Welcome, Boys & Girls, to my live-blog for the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards, or the “VMAs” as the kids used to call them back when I last watched them.
I remember it well. The Andrews Sisters twerked their way into America’s hearts and a young Glenn Miller stirred up controversy with a remix of “Little Brown Jug.”
Follow along as I express confusion at how music has changed and what awful taste “the kids” have.
8:58 p.m. ET. Brooklyn in the HOUSE. And thanks to Sway and the MTV pre-show, I now know who Austin Mahone and Ariana Grande are.
8:59 p.m. “My friends are all here!” says Taylor Swift, the one person tonight that I’m likely to recognize.
8:59 p.m. Sway tells me that that was an action-packed red carpet.
9:00 p.m. Lady Gaga’s head is poking through something white. Is she dressed as a singing nun? As singing tofu? Lady Gaga gives utterly fantastic crazy-eye. I’d like to see her and Crazy-Eyes from “Orange Is The New Black” having a showdown. And… We pull back and I still have no idea what Lady Gaga is dressed as. For the record, I only recognize Lady Gaga because she was on an episode of “Gossip Girl” once. Good times. Her dancers tear away the white suite and suddenly she’s just in a black body-suit. Because that’s boring, the dancers apply a blue suit and a blonde wig. This year for Halloween, Lady Gaga should go as Ellen Greene from “Little Show of Horrors.” Soon, the blue is gone and Lady Gaga has a new yellow wig and she’s surrounded by the extras from “Sprockets.” I don’t know where the face paint came from, but it’s deeply meaningful. And then? A body suit with seashell bikini and a longer blonde wig. She seems to want “Applause,” if I’m reading the floating Alpha-Bits behind her correctly.
9:05 p.m. According to No. 1 One Direction Fan and HitFix Editor in Chief Gregory Ellwood, that number was all about Lady Gaga referencing her former looks.
9:06 p.m. ONE DIRECTION! Greg is very excited. “The best fans are in New York,” says one member of One Direction. They’re presenting Best Pop Video. The winner is… SELENA GOMEZ! Taylor Swift is very excited for her, but not excited enough to make out with her. I hope she mentions her upcoming Ethan Hawke movie. “This is heavy. Oh my goodness,” Selena says. “This has been such a great year for me,” she says. I assume she’s referencing “Spring Breakers.”
9:10 p.m. It’s really awkward that Katy Perry and I are sporting the same grills tonight.
9:13 p.m. I feel so subversive when I drink Diet Coke and watch Beyonce. I’m like Abbie Hoffman. Or maybe Gaby Hoffman.
9:15 p.m. Lots of technical awards. Several went to Justin Timberlake videos. Sorry. “Professional” categories, MTV calls them. Because Selena Gomez does it for the love.
9:16 p.m. Shailene Woodley is presenting with Miley Cyrus, only it’s not really Miley Cyrus, it’s Vanessa Bayer. But they’re introducing The Real Miley Cyrus and Alan Thicke’s Son, who burst onto the stage from a giant teddy bear. Miley slinks out with her tongue between her teeth and wearing a gray one-piece featuring a money doing the same thing. She’s surrounded by dancing teddy bears and… lemme tell you, if I were into furries, this would be the greatest thing in human history. My only complaint: Not enough twerking. Oh. It’s dancers with tumors on their backs that resemble teddy bears. It’s actually very sad.
9:20 p.m. The gray one-piece is gone and Alan Thick’s Son is on stage in a striped pink suit looking like the world’s biggest pervert as Miley Cyrus does indecent things with a giant foam finger and Alan Thicke’s Son’s trousers. People with me tell me that the new person on stage is 2 Chainz and some other guy who nobody is identifying nearly as quickly.
9:23 p.m. OK. Now we’re twerking plenty. In fact, enough twerking.
9:23 p.m. Lil Kim and Iggy Azalea are on-stage now. I want Lil Kim to admit that that Miley Cyrus performance was a bit too dirty for her. Instead, she’s impressed that the VMAs are in Brooklyn. Iggy Azalea has no idea why she’s there. And I’m intrigued that Iggy Azalea and Azailea Banks are two different people. Best Hip-Hop Video goes to Macklemore & Ryan Lewis.”They let some independent hip-hop artist up here at the VMAs,” yells either Ryan Lewis or Macklemore. The crowd seems fairly subdued, but perhaps they’re holding their breaths to make sure that the ceiling can, indeed, hold them.
