VMA Aftermath: Performances, Awards & Announcements

Posted August 29, 2011 by J Matthew Cobb in HiDef

2011 VMAs deliver on shock treatment, surprises and big award handouts

The MTV Video Music Awards are usually loaded with shock and awe. Who can forget the inaugural show when Madonna crawled the stage in a bustier and white wedding dress to “Like a Virgin?” Or in 2009 when Kanye West’s outburst ruined a good moment for Taylor Swift during her award acceptance for Best Female Video? This year, the shock treatment continued to show its ripple effects.

There were a few performances to pick out.

Lady Gaga opened the festivities in drag, using her Jo Calderone act, with a lengthy Oscar-worthy monologue before whisking into her country-rock song “You and I.” Energetic choreography with male dancers and a guitar solo from Queen’s Brian May saved the day. Gaga remained in character the whole evening, even presenting the Vanguard Award to Britney Spears as the macho alter-ego.

Get More: 2011 VMA, Music, Lady Gaga

While working a skewered medley with “Yeah 3X,” “Beautiful People” and Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” Chris Brown proved he could play the role of Peter Parker’s Spider-Man on Broadway in his aerial performance, which had the R&B superstar leaping above the audience and performing splits and flips in mid-air.

Beyonce’ Knowles, 29, showed off her baby bump after dropping the official announcement on the VMA red carpet that she’s pregnant. The baby news didn’t stop Queen Bee from working a Vegas-sprinkled routine on “Love on Top.” Beyonce didn’t leave empty handed, winning Best Choreography In A Video for “Girls (Run The World”).

Get More: 2011 VMA, Music, Beyoncé

Justin Bieber had no problem thanking Jesus and showing off his pet snake and new girlfriend Selena Gomez. He left the night winning an award for Best Male Video (“U Smile”).

And some performances and revelations offered mixed reactions.

Lil Wayne’s robust performance proved the super-rapper needs to shop for belts for his sagging pants. Jay-Z and Kanye West showcased their rap dominance on their Otis Redding sampled “Otis,” even though the song isn’t really single material. Nicki Minaj, winner of Best Hip-Hip Video for “Super Bass,” didn’t perform but appeared at the show as the Bride of Frankenstein with her poufy P-funk hairstyle, while Katy Perry showed up wearing pink hair as if she was competing with Minaj’s Pink Friday.

Plus this was the first year that the show had no host. Bummer.

Katy Perry entered the night with the most nominations (10), with Adele and Kanye West tying for seven. By the end of the night, Katy Perry (Best Collaboration, sharing it with Kanye West for “E.T.,” Best Special Effects In A Video and Video of The Year for “Firework”) and Adele (Best Art Direction, Best Editing In A Video, Best Cinematography In A Video) both went home three trophies a piece. Lady Gaga won two for Best Female Video Best Video With a Message (“Born This Way”). Britney Spears received two trophies also, including the Michael Jackson Vanguard Award.

Foo Fighters took home the trophy for Best Rock Video for “Walk,” while the Beastie Boys celebrated their win for “Make Some Noise” in the category of Best Direction In a Video.

Odd Future front man and indie L.A. rapper Tyler The Creator beat out a host of mainstream acts for Best New Artist for his music video “Yonkers,” which included names like Wiz Khalifa, Kreayshawn and Big Sean. He also received heavy buzz for landing a nomination for Video Of The Year.

So what did you think?
Did you watch the MTV VMA’s?
What performances had you excited?
Which ones had you disappointed?
Who or what stole the show?

About the Author

J Matthew Cobb

Managing editor of HiFi Magazine

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