The YouTube Music Awards Might Be the First Awards Show That Actually Means Something
If you've been appalled by the lack of attention our celebrities get; if you've been disgusted by the dearth of awards bestowed on the rich and famous; if you're downright nauseated by the way our stars don't get no respect... there's good news. Because the Oscars, Emmys, SAG Awards, Grammys, VMAs, BET Awards, Golden Globes, and ISPs aren't enough, there's now a new awards show. On Tuesday, Google announced that there will be a YouTube music awards show that will, according to YouTube's president, "really celebrate the artists and the songs that have become hits on YouTube over the past year." Lady Gaga, Eminem, and Arcade Fire are already lined up to perform at the show, which will stream live from New York City on Nov. 3.
There are other big names attached to the project, as well. Jason Schwartzman is set to host, and Spike Jonze has signed on to direct. The man who's brought us such classics as Where the Wild Things Are and the upcoming Her intends to bring music videos to life during the broadcast.
Instead of bands performing to an audience on a stage, we're going to have a warehouse with all these different sets and try to make live music videos throughout the night. The idea is let's get a bunch of interesting artists together and have a night that’s all about making things.
That sounds like a disaster waiting to happen, doesn't it? We like music videos because they're glossy and over-produced and color and sound-corrected. Live performances of our favorite songs, when the artist tries too hard (see Miley Cyrus' performance at the VMAs), consistently come across sloppy and disjointed. But hey, maybe Jonze can pull a Tim Gunn and make it work.
As for the nominees, they'll be announced in mid October. YouTube will hand out prizes to artists with the most views on YouTube, the most number of spinoffs it's inspired, as well as awards for four or five other to be determined categories. (If "Wrecking Ball" isn't nominated for the spinoff trophy, I'll be shocked. It seemed like everyday there there was either Nicolas Cages spinoff, a goat spinoff, a Bieber spinoff, a cat spinoff... )
Naturally, winners will be voted on by YouTube viewers: people from all over the world will be allowed to vote once a day for their favorite nominees.
As much as the idea of another awards show leaves a sour taste in my mouth, it's exciting to see that YouTube, the medium that launched the careers of Justin Bieber and violinist Lindsey Stirling, is going to recognize the talent that's garnered the most attention. Not because the celebs need more recognition, but because YouTube does.
Behind those horrific commenters is a site that, for better or worse, brings us all together. If this show can do the same, maybe the YouTube music awards will, unlike any other awards ceremony, have a purpose.