Murtz On The Scene: 2011 MuchMusic Video Awards Review – Gaga Dominates MMVA’s

TORONTO – The MuchMusic Video Music Awards are not your granddaddy’s award show.

Instead the 2011 MMVA’s that took place last night at 299 Queen St. W., were more of a raucous street party combining incredible star power, a music festival-esque atmosphere in the streets of downtown Toronto and a louder fanbase than anything ever witnessed in the city. The show truly emphasized interaction, a format unlike any other modern awards program.

The first order of business was getting up close and personal with the largely Canadian-based talent that were in attendance. The streets surrounding the Much building had been turned into an unbelievable and enormous red carpet that made the entire area look more like the gigantic carpet display that surrounded the Nokia Theatre at the American Idol finale that I was at last month (ironically, there was an Idol presence at the MMVA’s as Paul McDonald from last season was seen signing autographs on the red carpet with his girlfriend from Twilight Nikki Reed). As for the MMVA stage set itself, it featured impressive construction, and for all of the fantastic performances, truly the real story from last night was the magnitude and the look of the event itself.

While the MMVA’s are the biggest musical event of the year in the city, this year’s installment really emphasized co-operation, collaboration and Canadiana as many of the artists chose to perform together which was interesting to see.


Lady Gaga Performs Edge Of Glory (Photo Credit: MuchMusic)

As for the show itself, the story was really all about Lady Gaga. The emerald-haired (at least this week) songstress kicked things off with the best performance of the night as she belted out “Edge Of Glory” in a set-up that resembled an apartment building’s fire escape (pulled directly from the video which premiered last week after So You Think You Can Dance). Speaking of So You Think You Can Dance, Mark Kanemura from the show was there. He is a fixture as Gaga’s lead back-up dancer.


Snoop Dogg performs With Far East Movement (Photo Credit: MuchMusic)

This led straight into Far East Movement’s “Like A G6″ where Dev came in for her part and then followed it up with “Bass Down Low.” Snoop Dogg then came in for an “OMG” collaboration with the group.

Selena Gomez finally appeared to kick off her hosting duties and started by saying that she “loved everything about Canada” and then proceeded to rhyme off all of the stereotypes including hockey, bacon and that it was “just fun to say Saskatchewan.” She then welcomed the first presenter, Colin Farrell.

Farrell threw to the category of best International Video Of The Year By A Canadian.

Nominees:

Arcade Fire – The Suburbs
Avril Lavigne – What The Hell
Drake – Find Your Love
Fefe Dobson – Stutterin
Justin Biber Ft. Usher – Somebody To Love Remix

The winners (yes, there was a tie) were Justin Bieber and Drake. Bieber made a surprise appearance to accept (in the worst-kept secret of all-time). In the first ‘aw how cute’ moment of the evening he told his girlfriend (Selena Gomez) that she ‘was very beautiful’ and hoped that they could go out sometime after just shaking her hand to accept the trophy. Don’t discount the sly side of the teen idol. Kissing Selena, even just on the cheek, would have probably sent the thousands of Canadian Beliebers in attendance to the hospital.

Foster The People did a quick interview with Sarah Taylor and then the best-dressed star of the evening, Kat Graham from The Vampire Diaries clad in a short leathery green number (seemed I missed Gaga’s green memo) came out to quickly talk to Selena. Wasn’t a big fan of her interview though. When asked what she was into, she said:

“I am into music, I am into dancing, a little salsa for you, yeah yeah, I am down with the fans but I am really Down With Webster.” Thought she could have come up with something more eloquent. Graham introduced the local band that was nominated for four MMVA’s who had the most electrifying performance of the evening with “She’s Dope.”

The band wore lighted up jumpsuits and featured kids with skull make-up on (think of the “I Like Turtles” kid from YouTube if you need a mental image) as their back-up dancers.

Make It Or Break It‘s Cassie Scerbo presented the award for International Video Artist Of The Year.

