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2014 MTV VMAs: 5 Things You Need to Know


The definitive wrap-up for all of your watercooler gossip needs.

Last night the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards descended upon Los Angeles. As per usual there were outrageous red carpet looks, show stopping performances, and some huge upsets. As for controversy, there was some but, let's be real, considering last year's Miley Cyrus-Robin Thicke twerk-a-thon, a bomb could have gone off and it would have caused less of a media shitstorm. Here are the five things you must know:

1. The Winners

As expected, Beyonce cleaned up last night, taking home three awards (Best Cinematography and Best Video with a Social Message for "Pretty Hurts" and Best Collaboration for "Drunk in Love" feat. Jay Z), but none in the major categories.

As for the major categories, Miley took home Video of the Year for her Terry Richardson directed "Wrecking Ball" and had a Sacheen Littlefeather moment (more on that later). Katy Perry won Best Female Video for "Dark Horse" and Ed Sheeran nabbed Best Male Video "Sing."

Ariana Grande got Best Pop Video for "Problem" and Lorde won Best Rock Video for "Royals." It seems that MTV has very elastic definition of Rock. The major upset? Iggy Azalea went home empty handed, despite her "Fancy" video being nominated for Video of the Year and Best Female Video. That and Fifth Harmony--I had to google them too--being named Artist to Watch over Charli XCX and Sam Smith.

2. The Red Carpet

Nostalgia for award shows past seemed to be this year's dresscode. Katy Perry and Riff Raff showed up in matching all-over denim a la Justin and Britney at the 2001 American Music Awards and Amber Rose channeled Rose McGowan at the '98 VMAs by rocking a nearly nude number. As for cutest couple, that obviously goes to Ireland Baldwin and Angel Haze posing hand-in-hand for the paps.

3. The Performances

The VMAs always feature some buzz-worthy spectacles and this year was no exception. Though they were a little light on the shock value, last night's performances were all super solid. Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj, and Jessie J kicked of the night with a medley of "Break Free," "Anaconda," and "Bang Bang."

Ever adorkable T-Swift performed her latest hit, "Shake It Off," and though she couldn't seem to get high enough to hit all the notes, it was a charming little number over-all and her cadre of cute backup dancers more than make up for any vocal gaffs.

Sam Smith definitely brought it last night with his rendition of the always poignant "Stay With Me." Watch the clip and see your favorite A-listers get into it.

4. Jesse

Miley Cyrus was far and away the center of attention at last year's show. Her number with Robin Thicke wasn't just controversial, it was controversy incarnated. This year, Miley stayed out of the limelight as best she could (which isn't really all that well, but hey she's just bein' Miley). When she won Video of the Year, rather than accept the award herself, she pulled a Brando and had a proxy do it to raise awareness about an important social issue.

Her date, a runaway named Jesse (a.k.a the world's most photogenic homeless man) went on stage to accept the award on behalf of homeless/runaway youth across the country. It was strange but sweet. She's also kicked off a campaign to end youth homelessness. Well done, Miley, well done.


MTV could have just called last night's show "MTV Presents Beyonce and Company" because that's what it was. Beyonce is the undisputed album of the year, the On The Run Tour is a total hit, and Bey's basically deified in the press; she can do what ever the hell she pleases. Viacom gave Queen Bey a full sixteen minutes and each one is gold! Performing a medley of some choice tracks off her latest album, Bey brought down the house last night and then brought hubby Jay Z and daughter Blue Ivy on stage to close it out.

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Alex Panisch