Brooke Shields called Miley Cyrus' performance on Sunday's VMAs "desperate."

That's a pretty good way to describe it.

Shields, who occasionally played Cyrus' mom on "Hannah Montana," was guest hosting NBC's "Today" on Monday, when she was asked about Cyrus' bizarre, overtly sexual (but not really), strange performance Sunday on MTV.

"I was Hannah Montana's mother!" she told host Willie Geist. "Where did I go wrong?"

Shields -- who knows a little bit about transitioning from child star to adult star -- said "I just want to know who's advising her, and why (the VMA routine) is necessary. ... (Our children) can't watch that. ... I feel like it's a bit desperate."

Shields said there's a difference between Cyrus and Lady Gaga trying to perform on the edge." (Gaga has) a genius behind all of it; it's not just display."

Shields said she took her young children to see Cyrus in concert while she was still on "Hannah Montana." But even then Cyrus was already trying to get away from her Disney persona.

"You could see her trying so hard to go against that," said Shields. "She can sing beautifully, and I feel like if she lets that lead, rather than let her bottom lead ... . (She's) trying so, so hard."

Shields also knows about controversy. As a child star, she played a 12-year-prostitute in the film "Pretty Baby" and paraded around at least half-naked for most of "The Blue Lagoon." She also did the infamous Calvin Klein jeans ad when she was 15, in which she huffs at the camera "Nothing gets between me and my Calvins."

Shields did give Cyrus some props for her performance.

"She went for it," she said. "You've got to give her some credit. We're all talking about her."

Contact Tony Hicks at Facebook.com/BayAreaNewsGroup.TonyHicks or Twitter.com/insertfoot.