Lady Gaga knows the value of a good silent stage-crash. She also knows the mass freakoutery that ensues every time Danny Zuko-esque, beer-swigging, cigarette-huffing alter ego Jo Calderone appears in any form. Combine the two, and you've got proof that MTV really does know what a surprise is!
That surprise consisted of Jo commandeering the stage for a nice monologue about how Lady Gaga's fake, how she can totally finish except that she closes her eyes and hides her face in lieu of showing "a human moment," about how she's one of the guys, and--implied--how she can smoke away a good million lung cells in one stage appearance. Then came a relatively stripped down, solid "You and I," its main elements being piano, T-shirts and choreography (thanks, Gaga, for making that Mark Taylor-enabled Shania tangent truly tangential). Capping things was a Brian May guitar solo that utterly shocked anyone who didn't know that he appeared on "You and I" and might have an interest in the pop music Queen wasn't actually that far removed from. (Totally trolling, guys. Flame away!) And then we were off to presumably less interesting parts of the night. Oh, MTV. Sometimes you make the excruciating moments worth it.
CROWD REACTIONS: Britney Spears looked legitimately confused. So did Bieber. So did Adele, somehow--you'd think she, of all people, would appreciate TRUE RAWK! Katy Perry approves of any and all artifice. Bruno Mars looked as if it would be easy to commit libel against him. Tyler, the Creator just tweeted "fuck." We can always count on certain things in life.