The 2014 MTV Video Music Awards had a little bit of everything, except over-the-top controversy.
Perhaps the biggest contrast from last year’s spectacle to this year’s event can be found solely in Miley Cyrus. In 2013, the “Wrecking Ball” singer introduced “twerking” to the pop culture vernacular. On Sunday, Cyrus promised MTV News host Sway Calloway that she had retired the dance maneuver from her repertoire. She also teased that this time, any attention garnered from the award show would be in a much different light.
Cyrus delivered on the latter promise. The pop star took home the night’s biggest award, “Video of the Year” for the aforementioned “Wrecking.” Instead of taking the stage to offer an acceptance speech, Cyrus enlisted the help of a man named Jesse. Standing on live TV next to presenter Jimmy Fallon, Jesse explained he was representing 1.6 million runaway and homeless children, and urged the entertainment community to pay closer attention to this problem in society. Jesse then directed people to Cyrus’ Facebook page; there people could donate to a homeless shelter in Hollywood.
While no one filled the void of moments that the Parents Television Council condemned MTV for ahead of the VMAs, Nicki Minaj sure came close. The hip-hop artist helped open the show, performing her new song “Anaconda.” She then joined Jessie J and Ariana Grande in the same opening number for the summer hit, “Bang Bang.” Minaj’s wardrobe came loose in the front; luckily for MTV’s legal department she caught the malfunction and held her outfit together until she walked off stage.
Grande was the first singer to grace the stage, singing the Zedd-produced single “Break Free” off her album, “My Everything,” which dropped Monday. Grande also won a Moonman for “Best Female Video” thanks to the Iggy Azalea-assisted “Problem.”
The third single from Grande’s album features rapper Big Sean; the Internet nearly broke when the two were spotted by a backstage camera holding hands. Rumors that the artists were an item have been circulating for some time.
But if there was any point of the night that Twitter was susceptible to breaking, it was during the last performance of the evening. Beyonce closed out the 2014 VMAs with a medley of songs from her self-titled album. Husband Jay Z and daughter Blue Ivy watched from their seats inside Los Angeles’ The Forum as Queen Bey cast her spell on the audience for 20 minutes. At the performance’s conclusion, the family took the stage, with Jay presenting the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award to his wife, calling her “the greatest living entertainer.” Daughter Blue shouted, “Yeah Mommy!” and the Carter’s looked as happy as ever.
So much for those rumors, and that controversy.
Listen to “Ralphie Tonight” weeknights from 7p-12a on 97 BHT.