Britney just makes an announcement to open VMAs, wins three

Britney did the wisest thing possible and just opened the 25th MTV VMAs with a semi-lame pre-recorded skit with Jonas Hill. (Video is below.) She didn’t perform as was widely anticipated (and denied) and the camera just followed her as she walked from her dressing room onto the stage and announced the opening of the awards, the microphone close to her face and her voice breaking at points. Rihanna then performed Disturbia, rolling out on a huge staircase clad in thigh high boots and surrounded by jerky glowstick-yielding zombie dancers.

Britney also won an inexplicable three VMAs despite the fact that there are much more deserving artists. The music career she’s attempted to revive has also taken backseat to her much talked about personal life. She took home the Moonman for Best Female Video, Best Pop Video, and Video of the Year for “Piece of Me.” The video was about her tabloid trials, and maybe MTV was honoring that, but it seems over the top to give her three awards for it. They did accept fan votes for all categories, but the votes didn’t determine the winner for any category except “Best New Artist,” and were merely taken into consideration.

Britney was the big news of the night just for being herself again, and she was given an “A” for effort. Frenetic comic Russell Brand was a decent but not outstanding host by most assessments, with his politically-charged opening skit only mildly funny and a little offensive. Pink is said to have given a strong performance of “So What,” and T.I. and Rihanna’s song was also good:

Spears nabbed three VMAs, including video of the year, erasing last year’s career-low performance. Her first Moonman trophies came during a 25th anniversary show that otherwise lacked a defining moment, with most of the zaniness coming from host Russell Brand.

“Wow, thank you, I’m in shock right now. I was not expecting this,” Spears, looking spectacular in a shimmering silver dress, said as she accepted her third trophy of the evening for “Piece of Me.”

Spears kept all three of her acceptance speeches short.

“This is such an honor to have this award right now,” she said. “I want to thank my fans, this is dedicated to you…”

Spears did provide a few laughs during a pre-taped comedic segment with “Superbad” actor Jonah Hill that preceded the live telecast. There were a few more laughs during comedian Brand’s opening monologue, but the celeb audience seemed more nervous than amused, as the frenetic Brit took aim at Madonna, the virginity of teen sensations the Jonas Brothers and President Bush, whom he called “a retarded cowboy fellow.”

He clearly got under the skin of one celebrity, however, with his jokes about promise rings, which the Jonas Brothers wear to signify their virginity. Another famous promise-ring wearer, Jordin Sparks, said before giving out one award:

“I just wanna say, it’s not bad to wear a promise ring because not every guy and a girl wants to be a slut, OK?” she quipped.

Afterward, a somewhat contrite Brand apologized to a stone-faced Jonas Brothers, saying, “I didn’t mean to take it lightly” before adding, “a little sex once and a while never hurt anybody.”

Though the VMAs have been defined by zany, wild moments in the past — the Michael and Lisa Marie kiss, the Britney-Madonna kiss, Prince’s butt-out jeans just to name a few — there were more head-scratching moments than outrageous ones at the sprawling Paramount Studios lot…

Pink gave perhaps the show’s most rousing performance, a pyrotechnic-fueled performance of her new song, “So What.”

T.I.’s performance was also noteworthy, since the last time he was due to perform at an awards show, he was arrested instead. At last year’s BET Hip-Hop Awards, he was accused of trying to buy machine guns and silencers (he was sentenced earlier this year to serve about a year in prison after completing at least 1,000 hours of community service).

He performed a new song with Rihanna, who also appeared on last year’s show. But the dazzling singer from Barbados is hardly in need of any second chances, coming into the VMAs as one of music’s hottest acts thanks to her two No. 1 hits of the summer, “Take a Bow” and “Disturbia.”

Closing the night was Kanye West who, like Spears, was hoping for a second chance after a disappointing VMA experience last year. In Las Vegas, he had a Kanye-sized hissy fit backstage and vowed never to appear at the VMAs again after he didn’t get a Moonman trophy despite several nominations.

