Between Taylor Swift's grand opening and Missy Elliott's meaningful speech, there were countless unforgettable moments from this year's MTV Video Music Awards. The three-hour show featured epic performances from the likes of Rosalía and Normani as well as hilarious commentary from Lil Nas X and Cardi B — and with so many stars in one place, there was even more fun to be had off camera.
Billboard was in attendance at the New Jersey-based VMAs Monday night (Aug. 26), keeping an eye out for celeb interactions and lovey-dovey moments (looking at you, Shamila). Check out some of the things you couldn't catch on TV below.
7:50 p.m. ET Fans lose their shit as stars began making their way to their elevated seats on the floor, including Billy Ray Cyrus and Camila Cabello, the latter of whom did a twirl before going up a set of stairs to get to her spot.
7:52 p.m. The production manager actually encourages the audience to use their phone lights to brighten up the venue during performances, except for the floor who couldn't have their phones for television purposes.
7:56 p.m. Queen Latifah causes an uproar upon making her entrance, flashing a peace sign to cheering fans with minutes to spare before showtime.
8:03 p.m. Cabello takes a front row seat for Swift's performance, swaying back and forth with her arms up during "Lover."
8:06 p.m. As host Sebastian Maniscalco begins his opening monologue, Diplo — aka his country alter ego Thomas Wesley — poses for photos in his white Western getup (complete with a cowboy hat) with bedazzling that twinkled in the production lights.
8:31 p.m. As soon as cameras go off after J Balvin and Rosalia finish their best Latin acceptance speeches, French Montana — who was prepared to pounce during the speech — runs over to Balvin to give him a big congratulatory hug.
8:40 p.m. Swifties are quick to spot Swift as she joins the celeb seating section, freaking out before she even gets down the staircase. She hugs and poses for pictures with Queen Latifah; a posse that includes Gigi and Bella Hadid, Halsey and Salt-N-Pepa's Pepa; and "You Need To Calm Down" video costar Hannah Hart. Once she finally sits, fans begin chanting "TAYLOR" — which didn't take her long to respond with an excited wave.
9:21 p.m. Just after Elliott leaves the stage upon accepting her Video Vanguard Award, Lizzo fans herself as people go up to her, seemingly to check if she survived Missy's performance and speech.
9:51 p.m. Lizzo jumps up and down while Lil Nas X accepts the song of the year award for his "Old Town Road" remix with Billy Ray Cyrus. And once Cyrus mentions God in his thank yous, Lizzo lifts up her bedazzled tequila bottle as to say "cheers to that!"
9:57 p.m. Bebe Rexha and Halsey do a little salsa dancing during Rosalía's fiery medley performance of "A Ningun Hombre," "Yo x Ti, Tu x Mi" & "Aute Cuture."
10:00 p.m. Fresh off his song of the year win, Lil Nas X gives a big hug to Naughty By Nature's Treach while waiting his turn to chat and snap a pic with Lizzo.
10:10 p.m. Normani soaks up an extra few seconds of fan love following her killer performance of "Motivation," thanking the seriously loud crowd for their support.
10:14 p.m. After Joe Jonas takes the reigns on the Jonas Brothers' acceptance speech for best pop, he also takes charge in initiating hugs with Nick and Kevin to celebrate their first-ever VMA win.
10:14 p.m. Simultaneously, Heidi Klum makes her way out, but graciously stops for photos with people who cannot believe Heidi Klum is walking past them.
10:20 p.m. Keeping up his hype man status, DJ Khaled gets the crowd riled up for Big Sean and A$AP Ferg's performance by furiously throwing his hands on the air. He then noticed the rappers had taken their places on the B-stage, and the three exchange "'Sup man" points to one another.
10:26 p.m. Even before Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello nab the moonperson for best collaboration, they prove their worthiness of a best couple award by canoodling in their seats as they await their fate. Following their thank yous, they continue the cuteness by walking off stage hand in hand.
10:30 p.m. Catfish’s Nev Schuman and his wife, Laura, have a laugh with Love & Hip-Hop: Miami star Veronica Vega (decked out in a skirt made of massive dollars) before grabbing ice cream. After posing for pics with the staff, the ice cream slingers say they also served cast members of Jersey Shore and Black Ink, but Schuman is the best. Talk about a scoop!
10:39 p.m. Before heading out for the night, Lil Nas X makes sure to catch Bad Bunny and J Balvin's performance of "Que Pretendes," getting out of his seat to shake his hips.
10:56 p.m. Naughty By Nature, Ice T, Wyclef Jean, Fetty Wap, Queen Latifah and Redman take their time leaving the stage, embracing each other and the band members as they all wave to fans in one final celebration of New Jersey hip-hop — and another epic VMAs.