Eminem And Rihanna's Triumphant VMA Plan: Making The Show

Between commitments in Hawaii and NYC, the hit collaborators found time to kick off the show in style.

In the days before [article id="1647438"]Eminem's opening performance[/article] at the 2010 Video Music Awards on Sunday, the MC had to do a little juggling. Not only did he have to make room in his schedule for the big show; he had to work out a cross-country trip so that he'd arrive in New York in time for the first of his [article id="1647055"]two Yankee Stadium shows with Jay-Z[/article] on Monday night (September 13).

But though the MC wasn't able to stick around and accept his wins for Best Male Video and Best Hip-Hop Video, he planned to open the show proving that he was already a winner.

"[article id="1647560"]Eminem is opening the show[/article], and the theme of his performance is 'triumph,' " VMA executive producer Dave Sirulnick told MTV News in the days prior to the broadcast. "It's a testament to the year he's had, his return to the top. He tells a story, and the viewers will definitely pick up on that."

At first, it seemed like Eminem wasn't the only person with scheduling troubles. "Love the Way You Lie" collaborator Rihanna originally said she wouldn't be able to make the show because she was in Hawaii, shooting "Battleship."

But then, she either changed her mind at the last minute or planned to trick us all along. The flame-haired singer took the stage and belted out her haunting chorus during the second half of Em's set.

"SURPRISE!!!" she tweeted after the performance. "Just had to do it, guys."

The Moonmen have all been handed out and the stars have gone home, but there's plenty of 2010

MTV Video Music Awards news, interviews, behind-the-scenes scoop, party reports and more still to come, so keep it locked on