This time, he had a stage all to himself, but he still may have reason to be miffed: he won no trophies during the ceremony, and, appearing after Spears accepted her third and final trophy of the evening, may have been more of an afterthought.

[AP via]

What bothers me about all this Britney worship is that artists like Rihanna, who have consistently put on very solid shows, who keep their head down and don’t get into trouble, are not honored in the press for just doing a damn good job. Of course we’re happy that Britney is well enough to make an announcement and accept some awards without incident. Let’s move on now and think about all the people who worked hard to make it to the VMAs, only to be overshadowed by Britney’s sobriety. Good job though, Britney.

What do you guys think? Does Britney deserve so much credit?

Here are some highlight videos of the night. They’re courtesy of MTV and do include commercials, but props to MTV for making them embeddable. We’ll have some more videos and photos shortly.

Britney’s opening skit with Jonah Hill:

Britney opens VMAs with announcement:

Rihanna does “Disturbia,” the first performance:

Russell Brand’s opening monologue. I laughed once:

Britney gets Best Female Video:

Photo credit: Fame Pictures

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47 Responses to “Britney just makes an announcement to open VMAs, wins three”

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  1. Claudia says:

    Honestly, I didn’t think the opening monologue was that bad. Just because there were lots of politics in it doesn’t make it less funny, it was just british, that’s it.

  2. xDEWx says:

    def she is the queen of pop ^^

  3. CandyKay says:

    I agree with Celebitchy about the opening monologue, which seemed a little desperate.

    I wasn’t as wild with Rhianna’s musical number, however. It seemed very 1980s – the whole zombies-in-rags thing – and Rhianna dressed a lot like Pat Benatar in her hooker costume from “Love is a Battleground”.

  4. gracie says:

    I thought the VMA’s are supposed to be edgy. Reading that article about it all made it seem like Russell Brand was being decadent or something. He’s Russell Brand! He’s a little crazy!
    I am assuming that’s why they picked him to host.

    The audience being “nervous”? It just seems so weird. And then people like the Jonas Brothers being insulted because Russell made a joke about their promise rings? Come on guys, get over yourselves. Jordin Sparks, too….
    come down off the mountain top. Learn to take a little kidding.

    Personally….I like Russell Brand and I like that he’s a little crazy and very English. The music world is full of crazy…that’s what keeps it fresh and interesting.

    If you want to watch something deep and thought provoking perhaps switch the channel over to PBS.

  5. gracie says:

    ps/ my comments about the “article” are not regarding what was written by Celebitchy. As always their take is fair and informative….looking at all sides of the issue.
    I was referring to the article included
    from OMG.Yahoo…which I found sort of ridiculous.

    Personally, I think it’s pretty remarkable that in just one year Britney was able to show up looking fab and coherant. That seems like a huge step for her. Last year I thought I would never see Britney like this again.

    Does she deserve all the accolades? I don’t know. But maybe it’s just that everyone is so amazed that with just her dad’s intervention she’s managed to come so far.

    I think that she looked really stunning and sweet and it makes me want to hug her.

  6. Lastdaylight says:

    Her breakdowns just make her seem more human than other artists whose lives seem perfect (aren’t perfect either, but they keep up the facade) and therefore people care more about her than the others, because in a way it makes people feel closer to her.

  7. RAN says:

    My daughter was irate that Britney won all of those awards, especially against the Jonas Brothers, but I think we all understand that the music industry is showing her the long overdue respect and kindness she needs. Did she deserve ALL those moonmen, not sure, but I think I’m glad she got them.

    Seeing Britney get that standing ovation from her peers, just for walking out on stage, almost made me tear up. This girl has been through so much and she’s managed to keep her head up. It couldn’t have been easy for her – especially after last year’s fiasco. I hope she’s on the road to full recovery – and I hope Sam Lufti (someday) gets what HE deserves.

