Friday, September 18, 2009


Say what you will about the MTV VMAs, but just about every year the awards telecast gives us something to talk about. Remember the year (2000) that the guy from Rage Against The Machine dangled from atop a stage prop while Limp Bizkit accepted the moon man for Best Rock Video? Britney's snake dance (2001)? And her meltdown (2007)? The Michael Jackson-Lisa Marie Presley kiss (1994)? The Madonna-Britney Spears-Christina Aguilera kiss (2003)? This year, the VMAs gave us two great watercooler moments: Kanye Vs. Taylor Swift and Lady GaGa.

Now that Kanye's outburst has been debated and analyzed to death, everyone has moved on to Lady GaGa's "Paparazzi" spectacle, posting her performance on Facebook as if we've all been living under a rock and haven't seen it already. The reviews have been unanimously positive. Today, a friend of mine asked for my take, and I wrote him the following critique.

"Lady GaGa confounds me. I've written about her a lot on my blog, and it took a while for me to warm up to her. The thing that I'm still missing from her is glamour and beauty. Madonna always sold both in her videos and performances. But GaGa seems to try to make herself as unattractive as possible, and her costars are not exactly eye candy either. (Maybe it's because she's no great beauty, and all the make up in the world can't hide that fact, so she has decided to accentuate the ugly instead.) I'm still waiting for her to ditch the weird and just give me amazing. Also, I'm tired of seeing a chaotic stage full of background dancers. It's old hat. What makes Beyonce's "Single Ladies" such an iconic video is how stripped down and simple it is. Lady GaGa should take note."

In closing, let me just say that blood -- real or fake -- has no business being onstage at any awards show. Here's hoping that next year GaGa strips it down to just her and the piano and shows us what she can really do.
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