VMAs: What You Didn’t See on TV

Miley Cyrus

At Sunday's 2014 MTV Video Music Awards, you saw Sam Smith's no-frills performance, you saw Miley Cyrus put a spotlight on homelessness, and you definitely saw Beyonce. But what didn't you see?

Billboard had reporters on the ground all over Inglewood, Calif.'s newly renovated Forum, from the winding red carpet outside, to the audience teeming with celebrities inside, all the way to the winners taking a victory lap backstage. Below, we bring you all our observations from behind the scenes, including Nicki Minaj explaining her , Trey Songz being dealt a TelePrompTer typo and Ariana Grande putting a pesky paparazzo in his place.

(Note: All times PT, since the show aired live from L.A.)

3:05 p.m.: The wait for the stars begins…

3:24 p.m.: "Drunk in Love" wafts into the press room as Beyonce runs through her entire album medley hours before the show.

3:30 p.m.: The 2014 MTV Video Music Awards red carpet officially opens. We're blissfully in the shade on the very long carpet. The VMAs always have a long carpet, and this year is no exception. One publicist, however, tells us that MTV cracked down on what talent was allowed to walk the carpet.

4:37 p.m.: Nick Jonas' girlfriend Olivia Culpo makes a cameo in the press room while hunting for the presenters lounge.

5:23 p.m.: Sam Smith tells us that this is only his second red carpet event in the U.S. this year, after the Grammy Awards on January 26. We spoke to him then too -- before he blew up with his Disclosure collaboration "Latch" and his own single "Stay With Me." When asked about his VMA performance, he said he was hoping that he wasn't going to "faint on stage."

5:50 p.m.: Ten minutes before the show began, Glee star Darren Criss runs over to say hello. "I gotta stop for this guy," Criss says, as he snapped a photo for our Instagram account before zipping in to the festivities.

5:58 p.m.: Chris Brown enters the audience and finally a cheer goes up for a celebrity. Not even 5 Seconds of Summer caused a stir.

6:35 p.m.: Jim Carrey's joke about Ebola at Coachella was improvised, as was his rolling around on the floor. He skipped a joke about Burning Man. 

6:42 p.m.: "We were given an award and then it was taken off us and now we have it again!" Ed Sheeran said backstage -- right before they took the award from him yet again. "I'm never going to get this back…"

7:07 p.m.: How is Juicy J going to celebrate his VMA win with Katy Perry for "Dark Horse"? "Shots after shots," he told reporters backstage. "Prayer, and then shots."

7:10 p.m.: Ariana Grande calls it quits on backstage photos when the paparazzi won't stop hollering at her. After a riled-up photographer boos her, she expertly flips her ponytail around toward him and coos, "Don't boo me, baby."

7:13 p.m.: "I was crying when I got backstage!" Grande told reporters about winning the Best Pop Video VMA for "Problem," adding that she was especially star-struck by her presenter. "Jim Carrey, though? He's my favorite!"

7:15 p.m.: 5SOS sets up on the VMA stage and gets a huuuuge ovation.

7:47 p.m.: Fifth Harmony thanked their secret weapon backstage after winning the Artist to Watch VMA. "Everybody that was in the category was really deserving of the award, but I think honestly it's just our hard-core Harmonizers doing anything and everything for us."

7:53 p.m.: Minaj tells reporters backstage that she just couldn't get her dress zipped up in time between her solo performance of "Anaconda" and her super-diva team-up with Jessie J and Grande for "Bang Bang." Speaking of "Anaconda," how did she get so fit for that buzzed-about video? "I'm always hungry."

8:09 p.m.: Cyrus breezes backstage to take photos but skips the press room. We definitely wanted more intel on her selfless Video of the Year moment.

9:13 p.m.: Beyonce arrives backstage to take pics: one with her golden Video Vanguard award, one with the three other Moonmen she won tonight and one crouching on the red carpet with all four.

This story first appeared on Billboard.com.

-- Reporting by Katie Atkinson, Keith Caulfield, Phil Gallo and Shirley Halperin

Billboard Staff