UPDATE #2: Some really good comments from both side of the argument, so good that my resolve started to fade. And then I found this nugget from MTV.com, which was published on July 14. The headline: "Taylor Swift Promises 'Theatrics' For 2009 VMA Performance."
While that headline may refer to her actual performance, I choose to interpret it broadly, to mean her involvement in the entire show. Here's an excerpt from the article:
"I'm so excited that MTV and the VMAs have invited me to perform, because I think this year's show will be unlike anything they've ever done!" she said of her debut on the VMA stage with an updated version of her new single, "You Belong With Me."
Although Swift lost her [award] last year to Tokio Hotel, she'll be pulling out all the stops to dazzle the audience this year. "I love incorporating theatrics into my performances, and the VMAs have always allowed artists to run with that," she said. "MTV has been so good to me. And I could not be more excited about this year's VMAs."
Swift, with the help of Kanye and Beyonce, certainly delivered on the theatrics.
UPDATE: Thirty-six hours have passed since the Kanye West outburst and thus far it seems I’m among the minority of people who believe the whole episode was scripted.
A TVGuide.com poll found that 84 percent of respondents believe Kanye acted on his own volition.
In the latter blog, the author asked Brian Stelter, The New York Times reporter who covered the MTV event, for his thoughts. Here was Stelter’s answer:
“The story arc couldn’t have been written more perfectly. The conflict teed off the show, created tension for two hours, then concluded when Beyonce invited Taylor Swift back on stage for a proper acceptance speech. Staged or not, there must be a good bit of back-patting at MTV’s headquarters today.”
Anyone else skeptical of a live event with a perfect story arc?
You’ve probably heard about rapper Kanye West jumping on stage at the MTV Video Music Awards and grabbing the microphone from 19-year-old country music star Taylor Swift to announce that singer Beyonce Knowles actually deserved the award that Swift had just won.
A stunned Swift didn’t seem to know how to react. MTV cut away after West was done speaking.
People in the media, bloggers and commenters on Twitter are shocked shocked that West upstaged this poor little country singer. Oh come on. It was all staged—and it’s masterful media manipulation.
By some accounts, the awards shows – even the Michael Jackson tribute – was a bust. However, MTV guaranteed that the event will live on in the press and online thanks to this stunt. The story of West stealing the mic from Swift was even on the homepage of The New York Times this morning. The video of the incident has racked up more than 1 million views on the MTV Web site.
Kanye West has a reputation to uphold. He’s a self-obsessed a**hole. The man has embraced it; he sells records based on it. Remember, this is the guy who said during a televised Hurricane Katrina benefit that George Bush hates black people.
Meanwhile, Taylor Swift is the purity pop queen. She’s an aw shucks kind of girl who had her heartbroken by a Jonas Brother. And the way the rest of the awards show played out was perfect for her. Just minutes after the incident occurred, Swift performed one of her singles on a subway car beneath Radio City Music Hall as fans followed her en masse from the car to the street, ala The Beatles in A Hard Day’s Night.
She was triumphant – the young starlet had overcome the evil Kanye West.
Later in the show, Beyonce Knowles invited Swift on stage to let her take her bow. The crowd cheered.
Kanye, meanwhile, was booed throughout the night and later told to leave the event.
It was a win for everyone, especially MTV.
Here are a few more things to consider:
•Why didn’t MTV cut Kanye West’s mic when he jumped on stage?
•Why was this controversial and combustible star seated so close to the stage?
•Why did the host, British comedian Russell Brand, say during his opening monologue that Kanye West was “in the house” (or something) as the camera made a point of showing where he was – next to the stage?
•Convenient, wasn’t it, that Swift would perform almost immediately after Kanye stole her spotlight—and that the performance would take place outside the theater so she wouldn’t feel the need to say something to the audience about what had just happened.
Here's the video:
Meanwhile, Mashable has picked up a YouTube video showing Kanye interrupting President Obama. Funny stuff.