This year’s MTV Video Music Awards will be like nothing we’ve ever seen before since its premiere in 1984. Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the show will be taped live throughout New York rather than being in one venue in front of an audience, and will feature outdoor performances across the state.
So, if you’re looking for the glitz, flashing lights and glamorous attire worn by your favorite celebs on the red carpet this year, you might be a little disappointed. Social distancing guidelines have made that a big “no-no”. Besides that, there’s plenty more to look forward to from the 2020 awards.
The show will kick off with a 90-minute pre-show this Sunday at 6:30 p.m. ET., with performances from Chloe x Halle, Jack Harlow, Machine Gun Kelly and more. Then the awards show will follow with Keke Palmer as the host beginning at 8 p.m. ET. The Barclays Center along with MTV promised this year’s show would “pay homage to the incredible resiliency of New York” and that the ceremony would return to the venue in 2021.
You can catch the show on 11 Viacom-owned cable networks, including MTV, MTV2, BET, TV Land, Nickelodeon, VH1, Comedy Central, Spike, Pop Logo and CMT. The event will also be shown on the CW Network, making it accessible to folks without cable TV.
Pop icons Ariana Grande and Lady Gaga are tied for the most nominations having nine each, with seven of those coming from their collaboration “Rain On Me”. The track appears in categories such as video of the year, best collaboration and best pop. Billie Eilish and The Weeknd are up next, having six nominations each. Eilish’s “everything I wanted” is in the running for video of the year and song of the year, and The Weeknd’s “Blinding Lights” is up for video of the year and best R&B. The chart-topper is also running against Da Baby, Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga, Megan Thee Stallion and Post Malone for artist of the year. In addition, special coronavirus categories have been added, including best quarantine song and best performance from home.
For the first time worldwide Miley Cyrus will perform her new single, “Midnight Sky,” and K-pop group BTS will also hit the stage to perform their single “Dynamite”, making it their first song performed fully in English live worldwide. The Weeknd, Da Baby, Doja Cat and Black Eyed Peas are also scheduled to perform.
In light of Covid-19, the state of New York will be a little more relaxed with the isolation requirements for VMA performers. The New York State Department released a statement giving MTV permission to let the artists perform in New York despite coming from states on the quarantine list. VMA performers will be following similar restrictions as Major League Baseball players and other athletes, who have to stay in their living accommodation when not doing job-related work.