Music / Television

2014 MTV Video Music Awards: A Recap

What’s up, lovers of the Zoo? As, AJ mentioned, we’re gonna be coming at you with more reviews and/or original pieces soon; so, sit tight as our brains begin to kick into overdrive.

…We guess so?

That being said, we kinda-sorta (vaguely) promised that we would possibly write something on the VMAs when they happened. And lo and behold, we are here.

So without further ado, I will proceed with this recap. Unlike the grammys one that I did earlier in the year, I’m going to be taking a point-by-point approach and delivering biting sarcastic remarks (and/or criticism…some of which you probably already saw yesterday while we zookeepers were tweeting our asses off yesterday (we didn’t like it, but we love you guys; so we guess). After that, we include the list of winners and awards at the bottom.


– So, at the beginning of the show—from 8:00pm to 8:16pm to be exact, we had to franctically search for a reliable live stream, because obviously MTV hates us and wants us to stare at the f*cking audience the entire time. I mean, f*ck the show, right?


– We finally went LIVE at 8:16 and apparently, we missed Ariana Grande performing “Break Free, Iggy Azalea doing whatever and Nicki shaking her ass. Somewhere, Jessie J was in that mix.

So basically, we didn’t miss much.

We just did. You’re welcome.

– After that momentary live stream lapse, along came Taylor “I-can’t-dance-so-let-me-poke-cutesy-fun-at-myself” Swift, who performed her new single “Shake It Off”. Honestly, we hate this song and her pitchy performance did not help. She did in fact try to dance, causing the Zookeepers who subjected themselves to the horror that is the VMAs to take an impromptu bathroom break because we just couldn’t.

Do we have a positive?


Her outfit was nice. We guess.

We’re still wishing North West interrupted her performance.


– After Swift’s performance, Chelsea Handler hopped up to present the Best Male Video, during which she called Swift’s performance really white (or something like that. We’re abbreviating). The award went to Ed Sheeran takes it for “Sing”.

Can’t say we’re mad about that.


– While transitioning, Jay Pharoah came out to do a Jay Z impression. We were initially skeptical, but it was actually funny as f*ck. Who knew to expect actual humor (and music) from this show?

– Next, Jeff Daniels and Jim Carrey made their way to the stage to present Best Pop Video. After a bunch of shenigans that us zookeepers mostly zoned out for—apparently, Carrey wiped out? Eh, we don’t care—the duo announced that Ariana Grande and Iggy Azalea took the award for their song “Problem”.

Apparently, Ariana didn’t know she’d win and didn’t prepare anything; so, she took her time to thank Azalea, her inner circle, Jesus, the Twelve Disciples, and etc.

So, basically, she thanked everyone and their mother.

I don’t suppose we do.

– Kim Kardashian-West (with special emphasis on “West” apparently. And, you know, who invited her? We were convinced that you needed talent to be here? we guess not?) then took the stage in a very awkward-looking dress (AJ had WORDS about this, but she may say something about it later) to introduce the next performer, Sam Smith.

Smith belted at a heart wrenching rendition of “Stay With Me”, ended up being pretty beautiful. He has some nice pipes and is great live.

It was so beautiful. So beautiful.

– After the conclusion of that performance, Common came onto the stage to briefly talk about Hip Hop’s influence over time and its importance and relevance to the events that are currently still unfolding in Ferguson (we love Common; so, it was a pleasure to see him, especially since the show was boring as f*ck so far).

– That being said, Common’s riveting speech garnered him so great applause, but us zookeepers couldn’t help but side-eye the whole thing


A lot of people were way more hype about the injustices brought on by KONY 2012. What makes this so different? Applause is *great* (debatably), but we’re not sure it’ll do much. That being said, thanks for the awareness?

Mhmmm. We went there.

Moving on, Common then announced the winner of the Best Hip Hop Video, which went to Drake for “Hold On, We’re Going Home”. His win was alright in our books, especially since he won extra points with Lex for his Scarface references in said video.

Lex approves this sh*t.

– After that, Orange Is The New Black stars Laverne Cox, Taylor Schilling, and Uzo Adoba (yeaaaaaaah, Crazy Eyes!) came on stage to introduce the next performer: Usher.

If you aren’t a fan of Orange Is The New Black, you were probably (most certainly) very confused by their intro.

