There’s a new Beyoncé – but more on that later.
With 10 nods each, Taylor Swift and Ariana Grande were tied for the title of most-nominated artist, while Missy Elliott (rightfully) received the Video Vanguard Award at the 2019 Video Music Awards, which was held in New Jersey for the very first time. But somewhere amongst the brave beauty looks and twinning moments was a sense of déjà vu, courtesy of a cute couple and an awkward flub. Let’s catch you up.
Color was the name of the game as Taylor Swift opened the VMAs with a replica-of-sorts of her “You Need to Calm Down” music video – drag performers and beach chairs included. The popstar went on to win the award for Video of the Year for the same song, thanking her fans in particular. “I first want to say, ‘Thank you’ to the fans because in this video, several points were made, so you voting for this video means that you want a world where we’re all treated equally under the law,” she said.
Like you, we had no idea who Sebastian Maniscalco was until realizing that he’s hosting the 2019 VMAs – and it seems he won’t be returning anytime soon. The stand-up comedian managed to annoy audiences worldwide by making fun of marginalized people needing safe spaces and being triggered. “If you feel triggered or offended, they’re providing a safe space backstage where you’ll get some stress balls and a blankie,” he joked, not actually making a single person laugh.
Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper had nothing on the steamy performance of “Señorita” by Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello – especially in light of all the romance rumors that have swirled around them all summer. The two have never actually admitted to being a couple, but after their onstage Eskimo kiss, we’re sold.
— MTV NEWS (@MTVNEWS) August 27, 2019
Missy Elliott has been a fixture in the music industry since the 90s, so her taking home the Video Vanguard Award felt like an obvious choice. The singer-rapper-producer marked the honor with a full-fledged medley of her past hits, including “The Rain”, “Pass That Dutch”, and “Get Ur Freak On” – and killed it, of course.
Hey, remember when John Travolta had no idea how to pronounce Idina Menzel’s name? Turns out, he has no idea what Taylor Swift looks like either. We’ll let the GIF below speak for itself.
John Travolta mistook Jade Jolie for Taylor Swift when handing over the award for ‘Video of the Year.’ 😂 pic.twitter.com/z8MsJtcp1V
— Pop Crave (@PopCraveMusic) August 27, 2019
The lyrics to “Slide Away” would resonate with just about anyone who has experienced a break-up, but the emotions behind them were especially evident as Miley Cyrus performed the song for the first time since her split with husband Liam Hemsworth. One word: powerful.
If you’ve yet to hear the name Normani, that will change after today. Not only did the 23-year-old flaunt an endless amount of impossible dance moves during her performance of “Motivation”, but she’s also being compared to how memorable Britney Spears was back at the 2001 VMAs – yes, that time with the snake. Oh, and between her killer abs, killer choreography, and the slinky gown she wore on the red carpet, Normani is being dubbed the “new Beyoncé”.