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My Top 5 Performances from the 2023 VMA’S

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCF chapter.

The MTV Video Music Awards are home to the pop culture musical icons of the world. From the pink carpet looks to the striking performances by notable artists such as Shakira, Olivia Rodrigo, and Maneskin, it’s a must watch every year. Some of the most memorable performances in VMA history are when Britney Spears held a python over her arms while singing “I’m a Slave 4 U” and when Miley Cyrus twerked in a latex bikini alongside Robin Thicke while singing “We Can’t Stop.” The 2023 VMA’s were no different when it came to notable performances. This is a list of my personal favorites from the show.


Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion do not play when it comes to their collaborations. When they first collaborated to make “WAP” I knew these two would soon become some of my favorite hype artists. When I first listened to “Bongos,” I was in my car with my two girlfriends and as soon as we heard the first beat drop the volume went up and the windows came down. Later, when I found out that Cardi B and Megan were going to be performing it at the VMA’s, I was sat. As soon as I saw Cardi B’s hair as she came down on that chandelier disco ball I knew she was going to serve. I especially enjoyed Megan’s lyric when she first comes in and says, “my body built like a stallion, all these wannabes my lil’ ponies,” simply because I would give anything to be her little pony. If you want a hype song to listen to while you’re doing your makeup, hanging with your friends, or trying to hype yourself up before going out, blast this song. Bonus points if you stream this performance on YouTube in the background and you see those Megan knees. 


Following the release of “GUTS,” I’m convinced that Olivia Rodrigo managed to break into my room and steal my diary just to write this album. The way she writes resonates with me in a way that no other artist has been able to in a long time. Being so close to her in age, I feel as though whenever she sings she sings for me and every other teenage girl in the world. I have loved seeing the progression of Olivia Rodrigo’s stage presence and getting more comfortable performing live. This is especially prevalent in the way she developed confidence in her latest performance at the 2023 VMA’s. She started off with her single “Vampire” and mimicked her performance to that of the “Vampire” music video. I think a lot of people forget that not only is Olivia Rodrigo a singer, but she’s an actress as well. She managed to convince a lot of people that the stage was, in fact, falling apart and that she needed to exit the stage immediately. Soon after however, “Good 4 U” from her original album “SOUR”  started playing as it seamlessly transitioned to her newest hit “Get Him Back!” This performance was angsty, fun, and brilliantly showcased Olivia’s personality and captured exactly what it means to be a teenager in todays world.


Colombian artist Shakira is forty six years old. Now, I don”t know about you, but I’m 19 and I can’t even move like she does. I truly believe that she has the fountain of youth in her backyard and takes a bath in it every night, because she simply doesn’t age. As a Colombian myself I deeply enjoy her music, specifically songs from her early years like “She Wolf” and “Hips Don’t Lie.” To my delight, these songs were a part of her medley of performances at the VMA’s. She took samples from all of her hit songs over the years and delivered a breathtaking bilingual performance. The performance was energetic the whole time, with iconic dance breaks and smooth transitions. One of my favorite Shakira eras is her rock era and everyone got the chance to indulge in that when she brought out the guitar and rocked out to “Objection (Tango).” Shakira performed six of her most famous hits in total, ending with the most iconic comeback song “Bzrp Music Sessions, Vol. 53.” The audience went wild as she crowd surfed and elevated to new heights both physically and metaphorically.

Måneskin (“HONEY (ARE U COMING)” )

One thing about Måneskin is that they are always going to have fun and interact with the audience. When I first saw Måneskin it was at the 2023 Lalapalooza show in Chicago and I was immediately entranced by their stage presence. They are known for crowd surfing and bringing fans on stage, while also wearing as little clothes as possible. For the 2023 VMA’s it was no different (except for the clothes part of course). Damiano, the lead singer, started passing through the crowd with a handheld camera documenting all of the hyped fans and even the other members of the band on stage. There are a total of four members in the band, Victoria De Angelis who plays Bass, Ethan Torchio who plays Drums, Thomas Raggi on the electric guitar and Damiano David. The band took the stage giving Barbie-core more than ever as they all had their hair dyed blond. Many celebrities in the audience were seen supporting Måneskin. My personal favorite was seeing fellow blonde Taylor Swift blow Damiano a kiss. Blondes have more fun, right?

Tomorrow x together AND ANITtA ( “Back for more” )

K-Pop group Tomorrow X Together or TXT made pop culture history by being the first Korean Pop group to cross genres at the VMA’s. The collaboration was with none other than Brazilian singer songwriter Anitta and it absolutely brought the house down. K-Pop performances are known to be visually stunning as well as heavily choreographed. In watching so much talent it was really hard to focus on just one member, and add a beautiful Latina and my brain was happy. When Anitta joined the stage she added the spice that compliments this song perfectly. She only slays for a couple of minutes before she leaves and the rest of the members break into one last high energy dance number. Anitta then comes out again and poses, signaling the end of an iconic cultural performance. I will for sure be coming back for more.

The 2023 Video Music awards were a cultivation of culture, talent, and nostalgia as both new and old artists performed their most iconic hits. From Megan the Stallion and Cardi B to TXT and Anitta, each performance brought out energy from the audience that transcended through the screens of those watching from home. This VMA’s will truly be one to remember.

Camila Escobar is a staff writer for Her Campus UCF, she is sophomore journalism major on the print/digital track with a minor in film. She deeply enjoys anything pop culture from movies/shows, albums etc. She loves to write is excited to contribute to the Her Campus Magazine!