Gaga over Bieber

Remember MTV, the old station that used to show music videos?

Those days are long gone, as the network has shifted its attention from music videos — its mainstay and original purpose — to cheap programming that appeals to a younger (and less attentive) viewership. (Think “Jersey Shore.”)

So it makes sense, then, that the annual MTV Video Music Awards would see a decline in viewership over the years. I mean, who cares about videos anymore?

Well, apparently, millions of people do. And that’s largely in part to two artists: Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber.

You couldn’t find more different artists. One is an avant-garde glam-rock songstress whose style — she wore a dress made of meat at Sunday’s VMAs — is uncategorizable; the other is a teenage heartthrob with a signature bowl-cut hairstyle who sings about love without much first-hand experience.

Totally spectrum.

And yet, according to critics and early rating reports, Sunday’s show drew in the best ratings in eight years, thanks, in part to these two artists. Lady Gaga earned a record-tying eight awards; Bieber took home the coveted Best New Artist award.

An average of 11.4 million viewers watched the two-hour show, an increase of 27 percent over last year’s VMAs, which was punctuated by Kayne West stealing the microphone from Taylor Swift as she gave her acceptance speech.

No props to comic host Chelsea Handler or cameos by Lindsay Lohan (who made fun of herself in a video skit).

No, the show belonged to Gaga and Bieber fans — sometimes they are one in the same — who didn’t care that one wore a feather mohawk while the other likely lip-synced his live performance. (Bieber will be in Honolulu for two concerts on Oct. 8 and 9 at the Blaisdell Arena.)

So what is it about these two artists that make them so wildly popular? Is it their music? Is it their theatrics? Is it their hair?

Can anyone enlighten me?


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