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

jharv | August 27, 2007 - 9:30 am

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]