Not even a global pandemic could stop the 2020 MTV Europe Music Awards. And dare I say, it made it even cooler.
That’s right. Because of the ongoing pandemic, this year’s show filmed all over the world, making it unlike any others before it.
But, of course, one thing stayed the same: everyone’s favorite artists won big, and the program was filled with show-stopping performances.
Heading into the ceremony, Lady Gaga led the pack with six nominations. BTS and Justin Bieber weren’t far behind, with five nods each.
Heartthrobs BTS took home the most awards of the night. The wildly popular K-pop group won four awards: Best Song, Best Group, Biggest Fans, and Best Virtual Live.
Lady Gaga snagged two of hers, taking Best Artist and Best US Act. Bieber didn’t leave empty handed either; the Canadian singer-songwriter won for his part in DJ Kaled and Drake’s “Popstar” video.
Little Mix hosted the star-studded affair, but it didn’t end there for the British pop group. They brought a special performance of their new single, “Sweet Melody,” and managed to bring home two awards: Best Pop, and Best UK & Ireland Act.
A brand new EMA category was introduced for this year’s ceremony, too. Karl G won the first-ever Best Latin award. The Colombian artist also took home the Best Collaboration award for “Tusa” featuring Nicki Minaj.
Also this year, we saw the MTV EMA Generation Change Award given to “five phenomenal women who have devoted time, energy, and talents to racial and social justice efforts around the world.” The honors went to Kiki Mordi, an investigative journalist working to end SARS in Nigeria; Temi Mwale, a UK racial justice campaigner; Portrait photographer Catherhea Potjanapron, combatting colorism in Malaysia; Brazilian fashion journalist Luiza Brasil; and Raquel Willis, a Black transgender writer and activist in the US.
In particular, Doja Cat rocked out with a smokin’ rendition of her catchy hit “Say So.” But rather than a bright pop-y version that fans likely expected, the singer took it to the dark side. Doja combined her lyrics with an intense guitar and a creepy crew of prosthetic-wearing animal rockers as her backup band.
Oh, and she slithered out of a TV screen with her head down, messy hair draped over her face, and clad in a tattered one-shoulder white dress. Serious Samara from The Ring vibes here.
Another performance proved a big surprise, too.
If you had pegged Why Don’t We as just a boy band, you were likely pretty surprised by their MTV EMA performance. The group is still intact, but they’ve evolved into full-blown rockers. They kept the performance straight-forward, but each member of the fivesome grabbed an instrument to play as they performed on a light-up stage. They all showcase their vocals and their musical chops on respective instruments.
It really rang true with what member Jonah Marais told PEOPLE in September: “We’ve grown up quite a bit,” he told the outlet. “We’re now the band we’ve dreamed of being.”