Television

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The 2011 Video Music Awards Performances: Highlights And Lowlights

The musical performances at the 2011 Video Music Awards were pretty consistently great, if slightly flawed in certain ways. Adele‘s rendition of “Someone Like You” was ever-so-slightly sharp, but still brought the house down. Pitbull, Ne-Yo, and Nayer turned in perhaps the best “Give Me Everything” performance we’ve seen on television, but we’ve seen a lot of them in the nearly six months it’s been a single. Lil Wayne closed out the show with a two-fer of “How to Love” and “John,” the latter of which was probably really good, though we could hardly tell since it was so heavily bleeped. A pair of performances, though, stood above the rest (and two others fell a little short). Presenting the highlights (and lowlights):

Any eyes that weren’t already on Beyonce quickly turned her way when she intimated to photographers on the black carpet that she might be pregnant, and her performance of “Love On Top” was bookended by vocal and visual confirmation of the fact. Even Beyonce’s own pregnancy couldn’t take attention away from her performance, though. In a sequined suit, she cruised through “Love On Top,” perhaps the uncoolest jam on 4 (whoever said it sounds like Jonathan Butler‘s “Lies” was dead-on) and definitely one of our favorites from the album. Beyonce effortlessly hit all the key changes and brought back late 80s R&B in a big way. She’s so good at being “on top” that we almost feel like she intentionally set us up for that pun.?
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Shearer’s Spotlight: Hoping Against Hope That These Things Don’t Happen At The 2011 VMAs

Each Friday here on the VH1 Blog, our VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown host Jim Shearer (@jimshearer on Twitter) will be sharing his Shearer?s Spotlight with us. Be sure to tune into the Top 20 Countdown tomorrow morning when it airs on VH1 at 9 a.m. ET/PT.

No lie, I haven?t missed a live viewing of the MTV Video Music Awards in 21 years. In college, when our dormitory only carried three television stations, I even managed to squat out the TV-set in student union for four consecutive years.

As someone who takes their VMA?s very seriously, here are three things I?m hoping will not happen this Sunday night:

1) We Don?t Lose Power in NYC
Not only am I missing two of my favorite shows for the VMA?s this Sunday night?Curb Your Enthusiasm and Breaking Bad?but I?m hoping to keep my VMA streak intact by actually getting to watch them live. If Hurricane Irene hits NYC hard on Sunday, electricity may be at a minimum, which would even negate a DVR viewing of the VMA?s. Yes, MTV will re-air the show, but I want to see it before it?s edited down into a TV-friendly, two-hour chunk.

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Watch The Trailer For Planet Rock: The Story of Hip Hop and the Crack Generation

Hip-hop has long drawn inspiration from the drug culture, from the stories of iconic dealers like Ricky Ross (many of whom were profiled in BET’s series American Gangster) to portraits of drug-ravaged communities, and everything in between. Yet the particular connection between the rise of crack in the mid-1980s and the culture of burgeoning hip-hop scenes remains under-explored (one notable exception: Ethan Brown‘s 2005 book Queens Reigns Supreme: Fat Cat, 50 Cent, and the Rise of the Hip Hop Hustler). We were pleased, then, to announce earlier this month that VH1′s Emmy Award-winning franchise Rock Docs was exploring this topic with Planet Rock, a documentary narrated and executive produced by none other than Ice-T. The trailer, which premiered today and is viewable above, just stoked our interest that much more. Be sure to tune in to Planet Rock: The Story of Hip Hop and the Crack Generation on Sunday, September 18 at 10 PM on VH1.
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Adele’s Vice When She’s On The Road? Basketball Wives, Of Course

It’s not like we needed another reason to love Adele, but she gave us one anyway. During a recent show in Las Vegas, Adele revealed that her post-show routine involves watching Basketball Wives in her hotel room. We can totally get on board with that!

While bantering during a show at The Chelsea at the Cosmopolitan in Vegas, the singer told her fans “My band was out all night getting drunk, while I stayed in my room like a true rock star and watched Basketball Wives.” And for good reason — it was hard to pull away from that season three reunion, wasn’t it? We wonder if she plans to tune into Basketball Wives LA, too?

Adele Turns To Basketball Wives In Lieu Of Rock-Star Partying [LA Times Blog]

[Photos: Getty Images/VH1]

by (@unclegrambo)

VH1′s Latest App, Celebrity Party, Is Now Available In The iTunes Store

Next time you?re hanging out with your friends or family, play the party game that?s guaranteed to get everyone laughing: Celebrity Party. The game of Celebrity has been a favorite low tech party game for decades, but now VH1 has taken it to the next level with the Celebrity Party iPhone app. Some of your favorite celebrities themselves—like Kelly Rowland, Michelle Williams, and Justin Timberlake—have already played this game while hitting the red carpet, so now it’s your turn!

