AMA’s 2011: A Wrap Up
Last night the 38th annual American Music Awards (AMA’s) aired live on ABC. This is the show where winners are determined by a combination of fan voting, radio play, record sales and online video downloads, so the result is more of a popularity contest, or seller’s best than celebration of critically acclaimed musicians. Advertisements leading up to the show boasted a not-to-be-missed experience, but the reality was that
of the many pop stars used to bait audiences into watching, only three held my attention making this one of the worst AMA’s in recent years.
Princess RiRi Reigned Supreme– The show opener, pop star Rihanna absolutely SLAYED during her medley performance of “Love The Way You ie”, “Only Girl In The World” and (My FAV) “What’s My Name.” RiRi gave the performance of her life durty winding, and p-pumping with the precision of Patra, she wowed everyone!! Now, she proved no vocal coaches wrong by sounding like Jill Scott or anything, but her flawless look and sexy styling was everything. Ooh Na Na…(What’s My Name) Indeed!
-Ne-Yo – As much shade as I throw at the songwriter/ singer (?), he always puts on one great show!! His medley of songs from his upcoming album (that NO one knew) lasted almost seven minutes, but he was precise and enjoyable the entire time.
-Diddy-Dirty Money – If the group name alone wasn’t embarrassing, the performance shall go down as an Epic #FAIL. The group’s styling was shockingly dated and trite, from Dawn and Kalenna’s “sexy” space suits to Diddy’s all-black ensemble complete with combat boots and 1995 gold fronts. Diddy tried his best to be an “artist” but came off looking sad as his “Comin’ Home” delivery was anything but entertaining. Oh Diddy, what part of the game is this??!!
-Justin Bieber– During his win for “Best Pop/Rock Male” Bieber gave thanks to Michael Jackson, “Cause without him, there would be no us.” Um, right Biebs. The Holy trinity is Sweet Baby Jesus, Michael Joseph Jackson and Mama Oprah. I bet the King chuckled posthumously at that bold shout out.
-Black Eyed Peas– Performing the lead single from their new album (some ratchet sample blended with a house track) their set looked the most expensive. Clad with vertically moving Lego boxes, dancers, lasers, it was the usual, EXTRA, BEP- exaggerated production. Too bad the song was horrible. As in rejected for a Kia car commercial horrendous. It could not end soon enough.
-Miley Cyrus– She gave her best Stevie Nicks impersonation while attempting to sing “Love and Forgiveness” to her mother in the audience. Awk-ward as Miley’s parents are divorcing based on claims her mother crept with Brett Michaels. The family should have opted for private therapy.
-Katy Perry- Dressed in a red unitard, she had an expensive-looking set complete with sparklers, smoke and dancers for her feel-good song “Firework.” However, she sang with the vocal force of a BIC lighter.
-Justin Bieber – Bieber took home “Artist Of The Year,” the youngest artist ever to do so. Beating out Usher, Lady GaGa, and Eminem. *Crickets*
-Taylor Swift – straightened her trademark golden curls debuting a more modern (read: vixen) image complete with dominatrix riding pants. Oh and she horribly screeched through “Back To December,” a song about regretfully breaking up with Taylor Lautner.
-Kid Rock- His set was in-tune but weirdly depressing with flashes of a poverty-stricken Detroit, MI flashing behind him on a screen. Um, okay…
-NewKidsOnTheBlock & Backstreet Boys reunited for a mixed-performance (and to announce a nostalgia tour hoping to cushion some debt) of their greatest hits from the 90’s.
Overall this award show failed to deliver exciting performances, edgy fashion or even shenanigans as in years past. Perhaps it was the lack of diversity in artist performances and music culture-too much auto-tune and not enough vocal coaching. Maybe it was as simple as artists were more concerned with promoting their new projects this season. Whatever the issue, the AMA’s were extremely hard to watch and echoed the desperate need for authentic musicianship-not just pop appeal to save the commercial recording industry. For a complete listing of the winners and performers visit http://music.msn.com/music/article. or mtv.com. What did you think?