The eternally scantily-clad pop star Miley Cyrus took over NBC for two hours on Sunday night. The program was promoted as a documentary–most of the show consisted of reworked footage from her provocative Bangerz Tour in Barcelona and Lisbon interwoven with intimate monologues by the star. Cyrus is a lightning rod, a provocateur who famously “twerked” her way from teen idol to international celebrity last year. So NBC execs had to know that Christian organizations like Focus on the Family, American Family Association and Family Research Council would go bananas when they saw multiple men take turns kissing and petting Cyrus’s inner thigh as she sprawled across a giant silk-sheeted bed. But that’s what NBC showed–protests be damned–during the normally staid Sunday evening TV hours. Speaking of going bananas, Miley herself wasn’t allowed: the clip of Cyrus grinding a gigantic banana between her legs was cut, as was the scene with the gigantic inflatable penis, among other fellatio depitctions.
Although Cyrus’s privates remained technically covered throughout the show, everything she did was built to get a rise out of the audience–for or against. The teens in the crowd bawled and shook with affection, great tongue-wrestling kisses were caught on camera. Cyrus didn’t expose a breast (no wardrobe malfunction) like Janet Jackson at Superbowl XXXVIII, but you can assume that FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler’s day on Monday is “going to suck.”