Joe Calderone: VMAs Savior Or A Tired Old Trope?

Last night’s Video Music Awards were oddly host-free, but if there was a dominant presence it was definitely Joe Calderone, Lady Gaga’s male persona. The Danny Zucco/Ralph Macchio love child opened MTV’s annual award show with a four-minute monologue, sang “Yoü & I” with Queen’s Brian May on guitar, presented Britney Spears with an award and probably used a urinal during a commercial break.

We respect Gaga’s dedication to the character but at the same time, it doesn’t feel very original. Above, check out our slideshow of divas who have ditched the designer gown in favor of male drag.

Other things that ran through our minds during the show:


Was Chris Brown allowed to fly near Rihanna in his “Beautiful People” aerial number? Doesn’t she have a restraining order? And does he have some kind of Peter Pan fetish?


Is it weird or beautiful that Beyoncé told the world she was pregnant by popping open her jacket after a jaw-dropping performance of “Love on Top.” Ironically that’s the sexual position she’ll have use for the next six months or so.


Justin Bieber has finally changed his look—and now looks even more like a lesbian than before. Lisa Loeb called, Justin. She wants her glasses back.


Katy Perry needs us all to buy a second copy of Teenage Dream so she can afford to have the Q*bert cube removed from her head.


Calderone accepted the “Video With a Message” award for “Born This Way” on behalf of Gaga. We love the song’s message  but were kind of scratching our head about the video‘s message. You were born an alien queen with bony protrusions? Still it was nice to hear someone actually say the words “gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender” on MTV. Now if only someone can tell the audience what they mean.



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  • christopher di spirito

    I liked Lady Gaga’s male persona very much. I also thought the Amy Winehouse tribute at the end of the show was heartfelt. Although, I would’ve had a few more performers on stage singing the great songs Winehouse besides Bruno Mars.

  • nickp91

    I have a crush on Joe Calderone

  • Tom

    Lad Kaka

    Can someone fucking run this fake ass bitch down with a semi trailer already please? Sick of her exploiting the gay community all for her greed. She doesnt give a shit about us and fuck the “little monsters” aka little morons who defend her.

  • Joe

    Celine Dion? C’mon, lets be real here, if you are gonna denigrate someone doing a cool gender-bendy thing as unoriginal you can’t use that outfit of Celine. And why always the hating, why not say she joins a community of great female performers who are unafraid enough to gender-bend.

  • Spike

    At least we were all there to see Gaga jump the shark.

  • Lefty

    Thanks for the picture of Dietrich, Dan.
    The best of the lot.

  • ggggb

    I think that the other people’s reaction in the audience was worth it all by itself. It was hilarious. It’s such like a normal thing for someone to do drag, honestly, in a lot of people’s lives but not in theirs, I guess! I think it’s fine. It was perfect, actually.

  • Alistair

    When will you gays realized that everything Lady CaCa does she ripped of from Hagdonna, who stole it from Kate Bush.
    The only true artist out there guys is Kate Bush.

  • Jollysocks

    @Alistair: I love Kate Bush, but how could Gaga and Madonna steal an act from someone who’s too been too scared to do a live show since the late 70s?

  • Opheliac

    @Tom: Er… Gaga isn’t exploiting anyone. She’s queer herself, remember?(bisexual, to be specific)Why would she be exploiting a community that she is part of?

  • Alistair

    @Opheliac: @Opheliac: Do you really think CaCa is lesbian? Or even bi? Everything she does is merely a marketing tool.

    She is as gay as Cindy Crawford.

  • slanty

    @Alistair: Gaga says she’s bi. Do you think she’s lying?

  • CJ

    Gaga – go away.

  • JC

    Gaga – come and stay.

  • o

    @Spike: Drag is jumping the shark? Maybe if you’re the type of person who thinks tattoos and earrings are from the devil.

  • Bryan

    @Jonas: Yeah, because in the music world, once something has been done once, it is NEVER to be repeated EVER again right? Hope you were smart enough to detect the sarcasm there.

