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August 26th, 2013
The MTV VMAs went down last night in Brooklyn and featured some of the biggest performances of the year. We rank the good, the bad and the ugly, and yes, some of it was definitely ugly.
8. Justin Timberlake
Yes, Justin Timberlake performed an impressive 19 minute medley of his biggest hits. Yes, the medley reinforced why Timberlake deserved to receive the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award. Yes, he sang and danced well for the full twenty minutes. But as Justin pointed out, half of the Moonmen he’s received throughout his career have been with ‘NSYNC. How did Justin honour the band where he got his start? With a slap in the face minute and a half cameo. Get over yourself, Timberlake.
7. Kanye West
Few artists can emote through a series of non-choreographed movements like Kanye West, but with a simple backdrop and a dark outline of the rapper, Kanye gave one of the most compelling performances of the night.
Drake kicked off his performance by re-creating his album art for Nothing Was The Same, performing the first verse of his new single Hold On We’re Going Home. The Toronto rapper then went into an energetic rendition of Started From The Bottom.
5. Macklemore and Ryan Lewis featuring Mary Lambert and Jennifer Hudson
After winning the award for Best Video with a Message for Same Love, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis performed the track with Mary Lambert and surprise guest Jennifer Hudson. It was simple and beautiful and all that was necessary for a song that packs such a strong emotional punch.
4. Lady Gaga
Gaga made her return to the VMAs and the stage with a pop culture inspired performance of her new single Applause. With six outfit changes and a not a single misstep, Gaga appears to be back in fighting form.
3. Katy Perry
Katy Perry was given the satellite performance of the night, which usually goes to the band MTV cares the least about hyping. In last night’s case, performing under the Brooklyn bridge was touted as the biggest performance of the night. Katy’s boxing ring set was frankly a welcomed return to pop music normalcy after a night full of Miley twerking and Justin going on…and on…and on.
2. Bruno Mars
Bruno Mars performed his new single Gorilla off Unorthodox Jukebox and recreated the stage from his Moonshine Jungle Tour. That’s it. No special stage for the VMAs, no nudity, no costume changes, no swearing. He’s just really, really good at singing.
1. Miley Cyrus and Robin Thicke featuring Kendrick Lamar and 2Chainz
Lady Gaga and Katy Perry were both positioned to duke it out during last night’s show. Gaga returned to the stage for the first time in months since she was forced to cancel her World Tour when she was sidelined with an injury and Perry performed her single Roar for the first time ever. Have you talked about those two performances today? Probably not. Have you talked about Miley Cyrus? Yup.