The night before the awards, Lady Gaga attended a pre-party at the ATOM Factory.
- Lady Gaga: Outfit by Alexandre Vauthier, Sunglasses by Emmanuelle Khanh, Shoes by Noritaka Tatehana, Necklace by Erickson Beamon
The 2011 MTV Video Music Awards took place on August 28, 2011. at Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles, honoring the best music videos from the previous year. On July 20, 2011, the nominees were announced. Katy Perry received the most nominations this year at ten, followed by Adele, and Kanye West, who are both tied at seven.
Lady Gaga had four nominations this year, with "Best Female Video" and "Best Video with a Message" being won by "Born This Way," and with "Judas" being nominated for "Best Art Direction" and "Best Choreography." Jo Calderone appeared at the VMA's in place of Gaga. Lady Gaga's reasons for doing so were explained in more detail in her V magazine column. Her creative direction and choreography were done by Laurieann Gibson, and styling by Nicola Formichetti.
Jo Calderone skipped the black carpet and entered the Nokia Theatre from a back entrance. He wore a jacket by Dior Homme and Versace, pants by Brooks Brothers, t-shirt by Uniqlo and Dr. Martensshoes, all of which he would wear for the remainder of the evening.
- Jo Calderone: Jacket by Dior Homme and Versace, Pants by Brooks Brothers, T-shirt by Uniqlo, Shoes by Dr. Martens
Jo Calderone appeared on stage to explain why Lady Gaga didn't show up, talked about their relationship and its shortcomings, and then continued to perform "Yoü and I on the piano, and then with Brian May and a troupe of dancers.
- "Hey, my name is Jo... Calderone and I was an asshole. Gaga, yeah her, Lady Gaga, she left me. She said it always starts out good, and then the guys, meaning me, I'm one of the guys, we get crazy. I did, I got crazy, but she's fucking crazy too, right?! I mean, she's fucking crazy! For example, she gets out of the bed, puts on the heels, she goes into the bathroom, I hear the water go on, she comes out of the bathroom dripping wet, she still got the heels on. And what's with the hair? At first it was sexy but now I'm just confused. She said I'm just like the last one. I'm not like the last one! And I think it's great, you know, I think it's really fucking great that she's such a star. A big, beautiful star in the sky. But how am I supposed to shine?! I mean, I think I'd be okay with it, you know, if I felt like she was really being herself with me. And maybe she is, I'm starting to think that's who she is, you know, maybe that's just who she is. 'Cause when she gets on that stage she holds nothing back, that spotlight, that big, round, deep spotlight follows her wherever she goes, sometimes I think it's follows her home. I know it does. I gotta get in there. When she cums, it's like she covers her face, 'cause she doesn't want me to see, like she can't stand to have one honest moment when nobody's watching. I want her to be real. But she said "Jo, I'm not real. I'm theater, and You and I, this is just rehearsal". I gotta get in there."
- Set list
- "Yoü and I"
Britney Spears tribute
Jo Calderone reappeared on stage to introduce the Britney Spears Tribute, to give Britney Spears the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award, and to introduce Beyoncé Knowles' performance with Britney Spears.
- "When you're a struggling artist, literally starving for your dream, you got to live off inspiration. When I used to perform at open mic nights for free, at small clubs in New York, one of my biggest inspirations was Britney Spears. Britney taught me how to be fearless, she taught us all how to be fearless. She's a pop music legend, and the industry would not be the same without her. I used to hang posters of her on my wall and touch myself when I was laying in bed. Throughout the years, Britney has given us some of the most iconic music videos and stage shows of our time. And that's why tonight, MTV and myself are honoring Britney and her influence on music videos and dance with the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award. Ladies, take it away!"
Jo Calderone: Everybody stand the fuck up! Ladies and gentlemen, the 2011 recipient of the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award, the incomparable, Miss Britney Spears!
Britney Spears: I've done that already.
Jo Calderone: I don't want Gaga to be pissed, you know. So we're just a good, old fashion, American man, and a good, old fashioned, American girl.
Britney Spears: Thank you. This award means so much to me, especially on the night before Michael Jackson's birthday. he had such a huge influence on me, Gaga, and our next performer, Beyoncé. Beyoncé and i started out at the same time, and just like all of her fans, I fell in love with her the first time I saw her. From singing, to dancing, to acting, she can do it all. She is a triple threat, and one of the most talented people I have ever seen.
Jo Calderone: I've had the privileged of being around her gift, and knowing what kind of incredible artist and kind woman she is. Beyoncé is a beautiful soul. There is nobody like Beyoncé.
