How in the world did the 'N Sync reunion not end-up being the most talked about moment of Sunday night's VMAs?
It seemed like the surest of sure things. But there are two reasons this is not an article about Justin Timberlake and his four tuxedoed backup dancers.
1. The "reunion" lasted, roughly, all of 60 seconds from start to finish.
I suppose it was meant to be all sorts of shocking and/or sexy (?) in a "Look at me, guys! I'm not Hannah Montana anymore! Bad girl over here! Woo, woo, twerkin it" sort of way.
More Miley: A brief history of twerking
But while Miley was trending online basically the entire VMAs, the overwhelming viewer response -- including from Rihanna and One Direction -- was the whole thing felt kinda forced. And wrong.
Poor Billy Ray ... pic.twitter.com/TkbTjf7vlR
— andyroddick (@andyroddick) August 26, 2013
Raise your hand if you feel personally victimized by Miley Cyrus' #VMAs performance.
— E! Online (@eonline) August 26, 2013
Watching Miley makes me yearn for those days of innocence when our pop stars wore tasteful bikinis and boa constrictors #VMAs
— Shira (@shiraselko) August 26, 2013
Rihanna's reaction to Miley's performance was STONE. COLD. Im crying man. https://t.co/d2JYkuDRbU
— Steve & Steven (UNE) (@UrbanNoize) August 26, 2013
Robin Thicke and Miley Cyrus with sexual tension so thick you could cut it with a gentle chopping motion with your hand.
— Josh Patten (@thejoshpatten) August 26, 2013
Miley Cyrus has lost it. It's like she's trying to be someone she isn't.
— I Follow Back (@SelinaDenmark) August 26, 2013
Billy Ray Cyrus- "Dang Flabbit Miley."
— alyssa mallz (@LYSSEN_upp_) August 26, 2013
I will always have this version of Miley. Let's live in the past and heal. pic.twitter.com/zMsEW2PvfO
— Judd Apatow (@JuddApatow) August 26, 2013
Among those defending Not Hannah Montana's performance, an odd theme emerged where her fans justified everything and tried swatting away critics by citing Miley's bank account. There were a lot of responses like this:
Stop hating on Miley she can do what she wants she has more money then any of you ever will!!!!!!
— amanda mateo (@Pandaa_Swagg) August 26, 2013
Miley is making more money than all of you guys so I would stop hating
— CSV (@coryscott114) August 26, 2013
Yes, all the objections to Miley's performance should be discredited because she has money. A line of logic even slightly more misguided than the trajectory of that foam finger.
But whichever side of The Great Miley Cyrus Event of 2013 you fall on, I'm pretty sure we can all still agree on one thing: Joey Fatone and Chris Kirkpatrick got totally hosed.
Follow Jonathan Anker on Twitter @JonFromHLN