Austin Mahone: My First VMAs

The 17-year old "Artist to Watch" winner takes THR through his preshow process -- "I'm going to nail it," he said -- and gives a postperformance update.
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While most 17-year-olds are getting ready to enter their senior year of high school and maybe sweating what they'll wear to the prom, teenager Austin Mahone was preparing for a different kind of milestone: his first trip to the MTV Video Music Awards.

“I’m really excited because it is my first VMA appearance and performance, and it’s going to be really good,” Mahone confided to The Hollywood Reporter two days before the big show. “I’m doing a lot of dance rehearsals. I am getting my wardrobe together. I’m training my voice, getting my singing lessons going and getting better as a dancer and a performer every day. I'm going to nail it.”

And nail it he did, as Mahone took home the "Artist to Watch" award at the 2013 VMAs following a performance of his single "What About Love."

STORY: MTV VMAs: Justin Timberlake Wins Top Prize, Macklemore Earns Three Moonmen

"It feels amazing," he told THR shortly after his win. "It's the best day ever. It was an honor to even be on the carpet, but I performed, and I won the award, so I couldn't have asked for a better night."

The pop star from San Antonio is still in the final stages of completing his as yet untitled debut for Chase/Universal Records, slated for the fall. Mahone’s appearance on Sunday’s MTV telecast is sure to give the current single a big push for radio, especially after taking home a Moonman trophy.

For Mahone, attending the star-packed VMAs is a dream come true. On his wish list, the teen was hoping to cross paths with Drake and Rihanna, both of whom were in attendance at the Barclays Center. But the night held special significance for him because he watched the show growing up in Texas. “I remember a long time ago when I was in school, and I was supposed to be doing my homework, and I would watch the VMAs instead. My mom would get so mad at me.”

STORY: Austin Mahone on Debut Album: 'Like Backstreet Boys and 'N Sync' With 'EDM Beats'

That early exposure came in handy for Mahone, who carefully planned his ensemble days before walking the red carpet. “I’m going to wear a tank top for the performance, a blazer, a red-and-black top and some nice red shoes for the red carpet,” he said.

And he rocked the look on arrivals, dressed sleekly in black and answering reporters questions like a pro.

The Saturday before the show, Mahone said he planned to keep things low-key. “I’m probably going to get a lot of rest and try not to scream or talk too much -- just chill with my friends, relax and go to bed early,” he said. As for his date on the big day, he is taking the number one woman in his life. “I’m taking my mom,” he said proudly. He also added that he is “taking my manager and my best friends from Texas.”

As for his preshow diet, Mahone said pancakes and eggs were on the menu, along with a shower and some time to prep his acceptance speech. "In case I won," he said.

Twitter: @micheleamabile