LOS ANGELES – Sunday night's MTV Video Music Award host Russell Brand took several digs at young stars wearing "purity rings" to pledge their virginity until marriage — and "American Idol" winner Jordin Sparks wasn't having any of it.
Brand's running theme for the evening centered on the Jonas Brothers and their rings — until Sparks stepped on stage to have her say about his constant remarks.
"Not everyone wants to be a slut," Sparks spat back, the auditorium filling with applause. Sparks, Miley Cyrus and Selena Gomez are also among the young stars who have vowed to remain chaste.
Photo Essay: 2008 VMAs
Sparks told Pop Tarts later at the In Touch magazine after-party that she was more than happy to put Brand — known as Britain's ultimate playboy — in his place.
"Somebody had to do it," she said.
The "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" funnyman also encouraged Americans to vote for Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama in the upcoming election, referred to George W. Bush as a "retarded cowboy fella" and took a shot at Republican VP nominee Sarah Palin and her pregnant daughter.
"The safe sex message is to use a condom or become a Republican," Brand said.
For the record, Rus isn't an American citizen and can't vote anyway ...
Ne-Yo Relieved Not to See Britney's Belly Jiggling Around
The buzz leading up to the VMAs wasn't about who was going to win awards, it was all about Britney Spears and her "comeback" as the opening act of the MTV Awards show. (Spears opened the show, but did not perform.)
And despite coming across as a little nervous and awkward, at least Spears didn't look like she was sleepwalking this time around.
Brit thanked God, her family, her beautiful boys and her fans as she picked up all three of the awards she was nominated for: Best Female Music Video, Best Pop Video and Video of the Year. Spears also had the full support of a slew of fellow stars before she even took to the stage.
For one, it turns out that Ne-Yo is secretly quite love-struck by the reformed pop mess.
"I love that girl; after last year I just want her to win. I’m a Britney fan — I’ve been a Britney fan since the beginning," he told Pop Tarts before the show. "I've seen pictures and she looks amazing right now. She’s in shape now, she's got the six-pack going. I'm so pleased we won't have to worry about that belly jiggling around this year."
World-renowned spinner DJ AM also commented on how hard Spears had been working to get her body back in shape for the show, while everyone from Brooke Hogan to the Pussycat Dolls to Katy Perry told Pop Tarts how excited they were just to see the songstress and her hot new look.
"If she does well great, if not, it shouldn't matter," VMA-winner Chris Brown said. "I can't wait to see everybody perform. It's going to be incredible."
For others, Brit's sequined, one-shoulder silver mini-dress (compared to the black midriff-baring top and hot pants of 2007) caused disappointment.
"I was hoping she'd be in a sexy leopard-skin bikini," Mischa Barton's former flame Cisco Adler said.
As for Paris Hilton, the hotel heiress kept up tradition and made sure she was granted the top spot as the last to walk the red carpet. According to an MTV insider, this is something the socialite insists upon every year.
Speaking of tradition, there is always some behind-the-scenes drama going on at the VMAs. Host Russell Brand probably caused a few heart palpitations when just a few hours before the show he was still nowhere to be found, sending staff backstage into a panicked frenzy.
Ronson a Flop Down Under, Had Fight With Lindsay?
Lindsay Lohan gal pal Samantha Ronson may be a big hit across the USA, but apparently the Australians weren’t too impressed with her spinning style in Sydney last week.
The celeb DJ was flown halfway across the world for the third birthday of Sydney’s swanky Zeta Bar, but Pop Tarts has been told by multiple party peeps that her beat was a bust.
“It was terrible,” said a source. “Her vibe was out of place and the night fell flat.”
Ronson’s run of bad luck appeared to be continuing on Saturday. She and Lohan looked like the world was ending while sitting in the front row at New York Fashion Week watching Sam’s sister Charlotte’s spring collection.
According to an eyewitness, Sam sat glumly sipping her Evian and barely exchanged glances with Li-Lo, and the two were quick to run from the runway right after the show. Just the day before, the two were pap-snapped kissing passionately in Manhattan.
Lindsay returned to Los Angeles on Sunday to present two VMAs alongside Ciara while Ronson worked the In Touch after-party. And If there was any trouble going on between them, it appeared to be cleared up by Sunday night. The two canoodled in the VIP corner alongside the likes of Christina Aguilera, Audrina Patridge, Joe Francis, a shirtless Kid Rock, Matthew Perry, Katy Perry and new daddy David Spade while pop princess Leona Lewis, The Veronicas and rockers Good Charlotte performed for the packed party.
Rick and Kathy Hilton also stepped out for the soiree to support their possible future son-in-law, Benji Madden.
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