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2020 MTV VMAs: How to watch, who is nominated and what to expect

The annual video music awards show will be broadcast from multiple outdoor locations around New York City.
/ Source: TODAY

The MTV Video Music Awards tend not to disappoint with wild and unpredictable surprises and this year, viewers can expect something unprecedented as well: a socially distanced show.

For the first time ever, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the VMAs will be broadcast from multiple locations around New York City with performers rocking out in front of small audiences, or in some cases, virtually and without an audience at all.

A socially distanced show means we're unlikely to get some of the crazy moments from years past. Who could forget Kanye West interrupting Taylor Swift as she received an award or Madonna and Britney's infamous lip lock?

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However, the annual awards show looks like it's still going to be a blast as some of our favorite performers take the virtual stage and find out if they get to take home a coveted Moon Person trophy. (In 2017, then-president Chris McCarthy told the New York Times that the former Moon Man statue would become the gender-neutral Moon Person statue.)

Here's everything you need to know about MTV's biggest night of the year.

What are the MTV Video Music Awards?

The MTV Video Music Awards are the music channel's annual awards show honoring excellence in music across a variety of categories that have changed over the years. This year, the show added new categories, including: "Best Quarantine Performance" and "Best Music Video From Home."

Where and when can I watch?

The VMAs pre-show kicks off at 6:30 p.m. EDT, while the ceremony will start at 8 p.m. EDT. Fans have several different options for how they can tune in to the show. The VMAs will air on MTV's cable channel, be livestreamed on and the network's app, and will be simulcast across various ViacomCBS networks. Those include BET, BET Her, CMT, Comedy Central, Logo, MTV2, Nick at Nite, Paramount Network, Pop, TV Land, VH1 and The CW.

Who is hosting?

Actor and singer Keke Palmer is making history this year as the first Black woman to host the VMAs solo. Palmer, who starred in "Hustlers" alongside Jennifer Lopez last year, tweeted a video of herself "really getting into my hosting mood" ahead of the big day, joking that she could give fans a variety of styles to choose from, including game show host, late night host or red carpet reporter.

Who is nominated?

Pop singers Ariana Grande and Lady Gaga lead the list with nine nominations each. Billie Eilish and The Weeknd have six nominations. Taylor Swift has been nominated five times this year, including for "Video of the Year" for her song "The Man."

Fans have been busy voting for their favorites in 15 gender-neutral categories. While voting is now closed in most categories, people can still have their say on who wins "Song of the Summer."

Check out the full list of nominees here.

Who will be performing?

Even though everyone can't be together in person, the VMAs virtual stage will still be packed with stars. Lewis Capaldi, Chloe x Halle and Machine Gun Kelly are some of the biggest names who will be performing during the pre-show. During the actual ceremony, Lady Gaga is set to perform "Rain on Me" with Ariana Grande, along with performances from BTS, Miley Cyrus and The Weeknd, to name a few.

We can't wait to see what surprises are in store this year!