The night’s chief award winner may have gone AWOL from the show but the newly renamed iHeart Radio MuchMusic Video Awards continues to prove that the awards concert itself is the main attraction.
Toronto’s Drake was unable to be on hand to collect five MMVA awards due to U.S touring obligations, but the Queen Street West street party continues to be a dazzling success which on Sunday attracted the likes of Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Hailee Steinfeld, James Bay, Desiigner, Nick Jonas and Fifth Harmony plus a slew of prime Canadian talent including Hedley, Alessia Cara, Tegan And Sara, Shawn Mendes, July Talk, Shawn Hook, Coleman Hell and internet sensation, Edmonton’s Ruth B.
But it was the performance stage itself, two huge hexagon-designed platforms which functioned as separate stages or, in order to contain American sensations, Fifth Harmony, combined into one mega platform. And if that wasn’t enough, Nick Jonas sauntered out on to Queen Street West to give a virtual a capella performance of “Close”, in amongst his adoring female fans.
Kudos to executive producer John Kampilis for staging such an exorbitant production of an award show that doesn’t look or feel like an award show. Certainly, the live performances were outstanding. Macklemore and Lewis launched the show with their exuberant “Dance Off” which allowed presenter Amber Rose to twerk her assets, Alessia Cara proved to be a superstar in the making with an energetic rendition of “Wild Things”, U.S actress Hailee Steinfeld joined forces with Canadian Shawn Hook on “Rock Bottom”, Hedley responded with “Lose Control” while Tegan & Sara (“Boyfriend”), Brit James Bay (Let It Go), U.S rapper Desiigner (“Panda”), Shawn Mendes’ debut of his new single (“Treat You Better”), July Talk (“Push And Pull”) and Simon Cowell’s 2012 U.S X Factor discoveries, Fifth Harmony commanded both stages with their new single; `Work From Home“.
But as executive producer, John Kampilis, alluded to in his pre-show press conference, Nick Jonas had something special planned and his unaccompanied stroll into the audience to sing `Close“only emphasised what a truly fan-friendly experience the IHeart Video MMVA`s really is.
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Certainly guest host, supermodel Gigi Hadid, supported by MuchMusic hosts Liz Trinnear and Tyrone Edwards, seemed to be having a blast and they were supported by a stellar cast of guest presenters including Amber Rose, Teen Wolf star Tyler Posey, Pretty Little Liar stars Ashely Benson and Lucy Hale, Orphan Black`s Josh Vokey, Shemar Moore from Criminal Minds, Actress Hailey Baldwin and musical talent Mariana`s Trench and SonReal .
In what has become an annual ritual, the Red Carpet arrivals again featured some bizarre modes of transport with Tegan and Sara arriving on a London double decker bus accompanied by 15 pairs of identical twins, Fifth Harmony appeared in an APC Assault Vehicle and Vancouver`s Mariana`s Trench, who specialize in eccentric arrivals, appeared on a golf cart and proceeded to use the red carpet as a putting green. `We`re just playing through and the back nine has been murder, ‘cracked `lead vocalist Josh Ramsey.
Noting that the band may well be appearing at their 10th MMVA`s in 2017. Mariana`s Trench are already planning next year`s novel arrival. “I`d like to zip line from the CN Tower but they say the power lines are a problem,“ mused Ramsey. `Then I thought about us being lowered from a helicopter and ripping off our trench coats to reveal tuxedos like James Bond – but the problem again is power lines. Then we considered dressing as actual red carpets, we could get their first, lie on the carpet, have everyone step over us and then right at the end, jump up and reveal ourselves. Or we could emerge from the sewer dressed like Mutant Ninja Turtles – but we`d smell like shit”.
Complete iHeart Radio MMVA Award Winner’s List:
Drake’s Hotline Bling claimed awards for Video Of The Year, Best Director, Best Hip Hop and he was the recipient of The Most Buzzworthy Canadian and split Much Fact Video for “My Love” with Majid Jordan. Fifth Harmony claimed two MMVA’s for Fan Fave International Group and Most Buzzworthy International Artist/Group with single awards going to Majid Jordan (Every Step Every Way) for Best Post Production, Grandtheft featuring Lowell (Quit This City) Best EDM/Dance Video, Shawn Mendes & Fifth Harmony’s Camilla Cabello (I Known What You Did Last Summer), Best Pop Video; The Strumbellas (Spirits), Best Rock/Alternative Video; Nick Jonas, iHeart Radio International Artist; Alessia Cara, Best New Canadian Artist; Macklemore & Lewis, iHeart Radio International Duo/Group; The Weeknd (“Can’t Feel My Face”) iHeart Radio Canadian Single of the Year; Justin Bieber, Fan Fav Artist/Group; Rajiv Dhall, Fan Fave Vine Musician.