by Free Britney at

Britney Spears opened up, then won big at last night's 2008 MTV Video Music Awards, taking home three awards, including Video of the Year.

She kicked off the show in a pre-taped skit with actor Jonah Hill - yes, he of the laugh-out-loud Superbad quotes. That movie was so funny.

Britney Spears, Plaid Shirt

This skit? Not so much. Here's the video ...

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PQ4e8x707jk[/youtube]

Yeah. Fortunately, the night got better for Britney after that. After the segment, Spears, in sexy, sparkly halter dress, walked on stage as "Baby One More Time" blared. She then won Best Female Video for "Piece of Me."

"I'm speechless... Oh, my goodness, thank you!" an elated, giggly Spears told the crowd. "I first wanna thank God for blessing me like this. My family ... my two beautiful boys [Sean and Jayden] for inspiring me everyday."

She later took home the award for Best Pop Video, telling the crowd again that she was "speechless" and thanking longtime manager Larry Rudolph. Britney Spears then closed out the night by winning Video of the Year.

"I'm in shock right now," she said. "I want to dedicate this to all my fans."

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by Free Britney at

Kanye West continues to bash MTV, saying Friday that the network "used" Britney Spears to get higher ratings for Sunday's Video Music Awards.

"I just felt like she wasn't ready and I felt like they had to get their ratings. ... It just shows you it's not a black and white thing; it's a money thing," the rapper said on Ellen DeGeneres' talk show.

"I felt bad for her too. I felt bad for everyone involved."

West, whose backstage meltdown behind the scenes at the VMAs is now part of YouTube lore, said MTV should have stopped Spears after seeing her rehearsal.

"Someone had to be at that practice and be like, 'Wow. This is not good.' All the lip-syncing, everything," West said. "I mean, that performance, even had it been pulled off perfectly, still wouldn't have been up to par to start off the MTV Music Video Awards."

Selling a reported 420,000 records on the first day his new album Graduation was released, West seems on track to be the victor in his battle to out-perform fellow rapper 50 Cent (whose new album dropped the same day) on the charts.

But Kanye West's battle with MTV continues.

"MTV didn't give me the opportunity to rock the way I wanted to rock," he said, calling his five VMA nominations but no wins a "slap in the face."

"I told the guy at MTV, 'There's only a few things important in music this year: Umbrella, Amy Winehouse,'" he said. "it's not just me. Britney Spears is not important in music, but she's important to the tabloids and stuff like that."

So basically, Kanye West is saying that Britney Spears is only relevant because celebrity news publications are obsessed with her, and she's no longer a force in the music business. A bold, bold statement. Way to go out on a limb there!

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