Typically, I don’t write a recap of the American Music Awards, but I have to give credit where credit is due… this year’s AMAs wasn’t a complete snoozefest. In fact, there were a couple of performances that were fantastic including Kelly Clarkson’s medley of her greatest hits and P!nk’s beyond impressive performance of “Try“. I never thought she’d top her hanging from the rafters acrobatic performance from the MTV VMAs a few years ago, but she did. For those young artists who can’t move around the stage without losing their breath, take a look at P!nk. Breath control to die for.
Justin Bieber walked away with the most trophies with three, while everyone musically-connected to him also scored hardware. His “Beauty and the Beat” duet partner, Nicki Minaj won two, while his mentor Usher also earned another AMA award. Even his “discovery” Carly Rae Jepsen took a trip to the podium. The Canadian singer won Best New Artist.
While all the youngsters earned wins, some oldies popped up on the show as well. Gloria Estefan, Cyndi Lauper, Stevie Wonder end even MC Hammer were there. I swear, when the “U Can’t Touch This” rapper popped up during Psy’s “Gangnam Style” performance, I literally lost my shizz. That was effin’ epic. All this time I thought “Gangnam Style” was the new “Macarena”. Instead, Psy is the Korean version of MC Hammer. Sh*tcatcher pants and all. Check out all the performances below, along with my thoughts on each one. Better hurry quick, before ABC inevitably asks YouTube to take the clips down.
Usher — “Numb/Climax/Can’t Stop Won’t Stop”
Meh: No questions about it, I love Usher. It pains me to put ‘meh’, but I wasn’t floored by his performance. Given that he was opening the show, I was expecting more. The running special effects in the middle were kinda cool, but that was about it.
Carly Rae Jepsen — “This Kiss/Call Me Maybe”
Good: For singing something other than “Call Me Maybe”. If I see that song performed one more time at an awards show, I’m going to scream.
Bad: SCREAMMMMMMMM. For singing “Call Me Maybe” and those pastel UK phone booths.
The Wanted — “I Found You”
Good: Surprisingly, the guys weren’t bad live. If only they let the hot one, aka Max George, sing all the vocals, they’d be even bigger.
Kelly Clarkson — “Miss Independent/Since U Been Gone/Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)/Catch My Breath”
Good: She had me at “Miss Independent”. I never thought I’d see Kelly perform that ever again on television. Why she was only given four and a half minutes while others had six was a shame. The whole show could’ve been filled with Kelly hits and I wouldn’t have complained for a second.
Ke$ha — “Die Young”
Good: I’m probably going to get flack for this but I kinda liked it. The more I hear “Die Young”, the more I love it. Who doesn’t love hot ripped shirtless backup dancers bumping and grinding all over the place? Loved, loved, loved the tribal dancing portion. Like the side pony, but not the outfit. Looked like a Britney Spears reject from one of her tours.
No Doubt — “Looking Hot”
Meh: If you just looked just at Gwen Stefani, who was “Looking Hot” BTW, it’s hard to believe they’ve been around since the 90s. She looked fantastic. For all you hardcore No Doubt fans who think my ‘meh’ rating is harsh, check out the tepid applause at the end of the performance. Yup, they weren’t McKayla Maroney impressed either.
Taylor Swift — “I Knew You Were Trouble”
Good: Solely on the fact Taylor ventured out of her comfort zone. I kinda like the vampier bordello Swift. One of her best stage productions.
Nicki Minaj — “Freedom”
Bad: Shame on you Nicki for not performing “Pound The Alarm”- my favorite track of the summer. While she stunned on the red carpet in a green gown, she looked like the female version of the Ghostbusters Marshmallow Man on stage.
Linkin Park — “Burn It Down”
Meh: No idea they had a new album. I was a huge Linkin Park fan years ago. Operative words ‘years ago’. Bathroom break time.
P!nk — “Try”
GREAT: Hands down the best of the night and not just because of that sexy Colt Prattes dancing with her. Pink is a BEAST. Her breath control is amazing. To do a contemporary dance plus sing on pitch and with power is truly remarkable in this day and age of auto-tune.
Justin Bieber — “As Long As You Love Me/Beauty and a Beat”
Good: The front half was pretty solid.
Bad: Hire a new stylist. Personally, I don’t wear tank tops because I don’t feel like I fill them out. Justin should follow the same train of thought. That tank was not flattering. When he begins to weigh more than Nicki Minaj’s wigs, then pull out the tanks.
Christina Aguilera — “Lotus Intro/Army of Me/Let There Be Love”
Meh: Let me preface this by saying that I’m not a Christina hater. In fact, I love me my X-Tina and was Team Aguilera back in the day. My problem with her performance was she didn’t showcase her best asset.. her voice. Why not start things off with one of the stronger ballads on Lotus instead of a cheesy album intro. Plus, was it me or didn’t the circus theme feel all Britney Spears circa 2008? Also, didn’t the whole thing seem like the GAYEST performance ever. Drag queens, hot guys in pink speedos, guys twirling fans and hoops. You name it, it was there.
Pitbull — “Don’t Stop the Party/Feel This Moment”
Good: For the sole fact that Scandal’s Kerry Washington was dancing her little heart out in the audience. That put a smile on my face. I could’ve done without the five second wailing from Christina Aguilera at the end of the performance though.
Carrie Underwood — “Two Black Cadillacs”
Meh: Excuse the pun, but I wasn’t “Blown Away” by Carrie’s performance. It’s probably my indifference to the track as to why I feel that way. Side note. Why Carrie Underwood loses to Taylor Swift in any category is a travesty. At least she walked away with the Best Country Album honors after losing out Favorite Country Female Artist to T. Swizzle.
Swizz Beatz, Chris Brown & Ludacris — “Everyday Birthday”
Meh: I’m not going to lie, I fast-forwarded through the entire performance. Sorry, Luda.
PSY & MC Hammer — “Gangnam Style”
Good: Seriously!!! MC Hammer’s “2 Legit 2 Quit” mashed up with Psy’s global hit was the perfect (like PERFECT) way to end the evening. From the matching sh*tcatcher pants to signature silly moves, these two are brothers from a different mother. Elisha Cuthbert, Jenny McCarthy and Kerry Washington (again) were just a few in the audience busting out the invisible horse dance during the finale.