    @Tom: @Alistair: You really have no proof so you’re just sounding like a troll or a bitter Britney, Madonna or Katy Perry fan, and whether or not she’s using the gay community, at least she’s doing something, whether it’s for selfish gains or not.

  • Bryan

    As to the question of VMAs savior or tired old trope? I’m guessing somewhere in between. She(he)+Brian May, Adele and Beyonce’s baby bump were the only things worth seeing for the 2h30mins the show lasted, but combined they probably only appeared for like 25mins, so unfortunately they still couldn’t save the remaining 2h5mins, but at least they got people talking.

  • jason

    Lady Gaga is like a poitician. She will say and do anything depending on the audience. Note how she removed the word “gay” when she sang Born This Way at the Good Morning America concert a few months back.

    She’s a mega-phony sucking in air-brained gay guys.

  • Vevar

    @Tom: i have only one thing to say to you… just google
    “lady gaga’s contributions to the gay community” let’s see what you find :)

  • slanty

    @Vevar: That won’t get you any results, really. Try searching “lady gaga gay rights” instead.

  • Red Meat

    @Bryan: This is the same tired post posted on the internet for the last ten years as people try to point out how awful the VMA were and how irrelevant they are, and then theu watch it again every year. LOL dumbasses are so pathetic.

  • A.

    my mp3 buying teenager loved it so…it was a hit with its target audience. the whole thing is popularity contest/marketing ploy- should we take any of it seriously at all?

    jeez…you all are bi- haters round here. anyone says they are bi, especially celebrity, under the microscope they go, nothing they do good is sincere, everything thats questionable is some sort of plot
    being bi, does not win you popularity contests with gay or straight,(quite obviously around here) a reason i believe her

  • mike128

    i loved this performance, especially the monologue at the beginning. it brought a bit of theater to the VMAs. and the camera cutting to Britney and Justin Beiber was sort of funny. What was Beiber wearing? People didn’t know how to react… I also thought people expected her to eventually do something like rip off the male costume and being in something sexy and feminine, and I like that she didn’t do that, that she carried the character through to the end.

  • mike128

    Also, to those commenters who rely on calling Gaga “CaCa” or Britney “Sh*tney”, etc: You all sort of discredit yourselves as people who can judge creativity when they see it simply through the fact of being so incredibly uncreative yourselves! I mean, making someone’s name “dirty” is sort of 1st grade humor, isn’t it?

  • mike128

    Lastly, photo #5 of Madonna is just gorgeous.

  • steve

    LOL @ Celine Dion

  • Insipid

    I find all these artists insipid and puerile, most of all this Gaga character who is so obviously ripping off every moment of the 80s. And the rest of this lineup is just sad and a strong testament to why MTV is no longer relevant in the music world. This pop trash is best suited for the food court at a mall.

  • ricky rocky

    Little Richard was THE Originator.

  • velocifero

    A friend sent this link to me a few days ago – Gaga a drunk mess performing at some industry thing. Really pathetic:

    MTV is one big narcissistic ego trip for the starts and celebrities. I did notice Gaga took a bad fall getting down off that piano. (Roland, or whomever supplies her piano,s must be sick of her destroying their pianos at every appearance. Playing the piano with your feet just makes you look foolish.)

    As much as I grow tired of Gaga nothing turns my stomach more then Kanye West and I have the luck of never once hearing Usher’s boy date, Justin Beiber sing.

  • jason

    MTV is consistently homophobic. It has supported a stream of homophobic musical acts over the years, including Tyler the Creator and Eminem.

    The best thing you can do is to tell your friends to not watch MTV. Flush it down the toilet. Let’s show the creeps who run MTV that we in the GLBT community won’t support its enabling of homophobic acts.

  • Bryan

    @Red Meat: I’m not quite sure what your post means? I did find it boring besides the bit I mentioned. Why am I supposed to care if it’s an overused argument?

  • Bryan

    @velocifero: You post sounds really stupid. It’ll take more than falling off pianos or playing pianos with your feet to wreck them.

  • Spike

    @o: Do you even know what the term jump the shark means? Google it you silly clown.

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