The 2020 MTV Video Music Awards are scheduled to air “live” from New York on Sunday night, but most of the performances, award presentations, and red carpet interviews were already pre-recorded days in advance, Page Six has learned.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, MTV took additional measures this year to produce the award show within CDC guidelines. Earlier this month, the show was forced to move from Brooklyn’s Barclays Center amid COVID-19 concerns.
We’re told talent, as well as any members from their team who flew into New York to shoot a pre-recorded performance, were required to quarantine for three to four days before their scheduled shoot. Those on set, including dancers, glam teams, and management, then had to undergo COVID-19 testing.
“They were tested when they arrived and right before their performance,” a source said.
In order to limit the amount of time the artist spent on set, we’re told the performers had rehearsals, did red carpet interviews for the pre-show, and shot their actual performance either within the same day or week.
On Thursday, photos of The Weeknd caused a stir when the “Blinding Lights” singer’s face appeared bloodied and bruised.
We’re told the 30-year-old crooner shot a pre-taped performance that day at the Edge at Hudson Yards. He also did another shoot at an undisclosed location in Brooklyn later that night.
“The Weeknd left the hotel dressed up with makeup for the performance,” a source said.
Maluma, a Colombian singer, shot his pre-recorded performance on Wednesday at the Skyline Drive-In movie theater in Brooklyn, we’re told.
CNCO was another act that flew into New York for their performance.
Page Six has also learned that the Latin American boy band was actually behind the fireworks show that sparked outrage amongst local residents on Thursday night. The light display went off before 11 p.m.
“There was complete social distancing [on set],” a source said.
Bella Hadid, whom we’re told will be a presenter, shot her pre-taped segment on Friday in Brooklyn.
Artists who were unable to come into the Big Apple — either because they did not want to quarantine or a member of their team tested positive for COVID-19 — were given the option to record their performance from Los Angeles.
“Performers in Los Angeles were all shot in-studio on a green screen,” a source said. “Miley Cyrus, Ariana Grande, Lady Gaga, Doja Cat all shot theirs on a screen to make it look like they were in New York but they never came here.”
“I have to give MTV credit,” another source added. “They really got creative.”
A rep for MTV did not immediately return our request for comment.
The 2020 VMAs are set to air tonight at 8/7c.
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