Daniel Roland, AFP
Both Swift and Bieber walked away with three trophies each: Swift winning for Best Female, Best Live Act and Best Look, while Bieber (who wasn't at the show, but watched and celebrated with friends from a Believe tour break) was awarded Best Male, Best Live Act, and Best Look.
Newcomers Carly Rae Jepsen and One Direction (who also couldn't attend the show) were also honored: Jepsen won Best Song for "Call Me Maybe" and Best Push; 1D took home Best New Act and Best Fans. Noticeably absent from the winner's list was Rihanna, who was up for six awards. Other winners included Nicki Minaj for Best Hip Hop, Linkin Park for Best Rock and PSY's "Gangnam Style" for Best Video.
The circus-themed show was hosted by Heidi Klum and ended up with Swift's performance of her hit single "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together." The singer still sported her trademark color red in the form of a well-deserved ringmaster outfit.
Two singers tragically missing from the musical world were also honored during the show: Whitney Houston and Beastie Boys' Adam Yauch. A video tribute played for Houston, who was honored with the Global Icon award. Alicia Keys presented the honor, calling the late pop diva "my homegirl (and) my friend."
After the show, a few singers from the winner's circle tweeted their excitement. "Such an insane night!!!" Swift wrote. "You guys won me 3 EMAs! Best female, best live act, best look. Can't even begin to thank you enough. I love you!!" Bieber tweeted: "we will never stop. thank you for believing in me. making me believe in myself. and knowing that WE win...OUR ALBUM. OUR SUCCESS. OUR SMILES." And Jepsen tweeted: "A night to remember! Won 2 EMAs!!! Best song and Best Push. Thank you! <3 mtvema."
Check out the full list of winners below:
Best Song: Carly Rae Jepsen, "Call Me Maybe"
Best Female: Taylor Swift
Best Male: Justin Bieber
Best Pop: Justin Bieber
Best New Act: One Direction
Best Live Act: Taylor Swift
Best Hip Hop: Nicki Minaj
Best Rock: Linkin Park
Best Electronic: David Guetta
Best Alternative: Lana Del Rey
Best Video: PSY, "Gangnam Style"
Best Look: Taylor Swift
Best World Stage: Justin Bieber
Biggest Fans: One Direction
Best Push: Carly Rae Jepsen
Best Worldwide Act: Han Geng, China
- VMA Red Carpet Fashions 2012 (PHOTOS)
- Miley Cyrus
- Taylor Swift
- Katy Perry
- Gabby Douglas, Kyla Ross, McKayla Maroney, Jordyn Wiber and Alexandra Raisman
- Nicki Minaj
- Alicia Keys
- Zoe Saldana
- Jenni Farley
- Ezra Miller and Emma Watson
- Wiz Khalifa and Amber Rose
- Green Day
- Rita Ora
- Pauly D
- Awkward Award Show Moments
- Most Awkward Behind-the-Bro Hug
- Best Slink Down the Red Carpet
- Most Cringe-Worthy Embrace
- Best 'Someone Please Save Me' Face
- Most Lopsided Hug
- Best 'Why Am I Posing With These People?' Face
- Best 'We Don't Really Want to Kiss Each Other' Kiss
- Most Uncomfortable-Looking Conversation
- Most Sketchy Side-Eye Hug
- Best 'If Looks Could Kill' Face
- Most Unfortunate Dance Moves
- Most Unnerving Dress
- Best 'Get That Camera Out of My Face' Face
- Most Awkward Head to Bosom Ratio
- Most Well-Placed Priorites
- Best Model Leer
- Most Uncomfortable Body Language
- Best Kiss Miss
- Best Audience Push Down
- Best Disapproving Photo Bomb
- Best Muppet Smackdown
- Can You Believe They're the Same Age?
- Lindsay Lohan and Dianna Agron
- Adele and Hayley Williams
- Florence Welch and Lea Michele
- Lady Gaga and Mary-Kate Olsen
- Fantasia Barrino and Avril Lavigne
- Miranda Cosgrove and Taylor Momsen
- T-Pain and Carly Rae Jepsen
- Celebrity Photobombs
- Peek-a-Boo Sheryl Crow, We See You! (Even if Justin Bieber Didn't.)
- This Guy Is SO Not Impressed by Rihanna and Katy Perry.
- Kelly Osbourne and Neon Hitch's Photo-Op Is Crashed by an Over-Enthused Lurker.
- Demi Lovato's Little Sis Madison Perhaps Isn't the Biggest Britney Fan.
- Paul Stanley, Sir Elton John and Erin Sutton Get Creeped on.
- Katy Perry Is Unaware That Glen Campbell Is Having a Psychic Moment Behind Her.
- Diddy REALLY Wanted to Be in This Shot With Muhammad Ali and Will Smith.
- This Passerby Can't Resist Sharing the Spotlight With Rihanna.
- Kim Kardashian and Nicki Minaj Try to Box Out a Fellow BET Awards Attendee.
- Celebrity Makeup Makeovers
- Kelly Osbourne
- Christina Aguilera
- Nicki Minaj
- Taylor Momsen
- Lily Allen
Watch Taylor Swift Perform at the European Music Awards Video