A Supreme Exclusive: The 2015 MTV EMAs What really goes on behind the red carpet
SUPREMO - Tim Yap (The Philippine Star) - November 6, 2015 - 9:00am

So you think it’s a whirlwind of glitz and glam, paparazzi on cue, stars on demand one after the other. Screaming fans await the arrival of pop culture’s hottest names who all flew to Milan to take part in this giant gathering of music’s best. The MTV EMAs (European Music Awards) is arguably the biggest event this side of tinseltown, broadcast across the globe from the Mediolanum Forum in Milan. and is the launching pad of the year’s hottest hits and most in demand artists.

Supreme was there to cover the action at the red carpet, the only Asian media outlet to have a slot in the coveted stretch of rouge fabric, alongside select media from all over the world, from radio stations from Australia to Nigeria and TV crews from the UK to Russia. In other words, the entire pop culture crazy world was in Milan to chronicle this annual MTV happening.

But to give you a clearer idea of what goes on, imagine this. Star A comes in, has his or her photo taken against the usual backdrop with event logo and sponsors, then looks on at the red carpet: media on the right, fans on the left. So Star A, depending on the manager and the publicist and the handler from MTV Global, who makes subtle (or not) signals on who gets granted the interview or not. Then they hop from one media outlet to another, depending on who they prioritize, like or have time for. Then when they get tired, they hop to the fans for a couple of selfies. Then proceed to the end of the red carpet to proceed to the artist’s area where they have a bar, get to mingle with Justin Bieber and take selfies with whoever fellow artist they fancy or the other way around. Nice.

From our side of the fence, it was a battlefield. Think of a marketplace with each one of us calling out the customer to sample our goods, in the form of an interview. My advantage was that people like Martin Garrix, Afrojack and the other DJs have played and loved it in our clubs. Some were wearing shades (from the bright light?!) on the red carpet so it was harder to make eye contact. It seems like some of the publicists and managers chose the country based on where they wanted to go next. That’s fine. But when I screamed, “Philippines!!” (I had to use that card.) some of them do stop. “Oh we love our fans from the Philippines, we always see them on our Twitter and we can’t wait to go there!” Says the girls of Fifth Harmony, who baptized the red carpet and officially opened the show. Totally “worth it,” just like their song.

Red carpet host 

Must admit though that my talent for remembering names and faces of people depends on whether we have been introduced or not. Of course, at the red carpet, my role as host is to know everyone. But as I’m only human, there would be people who would pass by and I would go, “Who’s that again?” Happened to James Bay, happened to Duran Duran, happened to Ellie Goulding. Blame it on her newly minted yellow hair, which made me not recognize her at first. Ellie saved it though, with her performance of “Love Me Like You Do” coming out a giant rotating diamond, which to me was a big highlight for the night.

Ruby Rose killed it with her 101 costume changes that night, with co- host Ed Sheeran doing more of his spiels and acts via video. Macklemore at the red carpet luckily remembered that once upon a time in Manila, we switched suit jackets at the top of 71 Gramercy, my Francis Libiran cobalt blue for his baby pink one. “You have the nicest suits, yeah?” He recalled while Ryan Lewis told me how much he enjoyed the Philippines. What’s there not to enjoy, anyway? Just don’t get any bullets in your baggage and you’ll be alright.

Speaking of people dodging bullets, Justin Bieber skipped the entire press part of the carpet and just proceeded to take selfies with fans. I guess because the fans won’t ask him about his leaked naked photos on the net? But that wasn’t part of my agenda. I was going to ask him about current squeeze Hailey Baldwin, who was also at the red carpet. The week before I flew to Milan, Hailey’s dad Stephen (of the Baldwin brothers) was in Manila and he spilled the beans about Hailey and Justin, how they met and what their current state is. He’s being the protective father of course. 

 It was not all war at the red carpet. There were nice ones like Andrea Bocelli (we talked about Charice), Tinie Tampah (from Nigeria who won favorite African act and was in Loewe), Naughty Boy who promised to visit us soon, Jess Glyne who looked radiant in her chest bearing attire and Mark Ronson, ever so down-to-earth as he talked to the media in a way that was very focused, down-to-earth and devoid of any airs. TV stars like Pretty Little Liars’ Ashley Benson and Shay Mitchell also got the fans screaming, as well as other reality show stars who are big in Europe but left me asking the question, “The who?



Who’s who and what

I was lucky to be beside a popular Australian radio DJ who the artists were familiar with and a bubbly Nigerian presenter who would use her “assets” wisely to be noticed. (Read: more cleavage.). They briefed me on who’s what and who sang this new song and who was rocking it on their side of the world.

The actual EMA awards show was one breathtaking performance after the next. I don’t know how it looked on TV, but watching it live, with a 360 degree view was something else. Two giant stages connected by a wavy ramp where the world’s biggest names did their thing~it was beyond amazing. From Macklemore’s rap opening number to Justin Bieber’s “What Do You Mean” coming out of a light curtain to Pharrell Williams’ “Freedom,” it was a non stop feast for the senses.

Talking about unforgettable moments by powerhouse performers, the show garnered more than 600 million votes, with Justin Bieber, Ed Sheeran, Nicki Minaj, One Direction, Rihanna, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Taylor Swift, Shawn Mendes and more winning MTV EMAs. 

If you think that was that, right after the show, we were brought to the Teatro Dela Scala, just 200 meters away from the venue, where we were treated to an exclusive MTV EMA after party where we were treated to stellar performances of DJMag’s no.1 DJ Dmitri Vegas and Like Mike plus Disciples, among other acts, which kept us up till the wee hours and made us party with the likes of Vogue Japan editor Anna Della Russo, models and many more.

Now that’s where the real glitz and glam come in.  

(You can relive the MTV EMA action again on MTV Asia on Saturday, Nov. 7 at 12 p.m. (TH), 6 p.m. (WIB), 7 p.m. (PH/SG) and 8 p.m. (MY)

Sunday, Nov. 29 at 2 p.m. (WIB), 3 p.m. (PH/SG) and 4 p.m. (MY) and on a future episode of The Tim Yap Show. Special thanks to Adeline Ong of MTV Asia and Sern Chupikulchai of Thai Airways.)

(More MTV EMA sidelights via @officialtimyap on Instagram and Twitter.)


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