A favorite of music fans, critics, and audience-reaction cams alike, Taylor Swift is the belle of any awards-show ball. She shows up, she responds to what's happening onstage with the finesse, subtlety, and attention-hunger of a mime. Even if she isn't performing on any given night, she's still performing. Case in point happened during last night's VMAs when Swift danced like everybody was watching, loved the awards-show medium like she'll never be hurt (again...by Kanye), sang like everyone could hear her even though she wasn't miked, and lived like Brooklyn is heaven on earth.

Nobody is more enthusiastic about awards shows than Taylor Swift. Nobody seemingly cares more about them than her adversary in this very medium, Kanye West. For her, the envelope is half-full, for him the envelope is half-empty (he's prone to complaining about the injustice of certain people being given these arbitrary tokens of popularity over others). Opposing forces, they need each other like Batman and the Joker, peanut butter and jelly, Mariah and pacifiers.

Swift loves her opposing forces. Check out her acceptance speech for Female Video, during which she thanked the man she scorns for inspiring the song — the smirk on her ex Harry Styles' face is a solid retort/confirmation. Also check out her saying, "Shut the fuck up," or maybe, "Sorry for my arm," while One Direction presents. She gives us a little lightness, a little drama. She comes prepared.


And because I have nowhere else to put this, here's a bonus moment from last night's VMAs that was probably my favorite thing to happen onstage (besides Miley Cyrus showing up wearing nothing but a tongue and some labia): Aussie rapper Iggy Azalea explaining awards-show process to Lil' Kim (who has attended several awards shows over her nearly two-decade career) in a hushed, rushed tone right before the trophy distribution and Kim still not getting it. We're all just living in the spontaneous moment.