Access isn’t what it used to be at the MuchMusic Video Awards, but our correspondent caught up with the stars who bothered to visit the press room.
The MuchMusic Video Awards are a prison.
It doesn’t matter who you are: celebrity, pseudo-celebrity, desperate Canada-only celebrity, Vampire Diaries cast member, PR wrangler, hyper-emotional teenage girl, irritable CTV staff member, or innocent journalist confused as to why we all can’t just get along. No, regardless of your pop culture status, once you enter the fortified wall of steel barriers that enclose the former CHUMCity building, you become a mere pawn in the MMVA juggernaut.
While us members of the media were being kettled in a labyrinthine upstairs office space, we were offered a flatscreen television at the side of the press conference room to convince us that the MMVAs were in fact going on at street level. Not that we were allowed to experience the multi-stage parking lot energy among the common people. Or among the people on the invite list. Heck, we weren’t even allowed to go the bathroom without supervision.
We were offered only one choice: water or alcohol. A bar with soft drinks was located behind a black velvet curtain, manned by polite yet vigilant security guards and a dude in a black suit with a headset. I bravely pleaded my case, but he was having none of it. As I contemplated the logic behind the strict prohibition of sugary beverages, I was struck by a moment of “reality.”
As the stars were being whisked in and out of this controlled climate, I glumly realized that the MMVAs have been stripped of the free-for-all spirit that once defined not only this marquee event but this entire organization. The super-strict levels of access ran contrary to the very principles upon which this institution was conceived: ultimate freedom, granted not only to the press, but also to the public, to provide an honest glimpse into the inner workings of the media machine. Wise old Moses must be spinning in… his chair over at the Zoomer office.
Trapped as I was, listening to neophyte boy band Neverest describe their deep-seated admiration for their pop music svengali, the Backstreet Boys’ Howie D, I was forced to miss the big moments you all witnessed on television. The Lady Gaga fake blood smear, the bizarre yet captivating chemistry between Selena Gomez and Colin Farrell, the Snoop Dogg cameo, and the world’s most famous teenager awkwardly asking his own girlfriend out on a date.
True to form, the Twitter dialogue was infinitely more hilarious than anything happening inside 299 Queen Street West. The 2011 ceremony was marked by a fan voting controversy and thus dubbed by Britney and Avril fans with an epic hashtag: #MMVAfail.
But those weren’t the only pressing concerns. The tweeps also called for the firing of VJ Sarah Taylor, condemned Toto-loving singer Karl Wolf, turned Shawn Desman into an inspirational figure, and had their say on Blake McGrath‘s tan.
I was unable to participate in these debates, but what I did manage to capture, however, was a little bit of red carpet and press room magic. Take a glimpse inside the machine by checking out the photos below.
Celebrity, media, or fan. We’re all just another brick in the fortified wall of steel barriers.
Avril Lavigne: no plumber’s butt this year.
Tokyo Police Club describe the thrill of the red carpet: “It feels… like we are slightly out of place.”
The Degrassi cast: still awaiting that red carpet–posing tutorial from Stefan Brogren.
So You Think You Can Dance Canada judge Blake McGrath: REALLY excited to be here!
Fourteen-year-old Aussie YouTube sensation Cody Simpson was roundly criticized for showing up in the same white blazer as Justin Bieber. His fans, known collectively as “the Simpsonizers,” disagree.
It’s true, “Electric/Night Like This” by Shawn Desman was actually named Video of the Year.
David Guetta shows off the pinnacle of French haute couture: the silver-sleeved polyester jacket.
Tasha Dash of Candy Coated Killahz borrowed this outfit from Killers singer Brandon Flowers.
No, Classified, that’s not a paper weight.