Friday, July 29, 2005

MTV Video Music Awards 2005

My apologies for not posting for quite some time now, as I was busy with school now that it has reopened again. But anyway, the most exciting awards show is coming and the nominees were revealed on Monday. Here are some of the more important categories:

1. Video of the Year
- Speed Of Sound by Coldplday
- Boulevard Of Broken Dreams by Green Day
- Hollaback Girl by Gwen Stefani
- Jesus Walks by Kanye West
- Drop It Like It's Hot by Snoop Dog featuring Pharrell

2. Best Male Video
- Candy Shop by 50 Cent
- E-Pro by Beck
- Ordinary People by John Legend
- Jesus Walks by Kanye West
- Caught Up by Usher

3. Best Female Video
- 1 Thing by Amerie
- Hollaback Girl by Gwen Stefani
- Since U Been Gone by Kelly Clarkson
- We Belong Together by Mariah Carey
- La Tortura by Shakira featuring Alejandro Sanz

4. Best Group Video
- Don't Phunk With My Heart by Black Eyed Peas
- Soldier by Destiny's Child featuring T.I. & Lil' Wayne
- Boulevard Of Broken Dreams by Green Day
- Mr. Brightside by The Killers
- Vertigo by U2

5. Best Dance Video
- 1, 2 Step by Ciara
- Lose My Breath by Destiny's Child
- Get Right by Jennofer Lopez
- Lose Control by Missy Elliott featuring Ciara & Fat Man Scoop
- La Tortura by Shakira featuring Alejandro Sanz

So Green Day nabbed the most number of nominations this year with eight nods, followed by Gwen and Missy with six nods each. So this year's VMAs will be held at Miama again, the same venue as last year, where the stars arrived in their yachts instead of limousines. So this year the VMAs will be hosted by P. Diddy, who is the so-called de facto Miami mayor. But really, who cares???

The VMAs used to be the most exciting awards show but sadly, I have found myself wanting for the past two years. Frankly, does anyone remember what happened at last year's show? I can barely register. For one, there was no controversial moment whatsoever. For two, erm, I cannot even remember who was the biggest winner of the night.

Oh then there's that "infamous" kiss between Madonna and Britney during the 2003 show, which caused so much outrage and even hurt the sales of Madonna's American Life album. Yes, the show did go down to such low levels as to feature a lesbian kiss.

The point about the VMAs is that it is never meant to be taken seriously, like the Oscars. However, it is not meant to be taken totally unseriously too, like the MTV Movie Awards. We want a colourful party, a bold and out-of-this world fiesta. It is like watching your music videos come alive. Music videos by themselves are surreal and the normal rules of linear storytelling don't apply to them.

So when the VMAs get boring, you know it is very bad news. And looking at the crop of this year's nominees, I don't see much reason to be excited too.

Maybe music video production techniques have advanced to the stage where the technology is so widespread that every video ends up looking like a clone of others. It is so hard to find a video that really stands out from the pack and blows you away. I shall not go into the topic of MJ and music videos...

But anyway, among all the videos in the categories listed above, my favourite has got to be Gwen Stefani's Hollaback Girl video. The song is cool as shit and the video only enforces it. It's colourful and crazy, with marching bands, cheerleaders and Japanese girls dancing alongside Gwen. It is one video that is actually congruent to the lyrics of the song. I hope Gwen can sweep the moonmen on August 28th.

If you're hoping to know what are my predictions for the above categories, I must first admit that I haven't seen all of the nominated videos, so my predictions might not be very accurate. But anyway, here are my predictions:

1. Video of the Year: Hollaback Girl (Gwen Stefani)
Coldplay might have released one of the best-selling albums this year, but this is the VMAs, not Grammy Awards. Kanye West has been touted as the next big thing, but he's just that: the NEXT big thing. Not yet the big thing, not this time. Snoop Dog churned out quite a big hit with this one but Drop It Like It's Hot might have lost its steam about half a year ago. Green Day might be the one to pull off an upset here, but I'm tipping Gwen to scoop up the biggest honour of the night easily.

2. Best Male Video: Jesus Walks (Kanye West)
How did Candy Shop even manage to sneak its way in here?! It's ridiculous. As for John Legend and Beck, they're a little too low-profile to emerge as worthy winners. Caught Up looks like a Smooth Criminal ripoff...yes, great dance moves, but it looks a little dated right now. Kanye West seems to be winner here only because the other nominees are not up to the mark.

3. Best Female Video: Hollaback Girl
Amerie is a newcomer and I don't think she'll be first time lucky. Kelly Clarkson has been the most promising Idol but this is not a phone-in contest, so she's unlikely to crowned winner again. Shakira is plainly playing up her sex appeal here, appearing muddy and sweaty and shaking those hips of hers again like she did in Whenever, Wherever. Seen those before, time to move on. Mariah released a great song and staged a great comeback with this track, but I believe Gwen has the bananas to go the extra mile.

4. Best Group Video: Boulevard Of Broken Dreams (Green Day)
Black Eyed Peas had a great run with their Elephunk album but their latest release hasn't been as well-received. It's a decent video but it's rather forgettable. Soldier is too laidback to win this. Vertigo is like, super old isn't it? Mr. Brightside might give Green Day a run for their money as two of the hottest bands slug it out, but The Killers still have many chances to win this. Sometimes sentimentality counts a lot.

5. Best Dance Video: 1, 2 Step (Ciara)
Get Right is like Love Don't Cost A Thing Part II, and sequels don't ever win anything. La Tortura is a torture to watch, really. Destiny's Child might stun this award away as a fitting tribute to their wonderful career, before they officially split up after their current tour. Missy has been a favourite of the VMAs with her quirky and groundbreaking videos, but I haven't seen this one yet. Ciara has been hot, hot, hot this year. And I think she'll be taking her 1, 2 steps to the winner's podium.

Well, these are my two cents' worth. The awards will be telecast on August 28th, which is about one month from now. We'll see then if my predictions are accurate. For now, I'll try to catch the other videos that I have not seen. Take care!


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