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MTV EMA Review

LONDON: An odd MTV EMA this weekend, not least because we didn’t have to board a flight to get there.  Sat Bal stays home in London - only the second time in the show’s history that it has been staged here. (13 Nov’ 2017)

 

But first things, first. On Saturday night MTV transport whisked us through traffic-heavy streets to Trafalgar Square to see U2 perform. In the night chill, The National Gallery gleamed behind us while Trafalgar Square glowed ahead as we stationed ourselves on the outdoor media viewing platform, opposite the slick-looking stage.

 

Eminem with Best Hip Hop award

 

Bono soon arrived on stage, an Irish flag draped around his neck, opening with “Sunday Bloody Sunday.” A good start for the crowd of 7,000, winners of MTV’s ticket ballot to be here. The band played its way through “Pride”, Beautiful Day”, “Elevation” and “Vertigo”, huge anthems, before performing One and Get Out Of Your Own Way. "This song is like a protest song against yourself…some of the biggest obstacles we encounter on the way to a better world is often ourselves," explained the singer.

 

Shawn Mendes

 

Next, DJ David Guetta protested about the challenges of performing after U2, yet managed to get the crowd whooping to a set featuring spectacular pyros and lasers bringing the show to an end.

The following day the EMA stage was set at The SSE Arena, Wembley. Sunday night opened with Best Hip Hop winner Eminem performing a lavish orchestra-backed performance with guest artist Skylar Grey, of “Walk on Water.” He joined us after taking the mic in a London pub.

 

Camila Cabello charming the crowd

 

Our EMA hostess Rita Ora starred in a video skit of herself running through London’s streets- in a dressing gown- to get to the show in time. The video got audience laughs particularly when our mayor appeared, sat at a tube station reading a paper with Ora on the cover, as she ran past him.

U2’s “Get Out Of Your Own Way” appeared on  a video cut of last night’s show in Trafalgar Square and the band picked up the night’s prestigious milestone award, Global Icon. It must have crossed a few minds that much of this audience wasn't even around during U2's rise. Nonetheless, they all arose to their feet  at award presenter Jared Leto's bidding, to honour the band.

 

U2 and Jared Leto below stage

 

One of the illuminating things about coming to the EMAs is to witness the show’s uplifting production. That production was literally uplifting at Wembley thanks to the 20 hydraulic lifts it took to make the whole stage work. The hydraulic raised props and performers to as high as eight metres.

Julio Himede reprised his role as EMA set designer with the stage concept “Olympic field of play” featuring the biggest EMA stage ever built at 60 metres long x 28 metres wide with a programmable LED floor for different LED installations throughout the show. Julio also designed the staging at Saturday night’s MTV Presents Trafalgar Square show with obelisk-inspired structures in the space.

His energies were rewarded by Best Pop winner Camila Cabello whose elaborate musical production featured a hugely choreographed routine that moved through three scenes and incorporated soaring overhead shots, ending in a Havana-style swimming pool. 

 

 

Liam Payne (above) got steamy with “Strip That Down” featuring dancers in streetwear moving across an LED disco floor, while perched on hydraulics set to a spectacular LED light show.

The theme got more spectacular with Travis Scott flying in on the back of an animatronic bird over the audience for his performance of “Butterfly Effect,” while Stormzy arrived in a police car that was driven onto the stage for his smash grime track “Big For Your Boots.”

 

The Killers performed a classic rock performance of “The Man”

 

Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello drew huge applause but it was Mendes who was crowned Best Artist and rocked his Best Song-winning track “There’s Nothing Holding Me Back” in a constantly evolving light box. ‘Best Artist’ also signalled that his and hers awards are out this year in the gender-neutral prizes which take their cue from MTV’s VMAs. Alas, the highly nominated Taylor Swift won no awards this year; his, hers or otherwise.

Host Rita Ora (below) brought in more than 50 dancers in an over-the-top medley of songs from her new album, “Your Song” and “Anywhere.”

 

 

Other artists delivering a mix of fan favorite tracks included Demi Lovato with her performance of “Sorry Not Sorry” and “Tell Me You Love Me,” and Kesha’s rendition of “Learn to Let Go.” 

 

Travis Scott flies above the crowd

 

David Guetta closed the show with an electrifying performance of his new single “Dirty, Sexy, Money” with guests French Montana, and Charli XCX

 

Stormzy's arresting entrance on stage

 

Later, Rita Ora was presented with the first-ever “MTV EMA Power of Music Award” to honour the charitable energies of all the artists who responded to the Grenfell disaster.

Oh – before you leave, next year’s MTV EMAs are to be hosted by Bilbao, Spain.

 

FULL LIST OF 2017 MTV EMA WINNERS

BEST SONG

Shawn Mendes - There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back

 

BEST ARTIST

Shawn Mendes

 

BEST LOOK

ZAYN

 

BEST NEW

Dua Lipa

 

BEST POP

Camila Cabello

 

BEST VIDEO

Kendrick Lamar - HUMBLE.

 

BEST LIVE

Ed Sheeran

 

BEST ELECTRONIC

David Guetta

 

BEST ROCK

Coldplay

 

BEST HIP HOP

Eminem

 

BEST ALTERNATIVE

Thirty Seconds To Mars

 

BIGGEST FANS

Shawn Mendes

 

BEST PUSH

Hailee Steinfeld

 

BEST WORLD STAGE

The Chainsmokers – Live from Isle of MTV Malta 2017

WORLDWIDE ACT WINNERS

Lil’ Kleine - The Netherlands

  1. Tangana – Spain

BABYMETAL – Japan

ALMA – Finland

DaVido – Nigeria

Stormzy - UK & Ireland

Lali - Argentina

 

BEST LOCAL ACT

*REFERENCE “2017 BEST LOCAL ACT AND WORLDWIDE ACT WINNERS” DOCUMENT

 

 

FULL PERFORMANCE LIST

Rita Ora – “Your Song,” “Anywhere”

Demi Lovato – “Sorry Not Sorry,” “Tell Me You Love Me”

Kesha – “Learn to Let Go”

Shawn Mendes – “There's Nothing Holdin’ Me Back”

The Killers – “The Man”

Clean Bandit – “Miss You” ft. Julia Michaels, “Symphony” ft. Zara Larsson, “Rockabye” ft. Anne-Marie

Stormzy – “Big For Your Boots”

Camila Cabello - “Havana”

U2 – “Get Out of Your Own Way,” remote from Trafalgar Square

Eminem – “Walk on Water” ft. Skylar Grey

French Montana – “Unforgettable” ft. Swae Lee

Travis Scott – “Butterfly Effect”

David Guetta ft. Charli XCX, French Montana –“Dirty Sexy Money”           

Liam Payne – “Strip That Down”

 

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