  8. geronimo says:

    Can’t see videos, want to see Russell. :cry:

    Not a fan of people getting awards for being alive or at the expense of other people’s musical talent so no, she doesn’t ‘deserve’ any music awards here. But, since I couldn’t care less about most of the other musicians mentioned, why not, she looks thrilled.

    Good to see her looking happy and normal and finally getting a grip on things. Well done, Brit, award (non-musical) for Daddy Spears.

  9. SolitaryAngel says:

    I am SO proud of her! I think that giving her 3 awards will go a very long way toward helping her continue to keep her chin up, in spite of Lynne’s deadly “mothering” skills (yeah, she’s about as much a mother as a black widow is!).

    Did she deserve all three? I think she did; and I’m so happy for her. I teared up, too, when she got that standing ovation–she looked GREAT, and I have to say it:
    Britney–you’ve come a long way, baby! :D

  10. ? says:

    As someone who truly enjoys music I am a little concerned that CB (and most of America) is so enamored by Rihanna. She’s no Leona Lewis. Her voice is nasal and flat at times, she doesn’t write her own music, her dancing is far from exciting and I think she is just another pretty carbon copy the marketing machine is spitting out to replace Britney Spears. As for all of her hard work and keeping her head down…..hah! wait a few years Music of the Sun was released in 2005. 3 years does not a history make. She HAS to work hard to establish a rep. Britney like her or not, has been in that biz for almost 20 years. She grew up in it and has suffered the consequences. MTV should have given her a VMA years ago and is just capitalizing on the public sympathy surrounding what this girl has been through. Much like last year when they billed her as the opening act knowing she was a train wreck. Give her a break man. It’s better than MTV giving her a posthumous life time achievment award.

  11. DarthVadersLoveChild says:

    The fact that she won all these awards after what has to be her absolute worst year, personally and artistically, just shows that MTV lacks any credibility at all.

  12. geronimo says:

    @?: – Agree with much of what you say about Rihanna but holding Leona Lewis up as an example of bona fide talent is jaw-dropping. She’s about the most bland, insipid, packaged-for-cash product to be spit out by reality tv in recent history.

  13. Pont Neuf says:

    It may very well be because I detest the fact that people who are undeserving of fame do manage to attain it but, please, no matter how ‘traumatized’ Britney might have been by the supposedly terrible ordeal that she got herself into (and, curiously enough, kept her in the public eye when her music wouldn’t do the job :roll: ), she did not deserve any awards… I mean, she doesn’t deserve them even when her inexistent talent is at its full capacity, least of all for behaving like a professional for once.

    I don’t care whether growing up in the music business can be hard. When you pursue a dream, you have to face the consequences at every level and assume that not all experiences will be delightful. Also, if she doesn’t want to be harassed by the paparazzi, maybe she shouldn’t call them to record for posterity her entering restrooms looking like she has just crawled out of a sewer.

    In a final note, Russell Brand is not insane. He is a pathetic clown devoid of any talent who has to use ‘insanity’ as a mask for ‘utter worthlessness’.

    And then record business executives wonder why no one buys music anymore…

  14. MSat says:

    I don’t think Britney is any more or less deserving than any of these other so-called “artists.” I can’t think of a single one of these people who deserve the success they currently have, never mind meaningless MTV accolades on top of that. Rihanna is basically the R&B version of Britney anyway. Can’t really sing, looks good in skimpy clothes, made a star by a team of producers. You could say that about the Jonas Brothers too (minus the skimpy clothes part). If anything, the VMAs are a sign that modern popular music is circling the drain.

  15. Me says:

    I’m just happy for her. She went in hell and game back out. I’m not sure for all 3 but hey maybe this will help her be on the good path again. I remember when Christina was talking about her when she had her baby and she seems to be on the down path of a What the hell. She’s trying to sing and dance at the same time and we all know she didnt dance before.

