The 2010 VMA Countdown: Madonna Is A Study In Contrasts

The 2010 MTV Video Music Awards are only a few weeks away. The biggest party of the year features nominated clips by Lady Gaga, Eminem, Jay-Z, Ke$ha and Katy Perry and will feature performances by Kanye West, Eminem, Drake, Justin Bieber, Paramore, Usher, B.o.B, Florence and the Machine and Linkin Park. In order to properly prepare yourself for what’s to come, every day the MTV Newsroom Blog will deliver a classic moment in the history of the MTV Video Music Awards, and we’re calling it “30 Days of VMA.” Today’s installment: Madonna introduces the Prodigy.

Look, we know we have probably highlighted far too many moments from the 1997 MTV Video Music Awards. There was the great acceptance speech by Fiona Apple, the wacky show-closing performance care of Marilyn Manson and Martha Stewart’s tag-team with Busta Rhymes (not to mention Bruce Springsteen collaborating with the Wallflowers, the crazy over-the-top show intro with Puffy and Sting and the fact that Jamiroquai won a bunch of awards for whatever this is). And we also know that we have gone to the Madonna well a few times already, what with the writhing on the floor at the first VMAs and the kiss-happy performance from 2003.

But since we just watched a good portion of the 1997 show here in the MTV Newsroom yesterday, we have to go back to the well just one more time. One detail that we forgot from the ’97 show was that is happened only a few days after the death of Princess Diana, which is why a handful of the people present (including the Spice Girls and Elton John) dedicated moments of the show to her memory. Madonna also got in on the action. Dressed as the world’s foxiest accountant, the Material Girl took the stage to talk about what a tragedy Diana’s death was, how the paparazzi had gotten out of control and how our gossip-hungry culture needed to correct itself post-haste.

Then, just to elevate the moment to levels of profound absurdity, she uttered the phrase, “On a more positive note, it is my distinct pleasure to introduce Prodigy.” Somehow, the reverence of her previous statement seemed a tad undone by the manic yahoos in Prodigy, though you can’t blame Madonna for trying. It’s further proof that the VMAs are always unpredictable. Ready to expect the unexpected? You only have four more days to wait!

The 27th annual MTV Video Music Awards will be broadcast live from the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles on September 12 at 9 p.m. ET.