Miley Cyrus And Madonna Defied Any And All Standards of Awkwardness On Unplugged

Madonna and Miley Cyrus performing at MTV Unplugged January 2014

I didn’t think there was anything more awkward than watching Kevin and Danielle Jonas pretend to be married, but that was before I watched Miley Cyrus and Madonna perform together on MTV’s Unplugged last night.

I really like the concept of the show — stripping away all the distractions of high production values that typically go along with a concert performance so that (ideally) the pure unadulterated talent comes to the surface — I’m just not convinced that these two were the right people for the job. I think I came in with a minimal level of optimism, because I think both Miley and Madge have the power to surprise me vocally, but all that positive juju immediately vanished as soon as I saw their costumes.

They were dressed like 90s hillbilly popstars at their first Elton John concert, and that’s probably the kindest compliment I can give them, under the circumstances. Especially since they soon proceeded to grind around on each other as if Madonna wasn’t old enough to be Miley’s mother. (In fact, at age fifty-five, she’s actually one year older than cool-mom Tish Cyrus. Charming.)

They did a mash up of Madonna’s song ‘Don’t Tell Me’ and Miley’s song ‘We Can’t Stop’ and OH MY GOD It was just so awkward to watch, you guys. Miley so eager to please her idol Madonna, and Madonna so desperate to prove that she’s still young and hip and relevant. And of course neither of them really has the pipes that they should for Unplugged, so they warble their way through a collaboration that feels like watching a very slow train wreck.

Eeeep, I can’t look…and yet I’m mesmerized. Please just keep all the cameras pointed at Madonna, because I have a feeling if we take our eyes off of her for a single instant, she’ll have Miley’s bones cracked open, sucking out the marrow and rubbing it into her gums.

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    • the kimberly diaries

      ok THANK YOU this was the most awkward, desperate thing I have ever seen. And that horse made me feel like I was legit at Stew Leonards listening to a little entertainment while waiting for my deli order to be ready.

      • G.E. Phillips

        STEW LEONARDS! Right next to the Chiquita Banana.

    • Stacey Judith

      Mega cringe! Even a karaoke night at home has better singing than this.. One is so nasal and the other one out of breath!

      • Alexis Rhiannon

        They’re so proud of themselves, like they snuck onstage at a talent show or something.

      • Misenhammer

        This actually reminded me a lot of karaoke in that it sounded like they didn’t feel much pressure to try and sing well… I actually can’t believe how flat that was.

    • FauxRealFaux

      Lol. I saw a clip of this performance this morning and I could only shake my head.

    • Mel

      Even though they asked so nicely for us not to tell them, I’m going to have to tell them to STOP. Just STOP.

      • Alexis Rhiannon

        They saw this coming; it’s why they chose the lyrics they did.

    • Ria

      I’m old so I know how truly amazing Madonna is and how incredibly talented she is. She wrote tons of her own songs and choreograph’s her own dancing. She was raised by a widowed dad and came from nowhere…unlike Miley “I was born with a silver spoon in my mouth” Cyrus.

      Watch some of Madonna’s old video’s! I hate to see such an icon lumped together with Miley…she’s just being smart and business savvy with this Miley duet. Miley’s show gets run for her but Madonna runs her own show. Miley’s a big Madonna Be and Madonna knows that so she’s milking it, so what?

      How come it was okay for Steven Tyler to remake Walk This Way with Run DMC but it’s “awkward” when a female singer does it? Stepping off my soapbox now.

      • Alexis Rhiannon

        Let me tell you right now that this has nothing to do with Madonna’s gender.

      • Ria

        I guess I’m just missing what’s so offensive here. Have you watched Madonna’s Blonde Ambition tour and what she did with her female dancers? She sounds great, she looks flipping AMAZING (I know you’re still young and can’t appreciate that yet!) and she’s actually made me kind of, sort of, appreciate Miley a teensy bit.

        The outfits are what Madonna wore on her original Don’t Tell Me to Stop video, hence the reason they’re dressed like that. Don’t forget that most singers these days use auto tune, that was before Madonna’s time…she sings raw so it never sounds perfect.

      • Alexis Rhiannon

        Sounds like we can agree to disagree.

      • Ria

        Since I’m slightly addicted to this website and all your girls witty articles then yes, that sounds good to me:)

      • Alexis Rhiannon

        Hurrrayyyyyyyyy! I very genuinely like this!

      • Ria

        Me too! No need to bicker, everything can be twerked out:)

      • Alexis Rhiannon

        Haha, perfect!

      • Anna Anunnaki

        You keep going on about how great she was…no ones doubting that. The sad thing is whats she’s become. She used to be on top all on her own, now she has to cling to whoevers hot at the moment…even is she’s 35 years older than that person and looking like a right fool next to them. I don’t like Miley, but the girl can sing…a lot better than Madonna. So not only did she look ancient standing next to a 20 year old, he lack of vocal skills was obvious next to Miley. As for Madonna writing her own music…there’s more to music than lyrics…Madonna can’t compose music, because she isn’t a musician…like someone such as Lady Gaga, another one Madonna begged to perform with her, but Gaga had the sense to say no thank you.
        If Madonna ever expects to have hope of a comeback, she needs to do it on her own and stop trying to prove she’s as hip as all the kids…that means ditching the grill grandma.

    • JoeBee

      “Break it down now”…??? Eesh… It was already broken…

      • Alexis Rhiannon


    • Para Salin

      Just a pair of over-rated desperate for fame Chickie-boom-booms.
      Straight from Yawnsville, daddy-oh.
      Dig it.

    • Alyssa

      I still think that Katy Perry’s unplugged was one of the most beautiful things ever. Her voice was great that night.

      • Alexis Rhiannon

        I think in general, Unplugged is an awesome thing, but it really doesn’t do you any favors if your voice isn’t on point.

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