MTV's always-avant-garde VMAs (airing live from Radio City Music Hall at 8 p.m. on Aug. 31) boast a red carpet unlike any other in the awards-show universe. Celebs and just about everybody else dress for scandal, and their outré behavior guarantees headlines. Below, exec producer Ocean MacAdams tells us in his own words what to expect this year.
''You name it, people want to arrive in it: pimped-out cars, 18-wheelers, tour buses, motorcycles, boats. Rob Zombie once showed up in a Munsters car. Then there's Diddy. In 2004, he cruised up to the VMAs held that year in Miami in a boat that looked like a white oil tanker. One vehicle you won't see this year: the helicopter. It's the No. 1 request. Do you think you're going to land a helicopter in the middle of Rockefeller Plaza? Do you understand the issues of that at all?''
2. PUBLICISTS PATH
''The people who dress the most scandalously are usually the least famous. You're like, 'Who is that?' And it's a nobody, praying that lots of people photograph them. [Those people] get shuffled along this path behind the celebrities. Everyone who shows up with a celeb thinks they belong on the carpet. The fantasy is that we won't have a carpet full of Turtles and Dramas [from Entourage].''
3. INTERVIEW SPOTS
''There are three of them, referred to as the cube, the pod, and home base. The cube is a rotating MTV news platform that is the one thing we always have it's tradition. The pod is a raised island in the middle of the carpet that really puts you right in the action of the red carpet. And the home base is similar to the spot where the 1995 Madonna-Courtney Love kerfuffle went down. With this year's 14-camera, multi-screen experience, it'll be hard to miss anything.''
4. STAIRS ''There are stairs at the beginning of the carpet [along] with escorts to give the ladies a hand. We are always terrified of stairs...but you can't exactly tell J. Lo to wear flats. The big thing we did last time we were here was we built this giant catwalk over the Rockefeller gardens. It looked like a fashion runway. It was awesome except that paparazzi and fans were looking up dresses.''
''The single most stressful thing: It's 6:27 p.m. and there are no celebrities on the carpet. You know the nature of celebs everybody wants to be last. This year, TV is shutting down the red carpet for five minutes while Fergie performs 'London Bridge' down the runway. It's going to be hard to do but unbelievable. And at some point, a kick-ass rock band will take the stage 70 stories above the red carpet at Top of the Rock.''