For years the MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs) has been one of the most anticipated entertainment events every year.
Of course like any live show, the cameras don’t always cut away soon enough to avoid “shocking” moments and viewers see lot things of things on that stage that would normally be edited out before airing on television.
There have always been at least a few of these surprises in the VMAs each year…and this year is no exception.
Here’s some of the top 10 best and worst moments of the 2015 VMAs:
- BEST: Miley Cyrus Being Miley Cyrus
Whether or not we want to admit it, host Miley Cyrus is what made us want to keep watching. In the two-and-a-half hours we had of Cyrus, we watched her change into skimpy, bizarre outfits every few minutes, tell weed jokes, show off her pet pig, bring her grandmother out on a stage for a cameo and even “accidentally” had a nip slip. We can pretty much consider all of these “Miley moments” as just one moment: Miley being Miley.
- WORST: Miley Cyrus Steals the Show
From the get-go, the most exciting aspect of this year’s VMA was the prospect of “What will Miley do?” Cyrus was a good choice for host this year because she’s entertaining and holds viewers attention. As always, Cyrus succeeded in shocking audiences at the event with typical “Miley” surprises.
Of course, the fact that a lot of people watched the VMAs and enjoyed the host is good, but event relied a bit too much on the host who ended up outshining a lot of the performers.
Her outlandish outfits to her word war with Nicki Minaj, it was nearly impossible for us to take our eyes off the TV. The problem though, was that our eyes were fixated on Cyrus rather than the rest of the performers and presenters.
- BEST: The Weeknd’s Electrifying Performance
The Weeknd was possibly the most standout moment of the VMAs. His performance of “Can’t Feel My Face” had everyone (including Kanye West, Taylor Swift and Selena Gomez) out of their seats and dancing. The Weeknd was up for three awards at this year’s show: Best Male video for “Earned It”, Best Collaboration “Love Me Harder” with Ariana Grande and Song of the Summer for “I Can’t Feel My Face”.
The Weeknd has been ranking in Michael Jackson comparisons all year (he even moonwalks!), but no one can be the new MJ without a must-see MTV moment. The Weeknd’s fiery performance (there was literally fire on the stage) was his moment.
- WORST: Demi Lovato’s Hypersexual Performance
Dressed in fishnets and lingerie, Demi Lovato opened her performance “flanked by backup dancers who looked like marshmallow Peeps” and thrusted her crotch. Throughout the lude “Cool for the Summer” performance, she popped cherry balloons “and murdered a metaphor” and portrayed herself as too self-aware and insensitive to the fans; it seemed very clear that the performance was mainly for her own entertainment.
The performance did not get any better as it went on. The strangest part of the performance came when Lovato sat in an inflatable raft carried by security guards who wouldn’t even let the audience members near her. It looked like, according to Rolling Stone, “the saddest mosh pit ever.”
- BEST: Final Outdoors Performance by Pharrell
American singer/ songwriter/ rapper Pharrell Williams brought a piece of Broadway to the Pepsi Stage at the Orpheum Theatre during the performance of his hit song “Freedom”. With Williams’ black and white-striped attire, backup dancers dressed like “patriotic preppies”, “revolutionary cheerleaders” and an audience full of excited, flag-waving fans, the performance was a memorable one. While on stage, Williams also gave a small speech: “They tried to put us in a box. They tried to categorize us. Tonight, we change things. We will express ourselves and let all that go. All in all, the performance was just as inspiring as it was entertaining.
- WORST: Miley and Nicki’s Exchange Words Onstage
Nicki Minaj ended her acceptance speech for Best Hip-Hop Video by thanking her pastor, then cursing out host, Miley Cyrus. Minaj passes it back to Miley with a short comment: “And now, back to the b**** who had a lot to say about me the other day in the press: Miley, what’s good?” Cyrus, stunned by the taunt, replied, “We’re all in this industry. We all do interviews and we all know how they manipulate s***. Nicki, congratu-f***in-lations.” The camera then cut back to Minaj who seemed to mouth back, “B****. Not a good look for either of the women.
- BEST: #InstaPride
Miley Cyrus recently launched and promoted her own charity, Happy Hippie Foundation, a nonprofit organization on a mission to “rally young people to fight injustice facing homeless facing homeless youth, LGBTQ youth and other vulnerable populations”. The Happy Hippie #InstaPride campaign highlights and honors a group of youth across the gender spectrum with photos and bios. Cyrus invited her Happy Hippie squad to the VMA stage. The group presented not only Cyrus as the final performer but the cause itself, “bringing one more hugely visible moment for trans rights and gender questioning in a year full of them”. The moment really added something special to this year’s show.
- WORST: Jared Leto Awkwardly Introduces The Weeknd
“What do you say when you flub your VMAs intro line? If you’re Jared Leto, stay the course and say it again.” American singer/ songwriter and director Jared Leto was less-than-smooth when he awkwardly introduced The Weeknd. “It’s time to get sexy,” Leto said in the introduction. If that wasn’t bad enough, he said it twice. Hopefully The Weekend’s amazing performance will be so memorable that Leto’s awkward moment will be forgotten…or at least go down as an afterthought.
- BEST: Justin Bieber’s Tears of Joy
This year’s VMAs was an important night for 21-year-old pop star Justin Bieber. Bieber had a rough last few years (having a public meltdown so wild that he got arrested) and was even out of the spotlight for a while.
Bieber’s new hit single “What Do You Mean” was his big return to the music world and his performance of the song with his high-energy choreography on the VMA stage “served as a reminder of the star’s performance skills” and was “a testament to how hard the boy can work.”
After a spoken word interlude played over the darkened stage, Bieber floated into the air within a beaming tunnel of colors and light and landed back onto the stage in tears of elation over this special moment.
- BEST?…WORST? YOU DECIDE: Rebel Wilson beats the Censors:
When Rebel Wilson walked onstage dressed as a police officer we knew it was going to one of the inevitable, shocking mishaps that stresses out the cameramen each year. As she ranted about substandard exotic dancers she tore the uniform off, revealing a T-shirt that read “F*** THA STRIPPER POLICE”.
While most of these live incidents are censored with quick camera cutaways, the shirt aired for six seconds before the censors caught it. Wilson was bashed on all over social media for her joke with online comments like, “Wilson’s got a lot of nerve presenting Best Hip-Hop Video while making a joke out of police/ state violence”.
While some think Wilson’s act was disrespectful others argue that she was just trying to be humorously Rebel—lious and that the joke was not meant to be portrayed in that way. Either way, Wilson will definitely go down in the VMA history of inappropriateness.