The 2012 MTV Video Music Awards (affectionately known as the VMAs) are upon us. The show, which is slated for 8 pm EST (an hour early, to allow MTV viewers to catch Barack Obama's big night), will be broadcast live from Los Angeles' Staples Center. Kevin Hart is this year's host.
Leading the way in the nomination count are Rihanna and Drake, who are each up for five moonmen. They even share a nomination for the ever-so-sweet video for "Take Care," in which they engage in an extended hug.
Drake is up for Video of the Year ("Take Care"), Best Male Video, Best Hip-Hop Video, Best Art Direction and Best Cinematography (this is a serious award show!). He's up against Chris Brown for Best Male Video, which is only interesting because members of the duo's respective entourages threw bottles of liquor at each other in a much ballyhooed New York nightclub brawl.
Other artists vying for Video of the Year: Katy Perry ("Wide Awake"), Rihanna (solo, for "We Found Love"), M.I.A. ("Bad Girls") and the meme-ready Gotye ("Somebody That I Used To Know"). Best New Artist is another hot category, and Frank Ocean (for "Swim Good"), Fun ("We Are Young," with Janelle Monae), Carly Rae Jepsen ("Call Me Maybe"), One Direction ("What Makes You Beautiful") and The Wanted ("Glad You Came"). Why songs are associated with the Best New Artist category? We're not sure either.
Among the performers expected at the event: Rihanna, who debuted a short new 'do hours at rehearsals, Nicki Minaj, Green Day (Billie Joe Armstrong hospitalization notwithstanding), Lil Wayne, Alicia Keys, Pink, Frank Ocean, One Direction and Taylor Swift. Should be a pop-tastic night.
We'll be live-blogging the awards here, so check back. Photos available below the blog. And be sure to follow us on Twitter for all the latest.
09/06/2012 10:01 PM EDT
And Taylor Takes Us Home
Swift's got her Where's Waldo shirt on, and the furries are out in full force as the singer works through "We Are Never Getting Back Together." It's the night's most stripped-down performance, and as bad as she is at pretending to be surprised, Taylor definitely has the crowd going. It appears as though she got a room full of famous people to sing along to her jingle.
And that's it! Go watch Obama!
09/06/2012 9:57 PM EDT
Video Of The Year
Goes to Rihanna, who brushes the dirt off her shoulder and gets applause Calvin Harris, who has been playing only his songs all night along.
09/06/2012 9:49 PM EDT
Alicia Keys Gets Introduced By The Fab 5
The Olympians did a good job not looking nervous. Alicia Keys debuted "This GIrl Is On Fire," a typically anthemic single with a very surprise feature in the form of a hooded Nicki Minaj.
Gabby Douglas returned for a bit of tumbling and flipping, right in the middle of the stage. Alicia Keys shouting out Gabby was probably the cutest moment of the night, until Gabby was spotted doing a raise-the-roof gesture as she left the stage.
09/06/2012 9:43 PM EDT
On That 'Twilight' Footage
Robert Pattinson took the stage at the Staples Center in Los Angeles with Taylor Lautner, Elizabeth Reaser, Peter Facinelli and Jackson Rathbone to premiere the new clip. Ironically, while this was happening, "Breaking Dawn" star Kristen Stewart was walking the red carpet at the Toronto International Film Festival for the North American bow of "On the Road."
"Forever isn't as long as I hoped," Stewart as Bella Cullen says in the trailer, a bit of dialogue that has decidedly more weight than normal in the wake of the cheating scandal that rocked Stewart and Pattinson's relationship. What follows in the new trailer is loads of vampire-on-vampire action, including one shot of Edward swinging a kicking Bella at one of the villainous vampires in the Volturi.
09/06/2012 9:39 PM EDT
Best New Artist
Goes to One Direction, on the back of their single "What Makes You Beautiful."
The boys beat out Fun., Carly Rae Jepsen, Frank Ocean and The Wanted.
From the acceptance speech: "We'd just like to say a massive thank you to each and every one of you tonight... And all of the people who work with us every day, back stage, our crew. We have an amazing crew."
"To win one Moon Man is ridiculous, to win two is crazy, and to perform is just absolutely insane."
09/06/2012 9:34 PM EDT
More On One Direction
From HuffPost Teen:
It's safe to say that One Direction's "first time" was one to remember. The british boy band's highly anticipated 2012 MTV Video Music Awards performance this evening was, to quote most of Twitter, "!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
09/06/2012 9:27 PM EDT
Green Day Performs
Billie Joe Armstrong looks healthy as the band rips through "Let Yourself Go." The sound does approach a bit of a "wall of sound," but it's nice to see that a pit was opened up in the middle of the crowd for the trio.
09/06/2012 9:25 PM EDT
The "Gangnam Style" singer makes a standout cameo, doing the horse dance to his own tune. Very nice.
09/06/2012 9:22 PM EDT
Anyone else wish you were watching the DNC instead?
09/06/2012 9:14 PM EDT
2 Chainz Does It
The rapper formerly known as "Tity Boi" stunted his way "Yuck," a song with lines like "before Benihanas it was canned goods" and "cut the top off, call it Amber Rose." There's something amazingly energetic about the lanky, not-so-young trap rapper.
In other news, Lil Wayne took off his headphones. His voice sounded a bit too clear to be live... on the first song.