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Black Keys, Florence And The Machine, Muse Win Moonmen at...


Maybe you watched the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards ... maybe you didn't.  After all, MTV's dinosaur of an awards show, celebrating its 27th year, was up against a new episode of "Mad Men," the Robert Plant gig at Bowery Ballroom and the chance to do laundry  - all of which were far more productive ways to spend a Sunday night.

To briefly summarize the VMAs, held at Los Angeles' Nokia Theater,  the painfully unfunny Chelsea Handler was a catastrophic choice for host, managing to offend, but never amuse, and even sputtering (to little if any laughs) some very ill-advised racial slurs. Handler's sweet-faced opposite, Taylor Swift tried to be edgy, but ended up dependably off-key during her rendition of "Innocent," a new song allegedly aimed at her nemesis Kanye West.

Florence Welch, who unlike Swift can actually sing on pitch (and ferociously so), was a rare highlight, performing "Dog Days Are Over" as if stranded in some deranged, futuristic Busby Berkeley film. Black Keys took home the award for "Breakthrough Video" with "Tighten Up." Robyn, given a too-tiny slice of airtime, was also a happy shimmer of light in an otherwise lackluster show. Linkin Park managed to turn around a vaguely exciting performance of "The Catalyst" from Griffith Park Observatory, but despite the big buildup and his ongoing apologies to Swift, West's turn at the mic was a snooze (although the ballerinas bounding about the stage were just plain wacky).

Surprisingly, Lady Gaga never performed - unless you consider her constant costume-changing a poor man's performance art - but managed to win eight awards, hung out with Cher, graciously thanked her gay fans and blurted out the name of her next album, Born This Way.

Of course since MTV is now focused almost exclusively on reality shows and the perils of Snooki,  the more pressing question might be - why bother handing out music awards at all?

(Mike Blake/Reuters)

2010 MTV Video Music Award Winners

Video Of The Year: Lady Gaga,  "Bad Romance"

Best New Artist: Justin Bieber featuring Ludacris, "Baby"

Best Male Video: Eminem, "Not Afraid"

Best Female Video: Lady Gaga, "Bad Romance"

Best Hip-Hop Video: Eminem, "Not Afraid"

Best Pop Video: Lady Gaga, "Bad Romance"

Best Rock Video: 30 Seconds To Mars, "Kings and Queens"

Best Dance Video: Lady Gaga, "Bad Romance"

Best Collaboration: Lady Gaga featuring Beyoncé, "Telephone"

Best Choreography: Lady Gaga, "Bad Romance"

Best Direction: Lady Gaga, "Bad Romance"

Best Editing: Lady Gaga, "Bad Romance"

Best Special Effects: Muse, "Uprising"

Best Cinematography: Jay-Z & Alicia Keys, "Empire State Of Mind"

Best Art Direction: Florence and The Machine, "Dogs Days Are Over"

Breakthrough Video: The Black Keys, "Tighten Up"