It’s been a while since I’ve sat through Madison Avenue’s infamous “water glass” incident, but I think this needs to be remembered. Not only as a stark “note-to-self” about the probable outcome if my occasional dreams of pop stardom were ever achieved (tuneless singing, general sense of catastrophe), but also as a reminder of a time when nappies and boots were “the look”. It’s also quite shocking to see an award ceremony from the time before Big Brother-style digital displays and general visual overload became de rigeur.
Oh, I couldn’t resist. I was just going to mention the water-glass incident (which came to mind while putting together an envelope-pushing pop-trash playlist), but how can one mention pop disasters without mentioning Britters’ disasterous VMA meltdown. This has been analysed to death, so I won’t add much. Except to say that it’s fascinating to watch pop stars revert to their default moves in the face of catastrophe. For example, when Britters realises she’s out of time with her dancers, she does a bit of shimmying, and then deploys my favourite Britney move, the “point hands outward at hip-level, thumbs up, and strut”. Also amusing watching her cleverly cover her “mic” with her hand when she’s supposed to laugh on the backup track. Why would we ever think you don’t sing live? (Actually does Britters even deny?) Another painful reality-check that the globe-dominating pop juggernaut that I could, in my head, one day become should best be left in the box. Because when boys wanna become Madonna, they don’t. They become Darren Hayes.
AND ONE FINAL ADDITION: Oh God. Try to watch to the end. It just keeps getting worse.