2015 MTV EMAs Performances Ranked From Worst to Best
PhunkeeDucks, the moon, the Biebs -- the 2015 MTV EMAs in Milan had it all. From Macklemore's sky-high opener to Pharrell's closer, here are all the performances from the MTV European Music Awards ranked from our least to most favorite.
10. Ellie Goulding, “Love Me Like You Do”
Singing from within a diamond apparatus that unfolded like a flower, Ellie Goulding subtly divorced her 50 Shades of Grey hit from its S&M subject matter and gave it an elegant, classy vibe. Still, we would have preferred to see her do "On My Mind" -- we've had "Love Me Like You Do" for a while and we're ready to move on.
9. Pharrell Williams, “Freedom”
Backed by projections of stained glass church windows and surrounded by backup dancers in bright solid colors, Pharrell gave his finger-snapping tune a full-throated performance -- but it still doesn't change the fact that "Freedom" is a less-than-stellar offering from the usually reliable Pharrell (the lyric "first name is Free, last name is Dom" certainly doesn't help).
8. Jason Derulo, "Want To Want Me"
The PhunkeeDuck 2015 takeover continued at the MTV EMAs, with Jason Derulo's backup dancers hopping on the moving boards during "Want to Want Me" while the man himself looked fashionable as ever. It's never a bad time to hear "Want to Want Me," and it's never a bad time to see Derulo wearing flamed high tops.
7. Twenty One Pilots, "Tear In My Heart"
The Ohio rockers didn't perform inside the EMAs arena -- even better, they got to rock out in front of the cathedral Duomo di Milano. They're consistently one of music's most reliable live acts, and seeing them in front of a gorgeous, historic cathedral was a special treat.
6. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, "Downtown"
Macklemore spit his rhymes with a huge smile and tons of energy while hook singer Eric Nally levitated above the stage and hovered in front of (a projection of) the moon, bringing the audience from downtown to outer space. Kool Moe Dee, Grandmaster Caz and Melle Mel were only there via video, though, which was too bad.
5. Justin Bieber, “What Do You Mean?”
Bieber brought his No. 1 hit "What Do You Mean?" to the Milan stage, giving the EMAs its most visually interesting performance -- the stage looked like a combination of TRON and an '80s discotheque.
4. James Bay, “Hold Back The River"
James Bay brought his soulful folk-rock to the EMAs with breakthrough hit "Hold Back the River." By the time he wrapped, Bay and his backing band had the whole arena chanting along to the "lonely water" chorus like they were in church.
3. Ed Sheeran & Rudimental, “Lay It On Me”
Ed Sheeran had a full plate at the 2015 MTV EMAs -- not only did he co-host, record a bunch of video comedy skits and receive the 2015 best live (performance) award, but he hit the stage with Rudimental to perform their killer chill jam "Lay It On Me." One of the evening's best.
2. Jess Glynne, “My Love”/”Hold My Hand”/”Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself”
Her powerful voice gliding easily between songs, Jesse Glynne delivered uplifting soul-dance vibes with a medley of her songs "My Love," "Hold My Hand" and "Don't Be So Hard on Yourself." She even busted out a few old school Temptations-styled dance moves with her backing band. If you weren't a fan of Glynne before, you were after watching her EMAs performance.
1. Tori Kelly, “Should’ve Been Us”/”No Scrubs”/”Ready Or Not”
2015 breakout star Tori Kelly has consistently killed it during awards show performances, and she brought it to a whole new level with her EMAs performance. Her stunning "Should've Been Us" bookended a mashup of TLC's "No Scrubs" and Fugees' "Ready or Not." She handled the transitions deftly, seamlessly switching between the three stylistically disparate songs like a pro. Kelly is the real deal: A pop star who sounds as good live as on record.