Nominees:

Britney Spears – Till The World Ends
Bruno Mars – Just The Way You Are
David Guetta Ft. Rihanna – Who’s That Chick?
Eminem Ft. Rihanna – Love The Way You Lie
Jennifer Lopez Ft. Pitbull – On The Floor
Kanye West Ft. Pusha T – Runaway
Katy Perry Ft. Kanye West – E.T.
Lady Gaga – Judas
Rihanna – Only Girl (In The World)
Selena Gomez And The Scene – A Year Without Rain

The winner? Lady Gaga of course.

Karl Wolf and Alyssa Reid did a quick interview. Wolf said that he was touring Canada this summer and Alyssa said that her debut album drops on Tuesday.

Best described as the Australian Justin Bieber, Cody Simpson came out and said that he missed the Australian beaches and his friends and family the most. He introduced Fefe Dobson’s performance “Stutterin.” Definitely one of the catchiest songs I have ever heard and had an entertaining live act for sure.

The face of the MMVA’s (given all of his appearances at the annual event), Shawn Desman made what seems like his millionth appearance at the MMVA’s and showed Selena Gomez some dance moves. Unfortunately, it was a planned sketch as she did a small routine with Shawn’s dancers and his song. Pretty cheesy. Shawn Desman introduced the award for International Video Of The Year (Group).

Nominees:

Diddy-Dirty Money – Coming Home
Far East Movement Ft. The Cataracs & Dev – Like A G6
The Black Eyed Peas – The Time (Dirty Bit)
The Black Keys – Tighten Up
White Lies – Bigger Than Us

The award went to Far East Movement Ft. The Cataracs & Dev. In the press room, the group seemed to be the most humble and talked about how they used to just drive themselves to gigs just to perform their music. They repeatedly thanked their fans and it was quite a classy display (Classified would have been proud).

The Midway State and Neverest did quick interstitial interview next.

When Selena Gomez introduced Trevor Donovan as being from 90210, I couldn’t help but smile as it has been widely reported that he has been released from the show and, truth be told, the person that I most wanted to interview as I was curious about what the future holds for the former Teddy. Unfortunately, he skipped the carpet and the media room after his appearance. On the show itself, Donovan introduced the award for UR Fave Video.

Nominees:

Danny Fernandes Ft. Belly – Automatic
Down With Webster – Whoa Is Me
Fefe Dobson – Stutterin
Shawn Desman – Electrick / Night Like This
These Kids Wear Crowns – Jumpstart

Fefe Dobson won for “Stutterin.”

Danny Fernandes then talked his brother (Shawn Desman) and about how their mom used to dress them the same and take them to Canada’s Wonderland to get them to shoot fake music videos on a green screen. This was deliciously ironic to me for a couple of reasons. First, the pair were dressed completely different for the awards with Fernandes showing off his arm tattoos in a sleeveless hoodie and Desman preferring to go with a traditional suit (guess mom doesn’t pick their wardrobe anymore). Also, I also used to go to Canada’s Wonderland to record fake music videos. Fernandes introduced a performance by The Black Keys.

The Black Keys performed ‘Howlin For You.” It was a sterling set and a nice change of pace from the other performances of the evening which primarily focused on the spectacle and performance of the MMVAs rather than the music. The soulful singing of Dan Auerbach was simply spectacular.

Next up was a quick interview between Selena Gomez and These Kids Wear Crowns plus Blake McGrath. The group introduced a performance by Avril Lavigne who sang “What The Hell.”

Degrassi’s Munro Chambers then introduced another performance from Simple Plan (wait until you see what they were wearing on the red carpet). The band surprised the crowd by collaborating with Fefe Dobson on “Jet Lag.”

Classified who just released his 14th album came out to present the award for UR Fave International Artist.

Nominees:

Britney Spears – “Till The World Ends”
Bruno Mars – “Just The Way You Are”
Eminem Ft. Rihanna – “Love The Way You Lie.”
Lady Gaga – “Born This Way”
Selena Gomez And The Scene – “A Year Without Rain”

The winner was Lady Gaga (again!) Revealing yet another outfit, that was also very revealing, (the singer wore a cleavage-exposed black full length dress), Gaga said that this award was the most important to her because it was voted on by the fans and dedicated the award to her late grandfather.


