Predicting the Content of This Year’s VMAs

Posted on: 09/3/08 1:07 PM | by Jonathan McKee

Last year’s MTV VMAs (Video Music Awards) were one of the most sexually charged award shows I’ve seen (I talked about it here). This year, it will be interesting to see if they continue down that route. We’ll find out this Sunday night.

Why do I wonder if it will be different? Several reasons:

1. The emergence of Miley and the Jonas Bros.

The fact is… two of the most popular artists of today are pretty dang clean. Miley has had her scandals, but overall I think she brings a positive element to music. She is up for the best new artist category for her “7 Minutes” video.

The Jonas Bros are not only from a Christian family (more about them in our Youth Culture Window article here), but their music and videos have maintained a pretty clean slate. Their “Burnin Up” video is actually up for the coveted “Video of the Year” spot.

2. The recent Teen Choice Awards were as clean as I’ve seen them.

Every year we review three shows that we feel are the biggest youth culture barometers: The MTV Movie Awards, The Teen Choice Awards, and the MTV VMAs. And every year all three are depressing. But this year’s Teen Choice Awards was actually clean. It still featured shows kids shouldn’t watch and awarded celebs who are not positive role models… but the “show” was actually clean (my Youth Culture Window article on that show here). That’s the first time in a while. So it will be interesting to see where this year’s VMA’s fall.

But I’m probably pre-mature if I predict a clean show this year. After all, just a couple months ago we saw MTV’s Movie Awards and they were far from clean (you can read our Youth Culture Window article on that show here).

So what do you think? Do you think this year will go dirty as usual? Or might they clean up a bit? David provides the list of nominees and gives us his two cents in this week’s Youth Culture Window article.

One interesting note is the five finalists for video of the year. Of the top five videos, only two of them are really sexually charged. Here’s the list:

Chris Brown

Jonas Brothers
“Burnin Up”
Pussycat Dolls
“When I Grow Up”

Britney Spears
“Piece of Me”

The Ting Tings
“Shut Up and Let Me Go”

Can you guess which two are?

Now… one of the remaining three isn’t great. Typical R&B. Lyrics like “ecstasy, pleasure, all night” scattered throughout the song. A pretty clean video, not much more than dancing, kissing, embracing…

But then two of them are pretty fun.

You can take a peek for yourself here on MTV’s page.