8:59 PM: Welcome, all! Lady Gaga is about to take the stage, and we are ready to spend the next three hours judging everyone who takes the stage.
9:00 PM: Lady Gaga’s male alter ego Jo Calderone has taken the stage. And (s)he is PISSED.
9:01 PM: If Bob Dylan and Adam Goldberg had a baby, it would be Jo Calderone.
9:02 PM: Cameras pan to Britney. She looks confused, like she’s thinking, Wait, y’all, I thought Lady Gaga was supposed to open the show!
9:03 PM: Gaga, I’m here to watch you sing, not have a therapy session with your schizophrenic personalities.
9:04: Finally, the music begins. It’s a stripped down, slightly jazzy version of “Yoü and I.” So far, so good.
9:05: FINALLY, THE GAY DANCERS HAVE ARRIVED!
9:07: I’ll admit it. I’m having a great fucking time watching Jo throw beer all over the MTV audience.
9:08: DID GAGA JUST FALL OFF THE STAGE?
9:11: How many times can we mention that MTV “didn’t need” a host this year, without mentioning that they couldn’t fucking find anyone desperate enough to take the job?
9:13: The first presenters, the odd couple of Nicki Minaj and Jonah Hill, who looks fucking phenomenal. Wish I could say the same for Nicki, who looks pathetic.
9:14: Nominees for BEST POP VIDEO:
Katy Perry, Last Friday Night
Adele, Rolling in the Deep
Bruno Mars, Grenade
Britney Spears, Till the World Ends
Pitbull, Give Me Everything
9:15: And the first VMA of the night goes to… BRITNEY SPEARS! It’s Britney, bitch! Back with a motherfucking vengeance, so sit your ass down, Nicki Minaj!
9:16: Britney thanks God, her babies, her management team, the video director, her fans, and Jason in a short, sweet, and appropriately emotional speech. Guys… BRITNEY IS NORMAL!
9:23: I hear Otis Redding, and I am fucking READY.
9:24: Kanye and Jay-Z have stormed the stage with an unreasonable amount of pyrotechnics. Also, a giant American Flag, and enough smoke machines to make Snoop Dogg cough.
9:25: The sound of pre-recorded Kanye screaming is like nails on a chalkboard to me. I just cannot even bear to listen.
9:26: Miley Cyrus blew Shaun White ten minutes ago. Don’t ask me how I know – it’s a gift.
9:27: There are nominees for BEST ROCK VIDEO, but I was too busy judging Miley’s outfit. Anyway, the VMA goes to … FOO FIGHTERS! Am I at the right VMAs, or did we just time-travel here from 1999?
9:29: Jessie J’s version of “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” actually sounds pretty good. Color me impressed.
9:36: The nominees for BEST HIP HOP VIDEO are:
9:37: And the winner is … NICKI MINAJ!
9:44: Demi Lovato and ex-Glee star Chord Overstreet take the stage to present BEST COLLABORATION. And the VMA goes to… KATY PERRY and KANYE WEST!
9:46: Paul Rudd is here and I’m swooning.
9:47: Pitbull and Ne-Yo take the stage. Don’t worry, I don’t know what that means either. There seems to be a lot of booty shaking.
9:51: It’s awesome to be Jessie J tonight – you’re on stage constantly, but you don’t have to stand because you get to be on a throne instead. I mean, I’m sure her ankle hurts, but this gig looks way more fun than if she had to run around in six inch heels.
9:57: Katy Perry has changed out of her Versace geisha dress to a high-necked, long-sleeved, and still completely slutty purple gown. With a giant purple belt. AND GIANT PURPLE BOOBS. And she introduces ADELE!!
9:59: Adele sounds exactly as beautiful live as she does on her album. This is simply phenomenal.
10:00: FYI, Adele looks stunning in a black scalloped dress with 3/4 length sleeves and a cinched waist.
10:03: I’m too busy weeping over Adele’s moving performance to come up with anything clever to say.
10:10: Kim Kardashian’s name is announced and screams drown out all other words. She introduces BEST MALE VIDEO. Nominees are:
Cee Lo Green
10:12: And the winner is … JUSTIN BIEBER! And he’s thanking not just God, but Jesus. Thanks for clearing that up, Biebs.
10:13: Joe Jonas and Victoria Justice introduce Chris Brown, who I actually could not care less about.
10:15: Chris Brown dances to “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” Kurt Cobain rolls over in his grave.
10:18: Jessie J, you’re off key! Stop butchering “No Scrubs,” please!!
10:24: Lady Gaga takes the stage, still as Jo Calderone. Disappointed solely from a fashion perspective.
10:25: “Britney taught me how to be fearless. She’s a pop music legend, and the industry would not be the same without her.” – Lady Gaga, who enjoys, amongst other things, masturbating to a Britney Spears. Britney is sobbing.
