Scotland

MTV EMAs: A night Glasgow won't forget

Nicki Manaj with her MTV EMA award Image copyright PA
Image caption Award host Nicki Minaj won the award for Best Hip Hop

With thousands of international guests flying into Scotland and 8,000 hotel bookings made across the weekend, the MTV EMA awards have certainly put the focus on Glasgow and are estimated to have brought a £10m boost to the city's economy.

But for the audience at the Hydro Arena, it was all about the music.


Forty thousand people entered a public ballot to get into the awards, while 2,000 others secured their much-sought-after tickets by attending auditions, after MTV advertised castings for local music fans to be part of the audience.

Image caption Amy Hamilton and Hannah Selley began queuing eight hours before the awards show was due to begin

Amy Hamilton, 17, and Hannah Selley, 16, were second in the queue for the local auditions, having arrived at the venue at 07:00 in the morning for auditions that didn't begin until 10:00.

Amy says they impressed the judges at the auditions with a specially-created dance routine to Nicki Minaj song Anaconda.

Others won their tickets through online competitions, travelling a great distance to take up their place in the audience.

Wendela Mathyssen, 17, from Belgium, Elfa Stendhel, 15, from Italy, Ayla Houstra, 17, from the Netherlands, and Kizzy Moore, 20, and Elaine Scarry, 22, from the Republic of Ireland all travelled to Glasgow especially for the awards.

But was it worth the journey?

Ariana Grande opened the show in style, soaring above the crowd in a plastic chair as she performed two of her best known hits, Break Free and Problem, a collaboration with Australian rapper Iggy Azalea - which won her the award for Best Song.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Ariana Grande won awards for Best Song and Best Female

She was still out of breath from the performance as she collected the gong, and said she had hosting last year's EMAs alongside Azalea to thank for the song coming about.

Grande was not the only one using impressive and elaborate staging to keep the audience entranced.

Canadian artist Kiesza performed much of her hit single Hideaway from inside a red telephone box, before leaving the stage to dance among the standing audience.

Light flashing wrist bands had even been distributed to the audience in preparation for Enrique Iglesias performance of I'm A Freak which saw a stunning light show thrill those in the back rows, while Spanish dancers flamenco-ed on podiums among the standing crowd during Bailando.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Enrique Iglesias performs after winning the Best World Stage award

U2, meanwhile, kept it simple and let their music do the talking with a soulful performance of their ballad, Every Breaking Wave.

Despite the host of international stars, there were constant reminders of the city and country that was hosting the event.

Rocking bagpipers The Red Hot Chilli Pipers joined Ed Sheeran for a duet in one of the short videos played while sets were being changed, much to the audiences delight.

Later in the evening, the pipers also made an appearance alongside David Hasselhoff who had dressed in a kilt and Braveheart war paint for the occasion.

Host Nicki Minaj was particularly keen to undergo a cultural awakening in the host city - having written the audience a special "Scottish rap", leading the audience in an rendition of "500 miles", attempting to pick up the local lingo by repeatedly referencing a "Glasgow kiss", and referring to herself as the Queen of Scots.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Calvin Harris pulled out of performing due to illness

Even with Calvin Harris' absence, Scottish representation on stage was high.

Emeli Sande presented Ariana Grande with her second award of the night for Best Female, while Simon Neil from Biffy Clyro rounded off the night's proceedings by performing alongside Slash, Myles Kennedy, and The Conspirators in a tribute to Global Icon winner Ozzy Osbourne.

The big winners on the night were One Direction, who came away with awards for Best Pop, Best Live and Biggest Fans. None of the boys were there in person to collect their awards, and despite having pre-prepared videos thanking MTV and their fans, their absence was greeted by boos from some fans.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Simon Neil from Biffy Clyro performs in typically shirtless fashion

But Australian boy band 5 Seconds of Summer, who supported One Direction on the most recent tour, were close on their tail, coming away with two awards - Best New and Best Push.

Boos could also be heard when Kanye West's nomination for Best Hip Hop was read out - an award which went to Nicki Minaj.

While Ariana Grande came away with two of her nominations, other artists like Pharrell Williams didn't manage to convert any of his five nominations into a win.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Ozzy Osbourne won the award for Global Icon

But while Katy Perry made good on two of her seven nominations, she appeared to be taking her award for Best Look as a "tongue in cheek" win, thanking her parents "for the genes" in her acceptance speech.

With a winning combination of old school greats, such as Alicia Keys, and rock legends like Slash and Ozzy Osbourne performing on the same bill as relative newcomers like Ariana Grande and Charli XCX, there was something for everyone in the show.

By looking at the faces of the audience as they trooped out of Glasgow's Hydro arena shortly after 22:00, it was clear to see that they were a crowd well satisfied.

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