The MTV VMAs have always promised drama and Moonmen, and 2012 will be no exception. Rihanna’s performing, but where will Drake and Chris Brown be? Taylor Swift is hitting the stage too. And have you seen Miley’s hair?
Follow the bouncing ball through the year’s best (or most popular) videos and pop artists with me. I hope you brought a sixer.
The MTV Video Music Awards are broadcast live from the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
6:58: Taylor Swift pantsuit. That is all.
7:02: Rihanna opens the show with shades, all-red floor-length number, and what look like Crocs. Of course she’s starting it with “Cockiness” because that’s the current singl… wait. A$AP Rocky tapped for the remix. On sale now!
7:05: She’s actually encouraging that “OOaoooah-oooahhha” sound that college kids make at the bar when they’re wasted during “We Found Love.” Calvin Harris is laughing all the way to the bank.
7:07: Host Kevin Hart’s “security force” is a staff of little people. Because little people are funny.
7:09: “I’m gonna nip this in the bud tonight,” Hart addresses Chris Brown and Drake. “…you’re arguing over a thrown bottle in a club. Drake is from Canada. Drake loves to recycle…” You see where this is going.
7:10: And now Frank Ocean’s turn. “For that I commend you,” Hart extols the R&B singer for coming out of the closet. Pan to Andy Samberg for some reason.
7:12: Mention of Kristen Stewart draw screaming from the girls and a string of curses from Hart because if there’s something teenaged girls like more than “Twilight,” it’s foul language.
7:13: Katy Perry presenting “Best Pop Video.” Probably wishes it was Katy Perry. In fan-voted contest that involves One Direction and Justin Bieber, there may just be a black hole of popular music that opens up and swallows us whole.
7:14: One Direction wins Best Pop Video for “What Makes You Beautiful”
7:15: Katy Perry literally breaks part of the Moonman award over the heads of one of these pretty dudes.
7:18: Previously filmed segment with Hart and 2 Chainz. The rapper is yet again the featured artist. Get it?
7:24: New Laker Dwight Howard: Taller Than Kevin Hart
7:26: Miley Cyrus’ hair is talking. Mac Miller confusing lots of teenaged people.
7:27: Chris Brown is totally gonna cop Pink’s ‘do, just like Amber Rose was watching Beyonce’s baby bump days last year. “Blow Me” is still not a strong enough single for Pink and the dancing lips are evidence.
7:30: My new band name will be Unneeded Trapeze.
7:31: Rita Ora looks like the superhero alter-ego of Demi Lovato
7:32: Oh great, Chris Brown won something. Takes home Best Male Video. That’s. Great.
7:38: Zoe Saldana presenting in a bathmat. Perfect makeup, introduces Frank Ocean amid flaming flames. No, really.
7:39: Frank Ocean rocking the “nervous” look. Falsetto faltering but I’m finding it endearing. Backdrop looks like a beachfront bonfire. Kind of in love with the rocks, which look like unmelting glaciers.
7:42: Falsetto somewhat abandoned. But I was thinking ’bout forever. Great presentation of this song.
7:51: Samberg and Rashida Jones from “Celeste and Jesse Forever” present. As much awkward and funny energy as the movie itself. For some reason they’re presenting Best Hip-Hop Video presentation.
7:53: Breaking: Drake is black and Jewish
7:54: The whole Young Money gang hits the stage to help Drake with his win for Best Hip-Hop video. The Toronto almost breaks into a story about going to a party and getting made fun of, stops it there, and then dedicates his MTV award to “any kid that’s ever had a long walk ohm by yourself.” Inexplicably ends the speech with “bitch.” And Lill Wayne flashing dem titties.
7:58: One Direction, a popular pop music group beloved by teenaged girls, takes the stage. The stage props are screaming teenaged girls. They are popular. “One Thing” is understandably popular.
8:02: To make sure the viewers get their fill of boy bands, The Wanted present… but don’t perform. Favoritism, I call shenanigans. Rebel Wilson is actually more entertaining to look at than these clowns.
8:05: Speaking of clowns, Nicki Minaj wins for Best Female Video (“Starship”), the Song That Samples Twinkle Twinkly Little Star. She speaks normally for 30 seconds, then devolves into an 8-year-old child and peaces out in a trail of her own sequin echoes. It’s poetry.
8:12: Lil Wayne and 2 Chainz get the twos up, for rhyming “cameltoe” with “casserole.” Love Chainz’ flash, and he’s had the best sound of anyone all night. “Yuck” is tight.
8:15: Lil Wayne tries to skateboard to the stage, reminding everyone that they don’t care about his skateboarding “career.” I do care greatly, however, for those crazy pants. Rihanna whooping in her chair, with nuance.
8:17: Killed it, and they know it. 2 Chainz and Weezy have the best performance of the night so far.
8:25: “Gangnam Style,” YES, all I needed was the dance and it’s like I have new skin.
8:26: Watching Rihanna and Katy Perry whisper to each other make me 1) eager for a duet 2) anxious that they’re talking about my prom dress
8:27: “Let Yourself Go” the studio version was posted by Green Day today. And they’re performing it now. Thanks internet! It is a significantly better and more fun single than “Oh Love.” Crowd surges onto the stage. Billie Joe Armstrong is clearly feeling better, until he catches a communicable disease from one of these fans.
8:31: I just bum-rushed the stage too but just ended up scaring my cats.
8:34: “Breaking Dawn – Part 2” presentation is happening! And there’s NO Kristen Stewart! REPEAT, NO KRISTEN STEWART.
8:35: Trailer for “Twilight”: “I won’t ever let anybody hurt you,” says Stewart. You hurt America.
8:37: Ke$ha and Wiz Khalifa presenting Best New Artist, everybody pretending it’s not going to One Direction. Ke$ha says all her lines like she’s just learning English with an American Accent.
8:38: One Direction earns Best New Artists. Give the mic to Harry.
8:39: Microphone given to Harry
8:44: Women’s gymnastics team. U-S-A. Introducing another strong woman, Alicia Keys, with “Girl on Fire,” which hopefully will fare better than “New Day.”
8:45: Oof. Long notes and slipping in-ear monitors are a nasty pair. But Keys is looking ferocious as Swizz Beats hoists their love-child onto his shoulders.
8:48: Nicki Minaj gets a verse, an Gabby Douglas does a short floor routine to “Girl On Fire.” This performance is like the Lunchables (TM) of raucous ladies.
8:52: Remember when Justin Timberlake appeared during the VMAs for the music he made? #troublewiththecurve
8:54: “Pubes on her shirt.” I’m glad somebody said the phrase tonight.
8:56: Video Of The Year: the winner is Rihanna for “We Found Love.” Rihanna does an end zone dance. Kevin Hart screams like a little girl.
8:57: Drama-free speech. Well said, we’re all feeling good.
8:58: Taylor Swift is killing me with the sailor top, black shorts, Wave-Runners and red loafers. Microphone’s red. Her album’s called “Red.” I’m drowning in cute. “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” is just over the top adorable.
9:02: Look, the talent show is ending on time, with Swift stage-diving just like Lil Wayne. Pop is dead, long live pop.