When you think “VMAs,” what comes to mind? The Britney-Christina-Madonna makeout of 2003? Taylor Swift, Kanye and all that was holy in the 2009 Twitterverse? Lady Gaga’s dress made of meat in 2010? Some might say the VMAs are grossly obsolete, celebrating a medium of music that exists only on YouTube and not television, but you know what? I gotta admit, I’m more excited for this awards show than I have been since MTV actually played music videos. It’s safe to say that these spectacles provided by our favorite celebs prove one thing: you just never know what could happen in the name of a moon man.
Here are 10 things I’m looking forward to most about the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards:
1. The Britney tribute
The ultimate princess of pop is reportedly receiving her Lifetime Achievement award this Sunday after a serious Spears medley performed by some of music’s biggest stars. Rumor has it that Selena Gomez, Katy Perry, Janet Jackson, Ke$ha, Nicki Minaj and Lady Gaga will all be performing some of Brit’s biggest hits.
2. The Amy Winehouse tribute
Rolling Stone tweeted earlier this week that Tony Bennett will grace the VMAs for the first time since 1993 to pay tribute to Amy Winehouse. Bennett will introduce video footage from their recording session for his “Duets II” album, which drops September 20. Rumored performers: Adele and Gaga.
3. Beyonce’s performance
Her first in two years! “We are thrilled to have Beyoncé return to her rightful musical home at the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards,” said Amy Doyle, executive producer of the 2011 MTV VMAs and MTV’s EVP of Music & Talent, in a statement. “Her performances at the VMAs are legendary —- leaving everyone breathless and talking for days. We can’t wait to see her set the stage on fire once again!” Beyonce has three nominations this year and will undoubtedly provide a badass performance.
4. Lady Gaga in general
Crazily enough, this will only be Lady Gaga’s third appearance at the VMAs. Feels like she’s been around forever, doesn’t it? In 2009, she arrived with Kermit the Frog as her date. In 2010, she was escorted by former armed-services members in protest of the military’s “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. Who will don the arm of Gaga this year? The butcher? The baker?
5. Lil Wayne’s performance
Have you seen the advertisements? MTV has been showing clips of Lil’ Wayne freestyling like a mad man in order to pump up fans for his VMA performance. Will he perform one of his many hits from his upcoming album, “Tha Carter IV”? Or will he give us an oldie but a goodie?
6. “Hunger Games” sneak peek
Suzanne Collins’ futuristic, apocalyptic, love-sick young adult novel comes to life March 2012, but fans eagerly await the premiere sneak peak to happen this Sunday right after the awards ceremony. The film stars quickly rising actors Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth as kids thrown into a game of life and death. Jennifer Lawrence herself will introduce the clip.
7. Pitbull’s performance
As August draws to a close, Pitbull, Ne-Yo and Nayer will be sure to get the Nokia Theatre hoppin’ as they perform their super smash hit, “Give Me Everything.” Is it too soon to get nostalgic about summer ’11?
8. Chris Brown’s performance
I’m only looking forward to this for the backlash afterwards. Why are we, the people with the fan power, still continuing to give this guy fame and money? Did you see this?
9. Possible pups on the red carpet
I have no words, only the anticipation of hilarious .gifs to come. See this.
10. Selena Gomez hosts the pre-show
America’s newest sweetheart will be playing herself this Sunday night, but we still expect to see some of her triple-threat capabilities, along with a Bieber joke thrown in here or there.
Allison Berger is a Philadelphia-based writer and a pop music columnist for Reverb. Check out more of her writing here.