The 2013 MTV Video Music Awards provided us with plenty of memorable on-screen moments — Miley , we’re looking at you — but, as is often the case with a show this massive, some of the best moments actually happen off camera, when the stars let their guard down and prove that, yes, they’re just like you and I (except for Gaga, of course … she’s basically from another dimension entirely).
As luck would have it, MTV News had reporters stashed all over Brooklyn on Sunday night, from the red carpet corner of Dean Street and Sixth Ave to the very VIP Vault hidden deep beneath Barclays Center, where the night’s biggest acts kicked back, relaxed and drank from an open bar (beer, wine and champagne only). Seriously, if a star stepped off stage, ducked around a corner, or even tried to hide in a dressing room, our intrepid team of writers was there, and now, we’ve compiled their notes to bring you the behind-the-scenes moments that otherwise would have gone unnoticed.
This is the VMAs You Didn’t See.
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis got a chance to congratulate Kanye West after his performance of “Blood on the Leaves.” “Thanks for setting the bar, as an artist, bro. I appreciate it,” Macklemore told ’Ye, bringing him in for a hug. Lewis and “Same Love” singer met West too, shaking hands and embracing as they passed in the hallway.
Lady Gaga and Miley Cyrus certainly dominated discussions following the show, but, from the moment they rolled onto the red carpet (and we do mean rolled), they let it be known that the VMAs were definitely their show. Gaga arrived in the back of a vintage Rolls Royce, one that was supposed to stop feet before the carpet began … only the Mother Monster decided she was going to step out in style, and had her driver take the luxury car onto the carpet, no matter what security said. Miley did much the same; she was scheduled to arrive straddling the hood of a 1950s police cruiser, though, for reasons apparent only to her, her black Escalade drove right past it, sending security scurrying as they parked on the carpet. Like her song says, it’s her party, and she can do what she wants.
Meanwhile, up at the top of the VMA carpet, the stars tended to obey the posted traffic laws. One Direction greeted screaming fans by the Brooklyn Bridge build, Katy Perry and Selena Gomez both took time to pose for pictures with the carpet audience and Big Sean goaded his (rather unwilling) girlfriend, “Glee” star Naya Rivera into talking to reporters, and the couple walked the press line side-by-side. Thirty Seconds To Mars, fresh off their Best Rock Video win, snapped selfies with members of the Echelon who had traveled from Colombia to witness their favorite band’s arrival on the carpet, and Ellie Goulding took a moment to pose with a pair of NYPD officers who were clear fans.
Inside Barclays, Will Smith and his kids Jaden and Willow grooved to Lady Gaga’s show-opening performance of “Applause” (despite what you might have heard ), while, one row in front of them, Bruno Mars and his dad joked and shared drinks. Later, Jaden Smith could be seen making small talk with Drake, who was seated nearby, and Bruno planted a kiss on Taylor Swift’s cheek before heading backstage for his performance of “Gorilla.” Miley, who was well on her way to establishing herself as the MVP of these VMAs, hugged Macklemore before heading behind the curtain.
Of course, with a show that had so many moving pieces, there are bound to be a few things that went awry … and this year, it was the VMA’s revolving, KAWS-designed stage. Seems that following a dress rehearsal at 6 p.m., the stage stopped turning, meaning that several performances and presenter entrances had to be shifted, and large portions of the show reblocked. The positioning of Miley’s gigantic bear was moved, and opening portion of Drake’s performance restaged.
Backstage, things were happening fast and furious. Gaga capped her comeback performance by letting out a triumphant shout, and as she strode back to her dressing room, she triumphantly thrust her fists in the air … and her army of backup dancers, wig attendees (and Terry Richardson) followed suit. Soon after, she emerged, clutching a pink baby bottle, to have a quick chat with the guys from One Direction. And later, rumored couple A$AP Rock and Rihanna exchanged a friendly hug, while Wiz Khalifa and Birman took pictures with each other.
Whether they were coming from the stage, looking for a place to relax amongst friends, or in search of a quick drink, all the stars eventually made their way down to the Vault, which became Barclays’ default clubhouse to the stars. Minutes after wowing the audience with his searing, subtle performance of “Blood on the Leaves,” Kanye West was all smiles in the VIP, draping a towel over his shoulders and disappearing into his dressing room, where a loud series of cheers was soon heard.
Following his performance, Drake and his OVO crew strode through the Vault in matching “October’s Very Own” T-shirts and shouting (to no one and everyone) “F–k with that now, motherf—ers.” Shortly after, he’d apparently calmed himself, because Drizzy could be seen at the bar cracking jokes with 2 Chainz (they both paused to stare at Daft Punk as they glided by in full robot regalia).
Earlier, in the same room, Bruno Mars watched Miley’s twerk-tastic performance on a monitor (and asked anyone within earshot “they’re making me tone down my performance?!?”) and Ed Sheeran observed Justin Timberlake’s epic, career-spanning set like a true fan, joking “I’ve got to work some moves like that into my set.” Oh, and when the ’NSync guys made their way back to the Vault, they received a hero’s welcome, with the entire room rising to their feet to cheer them on. Even celebs are pumped for their reunion.
“Let’s have a drink!” Justin Timberlake declared, with Joey Fatone at his side. Earlier in the night, ’NSync reunited onstage to sing “Girlfriend” and “Bye Bye Bye.” And that certainly calls for celebration. As the guys take a victory lap, we see them in big smiles, giving the camera thumbs ups and peace signs.
And as the big show came to a close, well, the stars showed no sign of slowing down. Justin Timberlake waved a bottle of champagne high above his head, Red carpet DJ duo Nervo made plans to hit up New York club Finale for an after party and ever-humble (despite their three VMA wins ) Macklemore & Ryan Lewis rolled out of Barclays in a black SUV, stopping on the corner of Dean and Flatbush to wave to fans before heading out into the night. And the party only continued from there …
For more VMA Behind The Scenes Moments, check out MTV’s Instagram Account!