Britney Spears: Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome, Beyoncé.
Jo Calderone: Yeah!
Best Female Video
Lady Gaga won the award for Best Female Video for "Born This Way". The award was presented by Cloris Leachman and the female cast from Jersey Shore (Sammi, Snooki, Deena and JWoww) and was accepted by Jo Calderone on behalf of Lady Gaga.
- "I'm so, so happy to accept the award tonight, 'cause Gaga is not here, for best female video. Thank you so much to Nick Knight. And I know that, if she were here tonight, she would want me to thank her little monsters. You know, earlier tonight they told me I got best video with a message. But you know what? There's so many great artists in this room, sitting over there, in that front row, some performed her tonight, every video they got has a fucking message. I feel so blessed to be here. And it's true; It doesn't matter who you are, gay, strait, bi, lesbian, transgender, you were born this way. God bless you MTV. Yeah!"
Backstage and audience
Jo Calderone sat in the front row, next to Britney Spear and Beyoncé. He was seen in the audience with Brian May, Vincent Herbert , Adele, Jay-Z, Kanye West, Kelly Rowland, Tony Bennett, Dave Grohl, and Beyoncé. Jo Calderone was seen backstage with Britney Spears, the female cast from Jersey Shore (Sammi, Snooki, Deena and JWoww), Katy Perry, and Cloris Leachman. Jo also visited Beyoncé in her dressing room to congratulate her on her pregnancy. Jo Calderone, Lady Gaga's male alter-ego, was also seen using the men's room.
Rob Markman: You know last year, you know, Lady Gaga announced Born This Way at the VMAs. This year, she's winning, even though she's not here. What do you think that award means to her?
Jo Calderone:You know, I think this award means more to her than anything that she's ever received. I mean, she was texting me after the award; after I picked it up for her, and she was like, you know, more to me because Born This Way is about the fans, and the fans are more important than anything I do. More important than breathing.
Rob Markman: Well Jo, I know you and Gaga are going through a rough time, but you're able to be here to celebrate tonight. Jo Calderone: Yeah, yeah. I'm hoping she will take me back, you know.
Rob Markman: What's the plan? When you go home, you know you got these two moon men to hand over, maybe some roses too? What's the plan? What are you bringing?
Jo Calderone: I'm hoping she's gonna wanna roll around with me again in the bed. You know what I'm saying?
Rob Markman: Once you guys do get back together, because MTV is hopeful for that, we know that, we hear there may be a little collaboration between y'all. Do you have a musical side, Jo? And will you and Gaga be expressing that? Jo Calderone: Well, tohinght, you know, I got to show a little bit of what I can do. But you know, I'm just an amateur. You know, I just don't really do this, but I tried to show her that I could work hard to be with her, and I hope she likes that though.
Rob Markman: She's gonna take you back. We're rooting for you. Jo Calderone: yeah, I hope so. Thanks man. Rob Markman: Congratulations. Jo Calderone: Thank you. I love my two moon men. Thank you MTV and thank you . I'm gonna give these to her.
Jo Calderone posed in the press room with his moonmen, and answered some questions.
Interviewer 1: Does Jo tonight allow you to express yourself? What are you able to convey tonight as Jo that you couldn't as Gaga?
Jo Calderone: I don't understand the question.
Interviewer 1: Are you able to express yourself more as Jo tonight ? Are you able to convey the message of Gaga? Just wondering that.
Jo Calderone: She's just very fucking pissed at me right now. She said, "Fuck you. If you really love me, you'll go instead of me. And you'll get in that spotlight." And I did.
Latifah: Hey Jo, it's Latifah from AOL music. I wanted to know, after you...
Jo Calderone: It's fucking bright.
Latifah: After you told Britney Spears about your fantasies about her, is there any chance you guys might be getting together?
Jo Calderone: I don't. Well, maybe if she wants to. She's fucking hot. I don't know. You know what, Gaga is my girl, but, you know, but Britney is fucking, you know, she's fucking Britney Spears. Didn't you jerk off to Britney Spears when you were a kid?
Bryan Alexander: Bryan Alexander, Bryan Alexander from USA Today. Who is Jo, and how long will Jo be with us?
Jo Calderone: I'm gonna be here about five more minutes. I'm from New Jersey. My family is from Palermo, Sicily. And I'm not a singer or a model or an actor or anything. I'm just a guy.
Man in audience: A Guido!
Jo Calderone: No, I'm not a fucking Guido. What are you fucking? You don't like Italians? the fucks the matter with you? I'm just a guy, you know. I just wanted to show my girl how much I love her. That's all.