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MTV VMAs 2014's 20 Best and Worst Moments

Beyoncé's stunning performance, Taylor Swift's pop breakout and more highs and lows from MTV's most outrageous night

BEST: Sam Smith's Subdued Song
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Sam Smith at the 2014 MTV VMAs. Jeff Kravitz/MTV1415/FilmMagic8/20

BEST: Sam Smith's Subdued Song

The VMAs are a telecast in relentless search of a retweet. Naturally, that leads to spectacular, overstuffed performances, a reality that made Sam Smith's subdued and simmering rendition of "Stay With Me" a standout for all the right reasons. Stationed at a microphone, accompanied by a keyboardist, Smith simply just sang — and slayed. Dressed demurely in a black suit, he sent that gorgeously emotive falsetto of his swooping and fluttering over the crowd. The biggest special effects of the performance were the tears in Smith's eyes as the song came to a close, and the broad smile that followed.

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