Music’s hottest stars took over the little borough of Brooklyn Sunday night for the annual MTV VMAs, held at the Barclays Center. This year’s show marked not only the 30th anniversary of the awards but also the first time that the show was not held in Manhattan. Previous years the show has been held in Miami and Los Angeles. In case you missed the show, here’s a full run down of the good, the bad and everything in between:
Lady Gaga was given the honor of opening the ceremonies, and she did so with a solid and energetic performance of Applause. A woman who knows how to entertain a crowd and can work a stage well, she started off in a white robe of sorts with a square headpiece, resembling something like a futuristic nun. As the song progressed, her robe was taken away to reveal a black sequined leotard with matching boots, then to a blue sequined skirt suite which was MC Hammer-esque. Finally, she ended in a white seashell bikini. All the while the smile and charisma never left her, and she received a thunderous round of um…applause at the end (no pun intended).
Miley Cyrus’ performance on the other hand was on the more bizarre end, stealing the strange spotlight for an evening from Lady Gaga. She came out dressed in a teddy bear themed leotard, along with dancers wearing giant teddy bear heads. She awkwardly sang, twerked and pranced her way through We Can’t Stop before launching into a laughable duet with Robin Thicke on his song Blurred Lines (maybe if she’d kept her earpiece in she would’ve known what she sounded like). She suddenly stripped off her cuddly clothing to a barely there flesh colored bra and shorts and a giant foam finger which she proceeded to stick in suggestive places, much to the dismay of some audience members and undoubtedly viewers worldwide. Oh yes and there was lots of her sticking her tongue for no reason.
The downward spiral seemed to plateau itself only after Miley stopped making out with Robin’s neck and left the stage so he could continue his performance. Wearing a black and white stripped suit, he looked sharp and stylish and gave a good shot at salvaging his moments on the stage by bringing out 2 Chainz and Kendrick Lamar on Give it 2 You.
Proud new papa Kanye West put his best foot forward and gave a good performance with his song Blood on the Leaves. Always known for his high impact performances, Kayne kept it simple with a low key set and lights turned way down, giving the Yeezus single an eerie feeling.
Macklemore and Ryan Lewis melodically took a stand for equality and gay rights as they performed Same Love, along with Mary Lambert and surprise guest Jennifer Hudson.
Drake made hearts pound and hands clap with his medley of Hold On, We’re Going Home and Started from the Bottom.
Bruno Mars performed his new single Gorilla with the backdrop of a screen flashing images of the animal and lots of green strobe lights. He gave an interesting performance, although perhaps a little bit lackluster given the upbeat performances that Mr. Mars is known for.
California girl Katy Perry closed out the show with her smash hit Roar via Fulton Ferry Park and the Brooklyn Bridge. She closed out the show triumphantly with a bubbly and elaborate set that included a boxing ring, a full band, flashing lights and two gigantic gold lion’s heads.
The biggest and by far the best performance of the night came from Justin Timberlake, who was presented with the ‘Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award’ and performed a huge medley of hits, starting with Take Back the Night which he kicked off at the entrance to the venue and then wound his way with an entourage of dancers through the back halls and out onto the stage. JT then danced and crooned his way all around the room, making use of multiple staging platforms while keeping in perfect time with dancers and song changes. The songs included all of his hits, from My Love to Cry Me a River, Senorita, Rock Your Body and Sexy Back before surprising everyone by bringing out former band mates from NSYNC to do Gone, Girlfriend and Bye Bye Bye.
Other highlights of the night included appearances by Lil Kim, Jimmy Fallon and T-Boz and Chili of former girl group TLC fame. another notable change was that there was not a lot of talking between activities as in previous years, which seemed to make the show run smoother.
The list of winners is:
Video of the Year - Justin Timberlake Mirrors
Best Hip-Hop Video - Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat. Ray Dalton Can't Hold Us
Best Male Video - Bruno Mars Locked Out of Heaven
Best Female Video - Taylor Swift I Knew You Were Trouble
Best Pop Video - Selena Gomez Come & Get It
Artist to Watch Presented by Taco Bell - Austin Mahone What About Love
Best Collaboration - P!nk feat. Nate Ruess Just Give Me a Reason
Best Video with a Social Message - Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat. Mary Lewis Same Love
Best Rock Video - Thirty Seconds to Mars Up in the Air
Best Art Direction - Janelle Monae feat. Erykah Badu Q.U.E.E.N
Best Choreography - Bruno Mars Treasure
Best Cinematography - Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat. Ray Dalton Can't Hold Us
Best Direction - Justin Timberlake feat. Jay-Z Suit & Tie
Best Editing - Justin Timberlake Mirrors
Best Visual Effects - Capital Cities Safe and Sound
Song of the Summer - One Direction Best Song Ever
To see more photos and videos from the VMA’s head over to mtv.com