Selena Gomez Performs “Who Says.” (Phone Credit: MuchMusic)

Shay Mitchell from Pretty Little Liars was next and unfortunately, I didn’t get the chance to ask her about whether Ethan is really dead on the show. She introduced a performance from host Selena Gomez And The Scene who performed “Who Says.”

Marianas Trench was on the docket next and introduced an inspired session by City And Colour.

David Guetta followed up by presenting the MMVA for Much Vibe Hip Hop Video Of The Year.

Nominees:

Belly Ft. Kobe – Back Against The Wall
Classified – That Ain’t Classy
K’Naan – Take A Minute
P. Reign – Call My Name
Shad – Rose Garden

The winner was Classified.

Johnny Galecki from The Bang Theory was up next. In the media room, Galecki revealed that his goal for the evening was to go bowling with Snoop Dogg and when asked about how his character’s (Leonard, on The Big Bang Theory) relationship with Raj would be affected by the latter’s tryst with Penny, Galecki admitted that he couldn’t imagine that they would be speaking when the show returns in the Fall. Galecki presented a performance by Bruno Mars who sang “Just The Way You Are.”

Nikki Reed then presented the biggest award of the night, Video Of The Year.

Nominees:

Blake McGrath – Relax
Danny Fernandes Ft. Belly – Automatic
Down With Webster – Whoa Is Me
Fefe Dobson – Ghost
Shawn Desman – “Electric / Night Like This”

The winner was Shawn Desman and he came out to accept with his director RT!

Nina Dobrev from The Vampire Diaries came out next. I recently learned that Dobrev and I went to the same middle school, J.B. Tyrrell, and the sexy starlet had the best line of the evening when she said that “the crowd here seems a lot better than the one in Vancouver,” joking about the riot that happened after the Vancouver Canucks lost the Stanley Cup to the Boston Bruins last week. Dobrev introduced Ian Somerhalder (who was mysteriously only wearing one suspender). The pair presented the award for UR Fave Artist.

Nominees:

Arcade Fire – The Suburbs
Avril Lavigne – What The Hell
Down With Webster – Whoa Is Me
Drake – Find Your Love
Justin Bieber Ft. Usher – Somebody To Love (Remix)

Nina presented the award to the winner, Justin Bieber who returned to the stage and thanked the fans delighting the screaming girls in attendance.


Lady Gaga Performs “Born This Way.” (Photo Credit: MuchMusic)

The show ended with a second performance from Lady Gaga who exploded out of a cocoon to launch into “Born This Way.” The jarring performance ended with Gaga immersing herself in what was described to me as “a wall of goo.” Classic Gaga.

So there you have it, the 2011 MuchMusic Video Music Awards. Or as I like to call them, the 2011 MuchMurtzik Video Murtzik Awards.

My thoughts? I thought that The Black Keys stole the show with their spectacular vocal. Lady Gaga did not disappoint in her opening and closing of the performance. The show was seamless.

Here’s the complete list of winners:

UR FAVE Video
Fefe Dobson – “Stuttering”

UR FAVE New Artist
Justin Bieber featuring Usher – “Somebody to Love (remix)”

UR FAVE International Video
Lady Gaga – “Born This Way”

MuchMusic.com Most Streamed Video
Taio Cruz – “Dynamite”

Video Of The Year
Shawn Desman – “Electric/Night Like This”

International Video Of The Year – Artist
Lady Gaga – “Judas”

International Video Of The Year – Group
Far East Movement featuring The Cataracs & Dev – “Like a G6″

Pop Video of the Year
Down With Webster – “Whoa Is Me”

International Video Of The Year By A Canadian
Tie:
Drake – “Find Your Love”
Justin Bieber featuring Usher – “Somebody To Love”

MuchLOUD Rock Video Of The Year
Abandon All Ships – “Geeving”

MuchVIBE Hip-Hop Video Of The Year
Classified – “That Ain’t Classy”

Director Of The Year
You Say Party – “Lonely’s Lunch”

Post-Production Of The Year
Danny Fernandes featuring Belly – “Automatic”

Cinematography Of The Year
Blake McGrath – “Relax”

MuchFACT Indie Video Of The Year
JDiggz featuring Neverending White Lights – “This Time”

Stay tuned for my interviews from both the red carpet and the press room!

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