Kanye West has done something for MTV that hasn't really happened in 6 years when Britney and Christina both kissed Madonna: gotten people talking about the VMAs.
Yes, there was a blip 2 years ago with Britney's "comeback" performance of "Gimme More"... but, honestly, compared to the furor over Kanye's microphone stealing stunt... that was nothing!
Also helping this year's case... Russell Brand's, um, brand of comedy aside, it was a GOOD SHOW. Going back to New York City and really scaling the production back up from the 2007 misstep of the Vegas sit-down dinner theater show (with several insanely lame "hotel room satellite parties") and the 2008 Paramount soundstage idiocy... the performers upped their game immensely (though I did love Pink's performance from last year). The MJ dance tribute was a celebration and Madonna's opening speech was somber in an odd-yet-appropriate way for the VMAs (next year, Madge... perform!!) Janet's lip-synching aside, all of the performances were spot-on. I guess this puts me on Team Taylor, but the feat of actually coordinating and producing that subway station, subway ride, and street closure performance was astounding given the noise of subway cars (but there were crowd noises and even clinks of metal that makes me truly believe her microphone was hot for the performance)... especially as it came mere minutes after the Kayne incident. Lady Gaga was over the top drama (and that's the best she's ever sung live), Pink was, well, crazy (and the only other one I suspected was lip-synching), Green Day rocked out, and Beyonce just killed it.