It’s been just over a week since I attended the MTV Europe Music Awards in Amsterdam . . . and I’m still having flashbacks of that glorious night. One Friday, 8 November, myself, Highveld’s Anele Mdoda and 5FM’s Rob Forbs jetted off to Amsterdam for the EMAs. To say we were excited is an understatement. We were like jittery teenagers counting down the hours to the big event.
We landed on a chilly Saturday morning and headed straight to our swanky hotel, The Marriot. We gave ourselves 40 minutes to freshen up and immediately hit the streets of Amsterdam to shop. And boy, can Anele shop. “I have a problem,” she’d giggle whenever she stopped to make another purchase.
There was certainly a buzz in Amsterdam which was much busier than usual and had bold MTV logos blazing all over. As you walked the streets, you could overhear people mumbling about some of the performers. “I wonder what Katy will sing?” or “Do you think Eminem will really perform?”
It was the event’s big question. Would Eminem, who was to receive the Global Icon Award, perform? Despite being arguably the world’s most famous rapper, Em has become somewhat of a recluse. Of course, with Miley also a headline act, everybody was wondering if she’d be able to top her previous outlandish performance at the VMAs earlier this year. Before the show, our sources confirmed that Miley did have some tricks up her sleeve and she’d definitely be bringing the shock factor.
It’s Sunday, 10 November. The day has arrived. It’s cold, windy and the dark sky is threatening to pour with rain. All the media are gathered outside the hotel as we are taken through to the Ziggo Dome arena. We meet around five hours before the event kicks off. Why? Well, because we have front -row red carpet access! Woohoo! After scrambling for a position, we wait for the first stars to make their way down the red (or rather black) carpet. It's Katy Perry! For the first time meeting international celebs, I wasn’t nervous. On TV, everything seems so much bigger and glitzier. And suddenly, here I was, at this international event where A-list stars were approaching me to get interviewed. It was such a bizarre experience. Big names such as Iggy Azalea, Louise Roe and Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell) were literally strolling past asking if we’d like to ask them questions. Unlike my fellow journalists from Europe, who thought the event was a total bore, I took every opportunity to speak to celebs who came my way. So from Katy Perry to Ron Burgundy, I got an in.
'Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry and Eminem – who more could you seriously, want?'
As for the event itself – wow! Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry and Eminem – who more could you seriously, want? They all gave stellar performances and each headline act brought their a-game.
While I was at this big fancy international event on this world stage, it dawned on me that SA really isn’t that far behind. In terms of production and talent, I felt like we are on par. Yes, Eminem was there. Yes, he gave a kickass performance. But I was more in awe of the Locnville boys, Brian and Andrew Chaplin, who represented SA and Africa, after winning the Best African Act. Had they been on that stage, they too would’ve killed it.