Terry Morrow: Video Music Awards makes sure MTV stays relevant

Rihanna will perform at the annual MTV Video Music Awards, set for tonight.

Photo by JOHN MCCONNICO

Rihanna will perform at the annual MTV Video Music Awards, set for tonight.

You've got to wonder why MTV still has its "Video Music Awards" these days.

The most obvious reason is that the barely-an-awards ceremony is still a huge draw for the cable channel, bringing in some of the biggest ratings MTV has all year. Bottom line.

On the surface, though, the "Video Music Awards" (broadcast live 8 p.m. Thursday) seems like an odd event for the channel to do. After all, MTV isn't really known for showcasing music videos anymore. That's been the case for several years how.

If MTV held an awards show for what it really features, we'd be watching the "MTV Reality Shows Awards." And, really, who wants to see that?

And unlike any other awards show, the Video Music Awards still manages to be surprising. This is the event in which Kanye West dashed to the stage and made a fool of himself by admonishingTaylor Swift — to her face — for not be deserving of an award she had just won.

At the 2003 awards, Madonna kissed Britney Spears deeply during a performance.

In 2009, Sasha Baron Cohen stirred up Eminemwhen Cohen dropped from the ceiling and landed his bare buttock in Eminem's face, prompting the rapper to storm out of the show.

After all these years, no one really cares who wins Video of the Year. They just want to be around for whatever outrageousness will be tomorrow's watercooler talk.

This year's show will feature performances from Swift, Frank Ocean, Rihanna, One Direction, Green Day and Pink, among others.

Who can forget each of their stellar music videos from the past year? A lot of us can't.

But we'll all be talking about the misfires and feuding from the awards for a long time to come.

Terry Morrow may be reached at 865-342-6445 or morrowt@knoxville.com.

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