Anyways, Usher definitely brought the house down with his performance and medley of hits and later brought on Nicki Minaj to drop her own cold verse and quickly exit the stage. We were grateful for the performance as one of us had starting dozing off at the computer.


The VMAs were that boring.


After a much needed commercial break (and quick nap), the show resumed with Nina Dobrev and Trey Songz taking the stage to announce Best Rock Video. Songz presumably said something oddly sexual that garnered some “oooooohs” from the crowd—again, we were like half-paying attention, remember that—and made Dobrev (and us) uncomfortable while simultaneously earning a lot of side-eye.

That being said, we have two qualms about this award:

  1. Why didn’t the Best Rock Video award get a cool ass slideshow like the other video awards? We guess rock is not that important?

Seriously, MTV? We’re not even that into rock and we are offended.

  1. So, eventually, Lorde took the award for “Royals”. First of all, why is “Royals” still winning awards? That song came out forever ago. And second of all, we didn’t know she was rock (probably because she’s NOT); so, imagine our annoyance when bands like Lincoln Park, Imagine Dragons, Artic Monkeys, and such lost to her.
Picture 2014-08-25 om 19.17.34

Apparently, she’s rock now. *shrugs* Thanks, MTV.

– Anyhow…Chloë Moretz Grace and Dylan O’Brien took the stage next. Since they opened up about 90s-related nostalgia, we were expecting some cold ass 90s band to take the stage.

We got 5 Seconds Of Lame Summer instead.

We’re not even sorry for that one.

Yes, it’s true. We weren’t really into their performance. Although, AJ would’ve liked Dylan to stay longer so that she could holla at him. I would have preferred another Maze Runner trailer to this nonsense, but hey.

– After that, Pharoah returned to the stage…as Kanye West. This time around, he was woefully unfunny and we all collectively fought the urge to bash our heads into our respective computers and/or destroy them.

That’s how done we were.

After we survived that ordeal, Pharoah then announced the Artist to Watch Award, which went to Fifth Harmony. Now, while we usually wouldn’t care about something like that, it is important to note that this is Fifth Harmony and that they are pretty good.

So good, that we even included some evidence for you:

– Soon after that award, Jennifer Lopez stepped on stage to introduce the next round of performers (while saying “Booty Remix” for the 832183709237th time—including all the times she’s said it on social media. We get it. You have a song to promote. Sheesh): Azalea and Rita Ora.

We then admittedly zone out during their performance, but I’m aware enough to notice the camera settling on Swift once again as she “dances”.

Between this and the grammys, I may just lose my sh*t.


– Next, Jason Derulo and Demi Lovato took to the stage to introduce the next performers: Maroon 5. The band performed their song “Maps” and we were very grateful because they sound awesome live.

– Around this point, a Robin Williams tribute played out on TV—to the sound of Coldplay’s song “A Sky Full of Stars”. It was a short and sweet tribute, but it was appreciated nonetheless and became one of the highlights of the show for us.

– After the tribute, Jimmy Fallon took his place on stage to introduce the winner of the Video of the Year. Fallon engaged in a lot of camera sheningans that left us confused (“The Give The Person Next To You Five Dollars” would definitely not be a cam that we’d be caught on), but entertained nonetheless.

Anyways, we took a wild guess that the award would presumably go to Ariana or Beyoncé.

It went to Miley Cyrus. For “Wrecking Ball”.


However, she ended up using it as a platform for homeless youth; so, she earned some slight kudos in our book. We could have done without the fake crying though.

– Subsequently following that award, Beyoncé was finally introduced.


Don’t get us wrong. We zookeepers don’t really drink Beyoncé’s kool-aid (aka we are not members of the Beyhive. You can call The Beygency on us if you want to. We don’t give a singular f*ck). That being said, we do agree, however, that the woman KNOWS how to put on a show. And seeing as we were bored out of our goddamned minds, we welcomed this aforementioned show.

You mad?

Beyoncé did in fact end up showing out, as she performed a medley of hits including “Cherry”, “Blow”, “Drunk In Love”, “Partition”, “Flawless” and such. We  found “Drunk In Love” especially interesting as the dancers in that song looked as if their asses were wrapped in saran wrap (which was probably to the relief of many an audience member, seeing as “butts” turned out to be a recurring theme for the night). We were also very said that she left out her partner-in-crime from the Grammys, Chair (I wonder if he’s still on tour?).

You will be missed, Chair.

