September 12th, 2010
08:01 PM ET
Another year, another MTV Video Music Awards, but after what went down at the 2009 awards show - and we're not just talking about Kanye - it feels like expectations are a bit higher for this one.
The stars are already arriving, including Lady Gaga wearing headgear that looks higher than this season's platform stilettos.
Have a seat, make some snacks (perhaps an adult beverage or three) and hang out while we live blog the shenanigans. The pre-show has kicked off on the white carpet, and the awards, hosted by Chelsea Handler, will start at 9 p.m.
8:03 p.m. They've got one of the most prolific artists of the year, Drake, hanging out for the interview right off the top. (He looks smooth, per usual - fresh haircut, nice all black suit.) His game plan for tonight? Make all the women feel special, the famous and the nonfamous alike. Aw, how sweet.
8:05 p.m. Paramore up next on the white carpet, and Hayley Williams has the mic. All of you who didn't go to their shows? This performance will be for you, she says.
8:08 p.m. Ne-Yo and Trey Songz are on point with the wardrobe as well. They stopped to chat with SuChin Pak who was wearing the H&M dress everyone apparently voted for ... thoughts?
8:13 p.m. Katy Perry chatted up Sway (with what looks like pink and blue streaks in her hair; is this new trend? Lady Gaga has a bit of blue in her hair tonight as well. But moving on.) Another style note: Katy's got a Russell Brand manicure. If that isn't love, well ...
8: 16 p.m. What performances are you guys most looking forward to tonight?
8:18 p.m. According to Snooks, you need two things to look your best: A tan and some "bling bling." Oh, and that missing poof? She's going for the bangs this year; she wanted a new look.
8:20 p.m. Lady Gaga's already won two awards, and the show hasn't even started yet. She took home best collaboration for her "Telephone" video with Beyonce, and best dance video for "Bad Romance."
8:26 p.m. Beliebers are flipping out right now: Bieber and Usher are hanging out with Sway (again with the all-black on the guys - both are dressed in black from head to toe with shades to match). Oh, Biebs plays the trumpet?
8:33 p.m. Nicki Minaj is doing her thing on the white carpet with a solo performance. She turned her backside to the audience, and the crowd went wild. She's supposed to be joined by Will.I.Am ... annnnd there he is.
8:40 p.m. First performance of the night - Barbies and non-barbies alike, what'd you think of Nicki and Will.I.Am?
8:42 p.m. We love that the cast of "Jersey Shore" are now film critics. New girl says she'd definitely come with her friends to see "Jackass 3D" and the Sitch finds it entertaining.
8:45 p.m. We're not quite sure what just happened, but that moment with the new TJ was awkward.
8:49 p.m. B.o.B. dared to be different and rock something other than all-black on the red carpet. Oh, what's this? A Kanye film?
8: 50 p.m. That was for the song he's going to perform later tonight: "Runaway."
8:53 p.m. Ke$ha pulls a Missy circa 1997 and wears a garbage bag on the white carpet. Tell her she looks like trash; she'll thank you.
8:59 p.m. Sway's interview is on right before the show but you can barely hear them over the screaming. (Aw, she gives a shout out to Honey B!)
9:00 p.m. Eminem is kicking it off with a huge live band, strings included.
9:03 p.m. He did great with "Not Afraid," and oh look! Rihanna makes an appearance for "Love the Way You Lie"!
9:04 p.m. Er um, we're not entirely sure about RiRi's outfit tonight. And is her mic not totally working? Vocals went in and out a bit.
9:05 p.m. Lindsay! She's checking Chelsea Handler for drinking and slaps her around. "You're a mess! Think anyone wants to work for a drunk? Take it from me, they don't."
9:07 p.m. Did. Not. See. that one coming. At least Linds has a sense of humor about it?
9:08 p.m. Get 'em Chelsea. Great post-Gaga impersonation wardrobe change.
9:12 p.m. Introduces "Jersey Shore" to applause. But of course, as she points out, they're the reason MTV doesn't play music videos anymore.
9:13 p.m. Chelsea: Kanye is the big black elephant in the room.
9:15 p.m. VMA for best female video goes to Gaga for Bad Romance, second award for this video, third for Gaga for the night. Man she's McQueen'ed out tonight - she also thanks him for supplying the clothes in her video. She also thanks gays for remaking the video over and over again.
