by Zach Johnson | Mon., Aug. 20, 2018 9:15 AM
After her new album Queen debuted at No. 2, behind Travis Scott's ASTROWORLD, Nicki Minaj argued on Twitter that the rapper's merchandise sales—and Kylie Jenner's involvement in his marketing campaign—worked against her, denying her the top spot. The couple has yet to respond to her rant, but they'll have the chance to talk about it tonight, as Minaj is seated in front of them at Radio City Music Hall, where the 2018 MTV VMAs will air live at 9 p.m. ET.
Here's where some of the stars will be sitting tonight:
Row 3: Aerosmith, Olivia Munn, Keegan Michael Key
Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images
E! News attended a press preview Friday, where executive producer and Den of Thieves co-founder Jesse Ignjatovic explained how seating arrangements are assigned. "It's a grand room, but it's also intimate, so I think the audience in the room really feels connected to the show, versus an arena, where you're far and you have to look at the screen the whole time. Here, every seat's a good seat. And then we really worked to make sure our award nominees and talent have an exceptional spot," he said. "I mean, they are right in the middle of the action!"
Of course, certain artists will send seating requests to producers—either to avoid exes and rivals, or to better enjoy the annual event with collaborators and friends. "Everyone works together to make sure they're in a spot where they're happy and comfortable," Ignjatovic said. And no, MTV doesn't pair people together to stir up drama. "First and foremost, you want people to come and have a good time. You don't want any artists and celebrities to come and be uncomfortable. That's not the point of this show; that's not the point of any show. The point is to be entertained, to have fun, to hang with your friends—like any of us," Ignjatovic told E! News. "We are always cognizant and do our best to make sure everyone's having a good time."
To learn more from executive producer Bruce Gillmer, watch the exclusive video interview.