Live from the home of the current World Cup champions, the 2010 MTV Europe Music Awards in Madrid, Spain, which airs Sunday night (November 7) at 9 p.m. ET at MTV2 and Friday night at 9 p.m. ET on MTV, was a winning night for pop music. Stars like Katy Perry, Rihanna, Ke$ha and more picked up trophies and shut down the stage at the city’s Caja Magica venue.
Host and “Desperate Housewives” star Eva Longoria kicked off the show, heralded by bursts of fog and pyro as a slinky silhouette appeared, James Bond style, in the middle of the stage’s huge circular set piece. However, instead of completing the entrance with some insanely agile spy move, the Latina diva gracefully strolled onto another part of the stage in a vampy brown number, quipping that the silhouetted woman was a stand-in, and that she didn’t want to ruin her dress. The moment set the tone for the night, which was chock-full of copious amounts of pyrotechnics, show-stopping fashion and elaborately executed performances.
The big moments really began before the main event when hip-hop superstar (onetime EMA stage-crasher )) Kanye West surprised fans during 30 Seconds to Mars’ preshow gig. The MC hit the stage for his 30STM collabo “Hurricane,” and then rocked a brief rendition of “Power.” 30STM also took home the award for Best Rock.
Colombian powerhouse Shakira was the first to shake things up on the main stage, shimmying in fringed bottoms for her jam “Loca” with UK spitter Dizzee Rascal. Then the superstar, who also won the Free Your Mind award for her humanitarian efforts, aptly launched into the World Cup anthem “Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)” as enormous flags were waved through the air.
Southern rockers Kings of Leon turned in an epic performance of “Radioactive” that rivaled the grand scale of the Caja Magica. The crew brought an energy to the show that was different from a lot of the acts, showcasing their performance chops instead of tinkering with fussy theatrics.
Newlywed Katy Perry was the polar opposite, heaping tons of firepower onto her set, and dazzling fans with her first post-wedding, awards-show performance. Performing “Firework” outdoors at the city’s Puerta de Alcala stage, the singer, who also took home Best Video for “California Gurls,” donned a glittery catsuit and belted the single among the raging bursts of pyrotechnics.
Rihanna recreated the summery vibe of her “Only Girl (In the World)” video by dotting the stage with several daisies, kicking off the song seated atop a pedestal in a white bustier. Rocking a bejeweled crown and flower-laden skirt, the singer switched up the energy when the chorus dropped as several guys in suits filled the stage and chucked confetti from briefcases.
Miley Cyrus channeled her inner vamp in a lacy leotard and tons of hair flips for her rendition of “Who Owns My Heart.” She was flanked by ladies who were also decked out in lingerie looks and fellas grooving in suits.
Ke$ha hit the stage in Day-Glo face paint for a revamped version of “Tik Tok,” which featured a house music-friendly breakdown. The Best New Act winner pumped up the eye-popping performance with tons of bouncing balls and otherworldly-looking dancers.
Like Perry, Linkin Park took their performance of “Waiting for the End” outside to the Puerta de Alcala stage, crooning to a mass of Spanish fans waving their fists in the air as the band rocked the A Thousand Suns single. The band had accepted the award for Best Live Act earlier in the show before lighting up the stage.
B.o.B and Hayley Williams of Paramore, which won Best Alternative , teamed up for their hit collabo, “Airplanes.” The Atlanta spitter and the rock frontwoman performed the ethereal hit as giant balloons rained from the ceiling, and were tossed around by audience members.
Even though Lady Gaga couldn’t physically attend , due to her show in Budapest, the pop sensation accepted her three trophies for Best Pop, Best Song and Best Female in her signature outrageous getups live from her Hungary performance.
Other winners included Eminem for Best Hip-Hop, Tokio Hotel for Best World Stage Performance and Marco Mengoni for Best European Act. Bon Jovi, who received the Global Icon award, closed the show with the final performance of the night.
The 2010 EMAs will air on MTV2 on Sunday at 9 p.m. ET, and an edited, performance-heavy version will be broadcast Friday, November 12, at 9 p.m. ET on MTV.