OK! Liveblogs the VMAs!
11:13: King Kanye starts out solo on stage but is eventually joined by a multitude of sunglass-wearing drummers. A glowing heart on his gray suit beats in time to the music as he sings. A look at the audience reveals most of them have digital cameras up and poised to take as many pictures of Kanye as they can. There go the fireworks to end the night.
11:10: Kobe Bryant takes the stage to introduce the nominees for Video of the Year: Britney Spears, Jonas Brothers, Chris Brown, Pussycat Dolls and The Ting Tings. Who gets the Moon Man? It's Britney again for "Piece of Me." What's that we smell in the air? Did someone say comeback? She's dedicating the award to all her amazing friends. Rusell Brand beckons her on to a golf cart as they leave the set. Russell lays on the charm as he introduces Kanye West to close the show.
11:01: Kid Rock does his thing in classic Kid form -- black tracksuit, black hat, flowy hair and sunglasses. Oh here comes Lil Wayne, again, with his third (or fourth?) pair of pants. We're on to red ones now, that seem to be staying on (for now) as the guys sing to each other.
11:00: The boys from Drake and Josh Drake Parker and Josh Peck (all grown up and very dapper) take the stage to introduce Kid Rock.
10:51: Best Pop Video nominees are Jonas Brothers, Britney Spears, Tokio Hotel, Danity Kane and Panic! At the Disco. The winner iiiiiiis... Britney Spears! She's on fiyah tonight, in a new silver dress. Brit Brit says she's speechless but then goes on to thank everyone. Camera pans inexplicably to Michael Phelps.
10:50: LL Cool J brings us back from the commercial, performing with DJ AM and Travis Barker, pushing his new album. We just noticed Russell's blingin' bracelet. This could be love. Russell welcomes Paris Hilton to the stage.
10:43: Lauren Conrad and Chace Crawford take the stage in all their good-looking glory to announce Best New Artist. Tokio Hotel wins, beating out Miley Cyrus, Jordin Sparks, Taylor Swift and Katy Perry. They're German. Tokio Hotel, not everyone else.
10:42: Holy crap, Russell Brand continues with his hilarious hosting duties, saying he doesn't want to piss off teenage fans with comments on promise rings, but that doesn't mean he wants to "piss on" them either. Can't. Stop. Laughing.
10:38: We're definitely loving Christina redoing "Genie in a Bottle" while dressed like some kind of sexy/scary superhero, complete with mask and supertight spandex pants. A lot has been going on, pants-wise, tonight.
10:37: Some of the cast of High School Musical 3, Efron, Vanessa Hudgens, Corbin Bleu and Ashley Tisdale to introduce Christina Aguilera.
10:29: Princess Ri Ri rises back on to the stage amidst the beginning of the classic "Numa Numa" song. She's joined by T.I. in a white hoodie. Rihanna is in yet another new outfit, wearing tight black pants and a midriff baring black leather jacket. Chris Brown cheers on his girl as the Jonas Brothers bob along to the music in the audience.
10:26: Jordin Sparks and John Legend take the stage. Jordin says "it's not bad to wear promise rings because not everyone wants to be a slut." John introduces T.I. who takes to the stage with a lady in a tight pink dress.
10:23: Slipknot heads to the stage in all their scary-costumed glory to present the award for Best Hip Hop video and there's an interloper on stage, Chris, the guy who played McLovin in Superbad. Scary mask guy from Slipknot is frightening us. Nominees are Lupe Fiasco, Lil Wayne, Flo Rida, Mary J. Blige, Kanye West featuring Chris Martin. The winner is Lil Wayne for "Lollipop." He gets back on stage and we're glad to see he's got new pants on that seem to be staying up.
10:21: The Ting Tings perform "Shut Up and Let Me Go" as the awards come back from the commercial break.
10:15: In front of fire spraying straigh up, Pink rocks out and shows off a sparkly, strategically placed pasty as her body suit slips towards a wardrobe malfunction.
10:12: Pink is all over the place on a set, sliding down to a street scene with a building on fire, backup dancers and flaming barrels. She heads to a stage and takes off her blue dress to reveal a black one-piece button-down body suit. Apparently Katy Perry isn't the only one who dislikes wearing her pants and shirts separately.
