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Road Trip Day 8: MTV Video Music Awards | Don't Ever Look Back

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Road Trip Day 8: MTV Video Music Awards

Road Trip Day 8: MTV Video Music Awards

While we were still in Hawaii, I saw a television commercial for the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards and beamed with excitement due to the fact we were scheduled to be in Los Angeles at the same time. But what were the chances of actually being able to attend such a glamorous event?! Slim to none, right? Or so I thought!

I managed to locate the casting company 1iota that were offering the exclusive opportunity to attend the VMA’s and submitted my information. Four days later, I received an email offering me a pit ticket to VMA’s – the best view in the house!

Insert intense screaming here.

Me and my MTV VMA Ticket.

Me and my MTV VMA Ticket.

I’ve been watching MTV from Australia since I was 10 and my obsession with music is huge. Having the opportunity to attend this event while traveling made me feel extremely lucky and all I could do was count down the days until the event arrived.

The day has arrived!

Finally, the day of the MTV Video Music Awards was here! Although the event didn’t begin until 6pm, we needed to arrive at the LA Live holding area at 12pm.

This was tough – I was in a city I didn’t know, standing in 90-degree weather and without a cell phone due to the fact they were strictly banned from the event.

The next 4 hours consisted of keeping in the shade as much as possible (whilst sweating like crazy!) and trying to keep our hair and make-up still looking good – not an easy feat! Fortunately the time went quickly – there was so much excitement in the air and before you knew it, it was time to walk over to the Nokia Theatre.

Nokia Theatre

Nokia Theatre.

Entering the Nokia Theatre

“We’re going to be walking very slowly to the venue. There is to be no running, pushing or shoving”, the staff informed us as the huge group walked over.

That lasted about 10 seconds! People were sprinting past me, pushing, shoving, dropping things, losing their shoes and one girl even ran directly into a fire hydrant! Insanity! To ensure I wasn’t left behind, I picked up the pace a little and ended up getting a spot right in front of the stage, second row from the front. The shape and set-up of the stage meant I got plenty of amazing views and was so close to all the action!

A sneaky pic at MTV VMA

One of the girls nearby did sneak her cell phone in - here's how close we were to the stage!

Over the next 2 hours we watched the setting up of the stage and the crew telling us what to do and what not to do. The celebrities then started walking in and took their seats just behind us – we all watched on as each person went crazy for their favorite celeb. From Jersey Shore’s Pauly D (super dark tanned skin and big hair!) to Kim Kardashian, Taylor Lautner, Katy Perry and Russell Brand – so many famous faces in the one building.

Roll cameras – and insider secrets!

Finally the show began and it was well worth the wait. Lady Gaga emerged as her alter ego Jo Calderone – yes, it was a bit weird but was amusing to watch and she never stepped out of character the entire night even when the cameras were off! She really pulled it off.

Lady Gaga as Jo Calderone

Lady Gaga as Jo Calderone.

Rather than recap the entire night (you can watch the entire show online via MTV On Demand), I’ll share my opinions, thoughts and even a few little secrets.

  • Kim Kardashian spent the entire night on her cell phone – tweeting, I’m guessing. In total, the VMA’s drove a whopping 10-million tweets. None from me unfortunately – damn that cell phone ban!
  • It’s been said before but congratulations to Beyonce and Jay-Z on their announcement – as she showed her baby bump to the world, his proud beaming smile lit up the entire room. Being arms length from Beyonce made me realize that she was even more stunning in real life. For some reason everyone needed to put on oversized white t-shirts for her performance but no idea of the reasoning for this.
  • The Jay-Z and Kanye performance was amazing and I touched Jay-Z’s hand! (insert another huge scream!). A fan decided it would be a great idea to run onto the stage during the performance (this can be seen on TV!) and believe me, they were not happy about it and warned everyone during the next commercial break that this is how you get arrested!
  • A lot of Britney Spears fans were waiting for her big speech after receiving her Video Vanguard Award but she read the entire thing off an auto-cue! Made it not so exciting to watch from within the theatre and you can definitely pick it when you watch it on TV.
  • During the commercial breaks, the lights would go on and the celebrities would move around. It was hilarious watching them run around trying to get pictures with each other – some looked just as excited as I would have been!
  • Chris Brown’s spectacular dancing routine resulted in him losing his $22,000 diamond-encrusted Rolex. The fan that found it returned it to Chris who gave her VIP backstage passes to his show and a meet and greet. Would you have been so honest?

The show wrapped up with Lil Wayne, who was easily my favorite performer. He’s always got such energy and knows how to put on a show! Very glad you can’t see me on TV during Drake’s introduction or his performance though, it would be quite embarrassing to see how crazy I was!

Lil Wayne performing How To Love

Lil Wayne performing How To Love.

As the night wrapped up, I somehow still had my voice (very surprising!) and enjoyed a day/night that I will never, ever forget!

We’re currently road tripping through California thanks to the generous help of Fox Rent A Car. Photos courtesy of MTV.


  1. Posted September 13, 2011 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    OMG! I would have DIED if I had gone to the VMAs this year. Between Beyonce announcing her pregnancy, to Jay Z and Kanye performing, I would’ve had a heart attack. I’m glad you had so much fun! What an experience!

    And PS, GIRL! You look gorgeous! love the dress!

    • Posted September 13, 2011 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

      Thank you! You know how long it took me to find one hahaha. I was very lucky to be able to go, the whole show was amazing!

