So, for better or worse, I am attempting to live-blog the arrivals and show shenanigans at the VMAs — this, despite the fact that I am hopelessly unplugged about things like what a “Kreayshawn” is (I keep thinking it’s Keyshawn, misspelled, and that Keyshawn Johnson is randomly doing music now). Hold me.
4:57 p.m. (Pacific time): Waiting for this to start, I am watching Jersey Shore for the first time ever, and it is making me question my will to live. The VMAs haven’t even STARTED yet and already I’m pretty sure I might not make it through this night. Also, I keep hearing familiar reality music cues and trying to remember what other show used it. Remember when Top Model, for like half a season, used a song when the sad eliminated girl went home that was just some dude crooning, “Top Mooooooddelllllll”? That may have been the greatest music moment ever, aside from Cycle 6 Jade doing a special elimination rap. She is so precious to me.
5 p.m. No surprise, the first guests are the cast members of Jersey Shore, whose names all seem to end in a “y” or an “ie.” They need to get a Murgatroyd up in that joint. Most of the skirts on the ladies do not come down very far past the Bermuda Triangle. And I think J-Woww just did finger guns. It seems apt that the only cast member whose name doesn’t end in a “y” or “ie” ends in “ow.”
5:02 p.m. Ha! The host just totally insulted them by asking if they changed up their style to hit the West Coast, because he thinks they all look great. Which totally is his way of saying that they usually look like refried ass. They still sort of do? Just much sparklier.
5:03 p.m. There’s a dude with a “twitter tracker” keeping track of what you’re all saying about the arrivals. Tweet, y’all! Get in there, Fug Nation. Tell it like it is.
5:04 p.m. Some guy in a sweatervest is plugging his new album and then says Kreayshawn needs to treat him to a steak. I don’t know what any of this means, but I do hope he gets his steak, because meat is important to me.
5:05 p.m. First up: Wiz Khalifa and Amber Rose, the former in a Steelers had (represent!) and the latter in a low-cut white dress that matches her hair. She looks pretty. She IS pretty. I hope her outfit ends with madness, or else Fug Madness will be a sad place. But they don’t show it.
5:06 p.m. Selena Gomez, who is hosting, gets a huge entrance on a runway. She’s in a tiny black outfit with some sort of lacy bodice that also appears to have twigs on it, and then a giant long skirt in the back. It’s like the dress version of the Possess cover, except with a mullet that is longer than her Biebfriend. It’s crazy, and so that means this should be sort of fun. Strap in…
5:10 p.m. Zoe Saldana looks great — very cool in black with beading on it. But we only get a second of her before we go to some dude named Pitbull and his protege/girlfriend/arm candy. He looks like if Moby were a Soprano. And he thanks a bunch of people, one of whom may be named Applejack, and I hope he actually is thanking the cereal Applejacks. Apparently, though, he is being sued by Lindsay Lohan for mentioning her negatively in one of his songs, so he left her tickets at Will Call. This is both hilarious and sad; hilarious, because I love the idea of LiLo waiting in line at Will Call with the riff-raff, and sad because Lindsay Lohan has gotten to the point in her life where she can’t get tickets to this thing on her own and needs Moby Soprano to do it for her.
5:14 p.m. Demi Lovato is there talking about her new record. I have never heard a Demi Lovato song. She worked with Timbaland and Missy Elliot, which seems like an interesting match. Demi looks nice in a tight silver dress, although her boobs seem hoisted up higher than a hot-air balloon. Up is better than down, though, I guess? The host keeps telling us that Selena and Demi are besties, and they agree, so I guess they really did make up. I can’t believe I’m having a conversation about whether Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato are still friends, but at least I no longer have trouble telling them apart.
5:16 p.m. Cobra Starship is a terrible, shouty, off-key band. Jefferson Starship, wherefore art thou?
5:18 p.m. I think the dude hosting with Selena Gomez also hates Cobra Starship because all he could say about that was, “So much energy. So. Much Energy.” Also, as we cut to commercial, we see that Amber Rose is in fact wearing a ROMPER. Bless you Amber. I knew you had a trick up your sleeve. Or in this case, up your thigh.
