Asides from production value and a Dick Clark tribute, there’s not much that separates last night’s American Music Awards from any given summer Teen Choice Awards. Most of the winners from either fan-fueled event were incredibly similar, almost to a fault, with teen heartthrob Justin Bieber dominating the American award show.
The 18-year-old Canadian beat the likes of Drake, Maroon 5, Katy Perry and Rihanna for the night’s top prize, Artist of the Year, and even brought his mom onstage to help collect the trophy. He also picked up awards for Favourite Pop/Rock Male Artist and Favourite Pop/Rock Album for his third record, Believe.
Fresh off his break-up with Selena Gomez, the Biebs put on a brave face all night, even during a acoustic performance of his song, “As Long As You Love Me.” (For those who aren’t up-to-date with Bieber’s discography, it’s not a cover of the 1997 Backstreet Boys hit of the same name. We know, disappointing.) He then channeled a young Justin Timberlake with an energetic performance of “Beauty and the Beat,” and was joined by Nicki Minaj.
Carly Rae Jepsen, another young Canadian (and Flare favourite), also won big. The “Call Me Maybe” singer won the Best New Artist award, and went on to perform her hits “This Kiss” and “Call Me Maybe.”
The other predictable big winners of the night included: Nicki Minaj (Favourite Rap/Hip-Hop Album for Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded), Rihanna (Favourite Soul/R&B Album for Talk That Talk), Taylor Swift (Favourite Country Female Artist), Adele (Favourite Adult Contemporary Artist), and Beyoncé (Favourite Female Soul/R&B Artist).
While the awards were a bore, the performances were interesting in one way or another. Here are some of the night’s performance highlights:
Psy, “Gangam Style” (with an MC Hammer appearance)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WOyo7JD7hjo With over 766 million hits on YouTube and an appearance at the European Music Awards earlier this month, it’s a wonder how no one is sick of the K-Pop phenom. Psy managed to keep it fresh by mashing “Gangnam Style” up with MC Hammer’s “2 Legit to 2 Quit,” complete with a guest appearance by Hammer himself. Naturally, they both wore harem pants. It has one wondering if they’ve been taking cues from Rachel Bilson’s “I don’t give a sh-t” attitude towards the drop-crotch pantaloons.
Someone please tell us So You Think You Can Dance’s Mia Michaels (or her contemporary) choreographed this. The paint-splattered Pink recreated the “Try” music video, and, with the help of a male dancer, successfully pulled off some pretty amazing dance feats onstage.
Kelly Clarkson, Greatest Hits Medley
The first ever American Idol winner sang a medley of some her greatest songs, including “Miss Independent,” “Since You’ve Been Gone,” “What Doesn’t Kill You (Stronger),” and her latest single, “Catch my Breath.” There’s a reason why Steve Carrell screams out her name during 2005’s 40 Year Old Virgin waxing scene: she’s kind of amazing.