NEW YORK — LudacrisLudacris, NellyNelly and Snoop DoggSnoop Dogg must have strong love for "TRL": All three missed football games to prepare for the show's big finale Sunday night (November 16). The Dogg's favorite team, the Pittsburgh Steelers, was even on TV as he rehearsed. Still, the West Coast icon was as cool as can be.
"I'm good," Dogg said with a smile in the "TRL" studios as he got ready for rehearsal. "You know me, nephew, everything is good!"
The Dogg had a pair of custom Dr. DreDr. Dre headphones on his head (Snoop's were black; they usually come in red) dancing to music piped in from his iPhone. Nelly was standing off to the side talking vacations (he hasn't taken one in two years) and President Obama. Meanwhile, Ludacris went over his itinerary on his BlackBerry until he realized he would need to send an e-mail from a laptop. One of the ladies who worked for "TRL" was gracious enough to turn hers over to 'Cris for a few minutes.
Snoop, Luda and Nelly will perform a medley of hits for the finale of the show, where they reigned supreme for so many years.
As they talked, former VJ Jesse Camp walked in, and he and Snoop took a few pictures. DJ Whoo Kid came down from 50 Cent50 Cent's dressing room and connected with both the Nelly and the Ludacris camps for possible mixtapes down the line. (Of course, Whoo Kid already has Snoop and his people on speed-dial.)
"Can somebody grab me Luda?" the stage director yelled, not knowing that 'Cris had finished his work and returned to the studio: He was sitting in the stands — where the fans usually sit — with various entourage members.
"I'm here," Luda chuckled. "Hell-lowwww, I'm here."
"I wanna use Snoop's mic," Nelly proclaimed in a joking outburst. "Yeah, let me use Snoop's!"
'Cris was the first to take the stage; his latest record, "One More Drink," came on. On the sidelines, Snoop was actually outperforming Luda, who was clearly saving his energy for the real show. The Dogg is so into his friend's music, he didn't care.
"If I take one more drink," Snoop sang, swaying back and forth. "I'm gon' end up f--- in' you!"
"That sh-- be knockin'," Snoop yelled after the song finished. "Get 'em, Luda!"
Luda's next selection was the 2003 classic "Stand Up." Snoop continued to bop and vocally support Luda.
"What's the name of this song?" 'Cris repeatedly asked the crowd during the chorus.
" 'Stand Up!' " Snoop yelled back.
" 'I'm the gott-damn reason you in VIP,' " the Long Beach MC continued, reciting one of Luda's main lines of the record. "I like that sh--!"
"Snoop, how you do your dance?" Nelly asked before his music was cued up. After Nelly rapped one of his monster catalog jams ("I'm surprised I know the words," Mr. Pimp Juice said), it was Snoop's turn.
"Oh, they brought a real n---a to go last, huh?" the Dogg said with a devilish grin.
"You son of a b---h!" 'Cris answered, laughing. The camaraderie between the three was palpable.
When Snoop finished his rehearsal, the stage director signaled what the next phase of the show would be.
"OK, Carson and La La will come in," the director ordered.
"Oh, they brought them muthaf----s back?" Snoop asked, getting a laugh out of virtually everyone in the studio.
But after rehearsal, everyone scattered — back to their dressing rooms, of course, to catch the last bits of football.
For everything on "Total Finale Live," including bonus performances, behind-the-scenes action and more, head to TRL.MTV.com. Plus, check out our stage-door interviews with 50 Cent, Taylor Swift, Ludacris and many more superstars at the big show.