10:26: The Britney tribute begins with a speed-through of her most famous looks, videos, and dances.
10:27: Loved the little Britney montage. And the legend herself takes the stage to accept what I suppose is the VMA equivalent of a lifetime achievement award.
10:28: Lady Gaga, back the fuck up and let Britney accept this award. This isn’t all about you.
10:29: Wait, now we’re just talking about how great Beyonce is? What happened to talking about how great Britney is?
10:30: An officially pregnant Beyonce takes the stage in a fuchsia sequined tuxedo jacket, black pants, and a tuxedo shirt. There is a helluva lot of menswear happening on the ladies tonight!
10:31: Cameras cut to Adele, shaking her thing and singing along to Beyonce. Too fucking cute for words.
10:33: Cameras cut to Katy Perry, as Beyonce continues into more key changes than I thought humanely possible in one song. Katy may or may not have changed into a cheese hat. I hope I just saw that wrong.
10:34: Beyonce ends her number by revealing her cummerbun-ed baby bump; Kanye runs over to Jay to give him a congratulatory hug; and the cameras cut to Lady Gaga bro-ing out with none other than Tony Bennett. Okay, VMAs, you might be kind of cool right now.
10:40: Selena Gomez and Taylor Lautner take the stage to present BEST NEW ARTIST. I don’t know how to spell, pronounce, or decipher most of these artists’ names, but I can tell you that Tyler, the Creator has won.
10:41: “I’m excited as shit right now. I’ve wanted this shit since I was nine. I’m ’bout to cry.” – Tyler, the Creator, you’re kind of charming, aren’t you?
10:42: Zoe Saldana and Jared Leto, who really could not look like a bigger fucking hipster douchebag, take the stage to present Young the Giant. These band names are really starting to kill me.
10:44: It doesn’t actually sound like anyone in this band has even a passing familiarity with how to play an instrument, but it’s the VMAs. So I guess I should be relieved they didn’t enter the stage on a flying trapeze.
10:47: Jessie J is rocking Cee Lo’s “Fuck You” as the commercials kick back in.
10:53: Oh my God, Cloris Leachman pulled out her leopard print to present with the Jersey Shore girls!!
10:54: And the nominees for BEST FEMALE VIDEO are…
Adele, Rolling in the Deep
Katy Perry, Firework
Beyonce, Run the World (Girls)
Nicki Minaj, Superbass
Lady Gaga, Born this Way
10:55: And the VMA goes to… LADY GAGA, who downs her drink before she hits the stage, and hugs every single person in her path.
10:56: Shut the fuck up, Gaga. WE KNOW IT’S YOU.
10:57: We get it, Gaga. You love the gays, and we were all born this way, and you make the least convincing man I’ve ever seen. Could you just sing now?
11:03: Russell Brand takes the stage in the shiniest of shirts to speak about the late, great Amy Winehouse. He discusses the first time he heard her sing, “like a roar from the guts of humanity.” He compares her to Billie Holliday, to Ella Fitzgerald, and it’s honestly a moving speech.
11:06: I’m already weeping by the time Tony Bennett takes the stage. “Of all the musicians I’ve met, she was a true jazz artist. She had the gift,” he says of Amy.
11:09: Bruno Mars takes the stage to perform Amy’s “Valerie,” and I must admit, he sounds absolutely fantastic. A worthy tribute.
11:11: Another adorable shot of Adele singing along, this time to “Valerie.”
11:13: Adele looks like she’s going to cry during this song, and I can’t disagree. It’s wonderful to see such a joyous, colorful, upbeat way to remember her.
11:19: Katie Holmes takes the stage and pretends like she’s young enough to know who any of these people are. The nominees for VIDEO OF THE YEAR are:
Tyler, the Creator
11:20: And the winner is… KATY PERRY! She always seems kind of earnest and kooky and fun, in spite of the fact that I literally cannot stand the sound of her voice.
11:22: Drake takes the stage in a completely ridiculous grandpa sweater and introduces Lil’ Wayne.
11:23: I can’t. Listen. To. This. Much. AUTOTUNE.
11:25: Is Lil’ Wayne serious with his leopard-print skinny jeans?
11:26: Dear artists: I get that it’s fun to curse every other word, but it’s torture to listen to your music when half of it is bleeped out. Actually, in the case of Lil Wayne, it’s torture to listen to your music no matter what.
11:33: I waited through what I thought was an unreasonably long preview of a terrible new show until I realized the VMAs broadcast ended when I wasn’t really paying attention. Sorry for the anticlimactic ending, but I hope you enjoyed spending the VMAs with the Democracy Diva! Check back later this week for a full red carpet recap.