It’s anybody’s guess what kind of surprises could be in store for the 25th Video Music Awards tonight. Will Britney dance? (Er, maybe.) Will Kanye tell us something unexpected about his next album? (Sounds like it.) Will American audiences be able to understand any of the jokes coming out of Russell Brand’s mouth? (We hope so!) Whatever may come, Adrienne Day and Simon Vozick-Levinson will be on hand to sort it out…or just let us know what you think here.
Adrienne: Finally, Britney! I feel I’ve been waiting a long time for this moment…
Adrienne: Is this ‘Sweet Dreams’?
Simon: Personally, I think Britney’s stair-walking was flawless.
Simon: Ha! Rihanna stole Leona Lewis’ Olympics dress.
Adrienne: She was pretending it was a Stairmaster.
Simon: Still not sure what’s going on with that outfit (is that a bustle?), but this performance is way less creepy/more enjoyable than her video for this song.
Adrienne: Nice White Stripes intro there.
Adrienne: Russell! Nice hair?
Simon: Rihanna’s second performance is going to “melt my soul”? That sounds painful!
Adrienne: Hah, totally
Adrienne: I’m so glad I can understand his accent. Was worried for a minute
Simon: Me too, though he definitely just pronounced Kanye “Can-yea”…
Adrienne: Isn’t that how you pronounce it?
Simon: Nah it’s “Kahn-yea”!
Adrienne: Wow, Obama plug so early on!
Adrienne: “Can” sounds Southern
Simon: Ooh, this cutting political comment is fantastic!
Adrienne: Love it
Adrienne: There’s a new one
Simon: None of this has anything whatsoever to do with music, videos, or MTV…but I’m cool with it!
Adrienne: I feel VILFY watching this bit…
Adrienne: “Use a condom, or become Republican.”
Adrienne: The FCC might have a field day with this
Simon: Yeah, I bet the Parents’ Television Council is LOVING this routine
Adrienne: Paging Tipper Gore!
Adrienne: Wow, I just realized how much of his chest you can see…not sure if that’s a good or a bad thing
Simon: That “baseball bat” line — am I watching the VMAs or Eddie Murphy: RAW?
Simon: (Not necessarily a complaint!)
Adrienne: Who was that with the huge knockers? (Am I allowed to say “knockers” here?)
Adrienne: Jamie Foxx-y!
Adrienne: I just woke up, I think
Simon: Jamie’s improv’d Busta Rhymes impression just then was almost as good as his Ray Charles.
Adrienne: Did he he just say, “I see TI? He get that bail money?”
Simon: Jamie’s “full, unconditional support for the ladies”: More or less controversial than Russell’s Obama shout-out?
Adrienne: And the winner for best female video is…
Adrienne: We’re speechless too, Brit
Simon: I’m glad she thanked God —’ He’s definitely a big “Piece of Me” fan.
Adrienne: The silver lame is a definite upgrade from last year’s black jumpsuit
Simon: Ahh! Get Spencer and Heidi off my screen!
Simon: Actually in fairness, I’m sorta impressed that Spencer knows the word “papyrus.”
Adrienne: It’s a new era for MTV — the “SAT” generation
addCredit(“MTV VMA Trophy: Getty Images”)
Simon: Okay, is it just my cable provider or is that the eight-thousandth time they’ve shown that ad for Christina Aguilera’s new fragrance tonight?
Adrienne: There it is again!
Simon: No offense, but does anyone really wake up saying, “I want to smell like Xtina today”??
Adrienne: Is that really Brit’s first VMA?
Adrienne: “Duh-MEE Moore”
Adrienne: Love the accent
Simon: Honestly I do not think that Demi’s entrance qualifies as “descending in a magnificent way.”
Simon: Whoa, T.I. is inside that guy’s face – trippy!
Adrienne: You rooting for him?
Simon: You bet!
