VMAs – Video Music Asylum

Kieran Daly, staff writer

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It was a night full of surprises on Sunday at the MTV Video Music Awards, aired live from the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles. The evening included Lady Gaga dressing as a man, Chris Brown soaring over the audience, Beyoncé officially announcing her pregnancy and a tribute to the deceased R&B/Soul singer Amy Winehouse.

The show started off with popular artist Lady Gaga dressing as alter-ego Joe Calderone, smoking on stage while opening up the awards. After making several jokes to audience, she performed her newest single “You and I.” The performance was a stunning start to the VMA’s, but it got better when Queen’s very own Brian May joined in, shredding on his one-of-a-kind homemade electric guitar.

Following Gaga’s performance was followed by an announcement by Kevin Hart, informing the audience that for the first time the VMA’s would not have an official host. He then introduced Jonah Hill and Nicki Minaj, who, after making several jokes about the weight Hill had recently lost, announced that Britney Spears was the winner of the best pop video for her song “Till the World Ends.” Spears also won the Michael Jackson Vanguard Award, which was presented by Lady Gaga. Gaga herself was awarded with Best Female Video and Best Video with a message for her hit song “Born This Way.”

“Anything can happen during the VMAs,” Katy Perry told MTV News. “It’s definitely just the funnest awards show of the whole gamut, of all the award shows.”

Katy Perry and her interesting cube hat took home three awards, Best Collaboration Video: E.T. (featuring Kanye West), Best Special Effects: E.T., and Video of the Year: Firework. Pop star Adele also received three awards for Best Art Direction, Best Editing and Best Cinematography all for the hit song “Rolling in the Deep.”

Halfway through the awards, Beyoncé went on stage and performed an outstanding performance of her song “Love on Top.” But the most outstanding part was at the end of the performance when she threw down her microphone and ripped open her jacket to reveal a baby. Beyoncé had already hinted at the news to the paparazzi before the show by saying that she had “a surprise.” Beyoncé later took home the Best Choreography award for her song “Run the World (Girls).”

Many other awards were handed out,  including Best Rock Video: Foo Fighters (Walk), Best Hip Hop Video: Nicki Minaj (Super Bass) , Best Male Video: Justin Bieber (U Smile), best Female Video: Lady Gaga (Born This Way) fan picked Best New Artist Video: Tyler, The Creator (Yonkers), and Best Direction in a Video: Beastie Boys (Make Some Noise).

Towards the end of the show, Russell Brand talked about his beloved friend Amy Winehouse, who passed away on July 23rd. After briefly describing her amazing talents and gifts as a singer, he passed it over to Bruno Mars, who performed one of Winehouse’s more popular songs “Valerie.”

“She was a mate of mine and tragically this year we lost her. First time I met her, she was kind of like a daft, dopey person, just wandering around a little bit crazy, like a lot of people who are drawn to big cities with a peculiar, unknowable talent,” Brand said.

There were many other stunning performances throughout the night, including “Give Me Everything” by Pitbull, Ne-Yo,and Nayer, “Someone Like You” by Adele, “My Body” by Young the Giant (making their first VMA appearance). Chris Brown’s performance included dances to different songs throughout the ages; concluding when he decided to show how fly he really is, soaring over the audience by using invisible wires. Lil Wayne also performed “How to Love” fully clothed and then transitioned into “John,” removing his shirt and pulling  his pants down, giving the audience one of the biggest sags ever seen on the VMA’s. 

The 2011 VMAs had some of the wackiest moments in VMA history. It was a night of amazing performances, surprising announcements, unpredictable wins and tearful dedications. Next year’s program will have a difficult time surpassing the evening.

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