Eminem opened the 2010 version of MTV's always-dramatic VMAs by going back to his roots. With a symphonic version of 'Not Afraid' leading his rhymes, Em started his set in a fake gritty club straight out of '8 Mile,' heavily enunciating the track's lyrics to get his comeback fully across to fans. Of course, by the song's second verse, everything opened up into the program's elaborate futuristic set and the year's leading seller went into a version of 'Love The Way You Lie' with a semi-surprising guest turn from Rihanna.

Why was the Rihanna appearance unexpected? Well, she had been marked as a no-show because she's filming a movie version of the game 'Battleship' in Hawaii. Apparently, she was able to move her scheduling around a bit. After 'Not Afraid,' the camera cut to her in a forlorn countrified look based around long, flowing red hair and a silver headband.

"I definitely wish I could be there for Eminem," she told ET last week. "He's performing the song we did together. It would have been nice to do it, but he understands. Obviously right now I'm doing something that is a priority to me. The VMAs will be there next year. I'll have a lot more music out by then."

The performance marked the second time that Eminem has opened up the VMAs.