It’s been an important night for those with material to promote, and we barrel forward with Alicia Keys, who performed new single, “Girl on Fire,” live for the first time. Seeing her next to her keyboard is always a comforting sight, but the vocals just weren’t there this time, as much as she tried (and tried) to force them to be. Nicki Minaj popped in for her verse, hiding her face with a hoodie and refusing to make eye contact with anyone until the time came to name-drop golden girl Gabby Douglas of Team USA’s women’s gymnastics, who managed to outdo the cuteness of Alicia’s baby sitting atop Daddy Swizzy’s proud shoulders. A simple reference from a popular artist wasn’t enough, though, as the 16-year-old appeared to dazzle us all with mini floor routine. Performance salvaged! She’s having a pretty good summer, eh?
After Alicia gave her special guest a shout-out, things came to an anti-climatic end with some awkward shimmies that bordered on body rolls. (Rihanna’s not the only one who gets to have fun!) It might be new, but the song’s already featured in two different ad campaigns, which means we’re about five minutes away from it getting permanently getting stuck to your memory for-ev-er.