Monday, June 19, 2006

Diaria: MMVA Edition
For a few years I actually got invited to the MuchMusic Video Awards and technically I was paid to go there. As a result, seeing Raine Maida shirtless was not just my passion, it was my occupation. A charmed life indeed.

Anyway. My favourite memory remains watching some drunk young man approach Avril Lavigne and repeatedly, insistently yell "the heat is on" during the after-party one year. This caused something of a scene and the young man was promptly removed from the area. Altogether a phenomenal moment.

Now I don't get invited to anything (something about drunkenly yelling "the heat is on" at Avril Lavigne). Thankfully, situations like this are exactly why Al Gore invented the Internet.

Here then, my player-hating from the sidelines. In chronological form.

7:30pm. All right, here we go. MuchMusic Video Awards. Party of the year. Or something. And VJ Devon is wearing a leotard.

7:35pm. First red carpet arrival: Typically Pretty But Humble Canadian Actor. VJ Devon welcomes him. Still wearing a leotard.

7:37pm. Second red carpet arrival: Anonymous C-List American Celebrity Simply Amazed That Anyone Cares.

7:41pm. A bunch of scantily clad women just jumped out of a police van and are frisking the hand-cuffed members of Hedley. In the background, a MuchMusic staffer can be seen commanding the assembled teenagers to scream their delight. You see, it's not that the kids genuinely like Hedley. It's that they feel obligated to pretend.

7:47pm. Much is making sure to regularly flash a warning that says, since the proceedings are live, "anything could happen" and some viewers may be offended. This does nothing to explain Devon's leotard, which surely the producers could have stopped before going on air.

7:50pm. Mandatory sighting of Howie from the Backstreet Boys. This time accompanied by some skinny, 18-year-old-looking kid named "George." He is described as Howie's "artist." He's got the "full package," says Howie. No comment.

7:52pm. Kardinal Offishall arrives on a fire truck. Apparently he leads the contenders with five nominations tonight. And that has nothing to do with his involvement in VJ Search: The Series. Nothing. Don't even think it.

7:55pm. First award of the night — Best Post Production — presented by Devon and his leotard. Trews win. Or at least their editor does. Or something. I officially clinch first-place in my one-man MMVA pool.

7:59pm. While VJ Hannah S. is greeting Yellowcard, I think I see the members of Broken Social Scene slip in undetected.

8:02pm. Kardinal, accepting the second award of the night, denounces global terrorism. Devon seems moved. His leotard remains resolute.

8:07pm: Wait. Forget the leotard. Devon also appears to wearing pointy shoes.

8:09pm. Massari arrives in a fancy car with a girl that seems way out of his league. Somewhere Shawn Desman is cursing his name. I can't wait for the inevitable slap-fight/dance-off.

8:11pm. Emily Haines looks so uncomfortable. I give it two years before she shows up for one of these things wearing a swan as a dress of rips up a picture of the prime minister or something.

8:23pm. Whatshername from Evanescence arrives. In addition to casting off Ben Moody, she has also apparently disavowed bras. Cheers.

8:27pm. While accepting another award Kardinal speaks out on behalf of Africa... and, on that note, here's Tori Spelling.

8:44pm. Nick Lachey arrives. His career is truly remarkable. First he seemed doomed to be barely remembered as part of an also-ran, mid-90s boy band. Then, thanks to his wife and her creepy father, he became a massive celebrity. And then, thanks to his wife and her creepy father, he's become something of an American folk hero - a sympathetic symbol of universal male plight. Or something. So far as I can tell he has not done a single thing except exist and periodically smile. Paris Hilton at least let us all watch her have sex. Nick? Nothing. For whatever reason, I sort of admire him.

8:51pm. Oh by the way, there's still nine minutes to go until this show actually, officially starts.

8:58pm. Paris Hilton arrives and the camera pans across her adoring public. One sign appears to read "Paris Hilton is an ugly woman." Do you figure Much let that cameraman finish his shift or did they fire him on the spot?

9:02pm. VJs Leah, Matte, Devon and Sarah walk out to start the show. Leah's wearing a corset (I actually saw her explaining that on TV a couple days ago) and her breasts are literally at her chin. Note that VJ Search winner Tim and the new Hannah are both missing.

9:06pm. Game Five of the NBA Finals is starting and Clarence Clemons is doing the American national anthem on saxophone. It's never sounded better. Just thought you should know.

