If you missed the 40th annual American Music Awards last night, then you’ve come to the right place. The action packed show aired live from the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles and featured an amazing array of top-notch performances from some of the hottest names in the game. Justin Bieber came away as the big winner of the evening, clenching 3 of the most coveted awards of the night: Artist of the Year, Favorite Pop/Rock Male artist, and Favorite Pop/Rock Album. You can check out a full list of the winners as well as my countdown of the night’s performances from trainwreck to terrific, after the jump! See you around!
Artist of the Year: Justin Bieber
Sprint New Artist of the Year: Carly Rae Jepsen
Favorite Pop/Rock Male Artist: Justin Bieber
Favorite Pop/Rock Female Artist: Katy Perry
Favorite Pop/Rock Band/Duo/Group: Maroon 5
Favorite Pop/Rock Album: “Believe” by Justin Bieber
Favorite Country Male Artist: Luke Bryan
Favorite Country Female Artist: Taylor Swift
Favorite Country Band/Duo/Group: Lady Antebellum
Favorite Country Album: “Blown Away” by Carrie Underwood
Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Artist: Nicki Minaj
Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Album: “Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded” by Nicki Minaj
Favorite Soul/R&B Male Artist: Usher
Favorite Soul/R&B Female Artist: Beyoncé
Favorite Soul/R&B Album: “Talk That Talk” by Rihanna
Favorite Alternative/Rock Artist: Linkin Park
Favorite Adult Contemporary Artist: Adele
Favorite Latin Artist: Shakira
Favorite Contemporary Inspirational Artist: tobyMac
Favorite Electronic Dance Music: David Guetta
Performances (from trainwreck to terrific!)
Pitbull – Don’t Stop the Party / Feel This Moment
The monotonous shouting into the microphone? The dancers in pink? The confusing addition of a Jersified Christina Aguilera at the end? I just didn’t get it. Seriously though, look me in the eyes and tell me that you A) think Pitbull is talented, and B) that you legitimately enjoy his music…Oh wait, that’s right, you can’t.
Christina Aguilera – Lotus Intro/ Army of Me/ Let There Be Love
One thing is for sure, Christina Aguilera devoured a Snooki before she stepped onto stage, and that ladies and gentlemen is where the highlights end. Besides the usual over-singing, there was a literal freakshow that unfolded on-stage. It was kind of fun, kind of tragic, but mostly tragic.
Carly Rae Jepsen – This Kiss / Call Me Mabye
New kid on the block, Carly Rae, lipped “This Kiss,” and struggled through “Call Me Maybe,” all while boring the pants off of everyone at my AMA party, but hey, she did have the biggest hit of the last 5 years, so I’ll just say she did fine.
Nicki Minaj – Freedom
Nicki looked absolutely fabulous, and I loved her winter wonderland set, but the song? The song just isn’t doing it for me. Regardless, Nicki always goes hard.
Ke$ha – Die Young
K-money started off rather strong during her Illuminati-inspired performance. Besides sounding phenomenal, there were enough laser lights to kill a small virgin, lots of fancy tribal costumes, and a flawless drum-break, but then Kesh tried her hand at some choreography. It was stiff, awkward, and had me wanting to “Die Young.”
Carrie Underwood – Two Black Cadillacs
Carrie started off a little shakey but she totally pulled it together, and by the end, I was officially slayed. One word: Powerhouse!
Linkin Park – Burn It Down
A classic performance by the electric-rock outfit. They always sound flawless. Let’s just say they burned that shit down!
PSY ft. MC Hammer – Gangnam Style
Definitely the most playful performance of the night. I caught PSY slipping up on his dance moves a couple of times, but the energy was on-point and the addition of MC Hammer was lots of fun!
The Wanted – I Found You
Another performance that started off pretty shaky. In-fact I was completely fucking confused until I became mesmerized by the boys’ adorable faces. Fortunately, they ended up pulling the vocals together too.
No Doubt – Looking Hot
Gwen looked fabulous and her vocals shocked the shit out of me. As most of you know, singing isn’t one of Gwen‘s strong suits, but she absolutely nailed it. Besides, the band always looks like they’re having a blast, which is infectious in its own right.
Kelly Clarkson – Greatest Hits Medley
Kelly slayed! Sounded great, looked great, chose great songs. A+
Usher - Numb/ Climax / Can’t Stop Won’t Stop
Usher is a veteran performer. Not only did he sound just like his records, but he delivered prolonged dance numbers that only he can execute with such fluidity. Bravo!
Swizz Beatz – Everyday Birthday (featuring Chris Brown & Ludacris)
One of the most surprising showcases of the night. This was my first time experiencing this particular song, and I fell in love with the live version before the entire performance was even over. The beat was sique, the energy was off the chain, and even though I dislike Chris Brown, I will stare at his abs all night long.
Taylor Swift – I Knew You Were Trouble
So, I’m not even a Taylor Swift fan, but Jesus Christ did she slay me with her flawless live rendition of her dub-step laden ditty “I Knew You were Trouble.” The set. The costumes. The energy. The dancers. The concept. Taylor’s vocals. The song. I. Just. Can’t. All I really have to say is that Taylor‘s creative director deserves a raise, like now!
P!nk – Try
P!nk is always serving up some crazy-ass acrobatics while singing live and sounding great. Last night was no exception. Oh, and her hunky counterpart that joined her on-stage? A PERFECT SPECIMEN!
Justin Bieber - As Long As You Love Me / Beauty and a Beat
Not only did Justin clean up in terms of awards last night, but as much as I hate to admit it, I think he probably had the best performance as well. He began with a stripped down, completely live rendition of his single “As Long As You Love Me,” which he absolutely nailed, before launching into a fun, choreography filled set for his current single “Beauty and The Beat,” featuring Nicki Minaj. If he would have worn a different outfit, I might have given him a “flawless victory.” Seriously, his style needs to be fired. Whatever the case, it was a performance well done.