Twilight unsurprisingly had the biggest night at MTV’s Movie Awards in Los Angeles, but a pair of pop stars nearly stole the show with their own giant spectacles. Katy Perry took the stage first with Snoop Dogg for the live debut of her summer single “California Gurls,” arriving suspended from cables on a surfboard high above the audience at the Universal Studios’ Gibson Amphitheatre. When she landed, Perry, whose blue wig matched her bedazzled Daisy Dukes, joined a crew of sun-kissed dancers. Snoop rolled out for his verses in a pair of cut-off khakis, busting out the improbable rhyme, “Bikinis, zucchinis, martinis, no weenies.”
Before the show began, MTV previewed Perry’s video for the track, which she had hinted was aimed at viewers with the munchies. As promised, the clip features a bevy of sweet snacks, and Perry prancing around in a cupcake bustier (watch the teaser below). “Katy Perry is a California girl, the song was about California girls, so why not get the king of California?” Snoop told Rolling Stone before the show. The Doggfather also insisted it would not be the last time the two work together. “I’ll get Katy Perry on my new album,” he said. “She’s amazing, she’s a great artist and she’s fun to be around.”
Christina Aguilera kicked off a medley of songs from her new disc Bionic by spinning around on giant futuristic throne in a moment recalling Madonna’s grand entrance to her Sticky and Sweet Tour. The palate of the performance matched Aguilera’s album cover and video for lead-off single “Not Myself Tonight”: stark black and white with red accents on her lips and microphone. Snapping to attention like a pop robot, Aguilera ripped through a lock-step version of “Bionic,” then segued into “Not Myself Tonight.” Her platinum hair pulled into a single severe curl, Aguilera slithered with her silver-and-black-clad crew, pulling out a move that got Adam Lambert into hot water at last year’s American Music Awards. Her female backup dancers revealed red hearts painted onto their crotches for “Woohoo,” and Aguilera strutted confidently, finishing strong with her own LED heart pulsing on her groin.
Earlier in the night, MTV premiered the video for Enrique Iglesias’ new banger “I Like It” featuring Pitbull and the cast of reality slime-fest Jersey Shore. The Hangover stars Ed Helms and Ken Jeong brought a hilarious Lady Gaga parody that had Helms in a puffy cloud suit at the piano playing “Stu’s Song” while Jeong (outfitted in a tiger leotard) danced. Their bit was cut short by Tom Cruise, reprising his hilariously distasteful movie exec Les Grossman from Tropic Thunder. Cruise grabbed a beat from Ludacris and kicked into a series of surprisingly competent hip-hop moves, then he was joined by Jennifer Lopez, who danced along to her 2005 hit “Get Right.” T.I. also took the Movie Awards stage to make a brief announcement, and Justin Bieber showed off his hair-drying skills while introducing host Aziz Ansari.
Before the show, Jeong admitted he was star struck at every turn. “I’ve been a fan of the MTV Movie Awards since Ben Stiller was hosting it with Janeane Garofalo in the Mission Impossible years,” he said on the red carpet. “To be invited here just blows my mind.” Jeong later nabbed a Best WTF Moment award for his small but vital role in The Hangover. “It’s a very prestigious category,” he joked. “It’s been in existence since the 1930s when Clark Gable won the first one.”
The Twilight Saga: New Moon stars Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson picked up Best Female Performance and Best Male Performance, respectively, and obliged their shrieking fans with a quick lip-lock while accepting the Golden Popcorn for Best Kiss. The latter was proceeded by a lengthier make-out sessions between Get Him to the Greek comic (and RS cover star) Russell Brand and his costar Jonah Hill, who were happier to oblige the “Kiss Cam” than real-life couple Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens. (Their Greek colleague Diddy celebrated the film’s second-place-overall box office showing with a grill: “It’s the Number One comedy in the country and my teeth turned to gold!” he cracked to RS.) The night also featured a preview clip from the next Twilight release, Eclipse, and an expletive-filled speech that boggled the censors as Peter Facinelli accepted Best Movie on behalf of the whole cast.
Anna Kendrick won Best Breakout, Amanda Seyfried scored for Scared as Shit Performance, Ninja Assassin star Rain was named Biggest Badass and Zach Galifianakis nabbed the Comedic Performance trophy for The Hangover (Ansari, dressed up like swagger coach Taavon, accepted on his behalf). Harry Potter‘s Tom Felton received Best Villain while Other Guys costars Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell hung uncomfortably in the ceiling from harnesses — Wahlberg whined he’d only agreed to the stunt because he thought he’d be landing on Eva Mendez’s face the way Sasha Baron Cohen violated Eminem at last year’s ceremony. And Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz, from the upcoming Knight and Day, had a chuckle while giving out the last award for Best Movie, as Cruise seemed delighted to respond to a fan who shouted out “Show me the money!” (Diaz thought the attendee was shouting for her to show something else.)
The biggest laughs, however — and a huge amount of applause — came when Betty White, Bradley Cooper and Scarlett Johansson presented Sandra Bullock with the Generation Award. Recent SNL superhost White lamented how “Our sex scenes were cut [from The Proposal] for theatrical release, but don’t worry, everyone can see them on the unrated DVD” and deadpan praised the actress for her “daring portrayal of Stevie Wonder in The Blind Side.” Johansson hit up the honoree for a kiss (and got it) since her husband Ryan Reynolds got to do the same in The Proposal. Asking if the Generation Award is “for old people who have extended their welcome and we should make nice and leave so someone new could come in” Bullock was defiant. “That’s not going to happen. I’m staying.”
Additional reporting by Shirley Halperin.