Simon: Oh well, I like Chris Brown too
Adrienne: Me too. But does he deserve it?
Simon: Good question!
Simon: Whoa, did Russell just blow up Chris and Rihanna’s spot?
Adrienne: PopWatchers, we leave this to you to debate
Adrienne: I think he did!
Adrienne: Wow, wow, and wow
Simon: OMG the Jonas Brothers travel by cab? They are so down-to-earth.
Adrienne: Ha. So plebe.
Adrienne: Doesnt that look like a stoop on Sesame Street or something?
Simon: It DOES!
Adrienne: They are cutie pies tho
Simon: Not sure the acoustic format is working for them…
Adrienne: Yeah, a little weak.
Simon: And I say this as someone who sorta enjoys their singles!
Simon: I’m waiting for Oscar to come in on trash-can percussion.
Simon: That stoop was all just a set! My mind is blown right now.
Simon: These rushing crowds look like a scene from A Hard Day’s Night …. or Cloverfield.
Adrienne: So meta. “None of it is real.”
Adrienne: Ha! I was thinking the same
Adrienne: “Like a Virgin!”
Adrienne: Now we’re speaking my language
Adrienne: [And showing my age]
Simon: Wait, is this Katy Perry performance actually happening right now? Huh?
Adrienne: Yeah, but they’ll cycle it back in after the commercial, I bet
Simon: Yeah, I really hope they do not do that…And yet I fear they shall.
Simon: UGH — Lil Wayne is guesting on Kid Rock’s “All Summer Long,” according to this weird bottom-of-screen ticker. I loathe that song. Why must Weezy sully himself by rapping on it??
Simon: Yep, the ticker just compared Paramore to Led Zeppelin. Epic fail.
Adrienne: Bette Midler and Dan Aykroyd hosted the VMAs 25 years ago. Now we have a lewd UK comedian. Times have changed…
Simon: So who’s everyone rooting for in the big ABDC dance-off? The winner’s apparently being announced in 7 minutes. My money’s on unfairly booted season 2 alums FannyPak…
Simon: Wow, an ad for Jermaine Dupri’s TAG Records. I was hoping that was all just a bad dream.
Adrienne: There we go. Kate Perry $ shot
Simon: Is she even pretending to sing over the backing vocals?
Adrienne: AND we missed the song!
Adrienne: Tacky, MTV!
Adrienne: I didnt get that b—- joke
Simon: Yeah me neither? I’m glad he called that JoBros performance “career-defining,” tho.
Simon: Hey, Michael Phelps listens to all the same commercial rappers I do!
Adrienne: You guys have a lot in common!
Simon: He looks pretty uncomfortable up there tho. They shoulda let him do that intro from a fishtank.
Adrienne: Hello, crotchgrab
Simon: Is Weezy freestyling these lyrics? I think so — and MTV’s five-second-delay censors seem to agree…
Adrienne: Yeah, he must be
Simon: Aw, they’re not letting Leona Lewis do the “A MILLI-A MILLI-A MILLI” back-up vocals? Missed opportunity, MTV.
Simon: Whoa, T-Pain! Open question, folks: Why is he wearing that silly top hat all the time lately?
Simon: Seriously — I’ll ask Mr. Pain myself if I have a chance, but in the meantime I would appreciate any light anyone can shed on the subject.
Adrienne: Like Buckethead. Sorta
Adrienne: But no chicken
Simon: This Weezy-driven medley was easily the highlight of the night so far, tho, all jokes aside.
Simon: Russell Brand just called Lil Wayne “mate” and marveled at the fact that he was “losing his trousers”! Love it.
Adrienne: I think he was being…sarcastic? I couldn’t tell.
Simon: Yeah, unclear? Fairly hilar either way…
Simon: Yes, FannyPak won! All is right with the world.
Simon: This is sweet karmic retribution for their ridiculously early elimination from ABDC.
Adrienne: My money’s on the P Dolls
Adrienne: I am…correct!
