x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 January 2018

Uplifting sounds

The MTV Europe Music Awards delivers another star-studded night full of big performances. Here are the bash's biggest talking points.

Katy Perry performs Unconditionally at the MTV Europe Music Awards. Reuters
Katy Perry performs Unconditionally at the MTV Europe Music Awards. Reuters

Miley Cyrus the girl can sing

If the American MTV Awards in August was meant to announce Miley Cyrus’s arrival as the pop world’s latest super­star, then her EMA performance was designed to remind viewers the 20-year-old has singing talent to back the popularity. Her separate performances of the show opener We Can’t Stop and the power-ballad Wrecking Ball were stripped back and showcased her powerful voice. As well as an award for Best Video for Wrecking Ball, the singer walked away balancing some people’s perspectives of her controversial career.

Eminem goes Berzerk on stage

The EMA’s biggest guest was only announced on Saturday. Eminem flew into Amsterdam to pick up this year’s MTV EMA Global Icon award. Before picking up the gong from the award’s co-host, Will Ferrell in character as Anchorman’s Ron Burgundy, the rapper went on stage for a storming performance of his new single Berzerk. With Eminem to launch a new world tour next year, his live set proved the tour could be one of the hottest tickets of 2014.

Snoop Dogg no Lion in sight

After touring the world in his Rasta-farian rapper persona Snoop Lion, the old school Snoop Dogg returned to the EMAs and performed the classic Gin and Juice as part of the 20th anniversary celebration of his debut album Doggystyle.

Katy Perry on a high

Literally one of the night’s major high points was Katy Perry’s performance of Unconditionally, which had her levitating in the air like a Cirque du Soleil performer. After winning the award for Best Female Act she gave a special thank-you to her diehard fans, “the Katy Kats”.

Ron Burgundy out and about

With Redfoo from LMFAO hosting the event inside the Ziggo Dome, the night’s co-presenter Burgundy was free to wander around backstage and conduct some chit-chat with celebrities. Speaking to Eminem, the strait-laced newscaster informed the rapper that the Dutch DJ and fellow award nominee Afrojack was making some disparaging remarks about him. “Who?” deadpanned Eminem. “Well said,” Burgundy remarked.

Bruno Mars stellar on stage

The Hawaiian pop star unleashed a powerful performance of the single Gorilla, one of the best offerings from his second album Unorthodox Jukebox. Mars’s sweeping rendition deserved the standing ovation from the audience. Upon receiving his award for Best Song for Locked Out of Heaven, Mars thanked his dad who was in the crowd: “My pops is here in the building,” he said.

Imagine Dragons rising stars

The rockers continued their rise with an epic performance of the hit Radioactive. The quartet easily bettered the night’s other rock performances, including Beautiful War by Kings of Leon and Shot at the Night by The Killers.

Chris Lee bigger than Bieber

She is the only artist who stood in the way of the Justin Bieber and One Direction juggernauts. The Chinese singer – known as Li Yuchun in her homeland – defeated both artists to take out the Best Worldwide Act award, proving that Beliebers and One Directionites stand no chance next to millions of diehard Chinese pop fans.

Redfoo the host with the most

Like his band LMFAO, the awards host Redfoo’s toilet humour began to grate very early in the show. However, that trademark enthusiasm and willingness to “Paaaartaaaaaaaay!” eventually rubbed off on the crowd.

Celebrity non-appearances

The EMAs tend to broadcast the awards categories where winners are in the audience. For the victors who are away, their achievements are rattled off before the commercial breaks. Some of the artists who couldn’t make it: the Best Male Act award went to Justin Bieber, One Direction were Best Pop Act, Best Rock Artist was won by Green Day, Best New Act went to Macklemore & Ryan Lewis and Best Electronic Act to Avicii.

sasaeed@thenational.ae