Pop Video. Presenting is One Direction, and among the nominees is Selena Gomez. If you haven’t put it together yet, Selena is BFF with Taylor (hence them sitting next to each other) and Taylor used to “date” Harry in 1D (the most famous one with the brown shaggy hair). As 1D was talking, the cameras went to Taylor and Selena, and Taylor said this:

You first.

Selena incidentally won the award, and politely kissed Harry on the cheek.

Later, Taylor won the award for Best Female Video, and said this during her speech:

When winning Best Female Video, Taylor says, “I want to thank the person who inspired this song – who knows exactly who he is – because now I got one of these.”… CUT TO HARRY STYLES LOOKING AWKWARD.

TAYLOR YOU ARE 23 YEARS OLD. GET IT TOGETHER. Even Selena’s over your complaining – look at her face. You always make it look like you’re the victim, but here you are standing in front of the world practically bullying your ex-boyfriend. Just a simple ‘thank you’ would have been sufficient. The girl really needs to learn the art of letting go…

3) Lady Gaga out Gagas Gaga

Gaga opens the show and the very first sight you see of the MTV VMAs is this:

And then this:

 Okay Stefani, you look creepy even for Lady Gaga standards. You look like an extra on a kids’ daytime show like the Teletubbies or something. But if you’re not disturbing by that sort of thing, watch the whole performance.

Oddness aside, I appreciated the fact she kicked off her performance by singing without overproduced beats in the background and just showcasing her voice. But then she broke out into Applause. Through a series of quick on stage costume changes she kind of goes through her discography from Poker Face to Telephone and finally to Artpop. Also all her dancers look like Mike Myers’ Sprockets sketch from SNL.

PS: Another reason to love Gaga despite her odditties – when One Direction won for Song of the Summer, apparently people were booing, and she was not okay with it. She even told the boys themselves.

2) Miley Cyrus twerks with Robin Thicke

click on image for the performance that will damage your brain

First off Vanessa Bayer shows up with her Miley Cyrus impression and it’s the best thing to happen so far (you know, like 20 mintues in). If you wanted more Miley twerking besides that one video of her in a onesie, here it is. Miley’s been toting around this huge stuff bear Boo (like the one in the video), and now the entire stage is filled with bears. Miley breaks out into We Can’t Stop in her furry swimsuit and her mohawk pulled into tiny buns like Gwen Stefani during the Tragic Kingdom days.

Incidentally, this was at the VMAs in 1998

And then she sheds the furry thing off to reveal a bathing nude bikini akin to the girls in the Blurred Lines video, and she begins to twerk on Robin Thicke while they duet on his song. I am uncomfortable, mainly because Hannah Montana should be wearing more clothes and not humping a married man that maybe could be her dad. If Liam hasn’t broken up with her yet, he should now.

But really, the audience reactions were the best. And they were more or less the same.

if your eyes haven’t burned out yet…

Drake bobbin his head, but not being able to actually look at her out of longterm damage

Second hand embarrassment from 1D and high as a kite Rihanna barely understanding what’s happening and if Miley is stealing her moves

Jaden’s face is usually like that, but entirely appropriate for this occasion…

1) Justin Timberlake proves he’s meant to be a solo artist aka *NSYNC reunites

look into JT’s eyes & click the pic for video!

First off, my boy Jimmy Fallon is (fittingly) giving this award to JT. We start off in the lobby and it looks like a love lip dub – and ironically similar to the opening number Jimmy did at the Emmys a few years ago. Basically I just want a posse of dancers to follow me everywhere I go. He then goes into an epic medley of his greatest hits and it is amazing. I had the chance to go to the Legends of Summer tour at Fenway Park in Boston a couple weeks ago, and it was seriously the best concert I’ve ever been to. I think sometimes we forget that JT has so many hits until he sings them in succession and you end up knowing every single word to all his songs. That’s a legend right there. At the VMAs, he spent a minute or two cover a bunch of his hits, making each one seem like its own mini concert.

And then came *NSYNC. Too bad they couldn’t keep that a secret, because it would have been awesome to be surprised when these four other guys joined him on stage. But I get it – they wanted to make sure they got the *NSYNC fans to watch – slash any viewers they could get. Speaking as a Backstreet Boys fan, I even felt like they could’ve been up there longer. But as my friend Meghan (a *NSYNC fan) said, ‘Pretend you hadn’t seen BSB for 10 years. That 90 seconds was well worth it.’ So I suppose the 90 seconds was better than nothing. But at least they came out singing songs I actually liked (Gone, Girlfriend). Chris proved that he should’ve been training for this reunion since the day they broke up because boy needed to keep up with the rest of the group (also, apparently Chris’ trap door failed…). And what was with JC sneaking in a riff at the end? But since JT wasn’t done, the four others went back on their platforms, and slowly descended back down into the pit of being in Justin Timberlake’s shadow.

JT continues his 20 minute medley and the cameras keep showing Taylor Swift singing and dancing in the audience. Okay, so at the Grammys and the CMAs (or country like awards show) they kept doing the same thing and showed TSwift awkwardly dancing. THIS IS A FORMAL PETITION TO START BANNING HER FROM DANCING AT ALL AWARDS SHOWS. NAY, THIS IS A PETITION TO STOP ALL PRODUCERS OF AWARDS SHOWS FROM SHOWING HER IN THE AUDIENCE EVER. I WANT TO SEE AS MUCH JT AS POSSIBLE. GOOD DAY SIR.

Finally it comes to an end and Jim Jam comes back on the stage hyped as ever and legit going to lose his voice from pumping up JT so much. Worth it. Bros ❤ JT is as humble as ever, even thanks his boys of *NSYNC for being the reason why he was up there in the first place. “I don’t deserve this ward but i’m not gonna give it back” Fair.

Honorable Mentions

 – Macklemore and Ryan Lewis promote equality with Mary Lambert and Jennifer Hudson. Those harmonies between the ladies tho.

Katy Perry roars under the Brooklyn Bridge. NGL, I love that song. I felt like I could wrestle a lion after that.

– A collective ‘Who da fuck is that??’ from all the millennials who were tuning in to see the *NSYNC reunion.