Sad Drake, Flawless Beyoncé And The Happiest Kanye: The Winners And Losers From The 2016 VMAs

So many feelings.

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The MTV Video Music Awards happened! Oh boy, they happened alright. Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber weren’t in attendance this year (seemingly they were at home trying to figure out their respective social media crises) so there wasn’t any blonde drama to contend with.

There was some other drama though! Oh good, some steaming hot drama, yum yum.

Winners Of The VMAs


I mean, this is almost redundant. Of course Beyoncé was the winner of the VMAs, both literally (she has now won 22 VMAs, beating Madonna’s record) and figuratively, because she has a vice grip on the culture that has only intensified since the release of Lemonade. She could have just shown up and she still would have been a metaphorical winner. If you’re mad about this in any way and refuse to make peace with it, you may as well walk into the sea because this will never change, seeya.

Beyoncé won eight awards including Video of the Year for ‘Formation’, which duh. She was presented an award by Olympic gymnast Simone Biles, which was entirely correct. MTV gave her 15 whole minutes to perform because they recognised that even her presence was a present and that every day that she deigns to attend weird-ass events like this must be cherished.

Beyonce’s performance was flawless and so packed with intense sadness, then fury, then elation, that I actually felt like I needed to lie down afterwards (in a good way).

Before the show, Beyoncé brought out the mothers of Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Oscar Grant and Mike Brown, which transformed a usually silly tradition into something quite meaningful. She also dressed like a future angel on the red carpet and Blue Ivy looked like that princess from The Neverending Story, but more grumpy about having to be on a red carpet.

Kanye West

Kanye was only on stage for four minutes, but naturally they were the best four minutes of the entire broadcast (I watched the entire broadcast; today I have watched more Jonas content today than I’d ever dreamed or hoped to watch). Before he got on stage though, he spent a lot of time smiling and hugging people. He didn’t win any awards for ‘Famous’, but this didn’t seem to bother him too much.


“Haha, it’s so fun to be successful, rich and genetically blessed.”


“Look, it’s my friend Rihanna, I am so proud to celebrate her career, I am happy this day.”


“You are my friend, I will show you with this hug.”

You can read a breakdown of Kanye’s speech and debut of the ‘Fade’ video here, but just briefly, he covered every topic from Taylor Swift, Steve Jobs, and Amber Rose, to the murder rate in Chicago. Everyone is still kind of confused by his new video, in that you kind of get it until all the sheep appear and Teyana turns into a cat. Enjoy!


Bad Gal won the Video Vanguard Award and did what felt like fifty performances throughout the night. Although her vocals were occasionally shaky, she straight killed it in her last performance, which was very dramatic and soaring and made everyone feel deep, intense feelings (we’ll get to that later).


P.Diddy wore a kimono and he wanted everyone to know about it. He was the best bit of the red carpet.

Screen Shot 2016-08-29 at 10.17.02 am

“You see, it’s like a jacket but has no collar or buttons.”

Britney Spears

Britney wasn’t that good but she wasn’t horrendous and quite honestly, I have been worried about this performance for a few weeks now and I think it went quite as well as it was going to. Britney was fine and that’s all we can ask from her.

Chance the Rapper

Chance didn’t win anything either (although Kanye did call him “the future” of rap, which means so much more than dumb VMA awards, lol) but he delighted the internet with his relaxed wardrobe choice and tendency to hover between being the coolest guy in hip hop right now, and just a dude who is starstruck by Beyoncé.


Even though I’m mad that Future cheated on Ciara that one time, I’ve had to put that behind me because he really is a good rapper (particularly when examining the depravity of the human soul) and he tends to wear interesting jackets.

Losers Of The VMAs


Oh, Drake. Drake. So before Drake even arrived at the VMAs, the internet had turned his night into a meme. This was because Drake was “stuck in traffic” and thus missed the first award, which was awarded to him. It was the most Drake thing to ever happen, before the next thing that happened, which was even more Drake-ish.

Later in the night, Drake presented Rihanna her Video Vanguard award. He dressed up in a suit that made it look like he was going to prom. In the speech he said that he has loved Rihanna since he “was 22”. She rolled her eyes. It was so incredibly earnest and awkward, that the internet sort of thought that he was about to propose to her.

And then something happened that was so incredibly on-brand for these artists, that I almost thought I hallucinated it except that everyone in my office was groaning in despair: Drake tried to kiss Rihanna, and she swerved her head. Twice.

Some people on Twitter are claiming that the angle was wrong and that Drake was not rejected in this moment, but it’s hard to deny. It’s actually so raw that I’m having trouble writing about it and maybe I need to have a day off tomorrow, thanks boss that will never read this :)

Calvin Harris

Calvin Harris technically won Best Male Video over Drake, The Weeknd AND Kanye West, but no-one was happy about it so he lost out overall, sorry.

Jimmy Fallon

Dad made a joke about Ryan Lochte and people didn’t laugh that much, better luck next year dad.

The full list of winners was as follows (like, the technical winners):


BEYONCÉ – “Formation”

Director: Melina Matsoukas




BEYONCÉ – “Hold Up”

Director: Jonas Åkerlund, Beyoncé Knowles Carter


Calvin Harris ft. Rihanna – “This Is What You Came For”

Director: Emil Nava


Fifth Harmony ft. Ty Dolla $ign – “Work From Home”

Director: Director X


Drake – “Hotline Bling”

Director: Director X 


BEYONCÉ – “Formation”

Director: Melina Matsoukas


twenty one pilots – “Heathens”

Director: Andrew Donoho


Calvin Harris & Disciples – “How Deep Is Your Love”

Director: Emil Nava


BEYONCÉ – Lemonade




Fifth Harmony featuring Fetty Wap – “All In My Head (Flex)”