How fitting for the clownish Psy to be part of the circus act that was the MTV’s European Music Awards (EMAs) in Festhalle, Frankfurt this year? The South Korean youtube sensation needed no encouragement to perform ‘Gangnam Style’, and easily brought the Big Top down with his signature cowboy horse riding that the whole arena couldn’t help but gallop with.


Even hometown host of the 19th annual awards show Heidi Klum got into the moves that preceded his winning of ‘Best Video’. With over 766 million Youtube views on his official video, his win came as little surprise to UrbanWire or anyone else.
The awards show was a spectacle of circus performers twirling and pulling off stunts around hoops in the air, juggling fiery wands and cycling in stilts. It displayed a sizzling line-up of performances and stage appearances by celebrities including Kim Kardashian, the cast of Geordie Shore (a spin-off of MTV’s hugely popular Jersey Shore) and the Jonas Brothers, who presented the awards for Best Song, Best Male and Best Worldwide Act respectively.

Also in attendance was Taylor Swift, gracing the EMAs for the first time and still she struck gold thrice, bagging awards for Best Female Artist, ‘Best Live’, and ‘Best Look’ – the last “definitely increased my self-esteem!” she declared, decked in an elegant greyish-white J Mendel dress and Neil Lane jewels.

Lana Del Ray best known for her retro single “Video Games”, won ‘Best Alternative’, while Han Geng from Asia Pacific nabbed ‘Best Worldwide Act’. The late Whitney Houston, clinched the award for ‘Global Icon’. Houston, 48, was found dead in her bathtub in February. She was later found to have overdosed on prescription drugs.

Performing on the EMAs stage for the first time, up-and-coming British songstress Rita Ora gave a performance full of zest, rigging out a dazzling red lace bodysuit with matching kicks, but alas, her singing wasn’t decipherable in all likelihood of a technical glitch in the sound system or poor articulation of lyrics on her part. Carly Rae Jepsen, with her sassy and epic sing-along sensation ‘Call Me Maybe’ (that, fuelled by Justin Bieber’s support, has amassed over 333 million hits on YouTube and counting), sounded disappointingly flat and harmonically challenged. But that hardly dented her euphoria—the Canadian singer and former Canadian Idol runner-up was buoyed by 2 awards that night for ‘Best Song’ and ‘Best Push’!

Fortunately, songstress Alicia Keys took to the stage and easily outshone Jepson with her performance of  ‘Girl on Fire’, off her latest album of the same name. Accompanying her, a circus performer was twirling in a ring of fire above the stage. Talk about a fiery performance!

No Doubt brought back their calm and collected tunes with a fresh twist of reggae on stage, while British band Muse brought on an electrifying performance of ‘Madness’ in a slow trance and a kick-ass guitar solo courtesy of Matthew Bellamy. Their cool ‘television’ glasses with lyrics flashing on them cause the crowd to break into a short sing-along. Oh, Muse, you never disappoint.
Ending on a high note was Taylor Swift, with ‘We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together’. Swift last performed the girl-power anthem for MTV at its VMAs In September. With the encompassing medley of circus acts, dance moves and sparkling fire bits, Taylor certainly dressed for the occasion by donning a sparkly red ringmaster-like costume with knee high boots and a top hat to match.

Though the EMAs ended similarly to the VMAs (with a closing performance by Taylor Swift), as the award she bagged for ‘Best Live’ would support, she did put up a hell of a performance! No technical glitches this time, fortunately.

Despite the spectrum of colours and stunt-filled EMAs, the awards night perhaps fell short of expectations due to the overall lacklustre performances and a list of predictable winners, although this can’t be blamed on the organisers, given that winners are chosen by the number of votes cast by fans.

It all felt too familiar, lacked surprises and new material. It didn’t help that there were a number of popular award winners not in attendance, significantly Justin Bieber who won ‘Best Male’ and ‘Best World Stage’. Also absent were the boys from One Direction,  who took the awards for ‘Best Fans’ and ‘Best New’, and female rapper Nicki Minaj for ‘Best Hip Hop’. Notably missing, too, were Linkin Park and David Guetta due to receive the ‘Best Rock’ and ‘Best Electronic’ awards respectively.

Even 6 costume changes didn’t bring hostess Klum the sparkle you might have hoped for. Next to the extravaganza, the supermodel was disappointing. You’d expect more from a renowned television host, but she came off flat and slightly awkward that night. Her screeching voice, accompanied by enthusiastic ‘fangirl’ screams whilst introducing celebrities, were a disservice to her, which is probably just as well we had all those different Versace outfits to look at instead. From the risqué lace-up blue and gold studded Versace gown on the red carpet to the tie-dye maxi dress and 1980s ‘Madonna’ ringmaster outfit, her raunchy outfits did a great job in pulling away the attention of her nondescript hosting.

But the one question that was probably on everyone’s minds as the awards show came to a close was this: where was Lady Gaga and her out-of-this-world costumes? Now that’s a costume change worth waiting for…