Every year MTV features its Video Music Awards and every year something insane and ridiculous happens. And this year was no different.
Hosted by America’s most appropriate and least controversial young pop star, Miley Cyrus, the show was certain to go off without a hitch. To nobody’s surprise, the show featured off script beefing, risqué performances, and Kanye West stealing the night with one sentence.
At this point it’s verging on routine, but in case you missed the antics of some of America’s most influential celebrities, here’s a recap to make sure you have the option to gossip with your friends for as long as you want.
To start, we’ll talk about the performances. While there was nothing as eye popping or jaw dropping as Britney Spears running around on stage with a live python around her shoulders, there were still plenty of interesting moments.
One of the more notable moments was when Taylor Swift joined Nicki Minaj onstage to perform a rendition of Minaj’s “The Night is Still Young” interspersed with Swift’s latest single “Bad Blood.” Particularly interesting was the timing and song choice. Minaj and Swift had recently fought briefly on Twitter, so watching them perform together was a definitive resolution. And if there were any doubts, Minaj silenced them with a heartfelt hug at the medley’s finale.
The other performance worth noting was Justin Bieber’s surprisingly emotional rendition of his new EDM collaboration, “Where Are U Now.” Odd that a song created in part by Skrillex and Diplo, two artists not exactly known for their emotion, led to such a response from Bieber. Regardless of how much sense his reaction made, it led to great television and an even better performance.
Even more outlandish than the extravagant performances were the antics of the show’s host for the evening. Miley Cyrus was all over the stage, shouting about her love of all things promiscuous and marijuana related. With an inordinate multitude of costume changes throughout the night, each more revealing than the previous, Cyrus kept the show entertaining and a large portion of America reeling.
The highlight of Cyrus’ hosting, however, wasn’t something she had planned on. When Nicki Minaj was accepting her award for best Hip-Hop Video for “Anaconda,” she abruptly changed the direction of her speech and called Cyrus out. Using some language that we can’t exactly replicate here, Minaj stated that she was less than pleased with Cyrus’ recent comments to the media. An awkward moment followed as Miley did her best to recover the situation and move on but the seemingly unscripted beef wasn’t so easily forgotten.
While the evening was punctuated by interesting events such as those above, the show was stolen once again by Kanye West.
Accepting his Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award (essentially the VMA’s version of a lifetime achievement award), West began his speech by acknowledging the irony of the situation. Presenting him with the award was Taylor Swift, whom Kanye had once infamously interrupted at the VMA’s during her award speech for Best Video. After beginning strong, West stumbled into his twelve-minute speech, seeming to be unsure of what he wanted to say next.
West appeared to be someone with a lot of thoughts in his head without the ability to articulate them properly. He rambled for a long time with long pauses as he decided his next steps. He touched on family, his past, juice, paparazzi, and finally culminated his speech in the most unexpected way ever. With a few minutes left of the show, Kanye West took a breath and spoke a sentence I think we all knew in our hearts he would eventually speak.
West stood strong on the stage and calmly exclaimed, “Yes, as you probably could have guessed by this moment, I have decided in 2020 to run for president.”
I can honestly say, I would not have guessed that.