As I begin to write this article, I’m hit by the realization that summer has truly come to an end and in all honesty, I’m trying my hardest to hold back tears. When did it become August 30th?! Wasn’t it just June?! All of my friends have already ventured back to school and my car is packed for an early-morning trip back to campus but thankfully, MTV just invited us and millions of other viewers to one last summer party.
Chances are, you’ve seen countless advertisements promoting the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards and if you’re anything like me, you thought something along the lines of “The end of August is so far away, isn’t MTV jumping the gun a little on this promo?” But, believe it or not, the VMAs arrived on Sunday night and in the words of MTV, it really was “the one night of the year that redefines OMG.”
In true MTV fashion, things started off strong at the pre-show. With performances from Walk the Moon, Todrick Hall and Nick Jonas, the one-hour broadcast was the perfect introduction to the 2015 Video Music Awards. Of course, there were plenty interviews, including some exclusive conversations with Demi Lovato, Jeremy Scott, Chrissy Teigen, John Legend, the cast of Awkward, the cast of Faking It, Todrick Hall, Miguel, Austin Butler, Amanda Steele, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Nick Jonas, Miley Cyrus, Fifth Harmony, Mahogany Lox, Big Sean, Tori Kelly, Vic Mensa, Taylor Swift and the Bad Blood Cast. And what would a pre-show be without a red carpet, right? Well, this year (along with a new Moonman design), MTV opted for a multi-colored carpet and some of the outfits were just as outrageous. On one end of the spectrum, you had Miley and Nicki just waiting for a wardrobe malfunction while heartthrobs like Shawn Mendes, Nick Jonas and Justin Bieber opted for more classic leather jacket looks.
As the pre-show was coming to a close, Taylor Swift made an appearance with the exclusive premiere of her newest music video. At the start of the “Wildest Dreams” video, it was beyond clear that this would be like nothing ever released by Swift. Taylor took the literal meaning of the song’s title to heart as the first half of the video is set in an African savannah. A black-haired Taylor and her leading man then end up in a big city at a glamorous event. Take a look for yourself, the video is posted below. Also, Taylor, we need to have a talk—why do you always cast my celebrity crushes in your videos? First Lucas Till in “You Belong With Me” and now Scott Eastwood in “Wildest Dreams.”
Okay, let’s get to the show… Before we talk performances, let’s talk about the craziness that ensued as the show progressed. Within moments, it was clear that the entire vibe for the night would be the progression of Miley’s Instagram account coming to life. In the beginning of the night, she even said, “I actually took the year off from music to focus on my true love… Instagram.” There was even a segment about her Instagram-picking process. In her introduction, Miley said she wasn’t qualified to host and after seeing her outfits and shenanigans, we have to agree! Some of those shenanigans include roasting Meek Mill and almost fist-fighting Nicki Minaj—we’re not kidding! Understandably, Nicki wasn’t too happy when Miley bashed her in the media earlier this week. She also wasn’t too happy when Miley simply played off the comments during the VMA broadcast.
It wouldn’t be the Video Music Awards without some performances, right? We’ll get into our top two performances in just a bit but first, let’s talk music! Macklemore and Ryan Lewis performed their new single, “Downtown,” in none other than Downtown Los Angeles in a performance that seemed never-ending but entertaining nonetheless. The Weeknd performed “Can’t Feel My Face” in front of a black background and red lights. As fire lit up the stage, Abel’s colleagues Taylor Swift, Selena Gomez and Kanye West were dancing along with the Canadian artist.
Demi Lovato and Tori Kelly proved girl power was definitely present at the VMAs. Demi’s “Cool For the Summer” performance was definitely summer-y and cool, especially as she brought out Iggy Azalea. Tori Kelly proved she has an undeniable amount of class and talent as she took the stage to perform “Should’ve Been Us.” Later in the night, John Legend, Twenty One Pilots and A$AP Rocky hit the stage, proving exactly why they had been nominated at Sunday night’s award show. There was even an absolutely absurd performance by Miley Cyrus where she went on to announce she just dropped a surprise album—for free.
Our girl Nicki Minaj opened the show with a Lion King-esque performance of “Trini Dem Girls” and “The Night is Still Young.” During “The Night is Still Young,” Nicki was joined onstage by Taylor Swift and we’re still trying to decide if Nicki was genuinely surprised to see Swift on stage or if she is just a really good actress. As “The Night is Still Young” came to an end, the two sang a portion of “Bad Blood,” leading us to question whether their Twitter feud was legitimate or just for promo…
Okay, I can’t write this article without talking about my absolute award show performance ever. Justin Bieber absolutely killed it with a performance of “Where Are Ü Now?” and “What Do You Mean?” During both songs, his vocals were on point, reminding us once again that his talent will forever place him in a league of his own. Perhaps the most goosebumps-inducing moment of his performance was when we thought “What Do You Mean?” had come to a close. But, during a spoken-word segment about the journey he’s been on, Bieber reminded the audience and the at-home viewers to “give into fate and believe in something bigger than yourself” because “when you fall, it allows you to get up stronger.” He also flew in the air—literally—before earning a well-deserved standing ovation. It’s clear he was overcome by emotion as he began to sob onstage, leaving us to reminisce on the journey he’s traveled in the past few years. Justin, if you’re reading this, we hope you know how proud we are of you!
Here’s a quick winner recap… 5SOS brought home Song of The Summer; Taylor Swift and Kendrick Lamar brought home Video of the Year; Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars took home Best Male Video; Taylor Swift took home Best Female Video and Best Pop Video; Nicki Minaj brought home Best Hip Hop Video and Fetty Wap brought home Artist To Watch.
The night’s big winner was none other than Kanye West. Kanye was awarded the Video Vanguard Award by none other than Taylor Swift. Surprisingly, or not, Kanye had plenty to say—but let’s just sum this up in three quotes: 1.) Taylor Swift said, “Kanye defines what it is to be a creative force.” 2.) In reference to his run-in with Taylor onstage in 2009, Kanye said, “If I had a daughter at that time, would I have went on that stage and grabbed the mic from someone else’s? After that night, the stage was gone but the affect it had on people remained.” And last but CERTAINLY not least, Kanye said, “I have decided in 2020 to run for President!” appropriately followed by a mic drop.