MTV 2010 VMA Recap: Just the Lady Gaga, Gay and Douchebag-Toasting Parts

We missed the MTV Video Music Awards last night because Haviland Stillwell, our favorite lesbian musician (besides Tegan) was doing a show at Joe’s Pub in New York City and more importantly, hosting an after-party at a nearby bar which offered insanely reasonable drink specials and an opportunity to catch up with everyone we made out with in 2006.

But we can tell you one thing about the VMAs: They happened. Yup. Not only did they happen, but people sang/performed at them and Lady Gaga won eight awards! Clearly deserved as Bad Romance is one of the best videos of all time. Last year’s VMAs were epic. This year’s VMAs were less epic and here’s why:

– Overall lack of Michael Jackson Tributes
– Lady Gaga did not perform “Paparazzi” with blood gushing from her gut
Kanye West did not interrupt the most important moment of Taylor Swift‘s life
Pink did not do trapeeze circus acts in a purple bodysuit.
Beyonce did not do the “Single Ladies” dance or any dance at all.

Nevertheless we will do our best to recount ‘what happened’ despite ‘not watching the show.’ (Though we’ve seen clips!) Now, if you thought the date Lady Gaga brought to the VMAs last year was amazing…

She really one-upped it this year by bringing soldiers who’d been discharged under Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, to show her support for repealing DADT and also to give these fine Americans a fun night out. Also, a good opportunity for us to see how cute lesbians look in uniform.

… also, there are a lot of photos of Lady Gaga kissing this woman:

Did you see this? Right after the VMAs, Gaga taped this season premiere episode of Ellen’s show and she again discussed Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and her VMA night etc. It’s really cute:

At the beginning of the show, Lindsay Lohan made fun of herself with the assistance of Chelsea Handler:

It would appear Chelsea then took the stage with a gigantic house on her head. We suspect this is related, somehow, to the housing crisis and the recession, and also to gay rights, because there are a lot of gay people around her, perhaps grappling to fist themselves some Chelsea.

Ellen DeGeneres presented the award for Best Female Video. Taylor Swift‘s most irritating video of all time, Fifteen, was also nominated, but Lady Gaga‘s Bad Romance won, because it’s better:

Gaga cried, thanked Alexander McQueen and her fans/Little Monsters and the discharged DADT soldiers and also, “Thank you to all of the gays for remaking this video over and over again!” You’re welcome!

Best Pop Video was given to Lady Gaga from Jane Lynch & Chris Colfer & Amber Riley, because it’s always best to have queers give awards to queers, you know? Keep it in the family. Also, love Chris’s t-shirt from The Gap. Dude’s got shit to do, he can’t be messing around with a tux.

Maybe-bisexual Nicki Minaj and fake-bisexual Katy Perry presented the Award for Best Male Video to Eminem:

At some point, Nicki Minaj picked out my Halloween costume for next year, I want that purple outfit AND I WANT IT NOW. I have no idea what will i. am is going for here, honestly.

The most epic moment of the evening, we think, was Taylor Swift’s debut of her ‘original song’, “Innocent,” named after, we think, the Enya song “Return to Innocence.”

Taylor Swift did her hair like a grown-up and then counteracted any illusion of adulthood implied by her co-opting of Sherlock Holmes’s bedroom set by singing a song inspired by the worst thing that’s ever happened to her since Abigail lost her virginity: that day one year ago when Swiftie’s big moment was overshadowed by the invention of the #KANYESHRUG.

Rosario Dawson introduced Taylor Swift by explaining that Swift writes songs with lyrics “ripped right from her diary.” Precious!

In honor of Taylor Swift‘s songwriting skills, I am going to pull my 1989 Beezus & Ramona Diary from the shelf and throw some lyrics at y’all in case we have any budding singer/songwriters reading this who are looking for some authenticity in their tunes:

Anna found 2 Kooshes. She said we would share. We agreed that we would give them to the Salvation Army. No Anna insists on keeping them. Greedy Anna!

Inspired? Here’s more:

I would go to China if I could take a trip anywhere in the world. I would take with me money, Chinese clothing, a good apptite [sic], a pen, and some books. I would go to lots of Chinese restaurants and rate them on a scale of 1 to 10.


We’ve updated our infographic:

I’m gonna quote Linda Holmes over at N-P-Fucking-R, writing on Taylor’s song:

“The spectacle of an insanely wealthy 20-year-old singer using the phrase ‘who you are is not what you did’ to describe not a reformed criminal or a family member who grievously erred and must be forgiven. [B]ut to describe someone she doesn’t really know whose only misdeed is rudeness at an awards show is just jaw-droppingly self-involved, and adding ‘you’re still an innocent,’ with its implications of purity, borders on the creepy. Moreover, this entire attempt to psychoanalyze someone who’s essentially a stranger, trying to find the internal pain that leads to every incident of acting out in public, suggests she doesn’t yet know how being drunk works.”

