Emily Eldridge, Columnist

If you haven’t watched Miley’s performance of “We Can’t Stop” at the VMAs you may want to get on the Internet or turn on MTV, especially if for some reason you’re interested in seeing a 20-year-old “twerk” on a 36-year-old man dressed like Beetlejuice (Robin Thicke). Besides the Miley number, there were a lot of “interesting” performances, for lack of a better word. Kanye West sang “Blood On The Leaves” in a minimalist, black-out fashion and Macklemore and Ryan Lewis delivered an amazing and passionate performance of “Same Love”. In case you missed it, here’s a brief play-by-play of what happened Sunday night at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center:

Lady Gaga:

Her act kicked off the award show with a performance that does not fall short of Gaga standards. We heard her new single, “Applause,” which was unfortunately leaked online a week earlier than planned. For TV viewers, she appeared to be a floating head in white box framming her minimally made up face. She sung while her expressions continued to reach more and more “theatrical” levels (see snapshot of Will Smith and children’s reaction to Gaga’s preformance). The camera zoomed out and the audience saw her full costume, which resembled a white nun get-up with a signature Gaga twist. My favorite part was witnessing Gaga go through five on-stage costume changes…wigs, face paint and all.

Though the song, in my opinion, is nothing fantastic, the performance and recently released music video of “Applause” is what brought the song to life. In an interview with Sway Calloway before the VMAs, Gaga said, “Every year MTV wants me to one-up myself and they make sure to let me know that.” And with much enthusiasm, Gaga lived up to her name. Hopefully we will be seeing more of her via her new album “ARTPOP”.

Miley Cyrus:

Sporting the always-attractive bleach-blonde-middle-part-mini-bun, she instantly screamed ’90s grunge/Gwen Stefani wanna-be.

During the first half of the performance she came out in what resembled a one-piece bathing suite, sneakers and her signature red lipstick and danced with oversized teddy bears. I wouldn’t call it “raunchy,” that best describes her “Blurred Lines” melody with Robin Thicke when she tore off her one-piece to reveal a barely-there ensemble and slipped on a foam finger which made its way to places we really didn’t expect to see a foam finger go…

Katy Perry:

She sang her new single, “Roar”, live, off-site in Brooklyn with the bridge in view as her backdrop. Perry wore an animal print sports bra as part of her boxing ensamble with French braids, knee-high socks and gold shoes. Her background dancers were wearing grey sweat suites and sneakers. This was an odd transition from the typical candy-princess, fairy-tale look we have seen Perry sport in the past. She also wore a diamond grill on her teeth.

Despite her different approach to fashion on Sunday night, her songs are still inspirational and tween appropriate, though nothing to raveabout from this performance. She sounded fine but it is almost impossible to compete with the other jaw-dropping performances we saw last night. Cyrus and Gaga seemed to hog the stage when it came to female solo performances.

‘N Sync/JT:

We have an ‘N Sync reunion to gawk at, finally. They sung a compilation of “Girlfriend” and “Bye Bye Bye”. Being a big ’90s pop fan, I wish the performance would have lasted longer than a minute and fourteen seconds. But the real question on my mind is what prompted the reunion? In an interview with Radar Online Aug. 23, Joey Fatone’s dad leaked the surprise and says, “It’s more to the fact that MTV has made them all somewhat of stars and also made Justin a star,” so I guess they feel like they owe the network a big “thank you”? Regardless, this performance had the entire audience begging for more and I’m definitely not complaining. After the ‘N Sync reunion, JT broke off into a solo performance of his single “Suit and Tie”, walking the isles of the Barclays Center and serenading every member of the audience. I was glad to see him perform at this year’s VMAs; it has been a great year for him so this performance seemed appropriate.

List of this year’s winners:

Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award: Justin Timberlake

Video of the Year: Justin Timberlake: “Mirrors”

Best Hip-Hop Video: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat. Ray Dalton: “Can’t Hold Us”

Best Male Video: Bruno Mars: “Locked Out of Heaven”

Best Female Video: Taylor Swift: “I Knew You Were Trouble”

Best Pop Video: Selena Gomez: “Come and Get It”

Artist to Watch: Austin Mahone: “What About Love”

Best Collaboration: P!nk feat. Nate Ruess: “Just Give Me a Reason”

Best Video with a Social Message: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis: “Same Love”

Best Rock Video: Thirty Seconds to Mars: “Up in the Air”

Best Art Direction: Janelle Monae feat. Erykah Badu: “Q.U.E.E.N”

Best Song Of the Summer: One Direction: “Best Song Ever”

Best Choreography: Bruno Mars: “Treasure”

Best Cinematography: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat. Ray Dalton: “Can’t Hold Us”

Best Direction: Justin Timberlake feat. Jay-Z – “Suit & Tie”

Best Editing: Justin Timberlake – “Mirrors”

Best Visual Effects: Capital Cities – “Safe and Sound”

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