With Miley Cyrus in charge of this year’s show, executives are both titillated and frightened by that very prospect. In recent weeks, the 22-year-old host has worn barely-there outfits and used profane language in commercials and TV interviews. While that’s fairly typical behavior for Cyrus, and the network knew full well what to expect when it hired the singer, MTV wisely decided to take the proper precautions.
“We have [planned] a lot of wide camera shots and a lot of audience reaction shots. And we have a delay so we’re prepared for her,” executive producer and outgoing MTV president Van Toffler told Billboard Thursday. Hiring Cyrus was a “no-brainer,” he said. “She feels like the perfect host. She’s that that great marriage of music credibility, candor, she uses social media so well to express herself and she’s provocative and chaotic and unpredictable, everything we want for this show.”
Cyrus told The New York Times Thursday that Toffler had reached out to her about the gig. “He’s leaving, and so he can’t get fired. He was like, ‘I want to do something crazy—I want you to host the VMAs, because I want that to be my last shebang,'” the “We Can’t Stop” singer recalled, adding, “It’s like Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.”
Toffler said viewers can expect some “taped pieces and some moments on stage and various other things.” Without revealing any spoilers, he added, “There is room for change over the next couple of days, so we’re excited to see what happens.”
Make no mistake: This is Cyrus’ show. “They said, ‘This is your party,'” the “Wrecking Ball” singer told The New York Times, promising that it will be a “psychedelic” and “raw” experience. “I didn’t want this VMAs to be like they’ve been in the past. Last year there wasn’t even a host, so there was no energy.”
Cyrus asked artist Jen Stark to create an introductory set piece. “What I’m trying to do is create my Instagram—which people love to think is so freaky—in real life. It’s letting people into my world,” she said. She also recruited Seth Rogen and his team to write jokes. “I’m not a stand-up. That’s what it always feels like—like everything’s flopping and dying out there,” Cyrus said. “So my intro is fun skits.”
The MTV Video Music Awards air live from the Microsoft Theater Sunday at 9 p.m.