Speaking of artists I pretend to like to avoid conflict, ‘lesbian icon’ Justin Bieber performed a song, apparently outdoors:

Ellen looked cute, per ushe:

Florence & The Machine performed “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.” I MEAN “DOG DAYS ARE OVER.”

No but really, “Dog Days Are Over” was very Guggenheim-installation-ish.


Also Rihanna & Eminem performed together and Rihanna wore a cute tutu and a sparkly headband:

“I never thought that I would be asking Cher to hold my meat purse,” said Lady Gaga, accepting an award for Video of the Year from Cher, who broke her own record for worst outfit of all time, but regardless is Cher, and therefore amazing:

You may note that Lady Gaga is dressed in slabs of meat and has a slab of meat on her head. Furthermore her shoes are like moonboots, but made out of meat. Her dress is like bacon, but raw, and on her vadge, which is like a dental dam, only meatier.

Look it’s Nicki Minaj:

Kanye’s closing number offered a “toast to all the douchebags, a toast to all the assholes, a toast to all the scumbags and a toast to all the jerkoffs.” We feel like he was singing that for us. Idk. It was also a reminder of how, regardless of personality, Kanye is a very talented douchebag. He’s almost the opposite of Taylor Swift, who seems like a great person but not necessarily a highly-skilled performer, innovator, or lyricist.

Did you watch? Did you have any feelings about it?

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Riese is the 41-year-old Co-Founder of as well as an award-winning writer, video-maker, LGBTQ+ Marketing consultant and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and now lives in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in nine books, magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. She's Jewish and has a cute dog named Carol. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 3183 articles for us.


  1. I did not see it, but many have observed that Justin Bieber might want to familiarize himself with the hanky code. Imitating his performance’s hankyage will make Lesbians That Look Like Justin Bieber that much more exciting, at least for me.

  2. I watched. My feelings pretty much went like this:

    – lol Lady Gaga, bird on her head.
    – lol Lady Gaga, spikes on her boobs.
    – lol Chelsea Handler in Bieber’s crowd.
    – Really Taylor Swift? So over you. (I mean, she didn’t even sound halfway good. And like, really, people love her for this? Cause “THIS” whole thing is just tedious.)
    – lol Lady Gaga meat dress
    – lol Cher If I Could Turn Back Time outfi-oh man, I love that song.
    – Shaking and crying, Gaga is my number one feeling.
    – *toasts Kanye* Love him.

    So basically my feelings throughout the evening were dominated by Lady Gaga (and still today) and that’s about it. Seeing her win those awards and being so genuine and wonderful made the entire two hours worthwhile.

  3. i wish you’d start writing about the issues.

    jk if i didn’t have y’all i would not know about the meat dress!

    p.s. “return to innocence” is by enigma and is on a heavy rotation on my ipod.

  4. i didn’t watch but i saw a clip of taylor’s performance but then i quickly changed the channel. almost ruined me, i’ll tell ya.

  5. I didn’t watch, but I’ve been hunting down pictures of Lady Gaga wearing that McQueen dress. Gawd, she can work that dress!

    • I don’t think we’ve long to wait before there’s an awards show dedicated entirely to Lady Gaga.

      Best Lady Gaga in a Lady Gaga Video. Most Innovative Use of Pop Cans / Meat. Most Blatant Product Placement. Best Lady Gaga Will You Make Out With Me (no really)?

  6. I can’t be the only one who see’s an eerily striking resemblance between Gaga and Cher, right? Between the strange clothes choices and similar face, I’m pretty sure I see the future of Lady Gaga standing right next to her in that one pic. Fierce.

  7. There was also that part where Chelsea Handler mentioned that Justin Bieber looks like a 28 year old lesbian. That was kinda gay.

  8. i hope the awards weren’t more than about two hours long or lady gaga would need to change into a refrigerator costume.

  9. ummmm best recap of all time, y/n?

    hilarious. i almost wish i’d watched them. also gaga and ellen and jane lynch and yay queer things/people.

  10. loved florence and the machine. kanye was good. hated taylor swfit. was annoyed that the same 5 videos were nominated. chelsea was a good host.

  11. i’m most interested in the logistics of lady gaga’s meat dress, aside from possibly upsetting non-meat-consuming sensibilities. is it real meat? does it have to be kept in a fridge? can she sit down without needing some kind of a tarp? was cher really ok with getting meat juice everywhere?

