Artist overshadowed by his own stage production: Usher
This was a real disappointment. Whether you're a fan of hip-hop or not, Usher is actually a marvelous dancer. He's got that whole Jamiroquai meets Michael Jackson smoothness and precision which lends his movements the appearance of a well-oiled dancing robot gliding across a floor. But his performance last night of "OMG" was eclipsed by the garish spectacle of his stage show which included vacillating lasers and flashing lights, not to mention luminescent floor grids reminiscent of the movie Tron. All of which served to distract rather than enhance the performance.
Funniest ad-lib: Katy Perry announcing the award for best male performer along with Nicki Minaj
During the scripted announcement, Minaj robotically mentioned to Perry she had her eye on five guys that evening. Of course Minaj was referring to the nominees for best male video. The winner was Eminem for "Not Afraid." By this point in the show, Eminem had left the building to catch a plane to New York. Perry was handed the award and in turn handed it to Minaj and said, "Here's one of your five men. Have fun, he's stiff." This was followed by some awkward laughter and Perry mugging comically for the camera.
Best Performance: Kanye West
The last act of the evening was perhaps the most anticipated. With voice heavily Auto-Tuned, Kanye sang the verse "Let's have a toast for the douchebags/ let's have a toast for the assholes/ let's have a toast for the scumbags/Every one of them that I know." These words which no doubt referenced the fallout he experienced following his interruption of Taylor Swift's award for best female artist represented the most clever spoofing of Kanye to date.
Grossest Outfit: Lady Gaga
Aaaand the winners are:
Video of the Year Lady Gaga - Bad Romance
Best Male Video Eminem - Not Afraid
Best Female Video Lady Gaga - Bad Romance
Best New Artist Justin Bieber -f/Ludicrous Baby
Best Hip Hop Video Eminem - Not Afraid
Best Pop Video Lady Gaga - Bad Romance
Best Dance Video Lady Gaga - Bad Romance
Best Rock Video 30 Seconds To Mars- Kings and Queens
Best Collaboration Lady Gaga feat. Beyoncé - Telephone
Best Choreography Lady Gaga - Bad Romance
Best Editing Lady Gaga -Bad Romance
Best Art Direction Florence + the Machine -Dog Days Are Over
Best Direction Lady Gaga -Bad Romance
Best Cinematography J-Z and Alicia Keyes- Empire State of Mind
Best Special Effects Muse -Uprising
Breakthrough Video The Black Keys - Tighten Up