The 2013 MTV VMAs: A Timeline of Egomania
0:01: Close up on Lady Gaga's face singing about the fact that "It's showtime" (insert falsetto here). She is wearing a postmodern interpretation of the flying nun's habit.
0:02: Wait, no she isn't. She just changed outfits. Twice.
0:04: Holy shit! Gaga's just emerged in her third wig, wearing a precarious seashell bra and thong, and dancing dangerously vigorously.
0:05: No nip-slips. It's a minor miracle.
0:06: The members of One Direction say a series of inane things. The camera pans to Harry Styles' ex-girlfriend Taylor Swift, who clearly mouths the words "Shut the fuck up" to the amusement of her pal, Selena Gomez. We never thought we'd say this, but we're with Taylor Swift. (Good work, camera dude -- this was amazing.)
0:08: Selena Gomez wins Best Pop Video for "Come and Get It." Why does she still look 12 years old?
0:14: Recognizing the incredibly short attention span of its core audience, MTV does a quick summary of awards, which runs as follows:
Best Art Direction: Janelle Monae and Erykah Badu
Best Choreography: Bruno Mars
Best Cinematography: Macklemore and Ryan Lewis
Best Direction: Justin Timberlake and Jay Z
Best Editing: Justin Timberlake
Best Visual Effects: Capital Cities
0:17: Miley Cyrus emerges from a giant teddy bear and performs "We Can't Stop." As much as we appreciate her balls-out new image, girl HAS to stop trying to twerk. It's incredibly awkward. Like watching kids at a middle school dance trying to figure out how to slow dance for the first time.
0:20: Oh look! Robin Thicke's arrived. He and Miley do a "Blurred Lines" duet. Miley has stripped down to a flesh-colored bikini and is doing some very sexually suggestive things with a large foam hand. Robin Thicke takes all that very well, of course.
0:21: 2 Chainz and Kendrick Lamar show up. Despite the onstage chaos (involving about 50 dancing girls -- some of whom are holding up arts and crafts projects), the attention is still very much on Miley Cyrus, who's humping the foam hand like her dad isn't at home watching. Shudder.
0:24: L'il Kim tries to speak, but it's like watching Paula Abdul on sedatives. We're a bit worried about her.
0:26: Best Hip Hop Video goes to Macklemore and Ryan Lewis for "Can't Hold Us." Drake does not look impressed. Good. That guy is terrible.
0:34: Kevin Hart isn't funny.
0:37: Jared Leto needs a new stylist.
0:38: Kanye's here! And he's basically the only person on Earth who can pull off auto-tune! He performs in silhouette for a full three minutes, though. It looks like there's been a blackout, but nobody wants to tell him in case he gets even angrier.
0:46: Daft Punk, Pharrell Williams, and Nile Rogers emerge in sequined dinner jackets and present Best Female Video to Taylor Swift for "I Knew You Were Trouble." She doesn't do her shocked award face! Girl's growing up! Kind of... She does throw a dig at Harry Styles, who claps and looks smug. His face is looking particularly slappable this evening.
0:51: Since when has Best Video With a Social Message been a thing? Macklemore, Ryan Lewis, and Mary Lambert take it for "Same Love." Lady Gaga gets really happy.
1:00: Timberlake time! There's a medley of hits to acknowledge that he's the recipient of this year's Video Vanguard Award. A pre-recorded "Take Back the Night" eases into a live medley that includes "Sexy Back," "Like I Love You," "My Love," "Cry Me A River," "Senorita," and "Rock Your Body."
1:08: Justin Timberlake is really fucking good at his job.
1:11: It's the much-hyped N*Sync reunion. Lady Gaga gets out of her seat and shakes her seashells, and Taylor Swift almost does her shocked award face, but the entire thing lasts about 60 seconds -- which is probably because at this point, it just looks like Justin Timberlake got four older male back-up singers.
1:12: N*Sync get sucked into the floor, JT does "Suit and Tie" and "Mirrors." Rihanna gets lost in the music. Harry Styles chews gum and looks bored -- let's see where you are in 15 years, Styles.
1:18: Jimmy Fallon disappears up Justin Timberlake's rear end.
1:26: Oh good. Kevin Hart is back. Surely there's something better for us to listen to while sets are being changed?
1:28: Vampire Weekend presents Best Song of the Summer to One Direction for "Best Song Ever" -- beating out all of the actual songs of the summer (Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines", Daft Punk's "Get Lucky," and Miley Cyrus' "We Can't Stop"). This is what happens when you let the public vote for things -- the crazed 11-year-old girls always win, yo.
1:33: Macklemore, Ryan Lewis, and Mary Lambert perform "Same Love" underneath giant American flags. It is delicious. Then Jennifer Hudson joins in and it goes next level. Woop!
1:44: Adam Lambert and Emili Sande present the Artist to Watch Award to Austin Mahone. Remember that thing we said at 1:28 about the 11-year-old girls? Yeah.
1:46: Drake? Thank you, no, we'll pass...
1;55: Taylor Swift presents Best Male Video to Bruno Mars for "Locked Out of Heaven." She is approximately five feet taller than him. He performs "Gorilla" with more laser lighting than both Trons put together. Will Smith likes it, so he pulls a Will Smith face.
2:15: A very dapper Joseph Gordon Levitt presents Video of the Year to Justin Timberlake for "Mirrors." He dedicates it to his "Granny." Five million women across the country curse Jessica Biel.
2:18: Katy Perry is in a boxing ring under the Brooklyn Bridge performing "Roar." At one point she jumps rope, at another she spits into a bucket. Take that, Russell Brand!
2:22: It's all over! That wasn't nearly as painful as the Grammy's.