Teen Choice Awards: The Banality Of Online Democracy, Plus Zac Efron’s Cheekbones

rsefron.jpgThis weekend was big for televised teen entertainment, with both the Miss Teen USA Pageant (featuring a live performance by hairless pop-punk puppies the Jonas Brothers) and the Teen Choice Awards hitting the small screen, and what I took away from the latter was this: Those Disney Channel cats are some clever, canny motherfuckers. While they know the music their artists peddle is just a hair too lightweight and Wiggles-ish/show tunes-esque/generically bubblegummy for the slightly older audience that makes up the voting bloc of the annual TCA’s–without an actual demographics one-sheet in front of me, I’d guess it’s 13-17–they know that having a muscle-y twink up front in the cast will at least pull in the screaming hormones faction. But Radio Disney only ended up staking out a small beachhead amongst this year’s winners in the musical categories, which provided a depressing, if predictable, aggregate of some of the blandest the pop charts have had to offer this year:

Single: Girlfriend, Avril Lavigne
Male Artist: Justin Timberlake
Female Artist: Fergie
Rap Artist: Timbaland
R&B Artist: Rihanna
Breakout Artist Female: Vanessa Hudgens
Breakout Artist Male: Akon
Rock Group: Fall Out Boy
Breakout Group: Gym Class Heroes
Love Song: With Love, Hilary Duff
R&B Track: Beautiful Girls, Sean Kingston
Rap Track: The Way I Are, Timbaland
Summer Artist: Mylie Cyrus
Payback Track: What Goes Around …Comes Around, Justin Timberlake
Summer Song: Hey There Delilah, Plain White T’s
Ultimate Choice: Justin Timberlake

Ah, the comforting, bosomy embrace of mama monoculture, still kicking despite the best doomsaying prognositications of all those aging rock critics who think the internet has fractured the faceless pop-consuming mass. (Somehow it’s actually better than the ’06 list. James Blunt? Nick Lachey? Fort Minor?) Really, I can’t think of a better list to sum up this particular pop year. What a starchy lump of nothing (or at least a lump of nothing flecked with big hunks of corn). Despite the fact that “best-of” lists drawn from a large number of voters inevitably tend towards meaningless middle-of-the-road-ness no matter the age range of the voters themselves, there’s a sad feeling that this clump of crap is just the best the kids had to work with this year. (Just check out full list of nominees; the Sophie’s choice between Mims, Lloyd, Mika, Robin Thicke, and Akon for “Breakout Male” is particularly agonizing.)

Still, we welcome any Teen Choice Awards-watching, Zac Efron-Googling new readers. Say it with us this time: Zac Efron, Zac Efron, Zac Efron. It’s not particularly mellifluous, but it’s better for the hit count than a million leaked Guns N’ Roses songs.

Teen Choice 2007 [FOX]

  • Bazooka Tooth


    A category for “summer” artist and song? How aboyt just re-titling it “Artist or song you know sucks, but, hey, it’s kind of fun, school is out, and who gives a fuck so long as I can keep bopping my head while holding my nose to down another stolen wine cooler?”

  • Jess Harvell

    someone’s showing out now that he knows he has an audience.

  • Ned Raggett


  • Halfwit

    (Just check out full list of nominees; the Sophie’s choice between Mims, Lloyd, Mika, Robin Thicke, and Akon for “Breakout Male” is particularly agonizing.)

    Okay, time for me to step up…

    “My name is Halfwit, and I enjoy Mika in an unironic manner.”

    I’m sorry, but the first three tracks of that album are such delightful, bratty calls for attention that they just win you over. The bad songs are AWFUL (“Erase” is a single? And it’s obvious that he wrote “Ring Ring” by himself), but there’s a lot of fun in that disc.

  • Chris N.

    Zac Efron Zac Efron Zac Efron Zac Efron Zac Efron!

    Don’t say I never helped out, Idolator!

  • PengIn

    I’m old and thus, by definition, confused. Do you think that the demo is 13-17 year olds in general or is it exclusively 13-17 year old girls? I don’t see a 13 year old boy rocking the Jonas Brothers in his room without his older brother putting a boot in his ass whilst failing to give a fuck (in the parlance of my generation).

  • Antiheroine

    @Halfwit: No judgment here, I once listened to “Lollipop” about five times in a row.

  • Labtheque

    I love that Zac Efron has four nipples. And I was mildy shocked to see him on the cover of three of the weeklies in the supermarket ceckout line. Apparently he also caters to middle-aged moms, too.

  • Lucas Jensen

    Zac Efron.

  • the rich girls are weeping

    There’s a much more interesting and pressing issue at hand here, everyone. Fall Out Boy has cross the line into just plain old “rock.” EMO IS DEAD, LONG LIVE EMO.

  • The Mozfather

    Is it just me, or does Zac look a teensy bit like a more girlish Alfred E Newman? Is this what passes for teen heart throbs lately?

  • goldsoundz

    His hair is dreamy.

  • Lucas Jensen


  • Lucas Jensen


  • Lucas Jensen


  • Lucas Jensen

    Le Fron.

  • Maura Johnston