The big story coming out of this year's MTV Music Video Awards wasn't 'N Sync topping the list of winners with three awards. It also wasn't controversial rapper Eminem capturing the night's top prize, Best Video of the Year. In fact, even a surprise appearance by embattled pop diva Whitney Houston didn't cut it as the night's most buzz-worthy event. So, what was the highlight? Co-host Marlon Wayans said it best: "The white dude stuck upstairs."
Wayans was referring to the stunt pulled by Rage Against the Machine bassist Timmy Commerford, who climbed up a stage prop during Limp Bizkit's acceptance speech for Best Rock Video bringing the show to a standstill and forcing police onto the scene. "That was the craziest thing I have ever experienced almost in my life," admitted Limp Bizkit's Fred Durst. "He was just up there going, 'We played for you MTV, we came here and played for you.' I don't know what he was saying.' But we love Rage Against the Machine, so we don't know why he would do that right then, but it was weird."
Durst went on to say that Commerford may have been injured while coming down off the rafters. "It looked like he was fighting them, so I hope he's OK," he says. "I hope he gets his head checked soon." And although MTV was downplaying the incident "He climbed up on the set, we were afraid it was unstable, so we asked him to get down," a spokesperson said New York's finest arrested the musician, as well as one of the band's bodyguards.
Well, the brouhaha certainly solidified the VMAs' status as entertainment's most unpredictable awards show. Broadcast live from New York's Radio Music Hall to a worldwide audience of approximately 1 billion viewers, the three-hour ceremony featured no major sweep although Eminem was clearly the big winner. In addition to grabbing Video of the Year for "The Real Slim Shady," he won Best Male Video and shared Best Rap Video honors with his mentor, Dr. Dre.
And the icing on the cake for the potty-mouthed musician? His two least-favorite singers Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera went home empty-handed. In an upset, R&B singer Aaliyah beat out both girls for Best Female Video honors for "Try Again." The soul star whose "Try Again" also won Best Video From a Film (Romeo Must Die) had just flown in from Australia, where she was filming Anne Rice's Queen of the Damned. Backstage, she said that she was hoping to have her third album completed by year's end.
Jennifer Lopez, who arrived on the arm of beau Sean "Puffy" Combs despite rumors that they had split, won for Best Dance Video ("Waiting for Tonight"). "It seems like a dream," said the actress/singer, adding that she forgot to thank the fans. "It's because of them that I have this." When the fashion trendsetter was asked about her attire for the evening a white sparkly number she admitted that she had "some" trouble deciding what to wear. "This was actually a last-minute thing."
Best New Artist in a Video winner Macy Gray, who described her look as "purple-plum-afro-circles-on the-pants-holding-an-award," said she wasn't offended by hosts Shawn and Marlon Wayans's off-color remarks about her afro despite the fact that she flipped them off from her seat in the audience. "I thought [it] was funny," she said. "[Afterward] they were trying to clean it up and tell me how much they loved me." Gray responded to rumors that a live album was in the works. "It got canceled," she revealed, before adding in jest. "They didn't offer me enough money."
Sisqó nabbed a moonman for Best Hip Hop Video for "Thong Song." Backstage, he admitted he hasn't received enough credit for making the garment popular again. "I just wish I would have got some money from Victoria's Secret." Asked how he keeps in such great shape, he answered: "Whenever I think about crunches I just drop and do 50."
Other winners include Blink 182 for Best Group Video ("All the Small Things"), Destiny's Child for Best R&B Video ("Say My Name"), Red Hot Chili Peppers for Best Direction in a Video ("Californication") and the Video Vanguard Award. 'N Sync's three awards Best Pop Video, Best Choreography in a Video and the coveted Viewer's Choice were all for their smash hit, "Bye Bye Bye." For a complete list of winners, click here.
After all was said and done, the Wayans Brothers admitted that hosting the VMAs "was a lot of stress," especially when it came to deciding how hard they should slam their celebrity targets. But Marlon admitted that if it appeared as if the Scary Movie duo were treading lightly, there was good reason: "We wanted to go to the after-party without getting our asses kicked."