5:20 p.m. CAN WE TALK ABOUT THE NEW FOOTLOOSE. I have concerns, although they were partially allayed by glimpses of the recreation of Kevin Bacon’s phenomenal(ly dorky) warehouse dance. But. I mean… they hired Jana Kramer of One Tree Hill to remake “Let’s Hear It For The Boy.” It’s not a good sign if they couldn’t get anyone bigger to do that. I mean, what’s Faith Hill doing these days, besides the opening to Sunday Night Football? She has time. She’d love to hear it for the boy. I also feel like Ryan Seacrest may need to take a long, hard look at his life for the fact that he’s dating a girl who is young enough to STAR IN the Footloose remake.
5:22 p.m. Sway, the co-host, has the Twitter handle @RealSway. I am enamored of the idea of someone hopping on Twitter trying to pretend to be Sway. Anyway, Seth Rogan comes out and is clearly uncomfortable with the weird catwalk-style entrance he had to do. He pimps his upcoming movie about his friend who survived a cancer diagnosis. It’s hard to make fun of that. He looks trim and healthy. Sway is very excited to see the tender side of Seth Rogan. I might be paraphrasing.
5:24 p.m. Selena is talking to Jessie J, who broke her leg or something and is in a giant boot. It seems glittery. She has a trail of glitter all down her leg that looks like it’s leaking off her bustier. Selena Gomez has very little to ask her — like, would you not talk about accessorizing her injury? — so they cut to Taylor Lautner, whose shirt is half-open. No wonder they rushed over to him. And then… something called LMFAO has confetti bombs? Do these words even make sense in English?
5:26 p.m. Tyler The Creator is very upset that he’s low in the Twitter tracker list and makes a very sensitive suicide joke. Some guy also walks through the middle of their interview. For real. What the hell is going on here? Tyler The Creator repeats that he is going to kill himself, this time if he loses tonight to Bruno Mars. Did the movie Heathers teach us nothing? We need some actual celebrities up in here. Also, I am going to start referring to myself by that kind of title. Heather The Blogger. Heather the Fugger. Heather the Snarkastic Bitchmonger. YES. We have a winner.
5:31 p.m. Seriously, one never appreciates Seacrest’s hosting skills until Seacrest is not present. This show even almost makes me miss Giuliana. ALMOST. Maybe. Actually, I think Seacrest and Sway might be better. Ashley Rickards and the cast of Awkward. come out; Ashley has a special place in my heart from that season when Brooke Davis quasi-adopted her on One Tree Hill and then she found her birth mother across town and the two of them said farewell as if it were an impassable geographic chasm and thus they would never see each other again. But maybe it was, because we haven’t. Ashley is in a mustard dress with a black hairy collar that’s a bit Juliette Lewis (the collar, not the dress). She looks cute, but maybe over-bronzed? It’s hard to tell, because the lighting is terrible. Also, her co-star is the kid who played Drea DiMatteo’s son on Desperate Housewives.
5:33 p.m. BIEBER AND GOMEZ. They seem like they have never actually had a conversation before, despite allegedly dating. Justin has a snake he is holding named, I’m not kidding, Johnson. He giggles like the schoolboy he is. The last person I need to hear penis jokes from is The Bieb. He also has on a brooch and leopard shoes and red pants. “Thank you for hanging out, baby,” Selena says, and then Justin kisses her on the cheek while everyone screams and she acts embarrassed. Seriously, I refuse to believe these people get it on, ever.
5:35 p.m. Nicki Minaj fires the first salvo in the Beat Gaga At Her Own Game battle. She’s wearin a colorful mask — girlfriend is going to have some major zits tomorrow from her breath heating up her chin in that thing — a yellow and pink wig, a bustier made of shiiny material, a pink skirt, and … oops, they cut away, but I think it’s a train of stuffed animals. Oh, and she has a necklace shaped like ice cream.
