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By Tankboy in Arts & Entertainment on Aug 29, 2005 6:54PM

Chicagoist did our duty and tuned into the MTV Video Music Awards last night just in case anything Chicago related occurred. Or in case a giant tidal wave washed over Miami. Either way, it would’ve been cool with us.

2005_08_falloutboy_vmas.jpgIt had been a number of years since we last had cable and were able to watch this so count us as being rather surprised by just how much the rock and/or roll dominated the proceedings. Stripped down live performances by Green Day, My Chemical Romance, The Killers and Kelly Clarkson (yes, we said Kelly Clarkson and we can't stop watching the video of her finale so screw you) blew away the oversized productions by the mainstream hip-hop and R&B artists that have grown fat and lazy on their largesse. Mariah Carey? Ludacris and his hundred and one friends? Puh-lease.

On the local front, Jeremy Piven continued to make an ass out of himself – which for him must come naturally – with his lame and slightly creepy banter with L’il Kim about her imminent departure for the “big house.” We’ve met Piven a number of times and last night’s behavior did nothing to change our overwhelmingly negative opinion of John Cusack’s best little buddy.

Common and Fall Out Boy arguably gave our fair city the biggest hometown thrills of the evening. Common busted out a slightly halting but wholley original and endearing freestyle just before awarding Fall Out Boy the MTV2 Moon Man. (MTV2 still play videos? Who knew?) Fall Out Boy looked genuinely shocked and humbled and honestly seemed to mean it when they said they wished that My Chemical Romance had won instead.

Kanye West put in a respectable showing with a performance of “Gold Digger” off his eclectic, quirky and altogether daring new album that -- dans le parlance des rues -- drops tomorrow. However we were put off by Jaimie Fox’s frantic rush to ditch as much of his suit as possible while lip-synching his vocal sample. Don’t even get us started on his a capella intro. It was painful.

2005_08_rkelly_vmas.jpgOh, and that whole “Trapped In The Closet” song? Whilst we do have to admit that the tune is growing on us as it grows in length we couldn’t help but feel embarrassed for the man as he mimed holding a gun just before throwing a silk pillow across the stage. We were personally hoping for Mr. Kelly to duet with Dave Chapelle. That would’ve rocked.

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