VH1 Divas is one of those odd US cable TV institutions that rears it's ugly head every few years as a parade of female stars belt out some big numbers and look fabulous. It used to be a real Mariah/Celine/Cher fest but last year it was rebooted as a vehicle for legendary divas such as ... Miley Cyrus and Jordin Sparks. Ahem.
Anyway this year's installment was themed as a "For The Troops" affair which I'm sure is all very nice and well done the soldiers and blah blah blah. The line up is an odd mix of current pop/R&B divas like Katy Perry, Nicki Minaj and Keri Hilson and then a few more country/"alternative" acts such as Paramore, Sugarland and Grace Potter and the Nocturnals. Not exactly thrilling. Thankfully they roped Kathy Griffin in for a bit of humour on the side.
But one performance is surely the best thing about the show and all you really need to know about. It's Katy Perry and Nicki Minaj doing a cover of Girls Just Wanna Have Fun that is as tasteful and low key as you could expect from an artist who places giant strawberries on her breasts and another that calls herself Harajuku Barbie.
Perry gets things going at the start but you can tell that Minaj, who has built a rabid following over the last 2 years, is the real draw for many of the audience. While Perry gurns her way through the performance and cranks out some truly horrific "Your Drunken Uncle At A Wedding" dance moves Minaj sort of wafts around with a perfect mix of diva and "aw shucks look at the troops" charm. Ultimately the pair play well off each other and the whole thing is more fun than it should be. It does sound an awful lot like the Miley Cyrus take on the tune from a few years back which depending on your perspective is either a good thing or a bad thing.
The rest of the show seems fairly unmemorable although Minaj does a fine job on Right Thru Me (And again the crowd are clearly rabid) while two more of her performances that weren't broadcast are floating around on YouTube. In one way Minaj clearly has the biggest bunch of fans in the crowd so it's a shame they didn't air more, but we guess a track like Roman's Revenge which is one giant "parental advisory" sticker of a song isn't exactly TV friendly. Still, worth a look if you're a Minaj fan. The rest of us meanwhile can enjoy Perry and Minaj bounding around on stage and question why Perry thought it would ever be a good idea to try out those dance moves in that dress.