YouTube celebrates its online talent
Music-video fans picked the winners in YouTube's bizarre inaugural Music Awards that were live streamed from New York.PT2M10S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-2wwab 620 349 November 4, 2013
Eminem and K-pop group Girls' Generation were the big winners at an innovative but often confusing and awkward debut YouTube Music Awards ceremony on Sunday night US time.
Held at a dark performance space, Pier 36 in New York, the show was overseen by renowned music video and film director Spike Jonze, who seemed determined to deliver the opposite of a polished, formal awards event.
But his ceremony was a little too haphazard for many viewers. The banter from hosts Jason Schwartzman (Moonrise Kingdom) and comedian Reggie Watts, both working without a script, mostly fell flat leaving too many awkward silences and viewers wondering what was going on.
Ryan Lewis (left) and Macklemore attend the YouTube Music Awards 2013 in New York City. Photo: Getty Images
On Twitter, viewers likened it to an awards show parody and called it "weird, "unprofessional", "a mess" and "embarrassing" and suggested Google (which owns YouTube) needed to learn how to run an awards show before next year's event.
Schwartzman opened the night saying: "I've never hosted anything in my life, one Christmas party and it was terrible.'' It showed.
Eminem beat a superstar list of nominees to win the Artist of the Year category for most watched and shared act, but the real talking point was the Video of the Year prize, which went to nine-member K-Pop group Girls' Generation, beating a field including Justin Bieber, One Direction and Miley Cyrus for their I Got a Boy clip. The prize was for the video with "most fan engagement" and the winning clip has over 73 million views this year.
YouTube Music Awards 2013
Singer Lady Gaga attends the YouTube Music Awards in New York. Photo: Reuters
All the awards were voted by the public.
Korean-Australian twin sisters Jayesslee were nominated in the Video Response category, for best fan/parody video, for their acoustic version of Psy's Gangnam Style. They lost out to contemporary violinist Lindsey Stirling, for her version of Imagine Dragons' Radioactive.
Macklemore and Ryan Lewis won the Breakthrough Artist gong, for acts with biggest growth in clips views and subscribers.
Winner: Tiffany of the musical group Girls' Generation speaks after accepting the Video of the Year award. Photo: Reuters
Instead of seated guests, most at the YTMAs were standing, with Schwartzman and Watts often running through the crowd of shrieking teens from one awkward set-piece to the next. At one point Schwartzman had his face painted, while he and Watts had to plunge their hands into five cakes to find the name of a category winner. Schwartzman also interviewed Macklemore while holding a screaming toddler.
Lady Gaga added some superstar power, performing Dope at a grand piano, although dressed in a baseball cap and a long flanno shirt, she lacked her customary glamour. She also apparently wore no pants. Avicii, M.I.A and Tyler the Creator also performed live.
Reaching for spontaneity Jonze delivered too many contrived moments including Arcade Fire lead singer Win Butler grabbing the microphone from Schwartzman to protest Taylor Swift's win (for I Knew You Were Trouble) in the YouTube Phenomenon category. "The YouTube phenomenon of the year was the Harlem Shake, everyone knows that," Butler said in what looked much like a reference to Kanye West infamously grabbing the mic from Swift at the MTV Video Music Awards in 2009.
Awkward: Hosts Reggie Watts (left) and Jason Schwartzman left too many long silences during the YouTube awards ceremony. Photo: Reuters
Fairfax's Marcus Teague, who was in the audience, said Jonze did manage did deliver "a super fun" show for the audience and performers, even if it didn't translate for viewers. "Odd Future staged a full-on mini house party and Jonze wandered about giving live instructions to cameramen and bands alike," Teague reported. "I think it definitely has legs, the whole live-music video idea as the draw card."
Jonze also indulged himself with a live-action short play mid-show, in which a girl befriends a boy whose ex-girlfriend preferred the company of superstar DJ Avicii. The performance was stopped to allow a show of hands for one of two possible endings, one happy, one tragic. Predictably audience chose the 'double tragedy' option, but it seemed no-one cared - the real tragedy was the show itself.
(YouTube music awards – winners bolded below)
VIDEO OF THE YEAR
Miley Cyrus - We Can't Stop
Justin Bieber (feat. Nicki Minaj) - Beauty and a Beat
Lady Gaga - Applause
One Direction - Best Song Ever
PSY - Gentleman
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis (feat. Mary Lambert) - Same Love
Girls' Generation - I Got A Boy
Demi Lovato - Heart Attack
Selena Gomez, Come & Get It
Epic Rap Battles Of History - Barack Obama vs Mitt Romney
ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Epic Rap Battles of History
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
RESPONSE OF THE YEAR
Boyce Avenue (feat. Fifth Harmony) - Mirrors
Jayesslee - Gangnam Style
Lindsey Stirling and Pentatonix - Radioactive
ThePianoGuys - Titanium/Pavane
Walk Off the Earth (feat. KRNFX) - I Knew You Were Trouble
I Knew You Were Trouble
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
INNOVATION OF THE YEAR (creative video innovations with most views, likes, shares and comments)
Anamanaguchi - Endless Fantasy
Atoms For Peace - Ingenue
Bat For Lashes - Lilies
DeStorm - See Me Standing
Toro Y Moi - Say That