2020 VMA’s Recap


Donovan WilsonReporter

MTV has been running the Video Music Awards, or VMA’s, annually since 1984, even with COVID-19, the show still continued on.  

Traditionally, the VMA’s would be recorded from one specific location in New York City, but as the first significant live award show of the COVID-19 era, there were a lot of changes that had to be made. 

 Host Keke Palmer took viewers to several outdoor locations within NYC, with the exception of some remote performances such as Korean pop group BTS performing from South Korea. 

MTV laced in a nostalgic 80’s and 90’s theme throughout. For instance, Doja Cat began her performance of her songs “Say So” and “Like That” by mimicking an old school MTV News host.  

“It’s a great accomplishment for him, especially being his first win, but it’s unfair to artists that are more established in the alternative rock genre” said communication disorders major Nicholle Denault, a freshman. 

Machine Gun Kelly, also known as MGK, took home the best alternative video award as primarily a hip hop artist for his song “Bloody Valentine” featuring Travis Barker of  Blink-182 fame. This song comes off of his forthcoming pop punk album “Tickets To My Downfall” and it was accompanied by a pre-recorded pre-show performance of both the aforementioned song and “My Ex’s Best Friend” featuring pop artist Blackbear.  

Rising hip hop star, Jack Harlow, performed his hit single “What’s Poppin” in a pre-recorded video for the pre-show as well where he performed on the court with the basketball team the jazz. 

With COVID-19, the celebrities also took the time to promote mask use at the event. 

“People always seem to look up to famous people and want to be like them so seeing them do that will hopefully encourage more of the general public to wear masks too” said nursing major Gracie Marsh, a freshman. 

Lady Gaga, Ariana Grande & a plethora of background dancers took to the stage and performed completely while wearing masks although they were in a COVID-19 safe environment. The pair of singers performed their joint single “Rain On Me” sandwiched between performances of Gaga’s solo songs “Enigma,” “Chromatica II,” ”911” and “Stupid Love.”  

Gaga also took home the most awards that night with five in total.  

The Black Eyed Peas also took the stage to perform on the show with some sort of apparatus causing their groined  regions to glow. They closed out the ceremony with a performance of “Vida Loca” and “I Gotta Feeling,” the latter of which made headlines due to the absence of former member Fergie.  

According to New York Post, this year’s ceremony attracted 6.4 million total viewers across all programs. In comparison, last year’s ceremony drew 6.8 million, which while higher, a drop of only 400 thousand people is rather impressive for an untraditional ceremony in untraditional times.  

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