HomeWorld NewsStaten Island best friends attend 2023 MTV Video Music Awards: ‘We sat directly across from Taylor Swift’ – SILive.com
Staten Island best friends attend 2023 MTV Video Music Awards: ‘We sat directly across from Taylor Swift’ – SILive.com
September 16, 2023
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — The 2023 MTV Video Music Awards (VMA) happened this week, and for one Staten Islander, it is now a spectacular memory!
The highly anticipated awards show was held at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, on Sept. 12, and hosted for the second year in a row by singer Nicki Minaj. This was the first time the ceremony was held on a Tuesday.
Rossville resident Nicole Sutherland won an online lottery for the VMA tickets and was shocked to learn she had won.
“I put in for tickets online weeks ago, and found out the morning before the show that I won! I couldn’t believe it,” Sutherland said. “I only had a day to sort out what I was going to wear, and who I was going to bring. I asked Gianna Callegari, my best friend from high school, and she immediately said yes.”
Both young ladies are alumnae of Notre Dame Academy High School — Sutherland is a senior at St. John’s University (Staten Island Campus), double majoring in English and communication arts, and Callegari is a senior at New Jersey’s Stevens Institute of Technology, studying Chemical Biology.
The VMA experience proved well worth the excitement leading up to the show that honors the best in the music video medium.
“It was surreal to share a room with so many high-profile celebrities and watch performances from artists I know very well, such as Demi Lovato and Olivia Rodrigo, and some from artists I didn’t know as well,” said Sutherland. “It was amazing to hear so many genres in one night, and see legends like Diddy and Shakira take the stage.
“The highlight, for me, was definitely when Taylor Swift walked in the room! We were sitting directly across from her, so we were able to watch her dance all night.”
GREAT SEATS AND UNIQUE PERSPECTIVE
The night Sutherland and Callegari attended the VMAs, mega-superstar Taylor Swift tied the record for the biggest VMA haul in one night, according to MTV. The “Shake It Off” singer scored nine wins, including video, song, album and artist of the year, bringing her lifetime total to 23, second only to Beyoncé.
“Attending the VMA’s was such a wonderful experience,” said Callegari. “As someone who has a passion for performing and loves to learn, it was unreal to be able to see how the VMA operates in person. “
Our seats allowed us to see behind the stage, where we witnessed some of the performers getting ready moments before they walked on stage. I was moved to tears by some of the performances, and was overwhelmed with appreciation for the work, creativity and talent that is required to make the VMAs happen.”
‘SO MANY STARS’
Although the pair did not get to meet any of the celebrities on the pink carpet, it was thrilling for them to be amid “so many stars.”
“Our seats were partially behind one of the three stages at the VMAs, so we were able to catch a glimpse behind the scenes as the crew changed the set and prepared for each artist to perform,” recalled Sutherland. “Our seats allowed us to see celebrities both behind the stage, as well as those who were spectating the event.
“We witnessed many celebrity interactions, and it was super cool to be able to see them cheer each other on and support one another!” added Callegari.
The VMAs — whose winners are selected by votes cast by fans — were indeed a night to remember, with performances by Anitta, Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion, Demi Lovato, Doja Cat, Fall Out Boy, Karol G, Kelsea Ballerini, Lil Wayne, Olivia Rodrigo, Peso Pluma, Tomorrow x Together, and even an ‘N Sync reunion.