Trophy Hunting: VMAs 2016 Is All About the RiRi, Brit Brit and Queen Bey

It’s ba-aaack… Trophy Hunting, your resident FYI blog on all things Award Season, makes its triumphant return to your Internet browser! This year there will be more of everything – more coverage, more reviews, more highlights of all of the season’s main red carpet moments. From film to fashion, music to movies, celeb beefs and slip-ups – it’s all right here. Miss one of the ceremonies? Look no further – an in-depth analysis of each show will be right here to serve as your own personal blog post after party. Keep in touch and share your thoughts – I’ll be here all year!


(PC Getty Images)

Fact: There is no show like the MTV Video Music Awards.

Rihanna kicked off the show with a medley of her hits in a blinding neon fashion – literally. Author’s note: I almost had a fit when her performance only lasted 4 minutes or so. She is the 2016 Michael Jackson Video Vanguard recipient – give this woman an hour to do whatever she wants! Luckily, the team of commentators (who turned out to be new characters from comedy besties Key and Peele) announced that Rihanna would be performing three more times throughout the night. Phew. Crisis averted.


Kicking off the awards for the night, Best Hip-Hop video went to Drake’s “Hotline Bling” – but the rapper formerly known as Aubrey Graham was “stuck in traffic” at the beginning of the night, so presenter P.Diddy *graciously* accepted the moonman on his behalf.


Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj continued with the unintentional (?) theme of neon pink highlighter realness with their performance of “Side to Side,” complete with a Grande exercise routine that made all of us lounging on a Sunday night feel just a *twinge* lazy. Admit it.


Other awards of the night included Best Male Video, which went to Calvin Harris and Rihanna’s “This Is What You Came For” and Fifth Harmony feat. Ty Dolla $ign’s “Work From Home” for Best Collaboration. Best New Artist, which was based heavily on Twitter votes, went to “Cake by the Ocean” creators DNCE.


Before introducing Future’s performance, Olympic legend Michael Phelps admitted to the crowd at Madison Square Garden (and the world) that his meme-seen-round-the-world  (seen below) was captured as he was listening to one of the rapper’s tracks. #USA


When the VMAs announced they were giving Kanye West four minutes to do “whatever he wants,” no one knew what would happen. And when it did happen…a lot went down. His speech included a nod to his ex-flame Amber Rose, acknowledgement of his “artist merchant” heroes including Howard Hughes and Walt Disney, and shout-outs to his wife Kim Kardashian West, his “idol” P. Diddy and “the future” Chance the Rapper. Classic verbose Kanye.


And this was all before he premiered his video for “Fade.” Nothing can really be explained about this video – it’s just meant to be experienced, Flashdance references and almost-but-not-really beastiality references included.


Other performances of the night included The Chainsmokers and Halsey performing their #1 song “Closer” while Nick Jonas took it outside for his performance of “Bacon” with Ty Dolla $ign, filled with celebrities, savory breakfast goodness and an interesting style choice of an all-leather athletic track suit. Order up.


But if there was any moment to change the course of the night (and the VMAs in general), it was Beyonce. As one of the few artists around now to constantly one-up herself, her performance this year was, in a word, legendary. This is one of those performances that will go down in history: of the VMAs, of Beyonce performances, of music.


If anyone dared to follow Beyonce, it would be VMA queen Britney Spears (feat. G-Eazy) in her first performance on the awards show in almost a decade. To me, Britney *is* the VMAs, so to see her back on the stage where so many of us fell in love with her was a nostalgic treat.


Continuing Bey’s reign of the night, four of the Final Five USA Olympics Women’s Gymnastics Team presented her the moonman for Best Female Video for “Hold Up.” #USA4Bey


Jimmy Fallon (who came out with an uncomfortably spot on Ryan Lochte impersonation) awarded her with the prestigious Video of the Year for “Formation” – and made her surpass Madonna as the artist with the most VMAs ever. Bey said it best – bow down, bitches.


Each of Rihanna’s performances throughout the night uped the ante with hit after hit after hit – “Rude Boy,” “Work,” “Pour It Up,” “Diamonds,” the list went on and on. Author’s note: After seeing her perform live on the VMAs pre-show for the first time over a decade ago, I have always been interested in seeing what she does next. All four of her sets during the show validated that. And with Drake presenting her the Vanguard award at the end of the night with the sweetest speech, saying that he has “loved her since he was 22 years old?” The most perfect ending.


And that’s the show folks! What was your favorite moment of this year’s VMAs? Leave your comments below and stay tuned for the next edition of Trophy Hunting – the Emmy Awards on Sept. 18!


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