Wisin & Yandel and Panda were the big winners at Thursday’s Premios MTV Latinoamerica, an event that highlighted the tricky balance of pleasing a pan-regional audience.

The reggaeton duo took home “tongue” statuettes for artist and video of the year, the latter for “Abusadora,” beating out Shakira’s much-talked-about “Loba” video, among others. Mexican rockers Panda won for best band and best alternative artist.

Panda’s wins came on top of a win for best artist for the northern region, handed out a Premios taping in Mexico City Oct. 5. This was the eighth annual installment of the awards, but the first multi-city version, with performances and ceremonies honoring regional winners pre-taped in Mexico City, Bogota and Buenos Aires.

Those segments were added into the live broadcast of the show, held at Los Angeles’ Gibson Amphitheatre. The result was a slightly disjointed feel, with everyone from Shakira to Jesse & Joy spread out across the continent instead of concentrated at the main event.

Noteworthy performances included that of Paulina Rubio, who won for best soloist, in a clever bilingual duet with Cobra Starship’s lead singer Gabe Saporta on her latest single, ranchera-rock “Ni Rosas Ni Juguetes.” Former Destiny’s Child singer Kelly Rowland brought down the house with her theater-filling vocals on “When Love Takes Over,” her dance hit with deejay David Guetta. Wisin & Yandel performed “Mujeres in the Club” with 50 Cent.

Another memorable performance was that of the show’s host, Residente of Calle 13, who used his platform to curse the governor of Puerto Rico (calling him a son of a p-ta), amid a wave of government employee layoffs and labor unrest on the island. A taped skit shown at the beginning of the awards had him ripping up a script handed to him by an executive, and as soon as he took the stage he promised not to follow the teleprompter.

Residente later told Mexican president Felipe Calderon to “get to work,” saying, “the Mexican people don’t want another golf course or another airport. They want food…viva Mexico, cabrones!”

As goes with the taste of MTV viewers in Latin America and the U.S., where the awards were broadcast on MTV Tr3s, Anglo and Latin celebrities collided—sometimes awkwardly, as when the Backstreet Boys tried their hand at Spanish.

But in a savvy bit of casting, Morrissey, a favorite in Mexico, got so many fans cheering and screaming his name that he could barely introduce Café Tacvba as recipients of the “Legend” award.