The MTV video nominations snubbed some of the year’s best
MTV’s nominations for the 17th annual Video Music Awards (Sept. 7; 8 p.m.) include the good (Toni Braxton’s ”’He Wasn’t Man Enough”’ for Best Female Video), the bad (six nominations for nasty knucklehead Eminem’s ”The Real Slim Shady”), and the inevitable (Britney! Britney! Britney!).
And there were some puzzling nominations as well: Since when is Ricky Martin’s glorified performance clip for ”Shake Your Bon Bon” one of the year’s Best Male Videos? And the ass-crack fest that is Sisqo’s ”Thong Song” video — does that really merit nominations in the Hip-Hop, Dance, New Artist, Viewers’ Choice, AND Best Video from a Film categories?
But the most disturbing part of the nominations, as always, were the worthy videos that were overlooked by my fellow voters.
Normally, ”message” videos are too earnest for their own good, but ”Unpretty” was both a sexy pop song (with this year’s funkiest riff) and a beautifully filmed, daring video. Yes, bulimia, botched boob jobs, and racism are pretty heavy topics for the music channel, but it didn’t stop ”TRL”’s audience from keeping ”Unpretty” on the countdown for weeks. Stiffing TLC on the nominations, then, was just plain ugly.
”Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely,” Backstreet Boys
While it makes perfect sense that BSB’s lame ”Battlestar Galactica” homage, ”Larger Than Life,” got no nominations, it’s a shame that this wonderfully morose clip ?- representing the popsters’ ”blue period” -? was completely ignored. Howie, Brian, and all the boys acted their little hearts out in those based on true life tragedy vignettes, so certainly they deserve a space in the Best Group Video category. How they missed out when ”Say My Name” by Destiny’s Child (a video that has nothing going for it except a good color scheme) got one is inexplicable.
”Heartbreaker,” Mariah Carey featuring Jay-Z
Normally, Mariah Carey’s videos make me want to gouge my eyes out, but this candy colored clip -? featuring a Mariah on Mariah catfight, a ”Grease” inspired cartoon, and an irrepressibly catchy rap interlude from Jay-Z (truly the best part of the whole song) -? was arguably Ms. Carey’s finest ever. The worst part is, since she didn’t score any nominations, Mariah may not even show up at the VMAs, and that’ll deprive viewers the pleasure of making fun of her sure to be supertrashy outfit.
”Caught Out There,” Kelis
It’s really not all that surprising that this relatively unknown soul singer couldn’t muscle her way into the Best New Artist category, but had MTV bothered to play this hilarious video -? in which Kelis physically beats down her dog of a boyfriend, sending him to the emergency room, and then leads a mob of angry women on an anti-cheater protest -? people might have voted for it. Certainly they would have chosen Kelis over the supremely untalented Pink, who nabbed a Best New Artist nod for her video ”There You Go,” a vastly inferior ”girl power” anthem.
”Simple Kind of Life,” No Doubt
Maybe it’s just a going on 30 single woman thing, but I think Gwen Stefani’s tongue in cheek pop punk ode to biological clocks deserves a spot in the year’s Best Video category. How can you deny a clip that uses a flashing, oversized birth control pill pack as a prop?