Cardi B Thanked the Real Heroes
The rapper was as candid as ever while she accepted the award for best hip hop video. Cardi rocked a form-fitting burgundy gown with a cleavage-revealing neckline as she thanked her glam team, makeup artist, hairstylist and music video director, Jora Frantzis.
“Since this is the Video Music Awards and everything, I really want to thank my music video team — first Jora Frantzis — that’s the director. She gotta hear outta my mouth, ‘I look ugly. Edit my stomach, edit my butt. Smooth my cellulite out,’” Cardi said onstage.
Lizzo Chugged from a Rhinestone Liquor Bottle
As if the singer’s “Truth Hurts” and “Good as Hell” medley could get any more incredible, Lizzo took a quick breather from singing and dancing to take a drink. A rhinestone-covered bottle, which looked like a tequila bottle, appeared and the star leaned back and chugged it like a champ.
Lil Nas X Got In on the Remix Joke
In a flash forward to the year 2079, a news reporter announced that Lil Nas X is president, and he’d be releasing the 3,162nd remix of “Old Town Road.” The fictional remix was to feature “Yung Sandwich,” “Ghost of Benjamin Franklin,” and “Megan Thee Stallion’s Twerk Wind” and “Old Thug.”
After the skit, which cashed in on the joke that there have been too many remixes of the hit song to count, Lil Nas X and his dancers absolutely smashed a performance of his song “Panini.”
Missy Elliott's Magical Wig Snatch
The 2019 Video Vanguard Award honoree’s unforgettable performance started with a wig snatch that brought her lyrics to life. As soon as Elliott rapped, “Im’a snatch their wigs, til I see that scalp,” all of her dancers’ Missy-inspired wigs disappeared. The dancers continued while rocking bald caps.
Camila Cabello & Shawn Mendes Trolled the Audience and Almost Kissed
Evoking the extremely steamy music video for the single, Cabello kicked things off in the duo and rumored couple’s first-time “Señorita” performance, singing the song’s opening lines as she walked atop a stage littered with romantic lights. Shawnmila shippers prepared themselves for a potential on-stage kiss, but instead, they got some seriously sensual moments that got really, really close to it.
The high-profile duo teased several kisses during the performance without delivering, but they did rub their noses together before breaking into smiles, sharing an enthusiastic hug, and leaving the stage hand-in-hand.
Later, the pair accepted their award for best collaboration, leaving fans without a stage kiss once again.
Taylor Swift Trolled the White House
While accepting the best video award for “You Need to Calm Down,” Swift took the opportunity to get political while throwing shade. “In this video, several points were made,” she said. “You want a world where we’re all treated equally regardless of who we love and how we identify.”
The singer continued, “I want to thank everyone who signed [the Equality Act] petition because it has half a million signatures, which is five times the amount it would need to get a response from the White House.” Swift deadpanned, pointing to her wrist and tapping an invisible watch as the crowd went wild.
John Travolta Tried to Learn from His Mistakes
While presenting the video of the year award with Queen Latifah, the actor hesitated before reading the name on the card. “I shouldn’t do this because I’ll just mispronounce s— and f— it up,” he said, referencing the time he famously called Tony winner Idina Menzel “Adele Dazeem” at the Oscars. (Thankfully, he didn’t butcher Swift’s name when she won the award for “You Need to Calm Down.”)