Simon: OOF. That is just wrong.
Simon: Chris Brown and Madonna was robbed!
Adrienne: For once. Revel in the wrongness of it, Simon
Simon: I am reveling so bad right now.
Adrienne: Why is God getting top billing in all the thank-yous?
Adrienne: He must like them, too
Adrienne: Miley does Bon Jovi??
Simon: Ooh, I almost forgot there was a new “Charm School” series coming…starring “Rock of Love” rejects…hosted by Sharon Osbourne. Can’t wait!
Simon: Uhoh, Danity Kane are this awards ceremony’s Price Waterhouse? I am not reassured.
Simon: Russell is definitely going off-script here — you see the cameraman scramble to get a reaction shot of Kobe?
Simon: Russell looks more like a vampire than any of these Twilight cast members. Just sayin.
Simon: Also I can totally see Edward in that hall-of-mirrors thing. So not a vampire
Simon: (Did I just expose my ignorance of the Twilight universe’s rules? Possibly!)
Adrienne: Why are Paramore performing offsite? Did they not have enough room at the VMA site?
Adrienne: Guess you need extra room for all that rock star ego…
Simon: I’m gonna keep making shoddily-reasoned Twilight jokes to avoid commenting on this annoying Paramore performance.
Adrienne: I kind of like them, I have to admit
Adrienne: Is that bad?
Simon: Nah! I actually think Hayley is kinda cool, but I cannot stand the rest of that band.
Adrienne: What band? :)
Simon: Hah! Exactly.
Adrienne: She IS the band, as far as I’m concerned
Adrienne: Oops, did i mess up? I thought they were playing offsite
Simon: It looked like they were! so much set-design trickery
Simon: They just told us to “take cover” for Miley – duly noted, MTV
Adrienne: I LOVE the new Pink video
Adrienne: I am VERY excited about this. Perhaps for the first time tonight
Simon: I, meanwhile, am very excited about EW’s upcoming “Battle of the Bureau Bands” after seeing that kick-ass Rock Band 2 ad. LA bureau, you ain’t ready. (Actually you probably are.)
Adrienne: We dont even have a real office practice space! (Tim Stack’s office is not a “real” space.)
Simon: Oh, why, Russell, are you pretending to have stolen one of the Jonas Brothers’ purity rings?!
Adrienne: It seems to be a running joke. But over my head.
Simon: You heard it here first: Shia should be the new lead singer of Velvet Revolver.
Adrienne: It could only improve the band (sorry, VR fans)
Adrienne: Go Foos!
Adrienne: So many covers this year.
Adrienne: Linkin Schminkin
Simon: Noted: The mere thought of Linkin Park makes Slash crack up giggling. Make of that what you will.
Simon: Did Russell Brand just call Miley’s crew “yoppos”? Is that some sort of weird British slur?
Adrienne: I heart Pink. I really really do. And hot blue…trenchcoat?
Simon: These sets are continuing to blow my mind. Is she on a real NYC street?!?!
Simon: Committing random acts of terrorism!?
Adrienne: Naw, that’s Seattle during the WTO conference
Simon: OR IS IT?
Adrienne: [Cue Twilight Zone music]
Simon: This performance is pretty awesome though.
Adrienne: I have goosebumps. I really do. Am shocked by that fact
Simon: Is her guitarist Robert Plant?
Adrienne: Um, I think she’s wearing silver glittery pasties
Adrienne: Which is HOTT
Simon: The Ting-Tings deserved more than one of these interstitial half-performances. This song rocks!
Adrienne: WTF is up with that?
Adrienne: Wow, she is a giant next to him
Simon: Aww, Pete and Ashlee are cute together.
Adrienne: Okay, slight exaggeration
Simon: Only slight!
Simon: Hahaha, Russell Brand is still gratuitously lashing out at the Republicans apropos of nothing. Best VMA host ever.