    Suck Rihanna didnt get anything but she will continue to grow.


  16. Kaiser says:

    “…artists like Rihanna, who have consistently put on very solid shows, who keep their head down and don’t get into trouble, are not honored in the press for just doing a damn good job.”

    But that used to be Brit before she went bat-$hit crazy… so I don’t mind her getting the awards.

    I don’t think people would be rooting for her so much right now if she hadn’t fallen so far. Think about it – if she had just screwed up a couple of times, or gotten a DUI, gone to rehab and then nothing, she would have had “has-been” stamped on her forehead. It was because she was spiraling out of control to the point where I – and many others- thought she was going to die.

    Go Brit! Stay healthy!

  17. Kaiser says:

    @MSat – I feel like an old fart for saying this (am only 29) – but I really miss the days when the VMAs were the biggest, coolest show. Remember when Nirvana played the VMAs? Remember when Madonna did “Vogue” in 18th century French costumes?

    I look at what passes for pop-rock music and award-show spectacle now and I’m just sad. :cry:

  18. Syko says:

    Kaiser, that’s the first step toward Old Fartdom. You’re starting to notice that the world is going to hell in a handbasket.

    I doubt that she deserved it. She has little musical talent anyway, and didn’t her last album tank? They are sympathy awards, which annoy the hell out of me. If you’re going to give an award, give it for merit.

  19. Kaiser says:

    @Syko – But those kids won’t get off my lawn!!!

    Yeah, but the VMAs aren’t really some bastion of integrity… it would be different if we were talking about the Oscars. I don’t mind “honorary” awards as long as they go to good people, like Peter O’Toole.

  20. MSat says:

    As a reminder, this is the Video Music Awards – not “Who is the most Talented” awards or “Who deserves it the most” awards. Plus- Rihanna, Lil Wayne, Chris Brown, The Jonas Brothers- none of them are very talented. They look good on TV and have record labels grooming them and marketing them. That’s why people know who they are. I’ve heard teens in the local High School Chorus with better voices than all of these clowns.

  21. silentA says:

    This year, I don’t think Britney deserved 3 moonmen, but she’s been nominated 16 (is that right?) times. Britney made a comment that MTV has always played a large role in her career, so maybe this is their way of recognizing how far she’s come, compared to how far she’s fallen.

    Everyone likes a redemption story, and Britney is well on her way.

    Jordin Sparks’ comment was a little abrasive to me. And my thoughts on Rhianna…eh.

  22. Alex1 says:

    I’m so happy Tokio Hotel won best new artist! They deserved it. Other than that, the VMA’s were terrible! I agree with those that said it used to be the coolest show. The most disappointing part was that it was a milestone VMA (their 25th) and organizers did nothing to celebrate that. It seemed more like a hastily put together after-party than a highly hyped extravaganza for what was once a music revolutionary. But then, MTV’s been out of touch for years and never plays videos anymore.

  23. silentA says:

    Did anyone else notice how TINY the venue was?

  24. ? says:

    @ geronimo – agreed. But that is why the music industry is floundering on the brink. Outside of teeny boppers and the newest trend it fails to adequately produce and promote exciting, cutting edge acts:(

    @ Pont Neuf – not goign down that road = the britney debate has been disected and re-disected. The one thing I will say is that @ 8 or 9 you are too young to “decide” to pursue your dreams and FAR too inexperienced to know what the consequences will be. Take it from someone who sang. It’s a tough biz not meant for children.

  25. geronimo says:

    @?: Agree, but there’s still huge talent out there that I and most people I know are listening to and seeking out in favour of the packaged shite that’s masquerading as music – look at people like eg. Gabrielle Cilmi, Duffy etc

  26. jenny says:

    You thought the host gave a moderate performance? What VMA did you watch? He completely bombed and had pretty much one joke the whole night about the promise rings.

  27. Jenna says:

    I like that Britney got the awards I just hate that it had to happen after her mental breakdown.

