Aug 29


The 2011 MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs) took place last night, August 28, 2011 at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles. This year marked the award show’s 28th year. While the show did not have a host, it was nothing short of surprising and entertaining.

Many artists and celebrities strutted down the red carpet in fabulous garments while Selena Gomez hosted the VMA pre-show. The most memorable appearances were from Nicki Minaj, who wore metal, stuffed animals and pink hair, and Beyonce, who showed off her baby bump and announced that she and husand, Jay-Z are expecting a baby! Cobra Starship and Sabi performed as part of the pre-show.


Lady Gaga opened the show by performing ‘You and I’ with Queen guitarist, Brian May. Known for her intricate and often over-the-top costumes, she blew the crowd away by dressing as her alter ego, Joe Calderone. While it took awhile to decipher that Gaga was truly on stage, once she sang her first lyrics, there was no question that it was her. Being a fan of Gaga, I was totally into her performance, but as the show went on her alter ego became more distracting than intriguing.


Lady Gaga’s opening number was not the only memorable performance of the night, however. Jay-Z and Kanye West were unexpectedly added to the VMA line-up, sending fans into a screaming rage. The duo performed ‘Otis’ off their freshly released collaborative album ‘Watch the Throne.’ Their firework-heavy set thrilled the crowd and even motivated one fan to climb on stage. The simplicity yet high-energy of the performance got me excited to see their full concert, which I just bought my tickets to.


Pitbull, along with Ne-Yo and Nayer kept the crowds energy through the roof with their larger-than-life performance of ‘Give Me Everything.’ A sea of scantily clad backup dancers and heavy strobe lights only added to the performance of the No. 1 single. In my opinion, this was the best performance of the night. The song just screams fun, carefree and full of life, and the set was just that! Dancers gave it their all, while Pitbull and Ne-Yo pumped up the audience and looked dapper in suits.


Although not as upbeat and flashy, Adele unquestionably captivated the theater with her indispensable vocals. With the simple melody of the piano, she belted ‘Someone Like You’ flawlessly. A single spotlight emphasized how absolutely stunning she looked in a simple black dress. Adele never fails to silence and memorize the audience with her heartfelt lyrics, and last night was no exception.


Chris Brown showed off his unbeatable dance moves by paying homage to the 90’s Wu-Tang Clan and Nirvana. He flew through the air on a harness, while dancers flipped on trampolines and filled the stage. His dancing was undeniably talented and entertaining. However, it was rather disappointing that he barely sang, especially since he was also nominated for several awards.


Mommy-to-be did not let her baby bump get in the way of her performance of ‘Love on Top.’ Beyonce belted, “I want you to feel the love that’s growing inside me,” and showed off her belly at the end of the song, displaying her excitement for her baby. Proud daddy-to-be, Jay-Z beamed proudly in the front row. For me, this was hands-down the most memorable part of the show. Not only am I a huge fan of this power couple, but I could not help smile and feel overjoyed for how happy they looked.


Young the Giant performed ‘My Body’ with a few dozen of their hometown friends on stage. Singer, Sameer Gadhia, jumped into the crowd repetitively, upping the enthusiasm of the fans. For a newer band, I thought their performance had such a great vibe. I loved how they brought friends from home on stage, making their set more personal and special.


Bruno Mars, accompanied by an amazing backing band, performed a tribute to Amy Winehouse by singing her hit covering of ‘Valerie.’ He even asked the crowed to clap and celebrate Winehouse. Although I was never a big Winehouse fan, I have always loved her cover of ‘Valerie.’ I felt that Mars’s cover was fantastic and paid proper homage to Winehouse.


Taking the stage next was Lil Wayne to perform his no-rapping, signing-only, mid-tempo single ‘How to Love.’ While his set started mellow, he soon ripped of his shirt, whipped his dreaded hair and rocked out to ‘John.’ Lil Wayne is a great performer, always rocking his face off and not caring what anyone thinks. However, I felt that this performance was predicatble, and he could have better surprised the audience.


With the entire show being a Tribute for Britney Spears, the tribute performance consisted of a melody of all her hit singles from ‘...Baby One More Time’ to recent hit ‘Till the World Ends.’ Dancers dressed in her memorable video costumes and tore up the stage. Upon accepting her award, Spears claimed that the VMA Tribute is “an honor.” Having followed Britney since I was in elementary school, I thought the tribute was genius to include all hit songs, showing her progress and influence over the years. However, I think other big names should have starred in the performance versus the young dancers who were featured.


Momentous performances filled the night, but let’s not forget about the awards artists work so hard to receive. Here is a list of the MTV VMA 2011 Winners:

  • Best Video: Katy Perry - “Firework
  • Best Female Video: Lady Gaga - “Born This Way”
  • Best New Artist: Tyler, The Creator - “Yonkers”
  • Best Male Video: Justin Bieber - “U Smile”
  • Best Collaboration Video: Katy Perry ft. Kanye West - “E.T.”
  • Best Hip Hop Video: Nicki Minaji - “Super Bass”
  • Best Rock Video: Foo Fighters - “Walk”
  • Best Pop Video: Britney Spears - “Till the World Ends”
  • Best Video With A Message: Lady Gaga - “Born This Way”

This year’s VMAs also incorporated the ever-so-popular Tiwtter! By tweeting #vma, fans were able to join the conversation and find out who was most talked about, which artists the paparazzi are most interested in, and what celebitites were tweeting from their very own VMA seat. A real-time graph displays the #vma Tiwtter activity. Check out #vma here!
For complete coverage of the 2011 VMAs, go to