Like much of the past few weeks, last night’s MVT European Music Awards were in large part a celebration of our VH1 Storyteller Taylor Swift. Taylor spent much of the night flexing her Surprise Face muscles for each of the three awards she won — for Best Female, Best Live Act and Best Look — and gabbing about how excited she is to have clocked her first EMA win. Of the other winners, a broken hearted Justin Bieber took three of his own (Best Male, Best Pop and Beste World Stage), Carly Rae Jepsen took Best Song, One Direction took Best New and Biggest Fans, and PSY of course won for Best Video; Rihanna meanwhile went 0 for 6 nominations, leaving empty handed.
And perhaps we’ve caught the Red fever, but we really enjoyed the old time-y circus act that was Taylor’s “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” performance (which the evening’s host, Heidi Klum, made way for by floating away with a balloon in hand). She donned a big black top hat and a red sequined jacket, and was joined on stage by clowns on tiny bikes, a harem of ballerina clowns and some fire breathers (pyrotechnics were big with all the performers last night). It was maybe not her strongest vocal showing, but after all the time she spent twirling round the circus ring of a stage, who could blame her for being a little short of breath by the end? Red has only just come out, and award show season is just around the corner, and there’s sure to be more winning night’s like this in the near future of Taylor
Rita Ora, “RIP”
Lowered onto the stage in a cage, Rita Ora opened the show with an energetic and “Thriller” cribbing performance of her hit single, “RIP.” She hasn’t really taken Stateside, but Ora is a bright star in Europe and the audience was accordingly uproarious when she hit the stage in an red sequined jump suit. Unfortunately, at the end of the song she pulled out an umbrella to shield herself from an explosion of sparks — perhaps not the wisest move to make if she’s looking to quiet the Rihanna comparisons.
Alicia Keys, “New Day/ Girl On Fire”
Alicia Keys spent the eve of her VH1 Storytellers on stage, performing “New Day” and “Girl On Fire” from Girl On Fire, out November 27th. She looked great, with her new cropped ‘do and in a chic black body suit, and she sounded good as ever. And she was totally unfazed by the flaming hula hoops hanging above her head while she played the piano for “Girl On Fire.” Head in the clouds, she’s not coming down.
No Doubt, “Looking Hot”
No Doubt continue to amaze us with how good they still sound and how great they still look, each performance being like they haven’t just returned from a decade long haitus. Last night they played “Looking Hot,” the second single off their Push and Shove, while looking, well, hot. Adrian Young jammed out on an rainbow LED drum-kit and Gwen strutted around the stage in a sexy tux jacket and short shorts combo, presumably hyped after getting an “I LOVE YOU!” shout out from Heidi. Here’s to many more decades of No Doubt performances like this.
Psy, “Gangnam Style”
At this point wearing a pair of sexy lederhosen, Heidi Klum gave a little yodel before welcoming Psy to the stage. Psy kicked things off on a beach lounger outside the venue somewhere and stumbled upon David Hasselhoff in a port-a-potty, before he made it to the stage where a group of dancers dressed in his signature powder-blue suit awaited him and a Gangnam Style dance-off ensued. In introducing him, she suggested that he is “this year’s biggest phenomenon and the undisputed king of pop,” and any doubts we harbored otherwise were completely forgotten by the end of this totally insane performance.
Check out Carly Rae Jepsen, Pitbull, Muse, The Killers and fun.’s performances over at MTV.com