From the moment that Miley Cyrus hits the stage at Los Angeles’ Microsoft Theater on Sunday, Aug. 30, all bets are off. The 22-year-old artist signed on to host this weekend’s 2015 MTV VMAs, and despite her infamously controversial 2013 performance with Robin Thicke, Cyrus faces few restrictions about what she can and can’t do at the star-studded awards show.
With just days to go, EW caught up with VMA executive producer Garrett English, who said there is nothing that is off-limits for Cyrus on the VMA stage.
“We’re giving her pretty free rein,” English tells EW. “Obviously there are standards and various other things that were always a part of it, but no, [no rules]… It never comes from a place of trying to limit the range, it’s always coming from a place of trying to open up the full palate.”
“Miley has been fantastic,” English added. “It was sort of a logical extension of conversations that we’re happening. Both her camp and ours were immediately excited by it.”
While there are some concerns from groups like the Parents Television Council about MTV’s choice to let Cyrus have at it, English said the network has only had to entirely cut away from the broadcast once before.
“I’ve only been on the stage once during the show and that was a long time ago when Tim [Commerford] from Rage Against the Machine jumped up into the set and started swinging around,” he says. “We actually had to go to commercial break. If I find myself standing on the show during the broadcast, then something of that grandeur has gone wrong. There haven’t really been [other] circumstances where it’s gotten to that level.”
But English says the surprises are usually the best part of the show. “One of the great things about the show is we try to create an environment where that spontaneity can happen and that creative expression rules the day,” he adds. “However that manifests is what excites us. The ethos of the show is one that even though you may know who’s performing on the show or have context around what track is being performed or [you’ve] seen them in concert and the rest of it, the VMAs is always a place where the performances break barriers and do things that are different.”
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