Lady Gaga, the most nominated artist at Sunday's MTV Video Music Awards with 13, made her usual dramatic arrival and nabbed two early moonman trophies before the ceremony even started. But the real anticipation of the night was not the trophy tally, but an expected Kanye-Taylor showdown.
Gaga — who set a VMA record with her nominations — was awarded best dance video for "Bad Romance" and best collaboration for her mini-epic "Telephone," featuring Beyonce. The outrageous entertainer arrived on MTV's gleaming white carpet with an equally outrageous outfit — a Victorian-inspired gown and a Mohawk feather headdress atop a long white wig. She drew some of the loudest cheers from the gaggle of fans waiting to see their favorite stars.
But even Gaga couldn't compete with what was anticipated to be the evening's main storyline — Kanye West vs. Taylor Swift, the sequel.
Both stars were expected to perform at the show, and a person familiar with the show said Swift's song would address the infamous debacle of last year, when West got on stage after her win and said the trophy should have gone to fellow nominee Beyonce.
West endured enormous backlash after the incident despite a later apology, and recently detailed the negative effects on Twitter. For his part, he tweeted early Sunday that he was feeling positive energy, and said he wished his mother was still alive to see his performance.
"It's funny," he wrote on his Twitter account. "I Can't believe it's been a whole year but can't believe all that's happened within this year at the same time."
Stars arriving at the VMAs also had West and Swift on their minds and were curious to see what might happen between the two.
"I thought it was funny," Ice Cube said of the incident last year.
But Travie McCoy dismissed their exchange as "water under the bridge."
Even if the anticipated fireworks involving Swift and West don't materialize, there should be other watercooler moments; after all, these are the VMAs. The guest list promised acts who usually make headlines, including Eminem, the cast of "Jersey Shore," Kim Kardashian, Cher, and more.
Entertainment Writer Sandy Cohen contributed to this report.