Monday, September 21, 2009

I'ma Deee-Vah

Vh1 broadcast the 2009 installment of their "Divas" franchise this past Thursday. This year's presentation was the eighth show, and the first in five years. It featured a live performance by Jennifer Hudson, Adele, Kelly Clarkson, Leona Lewis, Jordin Sparks and Miley Cyrus, as well as duet performances that also featured the likes of Stevie Wonder, India.Aire, Melissa Ethridge, Cyndi Lauper, Martina McBride and Sheryl Crow. The show was also "hosted" by Paula Abdul, and featured many different, random celebrity presenters, including actors from the show "True Blood", cast mates from "Fame" (including Asher Book of V Factory), Lauren Conrad and Whitney Port and Kathy Griffin.

And somehow, by the luck of the Gods and the help of a friend, I got to see it happen live and in person. As you can imagine, I was on starstruck overload as it was just one uber celebrity after another appearing nearly 10 feet in front of me.

(from left to right: Leona Lewis, Jennifer Hudson, Adele, Kelly Clarkson, Miley Cyrus and Jordin Sparks)

This event, as was all the others, was put on in benefit of VH1's Save the Music campaign, to raise money to help fund music programs in schools -- a very worthy cause, that should be supported year-round. The reason why I got tickets was my friend/roommate was a former intern at Save the Music, and was offered the chance to help sell t-shirts at the event. Because of this, she somehow managed to snag tickets for her two roommates which included myself, and for that I am ever grateful.

I wish I had some backstage dirt to dish, but overall, the experience didn't much differ from what you saw on the live telecast. I do have these details to report, however:
  • The theatre where this took place -- the "BAM", otherwise known as the Brooklyn Academy of Music in Brooklyn, NY -- was not given proper justice on screen. It was by far one of the most breath-takingly beautiful theatres I have ever had the pleasure of being inside of (and I've been to many, many Broadway shows). The architecture was simply stunning, and the overall feel was incredibly overwhelming

  • We got to watch as many of the celebrity presenters filed in. When Ryan Kwanten, aka Jason Stackhouse from "True Blood", walked in, my roommate and I could not contain ourselves or our fangirliness. We screamed his name and he looked up and smiled, and waved at us. It was a very big highlight of the night.
  • We had to arrive around 7PM, and be in our seats by 8:30PM, at which time various spotlights were checked and we got to watch some of the footage from the celebs coming in to the red carpet area that we had passed on our way inside. We watched the "Garnier Fruitis" promos be filmed right in front of us (it only took that dude eleventy-million takes), which were aired before and in between commercial breaks to appear as if they happened in real time.
  • Jennifer Hudson is gorgeous in real life. And her voice is even more breathtaking in person. But let me tell you, when they brought Stevie Wonder out, I couldn't breathe. It was upsetting to me that the crowd I was apart of just didn't get the gravity of how much of a living legend he is. I had such intense goosebumps through that performance, I can't even begin to explain, and I'm proud to say that I got to see him live in person at least once during my lifetime.
  • People give Kelly Clarkson too much flack. I myself will admit to having been a bit confused as to why she has let her image go slightly to seed but I am here to report -- while I find her constant complaining to the press slightly irritating (even if it is well-founded), girlfriend can sing, especially in her duet with Melissa Ethridge. At the end of the day, as India.Aire put it -- it's not about how you look and the clothes you wear, it's about the person you are. So put that in your pipe, and smoke it, haters.
  • I really really wish Jordin had performed "Battlefield". Although, to her credit, she really was the lone young diva performer who performed an uptempo song and actually "danced" along. "S.O.S. (Let the Music Play)" isn't exactly the easiest song to sing live, but she handled it like a pro, and definitely had the crowd on her side with that bridge. I just wish she had shown off more of what her pipes can do. Same goes for her duet with Martina McBride, who to me didn't seem thrilled to share her signature pop hit with Ms. Sparks -- especially when Jordin got the bigger applause...
  • Adele was incredible, and definitely won me over, not just for her voice but for her charming demeanor. She's adorable, and so relatable, it's hard to put into words. Her duet with India.Aire was my favorite of the night. And for those of you who want insider dirt: when singing the final lines of "Because I Am A Queen", stating "Don't need your silicone/I prefer my own/What God gave me is just fine", the camera panned to India, but Adele rocked out, grabbed her bosom and grinned, causing a large and positive crowd reaction. I wish they had captured that for the telecast, because you can hear the applause but you don't know why...hehe.
  • And Miley. Miley Miley Miley. Yes, I agree that her inclusion in this group as a "diva" is a bit undeserving. As the days go on, I tend to like her more and more, but when I think diva, I think of someone who was real vocal chops, and it became very apparent that Miley just wasn't up to snuff. She had her moments during "Party in the USA", but the sour notes outweighed the good ones in my opinion (no matter how much I love that song, if she wanted to prove her "divaness", she should have done "The Climb" or her new one "When I Look At You"). Her duet with Sheryl Crow fared better, but I absolutely certain she chose that song so she can sing "I still get stoned" just for the sake of crowd reaction. Still -- ya'll should know that she seemed to be the crowd favorite amongst those at the BAM that night, as when she walked on stage for "Party In the USA", the mezzanine I was in literally shook.

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