VMAs Highlight Reel: Everything You Missed At The 2019 VMAs
You probably already know that the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards happened on August 26th. If you were too lazy to watch the show or you just want the highlights so you can make small talk in the break room, we’ve got you covered.
From wardrobe malfunctions to political statements to messages of self-love, the VMAs never fail to give us memorable pop culture moments to remember for years to come.
Missy Elliott Delivered
In 2003, Missy Elliot’s music video for “Work It” won the VMA for Video of the Year, and it had major 2000s vibes with its Nokia phones, baggy clothing, and its Timberland cameo. Among all the throwback fashion, the video also featured 10-year-old Alyson Stoner breaking out some serious dance moves.
Fast forward to the 2019 VMAs where Missy Elliott performed a medley of her music, and she brought Alyson Stoner back for her feature moment 17 years later. The audience absolutely loved it.
The Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award
Following her show-stopping performance, Missy Elliott was later awarded with the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award, which is for recognizing outstanding artists and was renamed in honor of Michael Jackson in 1991.
Missy is the first female rapper to ever receive this award and it was presented to her by Cardi B. Artists such as David Bowie, The Beatles, Madonna, The Rolling Stones, Britney Spears, and J. Lo have won it before her.
In 2018, the VMAs opted to have no one host so that they could “let the music speak for itself” but this year they decided to have comedian Sebastian Maniscalco host, and he was met with mixed reviews. It seems like Twitter would’ve preferred there to be no host, rather than suffering through Maniscalco’s opening monologue.
The comedian is known for his blunt opinions and considering he has his own Netflix comedy special, someone must find him funny, but social media did not react well to him last night poking fun at the concepts of safe spaces or trigger warnings.
Wardrobe Malfunctions Can’t Stop Normani
Former Fifth Harmony member Normani performed her debut solo single “Motivation” at the VMAs and she killed it, straight up. For anyone who ever said that members of Fifth Harmony couldn’t dance, Normani proved everyone wrong.
She handled her wardrobe malfunction like a queen too. You might not have even noticed the sweater struggle and we don’t blame you. Her abs, her incredible choreography, and her literal gymnastics were really all that mattered.
Taylor’s Acceptance Speech
Pop Queen Taylor Swift opened the show with a performance of her song “You Need to Calm Down”, which is the song off her latest album Lover that won her the Moonman for the 2019 Video of the Year.
Taylor used her acceptance speech to further promote what her video was all about, thanking all the fans who voted for the video and who have signed the petition started by Swift called “Support the Equality Act” which was featured at the end of her YNTCD music video.
Taylor’s Senate Shade
Taylor started her change.org petition “Support the Equality Act,” which is directed at the U.S. Senate, ahead of the release of her “You Need To Calm Down” video.
Swift threw some shade at the Senate during her speech when she said “I want to thank everyone who signed that petition because it now has half a million signatures” which is “five times the amount that it would need to warrant a response from the White House.”
John Travolta’s Near Mix-Up
Taylor winning the Video of the Year award nearly gave us a repeat of the John Travolta “Adele Dazeem” incident from the 2014 Oscars. The award for Video of the Year was presented by Travolta and Queen Latifah, but Travolta had a near-miss when he went to hand the award to Swift on stage.
Travolta initially went to hand the award to Swift but realized he’d actually got the wrong person, he was looking at drag queen Jade Jolie, not Taylor Swift. Luckily he figured it out, and this can just be a testament to how good Jolie’s drag is.
Taylor Swift VMA Topper
With her latest wins at the 2019 VMAs, Taylor Swift is now among the top five most decorated VMA winners. Taylor’s three wins for Best Visual Effects, Video for Good and Video of the Year put her at 10 wins since her first nomination in 2009.
She sits behind Lady Gaga and Peter Gabriel who each have 13 VMA wins, and in first place is Beyoncé, who sits at 24 Video Music Award wins.
Lil Nas X Is All Grown Up
Breakout artist Lil Nas X won his first award ever for his song Old Town Road (REMIX) featuring Billy Ray Cyrus. You’ve all heard the song — whether you like it or not — because it’s been everywhere this summer.
The song won Lil Nas X the award of Song of the Year as well as the award for Best Direction, and it was nominated in 8 categories, plus Nas himself was nominated as Best New Artist.
Lizzo Spread The Love
Pop powerhouse Lizzo was in attendance at the VMAs, was nominated in four categories, and gave an amazing performance in front of a sculpture of a giant butt where she gave a brief monologue mid-performance about the importance of self-love. What more could we want from her?
