The Show Must Go On


Graphic by Luca Mancini

Marko Barrera, STAFF WRITER

   It was clear to see that last year’s VMAs were definitely something to remember. From Missy Elliott’s ‘hall of fame induction’ to Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello’s intimate performance of their collab hit, Señorita, it would be difficult to do better. With everything that’s going on, it would surely be a challenge to pull it all off. With all the odds against it, MTV was still able to treat viewers to a remarkable night with the 2020 Video Music Awards.


   The show was able to be run smoothly and securely, while still giving the fans an experience they could really enjoy. It appears as though MTV used a concoction of pre-recorded messages and live green screen imagery to pull off an amazing show. 


   The night was headlined by long-awaited performances, historic achievements, and LADY GAGA! She was truly a big part of the show, as she made VMA history and was in a three-way tie for the most award wins, each of them winning four. One of Gaga’s awards was MTV’s first time giving it out. The “Tricon Award” was awarded to Gaga for her success in not just singing, but in other areas like fashion and acting. It appears that this award is replacing the “Video Vanguard Award.” She has had an influence on all these fields, and she was able to prove her strength through her award-winning music, Grammy-nominated movies, and her redefining outfits.


   Although she is heavily respected for her amazing success, not everybody was amused about the outcomes of the awards and Gaga’s share of wins. Junior Addrienne Ospina wasn’t too thrilled about it. “I loved the entire show,” she said, “but I didn’t really enjoy how Gaga and Ariana won so much.” Ariana collaborated with Gaga on their hit song, “Rain on Me.”


   Their collaboration was part of the reason why Ariana was the second person who tied with Lady Gaga in winning four VMA awards. Their song helped Ariana win three of her four VMAs. These awards were Song of the Year, Best Collaboration, and Best Cinematography. For her fourth award, her song with Justin Bieber, “Stuck With U,” won the VMA award for Best Music Video From Home. 


   Along with that award, MTV was able to take advantage of the pandemic and create another award that correlated to quarantine. Besides the Best Music Video From Home award, they added the Best Quarantine Performance which was awarded to the boyband known as CNCO. Moreover, they gave a mention to the frontliners working to help stop this virus, who are also finding time to feel good with music. These people were termed as Everyday Heroes: Frontline Medical Workers honorees. Before winning their award, CNCO held a performance at another site where there was a live audience to watch them perform.


   MTV had a drive-in concert setup at a different location, by the East River in Brooklyn. Here, CNCO performed at the VMAs for the first time, also debuting their new song “Beso.” This setup was a very creative idea by MTV and they were able to execute it very well. The fans in the live audience were able to get that “concert feeling” again but at a safe distance. Each car at the drive in were separated by poles that marked where they were allowed to move to. To enjoy the experience even more, some even went and sat on top of their cars to have a better view of the performance. Speaking of performances, this year’s VMAs were filled with many, from The Weeknd’s opener to BTS and their first VMA performance ever, where they sang their first song that was sung entirely in english. 


   Some wish that other artists performed instead of those who actually did. There were viewers who thought that MTV could have done better when it came to choosing the performers. “There were barely any performances of bigger stars,” Freshman Rebekah Barrera said. She was still able to enjoy the show and she liked the designs of the setups. She said,”The stage was cool and it reminded me of a jellyfish.” MTV did a great job in designing their stages and making it appealing for the audience.


   This year’s Video Music Awards was definitely different from before and, for a first try, it is safe to say that it was successful. Even if it wasn’t exactly what fans wanted, it still did not stop them from appreciating the artists who have worked hard on their music to be nominated for and win awards. Everybody hopes that by this same time next year, the world will be in a much safer situation where fans can come together to watch their favorite artists on one stage. All in all, it is safe to say that the virtual VMA’s were truly a victory.