5:37 p.m. Whoa. The dude who interviewed Tyler The Creator earlier notes that TTC has surpassed Bruno Mars on the Twitter hashtag thing, and then snarks disparagingly, “That will make him happy. I can’t wait to hear his homophobic rap about that.” DAMN. I kind of want to shake his hand.
5:38 p.m. Foster The People are there. They seem refreshingly normal, just wearing suits and being kind of cute. One of them brought his sister as his date and the bespectacled interviewer actually asks him if it’s humiliating not to have anyone else to bring. Mr. Foster The People is very polite about how rude that is, and basically, that’s all they have time for today. Seriously, these interviewers are all about ten seconds long. I wish MTV had more time to ask actual questions.
5:42 p.m. Beyonce is in a giant red one-sleeved caftan, but of course, why linger on her when you can talk to the Foo Fighters? One of them has a baby who is wearing the same color red as Beyonce. That baby is going to get so ejected from this venue. Dave Grohl makes a crack about getting nominated because they finally bothered to make a non-crappy video. And then we go to a Jersey Shore package? Seriously? Oh, it’s the cast members discussing nominees for Best Male Video or something, although that category title makes it sound like it’s Best Video About A Man. Also none of these Jersey Shore people can read. Whither Beyonce? Even the interviewer is like, “Okay, a package? Whatever.”
5:45 p.m. The Teen Wolf cast is here. So, Tyler Posey, the main wolf? He was J.Lo’s kid in Maid in Manhattan. Is your mind blown? Mine blew a little when I figured that out. Crystal Reed is wearing really dark lipstick and seems a little perturbed that the interviewer would rather talk to the dude who plays Stylez. I guess they must not be showing Beyonce any more because she’s not on an MTV show. Who knew Beeyonce apparently has to snag a cameo on Teen Wolf to get attention?
5:47 p.m. Dear MTV: Instead of showing a package on how the crew created the VMA Arrivals Portal, how about ACTUALLY SHOWING PEOPLE COMING THROUGH THE ARRIVALS PORTAL. But no. Instead, another commercial break. I think we have seen a grand total of four recognizable people in 47 minutes. They might as well be at my house filming my neighbors arriving home from the grocery store.
5:50 p.m. Katie Holmes is there, but of course, we only get her for two seconds and then move over to Swizz Beats, or whatever his name is, who is Alicia Keys’ babydaddy (and a musical person in his own right, but whatever). Apparently he’s been around since 1998. Does this mean I have been uncool since 1998?
5:51 p.m. And the Twitter Dude, Jim, notes that when Katie Holmes walked by he told her that he’s obsessed with Suri and then security whisked her away. This guy might be my favorite person here.
5:52 p.m. This emcee in the glasses announced that “the foremost partymeisters,” LMFAO, are descending down the Escalator From nowhere. One of them has glow sticks that he is swirling from his crotch, one is dressed as a robot, and one is in a giant silver cape and a matching suit with a silver handprint on his crotch. They look and sound like total morons. If I boost my moron quotient, then maybe I can be a meister of parties just like they are! Dream big! And, commercial. There is a commercial break about every four minutes. I like to think it’s because no celebrities are being permitted by their handlers to acknowledge any of these people. It reminds me of the time a Much Music reporter had to report on the VMAs from, like, across the street.
5:56 p.m. Selena Gomez introduces Britney. And here she is, y’all! She is in either a black sequined romper, or shorts and a matching shirt. Her microphone is not turned on. Ah, there it goes. Selena asks her who she wants to see — the answer is Adele — and then they CUT AWAY FROM HER, AWAY FROM BRITNEY SPEARS, to go to freaking Jared Leto and 30 Seconds of Mars. ARE YOU FOR REAL. Selena didn’t even ask her about her outfit. For what it’s worth, Britters looks like she’s in good shape, healthy, and clean, and it made me happy, even though there were shorts present. Jared Leto sounded like a pompous windbag. Or maybe he looked like he sounded like a pompous windbag. I may have been too busy RAGING ABOUT CUTTING AWAY FROM BRITNEY F’ING SPEARS to listen. If you get BRITNEY MOTHERF’ING SPEARS in front of a microphone YOU TALK TO HER. YOU TALK THE SHIT OUT OF IT. Having said all that, it’s possible that MTV was not allowed to spend more time with her, perhaps by an edict handed down from her people. And if you were Britney’s people, admit it, you’d hand down that edict all day just in case she put her foot in it. Maybe, then, MTV is to be applauded for only giving Britney the chance to deliver one sentence.