    Also, to me, Lil Wayne deserved the award he got. He is a good rapper versus the ones that were up for the award.

    Love Russell Brand! All of those political remarks were hilarious, to me. I didn’t like Rihanna’s performance. I remember years ago when the VMAs and the Video Movie Awards were amazing. I tuned in mainly to watch the opening skit. Now all they have is Rihanna with a rat tail. :roll:

  28. ? says:

    @ geronimo Yes, love them – and many others just wish the music “machine” would invest more into rue talent and less into the packaging and market of young “hot” boys and girls with questionable talent. Why oh why is there a market for Miley Cyrus??? 8O

  29. geronimo says:

    @?: I know, it’s very depressing. Amy Winehouse, even in her deranged, disarrayed state, still has more talent in her meth-mite ridden little finger than these ridiculous, talent-free pretenders. The industry has never seemed so barren and inept.

  30. Pont Neuf says:

    To ‘?’, I know that the Britney debate is overtired and that she is a victim insofar that she was left at the mercy of unscrupulous people by her even more unscrupulous mother. I am sure that the music business is utterly horrible and the pressure to succeed time and time again or else risk being discarded must be scarring, but then again, when you have achieved Britney’s level of wealth, you can easily build a support system. If she is suffering, she only has herself to blame.

    As for the record industry ignoring talented acts while giving importance to pre-packaged products… Hasn’t this always happened? Only this time things have become so flagrant that it’s impossible to hide them anymore.

  31. WTF?!?! says:

    Nice to see she hasn’t abandoned the mandatory mouth-open-with-gum-in-it cheesella smile.

  32. Carrie says:

    I think Britney winning those awards maybe were not desreved for her current music. But there was a time when you couldn’t turn on MTV and there was either Britney special or Video on. She never won a VMA. I compare her wins to when the Oscars goes to some actor who is well know and has done a lot, but never won. It may not be baised on their current piece of work, but more on what they have contributed. And I think that is why Britney won. Either way, I’m glad Britney won.

  33. A.J. says:

    Well, at least Britney looked good. That’s really the only nice thing I can say about MTV’s laughable-at-best award show.

  34. Trillion says:

    Geronimo: I esp. loved your last comment. I’ve never understood Brit’s appeal, but then again, I’m a musician. And I prefer brunettes with a touch of mystery.

  35. ? says:

    @ geronimo: hear, hear! So sad and depressing. Unfortunately it’s all about mass appeal – and that is what is scary.

    @ Pont Neuf: The music industry has always been self interested monetarily that is not news – the difference is technology and the ability to completely mask utter lack of talent through computer driven programs. In the past people HAD to be talented to some extent – they actually played instruments, read music and could carry a tune. Pop has always been vapid but the music industry used to be much more “real” trust me it’s amazing what they can do today….and the expectations of the listening audiences were higher. When you paid to see a live performance it wasn’t for the pyrotechnics, lip synching and bells and whistles it was for the fully musical experience.

    As for money and fame – they don’t buy you a foundation. If no one teaches you right from wrong and you have the $ to do as you please it’s pretty tough (not impossible but mos def unlikely) to surround yourself with a decent support network.

  36. Dingles says:

    I can’t help but be a little happy for her. She needs this, and you can see in her face how much all the positive (for a change) attention meant to her.

    She’s been through hell, I won’t begrudge her a few Moonmen.

  37. Scarlett says:

    i’m so glad to see brit brit looking good and (just like everyone else right?) can’t wait to see her score an amazing comeback. who doesn’t love a great comeback story?
    BUT………definitely did not understand what the heck she was winning for.

    and KANYE.
    i would be even more pissed if i was him this year.
    bless his heart.
    our tivo recorded the 2 hours and cut off right as they were introducing him. argh!
    he still (sorta) killed it though and i guess that is all that matters.