Celebrity Party tests your knowledge of pop culture with a team game that combines the best elements of Taboo, charades and Password. It?s simple to learn and sure to get everyone giggling:

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Shearer’s Spotlight: It’s A Glass Half Empty Kind Of Week

Each Friday here on the VH1 Blog, our VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown host Jim Shearer (@jimshearer on Twitter) will be sharing his Shearer?s Spotlight with us. Be sure to tune into the Top 20 countdown tomorrow morning when it airs on VH1 at 9 a.m. ET/PT.

This week my glass is half empty. Here are three great things that kind of bum me out:

1) Krist Novoselic Performing Nevermind From Beginning to End

To pay homage to the 20th Anniversary of Nirvana?s Nevermind, founding member Krist Novoselic will be joining a collection of Seattle bands, in Seattle (Sept. 20), to play the stone classic in its entirety.

Why I?m Bummed: I won?t be there, and since the Foo Fighters will be playing in Cleveland that night, Dave Grohl won?t be there either. It also would have been cool if Kurt Cobain were around to perform these generation-forging tunes.

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by (@unclegrambo)

Demi Lovato’s Emotional “Skyscraper” Brings The Do Something! Awards Crowd To Its Feet [VIDEO]

You just watched Demi Lovato bring the house down with her soaring rendition of “Skyscraper” at the 2011 Do Something! Awards. We don’t have much more to say about it at the moment, mainly because we’re still wiping the tears out of our eyes. We’ll try to regain our composure by the morning, but for now, we’d just like to share this video of the pinnacle of tonight’s show with you so you can watch it over, and over, and over again.

RELATED: Check out our exclusive interview with Demi from late last month, where she opened up to us about about the creative evolution of ?Skyscraper,? shooting her own tear-strewn video with director Mark Pellington, and her dismay with the ubiquity of alcohol references currently in the Billboard Top Ten:
Demi Lovato: ?It?s Unfortunate That Pop Songs Have Become So Much About Partying And Clubs? (Exclusive Interview) [VH1 Blog]

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by (@unclegrambo)

Exclusive Do Something! Awards Sneak: Foster The People Add Some Sonic Muscle To “Helena Beat”

The 2011 Do Something! Awards don’t air until Thursday, August 18 at 9 p.m., but we were able to convince the show’s producers to let us share this awesome clip of our You Oughta Know artist Foster The People with you guys before tomorrow night’s premiere. The band performed two songs during the ceremony, Song of the Summer contender “Pumped Up Kicks” and (my personal S.O.T.S. pick) “Helena Beat,” with the same sort of enthusiasm and energy levels that have been winning them thousands upon thousands of new fans at music festivals like Coachella and Lollapalooza.

In particular, their sound was significantly fuller than it was when they played the supremely catchy “Helena Beat” here at VH1 HQ a few months back during a stripped down You Oughta Know Live acoustic set. In their rambunctious Do Something! Awards performance, they employed not one, not two, but THREE guys to tackle the song’s whirring synth melodies, which certainly got the front rows of the Hollywood Palladium up, clapping and dancing.

In addition to being a dynamic young band, Foster The People are also committed to helping out in the community. This fall, they have agreed to partner up with Do Good Bus, which helps transports citizen volunteers to and from charity sites in cities all over the country.

To catch Foster The People’s rendition of “Pumped Up Kicks,” not to mention Demi Lovato‘s first-ever televised performance of her smash “Skyscraper,” be sure to tune into the Do Something! Awards, airing on VH1 this Thursday, August 18 at 9 p.m. (That’s tomorrow, folks!)

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Watch A Sneak Peek Of Demi Lovato Singing “Skyscraper” At The Do Something! Awards

Earlier today we mentioned that Demi Lovato brought the house down during her performance at the 2011 Do Something! Awards, which were taped on Sunday night. Well, here’s a little teaser from that performance, including an introduction by Demi’s pal Kim Kardashian. It’s just a little snippet of what’s to come on Thursday night’s broadcast of the awards, but we’re getting chills anyway.

The Do Something! Awards air Thursday, August 18 at 9 p.m. ET/PT.
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Jeff Bridges Plays His Blue Note Single For Today

The almost preternaturally laid-back Jeff Bridges appeared on the Today show this morning to promote his self-titled major label debut, perhaps the highest-profile record in this, a very quiet week for new releases. He and his band, The Abiders (no, really) performed “What a Little Bit of Love Can Do,” a song written by the late Stephen Bruton for Bad Blake, the character Bridges played in the 2009 film Crazy Heart. Certainly, the film (and its soundtrack’s T-Bone Burnett bonafides) gives Bridges more musical credibility, but his 2000 album is plenty evidence that this new record isn’t merely a film-inspired spinoff. Click through for Matt Lauer‘s brief interview with Bridges before the performance.
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