Pitches of all kinds upstage this year's Video Music Awards

Friday, September 8th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Favors owed, dues paid, projects touted. In the same way that MTV is no longer about music, Thursday night's MTV Video Music Awards were only marginally about videos. The real business at hand was the plug, conducted with relentless, shameless abandon: Jim Carrey's film, his girlfriend's film, LL Cool J's disc and so on.

Related link

Award show coverage from MTV

On a more conspiratorial level, how to explain the presence of Whitney Houston and an unannounced Bobby Brown presenting the final award of the night for best video of the year (to Eminem)? Was it some show of faith for Ms. Houston, whose unsteady behavior at rehearsals for the recent Grammy Awards got her booted off that show? Whatever the reasoning, she and Mr. Brown felt strangely out of place.


Winners at the 2000 MTV Video Music Awards on Thursday night:

Best video: Eminem, "The Real Slim Shady"

Male video: Eminem, "The Real Slim Shady"

Female video: Aaliyah, "Try Again"

Group video: Blink 182, "All the Small Things"

Rap video: Dr. Dre featuring Eminem, "Forgot About Dre"

R&B video: Destiny's Child, "Say My Name"

Hip hop video: Sisqo, "Thong Song"

Best direction: Red Hot Chili Peppers, "Californication"

Dance video: Jennifer Lopez, "Waiting for Tonight"

Rock video: Limp Bizkit, "Break Stuff"

Pop video: 'N Sync, "Bye Bye Bye"

New artist: Macy Gray, "I Try"

Video from a film: Aaliyah, "Try Again"

Breakthrough video: Bjork, "All is Full of Love"

Viewer's choice: 'N Sync, "Bye Bye Bye"

Choreography: 'N Sync, "Bye Bye Bye"

Special effects: Bjork, "All if Full of Love"

Art direction: Red Hot Chili Peppers, "Californication"

Editing: Aimee Mann, "Save Me"

Cinematography: Macy Gray, "Do Something"

SOURCE: Associated Press

So did Shawn and Marlon Wayans, who may have (as they reminded us) scored a hit with their Scary Movie this summer, but who failed miserably as co-hosts. As one bad joke after another fell flat, the camera swept across the audience and there were Jennifer Lopez and Puffy Combs, looking painfully grim. Ouch.

Another what-the-heck situation involved Lars Ulrich, the Metallica drummer and outspoken critic of Napster. When Napster creator Shawn Fanning appeared briefly to help introduce a performance (wearing a Metallica T-shirt, no less), the camera flashed to Mr. Ulrich, seated in the audience, eyes shut as if in pain. Later, he got an unsettlingly full platform via an odd, unfunny, pointed "skit" in which he "borrowed" stereo equipment from a metalhead.

Performances included a horridly lip-synched opener by Janet Jackson, who was in a black-feather Goth get-up, and a scary routine by Britney Spears that began with a few lines from her cover of the Rolling Stones' "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" and segued into her usual bump-and-grind. "The girl done went from the Mickey Mouse Club to the strip club," said the Wayans duo, in one of their only funny lines.

Best rock video went to Limp Bizkit, whose thank-you speech was interrupted by a prank by the bass player from Rage Against the Machine, who climbed up on an elaborate piece of staging; he nearly brought the show to a halt.

Along with best video, Eminem won best male video and performed "Slim Shady" on the street in front of Radio City Music Hall, where the event was held. As soon as he finished, MTV aired a public-service announcement decrying abusive behavior toward gays, part of an agreement the cable channel made with the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, who object to the anti-gay sentiments in his songs. It was a noble act, but then again, it was just another deal.