Her VMA debut performance was a medley of her hits “Truth Hurts” and “Good as Hell” and at one point during the performance, Lizzo chugged tequila out of a bejeweled bottle because, well, she wanted to.
Latina artist Rosalia took home not one but two awards for her song “Con Altura” with J Balvin under the Best Latin category as well as the Best Choreography category.
On top of her awards recognition, she gave a stellar performance of three of her songs, including one featuring Puerto Rican artist Ozuna. Along with her two awards, she was also nominated in the Best New Artist category, and after her performance, it’s pretty clear why.
Miley Killed Her Performance
Miley Cyrus made her first awards show appearance since splitting from her husband Liam Hemsworth in early August, and she gave an incredible and emotional performance of her new single “Slide Away.”
Cyrus’ rumored girlfriend Kaitlynn Carter, who recently split from her husband Brody Jenner, was also in attendance at the performance. Cyrus and Carter were reportedly spotted cozying up backstage before Miley’s performance as well as at a VMA afterparty, though the pair have still not confirmed their relationship status.
Shawn And Camila
Rumors have been circulating about Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello since the release of their 2015 single “I Know What You Did Last Summer” but with the release of their 2019 song “Senorita” we’re almost definitely maybe sure that they’re dating.
Everyone in the audience was expecting the steamy performance to end in a kiss which would finally confirm their relationship status, and it was so close to happening, but then the pair ended their appearance with a fake-out.
People Wore Snakes
In a Britney Spears circa 2001 “I’m A Slave For You” performance flashback, not one but two celebs in attendance at the VMA’s wore snakes as accessories, but it was not well received.
Internet personality Tana Mongeau as well as singer H.E.R. both attempted the anaconda accessory, but Twitter was not having it. Yes, Britney did it first, but Britney did it nearly 20 years ago. People actually care about the well-being of snakes now.
Artist of the Year
Up against competition such as the Jonas Brothers and Billie Eilish, Ariana Grande triumphed as the 2019 MTV VMA’s Artist of the Year.
The win was a little anti-climatic for Grande because she was on tour in Europe on the night of the awards show and was unable to attend, but she still gets the honorable mention because she earned that award fair and square. They’ll be plenty more Ariana performances to come in the future, we’re sure.
The Jonas Brothers’ Continuing Comeback
2019 has been an exciting year for the Jonas Brothers with their reunion, their new album, as well as the start of their stadium tour. To keep the comeback going, the brothers gave their first performance as a group on an award show in 11 years. What better time to do it than when the show is being hosted in your home state?
The band of brothers was featured in a remote performance at the Stone Pony in Asbury Park, New Jersey, and fans ate it up, obviously.
The Mini Soprano’s Reunion Disappointed
Rumors started circulating a few days before the awards show aired that there would be an element of the show celebrating the 20th anniversary of The Sopranos, which seemed perfect since it was New Jersey’s first time hosting the awards show. Unfortunately, the “reunion” left a little to be desired.
Drea De Matteo, Jamie-Lynn Sigler, and Vincent Pastore came to the stage to present the Best Pop Award and briefly mentioned the 20th anniversary of the classic mob show. The biggest qualm fans had was that the late James Gandolfini, who played the infamous character of Tony Soprano, was never mentioned.
J Balvin And Bad Bunny Suspended Your Concept Of Reality
To keep the global love going, the audience was also treated to a performance by J Balvin and Bad Bunny that featured an entire blow-up cartoon world.
Performing their chart-topping song “Qué Pretendes” from their LP Oasis, the artists showed off their vocal range but also their multi-tasking capabilities considering they were suspended on wires in giant costumes at one point during the performance. We’re not sure anyone fully understood the significance of this set, but they have a successful LP and we don’t so who are we to judge?
Where Was Tyler C?
Fans of The Bachelorette now know that Hannah B’s runner-up Tyler Cameron has since started dating model Gigi Hadid — we think — and we were hoping he’d make a red carpet appearance with her at the VMA’s. Much to the fans dismay, Gigi walked the carpet with sister Bella Hadid but Tyler was apparently present at a VMA afterparty.
Perhaps the couple isn’t quite ready to fully admit that they’re dating, but they were spotted kissing at the Fleur Room post-VMA party, which is all the confirmation anyone needs.
New Jersey Send-Off
To close out the 2019 show, which took place at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, a number of New Jersey natives made their way onto the stage.
Jersey rappers Naughty by Nature, Redman, Fetty Wap, Wyclef Jean, and Queen Latifah all took to the stage to perform and the audience was treated to a performance of Fetty Wap’s anthem “Trap Queen” plus Queen Latifah rode in on a motorcycle. It was a little chaotic but you can count it as an overall success.