So, I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume that you either watched the VMAs on Sunday or heard about them Monday and possibly have an opinion. Of course, the runaway performance of the evening was Miley Cyrus. Should we be surprised? I mean, c’mon, this is MTV and the 10th anniversary of the Britney-Madonna-Xtina (was she Xtina yet at that point?) pesudo-lesbian kiss, and Miley promised her performance would be “even crazier.”
Game, set, match.
She raised the bar on crazy. And lowered the bar on good taste. And performance standards. And the reviews were immediate and harsh, beginning with the shock and awe coming from the Will Smith family in the audience. Wow. Those reactions are a meme waiting to happen.
But why did it bother me? I don’t watch MTV, gave it up when the network gave up music. My kids have never been Hannah Montana fans, nor have they ever watched MTV themselves. None of us are really plugged into young Hollywood or looking to Miley to provide a role model or spiritual guidance or any of that, so whatever; I can change the channel.
I don’t blame her parents, won’t throw the stones that I’ve seen pitched in the direction of Billy Ray, he of the questionable hairstyle and manscaping choices. I’ve read enough backstory to understand that while, yes, the child grew up in another world with famous parents and a job before she got her period, she probably also had limits and rules she had to abide by. I mean, again–Hannah Montana. Not exactly a sexed-up Lolita, more of a buttoned-up Gidget. Is it a matter of her shrugging off the Montana mantle and spreading her Miley wings? Seriously; hasn’t she been banging that drum for years? I don’t buy it.
So why am I bothered by this turn into twerking and trainwrecks? If you listen to the backlash, half of the comments berated the girl for her lack of talent. While her dance choices
may be are suspect, the girl can wail. She’s got pipes the likes that Britney only wishes she had.
This is the reason I find Miley’s VMA performance so disturbing; it wasn’t performance art like Lady Gaga–while I’m not necessarily a big fan of Lady Gaga’s music, I don’t deny her talent. She brings the crazy and she can, because she backs it up with her talent. Miley’s performance confused that, she left her talent at home and just presented us with crazy. And it’s not the genre or the dancing–find a way to do both! That’s the key.
I hope it’s a phase. I hope she’s just like the really smart girl at school who tries to dumb it down to win over the jock / stoner / idiot boy she has a crush on, but by the end of the movie, she realizes that there is no boy worth dumbing your talent down for.
Check out these videos if you don’t believe me:
So I find myself saying the words I thought I never would: Come back, Miley. It’s okay. Talent will triumph over crazy if you let it.