9:34 p.m. Kevin Hart in da house. Everybody loves him because he’s the Dunphys’ neighbor on “Modern Family.” “I want to make it very clear that I am not hosting this year,” Hart reassures us. Whew. “How amazing was Lady Gaga,” he crows, praising her rear end. “Miley better go get a damn pregnancy test after doing all that grinding,” Kevin Hart says. “Y’all stay away from Robin, unless you wanna end up with some damn Amber Alert,” Hart warns Taylor Swift and Selena Gomez regarding Alan Thicke’s Son. Sigh. Enough already with Kevin Hart. But you can still vote for Artist to Watch.
9:37 p.m. Whew. We survived Kevin Hart.
9:37 p.m. Jordan Catalano in the house! I love the way he LEANS! He’s introducing Kayne West. Naturally. After the overstaged productions to open the show, I like that Kanye’s performance of “Blood on the Leaves” is beginning in the darkness. And he’s being shot entirely in a tight close-up. Finally we pull back and he’s bopping around in silhouette in front of a slide show. Somewhere backstage, Miley Cyrus is biting her tongue and whining that this performance needs more teddy bears.
9:47 p.m. Ah, Daft Punk. They’re my favorite singing dustbusters.
9:47 p.m. Daft Punk is joined by Pharrell and Nile Rodgers. They’re presenting Best Female Video. The winner is… Taylor Swift. Selena Gomez is happy for her, but not happy enough to make out with her. She doesn’t actually appear all that shocked, especially she’s been tweeting about wanting this for months. She snidely mocks whichever ex-boyfriend the song is about.
9:51 p.m. Best Social Message goes to Ryan Lewis and Macklemore. This is for “Same Love” and not for their song about plausible ceiling collapse. Ryan Lewis makes a passionate speech about how the song has been catching on and spreading its message about marriage equality. Woot. “Gay rights are human rights. There is no separation,” he says. Ryan Lewis can’t lose!
9:59 p.m. Jimmy Fallon is part of the Justin Timberlake tribute. He recalls way back in 2002 when he hosted the VMAs, a show that was Justin Timberlake’s debut as a solo artist. “He’s about to blow your mind. Here he is… The President of Pop,” Fallon yells. Ted Cruz will be running for that office in 2016. After a series of clips from JT videos, we break into “Take Back the Night,” which is being performed as live an “I’m walking backstage and singing”-style “Saturday Night Live” intro. Oh. Wait. That was taped. Lame. OK. Now we’re actually live, with JT attempting to bring sexy back. Again. Seriously, JT, set your sexy free. If it comes back to you, it’s yours. If it doesn’t, it never was. Justin Timberlake is an energetic young man and dances better than most of his “Social Network” co-stars.
10:06 p.m. We’ve no reached the point in the performance in which Justin reminds us that he’s watched a lot of Michael Jackson videos. If you play this medley backwards, it sounds like, “Watch ‘Runner, Runner’ in theaters next month.”
10:08 p.m. That Elton John biopic that JT was linked to isn’t happening anymore, is it?
10:09 p.m. Taylor Swift dancing [relatively] sexy and singing along in the crowd is good fun. As Randy Jackson would say, this is like being at a Justin Timberlake concert. Only. You know. It kinda is. Only really quick.
10:11 p.m. ‘N SYNC!!! Taylor Swift is happy about this too. And Selena Gomez is all, “I loved these guys when I was two.”
10:12 p.m. Brilliant cutaway to One Direction getting drunk in the crowd looking at their future. Several members of ‘N Sync — I’m not gonna name any names — haven’t been working out as long as Justin Timberlake for this reunion. And… They’re gone. This is like when Beyonce let the other members of Destiny’s Child share her air for a minute at the Super Bowl.
10:14 p.m. Selena Gomez has sat down. This is too much excitement for Selena Gomez. Taylor Swift is still standing. And… gracious. This has been 15 minutes of Justin Timberlake Celebrating Justin Timberlake.
