By James Hibberd
August 26, 2014 at 05:08 PM EDT

Nicki couldn’t deliver Miley numbers: MTV’s Video Music Awards dropped sharply in the ratings Sunday night.

According to Nielsen, the annual awards telecast had 8.3 million viewers—that’s down about 18 percent from last year. Across all simulcasts on MTV, MTV2, VH1, and Logo TV, and including all repeats, viewers totaled 13.7 million. The show racked up 12.6 million tweets—so, yes, more tweets than viewers.

The telecast was, by VMA standards, surprisingly shock free. Even Nicki Minaj’s much-buzzed performance of “Anaconda” was relatively tame, especially compared to last year’s infamous Miley Cyrus twerk-n-tongue fest. (Cyrus tearfully giving a platform for homeless youth issues just isn’t the same.) After the show, even the perpetually offended Parents Television Council grudgingly admitted “MTV seems to have toned down” the telecast. No worries, MTV, there’s always next year—shake it off.