2011 MTV Video Music Awards: The 6 Most Memorable Moments

Robbie Daw | August 29, 2011 9:20 am

The performances have all been staged and the awards have all been handed out. But now that the dust is settling on the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards, we’re realizing that there were definitely more than a handful of standout moments during the glitzy music shindig. Head below for our assessment of the six highlights from MTV’s big night.

1. Britney Spears and Jo Calderone’s (Lady Gaga) almost-makeout session. Gaga transformed herself into her “You And I” dude-drag alter ego Jo Calderone for her entire stint at the VMAs. And while some of Jo’s antics paid off with laughs and some of it was just, uh, confusing (she really does make an attractive man, in a Billie Joe Armstrong-meets-Ralph Macchio kind of way, no?), having Gaga present Britney’s Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award, and their tense near-makeout moment, was a classic case of VMAs gold.

2. Beyonce’s baby bump rub. Bey didn’t really need to put a cherry on her “Love On Top” performance, because she already took that crowd to church. But a true diva never misses a golden opportunity to create a memorable moment — and so, with the whole world watching, Beyonce let it be known that Destiny is now with child.

3. Bruno Mars, Russell Brand and Tony Bennett pay tribute to Amy Winehouse. This is what America would like to see more of, Russell — you checking the sex jokes at the door and playing it straight. Katy Perry’s better half conveyed his real, genuine story of the first time he met Winehouse and saw her perform, while Tony Bennett introduced a clip of he and the late London songstress in the studio recording “Body And Soul” for the upcoming Duets II album. Bruno rounded it all out with a spirited performance of Mark Ronson and Amy’s rendition of “Valerie” that felt, thankfully, more like a celebration than a sad reminder.

4. Adele performing “Someone Like You.” After Adele sat on a stage and belted out her mournful 21 ballad “Someone Like You” at the BRIT Awards in February, it shot straight to the top of the UK chart. Last night she gave MTV’s big party night a rare emotional moment with the song, and so far it’s looking like she’s set to repeat the same success with the tearjerker tune on these shores — it’s currently #2 on iTunes.

5. Beavis And Butt-head promo with Nicki Minaj. “Isn’t your name, like, Spanish for ‘threesome’?” God, thank you for the return of classy, intelligent television. Oh, wait…

6. Justin Bieber smooching Selena Gomez. Yeah, yeah — Bieber kissing Selena is nothing new. But when the “U Smile” crooner (who added to the night’s gender-bent fashion theme by looking strangely like a bespectacled soccer mom) stood up in the audience and planted one on his girlfriend upon winning Best Male Video, it reminded us that puppy love is perhaps the cutest form of amore there is.

Do you think there were any other great moments during the VMAs? Let us know what we missed below!