Turns out YouTube is completely clueless when it comes to the production of a satisfactory awards show. Case in point: the YouTube Music Awards, a lackluster event that failed to elicit any real viewer interest, besides that of pointing out just how bizarre the shows gimmicks proved. You can watch the entire show here, but we dont recommend it.
Apparently host Jason Schwartzman didnt get the memo that Face Painting belongs at chilrens birthday parties, not music awards shows. When he called up treadmill viral sensation OK Go, band members gathered around Schwartzman to perform a decidedly abstract face painting. Once finished, Schwartzmans face blended into a backdrop portraying a ram and lion, the significance of which, as Rolling Stone points out, was never explained.
Again proving himself a strange choice for an awards show, Jason Schwartzman had actress Rashida Jones hand him a pair of babies. Immediately upon being handed over, the infants began to struggle. An already bad concept simply made the awards show that much more uncomfortable. Add that to Schwartzmans visible distress surrounding the combination of babies and loud music, and a real disaster proved itself in the making.
Based on the crazy hijinks taking place throughout the rest of the show, viewers expected Lady Gaga to be at her most outrageous for the YouTube Music Awards. And something insane such as weird face paint or random babies would actually have worked if Gaga happened to be involved. But Lady Gaga took perhaps the strangest turn of all, replacing her usual bravado and crazy wardrobe with a toned-down outfit and a decidedly weepy performance. Perhaps audiences can forgive Gaga, as her childhood pet dog had just died a few days earlier. But that excuse wont work for the celebritys unnerving red carpet appearance, during which she donned a set of gnarly teeth.
Perhaps one of the biggest problems involving the YouTube Music Awards involved its web-only broadcast. Although Internet streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Instant have grown sizably in recent years, viewers remain far more interested in witnessing the award show broadcasts offered by TV providers. For the beginning of the web broadcast, the Los Angeles Times reported that a mere 215,000 viewers tuned in, as opposed to the 10 million viewers who took to the television for the competing MTV Video Music Awards. One could argue that the MTV Video Music Awards are more established, and thus, more likely to garner viewer interest, but theres still some argument to be made for its television format combined with the excitement of such high-energy acts as Justin Timberlake and Robin Thicke.