- I attended the MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday, which took place at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center.
- I was able to catch production details and cute interactions that weren’t seen on TV.
- Below you’ll find an overview of my experience and interesting behind-the-scenes moments.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Many of the signs at the venue featured the six nominees for artist of the year, one of the night’s biggest categories. However, only three were in attendance that night: Justin Bieber, who won the award; Doja Cat, who hosted the show; and Olivia Rodrigo, who performed her No. 1 hit “Good 4 U.”
Ariana Grande, Taylor Swift, and Megan Thee Stallion were absent.
The nominees, presenters, performers, and big celebrities in attendance were exempt from this requirement.
This year, due to COVID-19 safety protocol, guests were pre-warned via email that hospitality would not be available and no alcohol would be served in the building.
In the studio version of the song, Rodrigo sings, “It’s like we never even happened / Baby, what the fuck is up with that?”
If you were watching on TV, you probably assumed that Rodrigo didn’t censor herself, since MTV bleeped the line. But in real life, Rodrigo didn’t swear. She sang “what” instead of “fuck.”
From what I could hear of the backing track, it sounded like Rodrigo was supposed to sing, “Baby, tell me what is up with that?”
As they moved seats, Eilish said hi to fans in the pit and touched their hands as she walked by.
The dancers remained onstage for about 15 minutes, getting ready for Lil Nas X’s elaborate medley of “Industry Baby” and “Montero (Call Me by Your Name).” They were dancing to Nicki Minaj songs during commercial breaks and stretching during Ed Sheeran’s off-site performance of “Perfect” — during which Jack Harlow could also be seen lounging in his fake jail cell.
When BTS was announced as the winner, the band’s legendary frontman Dave Grohl threw his arms in the air in celebration. He was grinning and cheering while the group’s acceptance speech was broadcast on the big screen.
Rodrigo, who was seated close by, was on her feet the entire time. It seemed like she knew every word to all three songs — but was particularly passionate during “Everlong.”
During a late commercial break, they took the seats next to Rodrigo and Apatow, which were previously occupied by Eilish and O’Connell. (Eilish had already left after presenting the Foo Fighters with the global icon award, and O’Connell was led away by a producer.)
Shortly after, Machine Gun Kelly won best alternative video for “My Ex’s Best Friend.”
She was seated next to Lil Nas X, and they were immediately engaged in conversation. Less than one minute later, he took out his phone for a selfie, which he promptly posted on his Instagram story.
In her acceptance speech, Rodrigo thanked LAROI, who was her fellow finalist in the category.
“I just feel so grateful that I get to write music and make stuff that I love and call it my job, so thank you guys again for letting me do that,” she said.