Miley Cyrus & Madonna on MTV’s ‘Unplugged’: terrible or surprisingly good?

Miley Cyrus

We talked yesterday about how Madonna joined Miley Cyrus onstage for Miley’s “Unplugged” episode. The general consensus was that Madonna was only looking for attention. Even moreso than Miley. The special aired last night, and … it wasn’t bad at all. I mean, Madonna sounded terrible when she sang (no question), which made Miley look good in comparison. The stripped down stage production also suits Miley more than her usual grand spectacle of crying emoji cats and sand dunes. The reviews coming in are also surprisingly good (Time magazine loved the show).

Even though Miley twerked on a (fake) horse and grabbed her crotch a few times, her voice sounded better than it has in a long time. Miley embraced her country roots although I’m not sure if she was simply making fun of them: “I tried to bring a little bit of Nashville here tonight.” The horse and Miley’s checkered red cowgirl outfit and bobbed wig are probably a good indication that Miley is having fun with all of us. Whatever the case, this show was a welcome change from Miley bending over to show us her lady parts. She also shared a great rapport with her audience by joking how she feels like she’s “at karaoke” and how “there’s nothing I can complain about. Well, I can’t be stoned when I perform – that’s a little something to complain about.” See? Miley’s making fun of herself.

Let’s get the worst of the show out of the way right now. Madge joined Miley onstage for a medley rendition of “Don’t Tell Me/We Can’t Stop.” Miley grinds her crotch against Madonna’s booty and adds a few spanks for good measure. Madonna needs a permanent vacation.

Madonna doing the Miley tongue is something I never needed to see, but I won’t let it ruin everything because Miley sang Dolly Parton’s “Jolene.” Remember Miley’s backyard sessions? This is somehow even better.

I wish always Miley showcased her talent like this instead of relying on her stunt queen routine. MTV has several more videos up on its site if you want to watch more. Just for kicks, here’s the “Do My Thang” number. This poor horsey.

Miley Cyrus

Screencaps courtesy of MTV; photos courtesy of Miley Cyrus on Twitter

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103 Responses to “Miley Cyrus & Madonna on MTV’s ‘Unplugged’: terrible or surprisingly good?”

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  1. dorothy says:


    • Paige says:

      That first picture with Miley’s coated tongue is just disgusting… least Madonna owns a tongue scraper….

      • Jake says:

        That coated tongue says Miley has Thrush or something worse. Surely she brushed before going onstage to tape a performance, but if she has a health issue then brushing isn’t going to easily get rid of the tongue scum. Miley may be trying to appeal to guys with the “down for oral sex tongue wag,” but it looks like her tongue isn’t washing in between tricks…And that is a major turn-off

  2. Lindy79 says:

    I feel like a part of my youth just died watching that.

    • Nicolette says:

      Yes. I heard “Take a Bow” in the car the other day (her music doesn’t get much airtime these days) which I haven’t heard in ages. She had some really great songs in her day, but it’s time to let it go. Let the world remember the great things she’s done, not the caricature she’s become. As for Miley, she just is a caricature.

      • kimbers says:

        I wish miley was more of an artist then a female “performer”. She has the talent to be an artist, it’s just too bad the complacency in her position as a gimmick queen is so strong. 🙁

      • Erzebet says:

        That’s so funny. I had Take a Bow in my head just yesterday and intended to listen to it. Thanks for the reminder! That is definitely my favorite Madonna era. Also rain….. Now I need a Madonna YouTube binge.

      • Vanessa says:

        Why should she let it go? She was the highest earning musician last year. Not #2 or 3, #1. People on this site think she’s irrelevant but their comments are irrelevant.

    • jesika says:

      LMAO!! Right!!

    • BooBooLaRue says:

      @Lindy79 – right there with you sister!

  3. Aims says:

    God here we go again

  4. phlyfiremama says:

    I had to unplug my computer. Jeebus Mary and Joseph.

  5. neelyo says:

    Madonna has sounded much worse live. That version of ‘Jolene’ would win a karaoke contest but that’s about it. I’m not clicking on the third one.

  6. kcarp says:

    The blue outfit has to be the grossest thing I have ever seen …My 2 year old is here why I play the video she said “No like mama, no like.”

  7. Dragonlady sakura says:

    Where can I buy eye bleach to unsee what I saw last night?

  8. Marty says:

    Even though it was Unplugged, I’m really not sure how this goes with her new “i’m all my voice now” motto. Especially since she’s still using little people as stage props.

