ariana grande

Is Beyonce Big Brother?: A Reflection on the VMAs

I watched the VMAs last night. I wasn’t planning on it; it just happened. I follow Taylor Swift on Twitter (who doesn’t?) and she was tweeting adorable pictures like this and I felt like, as a self-proclaimed pop culture aficionado, I should be aware of whatever was going on last night. I mean, what if there was another twerk-gate and I missed it completely? What kind of American would that make me? So I realized it was about to be on, turned the channel from Doctor Who (Vincent and the Doctor never gets old, you guys), and braced myself.

The VMAs are about as prestigious as the Dundees, but sometimes you get some good performances out of them.

Last night’s Video Music Awards (which doesn’t even make any sense. Why is it not Music Video Awards? Ugh. Kids.) were all about Beyonce.

Sure, Jessie J and Ariana Grande and Sam Smith all killed it, T-swizzle’s performance was super fun, but it was all leading up to the longest medley ever, performed by none other than Queen B.

Guys, I love Beyonce. I do. I’m getting a little tired of her nonsensical R&B songs with no real chorus but whatever. She’s Beyonce. I’m giving her a pass for a year or so.

Her medley, therefore, was about 80 percent boring, 10 percent 'Drunk In Love' and 10 percent 'XO.' I…I actually turned it off during her medley (NO WAIT BEYGENCY I DVR’D IT AND FINISHED IT LATER OK?). And I never turn off a Beyonce performance. I’m just saying, it was boring for at least the first 45 minutes. Oh, it was only a 10 minute performance? Huh.

Toward the end (when it started getting interesting) home videos of her, Blue and Jay Z scrolled by on the screen behind her looking all family-like and cute.

And Her Royal Highness Blue Ivy Carter was IN the audience you guys. She was THERE. (Let me just tell you, she could wipe the floor with North West the Person.*)

Jay Z and Blue Ivy came up to present Beyonce the Vanguard Award which is some kind of lifetime achievement award or something that has a legacy of like, four whole years, that MTV is trying to make a thing to prove they can be serious even though the commercials were half for condoms and half trailers for awful, and I mean, truly, truly awful low-budget teen dramas. But it’s adorable that they try.

The thing with Beyonce is, I know I’m being manipulated emotionally. I know that. Do you think I haven’t connected the dots that amid rumors of divorce she’s showing adorable home videos and bringing her whole family, one of whom she rarely posts full-face photos of, to a meaningless award show where for some reason Jay Pharoah is still trying to make his Jay Z impression happen (even though Jay Z is actually there)?

No. I know I’m being manipulated emotionally, but it’s like I don’t even care. I’m enjoying it.

I mean LOOK AT BLUE IVY. Look at that gold dress and her little afro with a barrette in it and her calling Beyonce ‘mommy.’ Look at her do the single-ladies hand:

Am I the only one just now realizing Kelly was there? #poormichelle 

Beyonce might be Big Brother. I’m not really sure. It’s probably a logical conclusion. She’s controlling the popular opinion of an entire country, maybe even the world. If she told us to go to war with like, England, in the name of Blue Ivy because like Prince George hurt her feelings or something, you don’t think we would be all over that? You don’t think Barack and Michelle owe her a favor or two?

I’m getting off track. I’m just saying that all you need to know about the VMAs is that in lieu of anyone taking mics from Taylor Swift or defiling a foam finger, we got like 20 minutes of Beyonce brainwash. And I’m not sure I’m even mad about it.

What was your favorite part? (I mean really. HOW much did Jessie J kill it?)

*Trademark Suri’s Burn Book

Impressive People You Should Know About: Ariana Grande

ariana grande

The Internet is flooded with hoards of famous and semi-famous and almost-famous people nowadays. Singers, actors, dubstep dancers---all at varying levels of popularity, which you can now rate objectively and calculate into their worth thanks to youtube views and Instagram likes. Thanks, society!

With all these randos clamoring for your attention, how do you know which ones to pay attention to? Well, I'm here to help.

I do a lot of sifting through the Internet, for better or for worse, and today I'd like to share with you someone I think is worth knowing: Ariana Grande.

Who's Ariana Grande? Glad you asked. [Pretend you asked, okay?]

Ariana Grande [see how I'm using her name multiple times so you don't forget it? It's actually a name-remembering technique for those awkward mingle times at receptions and conferences. You're welcome.] is somewhat of a child star. STAY WITH ME.

It's no secret that I am well versed in the "Just for Kids" section of Netflix and iTunes movies. Before we cut cable (sigh), I watched an inordinate amount of Disney Channel and Nickelodeon for a 24-year-old grown up with no kids. I still watch Phineas and Ferb on Netflix on Saturday mornings SO SUE ME.

Anyway all that to say Ariana was (is?) on a show called Victorious on Nickelodeon, which comes from a family of actually-funny shows created by Dan Schneider (Drake & Josh, iCarly). She played a bright-red-haired ditsy girl named Kat who was actually pretty funny. All the characters went to a performing arts school so (you know where I'm going with this) there was a lot of SINGING on this show. The one time I heard her sing it was like daaaaang girl! And that was how I gradually fell into the rabbit hole of her youtube videos.

What I found out was she is fantastic.

Her voice is just...what-the-what kind of good, and it turns out she has quite the following on the youtubes, which is why you probably haven't heard of her. Does anyone actually follow people on youtube besides thirteen year olds?

Anyway, to give you basically a Cliffs Notes version of Ariana's DEAL, here are a few fun facts for you:

1) She did a duet with MIKA sampling the "Popular" song from Wicked, and it is one of the catchiest things you've ever heard. The video is pretty cute, too:

2) She can do impressions of famous singers, including Britney Spears, Katy Perry and Jessie J. Be entertained:

3) She covered Mariah Carey recently and ARE WE SURE THEY AREN'T THE SAME PERSON? I mean Mariah is rolling in the Benjamins, right? She could have paid some biologists a wheelbarrow full of money to clone some of her DNA 18 years ago because who knew she would ever settle down with a former Nickelodeon star (COINCIDENCE?) turned C-list host and have twins with him? She had to keep that voice alive. I'm just saying, it could've happened. Decide for yourself:

4) Here is her brand-new single and it's basically just Mariah again but who is really going to be mad about it?

5) Last but not least, she covered my main man Biebs and it was also delightful. Plus we're beginning to need a replacement now that the Biebs is a walking disappointment. GET IT TOGETHER, MAN.

Try to tell me you're not impressed.

Then try to refocus on work and not watch youtube videos all day. Godspeed.

What was your favorite impression?