I’m not gonna pretend like the VMAs are too “mainstream” for me because I watch it each and every year and I’m not ashamed to say it. However, after last night’s monstrosity that was Miley’s shitshow–I mean–“performance” I will refrain from commenting on it and instead will present you with some performances that will help you get over Miley, if her tongue and twerking aren’t already burned into your brain.
Britney Spears “I’m A Slave 4 U” 2001
I’m gonna bypass the fact that she is obviously lip syncing because I’d like to see most people try to sing and dance like that at the same time. (Before you throw Lady Gaga or Beyonce in my face, I KNOW, I’ll get to that.) Bitch just danced for four straight minutes like a sexy beast and bitch just did it with a SNAKE ON HER SHOULDERS. Example one that Britney is the queen.
Shakira “Hips Don’t Lie” 2006
I’m fairly certain some people might find this particular performance offensive BUT its Shakira and I think we all know that chica is gonna do what she wants if it involves moving her body in physically impossible ways. Also, how happy does she look to be performing? There is nothing I love more than an artist who looks genuinely excited to be on stage.
NSYNC “This I Promise You/Bye Bye Bye/It’s Gonna Be Me” 2000
Justin’s bleach blonde curls? Check. Lance Bass pretending like he loves girl booty in his crotch? Check. Joey Fatone being “the funny one?” Check. J.C. accepting his fate as “the guy that sings when Justin needs a break”? Chris trying desperately to have us remember he is still a member of the band? Check. Everything we need for just another flawless NSYNC performance. And did you see that crazy choreography with the giant TV screen heads? Shit involves some serious rehearsal time.
Michael Jackson Tribute feat. Janet Jackson 2009
Ok, the little “Smooth Criminal” bit was nice at the beginning. A little all over the place with the dancers but it was nice. But just when you think the sweet little tribute to MJ was over…SHIT. GETS. SO. REAL. I literally screamed and scared my mom when I first saw this when it aired. And I may have just rewatched it five times in a row on youtube…and cried through every time. Janet was never more fierce than in “Scream” and the way they recreated it so she could perform with her brother one last time gave me goose bumps. When she does the choreography with him near the end and then does the signature WOO I collapse into a fit of tears and mourning for when pop music was great.
Lady Gaga “Paparazzi” 2009
Let me preface this by saying I have no idea what the hell happened in this performance. All I know is that it was brilliant. Gaga may go down as one of the best performers of all time. She knows exactly how to get the shock value while still making sure the music isn’t overshadowed. Homegirl can sing and dance and get covered in blood and still look and sound fabulous. I had trouble picking which Gaga performance was my favorite but in the end I had to go with this one. Did you hear the audience start to audibly freak out when she started bleeding. Like they literally thought she’d cut herself somehow and was bleeding out for all the world to see. I wouldn’t put it past Gaga to actually do that…actually, do we know if that was real blood or not? I would not be surprised either way.
ADELE “Someone Like You” 2011
I’m not entirely sure there are even adequate words I could put with this one. Adele could put any of todays pop stars to shame with just a spotlight and a piano and we all know it. Also, y’all know she has like insane stage fright right? THIS is brave, Miley. THIS is fearless. THIS is art. THIS is an adult.
Beyonce “Single Ladies” 2009
Ah, yes. The Queen. Here is a great example of someone that can sing AND dance at the same time which is insanely hard. And Queen Bee doesn’t just dance. She goes hard.
And I don’t even like this song.
Michael Jackson Medley 1995
No. Words. You’re. Welcome.