By Gerrick D. Kennedy
3:20 PM EDT, August 26, 2013
If you missed the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards -- which aired live Sunday night from the Barclays Center arena in Brooklyn -- don’t worry, there's little doubt the network will repeat the telecast ad nauseam for the next few months.
The two-and-a-half-hour ceremony brimmed with myriad moments that the Internet gods will keep alive through GIFs, memes and countless think pieces. For those who plan on catching a re-airing (and those who just want one more look), here are seven moments to have your remote ready for.
1. Justin Timberlake and 'N Sync. It was the worst-kept secret of the night, but whatever. In a night overflowing with moments that required a piping-hot shower immediately afterward, leave it to Timberlake to transport us to the more innocent days of pop music -- you know, when everyone didn’t try so hard -- by reuniting with his boy band. Toward the end of a flashy 15-minute performance of career-spanning hits, Timberlake revealed the moment everyone saw coming but breathlessly anticipated nonetheless. Seeing the boys, sorry, men dive into some “Bye Bye Bye” footwork was the night’s best reward.
2. Miley Cyrus. This was such a deliciously trashy train wreck it's worth a number of rewinds. Between the incessant tongue licking, crotch grabbing, twerking and that inexplicable latex bikini surrounded by lusty teddy bears -- it was all so, so wrong. Yet so right, up to the point you prayed there was an inside joke somewhere that had yet to reveal itself.
3. Robin Thicke. (See above.) OK, so he looked like a sexy Beetlejuice. But Thicke’s real embarrassment came by watering down the Song of Summer (never mind that awful One Direction single that fangirls crowned the winner) by allowing Cyrus to milk the slinky jam’s kitten-ish vibes for something much filthier. And did she try to lick his neck? After the performance, it was impossible to feel bad that the poor guy went home empty-handed.
4. Lady Gaga’s changing looks. Repeated watchings of the performance reveal something still as kooky as Gaga had intended. But she actually looked amazing in her many wigs, even if that nun segment was a misfire. Plus, on second thought, her seashell band and thong were much more modest than anything Miley did.
5. Taylor Swift in slow motion. If you’ve forgotten that one of Swift’s former flames was the lead man of One Direction, just check out her reaction in slow motion. Sure, you’d be hard pressed to find Harry Styles say one thing (good or bad) about Swift, but she’s still carrying some bad feelings about whatever went down. During Swift & Co.’s early presentation, she logged another GIF-able award show moment when she was caught telling her famous boybander ex to not-so-nicely “shut the … up.” Oh, and to further prove she may well be the most vengeful ex in the history of exes, she finished her acceptance speech with this zinger: “I also want to thank the person who inspired this song, who knows exactly who he is, because I got one of these.” The camera panned to Styles, who kept it classy and clapped.
6. Pressing pause on Will Smith and his family. Every time the camera caught the Smiths, it was magic. Whether Will and Willow were looking on in horror during Miley’s grind fest or little Jaden got choked up with emotion after Drake’s amped-up performance, the Smiths looked like they had a great time. Whether the reactions were real or the magic of MTV editing, you’ll have just as much fun pausing and watching them react.
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