Remember MTV, the old station that used to show music videos?
Those days are long gone, as the network has shifted its attention from music videos — its mainstay and original purpose — to cheap programming that appeals to a younger (and less attentive) viewership. (Think “Jersey Shore.”)
So it makes sense, then, that the annual MTV Video Music Awards would see a decline in viewership over the years. I mean, who cares about videos anymore?
Well, apparently, millions of people do. And that’s largely in part to two artists: Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber.
You couldn’t find more different artists. One is an avant-garde glam-rock songstress whose style — she wore a dress made of meat at Sunday’s VMAs — is uncategorizable; the other is a teenage heartthrob with a signature bowl-cut hairstyle who sings about love without much first-hand experience.
And yet, according to critics and early rating reports, Sunday’s show drew in the best ratings in eight years, thanks, in part to these two artists. Lady Gaga earned a record-tying eight awards; Bieber took home the coveted Best New Artist award.
An average of 11.4 million viewers watched the two-hour show, an increase of 27 percent over last year’s VMAs, which was punctuated by Kayne West stealing the microphone from Taylor Swift as she gave her acceptance speech.
No props to comic host Chelsea Handler or cameos by Lindsay Lohan (who made fun of herself in a video skit).
No, the show belonged to Gaga and Bieber fans — sometimes they are one in the same — who didn’t care that one wore a feather mohawk while the other likely lip-synced his live performance. (Bieber will be in Honolulu for two concerts on Oct. 8 and 9 at the Blaisdell Arena.)
So what is it about these two artists that make them so wildly popular? Is it their music? Is it their theatrics? Is it their hair?
Can anyone enlighten me?
To read all of Cat’s blogs, visit www.nonstophonolulu.com/thedailydish. Follow Cat on Twitter @thedailydish or send her an e-mail at [email protected]
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I don’t even know who Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber is and I don’t care to know.
Aaaiiiyyyaaahhh! Fuud Pix! Tenks???? I usually go “ga ga” over steaks, but the Lady’s one is a bit too rare. It’s been awhile since I had mammary steaks or rump steaks…I pass on the feet stuff!
Bieber is another flash in the pan like most of the young singers in the past. They fade when another young gun out does them and their fans get older. There are so many one hit wonders in the biz. Only Frank and Elvis endure after their deaths….maybe MJ too!
Hmmm, don’t know much about either. Is Justin Bieber like Hannah Montana’s younger brother. He looks to be about 12. Not sure what 11.4 million viewers means, nor do I care. Don’t think anybody watches music vids anymore. Think everyone pretty much downloads music from itunes or other sites.
I remember when i was 12 years old and watching the VMAs was a big event. It makes sense that Bieber stole the show – his demographic is the target! Gaga on the other hand is just a site to see, no matter what she is doing. She’s more of a show-stopper than a singer, which get’s people watching.
The only parts I wanted to see were Chelsea Handler’s comedy, but I thought she fell a bit flat.
Another contrast in comparison is that Gaga is talented (underneath all that meat). Bieber is just a cute kid to pull in tween dollars. He’s really not that talented, (I caught him on SNL and cringed). Meanwhile, if you search for Lady Gaga on YouTube, you can see some unplugged radio station performances and tell that she really has some singing chops, (pork chops?–haha!)
As for MTV, it is a joke station nowadays. For anyone who wants their music video fix you need to check out the MTV owned Palladia station on the HD channels. That is where the music has gone… and it’s flourishing there!
I think Lady Gaga’s appeal is probably driven more by her flair for theatrics (versus straight musical talent). As for Bieber, some have said that he is the next Justin Timberlake, but I don’t think so. Justin has a lot more talent – at least from what I have seen / heard.
@Eric Which Justin?
@hawaii2000 …. meant to say, Justin Timberlake has more talent. Thanks.
As mentioned in the article, I miss the days when MTV actually played music videos. I don’t care what anyone says, the world was a better place when N*Sync, Sisqo, Backstreet Boys, Jay-Z, Christina Aguilara, and Brittney Spears were mainstays on TRL!
But nostalgia aside, I thought Chelsea Handler was a great grab for host and overall it was an entertaining show. Gaga makes good music (though I like “The Fame” much more than “The Fame Monster”) and Bieber is a young kid with a catchy pop voice and the ability to do some decent dancing. You’ve basically cornered the pop-music market with those two, the genre that likely has the largest following in the world. MTV could have shown “Say What? Karaoke!” replays for two hours with two interspersed GaGa and Beiber performances and they still would have gotten a huge numbers of viewers. They are world icons in the pop industry, and likely will be for some time.
@JMattHicks Funny, when the bands you mentioned in the first paragraph were popular a decade or more ago, I thought back then that MTV had seen its better days gone by, (as Christina is the only one in the bunch I consider talented… well Justin T as well–I prefer his acting to his music).
I think Gaga will be around for awhile, but Bieber will be an act with waning popularity as his audience grows older.
@MaxMaxMax lol well I am a pop music fan, so that’s probably half of the reason I liked it so much. Plus, that’s the only MTV I remember. MTV is older than I am, so I know there’s a lot I probably missed seeing as I didn’t really follow MTV on daily basis until middle school. So I guess that’s why I remember it how I do.
And great point about Bieber, never thought of it that way.
It is a complete and total lack of much interesting going on these days coupled with the audience that still watches MTV.
I definitely wasn’t one of the 11.4M viewers. I don’t even watch MTV anymore.