Last night's awards show wasn't perfect, but artists like Lizzo showed the possibilities of breaking new ground with augmented reality. "Social media put award shows into ongoing crisis years ago, and the VMAs—once a reliable source of zany scandals and career-crowning moments—have been especially snoozy and pointless lately," says Spencer Kornhaber. "Their relevance remains questionable; the ratings stink, and it’s quite clear they mostly only give big awards to artists who show up. But last night’s event did have a pulse, despite the bland befuddled comedy of the emcee Sebastian Maniscalco and an odd thematic emphasis on the host state of New Jersey. Partly the show benefited from exciting rising voices—Lizzo, Rosalía, H.E.R.—getting the mic. Partly it appeared emboldened by an epiphany: The Video Music Awards should embrace the possibilities of music as videos. The performances shouldn’t look like Grammys; they shouldn’t try to be concerts. They should be vertigo-strange. They should trick the camera. They should defy reality."