5:58 p.m. Katy Perry comes out with Russell Brand, in pink hair and a parasol and a pastel outfit that has see-through boning. See-Through Boning sounds like something you’d put as a tagline on a really lame porno movie. And that’s IT. Two seconds of Britney, a peek at Beyonce and Katie Holmes, Kim Kardashian showed up at the end and mouth-breathed her way down the red carpet, and Katy Perry had a giant cocktail umbrella, and we have made it to…
THE ACTUAL SHOW
6 p.m. Lady Gaga comes out dressed as Jo Calderone, her skeevy dude persona. She is smoking. She actually kind of looks like Amy Winehouse’s brother, if such a person existed. She keeps shouting that she’s “one of the guys,” and then announces that Lady Gaga is “[bleeping] crazy,” and… I think we’re supposed to think this character is Gaga’s boyfriend. They cut to Katy Perry looking completely confused, like she can’t figure out why Lady Joe Caldergaga is doing stand-up comedy without any actual comedy in it. He rants about how he can’t figure out if Gaga is being herself with him, and then says she holds nothing back when she’s onstage, blah blah blah, and then says, “When she comes, it’s like she covers her face, like she doesn’t want me to see, like she can’t stand to have one honest moment when nobody’s watching.” Cut to: Katie Holmes. HA. That timing makes me LAUGH. Think about it.
6:04 p.m. Then “Jo Calderone” sits down to the piano and plays that Gaga song that poor old Haley Reinhart sang on Idol before it was released, and did a great job, and the judges dinged her for it because it wasn’t famous enough. Well, that shouldn’t matter, dumbasses. And now it IS famous enough, and Gaga is performing it dressed as, like, Elvis Winehouse. They cut to Bieber in his glasses looking grievously bored.
6:05 p.m. A bunch of dancers in matching black pants and dirty white shirts dance behind “Jo,” and she grabs her crotch a lot, and I am concerned Bieber is going to get ideas. Oh, Gaga. We don’t care about your grease-monkey alter-ego. I hope this is good therapy for her and HEY NOW WHAT’S THIS? Brian May of Queen! Have I ever mentioned how much I love Queen? My dad listened to it all the time when I was a kid, and beyond, so the presence of Brian May and his cascade of grey curls makes me unreasonably — actually, reasonably — happy. Maybe they should go on tour as Queen with “Jo Calderone” performing Freddie Mercury’s parts. Now THAT I could support.
6:09 p.m. Well. So last year it was an egg, and this year Gaga pretended to be a man in ratty Hanes. Some dude named Kevin Hart comes out and announces that he is not our host, and then gives a whole monologue about hosting. Sounds like a host to me. Then again, the last party I hosted, I didn’t give a monologue. I just cooked some food and poured booze. By that logic, awards show hosts in future should also be bartending and passing around crudite.
6:12 p.m. Someone on Twitter just told me that Lady Gagjo Calderga fell down and they cut it out! What is wrong with people? You made us sit through that and then you denied us the universe’s punch line? I OBJECT.
6:13 p.m. Jonah Hill and Nicki Minaj come out together to present. He has to lead her very carefully because she is dressed like a toy store. They do a bit of patter about how he lost weight and how people say it means he won’t be funny anymore. You can imagine where this is going: His punch line to “Why did the chicken cross the road?” is, “He did it for fitness,” and then goes on a rant about how it should be okay for the chicken to try and change his life: “He’s the same CHICKEN, Nicki. He’s just HEALTHIER.” Okay, that kind of worked, although Minaj was CRAZY wooden. She can do better. She DID take off her mask at least. Maybe she should’ve left it on as an excuse.
