Miley Cyrus left little to the imagination with her risqué performance at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday night, but aside from all of that extra tongue and twerkin’, the 20-year-old star put some serious thought into the props for her stage show.
Miley hit the stage to perform her hit single “We Can’t Stop,” before joining Robin Thicke briefly on “Blurred Lines,” and prop designer Almitra Corey gave MTV News a rundown of what they sketched out behind the scenes.
In addition to emerging from the belly of a giant bear to perform, Miley was also flanked by even more of the furry creatures while she gyrated across the stage. “It was all Miley’s idea to have as many bears as possible,” Corey explained. “We had an illustrator and cartoonist design the faces of the bears, including those for the girls who were twerkers and ‘Amazon Ashley,’ who had the bear head on her back and was throwing out marshmallow treats into the audience. Those were designed by an artist named Todd ‘REAS’ James.”
She noted that Diane Martel — who directed Miley’s “We Can’t Stop,” plus Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” and “Give It 2 U” videos — had some input as well. “It was a collaborative effort between Miley and director Diane Martel,” she said. “They wanted there to be a lot going on, like a carnival aspect that would be kind of crazy and get weird and I think it was accomplished.”
As Corey pointed out, Miley’s dancer Amazon Ashley was busy passing out treats to the audience during the performance, and apparently, those were dog themed. “We made these little party favors that were marshmallows in gift bags with photographs of Miley’s dog Floyd,” she explained. “She wrote her name on the back of each bag, so it said ‘Floyd’ in Miley’s handwriting. She just loves her dog and wanted to share him with the audience.”
“It was our idea to use marshmallows because that would be a safe thing to throw at the audience. Plus, our director is really into cotton candy, marshmallows, etc., so it worked out really well with our theme between the Miley and Robin aesthetic.”
Then, things got a little luxurious when Robin Thicke joined Miley onstage and ushered in his “Luxury Girls” and a full-sized yacht, which also shows up in his “Give It 2 U” music video.
“There are these girls called the ‘Luxury Girls’ that are in the video and also were onstage with him,” Corey explained. “They were holding these cute piñatas filled luxury items — there was a fancy watch, a bottle of champagne, a credit card and a Picasso. And then there was the 60-ft yacht that passed across the stage in the middle of the performance that we built.”
“It was just a blast to work on,” she added. “It was so much fun!”