If the MTV Video Music Awards keep going the way they're going, no one is going to be talking about the Michael Jackson tribute, the bloody Lady GaGa performance, or Pink's high wire act tomorrow. Instead people will be asking - again- what exactly was Kanye West thinking?
Less than a half hour into the show, as Taylor Swift was accepting the moon man for Best Female Video, West hijacked her microphone to make sure everyone knew that fellow nominee Beyonce had made one of the best videos "of all time," for "Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)."
West apparently just couldn't believe that Swift bested B in that particular category. He generously informed Swift that he was happy for her and that he would "let" her finish after his rude interruption. Swift never did get to finish her acceptance speech.
And while her music may not be everyone's cup of tea and we can all probably agree the Swift victory was something of a shock given the ubiquity of the Beyonce clip, did that mean West had to ruin the actual winner's night? Put Beyonce in an awkward position? Make it all about himself instead of the actual people involved? (And why wasn't Lil Wayne up there protesting on Kelly Clarkson's behalf?)
Swift, who looked genuinely, and understandably, upset, rebounded to do her own performance and then, ironically, a Rhapsody ad dubbed it "her moment."
Maybe there should be some kind of West rule instituted at awards shows where when Kanye gets an impulse he's somehow immobilized and then forced to count to ten before he can take any action.
And three cheers to Beyonce for showing incredible class in inviting Swift to have her moment in the sun during her own acceptance speech for Video of the Year for "Single Ladies." She recalled being a teenager at the show as part of Destiny's Child and the giddy feelings that went with it and wanted to make sure Swift got to feel them too. Nice work.
(Side note: If Kanye had won Video of the Year for "Love Lockdown" do you think he would've protested his own win, hijacked his own speech, and immediately handed over the trophy to Beyonce?)
UPDATE: Before the night was out, West apologized in his familiar ALL CAPS style on his blog: "I'M SOOOOO SORRY TO TAYLOR SWIFT AND HER FANS AND HER MOM. I SPOKE TO HER MOTHER RIGHT AFTER AND SHE SAID THE SAME THING MY MOTHER WOULD'VE SAID. SHE IS VERY TALENTED!"...............I'M IN THE WRONG FOR GOING ON STAGE AND TAKING AWAY FROM HER MOMENT!"
About Sound Effects
ContributorsSarah Rodman is a staff music critic for the Boston Globe.
James Reed is a staff music critic for the Boston Globe.
Jonathan Perry is the Globe's Scene & Heard columnist, covering local music.
Michael Brodeur is the assistant arts editor for the Boston Globe, covering pop music, TV, and nightlife.
Julian Benbow is a staff writer at the Boston Globe, covering sports and music.
Katie McLeod is Boston.com's features editor.
Rachel Raczka is a producer for Lifestyle and Arts & Entertainment at Boston.com.
Glenn Yoder is an Arts & Entertainment producer at Boston.com.