Honestly, the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards (VMA) was not all it was hyped-up to be. It seemed as though most of the budget went to Rihanna and Beyonce because there was a lack of other big-named performers. Comedians Key and Peele served as arena commentators but jokes were often flat and their staggered appearances verged on being annoying.
There were not that many notable occurrences throughout the show but we’ve list down the ones that made sitting through the two hour-long spectacle bearable.
How much Rihanna is too much Rihanna?
Apparently there can never be enough. The Barbadian performer opened and closed the event with two additional sets in between, clocking in 18 minutes and 40 seconds worth of performances. Displaying her full range of musicality, the VMA almost seemed like a mini Rihanna concert with featuring performers. She ended her last set with a medley of ballads before receiving the highest honour of the night, the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award from Drake.
Kanye West did what he does best.
No Taylor Swift? No problem. Kanye West clearly did not need the singer to drum up publicity. Walking onstage to the tune of Famous (the song that caused friction between the Kardashian-Wests and Taylor Swift), he proceeded to spend four minutes of his time ranting. He talked about his art, compared himself to Steve Jobs and Walt Disney, and even admitted to not being bothered if he lost Video of The Year to Beyoncé (which he did). And all this before he played “a piece of my art” – a raunchy music video for his song Fade.
Britney Spears yet again pretended to need a microphone.
Britney Spears returned to the VMA stage nine years after her heavily-panned performance in 2007. She seemed out of it back then but came back in full form for her first ever “live” performance of newest single with G-Eazy, Make Me… with a snippet of Me, Myself And I, a hit by G-Eazy featuring Bebe Rexha. While her dance moves were punchier and more energetic, Britney Spears still pretended that she actually needs a microphone for her performances. Who is she trying to kid?
Olympians had their brush with the music industry.
Fresh from their glorious wins at the international stage, Olympic gold medalists Michael Phelps and the Final Five (comprising of gymnasts Laurie Hernandez, Simone Biles, Aly Raisman, and Madison Kocian, minus Gabby Douglas who was hospitalised) graced the VMA stage as guest presenters. Phelps was tasked to introduce Future whose songs he listens to quite often while the Final Five presented Beyoncé with Best Female Video. Best Olympian moment of the night? That goes to Micheal Phelps recording Jimmy Fallon dressed up as Ryan Lochte, complete with platinum blond hair and Olympic medal.
In the end, it’s always about Beyoncé.
Beyoncé might have only performed for 15 minutes and 46 seconds (as compared to Rihanna) but it was a tough act to follow. The singer condensed elements of her visual album Lemonade and even “smashed” a camera with a baseball bat just like in the Hold Up portion of her album. At the end of the night, Beyoncé took home 8 out of the 11 awards that she was nominated for and beat Madonna for the most number of VMA wins with 24 awards.