6:15 p.m. An award for Best Pop Something. (Video, I presume.) It goes to Britney. She kisses her boyfriend, who is wearing glasses and looks sort of nice other than his too-long caveman hair. Britney! If that were a skirt I would be loving it. I might even love it anyway, because she looks so happy. And of course, she thanks God, because you know God totally has a horse in all these races tonight. She did not thank her father’s conservatorship, which is a shame, because he deserves some credit.
6:18 p.m. Jessie J, in her continued quest to Happen in the U.S., is the house singer tonight. She’s performing during the commercial breaks, and they show parts of it while they have some dude voice over about important things. Jessie J seems kind of friendly and she’s got a nice voice, but I might be too tired for her. We already HAVE Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, and Nicki Minaj. We don’t need a fifth unless they are all going to play some pick-up basketball.
6:21 p.m. Update: Apparently Gaga took her spill when they cut to Katy Perry looking concerned. That explains THAT. But this does not explain why later, Bieber stared at her like she was asking him a question about particle physics.
6:23 p.m. Kanye and Jay-Z enter amid flame-throwers. KANYE IS WEARING A DENIM SHIRT AND JEANS BECAUSE FUG IS WHAT HE MEANS ON THIS SCENE NOW SOMEONE GET HIM A COFFEE BEAN WHILE HE PREENS ‘CAUSE HIS BREATH IS TOO CLEAN. They dispense so many high-fives that I am pretty sure market saturation means they are only worth two. KANYE HAS AN AMERICAN FLAG HANKY HANGING OUT OF HIS BACK POCKET LIKE ANNIE’S PRECIOUS LOCKET AND THAT DOESN’T MAKE SENSE BUT IT’S HARD RHYMING WITH POCKET. Selena Gomez is clapping politely, as if she is watching a really moderately interesting golf pairing, and Bieber just looks like he is at the library doing homework.
6:26 p.m. Miley and Shaun White present Best Rock Video together. Seeing them side-by-side makes me realize Miley could PLAY Shaun White in a movie about his life. Get on it, Hollywood. Make Nicholas Sparks write it, though, so that I can be sure the movie will repeatedly instruct me on how to feel. The winner of Best Rock Video is Foo Fighters, who, yes, are successful musicians, but apparently are not great fighters if in all these years they’ve failed to vanquish the foo. They do make a compelling argument in favor of beards, though. Dave Grohl asks us not to lose faith in real rock and roll. Brian May, in the audience, approves. I wish they’d sat him next to Bieber. Jessie J does a cover of “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” while we cut to commercial. It does sound fun. Girls DO want to have fun, dammit.
6:35 p.m. Jack Black, Will Ferrell, and Seth Rogan show up as The Beastie Boys From The Future. So then there is a dance-off with Whatever The Creator and his funky bunch, and the Ferrell Three. Except the Ferrell Three doesn’t actually dance, and then… they introduce a category? I’m not sure I understand. Anyway, it’s Best Hip-Hop Video. Nicki Minaj wins. She’s stoked. Has anyone thanked MTV yet? I don’t think so. WAIT, there it is! Nicki did it. You know, as much as we make fun, I love MTV for doing these things. Because what’s more fun than an awards show? It doesn’t even matter what happens on the actual show. It just always brings out the sartorial best and worst in people, and gives us tons to gossip about, and that’s what makes the little hamster in our blog wheel go round and round.
