Musical Mayhem: The 2013 MTV Video Music Awards
New York is still recovering from this past Sunday night. Exploding from Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, The 2013 MTV Video Music Awards aired live and the city hasn’t been the same since. Since very few awards were given out at this year’s show, the highlights were – you guessed…the performances. Some were demure, while others were over the top. Let’s get back to the awards. There were some who walked away empty-handed, despite being nominated in three or more categories; as well as, having some of the biggest hits of the summer. Weird, I know, but it was still a delightful two-and-a-half hour show.
Lady Gaga opened the show with her new single “Applause“. This was her first major performance in a few months. In her true performance art fashion, she changed in and out of elaborate costumes throughout the song. Flanked by dancers clad in black, she changed from a whimsical white ensemble, which transformed into a black catsuit, then into a cobalt blue jacket and skirt accented by a platinum blonde wig, then back to the catsuit with a bright yellow wig, then removed the wig and changed into a long wavy brown wig, while revealing a white bikini made of seashells. Totally GaGa!
London’s own, One Direction, presented the first award of the evening to Selena Gomez, for her new hit “Come and Get It”
One of the night’s eyebrow raising moments belonged to Miley Cyrus. Cyrus shared the stage with R&B sensation Robin Thicke during a mash-up of her “We Can’t Stop” and his “Blurred Lines“. The set featured the same giant dancing teddy bears which were featured in her video for the song. The performance featured Cyrus clad in a mouse printed leotard, then in a peach colored bra and panties. While twerking numerous times and groping Thicke, who wore a “Beetlejuice” inspired suit, she also used a foam hand as a sexual prop.
Midway through the performance, rising hip hop sensations Kendrick Lamar and 2 Chainz emerged onstage to join Robin Thicke for his new song “Give It to You”.
Soon Iggy Azalea and hip hop siren Lil Kim presented the award for Best Hip Hop Song to Macklemore and Ryan Lewis for their hit “Same Love”.
Actor/comedian Kevin Hart appeared to poke fun at performances given thus far, soon after actor Jared Leto arrived to present Kanye West’s autotune filled performance of his song “Blood on the Leaves“. Throughout his performance, West mostly appeared in a silhouette against a backdrop of trees. At times he was bleeped for his use of expletives.
An impromptu performance is then shown of Pharrell Williams performing “Get Lucky” with legendary musician Nile Rodgers and band Daft Punk. All clad in sequins jackets which gave them a 60’s soul singing group appeal, The group soon presented the Best Female Video award to Taylor Swift for her massive hit, “I Knew You Were Trouble”. She wore a plunging Max Azaria gown by Herve Leger, Ms. Swift completed her classy ensemble with elegant pin curls and her signature red lips.
One of the evening’s biggest winners, Macklemore, then joined by, Ryan Lewis, and Mary Lambert returned to the stage to accept his award for Best Rap Video for “Same Love”
Soon comedian and Saturday Night Live (SNL) alum, Jimmy Fallon, presented Justin Timberlake with the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard award. Fallon amused many as he referred to Timberlake as the “President of Pop”.
Timberlake enchanted and owned the evening as he performed a nearly 20 minute set to celebrate his win. Starting with his new hit, “Take Back the Night”, His medley continued with the electrifying “Sexy Back” which morphed into his very first solo hit, “Like I Love You”. Next came “My Love”, which was quickly followed by his powerful ballad “Cry Me a River”. Soon came “Rock Your Body”, and an energetic freestyle dance followed, which he performed with his back up dancers. Then came the moment that we were waiting for. The N’SYNC reunion! Beginning with “Girlfriend”, the former teen heart-throb slid into their mega hit “Bye, Bye, Bye”, and lastly, “Gone”. Suddenly many young women were transported back to their teenage years for one last time. Sadly the excitement was brief, as the performance only lasted a mere 90 seconds. Of course real N’SYNC fans wanted more.
Timberlake closed his exciting set with his current hits “Suit and Tie” and “Mirrors”. Justin’s performance was amazing, but his die-hard fans wanted just a little more N’SYNC. It was Timberlake’s first performance at the VMA’s in six years, and the first time he’s performed with N’SYNC since 2003.
After Kevin Hart returned before another commercial break to poke fun at N’SYNC, One Direction picked up the Best Song of the Summer award, for their hit, “Best Song Ever”.
Afterwards, Macklemore, Ryan Lewis, and Mary Lambert took the stage to perform “Same Love“. The trio was soon joined by R&B singer and Academy Award winner Jennifer Hudson, whose powerful vocals enhanced the performance. “Same Love” also won the award for Best Video with a Social Message for its take on pro-gay marriage. During the acceptance speech, Macklemore spoke candidly by saying, “To watch this song spread across the world is a testament to what is happening right now in America on the forefront of equality. Gay rights are human rights; there is no separation.”
Adam Lambert and Emeli Sande presented newcomer Austin Marone with the Artist to Watch award for his single “What About Love”. Marone also performed the song at the VMA pre-show.
Soon, TLC’s Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins and Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas introduced hip hop heavyweight Drake to the stage. His performance began with him flexing his singing ability with a performance of “Hold On, We’re Coming Home”, before sliding into an energetic performance of his massive hit “Started from the Bottom”.
Country/pop queen Taylor Swift presented the award for Best Male Video to Bruno Mars for his massive hit “Locked Outta Heaven”. Accompanied by spectacular stage graphics complete with green lasers, green neon lights, and a morphing gorilla image, Mr. Mars then performed his new single, the sexually suggestive “Gorilla“.
Shortly afterwards, Justin Timberlake picked up the coveted Video of the Year for his hit “Mirrors”.
Two awards were announced during the pre-show only:
- Best Rock Video: 30 Seconds to Mars, “Up in the Air“
- Best Collaboration: Pink featuring Nate Ruess, “Give Me a Reason“
Allison Williams introduced the final act of the evening, Katy Perry, to perform her biggest hit to date, “Roar”. Clad in boxing attire, complete with boxing themed choreography, and a stage as a giant boxing ring, Ms. Perry was the perfect choice to close the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards. Until next year folks!