In 'Anaconda' Rehearsal, Minaj Dancer Bitten by ... Snake
It has been an eventful run-up to the VMAs
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 24, 2014 10:55 AM CDT
This June 29, 2014 file photo shows Nicki Minaj performing at the BET Awards.   (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)
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(Newser) – By the time the MTV Video Music Awards roll around tonight, there may not be many people left willing to attend: In the wake of Suge Knight's shooting overnight at a pre-VMAs party comes the news that during a rehearsal Friday for Nicki Minaj hit "Anaconda," a backup dancer was bitten by a snake—a snake that was decidedly not an anaconda. Rather, the reptile in question was a Dumeril’s boa constrictor named Rocky, who MTV reports "has been in the entertainment business for 15 years."

Rocky apparently chomped the dancer's arm as she had him draped around her neck; Minaj appeared concerned and asked "Did she just get bit by the snake?" Boas are non-venomous, and the dancer was treated and then taken to the hospital out of "an abundance of caution," according to a Viacom safety rep. Because tonight's show must go on, MTV says the current plan is to use a different snake in tonight's performance.