• Kesa Janes

Best MTV VMA Performances

Last night, the 2020 MTV Video Music Awards took place with Keke Palmer hosting, and it definitely looked different this year.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the awards show was spaced out, with performers in various locations throughout New York City. Masks were worn by most of the performers and audience, and some performers were alone with no live audience. The show gave viewers new angles and shots to look at, as opposed to just watching the artists march around a stage in an arena like most award shows.

There were 16 performances at the VMA’s this year, including the pre-show ones. After a whole lot of review, below is my official ranking of each performance from last night’s show.

16. The Black Eyed Peas, “Vida Loca” and “I Gotta Feeling”

I had more hopes for the Black Eyed Peas last night. While they used their performance to thank first responders for fighting the front lines amid the pandemic, and voiced their support for Black Lives Matter, their energy during the performance was weak, especially in the last half when they performed “I Gotta Feeling”. They spent most of the song just simply standing in place next to each other. Also, what was up with the light-up crotches on their pants?

15. Doja Cat, “Say So” and “Like That”

Doja Cat’s performance had an alien, outer space theme to it, with background dancers dressed like aliens. They looked more like Olympic Swimmers to me, but kudos to them for wearing masks. Like the Black Eyed Peas, I felt that Doja could have had more energy, and I felt like I heard more vocals out of her background music than out of her.

14. Tate McRae, “You Broke Me First”

Good song, but it seemed that Tate was just dancing around while her song was playing. Also, why the desk?

13. DaBaby, “Peephole”, “Blind”, “Rockstar”

When DaBaby was singing “Rockstar” at the end of his performance, I could hardly hear him. Of course, this awards show was much different than usual, so I understand that things can go wrong. But, the flaming buildings and helicopter effects in the background of his performance were distracting. It’s okay, man. We still like you!

12. JP Saxe and Julia Michaels, “If The World Was Ending”

I love “If The World Was Ending”, and Saxe and Michaels are one of the music industry’s biggest power couples right now. This performance just failed to be a showstopper, like most ballads are.

11. CNCO “Beso”

The choreography was outstanding! But the lip syncing unfortunately ruined the performance. The group seemed surprised by their own lyrics.

10. Keke Palmer, “Snack”

Don’t get me wrong, I love Keke. She can sing, dance, act, you name it! But this performance felt like some last-minute act they added to fill some time. Keke made a great host, though!

9. Jack Harlow, “What’s Poppin”

The continuous shot through the arena that Harlow performed in made me feel like I was watching a live performance. Behind Jack were cheerleaders and basketball players, all sporting face masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Cheers for protecting the health of those around you!

8. Chloe X Halle, “Ungodly Hour”

Chloe and Halle have great vocals, the choreography was tight, and the duo made the most out of the performance considering they did not have a live audience. The lights were a little too flashy for my taste, but were engaging to say the least.

7. Lewis Capaldi, “Before You Go”

The king of breakup songs had some sad boy hours with a piano ballad performance of “Before You Go”. Great version of the song, but maybe a little too depressing.

6. Maluma, “Hawai”

I was not familiar with Maluma’s work until last night, but his performance was high energy, socially distant, and the effects were not too much. I just might have to listen to more Latin music after hearing his music!

5. Miley Cyrus, “Midnight Sky”

Vocals were clear, the color blocking was sweet and simple, and Miley also returns to her “Wrecking Ball” days towards the end of the performance, But this time, it is a giant disco ball that she is riding on, and no sledgehammer was licked in the making of the performance.

4. Machine Gun Kelly ft. blackbear and Travis Barker, “My Ex’s Best Friend” and “Bloody Valentine”

Obviously a pre-recorded performance that started on a city rooftop before moving to a warehouse setting, but great nonetheless. We got an energetic performance with a rock n’ roll sound that was missing from the rest of the performances.

3. BTS, “Dynamite”

Energy everywhere, amazing choreography, a catchy pop song, what else could we be missing?! I felt like I was having fun watching this performance! I wanted to get up and dance during this!

2. The Weeknd, “Blinding Lights” This performance took place on top of a skyscraper on the Manhattan Skyline, with flashy lights (Could you perform a song called “Blinding Lights” without those?), and makes the video engaging while never leaving one location. I also love it because, well, TikTok.

1. Lady Gaga ft. Ariana Grande, “Chromatica” medley

Lady Gaga performs a medley featuring “Chromatica II”, “Enigma”, “911”, and steals the show with her collaboration with Ariana Grande, “Rain on Me”. A whistle note from Grande wows the audience before Lady G breaks into a stripped down piano version of “Stupid Love”. She stops the music to tell viewers to love themselves, love others, and wear a mask before resuming “Stupid Love” in all its upbeat glory. Gaga rocked several different masks throughout the night, while accepting 10 different awards! You go, girl!

*89.1 The Point does not own any rights to the videos or music listed above. All rights go to MTV and the various artists above*