A lot of awards shows hang their reputation on the fact that they’re important, even when it’s not really true, but the MTV Video Music Awards are always about convincing you that they’re important. The awards themselves don’t really matter, but not because a VMA Moon Person statue is some meaningless paperweight (like a Grammy). It’s because the show itself has long since abandoned any pretense of being an “awards show.” It’s just a regular show where some awards are given out, and so it’s the “show” part that actually matters—or at least that’s what matters to MTV.
It’s all about the Big Moments that everybody will be talking about on social media (at least in theory), which is a side-effect of the stan culture fan armies that dominate the music world these days (or at least the MTV version of the music world). It doesn’t matter who wins whatever award, it just matters if the artist or group that you like gets the praise they deserve, hopefully via a big show-stopping performance, but seeing them get a Moon Person is... also fine.
So, in honor of what the VMAs are really about, we’ve compiled a slideshow of the best and worst moments of the 2022 VMAs. (We’ll update with more slides throughout the night as more things happen, good or bad.)