YouTube Music Awards show was a hot mess

By Melissa Platero, CCNN Writer

YTMA Eminem
Eminem’s YTMA performance was solid, shoddy camera work aside (not his fault).

If the entire 90-minute YouTube Music Awards could be summarized in a few simple phrases, its creative director Spike Jonze definitely had some choice words.  As the YTMAs came to an end, he said, “I think we’re done,” and thanked everyone for “letting us make this mess.” Yah, I think they are done, and not in a good way.

The live stream, which barely registered past the 200,000 viewers mark, proved that old school media is still king. For example, this year’s MTV VMAs had 10 million folks watching it. Plus, where do the big-time music videos come from on YouTube? The classic production studios.

Now, I’m not saying YouTube shouldn’t have thrown its hat into the multimedia ring. After all, it’s no small potatoes.

What I’m getting at is they needed to have a much better gameplan going in. They tried to imitate the rough-and-tumble nature of YouTube, but did so with such sloppy slapped-togetherness, that the production value came across as ultra cheap.

Instead, it was a mixed bag of indie talent (which is what it should have been about, since YouTube is the land-of-instant-viral-fame), and big names like Eminem and Lady Gaga. Stick with your guns YouTube. Go with the whole Wild West vibe that makes us adore your internet television awesomeness. More Grumpy Cat and less Gaga.

Broadcast from Pier 36 in downtown Manhattan, the YTMAs were at least not shock-and-awe Miley Cyrus fare, which is sadly becoming the norm. So, I’ll definitely give them props for that. However, while they were going for a spontaneous and spur-of-the-moment vibe, it just felt way too forced.

So, how about the winners?  Highlights included Girls’ Generation’s “I Got a Boy” winning Video of the Year, after beating out Barack Obama vs. Mitt Romney, Epic Rap Battles of History, and Lady Gaga’s “Applause.” Artist of the Year went to the “Rap God,” Eminem, and YouTube phenom Lindsey Stirling won Response of the Year for her Imagine Dragons “Radioactive” collab with Pentatonix.

Images courtesy of YouTube Spotlight.