By Derrik J. Lang And Sandy Cohen Associated Press
LOS ANGELES — Turns out it’s not just teenage girls who heart Justin Bieber. His fellow MTV Video Music Award nominees and other musicians attending the star-studded ceremony said they were eager to see the teen sensation’s performance. Jay Sean called him “a good friend of mine” while producer Sean Garrett said he’s “my little friend.”
“It’s really amazing that I’m here, and I’m performing,” Bieber said with a shake of his trademark shag haircut.
Show host Chelsea Handler called the 16-year-old singer “a little tastycake sweetie pie” and reality TV star Kim Kardashian lovingly introduced the performance of Bieber’s breakout hit, “Baby,” which took place outside the Nokia Theatre in front of scads of screaming young fans. Bieber’s mentor, Usher, beamed with pride before the show.
“To be able to step back and be helpful in captivating and making the right moves and being in the right company, that’s what’s most important,” he said on the white carpet. “I take mentoring very seriously and I take his career very seriously. When I met him, his talent is what I wanted people to recognize, and that’s what’s happened.”
The Nokia Theatre lobby was littered with reality TV stars before the MTV Video Music Awards.
“The Real World: New Orleans” cast members McKenzie Coburn, Ryan Leslie and Preston O’Neil Roberson-Charles mingled together, while Bethenny Frankel, star of “Bethenny Getting Married?” and one of “The Real Housewives of New York,” positioned herself at the open bar, stopping to pose for photos while hubby Jason Hoppy feasted on Chinese chicken salad.
“Come on, let’s do this,” she told a fan wanting a picture.
Frankel and Hoppy weren’t the only couple making the rounds. Tito Ortiz, mixed-martial arts fighter and former “The Celebrity Apprentice” contestant, waded hand-in-hand through the crowd with girlfriend Jenna Jameson. More popular than the reality TV celebs? Free-flowing goodies, such as mini lobster rolls and tomato tortes.
MTV’s awards shows always inspire colorful fashions, and this year’s Video Music Awards were no exception.
“Dancing With the Stars” contestant Audrina Patridge glittered in a sparkly silver mini-dress topped with silver belts and tons of bangles. Her fellow reality star-turned-dancer, Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino managed to keep his abs covered as he walked the white carpet.
Ciara and Florence Welch of Florence and the Machine were among the night’s best dressed, each choosing Givency. Ciara wore a lace and feather number and Welch was elegant in a body-hugging gold lace creation. Another fashion standout was Cher, who dazzled in the sheer lace bodysuit reminiscent of the look she donned in her video for “If I Could Turn Back Time.”
“I have shoes older than most of these nominees,” the stalwart star joked during the show.
But, as anticipated, the fashion scene stealer was Lady Gaga, who rocked three dresses during the two-hour show. She arrived in a Victorian-inspired, full-skirted gown that she paired with a Mohawk feather headdress. Next was a black confection with another Mohawk-type topper. She accepted the night’s final award, video of the year, in perhaps her quirkiest — and tastiest — gown yet: a draped mini made from slabs of meat. She wore a matching filet on her head, and her towering platform shoes were also covered in meat.
“I’m not a piece of meat,” the pop phenom said backstage after collecting eight trophies.
Host Chelsea Handler also wore a series of dresses during the ceremony, but she confessed she wasn’t sure who’d designed them.
“I don’t know,” she said when asked who made her dress. “Target?”