And the winner is … no one

The red carpet is rolled out and the most glamorous people in the world strut their stuff in hopes of going home with a shiny new statuette to place on their mantle. Most of the entertainers honored at award shows dream of being on that stage since birth because of the amount of respect it represents. Most importantly, awards usually bring higher salaries and bigger sales along with a nice “award-winning” addition to their title.

However, the MTV Video Music Awards don’t seem to serve a purpose, and none of its recipients seem to benefit from winning. So, the question comes to mind, do the VMAs matter? Is it just a huge marketing and publicity ploy put on by MTV? Most seem to answer “yes” to this question.

A gripe most music-lovers have with the award show is really with the station that sponsors it. These days, MTV is better known for its ridiculous reality shows than for music videos. When was the last time a full music video was shown on MTV? Maybe VH1 would be better qualified to hold the VMAs.

“It was kind of entertaining to watch, but aside from proving the music industry is more about fashion than music, I honestly can’t see the value in the VMAs,” said one blogger from .

Categories at the VMAs include best new artist, breakthrough video, best choreography, best editing and the newly added best video game soundtrack, along with the best video of every music category, among others. So what’s in it for the winners and performers? Well, it seems nothing except more publicity. Think that infamous kiss between Madonna and Britney in 2003 boosted their record sales? Nope. Both performers’ albums still flopped. The performers’ duet “Me Against the Music” stalled at No. 35 on the Billboard charts where the record quickly fell off, selling a meager 657,000 copies. American Life ultimately became Madonna’s biggest commercial disappointment, and no three-way lip lock was going to revive her record.

Even Macy Gray’s overt attempt to sell more records in 2001, with a dress that read, “My album drops 9-18-2001, buy it,” didn’t work. Her album also failed, reaching a dismal No. 11 on the charts.

However, the more outrageous the outfits and stunts, the more publicity the entertainers get. So, while Britney and Madonna didn’t sell albums with their kiss, they were certainly talked about by everyone in the world and were on every magazine cover from here to Timbuktu.

For the VMA’s inaugural show in 1984, Michael Jackson won three awards while Madonna writhed on stage in a wedding dress for “Like a Virgin,” and a Ghostbusters dance finale closed out the night. It was billed as being the “fun” award show, with no dress code, no time limit on speeches and an “anything goes” attitude. It seems the show hasn’t changed much. The hottest performers sing (or lip-sync) their hearts out on the biggest, most extravagant sets ever made, while other performers take credit for the director’s vision of what their song should look like.

No one can deny the VMAs are fun to watch. With the pressure to out-do itself every year, MTV certainly rises to the occasion. Pyrotechnics, dancers, performers of every kind and the hottest entertainers flood TV screens all over the country. This year’s VMAs, like every year, was fun to watch. Diddy tried to spice things up with the theme for the night “anything can happen,” giving $100,000 to the best dressed and giving away a watch that cost more than most cars, just because he could. Does MTV impact the music industry? Absolutely. Do the VMAs? Not so much.