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VMAs’ views

VMAs’ views Rihanna and Will Smith attend the MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday. (AP)

Mon, August 26, 2013 - 2:35 PM

NEW YORK (AP) — Miley Cyrus' foam finger, Lady Gaga's thong, Taylor Swift's mean streak and the look on Rihanna’s face while Drake performed will surely be remembered, but these MTV Video Music Awards belonged to Justin Timberlake.

Timberlake briefly reunited with 'N Sync, won moonman trophies including top honor video of the year for "Mirrors" plus the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award and managed to overshadow most of today's top pop stars while doing it.

"I don't deserve the award, but I'm not going to give it back," Timberlake said. "I'm taking this home."

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis were the night's other top winners, taking home trophies for best hip-hop video and best cinematography for "Can't Hold Us," and best video with a social message for "Same Love." They performed that song with Mary Lambert and Jennifer Hudson in a show-stopping moment.

"Gay rights are human rights," Macklemore said during the telecast. "There is no separation."

It was one of the few poignant moments in a night filled with spectacle, spite and lots and lots of skin.

Up till then, the ladies of pop music dominated as an X-rated Cyrus became the rare artist to upstage the recently rehabilitated Lady Gaga.

Gaga changed costumes four times during her first return to the stage since hip surgery as she performed her new single "Applause" at the top of the show.

Cyrus kicked things up well beyond provocative, however, as she appeared on stage with a multitude of dancing teddy bears in a bodysuit adorned with a cartoon character. She twerked to her song "We Can't Stop," changed into a nude bikini, ran a fan's foam finger along her privates as Robin Thicke appeared on stage to perform "Blurred Lines," then gave the singer a lap dance.

"Miley better go get a pregnancy test after all that grinding," comedian Kevin Hart joked afterward.

Rihanna didn't even have to take the stage to get a social media reaction after appearing to offer a sour face to Drake during his high energy performance of "Started From the Bottom."

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