9:24 p.m. Hmm. Those last two jokes - about Lady Gaga turning that bird into a hat and an intro for "Jackass" crew - weren't all that funny. But speaking of Gaga, one of the top tweets on Twitter right now for "Lady Gaga looks" trending topic: "Lady Gaga looks like the lion, the witch, AND the wardrobe."
9:26 p.m. Best rock video VMA goes to 30 Seconds to Mars for "Kings and Queens."
9:28 p.m. All we can say is "meh" on the Kim-Kardashian's-Got-It-Bad-for-Bieber joke. LOL at the way this kid just removed his sunglasses. Ladies and gents, Bieber's not playing.
9: 30 p.m. One CNN.com'er says she's impressed with Bieber's moves - who knew he could get down like that?
9:32 p.m. Wow. That, my friends, was a performance. A drum solo? Bieber showed up and showed out.
9:38 p.m. Trey Songz and Ke$ha just introduced Usher's performance. Was it just us, or did Ke$ha sound like she'd been brushing her teeth with a bottle of Jack again?
9:40 p.m. Usher isn't messing around either. The set! So many colors! And what look like some sexy "OMG" ninjas. The crowd is loving it.
9:45 p.m. Phew. With that whole, "Nicki I met my man at the VMA's" shtick from Katy Perry, it looked like they were going to resurrect that Drake/Nicki got married thing. Glad they didn't go there. Anyway: Best male video VMA goes to: Eminem for "Not Afraid," but he had to go back to New York to perform with Jay-Z.
9:55 p.m. Ashley Greene and Jared Leto from 30 Seconds to Mars introduced Florence + The Machine and they both looked terrified. It's okay guys! Go have what Ke$ha's having. Loving the performance of "Dog Days Are Over" though.
10:03 p.m. We don't fully support Chelsea Handler's dress change (the black was better) but she wouldn't give a [expletive] anyway. Handler looks like she's having the time of her life.
10:05 p.m. Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance" takes best pop video, and she accepts, looking kinda like a goth Statue of Liberty. The outfit is a bit heavy to walk in, she says, after screaming at the top of her lungs. Haha this lady's crazy in the best way.
10:11 p.m. Taylor Swift performs on a set that reminded of us of "Total Eclipse of the Heart" at first. Oh, and she's performing barefoot. Because that shows she's still innocent? Or easier to balance on a tightrope, as the song suggests?
10:22 p.m. Justin Timberlake calls Drake the most exciting new artist...Fancy! As is this set-up...and the song they're about to perform. LOVE that they let Mary J. show off her pipes.
10:27 p.m. Excellent song choice, Drake. He could've done one of the other myriad of singles he's dropped instead, but this was a smart pick. Enjoyable performance.
10:34 p.m. Sofia Vergara introduces best hip-hop video nominees by telling B.o.B. that she'd take a ride in his airplane anytime. We're going to focus on that instead of that awkward Handler/Jersey Shore/hot tub thing that just happened. Best hip hop VMA goes to: Eminem for "Not Afraid."
10:46 p.m. We're not mad that MTV held off the B.o.B., Bruno Mars and Hayley Williams performance until the very end. "Airplanes" was definitely one of the songs of the summer, and Paramore closed it out well at the end. The performances have been good, overall - nothing too crazy, but for the most part, enjoyable.
10:53 p.m. Justin Bieber takes best new artist VMA for "Baby." Thanks Usher for being his mentor.
10:58 p.m. So you remember that Taylor Swift song, "Innocent," that she performed earlier? "It was written early this year about her feelings about last year's VMAs," her rep told CNN. And yes, "It will be on her new Speak Now album."
11:04 p.m. Vintage Cher!
11:06 p.m. Video of the year VMA goes to....Lady Gaga. But for which video? Oh, okay: Bad Romance. "I was so nervous for tonight that I would let my fans down," she says in her acceptance speech. Also, new record name: "Born This Way." Woooow - and she just dropped some killer acapella.
11:10 p.m. Visuals tonight have been on point. Kanye wears bright red against the black and white backdrop to perform "Runaway." Lyrics: "Let's have a toast for the scumbags..."
11:13 p.m. Hate him or love him, the man is a talent, as the crowd shows: They all start chanting his name as he exits the stage.
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