I am tempted to pose the question: why didn’t N*Sync dance around in their underwear this weekend?
But that would lead to all of the other VMA-flustered-related questions I have. Like why didn’t any of the members of One Direction kiss during their performance? Where was Drake’s deli outfit? When when when is Bruno Mars going to have a wardrobe malfunction?
Why does it feel like every year, female performances leave all of us questioning our sanity, sexuality, and love of pleather?
I wish I could say that women like Britney and Madonna and little nuggets like Miley can flip our whole weekend with just one number because they are fearless and that makes us non-fearless folk uncomfortable. They must be fearless, right? I mean, if my job involved dancing on live television with even just my midriff showing, I would be calling in sick on a daily basis. (And if it involved getting near giant bear mascots, I’d be down the for the count. Probably my second biggest nightmare, the first being giant mouse mascots.)
But I am having a nagging problem respecting the whole half-naked onstage thing. This is nothing new. My mom instilled some pretty strong values (and self-consciousness) in me when she wouldn’t let me listen to the Spice Girls in third grade because of their tiny dresses.
On Friday I went to see Kristin Chenoweth in concert at the Hollywood Bowl and she came onstage wearing a full length ball gown (only one of a kajillion reasons the show was incredible). She was enchanting, adorable, and just so talented. Near the end (oh, why did it have the end) of her show, Kristin went into the audience and asked a few people if they knew the song “For Good.” One woman said no, one guy couldn’t sing that high, and then the third woman said “For Good” is one of her favorite songs.
And so Kristin Chenoweth actually let her come onstage. And she gave this woman a microphone.
The orchestra started up and my friend and I were holding each others hands so hard, I was worried one of us was going to lose a finger. Kristin sang her part and we held our breath. The woman from the audience was a giant compared to the tiny (under 5-foot) Kristin and it would have been so easy for her to suck. She could get the words out somewhere near the right key, Kristin could make some kind of generous, kindhearted joke, and then end her show looking even more talented than before.
But then this woman started singing. And, I swear to Elphaba, she was good.
Here, I promise. Check out the video:
The audience ERUPTED. Think cheering at a home run in the seventh inning kind of cheering. Think we won the championships kind of cheering. Think oh my god Robin Thicke aren’t you married kind of cheering (except minus the confusion and disgust).
This woman was ACTUALLY FEARLESS.
Even though she is a normal person with an average job, she held herself to celebrity standards. She was classy. She was talented. She might have been a plant in the audience.
But even fearful wittle third grade me was inspired.
And isn’t that what’s supposed to happen when you listen to music? Aren’t we supposed to be lifted a little higher, feel a little famous, be able to make the hint of sashay in our walk a little more noticeable? Feel like we are pop stars/dancers/divas that are stuck in regular people bodies? That, because of our connection to music, we will be able to handle our problems a little more gracefully?
Please don’t get me wrong. I love weird celebrity stuff. And, heck, I’ve already written about my recent fascination with Miley Cyrus. But that doesn’t mean I’m going to be practicing twerking anytime soon. Instead, I’m going to keep singing along to my Wicked soundtrack, hoping that someday, if I ever get to be on a stage in front of that many people … I can stay in the right key.