MTV VMAs 2014: Top moments, winners and everything you missed from the show

Thanks to Miley Cyrus’s ridiculous opening performance last year, we might have had unrealistic expectations for the craziness of the MTV Video Music Awards. Save for an epic finale by Beyoncé — and an adorable appearance by Jay Z and Blue Ivy — it was a rather low-key show.

Here are some of the highlights and what you missed:

* So yeah, that Beyoncé moment. Maybe the show was so laidback so that no one would overshadow the Queen Bey herself. The superstar, honored with the Michael Jackson Vanguard Award, delivered an intense 15-minute performance with excerpts from various songs (“***Flawless,” “Drunk in Love,” “Mine,” etc.) and mesmerizing dancing throughout them all. (Read more about the segment here.)

The best part? Husband Jay Z arriving on stage with their toddler daughter, Blue Ivy, to present his wife with the award, calling her “the greatest living entertainer.” Beyoncé was near tears as she accepted it, and the whole family embraced in a hug.

* Ariana Grande, Jessie J and Nicki Minaj collaborated somewhat seamlessly for the opening performance of “Bang Bang” — though Minaj stole all the thunder with her wardrobe malfunction, expertly holding her dress together like this happens all the time.


* Minaj also kicked things off by twerking through her latest single, “Anaconda,” while covered in snake scales and the censors worked overtime to bleep out certain words from the lyrics. Bonus: There were no actual snakes to be found on stage, given that one bit Minaj’s back-up dancer during rehearsals.


Nicki Minaj performs on stage at the MTV Video Music Awards. (Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images)

* Taylor Swift dressed in a sparkly two-piece surrounded by tuxedo-clad gentleman for a rendition of her new song “Shake It Off,” taking her awkward dance moves to new heights. It wasn’t nearly as bizarre as anything she did dancing in her seat, as usual:

* Katy Perry and rapper Riff Raff channeled some old school Britney Spears/Justin Timberlake for their denim wardrobe choices.

* Lorde gave an endearing and very confused speech as she ran on stage to accept her prize for Best Rock Video. “Is there, like, a specific place I’m supposed to be looking?” she asked, searching for a camera. Eventually she found it. And then swore on air. And then apologized for swearing on air.


Singer Lorde accepts Best Rock Video. (Mark Davis/Getty Images)

* Jay Pharoah of “Saturday Night Live” wasn’t really the host, but he sure acted like one, bridging the gap between performers with impressions. (Jay Z, Kanye West, etc.) For the latter, the cameras went straight over to Kim Kardashian, naturally.


* Hip hop artist/actor Common arrived to give a tribute to Ferguson, Mo. — MTV also aired a PSA. The show kept up the “real world problems” theme when Miley Cyrus had a homeless youth named Jesse go up in her place to accept the Video of the Year Award, where he talked about the 1.6 million homeless kids and runaways in Los Angeles.


My Friend’s Place representative Jesse, left, accepts Video of the Year award on behalf of Miley Cyrus. (Mark Davis/Getty Images)

Full list of winners:

VIDEO OF THE YEAR:
Iggy Azalea ft. Charli XCX – “Fancy”
Beyoncé ft. Jay Z – “Drunk In Love”
Pharrell Williams – “Happy”
Sia – “Chandelier”
Miley Cyrus – “Wrecking Ball”

BEST HIP HOP:
Eminem – “Berzerk”
Drake ft. Majid Jordan – “Hold On (We’re Going Home)”
Childish Gambino – “3005″
Kanye West – “Black Skinhead”
Wiz Khalifa – “We Dem Boyz”

BEST MALE:
Pharrell Williams – “Happy”
John Legend – “All Of Me”
Ed Sheeran ft. Pharrell Williams – “Sing”
Sam Smith – “Stay With Me”
Eminem ft. Rihanna – “The Monster”

BEST FEMALE:
Iggy Azalea ft. Charli XCX – “Fancy”
Beyoncé – “Partition”
Lorde – “Royals”
Ariana Grande ft. Iggy Azalea – “Problem”
Katy Perry ft. Juicy J – “Dark Horse”

BEST POP:
Pharrell Williams – “Happy”
Iggy Azalea ft. Charli XCX – “Fancy”
Jason Derulo ft. 2 Chainz – “Talk Dirty”
Ariana Grande ft. Iggy Azalea – “Problem”
Avicii ft. Aloe Blacc – “Wake Me Up”

BEST ROCK:
Imagine Dragons – “Demons”
Arctic Monkeys – “Do I Wanna Know”
The Black Keys – “Fever”
Lorde – “Royals”
Linkin Park – “Until It’s Gone”

MTV ARTIST TO WATCH:
Sam Smith – “Stay With Me”
5 Seconds of Summer -”She Looks So Perfect”
Charli XCX – “Boom Clap”
Schoolboy Q – “Man Of The Year”
Fifth Harmony – “Miss Movin On”

BEST COLLABORATION:
Beyoncé ft. Jay Z – “Drunk In Love”
Ariana Grande ft. Iggy Azalea – “Problem”
Pitbull ft. Ke$ha – “Timber”
Chris Brown ft. Lil Wayne and Tyga – “Loyal”
Eminem ft. Rihanna – “The Monster”
Katy Perry ft. Juicy J – “Dark Horse”

MTV CLUBLAND AWARD:
DJ Snake & Lil Jon – “Turn Down for What”
Zedd ft. Hayley Williams – “Stay the Night”
Calvin Harris – “Summer”
Martin Garrix – “Animal”
Disclosure – “Grab Her!”

BEST VIDEO WITH A SOCIAL MESSAGE
Angel Haze ft. Sia – “Battle Cry”
Avicii – “Hey Brother”
Beyoncé – “Pretty Hurts”
J. Cole ft. TLC – “Crooked Smile”
Kelly Rowland – “Dirty Laundry”
David Guetta ft. Mikky Ekko – “One Voice”

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Thirty Seconds to Mars – “City of Angels”
Beyoncé – “Pretty Hurts”
Arcade Fire – “Afterlife”
Gesaffelstein – “Hate or Glory”
Lana Del Rey – “West Coast”

BEST CHOREOGRAPHY
Sia – “Chandelier”
Beyoncé – “Partition”
Usher – “Good Kisser”
Michael Jackson ft. Justin Timberlake – “Love Never Felt So Good”
Jason Derulo ft. 2 Chainz – “Talk Dirty”
Kiesza – “Hideaway”

Emily Yahr covers pop culture and entertainment for the Post. Follow her on Twitter @EmilyYahr.
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