The MTV EMAs visit Scotland for the second time and sadly Calvin Harris, the main homegrown act on the bill, has had to pull out because of a heart scare.
MTV EMAs - Hydro, Glasgow
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One wonders if he could have borne the sheer excitement of host Nicki Minaj dressed as one of those frilly toilet roll holders, David Hassehoff’s sporran on the indoor red carpet or the nail-biting wait to find out if Meghan Trainor’s All About That Bass would win the fiercely contested Best Song With A Message category.
Those awards for Best Look, Biggest Fans and something called Best Push Act (no, me neither) won’t accept themselves so as the countdown clock struck 8pm it was time to get this blaring, over-excited circus on the road with squeaky US teen sensation Ariana Grande floating through the cosmos in a sci-fi basket chair before breathlessly lifting the Best Song gong for Problem (beating the actual best song of the year – Pharrell’s Happy).
The pace of proceedings was dizzying . Awards were dispatched with indecent haste, artists and dancers popped up unexpectedly on various platforms and catwalks.
Guests included Alicia Keys showing off her baby bump from across town at the O2 Academy, an uncharacteristically lively Enrique Iglesias, U2 continuing to tug their forelocks in penance for the Apple album spam fiasco and power rock duo Royal Blood backed by two caged tiers of fist-pumping fans.
Even metal grandpa Ozzy Osbourne got a hysterical reaction as he was crowned Global Icon, although Bibi Zhou, the Chinese winner of the Worldwide Act was greeted with some puzzlement by all but a handful of her travelling fanbase. Conveniently, Minaj won the Best Hip-hop Award. Having mastered/been fed some of the local lingo and cultural references, her Scottish rap ticked off the usual Caledonian clichés, whereas Ed Sheeran’s Sing sounded pretty good on bagpipes.
The ceremony’s stated “time travel” theme extended as far as a photobombing dinosaur and Minaj waking up next to a traffic cone but even this randomness seemed to suit the odd eclecticism of a night which finished with Slash, Myles Kennedy and Biffy Clyro’s Simon Neil rocking an Ozzy tribute.
Oh, and Trainor was cruelly robbed of her rightful victory by some other body image number by Beyonce.