Home Local Entertainment Bad Blood & Bieber Tears: The 2015 VMAs’ Most Memorable Moments

Bad Blood & Bieber Tears: The 2015 VMAs’ Most Memorable Moments


If there were an award for Segue of the Year, it would surely have to go to Nicki Minaj, who without blinking went right from “You know who I want to thank tonight? My pastor” to “And now, back to this bitch…” — the latter party being Miley Cyrus, standing right across the stage at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards. Other beefs were being gloriously snuffed out on a night full of superstar reconciliation, but Minaj instinctively knew the celebrity circle of life demands fresh bad blood.

Photos: 2015 MTV Music Video Awards Performances

Meanwhile, the true star of the night: weed… thanks to Cyrus, as host invoking her favorite substance at every opportunity — in dope-themed patter, sketches, and a bizarre closing song — plus Video Vanguard Award honoree Kanye West admitting his rambling, 11-minute acceptance speech was fueled by something other than Hennessy this time.

Photos: Behind the Scenes at the 2015 VMAs

Even without being under the influence, this was the best MTV Awards telecast in years, thanks to an emphasis on colorful fun that replaced the last few shows’ race to the bottom. The dozen most memorable moments, ranked:

12. Rebel Wilson saluted N.W.A, sort of. Nice going, Rebel, beating those censors who only thought they’d have to bleep, not pixilate T-shirts. The “F— Tha Stripper Police” gag was an amusing one, though probably not a good enough one to belabor at length till everybody got it.

11. Demi Lovato and Iggy Azalea: almost cool. Like any ex-Disney starlet worth her salt, Lovato is trying to sex it up these days, but something about the dominatrix look felt a little forced. Azalea — who, remarkably, has never appeared on the main part of the MTV Awards before — came out and played second banana to Lovato, awkwardly. Together, they indulged in a bit of bumping and grinding that probably wasn’t purposely intended as an homage to Cyrus and Robin Thicke’s 2013 appearance, even though it came off as a pale reenactment. In the end, even with these duet partners trying a little too hard, “Cool for the Summer” still fit in fine with the show’s less prurient, more breezy tone. Click the photo below to watch. (source: MTV)



10. Miley’s drag show didn’t completely drag. The show needed to go out with a bang, and it did — with the Flaming Lips’ Wayne Coyne reaching between Cyrus’s legs, no, not with a foam finger, but with a steam cannon. If only the new song Cyrus and Coyne collaborated on, “Dooo It!,” deserved this climactic spot, but it was hard to make the cast for a chorus that mostly consisted of “Yeah, I smoke pot, yeah, I love peace,” even if she did announce that she was giving it and the rest of their brand-new album away for free. When in doubt? Bring on cast members from RuPaul’s Drag Race, whose visual flair made up for the lack of songwriting pizzazz. Click the photo to watch. (Source MTV).

2015 MTV Video Music Awards - Roaming Show

9. Pharrell fell victim to bad timing. His “Freedom” was also a burst of good fun… for the dozen or so people who were actually watching, as opposed to still busy tweeting about Kanye’s appearance minutes before (more on that in a bit).

8. Twenty-One Pilots brought some rock to the show… almost. It’s a distant memory, those days when you’d actually see a rock band on the VMAs. (Even the award for Best Rock Video was presented in the pre-telecast.) Twenty-One Pilots are obviously well-suited for this slot, such as it is, in 2015, since hip-hop is already custom-built into most of their songs, and it’s hardly a stretch to pair them with A$AP Rocky. “Look ma, we made it, we’re on the VMAs,” they together exclaimed at the end of their collaboration — again, like Macklemore, evoking a more innocent time in the channel’s history.

7. Tori Kelly classed up the joint. A talented singer… just singing? This might have set a dangerous precedent for MTV.

6. Everybody was waiting for the Weekend. This performance was nearly as unadorned as Kelly’s, at least before the flame-shooting climax. But when you’re the man of the moment, as Abel Tesfaye is — and when the audience reaction shots clearly show you’re both Taylor-approved and Kanye-approved — you don’t need to bring along a lot of bells and whistles to melt folks’ faces off.

5. Macklemore: way more into 1989 than Taylor Swift is. For pure fun, it was hard to beat the rapper hoofing his way from a downtown L.A. parking lot to an outdoor stage in front of the Orpheum Theatre, where a phalanx of performers were ready to reenact everything that made MTV colorful in the late ‘80s.

2015 MTV Video Music Awards - Pepsi Stage - Fixed Show

4. Justin wept. Is the Biebs far enough along in his career — and publicly crucified enough — that he’s already due for a comeback narrative? That was the feeling you got as he got teary-eyed at the reception for his new single, “What Do You Mean?” The typically choreography-heavy performance ended with Bieber being lifted up in a beam of light, as if being abducted by a UFO, but maybe the aliens were confused by his new haircut and EDM style. Click the picture below to watch. (source MTV)


3. Nicki bit Miley’s loose tongue. What will “Pastor Lydia,” whom she’d thanked seconds earlier, have to say next Sunday about Minaj using the B-word — both on and off microphone, repeatedly — for the show’s host? This was all over a New York Times story that had Cyrus saying Minaj was out of line with her tweets about not being up for Video of the Year. “We’re all in this industry. We all do interviews. We all know how they manipulate,” a flustered Cyrus responded, as Minaj continued to glare and mouth epithets. “Nicki, congratulations.” Click the photo below to watch. (Source MTV).


2. Taylor Swift: all about good blood. Before introducing her old 2009 VMAs speech-interrupter West, Swift dueted with Minaj, putting the final cap on their short-lived Twitter disagreement. She publicly reconciling with so many people Sunday night, you half-expected Drew from “Teardrops on My Guitar” to show up for a hug. Click the photo below to watch. (Source MTV).


1. Kanye’s campaign kickoff. If you thought Donald Trump goes off-script in his speeches, you had to get a load of newly announced 2020 candidate Kanye West’s epic unsealing of his own id. Taylor Swift presented her perceived adversary with his Video Vanguard trophy, inevitably quipping, “I guess I have to say to all the winners tonight, I’m really happy for you, and Imma gonna let you finish, but Kanye West has had one of the greatest careers of all time!” But West wasn’t into making light of their six-year-old encounter, expressing a mixture of regret and defiance over how his stage-crashes have ensured that “when I go to a baseball game, 60,000 people boo me.” A spirit of repentance was quickly supplanted by an occasionally eloquent rant about the illogic of awards shows and how “I will die for the art… and art ain’t gonna always be polite.” Thirteen minutes after he stepped on stage, it looked as if he’d never stick the landing. And then: “Yes, as you probably could have guessed by this moment, I have decided in 2020 to run for president.” We can’t wait for his Megyn Kelly feud. Click the photo below to watch.(Source MTV).

2015 MTV Video Music Awards - Roaming Show

credit: Chris Willman yahoo.com and MTV.


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