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Tuesday, February 27, 2024

I’m ba-aaaack. Although awards season won’t kick off until the winter, there are a few star-studded stragglers to tide us over. The MTV Video Music Awards was no exception — and boy, did we have a show in store. Here are just some of the highlights from last Sunday’s big night:

Oh. My. Gaga.

How cool was Gaga’s opening performance? She performed her new single “Applause” in a tight, black bodysuit and a series of wigs that paid tribute to her own career (hello, short platinum blond bob a la “The Fame,” we missed you).

Justin. F***ing. Timberlake.

If you haven’t watched the more than 20 minute performance, go do so. JT showcased his long, hit-filled career from start to finish, and yes, that included the long-rumored and panted-over *NSYNC reunion. Our favorite fivesome took the stage in the middle of the set to perform a short medley of songs including “Girlfriend” and “Bye Bye Bye.” Cue the incessant fangirling. Even Lady Gaga got in on the action.

Pal Jimmy Fallon later presented JT with the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award, which prompted the crooner to shed some tears at the praise. And then he thanked his fellow *NSYNC-ers: “I wouldn’t be here without these four guys.” Cue the waterworks. Best night ever.

P.S. He capped off the night winning Video of the Year for “Mirrors.” It’s pretty safe to say he won the entire night, hands down.

What Even Actually Happened with Miley Cyrus and Robin Thicke?

Twerking teddy bears? Provocative foam-finger placement? A random addition of 2 Chainz and Kendrick Lamar rapping through the aftermath? The amount of concerned texts and tweets I received from this mash-up from hell was a bit frightening. I don’t think anybody understood what happened, but that’s probably what you get when two of the biggest songs of the summer come together.

Macklemore and Ryan Lewis Killed It In The Video Categories.

The hip-hop duo was the epitome of class when accepting their awards for Best Hip-Hop Video, Best Video with a Social Message and Best Cinematography. Bringing up several of their collaborators (including the beautiful Mary Lambert — that haunting voice you hear on “Same Love”), they showed it was a big collaborative effort. Plus, they had a wonderful performance of said song (with a surprise appearance from Jennifer Hudson) that was truly fantastic.

The Cuteness that is Bruno Mars.

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After winning the award for Best Male Video for “Locked Out Of Heaven,” he performed new single “Gorilla,” and it showed off his sweet, soulful falsetto. Petition to have him and Timberlake duet, please.

…and Then There was Taylor Swift.

We get it, you broke up with a bunch of guys. We know “I Knew You Were Trouble” (which won the award for Best Female Video) is probably about One Direction’s Harry Styles. But based on his face (look at the gifs, it’s glorious), that ship has sailed for him. It’s in the past for all of us, too. We love you, T-Swift, but please, move on.

Katy Perry Roars to (And Through) the Finish Line.

Performing her single “Roar” under the Brooklyn Bridge, Perry turned her sensual purr into an empowered roar to close the show.

A version of this story ran on page 8 on 8/29/2013 under the headline "Trophy Hunting: VMAs evoke questions and ’90s nostalgia"

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