Simon: Not gonna lie, Slipknot scares me.
Simon: OMG McLovin was in one of their masks. Even scarier!
Adrienne: People are gonna be up in arms about it tho (the GOP lashing)
Simon: Yep, and tomorrow everyone will be talking about the VMAs. MTV FTW!
Adrienne: You happy, Simon?
Simon: Lil Wayne wins Hip-Hop Video of the Year! Only fair, this is really his year (by MTV standards, at least)
Adrienne: Does he have tats on his face?
Simon: Oh, does he ever.
Adrienne: I feel like such a grandma — are those TATTOOS on his FACE?
Simon: Uh, Jordin Sparks just called anyone who doesn’t wear a promise ring “a slut.” WTF??
Adrienne: I hope Slezak is watching, so he can explain that one in the office tomorrow
Simon: I love T.I.’s perpetual smirk.
Simon: One day, I hope I am as suave as he.
Adrienne: You are Simon. It’s subtle. But it’s there.
Simon: AWW! Thanks, Adrienne.
Adrienne: You just need those wheels….
Simon: Oh wow, he’s doing his new song that samples the “Numa Numa” song.
Adrienne: Yay! This song is actually great
Simon: It IS! As much as I love Ri-Ri, tho, part of me wishes Tip had just gotten Gary Brolsma to sing the hook.
Adrienne: Quick with the Wik, Simon!
Adrienne: The refrain, “nu mă, nu mă iei”, can be approximately translated from Romanian as “you don’t, you don’t take me [with you].”
Simon: See, that is why I am happy that Wikipedia exists.
Adrienne: I knew that offhand, of course
Simon: No offense to anyone, but T.I.’s sheer lyrical dextrousness CRUSHES every other rapper who will appear on stage tonight. You hear him nail those multisyllables live?
Adrienne: More covers!
Adrienne: This is your area of expertise, Simon, but I trust you on it
Simon: Weezy and Kanye are both great artists too. Just sayin’.
Adrienne: I almost forgot Kanye’s showing up!
Adrienne: Ha! This is funny: Lauren says in the comments section, “I think Rhianna is having to hold herself to avoid a ‘wardrobe malfunction.'”
Simon: Ooh, it did kinda look like that!
Simon: The HSM3 cast! Will any of them join the ongoing debate over the value of abstinence-only policies??
Simon: Guess not.
Simon: On another note — this futuristic “Genie in a Bottle” remake is killer.
Simon: This actual new song is pretty great too! And I think Xtina just brought the evening’s crotch-grab tally up to (at least) three.
Simon: Her Back to Basic ’40s kick was okay, but I am so glad she’s back to synth-pop, where she belongs.
Adrienne: Is it impolitic to say that Xtina looks…different?
Simon: Ha — my girlfriend was just wondering the same thing..
Simon: Oh wow, Russell is talking about abstinence pledges AGAIN. He is not afraid of controversy, is he?
Adrienne: That was a weird little ramble, no?
Simon: Yeah, it did kinda look like someone from MTV made him apologize… I think the R. Kelly jokes pretty much undermined any apology value that had, tho
Adrienne: Tokio Hotel. Yay. Those folks, it’s actually TOKYO
Simon: The Tokio Hotel guy and Russell Brand should trade hair tips.
Adrienne: US Army jacket he’s wearing
Adrienne: M.I.A. as bumper music. I wish she was here
Adrienne: A little “Paper Planes” would do me good right about now
Simon: This anti-drug ad is mad trippy, yo.
Adrienne: I’m sick of the texting ads. “Text VIP for blah blah blah.” It makes me want to text SLP for sleep…
Simon: Yes, but Danity Kane is reading your texts! Tell me that doesn’t sweeten the deal. (Okay, actually it does not sweeten the deal even a little bit.)
Simon: LL Cool J’s “Going Back to Cali” has now been relegated to one of those weird half-song bits. RIP, Hip-Hop.
