After Miley Cyrus’s infamous foam finger-bearing performance with Robin Thicke at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards, there was no doubt that having her host this year’s VMAs would bring plenty of drama and entertainment. To kick off the show, Nicki Minaj, adorned in plenty of glitter and a large feathered headpiece, performed “Trini Dem Girls” and then went into her recent hit, “The Night is Still Young.” It was at this point that things got interesting, as Taylor Swift made a surprise guest appearance in the performance.
This all followed a highly publicized Twitter feud between the two singers, during which Minaj expressed her discontent regarding the VMA nominations. Swift took personal offense to Minaj’s remarks as her “Bad Blood” was nominated for Video of the Year, while Minaj’s “Anaconda” was not. All of this drama now seems to be a thing of the past, however, since the two pop stars came together to put on a crowd-pleasing opening number, which even featured a small riff of Swift’s “Bad Blood.” Just as she was putting one feud behind her, Minaj stirred up another, this time with host Cyrus. Upon accepting the Best Hip-Hop Video award for “Anaconda,” Minaj called out Cyrus for speaking somewhat negatively about her in an interview with “The New York Times” just last week. In the interview, Cyrus was asked about the Minaj-Swift Twitter drama, and responded by saying she had kept out of it, but did note, however, that it seemed characteristic of Minaj, saying the “Anaconda” singer is generally neither kind nor polite.
Though Cyrus seemed a bit taken aback when Minaj brought up the interview and Cyrus’ negative comments, she quickly addressed, then moved on from the jab. Drama and feuds were the themes of the night, as Swift, whose “Bad Blood” took home Video of the Year later in the evening, delivered the Video Vanguard Award to Kanye West. Few could forget the 2009 VMA spectacle that was West’s interruption of Swift’s acceptance speech for Best Female Video, as he jumped on stage, snagged the microphone from Swift, and exclaimed, “[…] I’ll let you finish, but Beyoncé has one of the best videos of all time!”
Six years later, Swift noted that she was “honored” to present the award to West, and he thanked Swift for her graciousness. In his long-winded though heartfelt acceptance of the award, West announced, “I have decided in 2020 to run for president.” Whether he was serious or not, this certainly created quite some buzz.As a dedicated “Belieber,” I must admit that my personal favorite moment of the night came from Justin Bieber’s performance of Jack Ü’s song, “Where Are Ü Now,” in which he is featured, and his new single “What Do You Mean?” In his first televised performance in two and a half years. Following years of highly publicized bad behavior, Bieber had much to prove. Dancers accompanied Bieber in performing his signature choreography. Toward the end of his performance, the theatrics were taken to another level as he was hoisted into the air, spinning on a harness to close out his newest hit.
As the number came to a close, Bieber bent down crying, presumably overcome with emotion after what seems to be a bit of a comeback moment for the star. The surprise final performance of the night came from Cyrus, as she belted out her new song “Dooo It!” Cyrus and her dancers donned abstract, colorful costumes covered in glitter and oversized faces.
These outfits have come into the line of fire, as Di$count Univer$e, a design company out of Australia, spoke out regarding the costumes’ striking resemblance to their signature looks. At the end of this now controversial performance, Cyrus announced that her new album “Miley and Her Dead Petz” was available for free online. The show then came to a high-energy close that translated into such high volumes of online traffic that fans had difficulty accessing the new album. Just as the VMAs always do, this year’s show delivered powerful musical performances, outrageous fashion, and plenty of drama and controversy. Knowing all of our favorite stars and their bold personalities, we can rest assured that next year’s show will be just as entertaining.