If you believe in either calendars or technicalities, then you would be inclined to believe that summer officially ends on September 21st. But that’s not true. You know it. I know it. Even this guy most likely knows it (and he doesn’t know his ass from a hole in the ground.)
Summer ends when Labor Day Weekend ends. Just as the Mayans intended.
So with summer over, it’s now time to look at who is Giddy Up America’s MVP of the Summer of 2013.
But first, let’s look back at the contenders.
Seth Rogen & Evan Goldberg, creators of This Is The End
John Oliver, fill-in host of The Daily Show
Rhianna, winner of Instagram and world’s greatest award show audience member
Pharrell, the voice of the summer
Sharknado, what we all watched at least once
Yasiel Puig, Major League Baseball’s savior
Orange is the New Black, the show everyone watched and loved
Kevin Cullen, the man to read when it came to the Whitey Bulger trial
Miley Cyrus, queen of the Internet
And then there were other possible contenders like Jay Z, Beyonce, Icona Pop, Matthew Weiner, Bryan Cranston and Amanda Bynes.
Now while they are all worthy contenders, this is a race that ultimately comes down to two people and subsequently, what exactly you find entertaining.
Our two finalists?
Miley Cyrus of course.
And Justin Timberlake.
Yes, JT. He didn’t even make the initial list of contenders, but when it came time to look back at the summer of 2013 and to determine who made the summer entertaining, he not only had to be on the list, but had to be a finalist. Let’s just look at his summer. He release his first album in seven years, The 20/20 Experience at the end of March, which you could argue is totally not in the summer. But the album featured one of the main songs of the summer, “Mirrors.” Timberlake then appeared on Jay Z’s album Magna Carta Holy Grail and the two then set out on one of the summer’s biggest tours, The Legends of Summer. As the summer drew to a close, Timberlake destroyed MTV’s Music Video Awards with a tour-de-force 15 minute performance that included a NSYNC reunion and a lifetime achievement award. And then just for kicks, The 20/20 Experience part 2 comes out at the end of September.
So there it is, Miley versus JT.
Somewhat ironically, what pushed both over the top was the aforementioned MTV Video Music Awards. I know, MTV. Personally I thought their days as a culture barometer had long since passed. But then they go out and end the summer of 2013 with a bang. The show got people talking in ways that marketing nerds could only dream about. Timberlake was an after thought in the days that followed, though- buried in the hullabaloo surrounding Miley’s wild and wooly performance, Robin Thicke having stole an outfit from the Beetlejuice props department and the NSYNC reunion that kind of wasn’t but also kind of was enough. You could then make the argument that as a result, Miley is the run away winner. Especially if you factor in that she too had a song of the summer highlighted by her song “We Can’t Stop,” featuring one of the strangest videos to be released in years, but also one of the strongest endorsements of over-sized teddy bear back packs.
Nearly everything Miley did was news. A search of Miley on Huffington Post alone produces over 80,00,000 results. Although to be fair, the majority of those probably have something to do with her side boob. Huffington Post loves them some side boob. They’re essentially the Peter Griffin of news outlets when it comes to anything side boob-related.
But whether it was Miley tweeting, Miley twerking, Miley twinstagramming, it was news. And this was all before the VMA’s, when her performance ignited a fire storm of controversy that touched on nearly every PC topic there is- racism, sexism, lack of taste, being a role model, not being a role model, the misuse of foam fingers, the savage road traveled by ex-Disney stars and the poor position the singer of “Achy, Breaky Heart” is in. The performance also made us all question what we really thought of Robin Thicke- that is if we really thought anything of him in the first place. Yet regardless of how the performance was perceived, what could not be argued was whether or not it was entertaining. It was. But what kind of entertainment was it?
That right there is the question. Or specifically, the question is what kind of entertainment do you like?
Do you like:
A) freak show entertainment?
B) polished and professional entertainment?
If you like A, then you most likely prefer Miley. But if you like B, then JT is more your speed.
There is a C, though, and that’s why the summer of 2013 is a summer with co-MVPs.
You like both.
You enjoy the madness and unpredictability of Miley. It’s fascinating and “We Don’t Stop” is an effin’ catchy tune. Yet at the same time, you marvel at the spit & shine of Timberlake, how he completely owned the Barclay Center while he performed at the VMAs and no matter how many times you heard it, you never got sick of “Mirrors.”
As time passes, the summer of 2013 will be defined by these two performers- one the court jester and one the awe-inspiring wizard. Any other summer and Beyonce might have had a chance or someone like Oliver or something like Sharknado or Orange is the New Black could have won the MVP. Any other summer and Macklemore and Ryan Lewis could have run away with it. The same can be said for Rhianna or if this were the 1940’s, Puig.
But in the end, it’s all about Miley Cyrus and Justin Timberlake.