Photo Credit: Christopher Polk/Getty Images
The annual MTV Video Music Awards were once again filled with spectacular performances, hit-or-miss presenting gigs and noteworthy acceptances speeches. And even though Lady Gaga was not in attendance, there were still plenty of outlandish fashion statements!
Hosted by comedian Kevin Hart, the 2012 VMAs didn't pull the emotional punch of last year's show (which featured a tribute to Amy Winehouse), but it still showcased some thrilling performances -- particularly from the ladies.
Video of the year winner Rihanna got the show started with a seductive remix of "Cockiness" that highlighted her dancing skills and her naughty side. (Crotch grabbing included!) Pink rocked the house as always with her return to the VMAs stage, swinging through the air on a pair of giant red lips as part of her "Blow Me (One Last Kiss)" performance. And Taylor Swift finished off the show with a feisty rendition of "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together," during which MTV knowingly cut to one of her many celebrity exes, Taylor Lautner.
Frank Ocean, who recently admitted his first real love was a man, serenaded the audience with a mesmerizing, stripped-down version of "Thinking of You." And screaming girls seemed to raise the decibel of the venue when British-Irish boy band One Direction performed, as well as when they accepted their two Moonman trophies.
Alicia Keys had the double distinction of not only debuting her new single "Girl on Fire" but of being introduced by the Fierce Five (Gabby Douglas, Aly Raisman and co.) The Olympic gold medalists looked glamorous, if a bit nervous, as they stood on the MTV stage.
Meanwhile, the other presenters ranged from the awkward rapping styles of Andy Samberg, the hilariously raunchy Rebel Wilson (who joked about pleasuring herself while thinking of her co-presenter, The Wanted), to the excited Perks of Being a Wallflower costars Emma Watson and Ezra Miller, who introduced Green Day.
And Twilight fans finally got to see Robert Pattinson, who barely broke a smile while he, Lautner and three other members of the cast presented an exclusive clip from Breaking Dawn: Part 2. (Kristen Stewart was noticeably absent, choosing to attend the Toronto International Film Festival instead.)
Overall, Hart might not have been the drop-dead funniest host. But he certainly seem pumped to host the show, as evidenced by how much he squealed when RiRi took the stage to accept her top prize. Will it go down in the annals as one of the best? Probably not. But at least the women of pop proved they can rule the stage.
Watch Pink's swinging performance:
Watch Rihanna's sexy performance:
Watch Taylor Swift's fun-filled performance: