VMAs Backstage Exclusive
Watch the show on MTV UK all week
VMAs 2005 are on MTV UK Tuesday at 17:00, Wednesday at 23:00, Saturday at 17:00 and Sunday at 14:00
Backstage at the VMAs - all the gossip from MTV.com
In the backstage talent-holding area, two huge screens played the show for guests. Shaquille O'Neal hung out for a while and when Jessica Alba walked in he gave her a hug that lifted her off the ground. Shaq also made sure to tell Common how much he liked his music as the socially-conscious rapper watched Ludacris and Bobby Valentino's performance on one of the screens. Luda and Bobby V, incidentally, actually had to run to make it to the stage on time.
While Kanye West performed with Jamie Foxx, Jessica Simpson, the Black Eyed Peas' Fergie and Paulina Rubio grooved backstage. The trio gathered around a TV in the plush green room, laughing and shaking their hips. Later, the three took turns admiring each other's dresses, with Fergie tugging at Simpson's plunging hemline.
Elsewhere, O.J. Simpson and his crew – one of whom was wearing a bright yellow jacket with a drawing of Michael Jackson's face on the back – walked down the hallway. O.J. said, "What are we doing backstage? I'm ready to go to the after parties."
Quincy Jones did the rounds, chatting up Ashlee Simpson and her band, shaking hands with Nelly and huddling in a corner with Black Eyed Pea Will.I.Am. Minutes after winning the Moonman for Best New Artist, the Killers posed with their hardware and accepted congratulations from David Banner. As they were hustled to the press room, frontman Brandon Flowers turned to guitarist Dave Keuning and sighed, "I always forget someone in those speeches. Did I remember to thank [director] Sophie [Muller]?" "I don't know," Keuning said. "Did you remember to thank Eric Roberts?"
Early on, Green Day looked like punk royalty as they arrived, waving and blowing kisses on top of a banged-up convertible. After showing off their suitably un-pimped ride with Sway, they did laps around the pre-show stage, shaking hands with fans and leaping on the bonnet of their car. After leaving the stage, they bumped into members of 50 Cent's G-Unit posse, giving them hearty hugs and handshakes.
Akons arrival was somewhat problematic. He wheeled his red Ferrari onto the pre-show stage's ramp, ready to drive it onto the rotating display, but the plan seemed a complete surprise to event security. They stopped his car and removed it from the ramp, which left Akon standing rideless and embarrassed for a good five minutes before he was whisked off onto the white carpet.
Lil Jon and Carmen Electra hugged and exchanged pleasantries in the arrivals area, the king of crunk eyeing her up and down, giving her a twirl and saying, "Damn, that dress looks delicious." Jon then stepped aside and hugged a Cohiba-smoking Kanye West, laughing and asking for a drag on the pricey cigar.
The Neptunes' Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo thoughtfully arrived on the white carpet with a pair of scantily clad girls handing out ice creams to cheering fans.
Gwen Stefani and Lil' Kim embraced on the carpet, showering each other with kisses and compliments. "You look fabulous!" Gwen gushed. "Darling, you do too!" Kim replied.
Lindsay Lohan arrived on the white carpet in a massive SUV, and after exiting, a seemingly endless stream of her friends, stylists, bodyguards and publicists followed behind her. As she made her way past the photographers and up the carpet, she shook hands with Jay-Z – interrupting a chat between him and Snoop Dogg. But no one seemed to notice, as all three smiled and laughed while waving to fans.