The 2010 VMA Countdown: Marilyn Manson Bares All

The 2010 MTV Video Music Awards are only a few weeks away. The biggest party of the year features nominated clips by Lady Gaga, Eminem, Jay-Z, Ke$ha and Katy Perry and will feature performances by Kanye West, Eminem, Drake, Paramore, Usher, B.o.B and Florence and the Machine (with many more to be announced). In order to properly prepare yourself for what’s to come, every day the MTV Newsroom Blog will deliver a classic moment in the history of the MTV Video Music Awards. Today’s installment: Marilyn Manson sends everyone home evil.

There must have been something in the water at the 1997 MTV Video Music Awards. Fiona Apple went on a rant, Busta Rhymes hit it off with Martha Stewart, Jamiroquai won a bunch of Moonmen and the list of performers included both Jewel and the Prodigy. When the night came to a close, host Chris Rock introduced shock rockers Marilyn Manson, who were riding high at the time on the back of their huge hit single “The Beautiful People,” which came from their hit second album Antichrist Superstar.

The performance began with a marching band leading frontman Manson to a podium, where he delivered a speech in front of a giant modified American flag. “My fellow Americans, I see you all sitting out there, trying your hardest not to be ugly, trying your hardest not to fit in, trying your hardest to earn your way into Heaven,” Manson said to the crowd. “Let me ask you: Do you want to be in a place that’s filled with a bunch of a–holes?”

With a giant scream, Manson kicked over the podium and tore off his robe to reveal a buttocks-baring corset. His band tore through a loud, angry version of “The Beautiful People” to the general horror of the crowd. It was a bizarre send-off to an unusual show, and Rock summed it up perfectly when the performance ended. “Run to church now!” he told the audience. “Get your ass to church, or you’re going to hell!” With that, the 1997 MTV Video Music Awards came to a close and yet another set of moments were added to the permanent collection. What moments will get added this year? There’s only one way to find out!

The 27th annual MTV Video Music Awards will be broadcast live from the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles on September 12 at 9 p.m. ET.