The YouTube Music Awards Were a Hot Mess Last Night

When people think of the first Sunday in November, they think of football, Daylight Saving Time or Thanksgiving being around the corner. While those three things were on people's minds, another option entered into the equation: the ill-fated first YouTube Music Awards.

Unlike other awards shows, this one was pretty much completely freeform. What does that mean? For starters, there was no script and seemingly no structure for anyone to go off. This may seem like a minor detail, but structure is the glue that holds awards shows together. Even with Spike Jonze directing and Jason Schwartzman and Reggie Watts hosting the event, it was a mess.

Through the power of the web, the event was live-streamed, yet it seemed as if hardly anyone tuned in or even cared about the event, even though the awards were dependent on the viewers. Huh? The best I can surmise from this is that if an awards show happens and no one cares enough to tune in, can we pretend it never happened?


The last thing we need is another useless awards show to clog up our Sundays. Granted, this one had the decency to be streamed entirely online. But without much promotion in general, the event was doomed from the start. Yes, there were big names performing, including Eminem, Lady Gaga (looking as lost as ever), Arcade Fire and even Tyler, the Creator and Earl Sweatshirt. But the event, which was supposed to honor bands and musicians who share their work for free, proved when you're an artist seeking an audience, sometimes you get what you pay for.

For instance, how could Eminem win Artist of the Year if he hasn't put out any new material officially and only has a single out? Doesn't that seem a bit preposterous to anyone? Sometimes doing things conventionally helps to make things move a bit smoother, and it definitely would have helped at something like this. Instead of being known as an awards show that had room for improvement, the powers that be who decided to put on this clusterfuck may be better off scrapping the whole thing for the future or, at minimum, could maybe explain what they were trying to pull off.

Awards shows get lampooned and mocked for the ridiculous nature of the subject they wish to honor. Art cannot be judged, and those who think they can label it are just fooling themselves. So now that I've said that, the pointlessness of “airing” something such as this is not only inherently stupid, but it also makes you question if anyone understood the point of this event (there's no shortage of backlash against the awards show on Twitter this morning). It's one thing to do something to appeal to a new generation, but it's another thing to completely troll the Internet, which was hopefully the intention of this one-time study.

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