6:44 p.m. Demi Lovato and Chord Overstreet are here. Chord Overstreet is a brunette now, and no longer looks like Chord Overstreet. Which would seem to be a problem, since Chord Overstreet needs a job. Next up is Best Collaboration. Katy Perry and KANYE WEST win this, and when she sees Kanye she screams and then says, “Now, this is a time when you wanna interrupt me, Kanye. How you doin’, boo?” Then she says, “There’s nothing like your first time! Your first Moon Man, right?” AND THEN KANYE SAYS, “I HAVE MORE,” and she seems puzzled and then just sort of starts thanking people at random. KANYE THANKS KATY PERRY AND BUSTA AND THE OTHER NOMINEES BUT LEAVES OUT NICKI MINAJ FROM THE LIST AND TWITTER WILL PROBABLY BLOW UP AT HIM NOW.
6:47 p.m. Paul Rudd. He is pleasingly wry. Next up is Pitbull, a.k.a. Moby Soprano from earlier, rapping in red slacks and a white blazer. Ne-Yo guests on this song, and oh my God, there are a bunch of dancers in tiny, tiny outfits, fronted by a singer in a catsuit whose black vine pattern looks like pubic hair run amok. Watching Pitbull try to keep up with Ne-Yo kind of looks like the world’s most awkward office party. Katie Holmes claps when the performance is over, but appears semi-skeeved out by the pubic catsuit. I wish they had shown Kim Kardashian, because the girl eerily resembled her, and Kim likes to sue people like that.
6:54 p.m. MTV has a new series called I Just Want My Pants Back. I hope it’s about Lady Gaga impersonators.
6:57 p.m. Katy Perry has changed into a purple dress that’s basically lingerie with a long skirt and a velvet belt. It says a lot for her that I can still notice that her eyes are very pretty. She seems genuinely geeked out to introduce Adele, who looks exactly like Adele always does: dark dress, retro hair, and that fabulous voice. She’s a great counterpoint to Lady Gaga, who has a shocking amount of talent but doesn’t seem to trust that she can let it stand on its own without shenanigans — or to any of the other singers out there who pick spectacle over simplicity. Adele is captivating, and she’s just standing there and pouring her heart into her voice and it’s giving me goosebumps. Let this never be a lost art, please. Substance should always win over style.
7:01 p.m. Oh my God, seriously, I think Adele’s voice just caught from sheer emotion. She is seriously bleeding herself all over this song in the most amazing way. I am not a particular fan of Mary J. Blige but I will say this for her: She always does the same. She opens a vein when she sings. It’s brave. Adorably, Adele seems terrified by the standing ovation. Britney actually seems sort of touched when they cut to her. Aw. As we go to break, Jessie J sings “Firework” by Katy Perry, and at first I seriously thought to myself, “Hey, when did Katy Perry get voice lessons?!? Oh, wait.”
7:08 p.m. There is an ad for the morning-after pill on right now. I have never seen one before on TV. Is that just because I always skip commercials?
7:09 p.m. And from Jessie J singing her little heart out, we go to Kim Kardashian, who is… standing her little heart out. She looks terrible in this silver dress. It does her body NO FAVORS. What is wrong with people? This is the award for Best Male Video, and Justin Bieber wins it. Wait, I thought they said Best MALE Video. I hope KANYE interrupts and notes that Eminem and Rihanna got robbed, because they did. I mean, Bieber’s song is called U SMILE. He isn’t even using correct SPELLING. Can we please invent a category called Best Correctly Spelled Song? Bieber thanks God, who jumps off his cloud sofa and squeals and writes a Bieber Joins The Priesthood fan-fiction.
7:13 p.m. Joe Jonas and Victoria Justice introduce a performance by Chris Brown, after an in incredibly gushy intro that includes the phrase, “The only person he’s trying to top is himself.” This is interesting. Chris Brown is extremely polarizing, and since half the people who saw that we linked to a profile (a balanced and often critical one, even!) of Michael Vick decided completely erroneously that we are pro-dog-fighting, I’m reluctant to say much about Chris, except that I wonder if it was at all politically tricky to find people who would introduce him. Joe Jonas and Victoria Justice seem like completely random choices. Then again, everyone in the venue gave him a standing ovation, so. Who knows. Like I said, he’s polarizing and confusing.
