MTV Video Music Awards 2014: Review Revue

Robbie Daw | August 25, 2014 10:17 am

With the dust now settling on the 31st MTV Video Music Awards, various sites have been dissecting the night’s performances and the overall spectacle in general. For instance, Beyonce‘s eye-popping finale, not to mention her touching on-stage moment with husband Jay Z and daughter Blue Ivy while accepting the Video Vanguard Award, seemed to have captured the attention of most critics. Also being singled out is Miley Cyrus, for bringing a homeless 22-year-old as her date to the event.

The show was also shorter in time-length than usual, and a lot more tame when compared to recent years. So how did this all pan out as far as quality entertainment? Head below for our roundup of VMAs reviews.

:: Billboard quipped, “Judging from a seat inside the Forum where the 31st edition of the VMAs were held Sunday, the awards show played like Top 40 radio — a lot of similar sounding music taking melodic cues from music of the 1980s, rap intertwined withe female singers, some of them powerhouses, some of them more subtle and sultry. Guitar-based music popped up with 5 Seconds of Summer and Maroon 5, though it hewed toward a lighter pop side rather anything approximating hearty rock ‘n’ roll. Well, should one expect anything different on a night when Lorde wins the night’s rock award?”

:: The Journal Review singled out King Bey: “Beyonce not only stole the show at the MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday night with many of the world’s top female pop stars in attendance hustling for our attention, she used the moment to erase the cynical cloud around her family status with an adorable appearance by daughter Blue Ivy and doting husband Jay Z to finish off the night.”

:: Likewise, the Los Angeles Times began their writeup with this zinger: “Who booked all the amateur acts to open for Beyoncé?”

:: also had praise for Bey: “Her performance easily outdid her competition throughout the night, though Beyonce lost video of the year, which instead went to Miley Cyrus who let a homeless man accept her award. It was in sharp contrast to the 2013 VMAs, when Cyrus twerked and danced shockingly onstage.”

:: The New York Times focused on Miley stealing the show, this time by sending a homeless man to pick up her Video Of The Year award: “Was Ms. Cyrus’s move a serious turn toward philanthropy? A crass effort to improve her image? ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’ envy? All of the above? It was hard to fully understand her motives on Sunday night. It certainly demonstrated a Madonna-level understanding of media manipulation. (Detractors will undoubtedly cringe at some of the particulars: Fixing homelessness by competing to go party in Rio?)”

:: Variety singled out Sam Smith as a highlight: “Crooner Sam Smith held the crowd’s attention and even brought some females to tears with his performance of his hit song ‘Stay With Me.’ Though he didn’t walk home with any VMA awards, his strong vocals definitely left an impression on the audience and showed he was a solid contender for an artist to watch. Smith’s performance also marked his American award show debut.”

:: Vulture, however, skipped talking about the performances and noted that the live cams were the best part of the whole evening: “Another MTV VMAs in the books, everyone. There was less twerking this year, and exactly zero racially fraught performances. That’s nice! (Also, no one got ice water dumped on their heads.) But you know what celebrities probably didn’t love? The multiple online live-cams MTV aimed directly at their seats for the entirety of the show. Because aside from whatever we got onstage, we also got a full account of all the side-eyes, blank stares, and bored texting. It was great, and it, as expected, made for some wonderful GIFs.”

So what did you think of the MTV VMAs this time around? Let us know your thoughts below!

Get an eyeful of even more pop music coverage, from artist interviews to exclusive performances, on Idolator’s YouTube channel.