Sunday night I tuned in the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs) mostly out of habit.
The VMAs used to be required viewing at our house. Some really cool stuff used to happen. Of course, that was back when MTV used to actually show videos. Now with nothing on the channel but Knocked Up Teen
and Jersey Shore
marathons, the VMAs have become the most disingenuous award show on television.
I knew Lady Gaga was opening the show. I'm not a Gaga fan. I really don't think she's done much but recycle gimmicks that worked for other acts before her (see Marilyn Manson
The show opened and she took the stage...
And my first thought was "Holy shit! She's ripping off Annie Lennox!"
Apparently I wasn't the only one.
The Daily Mail has an exhaustive side-by-side comparison of the two performances here.
Then her alter ego, Joe Calderon, opened his/her mouth and the other side of the coin became ridiculously apparent.
Calderon looked, sounded and acted like...
That's right. Joe Calderon was a watered down version of Dice complete with cigarette gymnastics. I kept expecting her rant to dissolve into nursery rhymes.
I think it goes without saying that the following video is NSFW!
That performance on the 1997 VMAs got Dice banned from MTV for life. Of course, now that Dice is suddenly hot again thanks to his marginally fictionalized appearances on the final season of Entourage
, I guess he's hot enough to rip off.
But wait, she wasn't done.
Next she brought out a bunch of dancers dressed like extras from The Lords of Flatbush
, or perhaps more appropriately...
I swear, if I hadn't know Jeff Conaway had just died I'd have been looking for him on stage.
So, if you're keeping track at home, in order to open the 2011 VMAs, Lady Gaga had to rip off Annie Lennox, Andrew Dice Clay and the cast of Grease to get through her opening number and still remain relevant.
Add that to the accusations that "Born This Way" borrowed liberally from Madonna's "Express Yourself," and that she recently appropriated Bette Midler's wheelchair mermaid character
and I think we're getting a peek behind the curtain, and, if I can mix my metaphors, the emperor/empress isn't wearing any clothes.
Or, if she is, she borrowed them from a more popular ruler.