7:24 p.m. Jo Caldegaga comes back out to extol Britney Spears, except introduced as Lady Gaga. Joe Caldergaga makes a masturbation joke about Britney amid praising her iconic music and concerts and her influence. Britney seems to be crying already. There is a remix of Britney hits with some appropriately costumed dancers, starting with “Hit Me Baby (One More Time)” and “Oops, I Did It Again,” and of course including some of her most memorable catsuits. She seems adorably thrilled by all this. Personally, I would rather be seeing HER do all this, but I personally subscribe to the rumor that her knee is too far gone for her to be the dancer she once was.
7:28 p.m. Britney goes up and takes her award from JoGaga and they pretend they’re going to kiss, and Britney looks momentarily repulsed, like she has just realized she does not know where that mouth has been. Then Britney goes, “I did that already,” and laughs. So JoGagga, like, stands in front of the microphone, and as Britney gives her acceptance speech for her Video Vanguard award, JoGaga totally gets up all in her personal space and twitches and method acts and makes it about her/him. Britney is allowed to say about three words of thanks before she and JoGaga introduce Beyonce, and Beyonce gets a warmer introduction than Britney did… this is so strange. IT’S BRITNEY. Why bother dragging her out if you’re not going to let her do something? I was expecting some kind of fun all-star tribute. Exhume Madonna and have her sing a Britney song! Make the cast of Glee come on and do a medley! I am so saddened. Maybe I will do my own Britney medley in my office.
7:30 p.m. Beyonce is performing in pants and a sparkly tuxedo jacket. I think we are in for a very clothed pregnancy.
7:33 p.m. JoGaga is sitting next to KANYE. The way she’s staying in character all night, I half expect her to get her own NBC sitcom next year, except of course Joey already happened.
7:34 p.m. Oh my God, classic: Beyonce rips open her jacket, throws off the microphone, and shows off her baby bump. The audience goes nuts as she rubs it, and everyone seems surprised, like they’re only just figuring out what she means — probably because when she broke the news during the pre-show, half of these people were too busy to be on Twitter. So let me recap: This started out as Britney’s moment, and then Beyonce trotted out and sang and revealed that the musical Messiah is en route and everybody forgot Britney ever existed? Queen B indeed. Slow clap, Beyonce. You totally won this round. (Although I’ve heard she’s really nice, actually, and I believe it.) Kanye acts like he didn’t know. KANYE RUNS UP TO JAY-Z, WHO SALUTES BEYONCE, AND HITS HIS BACK, AND IS LIKE, WHAT YO, SHE’S PREGGO, YOU ARE A SPERM PRO, WAY TO GO BRO.
7:40 p.m. Selena Gomez and Taylor Lautner take the stage together, and a thousand fan-fics are born about T.Laut and J.Bieb getting into a slap fight. They’re presenting Best New Artist, which only partially answers my question about what a “Kreyshawn” is. Tyler The Creator wins, and I feel bad for Foster The People, because I like that album. But not really, because something tells me they are amply able to feed and clothe themselves even if they do not have a Moon Man. Tyler the Creator says he’s wanted one of these since he was nine, which makes me feel like a grandmother. Tyler The Creator is also wearing a tie-dyed t-shirt with a cat’s face on it, though, so it’s hard to take his feelings seriously.
7:43 p.m. Zoe Saldana and Jared Leto — who is in a sleeveless blazer of some sort — and they wax poetic about fans. I’m sure Jordan Catalano and Eva Rodriguez/Neytiri know a little something about that. They introduce Young the Giant, who are apparently being cheered on by 250 people from their California hometown. Which sounds really cool until you realize it’s California, not, like, Nebraska. I mean, yay for the idea, and yay for hometown support, but it’s a way better story to FLY in 250 people from some band’s suburb of Omaha. Too late for a rewrite?
7:48 p.m. Big props to Jessie J for performing the hell out of it while having to sit in a chair most of the night. It’s unfortunate for her that they’ve basically turned her into Paul Shaffer for this night, but then again, Paul Shaffer is rich, so life could be worse. Her covers of all these songs — right now it’s Cee Lo — are really good, too. MTV should spring for her to release them on iTunes.
