2010 VMAs The Late Review

by Bridget Petrella

We received a few e-mails (some brief and to the point, others… well… they went on and on). We heard all about the absence of Mainstream’s A-List Superstars… Madonna not being there to kick up the tone of controversy as she had always done in the past… Kanye West and Taylor Swift’s inability to take last year’s already forgotten controversy to some new level… the fact that perhaps Chelsea Handler was purposely asked to “modify” her always-hilarious, entertaining “rants”… Lindsay Lohan’s complete irrelevance. The list of complaints was absurd. And we all stopped reading the e-mails about an hour ago… we couldn’t stop laughing at them… nor could we help the fact that we celebrated until 11:00 a.m. this morning, watching the VMAs at least 3 more times… hence this EXTREMELY LATE review.

First of all, the fact that MTV has evolved into a network that no longer relies on music videos to hold together its programming is becoming more and more of a factor each year that passes. But… and we will “bottom line” it for those of you expecting to see Madonna play some tonsil hockey with Chelsea Handler… The 2010 version of MTV’s annual event drew its BIGGEST audience for ANY telecast on the network since 2002. The VMAs had 11.4 million viewers, up a whopping 27% from 2009. In the network’s 12 to 34 demo, the show pulled a 10.0 rating, up another whopping 33%. A massive marketing shift when you stop to consider that the 2006 VMAs drew only 5.8 million viewers. And if the networks had one brain cell left… they would measure the Internet audience and realize that the numbers are up far more than the antiquated Nielsens have reported. Nielsen rates live television viewing and catch-up viewing on DVRs, but it won’t begin reporting Internet usage as part of its TV panel until February of next year. There’s little data available to track mobile viewing, and Apple keeps a tight rein on download data from its iTunes store. In short: Because the Nielsen ratings are antediluvian at best, shows could seem as though they’re losing millions of viewers since there isn’t an accurate way to find out if people are watching… and that will cost them dearly in the long term.

So what caused this phenomena? Well, it isn’t really a phenomena, it’s the persistently evolving technology which encompasses the world and absorbs those of us who refuse to fear it. The Internet. Social Networking. Period. The 2010 VMAs did NOT require Mainstream’s A-List Superstars, trivial tabloid controversy or appearances by bands that have collectively hit the 50 plus age range. And trust us when we tell all of you that this new renaissance is completely being fueled by the skyrocketing popularity of short form content on mobile devices… iPod. iPhone. Droid. iPad. Blackberry. Samsung E6 e-book Reader. Amazon’s Kindle. Social Networking. YouTube. Twitter. Facebook. Bebo. Friendster. All of it is feeding into a totally new generation of music connoisseurs and viewers who are no longer reactive… but INTERACTIVE. New and emerging artists that have EMBRACED the web are attacking mainstream’s hold… and they’re winning.

Corporate record labels, network moguls and film studios will eventually become extinct… along with the artists who refuse to step into the NOW. But this isn’t the first time you’ve heard any of this from us. We’ve been saying this with confidence because the inevitable is simply unavoidable. The playing field is leveling itself out. We tipped our hat to Cher who “knows” that this is a new era and that we aren’t going back anytime soon. She purposely wore her once controversial outfit to demonstrate the extreme differences between then and now. And she graciously passed the torch/award over to Lady Gaga and even held gaga’s ridiculous “meat sack” purse. We’ll be the first to admit, we’re not Lady Gaga fanatics… but that’s what is so cool about this new era of art… we don’t HAVE TO be. We can hit the ‘indie” scene and love whatever or whoever we “choose” to love. It’s all subjective and it’s all acceptable. This new era is the true definition of “art”. It embraces all diversity… which is why awards will also eventually be obsolete. But that is another editorial for another time.

Meanwhile, celebrity blogger Perez Hilton (who should just know better, but we do realize that Perez can’t resist trying to be a part of anyone’s spotlight) and Chelsea Handler engaged in a war of words on Twitter Sunday night well into today. Wrote Hilton Sunday night on Twitter, “I usually like her, but Chelsea Handler is sucking at the #VMAs— hard!” Today, he followed up with, “@RyanSeacrest I think you should host the VMAs next year! Or ME! Ha! We both would have done a better job than Chelsea did!” Handler bit back on Twitter: “@perezhilton oh, F&$K off. I had a blast and the show awesome last night. Bomb? Your life is a bomb.” She also promised to get even on her E! late-night show tonight. “Oh, its on tonight. Game on,” she tweeted. And game on it will be! Chelsea Handler is a rising STAR. And we love her. And not because we jumped on some bandwagon. We have followed her career since her ham and egg circuit stand-up days. Since she broke ground on RENO 911 and then ran over everyone with her unrivaled wit on Girls Behaving Badly… Chelsea Handler’s continued success isn’t a surprise to us. She is exactly who she is and makes no apologies for it. And she shouldn’t have to… UB

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~ by upbeatmag on September 14, 2010.

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