It was the perfect Brooklyn day — blue skies, brownstones and a red carpet rolled out along the side of the Barclays Center. Is there a better place to have the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards?
Ariana Grande and Austin Mahone were the fresh faces to kick off the festivities with a pre-show performance. It’s a stage that Rihanna, Nicki Minaj and Demi Lovato have all graced, and on Sunday (August 25), the two up-and-comers used their Brooklyn backdrop to deliver their biggest hits.
With dancers somersaulting on the red carpet, Austin turned toward our cameras, mugging and singing the opening lines to “What About Love.” Austin Mahone is up for a Moonman award in the Artist to Watch category. His “What About Love” video competes with Twenty One Pilots, Zedd, The Weeknd and Iggy Azalea. In red and black leather, he showed off his choreographed moves on the carpeted Brooklyn street before kicking it to Ariana.
Grande belted out “Baby I” in a cappella, complete with vocal runs and flawless tonality. Her bejeweled earpiece was out, resting on her shoulder unneeded. Her crew, in all black, danced behind her onstage, but Grande stayed in place for the most part, focusing on her transition into “The Way.”
Dancers led Ariana down a ramp and onto the red carpet, as she continued into her second song. She wore a princess-purple, silk dress, with sparkly prom-style jewels.
After her performance, she tried to shake off her jitters, walking over to MTV News correspondent Sway Calloway.
“I’m dying,” she said.
“You must be feeling great?” Sway asked.
“Nope!” Ariana said nervously, still processing her first VMA performance. “No, no, no, I’m feeling good, but I’m glad it’s over.”
Get over your nerves soon, Ariana! We see a lot more performances like this in your future.
Keep it locked to MTV to find out if Austin wins a shiny statue. The show starts at 9 p.m. ET/PT.