COLUMN: Video Music Awards disappoint in comparison with previous years

The 2017 MTV Video Music Awards were hyped up as much as they have been every year, with the same aura of anticipation swirling around them on social media.

But it fell flat when viewers realized there was actually not much to be excited about considering some of the biggest faces in music, such as Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, Rihanna and Drake were nowhere to be found. 

Instead of huge moments like Beyoncé's show-stopping medley performance in 2014, fans were left to revel in Katy Perry’s awkward jokes, Lorde’s interpretive dancing and an in-studio audience that seemed just as bored as the rest of us at home.   

Katy Perry tried her best by being herself, but she still stuck to a less-than-average script of puns. As a host, most of her jokes fell flat, since most were physical, like when she flew down from the ceiling in an iridescent astronaut suit and later cradled a vomiting babydoll. 

Surprisingly, she shied away from the drama that regularly surrounds her, such as her ongoing feud with Taylor Swift. Swift released the video for her new single, “Look What You Made Me Do,” which seemingly admitted her ‘snake queen’ status. Perry stuck to her slapstick routine, probably pleasing most Katy Kats, and likely only KatyKats.     

Various forms of shade were thrown during the event, both from the producers themselves and the performers. 

Julia Michaels, whose single “Issues” has spent almost 30 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, began her performance at the main event, but was cut short when commercials started rolling. Fifth Harmony performed “Angel,” their newest single off their latest self-titled album and “Down,” which won best pop video early in the evening. 

The members of the group were dressed in their usual dazzling body suits and thigh-high boots, but instead of just four women as we have now gotten used to seeing on stage since band member Camila Cabello left, there were five members perched high above the crowd on a platform. 

As the music began to play, the four band members removed their hoods and the fifth unidentified member was propelled off stage, falling backward into darkness. It was a low blow, but it sent a message that was clear to everyone watching: Fifth Harmony is now four.

Kendrick Lamar took home the biggest award of the night, the Moon Person for Video of the Year for his hit "HUMBLE." He received five other Moon Person awards throughout the night, this being the first year that MTV is calling the award a 'person' rather than a 'man.'       

The biggest happening of the night was definitely the release of Swift’s new music video. Equipped with special effects and maybe one too many self-deprecating references, Swift pulled out every stop. 

She commented on some of the rumors and actions of her own that have been ridiculed to no end, like her “fake” nice persona. 

But in a time where music is an escape from our harsh reality, is making it all about your drama-filled life really the right route to take? I am sure Swift and her team have been drafting up this comeback for a while now, completely unaware of what type of turmoil the world would be in at the time of its release.

I understand that pop stars constantly evolve musically and aesthetically, but her music has undeniably been a source of light and fun in the past. As a longtime fan myself, I would have appreciated that again, now more than ever.  

The evening had its ups and downs, but ended up falling flat compared to VMAs of years past. The camera constantly panned out to the audience, revealing their less-than-amused faces during most of Katy’s monologues and performances. 

Lorde gave an effort-filled but visually awkward interpretive dance performance to accompany the recorded track of her song “Homemade Dynamite.” Before the show, she tweeted saying she had come down with the flu, which was the reason she did not sing.

The show progressed slowly throughout the night, bobbing and weaving between unmemorable performances and B-list celebrity appearances. While award show viewers always want an entertaining night, sadly the VMAs did not quite deliver.    

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