UPDATE (9/10): Nicki Minaj explained what happened at the VMAs that resulted in her hitting the stage in a dress she was literally holding together. On Ellen, Nicki reveals that she didn't want to "ruin the shot" by just slipping something over her bright green "Anaconda" ensemble, because it didn't go with the black and white outfits Ariana Grande and Jessie J were wearing.
"Originally, I was just gonna have a skirt that just wrapped around the green, but when I realized that Jessie and Ariana were wearing black and white, I didn't want to ruin the shot with me wearing a green bra and them wearing black and white!" she tells Ellen. "I was like, 'I have to put on a black dress really quickly!' Sure enough, we didn't have a real quick-change right there, so it was literally my whole team just standing there, holding curtains around me. It was pitch black. I couldn't see anything. Right before it was time for me to walk out, they went to zip it up, and ... right there, I thought I died. I didn't have any underwear on! No underwear, no bra, because I had just taken off the 'Anaconda' outfit, so I was butt-ass naked!"
Ellen responded to Nicki's cool and calm explanation by handing her a giant safety pin, should she encounter similar wardrobe malfunctions in the future. Watch the LOL-inducing clip below.
The show began with a fierce female-heavy medley: Ariana Grande, Minaj and Jessie J performing their hit, "Bang Bang." The focal point was Minaj's almost nip-slip, the pop star rocking a slender black dress that seemed to have split down the front. She was forced to grab her outfit at her chest and right above her crotch. Her movements onstage were clearly limited. Yet she somehow made it a graceful malfunction.
It was the only real slip up of the performance. Ariana kicked things off with "Break Free" and like the video, rocked a shimmery futuristic onesie that was much more Star Wars than "Problem." A moment passed and the song transitioned into Nicki Minaj's scandalous and sultry "Anaconda." At that point, Minaj looked something like the Batman villain Poison Ivy, gyrating in a sparkling green outfit alongside nearly nude dancers painted like reptiles.
The "Anaconda" performance was originally slated to include at least one live snake, but that decision must have been re-evaluated after a six-foot-long boa constrictor bit one of Minaj's dancers during rehearsals on Friday. The woman was sent to the hospital for treatment—and no exotic animals made it into prime time.
After "Anaconda," the performance moved to Jessie J opening "Bang Bang" in a black and white jumpsuit. At that point, Minaj quick changed into the dress that would ultimately give her trouble. It must be said: Her Minajesty is the only one who could launch into her verse while literally falling apart at the seams... and do so flawlessly.