MTV Braces for New Britney-Madonna Moment
Walking the fine line between mere controversy and outright outrage, while attempting to boost the event's slipping ratings, MTV and the awards show's sponsors (including the Gap, which will launch its new ad campaign starring Sarah Jessica Parker during the show) are gearing up to do what they can so that the event comes off smoothly, reports The New York Times.
"There has always been a five-second audio delay, and there will continue to be," MTV executive John Shea tells the paper. Now, in addition to the sound delay, there will be an image delay as well. That announcement was made in March, at the height of the Jackson fallout.
Kiki Rees, a spokesperson for Revlon, one of the sponsors, tells The Times of her company's participation: "We are not in it for … shock value."
In the awards lineup, Jay-Z leads this year's race with "99 Problems," his gritty black-and-white video that ends with him being gunned down.
Girlfriend Beyonce also scored big, joining fellow artists No Doubt, OutKast and Usher in nabbing five nominations apiece. Beyonce received four nominations for "Naughty Girl" and one for "Me, Myself and I."
No Doubt is up for "It's My Life," while OutKast's nods were for their unavoidable hit "Hey Ya!" Usher picked up four nominations for "Yeah!" (his track with Lil' Jon and Ludacris) and one for "Burn."
Usher's "Yeah!" will also face Jay's "99 Problems" and OutKast's "Hey Ya!" for Video of the Year, along with D12's "My Band" and Britney Spears's "Toxic."
The awards are being presented in Miami (rather than New York or Los Angeles) for the first time in the show's 21 years, and the setting will allow stars to arrive on the red carpet by boat instead of the usual stretch limo.
The program will also compete against the closing night of the Olympics. "Obviously, we think this is a great alternative to Olympic programming," says Shea.