Backstage at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, 2013 Billboard Music Awards performers, presenters and winners made their way to talk to the media, pose for photos and, in one case, find a bathroom. Here are a few things that did not make it onto TV during the 2013 ceremony, which aired live from Las Vegas on Sunday night (May 19).
Taylor Takes Vegas By Storm: Taylor Swift’s performance of “22” was by far the most elaborate of the night, involving a taped segment in which Swift was ushered from backstage and into the arena where an enormous cast of characters and dancers took over the entire stage. “It was a concept we felt would work, because in Vegas we had incredible performers at our disposal to make cameos,” Swift said, her eight awards of the evening at her feet on the backstage podium. “There were cast members from Ka, Jabbawockeez , different Cirque [du Soleil] performers. I feel so lucky that the Billboard Awards put so much time into allowing me to do that performance on that scale.”
Celine’s Career Will Go On: Celine Dion would not disclose details about the work under way on her first English album in six years, but she happily explained her unique approach to her career. “Most artists climb a ladder and take one step at a time to reach success [and stay at the top],” she said, explaining her decision to do a second Vegas residency. “I decided to stop at the top and come down and now I’m on the ground. Now I can enjoy singing – I’m doing it because I love it.”
A-ha’s Surprise ‘Moment’: After his previously unannounced cameo during Pitbull and Christina Aguilera’s performance, A-ha’s Morten Harket reflected on the Norwegian trio’s 1985 hit “Take On Me” that is sampled in the duo’s “Feel This Moment.” “It’s been treated to a lot of different versions over the last 25 years – a punk version, heavy metal, death metal. Now Pitbull. It’s a resilient bugger. The surprise is how it caught on again.” A-ha split up in 2010 after a farewell tour, opening the door for Harket to record solo. “As long as A-ha was together, we couldn’t commit to anything else,” he said, noting he is “deep” into his second solo album, which he is working on with producer-songwriter Peter Kvint.
Post-Pregnancy Prince Fans: Alyssa Milano made it to the awards to promote her new ABC show “Mistresses” — it premieres June 3 — and to see Prince, who she last saw perform at the Forum in L.A. when she was eight months pregnant with her son, Milo. “I was in the first row and Prince called me up onstage and I danced with him,” she said.
#that (Britney) POWER: Prior to the start of the show, Will.i.am <http://will.i.am> said he has begun work on Britney Spears next album… sort of. “We’ve had a bunch of lunches,” he said on the blue carpet. “We’re talking a lot before we ever start recording. I can’t wait to start recording.”
Sorry For Party Rocking & Gambling: Sky Blu, one half of LMFAO who has his first solo album dropping July 4, had praise for Justin Bieber and advice for Britney Spears when she starts her Vegas residency. For Bieber: “This dude has taken over the world. If you’re making people happy because of your music, you’ve got it.” As for Spears, “The first two weeks she’s [in Las Vegas], she should get all her gambling out of the way. Do it so you don’t need to do it for the rest of your life. That’s what I did.”
The Royal Visit: Madonna visited the photographers’ room after her appearance, which led to the shutterbugs’ loudest shouts of the night. After she left, sighs of elation bled from their room into the press room of disappointed journalists.
Loberace Love: During rehearsals, artists were quick to get on and off the stage, so it was a unique site when CeeLo Green took a seat in the back of the arena to watch Jennifer Lopez and Pitbull during a run-through of their “Live it Up” performance.
A Pair of Queens: Backstage near her dressing room, Madonna was snapping photos with a few celebs — Celine Dion, for one. The two joked about how there was a French-Canadian front between the two of them. Fun fact: Madonna’s father is a big fan of Dion.
Come & Get An Introduction: On the carpet, Emblem3 — who are going on tour with Selena Gomez later this year — said they still hadn’t met the pop princess. Let’s hope they hooked up with Gomez backstage somewhere and hashed out those tour details.
The BBMA Jolt: The blue carpet might as well have been renamed the “electric” blue carpet, as static electricity made it a very shocking evening for a lot of guests. Many times when celebs greeted and shook hands with the press, everyone got a slight jolt.
She’s Finally Just Being Miley: Miley Cyrus’ new single, “We Can’t Stop,” will be unveiled on Ryan Seacrest’s syndicated radio show on June 3, and the pop star shed some insight into her upcoming fourth studio album on the pre-show blue carpet. “I feel like I can really be myself,” Cyrus said of her still-untitled full-length. “I really have more of a connection of who I am, and I feel like I can maybe express that more in my music now.”
Gentleman’s Room:For some unknown reason PSY chose to go to the public men’s room minutes before the show started. The line to get in the men’s room was no longer people needing to use the facilities — they were autograph and photograph seekers.