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2010 MTV VMAs full of apologies, meat dresses and a very lost Bieber

September 13th, 2010

With everything from confetti to meat purses, stiff men to flying ninjas, the MTV VMAs brought the brilliant and outrageous to the Nokia Theatre in LA last night. Let’s break down the great, the cringe-worthy and of course, the WTF moments!

The night opened up with Eminem performing his comeback hit Not Afraid, which lead into a surprise appearance by Rihanna for Love the Way You Lie. Looking a lil Courtney Love circa 1995, Rihanna’s vocals sounded shaky, but it was nice to see her and Em interacting on stage. Definitely one of the breakout songs of the year.

Chelsea Handler, the host that I’ve been the most excited for in years, started a disappointing night off with a disappointing skit involving Lindsay Lohan. I’m not sure how Handler and the writers could take Lohan’s willingness to poke fun at herself and not make a better joke, but unfortunately the skit, the opening monologue and the remainder of Handler’s time on stage fell flat.

The late night host and bestselling author seemed to let her nerves get the best of her and wasn’t able to use her limited time on stage to deliver the jokes that have made her one of the most sought-after comedians in the US.

It’s hard to decide which was more shocking about the Best Rock Video win. One, the fact that the cast of Jackass 3D presented the award without doing anything to get arrested. Or two, that 30 Seconds to Mars beat out favourites Muse.

For those still wondering whether reality show Keeping Up With the Kardashians is scripted, look no further than Kim Kardashian’s ‘acting’ while introducing her bff Justin Bieber. She puts the ‘real’ in Reality TV.

The Biebs put on an exciting performance with great dancers, a cool drum solo and confetti. Who doesn’t like confetti? Whether or not Justin was lip synching is up for debate, but he gets extra points for his quick recovery of a lost drum stick during his solo.

Next on stage was Justin’s mentor, Usher. Or Ur-sher, for all the old school fans. His medley of DJ Got Us Falling in Love/OMG was tight, as was the dancing. The ninja dancers descending from the ceiling were fun, but there wasn’t really anything memorable about the performance. Usher danced well. Usher sang well. The end.

Although Cher takes home the award for best presenter of the night with her throwback to the infamous If I Could Turn Back Time video, Katy Perry gets the line of the night when she hands Nicki Minaj the VMA Moon Man award and tells the rapper that’s she found her a stiff man. Oh Katy, you slay me. It was also a nice change of pace to see Perry in an outfit that she doesn’t have to be cut off her at the end of the night.

Florence and the Machine may have sung her hit song Dog Days Are Over, but what she should have been singing was Underdog Days Are Over. While much of the music world has finally started to take notice of the phenom that is FATM, mainstream music listeners have only just started to see the singer on their radar. Florence showed the MTV VMAs what real singing is all about.

The surprise addition to the performance line-up of Taylor Swift showed an older, much more solemn singer. Swift performed her new song, Innocents, off her yet to be released album Speak Now. The song was written in response to last year’s MTV VMAs infamous interruption of Swift’s acceptance speech for Best Female Video by Kanye West. With shaky vocals, Swifts signature curls were pinned back, giving the 20 year-old singer a more mature look. The song, forgiving West of his gross misjudgment in actions, is one of Swifts strongest songs lyrically to date.

Easily one of the best performances of the night goes to three acts. Bruno Mars got everyone hyped for his upcoming album when he and B.o.B. performed their huge hit Nothin’ on You.

B.o.B. kept the momentum going while performing his joining of two worlds collabo for Airplanes with Paramore’s Haley Williams. Who knew rock darling Williams had so much swagger?

Williams went back to her roots and performed with her band under a skyline of floating lightbulbs. This trifecta performance was likely was off of most people’s radar and yet delivered the most impressive talent of the night.

Drake got all Fancy on us with Mary J Blige, Swizz Beatz and a white tuxedo jacket. A high-energy performance as always from Drake, with Miss Mary as a welcome surprise. Not the most exciting performance in VMA history, but still great.

Justin Bieber took home the coveted Best New Artist award, but risked not getting the Moon Man when he was unable to figure out how to get on the stage. Thankfully the Biebs was wearing sneakers and not Lady Gaga’s shoes or else we’d still be waiting for him to accept his award. Is it a sign that you might be too young to win a VMA when you can’t find the stage with adult supervision?

Linkin Park performed the obligatory off-location VMA set with their song Catalyst on the top of the Griffith Observatory. I’m never really sure why there is always an off-site location, especially since the set didn’t change. Anywho, solid performance. Well done.

Cher arrived from the 1980s, presumably on a yacht full of Sailors, to present Lady Gaga with the award for Best Video of the Year.

A well-deserved win for Gaga, the singer was emotional and moved by the win and even went as far as telling fans the album title for her follow up to the Fame Monster, Born This Way.

Asis Ansari’s introduction for Kanye West should have been funny. It had all the makings to be a classic Ansari funny moment, but fell short. Like, really short.

Thankfully, ‘Nye’s performance did not fall short. Kanye West ended the night on a high with Runaway. Even more shocking? Taylor Swift was nowhere in sight. While both artists had their performances slightly overshadowed by the anticipation of a possible cameo from one another, neither Swift nor West collaborated on either performance. A positive reuniting of the two music powerhouses would have easily been the show-stealer. Unfortunately, no-go.

Big shout-outs to the set designers for the 2010 MTV VMAs! Easily the coolest set in the history of the show. The backdrops for Eminem, Paramore, Drake and Kanye West were supa fly. Very Brit Awards-ish.

In the end, I only have one question. What the hell is wrong with Will.i.am? Black face in 2010? Is you cray cray? I am offended and peeved that I will know have nightmares of this man and his horrendous fashion choices.

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