Normani performs onstage during the 2021 MTV Video Music Awards at Barclays Center on September 12, 2021 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City.
Many of the performances of this year’s MTV Video Music Awards were lukewarm at best. That said, the ones that killed it tonight stood out, making their performances seem even better. Below, we have ranked the best performances of the night.
6. Olivia Rodrigo -- good 4 u
18-year-old Olivia Rodrigo was one of the first performances of the night, and she started it off by descending from a cloud of disco balls maintaining her prom theme.
5. Lil Nas X feat. Jack Harlow -- Industry Baby and Montero (Call Me By Your Name)
Lil Nas X and Jack Harlow’s went with a marching band-themed performance of “Industry Baby.” Though Lil Nas X performed another high-energy and elaborate set, it wasn’t nearly as groundbreaking as his BET Awards performance. We still give him kudos for having hot male dancers twerk for us in hot pink, following with a grind session in the showers.
4. Kacey Musgraves -- star-crossed
Kacey Musgraves, known for country music, gave us an unexpectedly beautiful performance with “star-crossed.” The stage was adorned with candles and heart and dagger-shaped neon lights, giving us major Romeo + Juliet (1996) vibes. A heart-shaped torch alights towards the end of her stripped down performance that let her voice shine. She definitely gained new fans tonight.
3. Busta Rhymes feat. Spliff Star -- Medley of Hits
Busta Rhymes has still got it! The New York Native performed “Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Can See,” “Scenario,” “Touch It,” “Pass The Courvoisier” and “Look At Me Now” in a flawless and very hype performance.
2. Chlöe Bailey -- Have Mercy
Chlöe’s powerful voice (often likened to that of Beyoncé) and the choreography for “Have Mercy” were flawless. Her high-energy performance brought us back to life after one-after-another snooze fest of performances throughout the night.
1. Normani -- Wild Side
Normani’s performance of “Wild Side” was up to par with the music video. She and her backup dancers wore metallic silver outfits, recreating most of the moves from her music video. At the closing of her performance, a woman was hoisted up and strapped on to a cross — that Normani climbs and grinds on.