How Britney Spears Won The 2022 VMAs Without Stepping Foot On Stage

Britney Spears and the MTV Video Music Awards go way back. Everyone still remembers how Spears shocked the audience when she appeared on-stage wearing a slinky green number and a snake wrapped around her shoulders while singing "I'm A Slave 4 U" during the 2001 MTV VMAs. It was an iconic moment that will most likely go down as one of the most memorable performances in MTV history, per the New York Daily News. Not only that, but she proved herself to be the ultimate comeback kid by singing "Gimme Moore" during the 2007 MTV VMAs, even though she was perhaps having one of the most tragic years in her life, which included a very public meltdown and a shaved head.

And while Spears has certainly given MTV a whole lot of viral moments — who can forget that kiss with Madonna during the 2003 MTV Movie Awards? — it looks like she just did it again without stepping foot on-stage at the awards this year. And yes, this was more than just an "oops" moment.

Britney Spears just stole MTV's thunder

Talk about stealing one's thunder! While all eyes are usually on the red carpet fashion at the MTV Video Music Awards, Britney Spears managed to put the focus on her without even being there. That's because she posted a bombshell 22-minute clip detailing some of the things she went through during her conservatorship, according to Page Six. Spears admitted that she's been offered a handsome amount of money to do an interview with Oprah Winfrey, but said, "I don't want any of it. For me, it's beyond a sit-down proper interview."

Of course, Twitter was buzzing with the news that Spears has dropped yet another truth bomb on a day that would have otherwise belonged to the artists at the MTV VMAs. One person commented with, "F*** the VMAs Britney posted a 22 minute video," while another said, "Britney really is a genius. Not only is she outing her story all over social media as the 2022 MTV VMAs commence, but she's proving that her family and Kevin are the ones who will do ANYTHING for money, while she simply won't. She'd rather use her story to empower others instead." In other words, girlfriend has a platform and she knows how to use it — with or without a snake.

Nicki Minaj gave Britney Spears her props

Britney Spears still managed to win the 2022 VMAs without stepping foot on stage because she's Britney B***h! Spears may not have been there in person, but she was still there in spirit and name thanks to Nicki Minaj, who said she'll never forget the leg up in the industry that Spears gave her.

Minaj was the 2022 winner of the Video Vanguard Award, which celebrates the impact performers have made on the music world. "I just want to take a second to all of the key people that inspired me and who I think inspired my flow," Minaj announced, name-checking her chosen raptivators. "And [the people] who gave me huge opportunities that I'll never forget," she continued, giving a shoutout to Spears. 

Per MTV, Minaj and Spears go back a long way and have been fierce supporters of each other over the years. Minaj and Spears joined forces in 2011 for their "Femme Fatale" tour. Meanwhile, Minaj proved why she's the indisputable queen of rap during her VMAs performance. The singer went all out with a stage strutting, thigh lifting, lap dancing, twerking, candy-colored bondage-turned-Barbie of an audience-owning medley of her best beats

Britney Spears won the VMAs with a little help from Elton John

Britney Spears couldn't attend the VMAs in person because, according to TMZ, she was busy filming her new music video with Elton John for "Hold Me Closer." But Spears still managed to win the night by upstaging the show after dropping audio of the collaboration track on August 26. It was made extra special and headline-grabbing because it's the first song Spears has made since the end of her conservatorship in November 2021.

"She's been away so long — there's a lot of fear there because she's been betrayed so many times, and she hasn't really been in the public eye officially for so long," John told The Guardian. He said he was excited to work with the singer because he wanted to help boost her self-esteem and make her "realize that people actually love her and care for her and want her to be happy."