Simon: Hahaha, Russel Brand’s serious nodding during Paris’ Teleprompter speech made me LOL.
Adrienne: Brit, again? Who’s on this voting committee anyway?
Simon: …and, Brit thanks God again.
Simon: Lupe Fiasco deserves a full performance, too! Surely they could have fit him in there instead of, like, one of those Katy Perry songs.
Adrienne: It’s tragic. But they need to make room for all those TAG ads
Simon: Oh, the tragedy!
Adrienne: Least everyone smells nice, I imagine. Probably a lot of perfume samples in the VMA gift bags.
Adrienne: Because when I hear music? I think of body odor
Simon: When I hear “Jermaine Dupri,” I do. [Rimshot!] J/k, Jermaine, I will always respect you for bringing us Kriss Kross and The Emancipation of Mimi.
Simon: Yet more M.I.A. music used as intro/exit soundtrack! Almost as good as the real thing?
Adrienne: I doubt she’s get a visa after “Planes” broke.
Simon: What is Kid Rock drinking out of that plastic glass? Wack Sauce?
Simon: They should do a split-screen where they show Warren Zevon and Ronnie Van Zant spinning in their graves during this monstrosity of a “song.”
Simon: Have I mentioned that I really, really dislike Kid Rock?
Adrienne: I was just going to say the exact same thing — except in a more direct, this totally sucks kind of way
Simon: Can Lil Wayne save this performance?
Simon: And the answer is…sort of, but I still wish we could have gotten that verse with 100 percent less Kid Rock.
Adrienne: Ha. I thought that was Will.i.am at first
Simon: Understandable, given the hat!
Simon: I would vastly prefer to have just seen Lil Wayne perform “Freebird.” Anyone with me?
Simon: Btw, sounds like the finale is in 8 mins…
Adrienne: Good, ’cause I’m out of beer
Simon: Sounds like the show’s almost over. We still have approx 6 minutes for Britney to break out that choreography we saw her practicing as a surprise!
Simon: BTW, Adam Carolla just said I’m not a real man because I enjoy sashimi. Between that and Jordin Sparks calling me a slut before, I am feeling pretty insulted.
Simon: Kobe’s presenting Video of the Year? They couldn’t get an actual music celeb?
Adrienne: If Brit wins again, I’m…gonna be pissed off
Simon: Remember, though, God is on her side.
Adrienne: [Throws hands in the air in exasperation]
Simon: Brit claims she “really wasn’t expecting this.” Uh-huh.
Adrienne: She doesn’t seem that surprised
Simon: Why did Russell just load her onto a forklift?
Simon: Is this show still going on?
Simon: This is like the Pam Anderson scene in Borat.
Simon: He has a robotic heart, just like Tony Stark.
Adrienne: His little heart beats as one
Simon: And he’s singing, just like T-Pain.
Adrienne: And he’s awardless, just like the Ting Tings
Simon: Ooh, digging the Nina Simone-y pianos…
Simon: Okay, this is a dope groove, but I really hope ‘Ye starts, y’know, rapping at some point…
Adrienne: Whoa. Creepy drumming action. They look like extras in Princess Mononoke
Simon: This song would be awesome…if Kanye gave it to an actual singer.
Simon: Is that seriously it?
Adrienne: And, let me third that …
Simon: One word for that song: OOF .
Simon: I am on record as a big, big Kanye fan, but that was…well…I’ll give it a few days to sink in?
Adrienne: Let it stink in. I mean, sink
Adrienne: Sigh. What did the rest of you think of Kanye’s perf?
Adrienne: Okay. I’ve had my fill of chastity jokes
Simon: I will never have my fill of inappropriate jokes from Russell Brand… but I’ve definitely had my fill of this VMAs broadcast.
Adrienne: With that, we’ll leave it to the rest of you to discuss. Enjoy the post-show! I’m off to bed…