9:09pm. Nick Lachey is making such a concerted effort not to look down Leah's dress. Solid guy. Probably tonight's MVP.

9:14pm. Hedley performs while a group of 12-year-olds engage in the saddest mosh pit in rock history.

9:17pm. For whatever reason, Much has decided to encourage voting for the people's choice awards with commentary segments from their trusty group of unemployed comedians. This is the unfortunate side effect of MTV coming to Canada. No longer able to simply re-run MTV content, Much has to develop its own programming and whoever is in charge of such things has apparently decided that this can be done with comedians making bitchy, humorless comments about the pop stars Much otherwise relies on. I've said it before, but I'll make the appeal again - VJ Leah and her boyfriend, Alexisonfire's Dallas Green, need their own reality show. Why hasn't this happened already? I could watch that all day. It could probably have its own channel. Failing that, I want to see Massari and Shawn Desman in a best-of-seven series of Canadian celebrity boxing.

9:23pm. Nelly Furtado just required a TelePrompTer to say, "The nominees for best international artist are..."

9:39pm. I defy you to name a worse rock band in the genre's history than Simple Plan. Go ahead. Try. It's not possible. I refuse to believe anyone else even comes close.

9:43pm. In fairness to Nelly, Whatshername from Evanescence just needed a TelePrompTer to say, "The nominees for MuchLoud best rock video are..."

9:44pm. Via video, Chad Kroeger just accepted the award while holding a bong.

9:53pm. Dallas Green was involved in two of the videos nominated for Best Independent Video, but he still lost to Metric. Dude is dating a VJ. What more does he have to do? Anyway. Emily Haines still looks uncomfortable.

10:12pm. Some white guy - shouting out hockey - wins Best Rap Video. Presenter T.I. looks real impressed.

10:13pm. Theory of a Deadman are interviewed. None appear to be wearing the t-shirt that the VJ Search contestants designed for them. Shame.

10:20pm. Upon further review, Tori Spelling appears to be wearing a bed sheet.

10:23pm. Arrested Development win for Best Video. Kardinal denounces global terrorism. (Note that Kardinal's video for Everyday was the Best Video but not the Best Rap Video. The bonds of logic are beginning to break down.)

10:33pm. Jesse Metcalfe, apparently famous for taking his shirt off on Desperate Housewives, shouts out Broken Social Scene. That must be it for Broken, right? That's got to be a sign of impending doom.

10:35pm. Sorry. I don't believe this "new" Nelly Furtado. It's like an episode of the Brady Bunch where Marsha decides to act like a bad girl to catch the eye of some boy she likes. Sure, it's kinda hot. But so was the old Marsha. (P.S. Is Timbaland on HGH?)

10:40pm. Fall Out Boy are apparently considered sex symbols. Is this a sign that society has regressed or evolved? Discuss.

10:43pm. This is the fourth year in a row that Much viewers have voted Simple Plan best Canadian group. To their credit, I get the sense that they realize what a con this is. The lead singer has that look in his eyes like he knows he's totally running on borrowed time now - that this could, and probably should, end any minute now and he just wants to enjoy every second/groupie.

10:46pm. Jacob Hoggard presents an award with his pants pulled down to expose his buttocks. He's like Johnny Rotten for a generation of total wusses.

10:50pm. VJ Tim's total screen time: about 74 seconds. Yeah, that VJ Search thing was totally worth it. Meanwhile the new Hannah is holding her own. Even managed to politely decline Massari's advances.

10:52pm. Paris Hilton and VJ Leah on the same stage. To introduce Fall Out Boy. Who are performing in fake tuxedo shirts. Remember where you were when you saw it because you'll be telling your kids about this some day. There are few times a writer gets to document history, but surely this is one of those.

10:56pm. Of those present for this moment — Paris, Leah, the members of Fall Out Boy — who is most successful/famous five years from now? It's a total toss up. If she weren't Canadian, I'd probably go with Leah. As it is I'm going to go with the drummer from Fall Out Boy. But only because I bet he eventually becomes Jessica Simpson's sixth husband (after Nick Lachey, Johnny Knoxville, White House press secretary Tony Snow, Jason from Laguna Beach and David Copperfield).

11:05pm. Oh, by the way, show's over. I'm watching the basketball game now.

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