  12. I wish the whole award show was Lady Gaga winning awards, making costume changes, and saying awesome things about gays.

    But no, Taylor Swift had to sing (badly) about something irrelevant and just in case we couldn’t figure out what the song was about they played the video from last year. It left a bad taste in my mouth.

    • I agree – That was so fucking weird!

      I want to know why there have been apparently quite a number of articles written today about how Lady Gaga is “exploiting” the gay community, but no one has any feelings about TSwift and her unnecessary self-indulgent “response” to an irrelevant event that she is supposed to pretend to not give a shit about. AMIRIGHT!

      • You don’t think someone told her, “hey, it might be funny if you started the performance like this”? I just don’t necessarily think it was entirely her idea. It might have even been suggested by MTV to promote some sort of Taylor vs. Kanye thing.

  13. That quote from Linda Holmes perfectly sums up why I felt so goddamn weird about Taylor Swift’s song/performance that was apparently about the Kanye incident:

    “…To describe someone she doesn’t really know whose only misdeed is rudeness at an awards show is just jaw-droppingly self-involved. […] Moreover, this entire attempt to psychoanalyze someone who’s essentially a stranger, trying to find the internal pain that leads to every incident of acting out in public, suggests she doesn’t yet know how being drunk works.”

    God TSwift, get over it. I guess she hasn’t read the “Why Taylor Swift Offends Little Monsters, Feminists, and Weirdos” article yet huh? I might have to add like 45 more “crying” icons to this infographic after THAT album.

      • we were actually the douchebgas who tweeted #TEAMKANYE when it happened. In fact I believe we possibly tweeted that several times. I may have also tweeted ‘KANYE WEST IS TRUTH’ or ‘LADY GAGA WAS ROBBED’ or something along those lines. I actually was 100% positive — and also 50% drunk & 50% stoned — that Taylor Swift’s parents had paid somebody off in order for her to win that award, since also I had no idea who she was until last year’s VMAs. I literally told a room of MTV VMA viewers (alex was there, she can attest) that I was positive Kanye was aware that the MTV Awards were rigged and that people could be paid off (having never heard of T-Swift, and loving Lady Gaga very purely at the time, I saw no other way this girl could’ve won) and he was simply calling out MTV for its dishonest award giving tactics. I’ve since relented and admitted perhaps I was being a little bit too stoned/conspiracy theorist, but um, on the other hand, I think we were right about some things?

  14. OK Autostraddle writers, I seriously love you, but if you went and used the not-a-real-word “irregardless” without irony or sarcasm I may have to cry a single tear, like Johnny Depp in “Cry Baby” but probably with more rage and less dreaminess involved.

    You wouldn’t want that, would you?

  15. I’ve been so lonely, girl
    I’ve been so sad and down
    Couldn’t understand
    Why others joked around
    I wanted to be free
    with other creatures like me
    And now I got my wish

    ‘Cuz I know that I’m a gay fish

    (Gay fish, yo)
    Mother fuckin’ gay fish (I’m a fish, yo)
    Girl I am a gay fish (it’s alright, girl)
    Makin’ love to other gay fish

  16. DISCLAIMER: I have great respect and appreciation for Lady Gaga.

    Now, about the meat dress…all I could think is that they shouldn’t let her sit on the chairs.

  17. Well all right this post was filled with many amazing amazing things (spider-Bieber etc.) but (speaking as someone who has/will probs never watch the VMAs) I have to say that this especially:

    “I would go to China if I could take a trip anywhere in the world. I would take with me money, Chinese clothing, a good apptite [sic], a pen, and some books. I would go to lots of Chinese restaurants and rate them on a scale of 1 to 10.”

    totally, totally made my day. TEARS. Hahaha.

  18. “…singing a song inspired by the worst thing that’s ever happened to her since Abigail lost her virginity” ha!

    the vmas were pretty boring this year, but still amusing.
    i love me some gaga, and that she won so many awards, but that meat dress was a big NO. as a vegetarian/animal lover/decent human being, it truly disgusted me that she wore that. and then the explanation she gave on ellen was just stupid.

    it’s ok though gaga, you’re still an innocent.

  19. I finally just ‘saw’ (as much as I ever ‘see’ anything which is to say, it’s on in the background as I do other things) the VMAs from start to finish (I had to mute the Taylor Swift part) and Kanye’s performance at the end was totally epic. It wasn’t Lady Gaga bleeding and being dropped from the air like Jesus, but it was pretty fucking awesome. Someone on this thread should yell at us for writing this without seeing it because nobody should ever judge a show from clips on the internet. This is the first time we tried to do that, you guys shouldn’t do that. Silly rabbit, clips are for kids. idk. i think my head hurts now

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