The hoped-for duet between Taylor Swift and Kanye West never materialized but the drama between the two took center stage at Sunday's MTV Video Music Awards in Los Angeles,
Taylor absolved Kanye West of last year's onstage sin - interrupting her acceptance speech to say the award should have gone to competitor Beyonce - with one somber song.
West, also in song, beat himself up once again over his misbehavior.
Both performances delivered on pre-show hype of a Kanye-Taylor sequel and overshadowed the evening's other moments,.
Last year' s incident left Swift with hurt feelings, but West was the one who was seriously damaged, by an intense backlash that quieted him for most of the year.
While West didn't address the trophy-gate incident directly onstage, he rapped and sang a song that mocked the boorish behavior that has upstaged his music:"``I always find something wrong; you've been putting up with my (expletive) for too long,'' he said, before launching into the an unprintable chorus, which included the line: "`Let's have a toast to scumbags."
West was booed by some members of the audience prior to his performance.
While Swift is known for skewering those who have done her wrong in song, for West, she offered an olive branch with her song "`Innocent,'" written earlier this year: "Everyone of us has messed up, too ... I hope you remember today is never too late to be brand new."'
The 20-year-old's ode didn't criticize West. Instead, she sympathized with his difficult time in the spotlight and West's own admissions that his ego has often gotten in his own way.
"Thirty-two and still growing up now; who you are is not what you did,"' she sang softly, adding: "You're still an innocent."
She then appeared from the audience to skip offstage.