The clock keeps ticking away toward the launch of the 2008 MTV Video Music Awards at 9 p.m. Sunday. But the VMA action really gets under way an hour earlier, at 8 p.m., as MTV News brings viewers “Opening Act,” which will be co-hosted by country crossover cutie Taylor Swift live from the VMA red carpet.
New this year to the preshow is the MTV News Chopper, which will be flying Sway across the Los Angeles airways all evening long. Sway, armed with cutting-edge GPS tracking technology, will clue viewers in on the whereabouts of the various celebrities who’ll be arriving for the big show and ensure that all the VMA nominees, presenters and performers arrive on time and in style.
Swift will serve as MTV News’ fashion correspondent during the preshow. Once inside, Swift will be taking the VMA stage to introduce the Jonas Brothers’ highly anticipated performance . The preshow will also feature MTV News’ Tim Kash, John Norris, Kim Stolz and Jim Cantiello, who will be reporting on all of the festivities while interviewing some of the biggest stars in entertainment as they make their way to this year’s VMAs.
In addition, the VMA red carpet will be transformed during the preshow into a stage that will host a one-of-a-kind VMA dance-off, featuring crews Kaba Modern and Fanny Pak from MTV’s own “America’s Best Dance Crew.” (Check out live video from the red carpet as the stage is built!) “ABDC” fans chose Kaba Modern and Fanny Pak to perform during “Opening Act” after five finalist crews from seasons one and two of the show competed last weekend in the special one-hour “America’s Best Dance Crew: Battle for the VMAs.”
After the preshow performance, fans will once again have the power — voting at VMA.MTV.com for the winning crew, which will be announced on the VMA stage.
This year’s VMAs will be hosted by comedian and “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” co-star Russell Brand
. The evening will feature performances from Christina Aguilera, Kanye West, T.I., the Jonas Brothers, Katy Perry, Rihanna, Lil Wayne, Paramore, Kid Rock and Pinkand a special
appearance by Britney Spears . Presenters include Fall Out Boy’s Pete Wentz, Jamie Foxx, “Gossip Girl” star Chace Crawford, a very pregnant Ashlee Simpson, John Legend, Kobe Bryant, Leona Lewis, Paris Hilton, Slash, Taylor Swift, Shia LaBeouf, Michael Phelps, Miley Cyrus, Lindsay Lohan, Scarlett Johansson, Ciara, Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Tisdale, Corbin Bleu, Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Christopher “McLovin” Mintz-Plasse and “The Hills” gang — Lauren Conrad, Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt.
This year’s VMAs will unfold at the Paramount Studios lot in Hollywood and will air live starting at 9 p.m. ET.