Did you catch the 2-hour Miley Cyrus: Bangerz Tour special on NBC Sunday night? No? Well, neither did a lot of people. In fact, the numbers for the special were kind of lackluster— the show premiered to 1.7 million viewers, but by the end of the night, only 1.3 viewers were left. True, NBC has been facing middling-to-abysmal ratings for a long time now, but 1.7 for a big concert special is pretty bad. For comparison, consider that the average episode of America's Got Talent gets around 2.6 million viewers, about double the amount of viewers retained over the course of the Bangerz special.
Miley Cyrus was the most-Googled person in the U.S. last year, and the album that inspired the Bangerz tour was a Billboard number one. So why weren't we watching? An educated guess: we are kind of over it. All of it. The Miley Monster. The tongue, the oversized teddy bears, even the clear safety and sanitary hazards that come with riding a wrecking ball naked.
As for the reviews, critics seem somewhat unimpressed, citing predictable on-stage antics and boring "inside looks" into Miley's personal life. They seem bored, and who can blame them? We were shocked when "We Can't Stop" dropped and we had to face the fact that our little Disney princess had grown up, and shocked when "Wrecking Ball" hammered the point home. But that's all passé, now. Miley is already, firmly and forever, Hannah Montana no more.
Once we got over that, there wasn't much left to be shocked by.
Here's the thing: there wasn't that much that was scandalous about Miley. Sure, she smoked weed and appropriated dances, but besides that, she's just a nice girl with a tough look and a public engagement that ended abruptly.
Miley plays party-life dress-up, but works too hard to actually live it. That's what pop is about, and for not turning into the Justin Bieber she easily could have been, she deserves nothing but respect.
The good news is, Miley is really talented. Listen to her cover of Dolly Parton's "Jolene" if you don't believe me. She doesn't need to be a target of morbid fascination or ridicule in order to keep herself in the public eye, all she has to do is put out hit song after hit song, "forget the haters," and wait until we realize that maybe we're over the spectacle, but what's good will always be good, whether America's watching or not.