It was an evening of surprises at the 2011 MTV Europe Awards that included a takeover by the nominated men, a tribute to the late Amy Winehouse, a streaker, and, of course, an out-of-this-world performance from Lady Gaga.
Broadcast from the halls of Belfast’s Odyssey Arena in Northern Ireland on Sunday, the Selena Gomez-hosted ceremony kicked off with two-time nominee Coldplay, who performed their latest hit “Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall.” Frontman Chris Martin danced his way from the arena catwalk to the main stage as a spiral of lights spun around the band, igniting the arena.
Shortly after, cameras panned to the center of the venue where the night’s host, Selena Gomez, stood prominently in the middle of an onstage circle of fire. It was only a taste of what was to come from the former Disney starlet’s hosting spectacle, which included a string of outfit changes, an appearance from her rap alter ego and mingling with pop peer Katy Perry.
“Jersey Shore” stars Snooki and JWoww were on-site to deliver the first award of the night: Best Live. “What’s up Belfast? ‘Jersey Shore’ is in the house!” they screamed simultaneously, before announcing Katy Perry as the award recipient.
“This is probably my favorite award because my fans mean so much to me,” the pop superstar told the crowd. “I’m so tired, but it’s all worth it. Thank you. I love you.”
LMFAO brought their wild antics to the EMA with a performance of their summer smash “Party Rock Anthem.” The electro/pop duo proved their hard-partying ways with a life-size zebra float and a dance-off with America’s Best Dance Crew winner Quest Crew.
Lady Gaga took home the award for Best Female, which was presented to her by David Hasselhoff. Pitted against Adele, Beyoncé, Jennifer Lopez and Katy Perry, the pop diva beat the competition and walked up to the podium in a WTF-worthy metallic ensemble. Emotions overcame the singer later on when she nabbed the Best Song and Best Video awards for her mega-hit “Born This Way.”
“I knew that this song was very special when I wrote it,” the three-time EMA winner told the screaming crowd during her second award speech. “This is the single most important song that I’ve ever written, the single-most important album and until now, the single most important moment.”
One of the night’s surprises came courtesy of a streaker, who interrupted Hayden Panettiere as she was presenting the Best Song award.
Alongside his quartet of backup singers/band, Bruno Mars kept the momentum going with a performance of “Marry You.” The stage looked as if there was a wedding going on, with its heart-filled backdrop set and confetti that spewing into the air.
Like the 2011 VMAs, MTV dedicated a special presentation and award to industry legend Queen. Presented by Katy Perry, Brian May and Roger Taylor of the group accepted the Global Icon of the Year award, thanked the network and even gave the California Gurl a shout-out.
“How wonderful, because we here at the birth of MTV. How wonderful for us to be here 40 years later and to be honored in this way,” May said.
While Jesse J brought some soaring vocals with a performance of “Price Tag,” it was Gaga who treated her Little Monsters to outstanding theatrics with her performance of “Marry the Night.” Dressed in her orbital getup, the pop titan danced atop a gigantic onstage moon while she belted out the dance track. She later joined a slew of dancers back on Earth for some hair-whipping and a choreographed routine.
The Red Hot Chili Peppers and Snow Patrol assisted in the EMA takeover with audience-packed performances outside of the show’s venue from the stages of Ulster Hall and Belfast City Council.
Midway through the show, it seemed the 2011 EMA were all about the guys when both Linkin Park and Eminem appeared via pre-recorded telecast to accept their awards for Best Rock and Best Hip Hop.
Despite his current public controversy, Justin Bieber appeared positive when he walked up to the podium to accept the award for Best Male. To his surprise, Biebs was also presented the award for Best Pop by collaborator Ludacris backstage.
In a presentation introduced by Jessie J, the late Amy Winehouse was honored with a short video montage that included commentary from fans.
“It saddens me that I never got to thank Amy for breaking boundaries as I genuinely believe that without her, I wouldn’t be standing here today,” Jessie shared.
After his smooth performance of “Marry You,” it was a good night for Bruno Mars, who took home the award for Best Push Act from MTV News’ own Tim Kash during backstage interviews. He later appeared onstage to accept the award for Best New Act.
Gomez took on double duty at the show when she performed “Hit the Lights” alongside her band the Scene. But it was her boyfriend, Justin Bieber, who really got into the festive spirit when he performed a medley of his tunes “Mistletoe” and “Never Say Never.”
It wouldn’t be a show without some onstage pair-ups. David Guetta brought his string of collaborators together to perform their respective team-ups from his Nothing but the Beat LP, including Taio Cruz, Ludacris and Jessie J.
And that’s not the only surprise collabo the Europe Music Awards had in store. “American Idol” runner-up Adam Lambert joined Queen for the show’s concluding medley performance of “The Show Must Go On,” “We Will Rock You” and “We Are the Champions.” Decked out in an oversize black trench coat and matching black ensemble, Lambert showcased his over-the-top vocals alongside the iconic group.
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