Bey-by! It’s the Best Moment at the 2011 VMAs

 

MTV’s Video Music Awards are known for generating zeitgeist pop culture moments– like Kanye West’s infamous onstage interruption of Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech in 2009– and this year’s edition was no exception.

The buzziest moment– which generated a record number of tweets, measured by Twitter at 8,868 per second– was pop singer Beyoncé’s big pregnancy reveal, unbuttoning her purple sequined jacket and rubbing her tummy at the end of her performance.

Despite coping with Hurricane Irene on the East Coast, ratings were record-breaking with 12.4 million viewers, making it MTV’s most watched telecast ever, according to the Nielsen Co., up 9% over last year’s show.

But what this show really lacked was a host to stitch together some of its big and unexpected moments, like Chris Brown’s Cirque du Soleil-esque performance, Britney Spears almost kissing in-drag Lady Gaga or Katy Perry’s peculiar cheesehead ornament.

The show started off with a bizarre monologue by Gaga as her male alter ego, a chain smoking Jo Calderone, with slicked back Jerseypompadour hair. It was hard to tell which direction that was going, making for a rocky opening. But props to Lady G for remaining in character all night without resorting to the insanely over-the-top get-ups she usually sports. Meat dress, anyone? Not this time, although Perry took up the slack by doing four costume changes.

Little-known actor/comedian Kevin Hart followed Calderone/Gaga at the top and during the not very funny monologue, continually made references to the fact that he wasn’t hosting, but if he did, he would say whatever he was saying differently. That went over like a lead balloon.

It soon became apparent that there would be no host after all, a departure from years past when personalities including Chris Rock, who was absolutely hysterical multiple times, to Jimmy Fallon, Dennis Miller, Ben Stiller, Jamie Foxx, Shawn and Marlon Wayans and last year, Chelsea Handler who handled the emcee duties.

But having a host-less show was not unprecedented. The VMAs, which date back to 1984 with inaugural hosts Bette Midler and Dan Aykroyd, also went rudderless in 2007 and 2004.

With this year’s material including tributes to the recently departed Amy Winehouse and honoring Britney Spears with the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award, the guiding hand of a host would’ve been appreciated. Not to mention laughs that might have ensued at appropriate moments.

 

Russell Brand, who received widespread exposure in theUnited Stateswhen he hosted the VMA’s in 2008 as a little-known comic and actor, and was brought back in 2009 to further acclaim, was obviously available.

As the high-profile husband of multiple nominee Perry and called upon to begin the Winehouse tribute with his reminiscences of her in London about which he’d written, Brand seem to rush through the rather poignant material, perhaps miffed that he didn’t get the hosting gig—or given a cue that the show was running long.

Still, it lurched along and provided other hot-button moments: Chris Brown’s aerial moves along with other performers during a medley of songs that unexpectedly included Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” West and Jay-Z taking the stage to perform. Adele’s emotional rendition of a song that wasn’t the lauded “Rolling in the Deep.” Young the Giant’s debut VMA appearance with a mosh pit crowd of fans from theirCaliforniahometown. Best new artist recipient Tyler the Creator, giving an expletive-filled acceptance speech geared toward kids. Gaga’s performance of “You and I,” for which she was joined by Queen guitarist Brian May.

In the end, it was the announcement of Bey’s bey-by that will be remembered. Yes, that unborn offspring of musical royalty was, to coin a Gaga phrase, born this way.

VMA After Parties: Battle of the Bottles

Within minutes after the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards ended, the after parties began.

 

First off, the Sunset Tower Hotel, where InTouch weekly continued its tradition of VMA bashes called Icons and Idols . UV Vodka was a topline sponsor of the indoor/outdoor/poolside event– and it was everywhere from its logo being projected into the pool to cocktails and flavored UV shots being proffered by servers at every step.

 

But not to worry, there was plenty of food in the form of generously-sized Kobe beef sliders and mini crabcakes to balance things out.

 

The space was set up with reserved tables for bottle service, although they remained mainly empty while we were there — and if you didn’t have one, you weren’t even allowed to rest your tush on the back of a couch, which was a bit hardcore.

 

Under the watchful eye of the fire marshal, security also scooted people away from the main walkway between the outdoor and indoor areas. Despite all the rules and regs, it was a fun, sexy vibe and a great summer night to be outside and luxuriate in the stellar view of the City of Angels. Among the partygoers, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Tisdale, Ron Artest, Kendra Wilkinson and Ray J.

 

Crowds gathered around the bars– tended by fast-working staff, so there were never long lines–and were lured by the unusual all-green candy bar sponsored by Sprint.

 

Guests scooped up green gummy bears, licorice, M&Ms, rock candy and gum drop spearmint leaves, ensuring that no one who partook had crabcake breath.

Over at the SLS Hotel, the fire marshal was putting a stop to more people coming into the happening House of Hype party, which was getting overrun with people, many of whom clustered around VMA Queen Katy Perry, who left her unusual block headgear–and apparently, husband Russell Brand –elsewhere.

 

The evening had begun on the hotel’s lovely outdoor patio with the “Hot 100 Dinner” presented by Esquire magazine, where guests including Emma Roberts and Kelly Rowland toasted the night with Armand de Brignac champagne and walked away with gift bags from Glamhouse.com that included jewelry from newlywed Kim Kardashian’s line.

 

The after party, sponsored by Nissan Versa, was even more glittery with MTV Video Vanguard award winner Britney Spears and beau Jason Trewick, Akon, Mark Salling, Rose McGowan, Chord Overstreet &  Roberts (reportedly a new couple) and  Malin Akerman among the revelers, grooving to the beats of DJ Cobra and DJ Ire.

 

Again, the room was set up like a nightclub with bottle service tables–this time, stocked with Ciroc, Red Bull, and all the mixers you could want.

 The shorter the dress, the higher the heels and the more tattoos, the better for this crowd.

At one point late in the evening, Jamie Foxx took over the mic and gave a special shout-out to Katy Perry, who was partying with her brother and other friends and celebrating her Moonmen.