Video Music Awards Party Over

The MTV Video Music Awards began with many people expecting it to be the ultimate showdown between angst-ridden rap and squeaky-clean entertainment, as Eminem and ’N Sync headed into the MTV Video Music Awards with six nominations each.

Shawn Wayans kicked off the event posing as comedian Chris Rock, last year’s host. He proceeded to insult most of the star studded audience, and ended up getting pounced on in a mock riot with Britney Spears and boy band lookalikes.

Steven Tyler and Dr. Dre handed out the first awards for Best Group Video, to Blink 182 for “All the Small Things,” then a surprised Jennifer Lopez picked up the award for Best Dance Video “Waiting For Tonight.”

She was practically speechless about the distinction, saying “I’m just happy, if I forgot you I’m sorry.”

The rest of the nominees span all types of music: alternative rock-rap veterans Red Hot Chili Peppers have five nods, along with pop starlet Christina Aguilera, headbangers Metallica and singer Sisqo, whose claim to fame is the “Thong Song.” Britney Spears is close behind with four nominations, including three for “Oops! … I Did It Again.”

Battle of the Most Outrageous

At this show, you don’t have to do anything spectacular in terms of racking up the moon man statuettes to end up in headlines the next morning. The broadcast, which unofficially kicks off the back-to-school season, is generally memorable more for its wild fashion statements and onstage antics than the winners’ tallies.

Past extravaganzas have included such occurrences as Howard Stern descending on the stage as his own version of a superhero, Fartman, and a young Madonna crawling the stage in a wedding dress for her early hit “Like a Virgin.”

Not to be outdone, Marlon Wayans mooned the crowd at the beginning of this year’s festivities.

Tonight’s event has all the personalities to make for an equally entertaining experience, with musical performances by ’N Sync, Eminem, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Spears, Aguilera, Blink 182 and Rage Against the Machine.

The presenters include actor Robert De Niro and a long list of chart toppers including Lil’ Kim, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Ricky Martin, Jennifer Lopez, Kid Rock and Limp Bizkit lead singer Fred Durst. And in keeping with its reputation for attracting the top names in pop culture, TV’s Survivor millionaire Richard Hatch has agreed to present an award.

Wayans’ World

The ringleaders of the whole show are the Wayans brothers, the comic duo who topped the box-office charts this summer with their hit Scary Movie.

“They have never been put in a situation of an awards show before, so I think in a way you’re going to see them in a different light. And I think people are kind of intrigued to see what they’re going to do,” said Tom Calderone, VP of music and talent programming at MTV.

The Wayanses are the first pair to share the stage as co-hosts since the first awards were handed out in 1984, with Dan Aykroyd and Bette Midler at the podium.

The brother team started with the spoofs for the event, dressing up as tennis champs Venus and Serena Williams in promos for the award ceremony.

Thongs, Roaches and Pink Hair

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