Last weekend we saw the MTV Video Music Awards take place amongst a somewhat dystopian background. Due to the pandemic, the annual awards were even more unusual than expected; with masks, green screens, and pre-recorded segments, there was a lot to take in. We are rounding up the fashion, awards, and moments that made this year’s show.

Due to the ongoing pandemic, the VMAs were forced to go virtual. This meant a fake crowd, recorded segments, and a lot of green screens. Virtual events offer a double-edged sword, on one hand, they give everyone the same access to experience content, but on the other, they can miss the mark and not engage with the audience the same way.

Although the VMAs are about all music, the fashion choices of our favourite artists have also become equally important. Despite the ongoing pandemic meaning no red carpet, this year was no different. On the pre-recorded red carpet, we saw a number of celebrities opt for sheer. Bella Hadid’s bodysuit from Nensi Dojaka is a perfect example of this. She paired this with an all-black outfit for an understated look. Others to adopt this trend were Miley Cyrus, with an all sheer black dress, and Madison Beer in a partially sheer minidress, again all black.

But we did see some bold colour choices. Jaden Smith aimed to stand out with a pastel-coloured jacket paired with matching shoes. In a surprising outfit choice, it was Machine Gun Kelly who made the boldest statement. Wearing a hot pink blazer, trousers, and turtleneck tank top, the rapper was arguably the best-dressed man of the night. He definitely stood out from the array of all-black looks.

However, unsurprisingly, it was Lady Gaga who stole the show, in all aspects. Lady Gaga dominated the fashion, awards, and performance aspects of VMAs. Gaga wore an incredible NINE outfits throughout the duration of the show and had several outfit changes during her pre-recorded performance. A key detail of her outfits was the extravagant masks. Fashion choices always make a statement, but Gaga took it an extra step further by reminding people to stay safe during current conditions. 

But of course, the VMAs are about awards and artists, not just fashion. The big winner was Lady Gaga, taking home 5 awards. She won the first-ever ‘Tricon Award’, as well as Artist of the Year, and ‘Rain on Me’ with Ariana Grande won Song and Collaboration of the Year. One of our favourite artists Doja Cat was awarded the PUSH Best New Artist award, a well-deserved award considering the artist’s huge growth this past year.

We of course saw some big moments at the VMAs, as usual, some even bigger than usual due to the nature of the show. The Weeknd performed ‘Blinding Lights’ high above the Hudson in a stunning performance complete with fireworks and light shows. Chloe x Halle gave an incredible performance also, in a simple yet captivating set. Of course, the best performance however has to go to Lady Gaga. Performing a medley of various songs, Gaga’s recorded performance was an incredible production. The performance featured Ariana Grande, outfit changes, great choreography, stunning sets, and of course the passion that Lady Gaga brings to every performance.

All in all, the show was strange and slightly underwhelming. Although pre-recorded segments kept things interesting, the VMAs fell flat due to the lack of atmosphere and consistency. Some artists tried to do too much with their performances, others felt a little uninterested. The show came to an end in a bittersweet way, with the Black Eyes Peas. Although this was an undoubtedly strange choice, the performance did take us back to 2009 and a time when things were a lot different. 

There was one clear musician who dominated the VMAs in every way. Lady Gaga’s performance, fashion, and victories were dominating throughout. With her new album, hit single, and extravagant, surreal style we can see 2020 ending as the year of Gaga.

The VMAs were not really what we expected, but they were a start. Who knows when we will see events return to the normality of the past, and until then this was a good example of what we can expect for events in the near future. Do you feel that these virtual shows give more people a chance to become involved, or that they simply do not engage with audiences the same way?