Thursday, September 17, 2009

Swift VS West Showdown

Award Shows; two words that signify glamorous celebrities, extravagant performances, and eccentric hosts. An award show like no other aired Sunday night called the Video Music Awards on MTV. Now you might ask why this is so different from other award shows. And the answer is simple. You never know what’s going to happen next. The performances are out of this world, the nominees have infinite talent, and the host produces smooth transitions between each performance and award, keeping the viewers on their toes. This year the host of the MTV awards, Russell Brand was completely riotous. With his wise cracking British accent and simple witty jokes, he kept the night animated. He was the perfect host, poking fun at everyone including himself, and creating smooth transitions between different awards and performances. Performers included Taylor Swift, Green Day, Jay-Z and Beyoncé.

My favorite performance was Taylor Swift. Now, on the Grammy’s and any other music award show, the performers perform on a stage, but Taylor Swift took things to a whole new level, by performing in a New York Subway station. She sang her hit song “You Belong With Me” which of course, everyone hears constantly on the radio. She began the show in a trench coat, with this mysterious sense to the beginning of the song. During the first verse she sings acoustically with just a guitar and her voice. After the first verse, she rips off the Trench Coat revealing a stunning scarlet dress. The band kicks in and she hops on the subway filled with excited New Yorkers. She interacts with her audience on the subway, by dancing and singing with them, and manages to maintain her flawless singing voice. After the first chorus, the people on the subway and Taylor Swift exit the subway station and flood the streets of New York in front of the VMA venue. Taylor Swift ascends a Taxi and finishes the song dancing on the top of it while reaching out to her fans. Overall, it was a completely breathtaking performance. She was able to connect to her audience on a completely different level than if she performed on a stage.
One of the reasons I was so impressed with her was what happened prior to the performance. She won an award, and most musicians would be delighted to win that infamous moon man, but twenty minutes after Taylor won this award, you could find her crying back stage. But to understand why we’ll need to rewind to the moment when she won her award, Kanye West snatched the microphone from her and said, “Yo Taylor Imma let you finish but Beyoncé had one of the best videos of all time”, implying that Beyoncé should have been the one holding the award. Taylor Swift looked completely flabbergasted along with the millions of viewers and fans watching. Honestly, I thought it was a joke. At any minute, Kanye West would say, “just kidding.” But this wasn’t the case. An awkward silence hung in the air after this moment, and the cameras rolled over to Beyoncé’s shocked face. Audience members started to stand up and boo, and eventually Taylor left and the show continued. Controversy arose immediately after, and if you went online you would see angry comments all over Twitter, Facebook, and Blogger. I thought this was completely inappropriate of Kanye West. People are entitled to their opinions, and it was fine that he thought Beyoncé should have won, but he did not need to ruin Taylor’s moment. She’s only nineteen and it was the first VMA award she had ever won, and Kanye West completely destroyed this for her. I’m a huge fan of Taylor Swift and I truly believe she earned this award. However, I know people who are not fans of her who still thought Kanye West’s actions were inappropriate. I’m not saying that Taylor Swift should or shouldn’t have won the award, but what Kanye West did was wrong and completely unnecessary. I wonder how he would feel if someone did that to him after he won an award. After the VMA’s, he appeared on Saturday Night Live and admitted that what he did was wrong and that he wanted to apologize to Taylor. He called her the next day, and apologized through the phone. Taylor Swift accepted his apology. I thought this was very mature of her. She was obviously upset with Kanye, but she found it in herself to forgive him and be the bigger person. More evidence that she’s not only an unbelievable performer, but also an unbelievable person.

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