After last year's scene-stealing antics by Kanye West, this year's installment of the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards were destined to seem tame in comparison. Even host Chelsea Handler touched on the subject in her opening monologue, asking the audience not to all of a sudden start behaving this year. The audience didn't listen, and the most "racy" the show got was Handler herself - taking all the obvious shots on the celebrities in the audience. Even a surprise appearance of a post-jail/rehab Lindsay Lohan spoofing herself didn't seem to bring the shock and awe I am sure the producers were hoping for. Surprisingly for a music network that relies heavily on reality TV show for it's viewership, this night was actually saved by some great musical performances and not overshadowed by the drama MTV producers were probably hoping for.
The Big Winners
Chelsea Handler may have been hosting Sunday night's VMA's but it was Lady Gaga and was in charge. Gaga walked away with 8 awards in total including Video of the Year for "Bad Romance". The eclectic singer showed up in her usual parade of one-of-a-kind outfits, thanking the late Alexander McQueen for the outfits he provided for the "Bad Romance" video. Gaga also gushed to her fans while accepting her first award saying, "It's such a dream come true to be here tonight, and tonight, little monsters, we're the cool kids at the party". Accepting the award for Video of the Year from Cher, Gaga celebrated her win by announcing the name of her upcoming album, Born This Way and breaking out into an impromptu solo. Say what you want about Lady Gaga, but you can't deny that the girl can sing.
Eminem was the other big winner of the night taking home 2 awards, Best Male video and Best Hip Hop Video for his song, "Not Afraid". Canadian Justin Beiber took home Best New Artist and Jared Leto's band 30 Seconds to Mars took home Best Rock Video. For a complete list of all last night's winners click here.
Eminem opened the show with his hit single, "Not Afraid" and followed up by "Love the Way you Lie" with surprise guest Rihanna. It was one of the strongest performances of the evening. Probably the most impressive performance was from UK artist, Florence and the Machine. Singing "Dog Days and Over", lead singer, Florence Welch sounded amazing and looked beautiful. Easily the strongest musical act of the night. Other notable performances included Paramore and Linkin Park. Canadian rapper Drake had the opportunity to sing with the amazing Mary J Blige. Unfortunately for Drake, all eyes were definitely on Blige. Justin Beiber's performance in downtown Los Angeles was lackluster thanks to his painfully obvious lip-syncing. Acting as official VMA DJ and making an impression with his signature cartoon dead mouse head was famed Canadian DJ deadmau5.
Taylor Swift delivered an ode to her run-in with Kanye West at last year's VMA's. The song, titled "Innocent" included the lines, "Who you are is not what you did. 32 is still growing up now ... you're still an innocent." She also sang, "everyone of us has messed up, too. I hope you remember today is never too late to be brand new." Unfortunately her delivery was lack-luster and pitchy.
Kanye also indirectly addressed the incident in his show-closing performance and one of the first public appearances since last year's award show. His new song , "Runaway" mocked his past behaviors that have tended to upstage his music. He rapped, "I always find something wrong; you've been putting up with my (expletive) for too long". And in a chorus that only Kanye could get away with he sings, "Let's have a toast for the d-bags". Last year's antics may have made his Mr.Unpopularity but by the end of this year's performance the audience was chanting his name. I guess that's a comeback.
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