Five takeaways from this year’s MTV Video Music Awards

Alec Erickson

While the MTV Video Music Awards (VMA) are widely considered as a joke by many in the music industry, it is hard to deny the fact that it is one of the most popular award shows among young adults. Because of the highly anticipated drama and controversy that surrounds the award show every year, the VMAs have become one of the most entertaining public spectacles. The 2016 VMAs occurred on Aug. 28, and although they brought audiences some incredible music performances, the event featured many failed attempts at humor and was an overall mediocre show. Here are five takeaways from this year’s VMAs:

1. The VMAs’ attempt at not having a host completely failed.


The VMAs appeared on live television without a host. And this wasn’t the first time the event has occurred without a dedicated emcee. On paper, this seems like a decent idea. With a building full of some of the hottest artists on the scene, you would think that the periods between awards being handed out would be filled with music performances. That was not the case. This year, we were treated to awkward and often cringe worthy checkups with Keegan-Michael Key and Joran Peele. Poor execution and unsuccessful jokes left me wishing there was a host.

2. People only care what Kanye has to say when it involved Taylor Swift.

Before debuting his new music video, Kanye West took the stage and spoke to the crowd in what would end up being the longest speech of the night. Kanye was surprisingly composed while giving the speech. While he covered a wide array of topics, the crowd was most interested in what he had to say about Taylor Swift. Swift might not have been present at this year’s awards, but the drama between the pair definitely made an appearance. Kanye did not reference her name, however, he discussed the issues surrounding “Famous.” Expectedly, no one really cared too much about the part of Kanye’s speech that mentioned his love for all humans. But hey, it is the VMAs, not a humanitarian dinner.

3. The VMAs are not really about the awards.

Although many artists walked away with awards, that was not the focus of Sunday night. It was mainly about showcasing celebrity presenters in between music performances. Very few of the awards were actually presented at the VMAs, while others weren’t even mentioned at all like Best Rock Video. When they were presented, one of two things happened. Either an artist won and wasn’t there to accept the award and then the presenter would attempt to make a joke about it, or the artist would awkwardly make their way up the stage, say two sentences and leave.

4. The women absolutely stole the show.

Despite everything you can possibly say about the VMAs, there is no denying the fact that the women rocked the house this year. Nicki Minaj and Ariana Grande premiered a new song, Rihanna performed many solid performances with very limited lip syncing and Britney Spears finally made her return to the VMAs. Then of course there was the impactful live performance from Beyoncé that included most of the music from her visual album “Lemonade.” Aside from the performances, the women took home most of the awards, making it clear that are absolutely ruling the industry right now.

5. The VMAs are not as good as they once were.

In the end, the truth of the matter is that the VMAs are not as good as they once were. Some people get to a point in life where they go through the motions without a real purpose. That’s exactly where the VMAs are at. They are caught in this weird purgatory. All that’s left of the VMAs an all flare event with no substance. They put out one act after another in an attempt to generate some buzz online. While this definitely worked Sunday night, the tactic will not last forever. We are quickly approaching the day where we might not have the VMAs anymore and instead get some live concert as a cheap replacement.