After her commendable performance (and after she apparently broke Twitter. Seriously, the fan worship is kind of scary), Jay Z and Blue Ivy took to the stage to present Beyoncé with the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award.

Kudos, Beyoncé. Kudos.

– ANNNND VMAs done. It was utterly boring. UTTERLY boring.

I’m out.

Other than that, here’s the full list of winners from the VMAs:

1.Video of the Year:

Iggy Azalea ft. Charli XCX – “Fancy”

Beyoncé ft. JAY Z – “Drunk In Love”

Pharrell Williams – “Happy”

Sia – “Chandelier”

Miley Cyrus – “Wrecking Ball” (WINNER)

2. Best Hip Hop:

Eminem – “Bezerk”

Drake ft. Majid Jordan – “Hold On (We’re Going Home)” (WINNER)

Childish Gambino – “3005”

Kanye West – “Black Skinhead”

Wiz Khalifa – “We Dem Boyz”

3. Best Male:

Pharrell Williams – “Happy”

John Legend – “All Of Me”

Ed Sheeran ft. Pharrell – “Sing” (WINNER)

Sam Smith – “Stay With Me”

Eminem ft. Rihanna – “Monster”

4. Best Female:

Iggy Azalea ft. Charli XCX – “Fancy”

Beyoncé – “Partition”

Lorde – “Royals”

Ariana Grande ft. Iggy Azalea – “Problem”

Katy Perry ft. Juicy J – “Dark Horse” (WINNER)

5. Best Pop:

Pharrell Williams – “Happy”

Iggy Azalea ft. Charli XCX – “Fancy”

Jason Derulo ft. 2 Chainz – “Talk Dirty”

Ariana Grande ft. Iggy Azalea – “Problem” (WINNER)

Avicii ft. Aloe Blacc – “Wake Me Up”

6. Best Rock:

Imagine Dragons – “Demons”

Arctic Monkeys – “Do I Wanna Know”

The Black Keys – “Fever”

Lorde – “Royals” (WINNER)

Linkin Park – “Until It’s Gone”

7. MTV Artist To Watch:

Sam Smith – “Stay With Me”

5 Seconds of Summer  -“She Looks So Perfect”

Charli XCX – “Boom Clap”

Schoolboy Q – “Man Of The Year”

Fifth Harmony – “Miss Movin On” (WINNER)

8. Best Collaboration:

Beyoncé ft. JAY Z – “Drunk In Love” (WINNER)

Ariana Grande ft. Iggy Azalea – “Problem”

Pitbull ft. Ke$ha – “Timber”

Chris Brown ft. Lil Wayne and Tyga – “Loyal”

Eminem ft. Rihanna – “Monster”

Katy Perry ft. Juicy J – “Dark Horse”

9. MTV Clubland Award:

DJ Snake & Lil Jon – “Turn Down For What”

Zedd ft. Hayley Williams – “Stay the Night” (WINNER)

Calvin Harris – “Summer”

Martin Garrix – “Animal”

Disclosure – “Grab Her!”

10. Best Video With a Social Message:

Angel Haze ft. SIA – “Battle Cry”

Avicii – “Hey Brother”

Beyoncé – “Pretty Hurts” (WINNER)

Cole ft. TLC – “Crooked Smile”

Kelly Rowland – “Dirty Laundry”

David Guetta f/ Mikky Ekko – “One Voice”

12. Best Cinematography:

30 Seconds to Mars – “City of Angels”

Beyoncé – “Pretty Hurts” (WINNER)

Arcade Fire – “Afterlife”

Gesaffelstein – “Hate or Glory”

Lana Del Rey – “West Coast”

13. Best Editing:

Eminem – “Rap God” (WINNER)

MGMT – “Your Life is a Lie”

Zedd  ft. Hayley Williams – “Stay the Night”

Beyoncé – “Pretty Hurts”

Fitz and The Tantrums – “The Walker”

14. Best Choreography:

Sia – “Chandelier” (WINNER)

Beyoncé – “Partition”

Usher – “Good Kisser”

Michael Jackson f/Justin Timberlake – “Love Never Felt So Good”

Jason Derulo f/2Chainz – “Talk Dirty”

Kiesza – “Hideaway”

15. Best Direction:

DJ Snake & Lil Jon – “Turn Down For What”? (WINNER)

OK Go  – “The Writing’s On the Wall”

Miley Cyrus – “Wrecking Ball”

Beyoncé – “Pretty Hurts”

Eminem ft. Rihanna – “The Monster”

16. Best Art Direction:

DJ Snake & Lil Jon – “Turn Down For What”

Iggy Azalea ft. Charli XCX – “Fancy”

Eminem – “Rap God”

Arcade Fire – “Reflektor” (WINNER)

Tyler, The Creator – “Tamale”

18. Best Visual Effects:

DJ Snake & Lil Jon – “Turn Down For What”

OK Go – “The Writing’s On the Wall” (WINNER)

Disclosure – “Grab Her!”

