Eminem, Taylor Swift Top First-Ever YouTube Music Awards
by Liz Raftery
Win Butler of Arcade Fire, Reggie Watts, Jason Schwartzman
YouTube held its first-ever Music Awards Sunday, and the show was … awkward.
Hosts Jason Schwartzman and Reggie Watts emphasized that the awards show was unscripted, but viewers probably would have been able to tell that even without the reminder. From the strange mini-scavenger hunts Schwarzman and Watts occasionally had to embark on to find the winner’s name, to uncomfortable interludes between the performances, it’s clear that the show has its share of bugs to work out before (if?) it returns for a second year.
The show, which was live-streamed on YouTube from Manhattan’s Pier 36 for 90 minutes beginning at 6 p.m. ET, consisted of Schwartzman and Watts handing out awards in between “live music video” performances.
In Swift’s absence, a group of girls who had posted their own version of “I Knew You Were Trouble” accepted the award on her behalf. Their speech was interrupted by Arcade Fire frontman Win Butler, who did his best Kanye West impersonation and noted, “I’ma let you finish … but ‘Harlem Shake’ was the YouTube phenomenon of the year,” before dropping the mic and walking offstage.
The awards also highlighted lesser-known “artists” who’ve gained fame simply by posting music videos online. Most notably, Girls’ Generation beat out the likes of Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez, Miley Cyrus, Lady Gaga, Demi Lovato and more to win Video of the Year for “I Got a Boy.”
Did you watch the YouTube Music Awards? What did you think?