For its inaugural bow in Brooklyn, the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards provided a slew of gif-worthy moments. Miley Cyrus, for one, has yet to outgrow her tongue-in-twerk phase; Lady Gaga is as comfortable with her body as ever (a certain Marina Abramovi? may have something to do with that), and Jaden Smith is Drake‘s biggest fan. Ever. Still, amid questionable fashion choices, awkward antics (like Rihanna‘s stoic reaction to EVERYTHING), and excessive cutaways to Taylor Swift, the VMAs still managed to showcase some of music’s greatest talents. Starting with the President of Pop.
Justin Timberlake‘s 15-minute Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award performance undoubtedly stole the show with memorable montages and evidence that an 18-year-old NSYNC can give One Direction a run for its money. His infallible charm was cemented in his two acceptance speeches when he thanked former band mates J.C. Chasez, Lance Bass, Chris Kirkpatrick, and Joey Fatone for contributing to his VMA success, then later honored his grandparents during his Video of the Year win. Even with Timberlake’s commandeering set, acts like Kendrick Lamar, Bruno Mars, and a Jennifer Hudson-assisted Macklemore and Ryan Lewis still brought their talent to the forefront of a highly-commercialized and predictable production.
The latter tied with Timberlake for a majority of the evening’s wins, including the first Moonman for Best Video with a Social Message for “Same Love.” They shared their VMA glory with the likes of Selena Gomez, newcomer Austin Mahone, and Swift, who happily accepted her win without interruption from a mysterious Mr. West.
Video of the Year — Justin Timberlake, “Mirrors”
Best Male Video — Bruno Mars, “Locked out of Heaven”
Best Female Video — Taylor Swift, “I Knew You Were Trouble”
Best Pop Video — Selena Gomez, “Come and Get It”
Best Rock Video — Thirty Seconds to Mars, “Up in the Air”
Best Hip Hop Video — Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat. Ray Dalton, “Can’t Hold Us”
Best Song of the Summer — One Direction, “Best Song Ever”
Best Art Direction — Janelle Monáe, “Q.U.E.E.N.”
Best Collaboration — Pink feat. Nate Ruess, “Just Give Me a Reason”
Artist to Watch — “What About Love”
Best Video With a Social Message — Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, “Same Love”
Best Choreography — Bruno Mars, “Treasure”
Best Cinematography — Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat. Ray Dalton, “Can’t Hold Us”
Best Direction — Justin Timberlake feat. Jay Z, “Suit and Tie”
Best Editing — Justin Timberlake, “Mirrors”