Miley Cyrus grinds her hips and shakes her ass to the beat as she struts across the outdoor stage of the 2010 Much Music Video Awards. Free of her Hannah Montana character and promoting her album “Can’t Be Tamed,” Miley is dressed in butt-hugging leather shorts and a small, breast-boosting piece of clothing closer to a bra than a leotard. Thousands of girls scream as she performs “Party in the U.S.A.”Got my hands up, they’re playing my song!/The butterflies fly away!/I’m noddin’ my head like “Yeah!”/Movin’ my hips like “Yeah!”“Is it okay to find Miley Cyrus hot?” asks a reporter in the Much Music Press Room, where I am watching her performance on a TV monitor. This year’s presenters will be dropping by to participate in a series of press conferences throughout the evening, with Jackson Rathbone and Nicola Peitz currently fielding some halfhearted questions about The Last Airbender, but all eyes are on the monitor as Justin Bieber rides a bike onstage and Miley thrusts her hips at him. Justin looks her up and down, and grins. Her career has reached its sexual awakening.
“What’s up, Canada? How’re you guys doin’ tonight?” The crowd roars as Miley high-fives the girls in front of the stage. “Wuddup? Wuddup? Wuddup? Wuddup?”“Alright, this is my very first MMVAs and I’m so excited to be here partyin’ with y’all tonight. How cool is it that y’all are here partyin’ on the streets with us? There is so much I’m excited for here tonight, and I’m sure I’ve got a few girls that hate me since I just got to Party in the U.S.A. with Justin Bieber!” Both Miley and Justin will visit the Press Room at the end of the night. Talk about delayed gratification. In the meantime, Jersey Shore’s Pauly D is taking questions about his DJ career. He confirms that he would indeed play The Situation’s new song.“Yeah, but do you like it?” asks a reporter.“Uh… I’d spin it.”Whitney Port, of The Hills and The City, is asked for advice for struggling young artists. “It’s hard for me to do that. Obviously, I think working your hardest is the most you can possibly do. If you really believe in something and work your hardest, you’ll get there. But obviously I had a whole system behind me helping me make this happen, so I can’t lie and say, like, I just made this happen on my own. Y’know? Like, I have a show that’s able to publicize the whole process.”On the monitor, Pauly D throws his T-shirt into the audience and flaunts his abs. Whitney Port continues: “I think the key is really just knowing that this is what you want to do and just networking, and talking to people… and if you have to sacrifice some of that social aspect of your life, then that’s what you have to do, because you only have so many years to actually make it.”“Hey girl, how you doin’ today?” says Rudy Blair of 680News. “I need to know what you think: Spencer and Heidi – true or untrue? Splitting up, or are they just trying to milk this thing to get publicity?”“Honestly… I swear to god I have no idea, and could not even begin to tell you what could be true.”
When Ke$ha performs “Tik Tok,” the plexiglas stage glows with highlighter yellow while purple neon bathes the audience. The camera cranes through the sky for a long shot of the assembled multitude; the sun has set by now, but the purples and yellows illuminate the block. When the song concludes, the camera floats above the street to Toronto’s fluorescent skyline. I can’t remember when I’ve seen my city look sexier.Ke$ha’s performance follows appearances by Katy Perry, Hedley, Adam Lambert, and seemingly hundreds of Degrassi and Twilight alumni, but the 2010 MMVAs are the Justin and Miley show. When Justin Bieber finally arrives for his press conference, the room fills.“You got a lot of swagger, and it’s working,” says a reporter. “So, if you were gonna teach someone a swagger move, what would you teach?”“Y’know, swagger, it… that definition is just, confidence. And just being able to… be, y’know, who you are, and have people, y’know, see that come out.”“You hair is iconic,” says another reporter. “Could you go head-to-head with the Rachel haircut from Friends?”“Uh, I could. Y’know, I grew up watching Friends, my mom loves that show, so, uh, I think so.”On the monitor, Miley is smothered in fiery orange light and surrounded by dancers holding torches as she performs “Can’t Be Tamed”. I idly wonder if her virgin-white costume symbolizes her Hannah Montana image, with the fiery landscape suggesting a transition to a new, more sexual persona. Then I see her cameltoe.I go through guys like money flyin’ out their hands!/They try to change me but they realize they can’t!/And every tomorrow is a day I never planned!/If you’re gonna be my man, understand I can’t be tamed!
“It was amazing, I had so much fun, and it was really cool being able to see all the performers and see all the different artists, and I think the hardest part was the rehearsal, I didn’t realize it got so hot in Canada.” The MMVAs have wrapped for another year and Miley Cyrus at last is in the house. The air is electric.“I gotta ask you about your opening outfit,” says a reporter.“Oh, my chola look,” says Miley.“So, in terms of taking your image… to a more grown-up image… are you finding there’s a backlash?”“I think, I’m just having fun and doing what I love, which is performing, so I do that in a way that I feel most comfortable. And, that’s like, again, like me saying I don’t take myself too seriously. We’re up there dressing up, we’re having fun, it’s just like a girl and a guy sorta living their dream playing dress-up. Y’know, I don’t walk around in a bikini and bright pink lipstick all the time, so it’s just about who you are when you’re performing and what feels right for that song.”Under a mass of cosmetics and a tight faux-leather dress, her thin, toned body looks much older than 17 years, and a different species than the plain-looking reporters. She answers four questions with lightning efficiency before being whisked away, off to perform tomorrow at Hollywood’s House of Blues. She is alarmingly perfect.For those who don’t know me, I can get a bit crazy/Have to get my way, 24 hours a day/ ‘Cause I’m hot like that/Every guy everywhere just gives me mad attention/Like I’m under inspection, I always get the 10s/‘Cause I’m built like that