Edge

Casted Audience Played Integral Part to VMAs

When MTV announced it was taking over the American Airlines Arena in Miami for its next Video Music Awards, the excitement filled the air.

As part of MTV’s plan to make the VMAs the hottest show of 2004, they tossed out all conventions, forgoing a host and the usual 200-300 casted audience members. They instead casted over 1,100 fans as the floor audience. It was to be expected. After all, as P. Diddy put it, “There’s nothing hotter than a Miami fiesta.”

While TV viewers worldwide only caught MTV’s glimpses of the transformed Arena, the enormous casted audience was right in the center of all the action, under the cameras, and partying just feet from their favorite stars.

“It was [a]fun and completely new experience. I didn’t recognize [the Arena],” said freshman Adriana Jaramillo. “I felt like I was part of the show.”

It was the first time MTV had ever used an arena for the VMAs, which allowed them to experiment with and contain the life-size crowd. “MTV wanted to have the audience serve as a kind of host to the show,” said casted audience member Natalie Albright, a student at the Miami International University of Art & Design.

“They wanted to try something new,” Natalie said. “Instead of topping [past VMAs with another]Britney/Madonna kiss, they wanted to top it another way.”

Natalie served as a leader of one of the many groups that signed up to be part of the VMA experience.

Since the audience was an integral part of the show, MTV requested organizations rather than random fans, according to Natalie.

“[They figured] since we’re from an organized group that we have some sense of control,” she said.

Despite the intense commitment needed for the show, the selected crowd got a huge payoff: the responsibility of keeping the show’s energy up while experiencing all the glitz and glamour MTV could offer.

The casted audience was responsible for many of the show’s visual embellishments, such as the flurry of political signs that shot up during Outkast’s performance and the candlelights that lit up Kanye West’s pathway during “Jesus Walks.”

But more than that, it was the casted audience members who truly felt the fiery intensity of the “Miami fiesta” at the VMAs. Despite the less than eager response to the televised version, as Natalie states, “It was totally different live. You can’t get that feeling by watching it on TV.”

Rafael Sangiovanni can be contacted at r.sangiovanni@umiami.edu.

September 3, 2004

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

A six-pack of Hurricanes notes on a Wednesday: ▪ The Miami Hurricanes are honoring their 1983 nation ...

With Jaquan Johnson still sidelined with a hamstring strain he suffered on Saturday against Toledo, ...

The Miami Hurricanes are running low on tight ends. But their receivers — notably sophomore speedste ...

A six-pack of Hurricanes notes on a Tuesday: ▪ The pretty even split of carries between Travis Homer ...

The University of Miami has lost another player to surgery, and the depth was already lacking at thi ...

New technology could help schools identify shooters and other intruders before they enter the door. ...

A University of Miami professor has created software to detect fraud in standardized tests. ...

UM President Julio Frenk outlined the strategies of the Roadmap to Our New Century, part of his Stat ...

Students attending Monday night's State of the U address by UM President Julio Frenk offer thei ...

At UM’s inaugural State of the U address, President Julio Frenk detailed the strategies of the Roadm ...

Through three games, Miami is No. 1 in the country in tackles for loss and the entire Hurricanes def ...

Jeff Thomas may be quiet off the field, but the sophomore has been consistently making lots of noise ...

The University of Miami soccer team is set to return to Cobb Stadium, where it will host No. 12 Duke ...

The Atlantic Coast Conference announced Tuesday the league slate for the upcoming 2018-19 season. ...

Miami remained ranked in both major polls Sunday, checking in at No. 21 in the Associated Press Top ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.