10:11: Miley Cyrus is backstage, and Russell is telling her to "grow up" as she's playing Rock Band. Miley introduces a performance by Pink on the back lot of the studios.
10:07: The show is back after the commercial break with more Russell jokes about the Jonas brothers and collecting chastity rings. Now Shia LaBeouf (so handsome) and Slash come onstage to announce the nominees for Best Rock Video. Nominees include Paramore, Slipknot, Linkin Park, Foo Fighters and Fall Out Boy. Aaaaand the winner is... Linkin Park for "Shadow of the Day."
10:01: Paramore's performance is exhausting, and they're not really at the Whisky, apparently, because they're live at the Paramount studio lot. Ohhh you got us, MTV!
9:57: The awards are back with Russell talking fast about too many funny things to keep up with, as he introduces the cast of the film adapation of the Twilight books, including Kristen Stewart. They're here to introduce Paramore's performance at the Whisky A Go Go.
9:46: Lindsay Lohan is up with Ciara to introduce the VMA dance battle winner, and Lindsay announces that it's Fanny Pak. She's now got on some kind of dicky tuxedo shirt and black pants, a change from her purple dress. Best Dancing in a Video is up next, nominees are Ne-Yo, Madonna, Chris Brown, Danity Kane and Pussycat dolls. The winners are Pussycat Dolls for "When I Grow Up."
9:44: T-Pain joins Lil Wayne onstage, wearing his second top hat of the evening. They run through the audience, chasing each other which makes us nervous because it looks like Lil Wayne's pants are going to come off at any moment. The guys get back on stage to finish to the cheering crowd. Russell Brand approves as Lil Wayne sneaks off stage.
9:40: Michael Phelps comes on the stage wearing headphones just like before he raced in the Olympics. Leona Lewis starts the performance singing beautifully before Lil Wayne comes onstage in white pants, black boxer briefs and no shirt. Lots of words being bleeped out with this performance but he's rocking it.
9:39: After commercial break the show comes back with Katy Perry singing her hit "I Kissed a Girl." We hope that's not the only performance of that song!
9:34: Katy Perry has a fabric banana and is singing "Like a Virgin" in yet another romper, backed by DJ AM and Travis Barker.
9:33: The set has opened up to a full street full of people rushing in to converge on the set. We saw a grown man running and don't judge him. It's pretty exciting as the boys jam out with a full band, and fans cheer from street windows high above the stage. They've all definitely caught the "Love Bug."
9:29: Russell Brand may have blown Rihanna and Chris Brown's cover, as he says they're in a romance. He also says Taylor Swift is bringing on the Jonas Brothers. She introduces the band as they're on the Paramount Lot on what looks like a NYC city set. They start singing on a stoop. They're pretty dreamy, we've got to admit.
9:25: Russell Brand is talking very fast, summing up the happenings so far, as he welcomes Demi Moore for Best Male Video. She looks like she's still 30, it's kind of unbelievable. Nominees are: Chris Brown, Flo Rida featuring T-Pain, T.I., Usher and Lil Wayne. The winner is Chris Brown for "With You."
9:19: Pete Wentz is talking to Speidi outside about Best New Artist. They're still blonde.
9:17: The nominees are presented including Britney, Katy Perry, Jordin Sparks, Mariah and Rihanna. The winner for Best Female Video is Britney Spears for "Piece of Me." She's back on stage and wants to thank God first, her family, her sons and her fans. Sweet and simple.
9:15: Russell welcomes the first presenter, Jamie Foxx. He comes out in jeans and black button-down. He's here to present the Best Female Video award and mentions that Britney Spears and Mariah Carey have never won the award, and are up against each other tonight.
9:10: Russell Brand wants us to vote for Barack Obama, and has a few choice words for George W. Bush. It's pretty hilarious, although we doubt Republicans are very amused.
9:08: British comedian and host Russell Brand takes the stage with his big hair and tight pants. He's moving around a lot on stage and seems pretty excited. He knows no one knows who he is, he says. He assures everyone that he "is famous in the United Kingdom." Without fame, "this haircut could be mistaken for mental illness."