  2. Posted September 13, 2011 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    So fun! I’ve been to a bunch of tapings since for a bunch of shows they actually pay you to go, so my lacrosse team would do it as a fundraiser. Never made it to the VMAs though, that probably would have been more fun than some of the chat shows I sat through.

    • Posted September 13, 2011 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

      That still would’ve been fun and a good way to make some extra money. I honestly would’ve paid a lot to be able to attend the VMA’s but it worked out perfectly that tickets were free!

  3. Posted September 13, 2011 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    AH WOW awesome! 😀 soo lucky!

  4. Posted September 13, 2011 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    It sounds like it was such an awesome time and probably so surreal. Rock on!

  5. Posted September 13, 2011 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    It totally was! I was in amazement the entire time – everywhere I turned inside the Nokia Theatre there seemed to be something awesome going on.

  6. Posted September 13, 2011 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

    It’s great to read the “insider” gossip as opposed to the stuff you read about the event the day after. Sounds like you had a great time, and you really proved the saying that if you don’t ask, you don’t get!

    • Posted September 18, 2011 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

      It was really exciting to see what the cameras don’t pick up!

  7. Posted September 13, 2011 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

    Congrats! Sounds like a ruddy good day out. So how’s that Oscars application coming?

  8. Posted September 14, 2011 at 12:17 am | Permalink

    Wow! Pretty cool! next thing I’ll know you’ll both be signing in a movie deal! just dont’ forget the little people like us when you become famous! 😛

    • Posted September 18, 2011 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

      Haha the most famous I’ll ever be was in the Philippines – at a McDonald’s somewhere north of Manila, every single person was staring at me and parents were pointing me out to the kids. Definitely the light hair I think!

  9. Posted September 15, 2011 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

    I’ve always wondered what those shows are like behind the scenes. Can’t believe you actually got to experience it!

  10. Posted September 16, 2011 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    Such a great experience! So glad that you were able to see it while on your big RTW adventure! Thanks for all of the behind the scenes secrets!

    • Posted September 18, 2011 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

      Timing is everything, worked out perfectly that I got tickets and we were in LA at the exact same time. Guess some things are meant to be!

  11. Posted September 18, 2011 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    Sounds like a totally unforgettable experience. I’ve had the opportunity to attend the ARIAs (the much smaller Australian equivalent) in the past, but I’ve always been busy. This makes me super keen to go next time!

    And what is the deal with Lady Gaga’s alter-ego? I’m confused >_>

  12. Posted October 3, 2011 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

    I am so happy that you got this opportunity Amy! I think it’s so cool for you to have finally attended something that honors the music that you care so much about!

    What an experience!!
    Annie recently posted..My Summer of Zoos; how do they stack up?

  13. Shakis
    Posted August 18, 2013 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

    I’ve received a Pit Ticket for 2013 VMAs held next week and I’m so excited! I wish phones weren’t banned from the pit area so I will be alone on line w/o any forms of communication. 🙁 But I wanted to know when you arrived 5hrs before check-in time was there a long line because I was going to arrive 5hrs before check-in as well but I’m hoping there aren’t 100+ people already on line at 11am. What time do you suggest me getting there based on your experience 2 years ago? Thanks! 🙂

    • Posted August 18, 2013 at 10:51 pm | Permalink

      Congratulations on scoring a ticket Shakis!
      I know it sucks about the phone rule some people risk it but seeing how mad they got catching people it’s just not worth it.
      When I arrived there was a fair amount of people in line. But saying that if I ever got the chance again I would still probably get there 5 hours before maybe 6 hours if a favourite performer of mine was performing.
      Few tips wear comfy shoes or have a pair to change into (like I did) you will be standing for hours and no one sees your feet. Eat a big breakfast and take a few snacks.
      Have a fantastic time! It’s an amazing experience.

  14. Shakis
    Posted August 18, 2013 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

    Thanks soooooo much for the advice! I will for sure now get there even earlier. 🙂

  15. Posted August 20, 2013 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    Like Shakis I too got pit tickets to the VMAs this year and stumbled across your post. I am extremely worried about the no cell phone business. Its not like LA where you can just leave it your car, I will be traveling alone thru Brooklyn after the show. Any idea how the girl smuggled her cellphone in? They say you go through a metal detector. Is that true? Do they pat you down? I have no problem not using my cellphone I just do not want to be able to keep it in my purse.

    • Posted August 20, 2013 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

      You’re going to have the best time Kim! 🙂

      Yes you do go through metal detectors. She put her cell in her bra but i don’t know how she got through! They were rushing us in really fast so maybe that helped.

      I didn’t risk it in case I missed my one and only chance to attend the VMAs. Look if you do smuggle it in just don’t use it at all – they have eyes everywhere.

      For me not having a phone was very unnerving as I was on holidays in the US and had no real clue where I was.. but it all worked out in the end. Enjoy!

  16. Shakis
    Posted August 22, 2013 at 5:03 am | Permalink

    Hey Kim, they just changed the rules on the ticket, that says that we can now bring our cell phones since production knows people will be needing them but we have to make sure they are away & not out in the open or else they will remove us from the venue. Sp this is great!! 🙂

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  • By Top 10 Travel Blogs from 2011 on December 16, 2011 at 3:34 pm

    […] hung out with Beluga whales, climbed on Icelandic glaciers, and hit up the MTV Music Awards, and plenty more to […]

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