Eminem – “Rap God”

Jack White – “Lazaretto”


Source: USA Today

Images From:,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,




8 thoughts on “2014 MTV Video Music Awards: A Recap

  1. Pingback: Meet the Winners of the 66th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards | Sublime Zoo

  2. Laughed so much reading this. Probably the most boring award show I’ve ever watched. Fifth Harmony’s win pissed me off so much. They are really good… but seriously, they beat Sam Smith? How do you reconcile that?

    Miley Cyrus’ little stint there just screamed “look at me, aren’t I an angel?” I just couldn’t see sincerity on her face at all. Her fake tears made me leave the room. It was just so uncomfortable to watch (this is coming from someone who actually likes her music). Still, if she helps just one person through doing that then it’s a good thing.

    The VMA’s hit a new low point in 2014 (an excitement low-point, that is).

    Liked by 2 people

    • Lol! Thanks! I’m glad some good came of this, but in hindsight, I would have (should have) sat the VMAs out this year.

      As for that Fifth Harmony win, you are actually quite right. Sam Smith is a beast and should have won that award over them (as much as I love them). Why he didn’t? Well, I couldn’t tell you, as MTV thinks Lorde is rock, so I guess anything goes, right?

      Any yeah….Miley’s stunt made me roll my eyes several times…especially since the news that has emerged around the entire thing since then has been equally side-eye worthy. Meh.

      I agree. The VMAs definitely hit that point. Next year, we’ll just live tweet it and leave it at that.


  3. Dylan O’Brien, YEAH!!!
    Here is my take:
    Why did it look like Iggy and Rita Ora (someone I actually thought was not alive or around any more) do some strange “ittsy bittsy spider” thing…as well as imitate the SH*T out of either Nicki Minaj or Sia (I’m not entirely sure, but if I just went with Rita and that wig I would say Sia)?
    The Robin Williams tribute was not long enough in my opinion. I was cooking/watching at the same time but when I heard Coldplay I really thought for a moment they were doing a tribute with the actual band. Plus, it was like potty break and you missed it.
    Both Kim Kardashian- West and “Horrible Dancing” “Sweet memes are made of these” Taylor Swift were wearing patterns straight from the Sims 3 build a rug tool. The eff!
    And Miley Cyrus and her stand-in actually only pissed me off more. When Common brought up Ferguson, like you said Kony 2012 got more clap/ responses. Then Miley comes up there and I guess tries to undo her previous VMA f*ck up by being nice and bringing up something totally irrelevent to her country at the moment. I mean no offense to homelessness or homeless people, but she lives in LA and celebrities continuously raise the standard of living in that area so homelessness happens. If she wants to help, give back, but don’t make the guy (who CHOSE to runaway) be t your charity case when there are real issues at hand. Issues that people are losing their lives for.
    Overall, it was “meh” to me.
    The highlights were definitly the T-Swift GIFs we were supplied with that will get us through at least a year. Nicki Minaj finally learned how to dance. And Beyonce DID NOT send a slaw-dogging video in her place (like the BET Awards) and made the entire sit through worth it. Oh and Blue Ivy and Beyonce’s response to Jay-Z’s hug was priceless…

    Liked by 1 person

    • ^Yeah, so I pretty much agree with the whole of that, lol! I just wish I could get my two hours back, lmao. But yeah, everything you said is spot-on. The details emerging around said homeless guy is not kosher, everything was pretty boring, BET is “meh” as it pertains to quality these days, but I don’t think it deserved to be dissed via video by Beyonce, and the T-Swift gifs will definitely pay off later this year.


      • See, I didn’t know about the tour thing. And yeah, I agree…which is ironic in that MTV and BET are owned by the same people (but then again, it makes sense as MTV isn’t exactly doing any better, lmao).


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