10:16 p.m. Miley Cyrus is all, “Needs more teddy bears.”
10:17 p.m. The performance is over and Jimmy Fallon presents Justin with the moonman. Justin looks emotional, but he’s barely winded. I’m sucking wind just live-blogging this show. Damn you, Jimmy Fallon, for reminding us that Justin didn’t perform “Dick in a Box” during that medley. The crowd is appreciative. “There’s an extra $500 for all of you in your gift bags,” Timberlake tells the audience. “I don’t deserve this award, but I’m not gonna give it back,” he says. Timberlake graciously tells ‘N Sync that he’s keeping the award at his house, but he’s sharing it with them.
10:24 p.m. The new picture with this live-blog is my favorite thing ever. “Bearly legal.”
10:26 p.m. Sigh. Kevin Hart is back. “Dude. He performed like 20 minutes. That was amazing man,” Kevin Hart. “They got tired as hell after that one song,” Kevin says of ‘N Sync before making a Joey Fat One farting joke that nobody laughed at. Then he makes several more jokes about Lady Gaga’s rump. Sigh.
10:28 p.m. We did it! We survived Kevin Hart again.
10:29 p.m. Some percentage of Vampire Weekend is presenting Best Song of the Summer. I’d say it’s roughly Vampire Saturday. The winner is… One Direction because if you open things up to fan voting, One Direction wins everything. The One Direction member who I think is Harry Reems thanks the director and all of their fans.
10:30 p.m. Jason Collins and A$AP Rocky (not to be confused with Aesop Rock) share an awkward moment before introducing Ryan Lewis and Macklemore. I approve of the sentiments of this song and I like Ryan Lewis’ suit and… Jennifer Hudson! Excellent. This takes me back to the early days of “Smash” Season 2.
10:41 p.m. These commercial breaks are getting longer and longer. And they need more twerking.
10:43 p.m. Adam Lambert! That’s two “American Idol” non-winners in under 10 minutes. It’s time for Artist to Watch. The winner is… Austin Mahone. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Democracy doesn’t work. This is honestly one of the coolest things ever, Mahone says. And he also thinks that leather warmup suits are among the coolest things ever. Daft Punk, in the audience, is unmoved.
10:45 p.m. Some percentage of TLC is here. TC is introducing That Guy From “DeGrassi.” I wish they’d gotten the guy from “My So-Called Life” to introduce HIM. Rihanna’s not smiling at the man who threw a punch at her ex-boo. Will Smith, however, is very pleased for Drake. I have no clue what Selena Gomez thinks.
10:55 p.m. Taylor Swift! She’s presenting Best Male Videos. She’s tall. The winner is… Bruno Mars for “Locked Out of Heaven.” Bruno Mars is short. “This is my first moonman, y’all,” Bruno observes, as Taylor Swift helpfully moves away from him.
10:57 p.m. And another commercial before Video of the Year.
11:02 p.m. Selena Gomez. She’s introducing Bruno Mars and a gorilla. Or his song “Gorilla.” Yeah. This award show is gonna last forever. We haven’t had many performances that were purely about singing. This performance is purely about singing, plus an LCD gorilla.
11:12 p.m. So many commercials.
11:14 p.m. Pepsi.
11:15 p.m. JoGoLev! JoGoLev! He’s drunkenly presenting Video of the Year. The winner is… Justin Timberlake for “Mirrors.” It’s a big night for Justin Timberlake and also for Taylor Swift, who likes to sing along to Justin Timberlake songs. JT explains that the song was a tribute to his grandparents. “Well let’s not get soft. We all have grandparents,” Timberlake says, before noting that his grandfather actually died this winter. But he hopes his grandma is watching. I’m getting really mixed messages here.
11:18 p.m. Allison Williams is introducing Katy Perry and “Roar.” She’s a boxer. And there’s a big lion. And there’s jiggling. I’m not sure how much singing there is.
11:21 p.m. Jumping jacks! Good for Katy Perry. She should have helped the non-JT members of ‘N Sync train for tonight’s performance.
11:22 p.m. That performance had only a confused sense of the Marquess of Queensberry Rules.
11:23 p.m. That’s it? Katy Perry says that’s it. So that’s it!
Thanks for following!