Gaga, Gaga and more Gaga at 2011 MMVAs

by W. Andrew Powell
Lady Gaga

Let’s look back, little monsters, on the night that was the 2011 MuchMusic Video Awards. This is what I’d call a capsule review of my evening, and it was filled with Lady Gaga, a little Selena Gomez, and a hint of self-loathing.

This was one of the few years where I didn’t end up on the MMVA red carpet, so I have absolutely zero idea what happened out there this year. From the few seconds I caught on screen, my guess was not much. While past years brought tanks and Katy Perry throwing her treats from an ice cream truck, this year had… bubble boys and a hearse? Essentially, no big arrivals, in other words, but everyone tried just a little. (It makes me wonder if the “surprise” arrivals thing is dead?)

After that, I was down in the thick of things getting photos as Lady Gaga kicked off the show and Selena Gomez started her hosting duties alongside the stars, like Colin Farrell, and the first winners of the night, Justin Bieber and Drake. Little Miss Gomez was in perfect spirits, and kept the energy high when she was on stage, but from the moment Gaga gave an essentially basic performance, the night was shot in my books.

Snoop Dogg and Far East Movement

Snoop Dogg and Far East Movement

Far East Movement and Dev pushed the energy, and so did Snoop Dogg, but there was always a feeling that this wasn’t the most spectacular show ever, and even Avril Lavigne came off as bored and somewhat tired, and I love the girl. Fefe Dobson was supercharged though, and she practically ate up the stage, but it was a bit crazed at the same time. Fefe clearly was the most energetic of all the performers in the first chunk of the MMVAs, and while Gaga saved her big number for the closing, I’d still award Fefe the Kick-Ass Attitude award for best energy during a performance.

Once Fefe was off the stage, and since I missed Simple Plan and, more importantly, The Black Keys, I trekked up to the press room for the remaining interviews that were scheduled. The most notable problem, as is always the case, are the number of stars who don’t show up, or get waylaid and never arrive. This year we did get Simple Plan, Fefe, Cody Simpson and a bunch of others, but the big musical names of the night were totally missing, as was Colin Farrell. Non-arrivals included Black Keys, Avril, Bruno Mars, and our little bubbly co-host, Selena.

The only surprise closing press session was from Lady Gaga, who actually showed up for her moment with the media, and some handler with a death wish tried to cut off the chat after literally three or four minutes.

What I loved about the night was that artists like David Guetta, Karl Wolf, Far East Movement, Danny Fernandes, Simple Plan, Cody Simpson, and even Gaga all came across as the most unbelievably down-to-Earth people to hit it big. They answered questions without attitude, and were happy to make nice for a few minutes that seemed totally genuine. Why some stars (or their handlers) were absent boggles my mind.

Given magical abilities to improve the night, I would have said bring back the big industry party, and bring on some more fresh stars, but the MMVAs were dependable, and the fans ate it all up. As quite a few artists mentioned backstage, there is also nothing like the MMVAs. Fans get to see their favorite singers up close and personal, and it makes for an entirely unique awards show that isn’t stuck indoors. I would have reduced the amount of Gaga going on, perhaps, but she’s the biggest star on the planet right now, so on the bright side, MuchMusic gave fans exactly what they probably wanted (although I’m betting a little more Bieber wouldn’t have made any girls complain either).

Stay tuned tomorrow for my own photos from the night.

All photos courtesy MuchMusic/BellMedia.

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