If this were a numbers game, the betting odds on P!nk defying gravity during her Video Vanguard performance at the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards were pretty good. Thanks to one tricked-out ride and a career retrospective that showed she’s still the gal who can get the party started better than anyone else, she didn’t disappoint when it came to the party or the sky-high action.
The pop star has spent a ton of time in the air since her 2000 debut thanks to her fondness for aerial choreography. Though her acrobatic moves didn’t make an appearance during her medley, a vintage, leopard-upholstered convertible did — complete with a hot pink teddy bear stuck to the hood ornament, just like in the “Get The Party Started” video — with P!nk hopping on the hood of it and soaring over the crowd at the Forum just in time for the chorus to “Raise Your Glass” to turn things up to 11.
The mix she put together to celebrate her vivid videography re-worked her biggest singles, from her earliest cuts to her latest, “What About Us.” Instead of jumping from one to the next, several songs were chopped and screwed: The riffs of “Raise Your Glass” fused perfectly with lines from “Get The Party Started,” and verses from “Blow Me (One Last Kiss)” and “Don’t Let Me Get Me” were folded seamlessly into “Just Give Me A Reason” for a hit hybrid several steps above your typical mash-up.
By the time P!nk made her way to the main stage — after driving down a catwalk and beneath the hoisted chainsaws of some dancers wearing nothing but censor strips while singing “So What,” natch — clips from her videos were broadcast on a giant television next to her band. She closed her set with a provocative and abbreviated version of “What About Us,” with her dancers acting out a brutal fight and a heartfelt reconciliation before falling stars rained down on the stage. “What About Us” provided some of the most breathtaking choreography of the night, with the dancers joining P!nk and clasping hands before raising them together for the last moving beat of the track.
P!nk’s been a risk-taker from the jump, so it’s only fitting that her explosive Video Vanguard performance banked on hard-partying fun that showed us just how high you can fly when you “Try.”
The 2017 VMAs have touched down at the Forum in Inglewood, California, airing live on MTV Canada.