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It takes a lot to shock the jaded audience that watches MTV’s Video Music Awards show. One-time Disney child star Miley Cyrus, however, managed to do just that, delivering several minutes of almost unspeakable vulgar gyrations that culminated with her “twerking” on fellow-performer Robin Thicke. (For those unfamiliar with today’s music and dance culture, “twerking” occurs when a woman rubs her rear against a man’s crotch, looking like nothing more than a dog in heat.)
Cyrus appeared on stage by emerging down a staircase that opened out of a giant teddy bear’s mouth. For unclear reasons, Miley did this with her long tongue sticking out as far as possible. She wore what looked like a bizarre fuzzy pink swimsuit with a picture of a mouse that also had a giant, upright tongue sticking out. Cyrus had twisted her short hair into two little pony tails on the top of her head that, intentionally or not, looked just like devil’s horns.
Once on stage, Cyrus marched and gyrated around the stage for a couple of minutes while belting out her latest song, “We Can’t Stop,” stopping occasionally to bend over and wag her butt at giant dancing teddy bears. The bears somehow managed to look both bored and anguished.
Cyrus’s solo appearance, vulgar as it was, went downhill fast when Robin Thicke appeared on stage and the two began to perform his latest chart-topper, “Blurred Lines.” At this point, it helps to know that Thicke released two music videos in connection with that song. One is just the usual MTV shtick, with pretty girls parading around in swimsuits and bikinis, as Thicke, Pharrell Williams, and T.I. look pleased with themselves. The other version, though, features topless models, along with allusions to bestiality, rape, drug use, bondage, etc. Miley Cyrus’s performance alluded to that second version.
When Thicke came on stage, Cyrus ripped off her fuzzy mouse suit, and appeared in a flesh colored bikini apparently made of latex. She also put a large Styrofoam “No. 1” finger on her hand. For the next two minutes, Cyrus grabbed her crotch, used the Styrofoam finger to mimic a penis, and twerked wildly in front of Thicke:
If Cyrus was looking for attention, she got it. The most famous picture to emerge from the VMA show is of Will Smith’s famous family, including his two children Jaden and Willow, looking absolutely horrified by Cyrus’s gyrations. A short time later, when he had the stage, comedian Kevin Hart joked that “Miley better get a … pregnancy test after all of that grinding.”
Reactions across the “Twitterverse” were unanimous: the one time Disney child star was disgusting. Time magazine’s TV critic, James Poniewozik summed it up when he tweeted out “(J)ust watched that Miley Cyrus / teddy bear performance and I think I’m now legally required to put myself on some kind of registry.” Noisey tried to explain to Cyrus that she’s not all that:
(Read More: Flash Mob Takes Over Hollywood “For Trayvon”.)
Still others immediately sent around a photo mash-up comparing Miley’s latex-clad bottom to a raw chicken:
Despite the general disgust, and the endless jokes that instantly began floating around the internet, it’s clear that Miley didn’t harm her career. She’s now definitely shaken off the ghost of Disney’s Hannah Montana character and, as long as she doesn’t say anything mean about President Obama, the entertainment world will get over its shock and just embrace her for being “edgy.”