  9. Marigold says:

    1. Miley needs to practice better oral hygiene if she wants to be displaying her gross tongue all the time.
    2. She looks so much like an adolescent boy that I’m starting to think it might be intentional.

  10. bns says:

    I love the cowboy look on Madonna.

    • FingerBinger says:

      So do I. Although, I really did love her ethereal look during the Ray of Light era.

    • MCraw says:

      Yeah. I like that Miley stuck to a country theme too. Overall, it was entertaining. Even my husband, who was grossed out by her MTV performance, was impressed by her and even likes her now (although I think #23 had something to do w that too). I really liked Jolene.

  11. Macey says:

    can we PLEEASE go back to blocking Miley’s (and Madonna’s) tongue???

    I have never been so grossed out by someone’s tongue so much, its really old now although it at least looks like Miley finally cleaned hers but still…gross.

  12. Kiddo says:

    Made it 44 seconds into the first video, maybe 50 seconds into the next one. Madonna can not sing.
    I thought the idea behind “unplugged’ was stripped down music, to its core? I guess it now represents a circus side show so you don’t notice the music?
    Miley should have done this on her own, without the usual crap. She hasn’t done anything to prove it’s about the music. She has reinforced the notion that she can’t do it without stage distractions. It’s sad because she does have some talent.
    Madonna is getting old and can’t accept that while Miley’s schtick is getting old and she can’t accept it.


  13. Jayna says:

    I didn’t like Madonna and Miley, but I thought most of Miley’s show was really good otherwise.

  14. Trillion says:

    I couldn’t make it through the first 30 seconds of the medley because the singing was so weak, I was cringing with embarrassment for both of them. Maybe after a break I’ll try again w/ the next clip. Still recovering.

  15. Anna says:

    Good God, Madonna, take a shower because I can smell the desperation from here. You’re not the newest or the youngest or hell, the most outrageous anymore. But you’re still an icon. Must you crawl for Miley’s leftover attention?

  16. Kelly says:

    Thanks a lot. I am actually sick to my stomach. Yuck.

  17. Shelby says:

    I couldn’t even watch 1 minute of the first video,

  18. Jayna says:

    After watching Madonna with Miley trying to be hip, then watch Madonna in 2004 in her Re-Invention Tour perform the same song, Don’t Tell Me. This Madonna in 2004 put out shows where she was not trying to get down with the kids and her music, like Don’t Tell Me, appealed to all age groups, wasn’t targeted to the youth. She was 45 and embodied a bad-ass popstar (she’s not Celine), but still putting on a great show or performance. This was pre-cheek implants and fillers also. I loved the choreography. I so miss this Madonna. What a concert that was. She played so many hits.

    Don’t Tell Me 2004 live:

    • mary simon says:

      Jayna, Thank you for that clip. I’ve already watched it twice. Wow. What a great performance. A reminder of exactly why Madonna IS an icon. I was starting to forget….

  19. Bravocueen says:

    I’m completely over Madonna and really wish she would grow old gracefully or just go away.

    I’m also completely in the minority in that I believe Miley has real talent. . . if she would keep her tongue in her mouth and sing.

    • Kiddo says:

      I think she does too, but it’s overshadowed by all the stage antics, which turns the whole thing into a joke.

  20. Sunny says:

    I think Miley sounded really good last night – especially on the song “Drive”. My mom and I watched it last night on MTV and the fact that my mom liked it too surprised me.

  21. Jessiebes says:

    Actually, I love Miley performing Jolene. Don’t hate me.

    • Jayna says:

      I did too.

    • We Are All Made of Stars says:

      Yeah, I think she’s pretty good when she just sings and sings music that is suited to her range and personality. Unfortunately she isn’t vocally great enough that people would have taken to her without the antics, so I think she needed both. If only she could meld her new edgier persona with some good vocals, I think she would have a bit of a career going for her.

    • Monksolo says:

      oh is that that one youtube video that everyone points to as an example of her talent? What has she done lately?

  22. Jag says:

    Miley really needs to see a doctor about her candida overgrowth. That tongue is awful.

    I like that Madonna tries to stay relevant, but sticking out her tongue, too, and doing antics with Miley just dropped her a few pegs on my list. She is in her own eschelon of fame, so I don’t understand why she stoops to these levels. Do your own thing, Madonna, and stop trying to get the kids to like you; they will or they won’t. Be above it all!

