Highs and lows of VMAs

Highs and lows of VMAs
Miley Cyrus and Robin Thicke perform "Blurred Lines" during the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards in New York August 25, 2013.

LADY GAGA 1

KATY PERRY 1

Lady Gaga's highly-anticipated return to the stage was tame by Gaga standards - no alien eggs, blood or cross-dressing.

On the red carpet, the 27-year-old revealed that "MTV always wants me to one-up myself", and she certainly did, leaving behind the gimmicks of yesteryear to give one of her best awards show performances for new single Applause.

She wore five different costumes on stage - including a big white robe with her face framed by a square canvas - and ended off with a clamshell bikini that she stayed in for the rest of the show.

Katy Perry, 28, whose comeback track Roar has already scored a win over Gaga on the charts - it has 557,000 downloads, compared to 218,000 for Gaga's Applause.

But live, Perry was more of a tame kitty than the lioness she labelled herself on her sports jacket.

Her hyped-up performance of inspirational anthem Roar under the Brooklyn Bridge, with its "fighter in a boxing ring" treatment was decent at best, unimaginative at worst.

Which brings us to a tie in the ongoing Gaga-Perry rivalry.

That's just a little too obvious and anti-climactic.

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