This year’s MTV Video Music Awards, airing on Sunday night (August 30), had virtually everything you could want from an awards show. In fact by the end of it, it even started to feel a bit like a highlights reel of VMAs past: there was Kanye and Taylor returning to the scene of the “I’mma let you finish” meme and Miley returning to the site of her 2013 twerk-heavy appearance, only this time sans-Robin Thicke. The only thing missing was Madonna and Britney locking lips or perhaps Russell Brand insulting the President.
If you didn’t manage to stay up for all three hours of the event, however, here are the best bits for your digest: old beefs quashed, new rivalries sparked and Kanye announcing his Presidential campaign, which we still haven’t been able to work out whether it was a joke or not.
Kanye West and Taylor Swift patch things up
There was only going to be one thing that would overshadow Miley Cyrus hosting the VMAs and that was the long overdue public reconciliation between Kanye West and Taylor Swift, following the former’s infamous acceptance speech interruption of the latter during the event six years ago. Evidently in a benevolent mood, Swift also reunited with Nicki Minaj following a rift between the pair that dominated a lot of the headlines in the run-up to this year’s ceremony.
Swift presented the rapper with the prestigious Video Vanguard award for his career’s work of producing consistently excellent music videos. After revealing that West’s debut ‘The College Dropout’ was the first album she ever bought on iTunes (a stealthy Apple advertising plug, if there ever was one), Swift introduced Kanye with an all too expected “I’mma let you finish” joke. West, meanwhile, thanked Taylor for her “graciousness” in presenting him with the award. Maybe that rumoured collaboration could be in the works after all.
Nicki Minaj and Miley Cyrus exchange shots
When one beef ends, another begins. That’s how the universe works. With Kanye and Taylor making amends, Taylor and Nicki patching things up and Kanye’s tense relationship with MTV at an all-time placid level, Minaj offered up the night’s serving of beef by hitting out at Miley Cyrus during her own segue back to the host. “Back to this bitch who had a lot to say about me the other day in the press,” Minaj said, picking up her award for Best Hip-hop video and handing things back to Cyrus, who had been quoted as labelling the rapper “not too polite” previously. Probably not heard the last of this one.
Justin Bieber makes himself cry with own performance
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There’s no shame in crying. Crying from your own performance, however, is a whole other matter. Making his return with a medley of recent singles ‘Where Are Ü Now’ and ‘What Do You Mean’, Bieber was so moved by his own music that he proceeded to fall to his knees and break down in tears.
Perhaps Bieber was comforted by the fact that Miley Cyrus swiftly whipped her clothes off and told him to “call her when he’s legal”. Maybe, maybe not.
The Weeknd steals the show
The VMAs are hardly ever about the actual musical performances but this year, the ceremony offered up a handful of treats with the likes of A$AP Rocky appearing live and Miley Cyrus teaming up with the Flaming Lips. However, it might just have been The Weeknd’s performance of ‘Can’t Feel My Face’ that stole the show. Showcasing what was one of this year’s ubiquitous summer anthems to a backdrop of flames and pyrotechnics, the R&B star even managed to get Kanye West dancing.
Kanye running for President
How does one conclude a 13-minute long speech that includes anecdotes about discussing orange juice with grocery store shopkeepers mixed in with declarations like “I will always die for art”? Well, if you’re Kanye West then the logical conclusion is to claim that you’re going to run for President, obviously. Watch out, Donald Trump.