  38. anony says:

    Britney’s skit was not remotely funny. It was awkward and lame. No one can save bad writing.

    What’s with the cheesy ‘Thriller’ video extras for Rihanna? Overdone. She has a good voice she doesn’t need to be surrounded by a sea of glow sticks.

    Russell is fabulous. Not sure if he wrote his own monologue but sounds like he was sticking to somewhat safe material; understandable when it’s his first time hosting. What, some teenagers got a sore ass over what he said? If the Jonas brothers are that sensitive they need to relax. It gets much worse the more the more fame increases and the longer they stick around. I adore British humor (Eddie Izzard!).

  39. saintdevil says:

    They shoud change the name of the show into “Video Mercy Awards”.

  40. The Old KC says:

    I flipped by when Rihanna performed with that guy, RJ or whatever his name is – and I thought she rocked. I didn’t see her zombie performance for the show opener though. Given that I am way over the hill compared with you young whippersnappers, I fell asleep immediately after Rihanna’s performance ended.
    Not gonna say one negative word about Britney – I’m glad she seems to have returned to the land of “somewhat normal” (for her I guess). She does look fabulous.

  41. Rez says:

    Here’s the problem: the awards Britney won were for BEST VIDEO OF THE YEAR. Not “best recovery” or “had a bad time” or “made a good video five years ago.”

    “Piece of Me” was… pedestrian. It wasn’t particularly well made, had nothing innovative about it and was just repeating the same “leave me alone” drivel that Michael Jackson’s been going on about for years. This is the _BEST_ video of the entire year?

    Oh, and Brand is the same asshole who thought it would be a hilarious joke to parade around dressed up as Bin Laden on September 12, 2001. Oh ho ho. He’s nothing but a dull, arrogant prick and I guarantee the people who find him hilarious would find him disgusting if his politics didn’t match theirs.

  42. mae says:

    britney is the prodigal daughter

  43. Diva says:

    See, these aren’t the MTV Who Is the Most Talented Awards… they’re the Video Music Awards. They’re not given based on TALENT, they never have been!

    You want awards given on talent, watch the AMA’s or the Grammy Awards and bitch about those choices. These awards are based on request and air time on the FEW video shows MTV has left. Quite frankly, I think it’s absurd MTV is giving awards based on anything about music, you never see MUSIC on MUSIC TELEVISION anymore! It’s all Jackass and Cribs and shit.

    btw, thank you, thank you, thank you, geronimo… I have been trying to remember Cilmi’s name since I left the UK a couple weeks ago. I saw her commercials and she’s amazing. I love the group of chick singers coming out of the UK lately… Amy, of course, Duffy, Adele, and Gabrielle Cilmi! :D

  44. Diva says:

    Oh, and one more thing… as long as PEREZ HILTON is one of the VOTING members of the VMA’s, they have absolutely no merit whatsoever!

  45. geronimo says:

    Diva and fellow music lovers, had my faith restored last night with the Mercury Prize awards. Based on albums, and originality, not on some studio enhanced one-off piece of shite like so much of what gets attention at other music awards.

    Incredibly diverse shortlist of 12 artists including astounding newcomer Burial (bit like the artist Banksy, no one knows who he is, didn’t turn up, all about the music) and a spell-binding performance from Adele. A band called Elbow won (been around since 1991 with 4 brilliant albums to their credit.) And presented by Jools Holland, my hero, who, along with a handful of others, has been at the forefront throughout his career in showcasing real talent and diversity in music. Pure bliss. Great article here for those who want their faith restored and a clip of Elbow receiving their award: drunk as skunks but thrilled!

  46. geronimo says:

    CB, damnit! Comment spammed. Telegraph links to Mercury Prize award. Is it the links that are doing it? Happened twice yesterday. Please, a clue as to how I can avoid this??

    Edit: Thank you.

  47. Jeanne says:

    Apparently the VMAs are just like the Oscars. Hollywood loves a comeback.