Last night, Miley Cyrus joined the ranks of legendary performers like Jay Z, Lauryn Hill, Nirvana, Bob Dylan and Mariah Carey by making an appearance on MTV's acoustic show "Unplugged." But Miley doesn't really do stripped-down, no matter what the show is. Ask her to go acoustic and, well, you might end up with two people in horse costume on stage.
And, by law, if a horse appears onstage during a Miley Cyrus performance, well, Miley has to twerk on it. Which is what happens here. But this is 2014, and twerking up against a couple guys wearing a horse costume isn't that weird anymore.
What's weird is that after a year of embracing hip-hop and making songs with lyrics about turning up and doing molly, Miley gets back to her Nashville roots, performing in a cowboy hat and boots alongside a band with a banjo player and a bunch of string players. She opens with Bangerz's unexpected turning-up-goes-country number, "4x4," covers Dolly Parton's classic "Jolene," and adopts a little country twang throughout. Plus, she opens the show in a checkered cowgirl jumpsuit and closes it in a denim-on-denim throwback N'SYNC combo. And Madonna shows up for a medley of "Don't Tell Me/We Can't Stop."
Yes, it's all over the place, but that's Miley's charm: She's every ridiculous pop music influence right now rolled into one. The only logical outcome is a country set full of songs originally produced by Mike WiLL Made It and accompanied by acoustic guitars. Everyone knows that "yeehaw" and "turn up" mean the same thing, basically.
Watch "Don't Tell Me/We Can't Stop" above and "4x4" and "Adore You" below, and check out the full episode here.