Best and worst VMAs 2022 performances: Nicki Minaj, Fergie, and Blackpink weren't as hot
The MTV Video Music Awards
The MTV Video Music Awards were held at the Prudential Center on Sunday night for the second time, and one of the best performances of the VMAs may not have even happened on the stage. Whether they were attendees at the event or spectators watching the awards from around the world, Bad Bunny, the Artist of the Year winner, had the crowd dancing after his performance at Yankee Stadium.
But it was also a night when huge winners like Video Vanguard winner Nicki Minaj and four-time VMA winner Jack Harlow performed much better than they did as co-hosts. Red Hot Chili Peppers, who received the Global Icon Award, led the rock revival that also included Panic! At the Disco and the Italian upstart band Manikin. We take a look back at the finest and worst performances from the 2022 VMAs before MTV returns to ignoring music for another year.
The K-pop girl trio underperformed in their debut appearance
The K-pop girl trio underperformed in their debut appearance at a US awards event, performing "Pink Venom" from their upcoming second album Born Pink, due Sept. 16. Even worse, the stiff, lifeless performance fell short of establishing the group as a live force to be reckoned with on the VMAs stage. This is true for both the Prudential Center audience as well as viewers throughout the country.
Co-host Jack Harlow deserves praise for freely sampling Fergie's 2007 smash "Glamorous" on his 2022 No. 1 hit First Class, bringing her back from the musical wilderness (where, precisely, has she been?). He showed the star the respect that was due because she needed it. Then, when Lizzo was introduced to the "2 B Loved (Am I Ready) opener, well, we already know that Lizzo improves everything.
Nicki the show`s co-host
Nicki Minaj, the show's co-host, didn't arrive on the VMAs stage for nearly a minute. But when she did, the 39-year-old Queens MC made a show-stopping declaration that demonstrated why she deserved to win this year's Video Vanguard Award, hate be damned.
In a medley that ranged from her standout verse on Kanye West's Monster to her solo songs Beez in the Trap, Moment 4 Life, Super Bass, and Anaconda, which displayed her variety of styles and flows, a pink-haired Minaj owned the candy-coated set to the joy of her legion of Barbies. She was even to be excused for some evident lip-syncing during her current No. 1 song Super Freaky Girl after a mini-set that demonstrated why she is one of the best female rappers of all time.