Skin! Hair! Lips! Shawn mendes and camila cabello’s vmas duet was worth the wait

On Monday, August 26, Shawn and Camila took the stage at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, to perform their latest duet: The Latinx-inspired “Señorita,” about a passionate tryst in Miami—but not before Shawn began the set with a larger-than-life rendition of “If I Can’t Have You.”

He kept things relatively bare on a stage that had already seen Taylor Swift’s tea party and Cardi B’s major win—but that doesn’t mean Shawn held back. Clad in slim-fit pants and an iridescent shirt, he encouraged the crowd to sing along to the staccato lyrics.

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Where was Camila for all of this? Waiting to strike, of course. Later in the performance, the duo took a candlelit stage for Camila’s breathy intro, Shawn’s signature guitar, and plenty of serenading directly at the camera. He wore suspenders, she wore a flowy, bedazzled fishnet dress—what more can I say?

And while they seemed primed for a kiss halfway through the performance, they decided to tease the audience with a beat or two of anticipation and plenty of dancing. Instead of locking lips, they touched noses.

“The skin, the hair, the lips!” host Sebastian Maniscalco said after. “And give it up for Camila, too.”

As for “Señorita,” the track itself is a certified hit, too—though are you even surprised? The duo followed the success of their first collab, “I Know What You Did Last Summer” with the release of “Señorita” on June 29 of this year. It’s been climbing the charts steadily ever since, and has solidly held rank in the top 10 for the past eight weeks.

“It took me 10 months to convince Camila to sing this with me,” Shawn said in a conversation published by V Magazine earlier this summer.

As Camila pointed out, sometimes you have to wait for magic to occur. “Honestly, it just takes the right time for things to happen, I feel,” she added in the same conversation, noting that they had planned to release seasonal follow-ups to “IKWYDLS,” but were told by their managers not to. “They were like, ‘No,’ and we were like, ‘What?!’ We almost fired them. We were like, ‘What do you mean? How’s that not a good idea?’”

“None of those worked,” Shawn added about the pipe-dreams of “I Know What You Did Last Fall,” “I Know What You Did Last Winter,” and “I Know What You Did Last Spring.’ “But ‘Señorita’ was great.”

The 2019 MTV Video Music Awards have touched down at The Prudential Center in New Jersey, airing live on MTV. See the full list of winners and keep up with all of the night’s biggest VMA moments!