What’s an MTV Video Music Awards without a little wardrobe malfunction? One of the more intriguing subplots going into the VMAs was whether or not a six-foot-long boa constrictor would be appearing onstage with Nicki Minaj after the snake bit one of the rapper’s backup dancers Friday night during rehearsals for Minaj’s performance.
Although “Rocky” the boa constrictor was non-venomous and the dancer’s wounds weren’t life threatening, the snake was fired from the Minaj gig, sending producers scrambling to find a replacement reptile. In the end, in turns out they couldn’t find a boa constrictor… or a functioning dress for Minaj.
Coming on the heels of the salacious “Anaconda” music video, everyone expected Minaj to bring some Miley-level controversy to the Los Angeles Forum stage, and even our prediction panel pinpointed Minaj’s performance as the one we’d all be talking about the next morning. But it wasn’t the “Anaconda” itself we’ll remember, but Minaj’s ill-fated costume change that left her awkwardly clutching her black dress during “Bang Bang” with Ariana Grande and Jessie J, ending what was otherwise a noteworthy opening performance on a strange note.
At the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards, Grande was just some up-and-coming singer performing at the red carpet segment of the ceremony. One year and three Top 10 singles later, the My Everything singer was picked to open up the 2014 VMAs at Los Angeles’ the Forum, completing one of the most meteoric ascensions in pop music history. Grande got the party started by emerging from a spaceship to perform “Break Free” with Zedd before Minaj emerged for an extremely booty-shaking rendition of “Anaconda.”
Immediately following the show-opening performance, the music video for “Bang Bang” debuted on MTV.com. Earlier this month, Jessie J spoke to Rolling Stone about “Bang Bang” and what each artists brought to the track. “I only met [Grande and Minaj] at the video shoot, but I looked at Nicki and myself and Ariana, all three of us look so different, and we’re all equally confident,” Jessie J said. “I was pointing at Nicki in the video, I was like, ‘she’s got a booty like a Cadillac, but I can send you into overdrive!’ I’m not going to rival what she has, but I’ve got what I’ve got. That’s what I feel like young women, especially, need to hear. You have to love yourself, before anyone else can even come in. So for me, as a slim, tall-legs-no-boobs-no-bum kind of girl, I’ve got to represent.”