One Direction had a mixed night at the VMA Awards this year, even before they got booed.
They took to the stage twice in Brooklyn, and each time was not without incident for the world's currently most popular boy band.
One Direction got a mixed reception when they took to the stage in Brooklyn to claim their award
The first occasion saw their idle, forgettable chat about fans being greeted by an unimpressed Taylor Swift. "Shut the f*** up," was her response, into the ear of her wing woman Selena Gomez.
Then Harry Styles had the honour of being non-name checked by Swift as she collected her spaceman gong for 'I Knew You Were Trouble'. "He knows who he is," she smiled, as she hugged her award to her bosom.
Taylor Swift wasn't among the impressed by One Direction at the VMA Awards
There's nothing wrong with this at all by any measure. Being written about by one of the globe's most successful songwriters is surely no bad thing and, for any self-respecting 20-year-old male with gelled hair and skinny jeans, being told you're "trouble" is just the cake's cherry. Can you imagine being told "I knew you weren't trouble"? It's never done Mick Jagger OR Warren Beatty any harm being the possible subjects of Carly Simon's 'You're So Vain'. To borrow from Oscar Wilde, the only thing worse than being sung about... etc etc...
The boys didn't let the booing get them down
But this was the hors d'oeuvre to the main event, their arrival on stage after winning Best Song of the Summer, when the booing was so loud that it threatened to drown out their acceptance speeches.
On the surface, it looked as though there was a collective peer group response in the hall to this mildly talented band winning an award, when it should have gone to somebody more worthy, somebody whose musical abilities aren't dwarfed by the global, tireless efforts of a fan base, with whom they can't compete.
This engine room of support meant that, just as they had at the Brit Awards when they pocketed the gong for Most Popular Song, One Direction could be confident that, in one category at least, they wouldn't go home empty-handed.
But if they seemed to have it all their own way as they bound onto stage - singles, albums, fans, tours, now the movie - the one thing that remained beyond their grasp was, apparently, the respect of their peers. Which would be a fair enough story.
However, it looks on closer scrutiny as though they've been the victims of a misunderstanding, ie. they weren't really being booed at all. The audience's reaction could well have been to a giant screen close-up, courtesy of MTV, of - guess who - Taylor Swift's reaction to her estranged love and his bandmates once again getting some glory on her home soil. What makes you beautiful, Taylor is your butter-wouldn't-melt prettiness, combined with your alley cat hunger to hold a grudge, and your willingness not to hide it under that million-dollar pout. We salute you!.
And, there are two bits of good news to come out of this. The first is that the five lads found an unlikely protector in the form of Lady Gaga, who rushed into action like a tigress with cubs, albeit one wearing no fur, except a witty bob-tail, and a couple of shells.
"Don't you dare let those people boo you," she jabbed into the chest of a happy Louis Tomlinson. "If I did hear what I heard out there, I just want to tell you that you deserve every bit of success that you have. I want to leave right now. I don't want to stay anymore because I don't want to be in a room where people are booing." Cue group hug, one new One Directioner and five more little monsters.
And the other good news is that the boos masked just how inane their stage chat was, as usual about the fans, always about how they can't believe it, etc. etc Something says they're going to be collecting a stack load of trophies before their allotted time in the pop sunshine is up, so please can they start preparing something witty in advance, or drafting in the services of travelling minstrel Ed Sheeran to help?
Otherwise, as pretty and inoffensive as they may be, when it comes to speaking engagements, I'm with Taylor Swift.
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