  23. nebi says:

    Amateurish. Unprofessional. Sad.

  24. TheCountess says:

    Gross. It’s a shame Madonna can’t follow Cher’s example. Cher never stopped being “Cher,” but she never came across as desperate, pathetic or sleazy as she aged. Except for the “If I Could Turn Back Time” video, I don’t recall Cher giving a performance that relied on grinding on someone thirty years her junior to achieve buzz (and even in that video – I remember it being mostly throngs of young sailors drooling over her, not her sticking her tongue into any of their mouths).

    When you’re awesome like Cher, I guess, you don’t need to stoop into the gutter in order to stay relevant. Madonna really has sent her legend into the toilet with her antics over the last decade, and the decline is rapidly increasing.

    • HappyMom says:

      Exactly. I’m a child of the 70s-who would ever have thought that Cher would be the one with class and decorum?

    • Jayna says:

      Cher just announced she is having Cyndi Lauper open for her. I can’t wait.

    • vanessa says:

      I was thinking the exact same thing. There are plenty of pop and rock stars that have managed to stay relevant without resorting to these silly antics. Madonna is a beautiful and talented woman. It’s a pretty ageist to tell her to hang it up and disappear forever just because she’s a bit older, but looking at her jacked up face and desperate attempts to seem young, really makes me sad. She is better than that. She must be really insecure. I wish she would just leave her face alone, quit with the stunts, and entertain us with her music.

  25. JosieJ says:

    Madonna needs to know its time to hang it up, retire with some grace, and stop trying so hard to be 20 again. If not, then try something new that doesn’t make you look like a joke.

    As for Miley, she is a joke. She isn’t sexy, edgy, or creative with her antics. It has all been done before and it has been done better.

    If Miley would only stop with the “look how outrageous I am” show then maybe I could enjoy her as a performer. She has talent, but her talent and music are being overshadowed by the try so hard act.

  26. paola says:

    You know what?
    At this point I can’t even take Miley seriously.
    She might have the voice of an angel but the cheap clothes, the tongue and the too much skin showing every freakin’ time it’s not working for me anymore. It’s like the boy who cried wolf..she has lost all the credibility.
    Plus Madonna’s face is so frozen that she looks weird even only blinking or trying to stick her tongue out.
    I used to like Madonna..but now she’s trying so hard that is not fun to watch anymore. She sounded AWFUL. Time to retire i think.

    • JudyK says:

      You nailed it with the “Boy Who Cried Wolf” analogy, and it applies to them both. They both try too hard.

  27. Julie says:

    I love that some websites are calling her MeeMawdonna – she needs to stop being so tryhard and either come up with some age appropriate music or retire. The grillz are so many kinds of wrong for someone her age ( I think they are horrible on anyone). My kids are glad they dont have Madonna for a mother.

  28. Bea says:

    Good goddess, no one neds to see that. Especially since who knows where those tongues have been.

  29. Liv says:

    I’m way happier with the sticking out the tongue routine done by Kiss! Theirs just grosses me out. Sorry. I’m not impressed.

  30. Dimebox says:

    They look like a nightmarish mother/daughter routine at a county fair. Miss Kentucky gone bad.

  31. kellyinseattle says:

    The look and act like they’re at a junior high slumber party.

  32. mercy says:

    Worse than I could have imagined, tbh.

  33. Eleonor says:

    I want to say something nice: Madge’s tongue looks healthier than Miley’s

  34. mzizkrizten says:

    Never thought Id witness a 50 year old drop it low and grind on a 20 something. It was so sad. And they sounded awful together, like they really WERE doing karaoke.

  35. Sayrah says:

    I have seen this picture three different times in the last day and it nearly turns my stomach. Just gross

  36. Zwella Ingrid says:

    meemawdonna! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

  37. knuckles says:

    Am I the only one who thinks Miley’s voice is AVERAGE at best?

    • Side-Eye says:

      You’re not. I honestly don’t get the hype behind it. At first I was impressed by her Lilac Wine cover, but then realized it’s only good compared to her new material, where she’s stopped trying period.

    • Aisha says:

      Yes! Thank you! Her voice is so nasal and there’s no real emotion in it. She wouldn’t even make it through to the second round of any of those singing/talent shows with that voice.

    • Denise says:

      She seems to just push out her voice, there’s no real range or subtlety – like her performances. Or her!

  38. JudyK says:

    A has-been and a wannabe.