7:50 p.m. We still haven’t seen the clip of The Hunger Games. In other news, I am hungry.
7:54 p.m. The ladies of Jersey Shore are with Cloris Leachman, who does not even bother with a microphone so no one can hear her. Then someone hands her one and she has to restart the shtick. This is the weirdest combination since Justina Biebmez. Best Female Video is the next category. Cloris Leachman looks like she is not convinced any of these people are real. The winner is Lady Gaga. She hugs Brian May, who had better be pitching her a Queen tour or else I will renounce him for like ten full minutes. She’s still pretending to be Jo and it really is getting annoying, not least because she’s speaking at half-speed and so her speech is taking forever. The VMAs are not your acting class, Gaga. Struggling actors have to PAY for those and you’re taking these three hours for free? Seems unfair.
8:03 p.m. These commercial breaks are so long that Jessie J may run out of songs.
8:04 p.m. Russell Brand comes out to the strains of “Back To Black” by Amy Winehouse, for what will be a very sad part of the evening. He talks about the first time they met — “ordinary girl with extraordinary hair” — and how otherwordly and timeless her voice was. It’s really interesting, and sort of great, to hear Russell Brand speaking with total sincerity. He also seems to be fighting emotion when he talks about the disease of drug and alcohol addiction. “When a talent like Amy Winehouse comes along, it affects everybody,” he says. Isn’t it sad that, generally speaking, people never live to hear their nicest compliments? Then Russell introduces Tony Bennett, who recorded a song with Amy Winehouse. He likens her, as Russell did, to Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald. He plays a clip of her singing with him in the studio, looking great I might add, with a more softly ’60s spin on her signature bouffant and in great voice and an argyle cardigan. She looks adorable and alive and healthy, and it underlines what a sad thing it is that she couldn’t sustain being that Amy.
8:10 p.m. Bruno Mars sings “Valerie” by Amy and Mark Ronson. He’s fine, but… I kind of wish they’d just played back video of Amy singing it, or something. Assuming that exists anywhere. However, he does seem to be sporting poofy hair that is appropriately tributary. They cut to Adele singing along and rocking out, as is Victoria Justice. My nieces will be pleased that Old Auntie Heather is up on these people the kids like so much. I SHOULD be their Hip Young Auntie Heather, but I tried to convince them to throw a party on my birthday dedicated solely to how cool I am, and they just laughed and handed the phone to my sister. Harumph. HARUMPH I SAY.
8:13 p.m. Oh, NO. Bruno Mars is doing a call-and-response section in this song dedicated to how we love Amy Winehouse and will miss her. This is be true, but it’s uncomfortably nerdy.
8:18 p.m. The Hunger Games clip has arrived. We start in a forest. Katniss is walking, it’s scary, etc. We see falling, flaming trees, and Gale’s voice is telling her to show them how good she is. It ends with the Mockingjay logo in flames. So, not much is being revealed — you don’t SEE Gale, you don’t hear Katniss, you just notice that the trees are doing a very good job acting like EVIL TREES.
8:20 p.m. Katie Holmes, noted musician and videographer, hands out Video of the Year. Katy Perry wins for “Firework.” She is suddenly wearing a different dress and a giant orange cube on her head. I’m sure henceforth it will be her lucky cube. She seems afraid to walk in it, lest she topple. Katy, this is why people don’t wear giant orange cubes. Russell Brand looks really moved. I am so in.
8:25 p.m. And now it’s Lil’ Wayne. Or Li’l Wayne? No, actually, the Internet says Lil Wayne. No apostrophe at all. Okay, then. That implies not that he is little, but that he is named Lil. Which is fine. No judgment. Especially because he’s not little anyway. But he IS shirtless, all of a sudden. Except not really. Is ANYONE with that many torso tattoos ever ACTUALLY shirtless?
And with that WE ARE DONE. GOD BLESS. I NEED SOME FOOD. See you tomorrow…