Were the 2013
Sure, you bet -- all of the above.
The 30th edition of an annual production now (like
The show opened with
But Lady Gaga was just one of several pop superstars on hand Sunday.
A little more than two hours after the show began,
And there was, of course,
Those honors came with a perk: 20 minutes or so of the show's run time to do with as Timberlake pleased. Providing what may have been a preview of his upcoming arena tour, the singer touched on practically all of his solo hits -- "Cry Me a River," "Like I Love You," "SexyBack," "Suit & Tie" -- and reunited (for about 15 seconds) with his old mates in the boy band 'N Sync.
In a backstage shot of the group after its appearance, you could practically see the gratitude radiating off every guy not named Justin.
As always with Timberlake, the mini-concert was slickly impressive. ("I still run this bitch!" he crowed at one point.) Yet it also felt interminable and a bit musty, especially as compared with
Still, even Mars looked like a wallflower relative to to
Twerking just as hard as a former Disney star can, Cyrus wasn't the only white artist to borrow from other cultures on the VMAs.
As the night's appointed R&B stars, Timberlake and Thicke pulled off soul-man moves inherited from
And the Seattle-based hip-hop duo Macklemore & Ryan Lewis won awards including the one for hip-hop video, a category in which they inexplicably beat out Drake,
True or not, Macklemore's rapping paled in comparison to that of
Clowns to the left of him, jokers (and oldsters) to the right, Drake found a spot in the middle, and he made it his own.