The Best, Worst and Weirdest Moments From the 2018 MTV VMAs

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Some of the biggest names in music turned out for the MTV Video Music Awards at Radio City Music Hall in New York City on Monday for a fun night filled with some truly incredibly highlights and musical performances -- and some legitimately baffling moments.

Whether it was shade-throwing acceptance speeches, super-revealing outfits or powerful political messages, this year's MTV VMAs lived up to the show's wild reputation.

From the show's stormiest opening musical number of all time to some of the most painfully awkward jokes and banter, here are some of the best, worst and most downright weird moments from the night's jam-packed show.

BEST

Shawn Mendes Plays in the Rain

For the show's opening number, MTV decided to get wet and wild with Shawn Mendes performing "In My Blood" as fake rain poured from the sky in one of the most apocalyptically elaborate set pieces in awards show memory. Mendes left the stage drenched and the audience cheering.

Every Single Thing About Jennifer Lopez

Jennifer Lopez was honored with this year's coveted Video Vanguard award and the Latin-American pop superstar celebrated with a show-stopping performance featuring a medley of some of her biggest hits of all time, which even featured a guest appearance from Ja Rule. Then, when she took the stage to accept the honor, every word she spoke was heavy with inspirational glee, and her sweet shout out to boyfriend Alex Rodriguez was truly heartwarming.

Logic Makes a Powerful Statement

Leave it to the man who's most famous song was literally created to raise awareness of the suicide prevention hotline to make the most powerful (if not only) political statement at this year's show. The 28-year-old rapper performed his new song, "One Day," and during the performance dozens of immigrant parents, youth and children took the stage wearing T-shirts that read "We are all human beings," and they received a standing ovation from the audience as they came out. Meanwhile, Logic rocked a pointed message on his own shirt, which declared, "F**k the wall."

Ariana Grande Proves "God Is a Woman"

The Sweetener songstress pulled out all the stops for her empowered performance of her new single "God Is a Woman," where she was joined by a diverse group of 50 female backup dancers for a number that truly stole the spotlight. Grande owned the VMAs stage throughout the set, until she was joined by her mother, Joan, her grandmother, Marjorie, and her aunt, who took their places by her side for one of the night's sweetest moments.

Maluma Turns Up the Heat

One of the hottest performances of the night came from 24-year-old Colombian crooner Maluma, who took the stage in a silver-and-black suit (without any shirt at all) to perform his hit, "Felices los 4," alongside a bevy of stunning, gold-clad backup dancers. After walking through the crowd to turn on the charm up close and personal, Maluma returned to the stage for some steamy choreography that ended with one of the dancers kissing him full on the mouth.

 

WORST

Backstreet Boys Sing Hit Pop Songs Awkwardly

The Backstreet Boys reunited on stage after performing live during MTV's pre-show event, but they didn't exactly wow the audience when they took the stage to present Song of the Year, and made off-key attempts at singing lyrics from the nominated tunes. Listening to A.J. McLean awkwardly belt out Camila Cabello's "Havana" just felt weird.

The Hills' Revival Announcement

Technically, this wasn't part of the awards show, but it was bad enough to merit a mention. After some of the cast (notably, not Lauren Conrad, Kristin Cavallari or Brody Jenner) reunited on the red carpet during the pre-show event to tease a "big announcement," the announcement for The Hills: New Beginnings was simply an incredibly vague, boring teaser featuring sweeping b-roll shots of the Los Angeles skyline and… that's basically it. That was one of the most pointless buildups of all time. 

 

WEIRDEST

Cardi B's Random Fake Baby Reveal

While many VMAs kick off with a live performance, this year they decided to get Cardi B to come out and pretend to be cradling her infant daughter, Kulture, only to reveal that she was actually holding an MTV VMA Moon Person award statuette. And then that was it. No performance, no nothing. She delivered a few throwaway jokes, revealed the trophy then left to allow Shawn Mendes to take the stage with the performance that should have actually started the show. We all love Cardi, but why didn't this just happen after the opening act?
 

Madonna's Whole Deal

After a lackluster memorial to the late Aretha Franklin, Madonna took the stage for what, ostensibly, was supposed to be a tribute to the Queen of Soul, but ended up being just a long, rambling monologue that was almost exclusively about Madonna and only tangentially related to Franklin. Aside from looking like a new age crystal healer at your most annoying hipster friend's birthday party, Madonna also had a lot of words to say and very little information to convey. However, she still managed to make Camila Cabello's night when Madonna presented her the award for Video of the Year.

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