After weeks of preparation, anticipation and perspiration, it’s finally time for the celebration. The 2010 MTV Video Music Awards are here. Airing live from the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles, the 2010 VMAs promise to be the biggest and best in the show’s history, featuring performances by Eminem (who will kick the show off), Kanye West, Drake, Justin Bieber, Paramore, B.o.B, Linkin Park, Florence and the Machine, Usher and in-house music provided by deadmau5 (and a handful of special guests). Plus, all of your favorite stars will be in the building, including Lady Gaga, Ke$ha, Katy Perry, Justin Timberlake, Taylor Swift, 30 Seconds to Mars, the casts of “Glee,” “Jackass” and “Jersey Shore,” Rick Ross, Selena Gomez and dozens more. They’ll all be in the house celebrating the year in music and competing for the coveted Moonman, the only entertainment award designed after a a guy who has a crater named after him on the moon.
The action begins with a live red carpet (sorry, white carpet) celebration at 8 p.m. Eastern. MTV News’ Sway and Tim Kash will be welcoming the stars, keeping track of the surprise arrivals and throwing to Nicki Minaj and will.i.am for an early performance. You can keep track of everything live on MTV, stream it live here or stick around here for the live blog below.
The time is now, and it feels so good. Forget what you knew about awards shows, and even what you knew about the VMAs. The past is the past, and this is the future. This is now. This is the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards!
8:59 Thus ends the white carpet pre-show! Join us for the big show!
8:58 Gaga reveals that the people flanking her are actual members of the military who have left the military because of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policies.
8:56 And now it’s time for Lady Gaga, no doubt the main event of the evening. Sway gives her the two Moonmen she won a few minutes ago, and she seems extremely happy to have won Best Dance Video.
8:53 Ke$ha arrived in a DeLoreon? Was Doc Brown her chauffeur?
8:52 Ke$ha’s dress is actually made out of a garbage bag, and it looks remarkably great. She should totally be on “Project Runway.” She wants to win Best New Artist and touch Beyoncé.
8:50 Only 10 minutes until showtime! Based on the exclusive clip from “Runaway,” the film by Kanye West, it will be moody and awesome — just like Kanye himself! He’ll close the show tonight, which should send the crowd home happy.
8:45 Katy Perry is seriously sick tonight, but she’s braving it to be here. She also watched Nicki’s performance and said she can’t wait to see Robyn tonight. Meanwhile, Drake and Justin Bieber embraced and joked about being two Canadians taking over the VMAs.
8:43 The image of Johnny Knoxville getting knocked over by a bull will never, ever get old. The Situation approves of “Jackass 3-D.”
8:41 Jim Cantiello welcomes the cast of “Jackass.” Johnny Knoxville is dressed as a seaman, and Bam Margera is on board with the idea of doing a stunt with Justin Bieber.
8:40 Two of the most popular characters on the white carpet? Ron Artest and the Moonman. Big secret: There is actually a woman inside the Moonman costume tonight. Moonwoman!
8:39 The special announcement from Pop-Tarts better be the fact that they are bringing back the mint chocolate chip flavor.
8:38 Drake, Tyga, Sean Kingston and Justin Bieber all stopped their forward motion on the white carpet to see Nicki Minaj perform. The crowd was going crazy. But the Young Money camp was just as into it as the audience. Drake was all smiles. Bieber was bobbing his head. And all eyes were on Nicki. A star is born type of moment for sure.
8:35 will.i.am is wearing an all-black leather suit and some sort of black-and-pink skull dome. He must be sweating like crazy, but it’s worth it: Both he and Minaj are killing it. Nicki Minaj is like the female Kool Keith, which is somehow exactly what hip-hop needed right now.
8:31 What time is it? It’s Nicki Minaj o’clock! She’s wearing a purple bodysuit and a pink whip and busting out “Your Love” first. And then it gets really real, with a bridge, smoke machines, snappy dance moves and will.i.am on “Check It Out.”
8:26 Justin Bieber and Usher visit with Sway. Usher’s advice to Bieber for his performance tonight: “Have an incredible time and do it for the fans.” Neither seem to ever be a problem for Bieber.
8:25 Jim Cantiello talks to Andrew Jenks, who tosses to an exclusive clip of “World of Jenks,” which premieres after the VMA show tonight.
8:23 30 Seconds to Mars arrive in style: With an army of bicyclists, just like in their video for “Kings and Queens” (which is nominated for four awards tonight). There is definitely a woman wearing nothing but body paint, and another wearing a chicken suit.
8:22 Drake and the Situation just hip-hop hugged on the white carpet. Mike’s eyes bugged out with excitement (Drake, as always, seemed nonplussed). Even the Situation, apparently, is starstruck.
