While Much Music itself has been tangled in the throes of Much Less Music in recent years, laid off some of the country’s brightest TV personalities, and killed off New Music Live, arguably the best segment of its kind nationwide, the channel once again diverted all eggs into the annual basket of Ontario’s grand spectacle – the Much Music Video Awards. The night’s big winner was The Weeknd who won four awards including Video of the Year for “Often”. Twinkling with bright star power in a universal mixture of domestic and foreign talent, actors, recording artists, and athletes entered the premises in flamboyant style.
Red Carpet Highlights
Jamaica’s OMI who recently topped Canada’s Billboard Hot 100 with his hit song “Cheerleader” performed it on the red carpet. He was joined by cheerleaders with large cardboard photo masks of other artists like Ed Sheeran and Carly Rae Jepsen. Pop group Marianas Trench entered the red carpet in water ski attire. The members of Walk Off the Earth each had several clones; we had to look carefully to identify the original. The carpet was also rolled upon by a host of classy vehicles.
British superstar Ed Sheeran co-hosted the spectacle. An improvement over past years was that the discourse from Ed and the presenters did not come across as woodenly scripted, and most of the jokes did not fall flat. Sheeran performed twice, first with “Photograph” and second with his Marvin Gaye “Let’s Get It On” replica, “Thinking Out Loud”. First up, however, was U.S. group Fall Out Boy with their homage to actress Uma Thurman, sporting The Munsters’s theme. Carly Rae Jepsen performed a more original song, “I Really Like You” and American newcomer Tori Kelly impressed with “Nobody Love”. Local Toronto artist Scott Helman played his “Bungalow” and Walk Off the Earth “Rule the World”, the latter complete with paint-stained smocks. The Weeknd did two, “The Hills” and platinum single “Earned It”. Mia Martina gave us perhaps the most visually pleasing performance, complete with cages, red lighting, and red riding hood attire. She was accompanied by American rapper Waka Flocka Flame. “Stitches” proceeded from Shawn Mendes, “Chains” from Nick Jonas, and “Want to Want Me” from Jason Derulo to cap off the evening.
There were nearly 20 presenters many of whom were American actors. The MMVAs have been quite insightful in terms of identifying and inviting foreign acts who are more popular in Canada than in their homelands. One example this year was Adam Lambert who singles have all charted much higher in Canada than in the United States. Canadians presenting this year were recording artists Francesco Yates, Shawn Hook, LIGHTS, Arkells, Marianas Trench, Tyler Shaw, and Dan Talevski. Drake made an unscheduled surprise appearance to hand out an award.
The Awards: An All-Male Sweep
While Christine Sinclair and Team Canada were taking care of business defeating Switzerland 1-0 in Vancouver to advance to the quarterfinals of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup, Toronto’s MuchMusic Video Awards were not about handing trophies out to female superstars, not even one. Conspiracy theorists might propose that Jian Ghomeshi is secretly working for Bell Media. Casual misogynists might attempt to rationalize it in pointing out that the awards show took place on Father’s Day. We have found however that these things usually result from collective mindlessness where decision makers abandon the rudder to the control of materialistic currents. Beneath the glitz and glamour of the spectacle, the underlying message the MMVAs offered to the public was that the works of female artists are not award worthy. The media sidestepped the issue, fixated as always on the best dressed dolls of the ball. It is something most will overlook. We will not.
Watch the 2015 MMVAs online here.