9:04: Rihanna arrives in what looks like a giant tiered cake singing her song "Disturbia." She leaves the cake and gets on stage in a black and metal dominatrix looking oufit. A bundle of white fabric on her backside is slightly reminiscent of toilet paper, if you ask us.
9:02: Britney is heading towards the stage in a great silver dress, looking hot and ready to go. "Hit Me Baby One More Time" plays as the Britster grins on the stage. She announces that it's the 25th anniversary of the VMAs.
9:00: Cameras are in Britney's dressing room with Jonah Hill, who wants to show her relaxation tapes. Jonah almost kissed Britney, who says, "How is trying to kiss me trying to relax?" Pretty funny actually. Jonah puts some gum in his mouth, and leans in to kiss her again as she freaks out.
8:58: Paris and Benji have now made their way down the red carpet, and Benji feels like he's "inside a television" since he's watched the show his whole life. Paris hopes Britney takes the Pop Video of the Year, since she's presenting that award.
8:54: Ciara brings the words "disco ball" to mind in a sparkly silver dress with a big black velvet.
8:53: Paramore has arrived in SmartCars, a big difference from the monster truck earlier.
8:52: Kobe Bryant is a big 'Lil Wayne fan.
8:50: Taylor is now interviewing the veeeery visibly pregnant Ashlee Simpson, wearing a long black Alexander McQueen dress. Ladies, if you're pregnant, don't pick the dresses that "stick to your belly."
8:45: This is interesting, Taylor Swift is interviewing the Jonas Brothers. Funny to us because she's chatting up her boyfriend Joe.
8:44: Benji Madden and Paris Hilton chat with Sway from their limo. To be Paris' BFF you have to be "fun, hot and a cool girl." Duly noted.
8:43: Christina Aguilera is chatting with Tim Kash ofMTV, wearing a long strapless black dress. She looks great!
8:42: Lindsay Lohan is on the carpet in a satiny tight purple dress. Where's Samantha?
8:37: Sway is up in the air, talking to Kevin Jonas from their cab. They're "freaking out" and can't believe they get to perform.
8:35: Fanny Pak is next up to show off their dancing skills dancing to Danity Kane's "Damaged"in a bridal gown and some brightly colored formal wear.
8:33: America's Best Dance Crew contestants Kaba Morning starts their performance dressed in gray suits with red ties and fedoras.
8:28: Kid Rock and Michael Phelps are talking to John Norris together on the carpet. Lil Wayne is opening with Kid Rock, and Michael Phelps is looking forward to Kanye's performance. Michael also is ready to go home after all his Olympic fun.
8:26: Katy Perry and Miley Cyrus are on the carpet together, talking to Taylor Swift. Katy is in a silver and gold romper outfit, with a blinged out bow in her hair. She says her whole outfit is from a vintage store. Miley has a black dress on with lots of sparkles and ruffles. She's "stoked."
8:24: Sway loves chatting from his helicopter, he's talking to Panic! At the Disco as they're stuck in an enormous limo lin. They're opening the door so that Ryan can get out and look up at Sway. He waves, phone in hand.
8:20: Sway checks in from the MTV helicopter, introducing Chris Brown talking from his limo.
8:17: Pink is chatting with Taylor Swift, wearing a long black and red striped dress. Pink says she broke a rib in rehearsal yesterday for her much-talked about performance. Coming up later.
8:14: T-Pain has arrived on an elephant with little people dressed as clowns. They're calling it the grandest entrance ever. It's pretty crazy once you add in the huge red top hat on T-Pain is wearing.
8:09: Speidi is on the carpet! At first we thought Heidi was alone but then no, Spencer showed up.
8:08: Tokio Hotel arrives in a huuuuge truck to talk to John Norris.
8:07: Sway is talking to Katy Perry, as he's in a helicopter and she's in a limo on her way to the awards.
8:04: Taylor Swift talks to Kim Stolz as T.I. comes over to chat, wearing a red velvety blazer.
8:02: Lauren Conrad of The Hills has arrived and talking to MTV, wearing a short white dress. We wonder if it's her own design.
8:00: Rihanna is already smiling on the red carpet in a short black number.
By Mary Beth Quirk