8:21 Gucci Mane just arrived on the white carpet, and the Atlanta rapper didn’t seem particularly happy. Photographers snapped him but then Gucci kind of snapped: He tossed a huge wad of cash in the air and walked away. Master P, though, spotted the incident and ran over to Gucci to cool him down. P got him and Waka to start over and begin their walk down the white carpet again. Mentorship is alive!
8:20 Sway hands out the first Moonman of the evening. The prize for Best Dance Video goes to Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance,” the first in what will probably be a lot of victories for her. Next is the Moonman for Best Collaboration. The winner? Lady Gaga and Beyoncé for “Telephone.” That’s already two prizes for Gaga, and she hasn’t even walked in the building yet.
8:18 Snooki drops in on the white carpet looking extra tan. Meanwhile, Steve-O and JWoww are mere inches from one another. Danger.
8:17 The Verizon All-Access Fan Michelle asks Sean Kingston about working with Nicki Minaj. “It was amazing,” he said.
8:15 Jay Sean arrives in a car with no fewer than four lovely ladies. Sean reveals a secret about friend Nicki Minaj: “She can do a better British accent than me.”
8:11 Sway introduces the exclusive clip of an upcoming episode of “Jersey Shore.” The showdown between Snooki and Angelina is going to explode!
8:08 Katy Perry is sick but still made it to the show. She has fiancé Russell Brand’s face on her finger nails. She’s excited about the free drinks, meeting her idols and her fancy dress.
8:07 Gabi the MTV TJ introduces us to tonight’s Twitter Tracker. A reminder: Use the hash tag #ifbiebermetgaga to start the trend on Twitter!
8:05 Paramore chat with Jim Cantiello about their performance and the possibility of a Hayley Williams solo album. “I have a gang of Japanese girls waiting for me,” she jokes.
8:03 Drake tells Kash he still feels “like a rookie” and calls labelmate Nicki Minaj “an icon.”
8:02 Travie McCoy was waiting to be interviewed when Katy Perry walked by. Awkward moment. She looked up and saw him, zipped by and made a tiny face as she passed. The “Billionaire” rapper didn’t notice — lucky for him.
8:01 We got our first look at Lady Gaga. Is that a mohawk? Just when you think she can’t top herself, she goes ahead and does. Meanwhile, Tim Kash welcomes Drake to the white carpet. The crowd is going absolutely ape as the star power increases. Drake’s goal for tonight is to “make women feel special tonight.”
8:00 Sway welcomes everyone to the live pre-show with the Situation and Pauly D. It’s on!
7:48 Lil Jon just arrived, with Kid Cudi is entering the area and right behind them walking on is Drake. A lot of folks on Twitter thought Drizzy was here already when they spotted Vinnie from “Jersey Shore.” Vinnie had the shades, leather jacket and an extra bop in his step. Oliver, Drake’s right-hand man, laughed at the comparison. “I gotta peep it,” he said.
7:45 Lady Gaga just strolled by James Montgomery. Quote the MTV News Rock Editor: “Peacock feathers in her hair and women in Air Force uniforms holding the train of her dress.” Quote producer Brendan Kennedy: “She looks like she’s wearing Radio City Music Hall.”
7:40 Lots of star power on the white carpet right now: Ne-Yo, Ice Cube, N*E*R*D, the “Jersey Shore” cast, Florence and the Machine and Lady Gaga. Good thing it’s Los Angeles, as everyone has shades on to withstand this kind of star power.
7:35 Ryan from “The Real World: New Orleans” is wandering aimlessly a few paces behind rest of cast from whom he’s estranged. That’s real.
7:33 Vinny tells Sway that his celebrity crush is Selena Gomez. “Is she 18, though?” he asks. (For the record, she is.)
7:27 It’s incredibly sunny in Los Angeles today, which means that the white carpet is scorching. It’s reminding a lot of the reporters on the ground of the years the VMAs were in Miami.
7:18 Sammi says she wouldn’t want Ronnie to mack on Lady Gaga. Or Selena Gomez. What a strange love triangle that would be.
7:15 It should be noted that before you watch the VMA pre-show, you should really check out the staggeringly amazing episode of “Jersey Shore” currently airing.
7:13 The Victorious Secrets are in the house. It’s their first VMA. They won the FreeCreditScore.com contest and performed at the MTV/Lifebeat event at the House of Blues last night. They’re having fun by the looks of things. And they cleaned up well.
7:10 Stars have already started to arrive on the scene, including Audrina from “The Hills” (and soon of “Dancing With the Stars”) and Ronnie and Vinny from “Jersey Shore.” Vinny said he’d rather mack on Nicki Minaj over Katy Perry because “she’s a freak.” Another early carpet walker: An unidentified guy with two gorgeous women whose legs are longer than the running time of “Avatar.” He could pass for the European version of the Most Interesting Man in the World. Or a pimp.
The 27th annual MTV Video Music Awards are happening live, right now at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles! Keep it locked on MTVNews.com for the latest behind-the-scenes scoop, red-carpet interviews, photos, winner reactions and more.