In approximately 48 hours, stars of every stripe shall be glam-squadding it up, getting ready to attend the 32nd annual MTV Video Music Awards at Madison Square Garden in the heart of NYC. And it’s going to be big this year.
The VMAs were once the lightweights of awards shows, but in the past few years they’ve become quite the ceremony, thanks in part to Kanye West and Taylor Swift‘s controversial exchange, and just Kanye West in general. (Don’t worry, he’ll be there this year, and he has four minutes with which to do whatever the F he wants, so—not to be missed.)
As for Swift, she reportedly won’t be in the building. After winning Video of the Year for “Bad Blood” last year, she wasn’t even nominated for anything this year (though she had three eligible vids), and People is broadcasting that she’s like, “pass” on her invitation, even though everyone wants to sit next to her. #GirlSquad 4-Eva.
Here are the major bullet points you should know about this weekend’s shindig, including who’s hosting, who you’ll see on the red carpet, which performances you should look out for—and how to watch.
Technically, No One Is Hosting
Instead of having one host as a continuum throughout the evening, the VMAs are trying something new this year—a panel of emcees and “correspondents.” VMA exec producer Jesse Ignjatovic told EW that the venue inspired this new direction. “As much as it’s famous for music, it’s also famous for sports,” he said, so comedy duo Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele, a.k.a. Key and Peele, will be “at a desk covering the show to the camera as you would see at these other events.” Innnteresting. They are hilarious, so—yay for that. What’s more, they’ll apparently be delivering their play-by-play as their alter egos, @TheShamester and @LizardSheepl.
Jay Pharoah, DJ Khaled, and Nicole Byer are slated as correspondents, so—they really are going all the way with the sports theme. TBD how that works out, but we’re pretty stoked. In case you’ve forgotten, last year Miley Cyrus hosted the whole night, so this’ll be a very different jam indeed.
Expect Jaw-Dropping Performances
First off, Britney Spears—or, should we say Britney, bitch—is reportedly plotting the performance of her lifetime (and her first at the VMAs since 2007). Then there’s the four minutes of whatever-the-hell from Kanye West. Don’t forget Beyoncé (confirmed by Us Weekly), who shut down the show two years ago with a 20-minute best-of medley; Rihanna, who has been on fire onstage of late (and will play several songs throughout the show, as well as receive the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award); plus Nicki Minaj, Future, Ariana Grande, Ty Dolla $ign, Nick Jonas, The Chainsmokers, and Halsey.
On top of all that, there’s buzz that Lady Gaga might sweep in for a surprise, though Us Weekly reported that the rumors aren’t true.
The Final Five Are Handing Out Moon Men
You’ll have lots of chances to watch stars interacting with stars, obviously—and, to shake things up, you’ll also get to see Olympic athletes join the mix. The “final five”—Simone Biles, Gabby Douglas, Aly Raisman, Laurie Hernandez, and Madison Kocian—shall be doling out awards at the show, along with fellow Olympian Michael Phelps, Olympic selfie-taker Kim Kardashian, Alicia Keys, Sean “Diddy” Combs, Jaden Smith, Rita Ora, Jimmy Fallon, Ansel Elgort, Tove Lo, Shameik Moore, and Fifth Harmony.
Look out for Adele, Drake, Justin Bieber, Bryson Tiller, Desiigner, Alessia Cara, and Zara Larsson in the audience.
Oh Yeah, There Are Some Amazing Videos Up for Awards
Video of the Year nominations include Beyoncé for “Formation,” Adele for “Hello,” Drake for “Hotline Bling,” Justin Bieber for “Sorry,” and Kanye West for “Famous.” For a full list of videos, see MTV.
You Can Live-Stream the Whole Thing
Red carpet arrivals start at 6:15pm. EST, and the pre-show (hosted by DJ Khaled, Charlamagne Tha God, and Lizzo) starts at 8pm. The show itself begins at 9pm. If you don’t have cable, you can live-stream the whole thing from MTV’s website starting at 7pm. EST.