Beyoncé vs. Justin Timberlake: Who had the better MTV VMA Medley?
(Credit: MTV)

For two years in a row now, audiences and viewers have been treated with a musical medley at the MTV Video Music Awards.

In 2013, boy-band-member-turned-solo-popstar Justin Timberlake won the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award and performed some of his biggest hits across multiple stages in Brooklyn.

This year, Video Vanguard Award-winner Beyoncé entranced the crowd with her mesmerizing performance that included many of her new songs at Los Angeles' Forum.

The two artists are pretty similar: They're both former group members of successful bands ('N Sync and Destiny's Child). They're both beyond-successful solo artists now. And they both slayed at the MTV VMAs, with many people basically calling the awards show the "Justin Timberlake concert" (in 2013) or "Beyoncé concert" that happened to also give out awards to other artists those nights.

However, there's an argument to be said about who had the "better" Video Vanguard medley performance. Regardless if you're a JT or Queen Bey fan, there are some areas where Justin was better than Beyoncé and vice versa.

Opening Number
Who did it better: JUSTIN
Why: Prior to her performance, fans were HYPED and excited to see Beyoncé finally come out on stage. However, Beyoncé's opening numbers were "Mine" and "Haunted, which were both slow and emotional. Don't get me wrong; they were great...but her opening wasn't what I was hoping for. I wanted an energetic number with sassy struts and powerful dance moves with lights and music blaring. Frankly, something like "Crazy in Love" would've been a better first song.

Now, Justin opened his 2013 medley with the fun "Take Back the Night." He began singing and dancing off stage, increasing the crowd's anticipation, until he finally made it to the main stage and got the crowd on its feet with "SexyBack." And from start to finish, JT kept that high energy going like the pop superstar he truly is.

Overall Song Selection
Who did it better: JUSTIN
Why: Here's the thing about the Video Vanguard Award (and the VMAs in general): we're not only celebrating fantastic musical artists; we're celebrating their amazing music videos and lifetime achievements. It's given to innovators and forerunners in the music video sphere who have impacted MTV culture. So, you would expect that if someone wins the award and plans to perform a medley the night they receive the award, they will perform some of their hits, songs that have revolutionized music and songs that had game-changing music videos.

Well, Justin certainly did just that by performing "SexyBack" and his first hits "Rock Your Body," "Like I Love You" and "Cry Me a River." He even included his most recent hits "Suit & Tie" and "Mirrors."

Although Beyoncé's latest album is #flawless, it would've been nice to see her perform some of her iconic hits from her iconic music videos: "Crazy in Love," "Single Ladies," "If I Were a Boy," "Run the World (Girls)," "Halo," "Diva," "Naughty Girl" -- need I go on?   

Dancing
Who did better: JUSTIN
Why: He's basically like a mini-Michael Jackson whenever and wherever he performs, and the 2013 VMAs was no exception.

We all know Beyoncé can dance, but her VMA performance only consisted of sexy poses, some hip and booty pops, a little pole dancing (during "Partition") and her sultry gazes and smiles. Queen Bey did break it down during "Flawless," and I loved it, but her medley didn't include nonstop singing and dancing like Justin's did.

But then again, Beyoncé has to dance in heels during her routines, so can we really blame her on this one?

Costume
Who did it better: BEYONCÉ
Why: Her hair? On point. Her makeup? On point. And that rainbow, shiny, jewel-encrusted leotard thingy she wore? ON POINT.

Beyoncé's costumes always look good; there's really no comparison. Sorry, JT.

Surprises
Who did it better: JUSTIN
Why: I admit it's really unfair to compare Beyoncé and Justin in this category, because you can't really top a 'N Sync reunion.

Although the N'Sync reunion was probably the shortest musical reunion ever, watching J.C., Joey, Lance and Chris reunite with Justin was a blast to the past that gave all of us '90s boy band lovers special feelings we can't describe. And, since Beyoncé already reunited with Destiny's Child at the Super Bowl just a few years back, there was no way she could've reunited with her group to make us go, "OMG, THEY'RE BACK!" She's been there, done that.

Acceptance Speech
Who did it better: BEYONCÉ
Why: Although it was sweet to see Jimmy Fallon give his buddy Justin the Video Vanguard Award last year, nothing can top husband Jay Z and daughter Blue Ivy presenting the award to Beyoncé. There aren't enough "awww's" in this world to describe the moment when Beyoncé was presented this musical achievement from the two most important people in her life (and most importantly, it was the perfect way for her and Jay Z to squash those nasty divorce rumors).

Taylor Swift's Dance Moves
Who did it better: TIE
Why: Doesn't matter if it's Beyoncé or Justin performing—T. Swift still looks super awkward when she dances.

*Extra Credit Points (worth 2!): The Best "Message"
Who did it better: BEYONCÉ
Why: Justin put on an amazing medley performance last year, but Beyoncé put on an amazing medley performance that also delivered a positive message about feminism, celebrating womanhood and equality. THAT is why we will always bow down to Queen Bey.

FINAL TALLY!
Justin - 5, Beyoncé - 5

So yeah, Justin and Beyoncé set the bar pretty damn high. They killed it.

If MTV decides to continue this tradition of having the Video Vanguard Award winner perform a 15-plus-minute musical medley, that person (or group) will have quite the challenge ahead of them to top these past two performances.