    Put away the tongues already.

  39. FLORC says:

    I forgot all about it. America Horror story had the season finale.

    And I was all too happy about the ending that I didn’t want to ruin my good mood with the terrible image of that obnoxious duo.

  40. aquarius64 says:

    I thought this would be a freak show. This blog mentions any good reviews; others focus on the grind off. Sad for Miley, she’s is known more for her stunts than her music; and that will lead to more Grammy snubs until she turns in solid work by NARAS standards. Music critics from magazines do not sit on the judging panel for the Grammys.

  41. mary simon says:

    Madge delivering her witchy kiss of death. Look what it did for Britney. Now watch Miley crash and burn.

  42. MG says:

    Good God Miley buy a tongue cleaner/scraper. You can get a cheap one at Walmart for under $2.

  43. Tammy says:

    Celebitchy is so adequately named lol. Lord, everyone just give it a rest about Miley’s tongue, antics, etc. If you don’t like, don’t click on a headline with her name on it. You don’t think she has talent, don’t listen to her. Christ,

  44. Bread and Circuses says:

    I would much rather see Madonna’s tongue than Miley’s because OMG WHAT IS THAT WHITE YUCK ALL OVER MILEY’S TONGUE?!!

    Seriously, I saw a larger version of that photo recently, and there is shiny garden of STUFF on that tongue. **shudders** Cher should not have backed down on the “make sure it’s not coated” jibe.

  45. Onyx XV says:

    I’m surprised to say I don’t think their performance was half bad. Madonna’s voice has never been her strength, and compared to Miley’s much stronger voice, that is painfully obvious. On the other hand, at least Madonna must have heard of a tongue scraper. If Miley wants to keep thrusting her tongue at the world, she would do well to invest in one.

  46. IceQueen says:

    Miley’s outfit and tongue and what not is disturbing, no class. But I loved “Jolene”. She sang it with heart, I wish she’d sing like that all the time instead of jumping around half naked and showing tongue and spanking people…

    I miss Madonna. What happened? 🙁

    • gg says:

      I absolutely love Jolene! Sing it to myself all the time, even though it’s way out of my range. Gee, wonder why Minge didn’t sing the backing vocal on that …….. hmmmmmm 😉

    • Jake says:

      Jolene is a good song, but this performance didn’t do it justice. I’d love to hear someone with a good voice, like Kelly Clarkson, sing Jolene.

  47. gg says:

    I’ve heard several renditions of We Can’t Stop and this is by far the worst. Whoever’s idea it was to change to a minor key made a big mistake. Also: further confirmation that Madonna CANNOT. SING. TO. SAVE. HER. LIFE. Never could, and she’s gotten miles worse since her heyday. I would like to hear her attempt Jolene just for a laugh. Not a fan of either, but Miley, even on an off night, blows Madonna away.

  48. Toe says:

    I loved that perfomace. 2 different generations singing together.

  49. Jaded says:

    Madonna really is scraping the bottom of the barrel to stay relevant…oh gawd, I just had a horrific thought. If she’s that desperate, what if she’s planning a “Sex Book II”????

  50. pru says:

    Madonna’s desperation started off as annoying, and is now so pathetic I actually feel sad for her.
    I wish ignoring her would force her into retirement, but I don’t see that happening. Someone get the old stage hook!

  51. hmmm says:

    Madonna’s tongue is a sad tongue.

  52. MourningTheDeathOfMusic says:

    Although I can’t find proof otherwise (neither imdb or a general Google search gives answers), I swear the one backup singer looks like Amber Riley from Glee.

    And if it is her, then there is a true injustice in this world where someone as talented as her ends up as a backup singer from someone who sounds like she speaks and sings with a constant stuffed nose with the musical range of a teaspoon.

  53. Mitch Buchanan Rocks! says:

    All those wads of cash between them yet no tongue scraper.

  54. Vanessa says:

    Madonna sounded good. I prefer her voice to Miley’s and her song was a million times better than the Miley song it was mashed with.

  55. Jennifer12 says:

    Madonna, enough already. Didn’t you try this trick by kissing Britney and Xtina a decade ago Stop, please. And I don’t hate Miley- appreciate her speaking against breedism- but I don’t see talent at all. I see gimmicks.

  56. veggieaddict says:


  57. Jake says:

    Bahahahaha! I can’t stop laughing at this! This is better than an SNL parody! Oh, boy. How embarrassing for them both.