The American Music Awards are basically the poor man’s poor man Grammy Awards — worse than the Billboard Awards but arguably better than the People’s Choice Awards. If you missed the festivities, because you were traveling for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, or watching “The Walking Dead” or football, or clipping your toenails, NOT TO WORRY — I watched and will recap every single moment I remember (after four hours of sleep and some lukewarm coffee) in GIFs and video clips! Check it, after the jump…
The red carpet arrivals were really pretty boring. I did enjoy this random candid Katy Perry moment. Watch out!
Then Lady Gaga arrived on a horse (of course). Her makeup was so understated!
Miley Cyrus showed up at the last minute, all Annie Lennox-ed out in a white pantsuit and bare makeup, and gave her only interview to her sister Brandi, who was representing SpinMedia on the red carpet. Let’s listen to the Cyrus gals gab!
Here’s everyone who walked the red carpet. I was relatively unimpressed with most of the ensembles. Sniff.
Anyway, on to the awards! Katy Perry opened the show, performing “Unconditionally” while dressed as a geisha. Katy was surrounded by other geishas, some of them flying around, and it really made me wonder whether she’s paid attention to all the talk surrounding cultural appropriation lately. Nah, probably too busy being Sexual Napalm 2.0 for John Mayer. The presenters started giving out awards, although it was really unclear how the winners were determined. The fans? Album sales? Digital downloads? Whoever the PR team could get to show up? The long and short of it is that Taylor Swift won basically every award she was nominated for, which was basically every goddamn category. But Taylor was at her most excited when Justin Timberlake won an award and he got in her face on the way to the stage and she totally fan girled out. Justin was like…
And Taylor was all…
Not to keep going on and on about Taylor Swift, but no award show recap would be complete without some requisite Swifty dancing GIFs. Here she is getting down to the HORRIBLE band Imagine Dragons.
And she was really into Luke Bryan too. I don’t blame her. He’s hot.
But she went for a slower, sexier vibe when grooving to Kendrick Lamar during his performance of “Swimming Pools.”
This GIF will be used in the future to evoke a feeling of secondhand embarrassment. But who can blame Tay for being in the moment? Kendrick was amazing!
Alright, so what about the other winners? Macklemore took home Best Rap/Hip-Hop Album, which made me feel some type of way, and he took the opportunity to pay tribute to Trayvon Martin and make a statement against racial profiling, because of course he did, he’s Macklemore.
“Due to the fact that we are in Florida tonight accepting this award I want to acknowledge Trayvon Martin and the hundreds and hundreds of kids each year that are dying due to racial profiling and the violence that follows it. This is really happening. These are our friends, our neighbors, our peers and our fans, and it’s time that we look out for the youth and fight against racism and the laws that protect it.”
Macklemore was also one of the performers, but I don’t want to talk about him. I want to talk about Rihanna, who was given the Icon Award and performed “Diamonds” rocking her hair in what’s called a “Dominican doobie wrap.” I thought it was fierce.
Can we take a moment to focus on the growl face Ri is giving? Grr.
Okay what else? This was the first time I heard rising pop star Ariana Grande sing. At first I was like, “I think my life will be fine if I never know who Ariana Grande is” but then I heard her sing and I realized I’ve been missing out.
I felt 100000 percent sure I would hate this country-EDM crossover shit, but you guys, “Timber,” featuring AMAs host Pitbull and Ke$ha is the catchiest shit I ever did hear.
I was also completely obsessed with Christina Aguilera’s glorious and glowing performance of “Say Something.” First of all, she looks BANANAS amazing. Possibly her best ever. Less in more, Xtina! Who’s that nerd with her, though? No idea.
Jennifer Lopez did a tribute to Celia Cruz and I know what you’re thinking — THIS IS GOING TO BE A DISASTER because J. Lo can’t even sing. But she totally pulled it off!
Like, look at J. Lo go!
Even JT was like…
Depending on who you ask, Justin Timberlake’s choice to perform a throwaway vaguely countryish track from The 20/20 Experience Pt. 2 was either genius or a ridiculous. I enjoyed it, but I am ready for JT to lose the flatiron and bring his corkscrews and sexy back.
The saddest moment of the show was when the surviving members of TLC came out to perform “Waterfalls,” with Lil Mama standing in for Left Eye. Despite playing her in the VH1 movie, Lil Mama still hasn’t memorized Left Eye’s verse. My timeline blew up with people claiming they knew the lyrics better. And I believe them, because I do too!
But for real though, I basically was only sitting through hours upon hours of this shit for two reason. Lady Gaga and R. Kelly. Their performance was a perfectly timed tribute of sorts to JFK (50 year anniversary of his death, whut up) and Marilyn Monroe, with Gaga as Marilyn and Kells as JFK (with a golden shower fetish?). It was great and all, but can someone explain to me why they thought it would be a good idea to show childhood photos of Gaga on the screen during this song, with these lyrics, and this guy’s HISTORY with underage girls?
Last but certainly not least, Miley Cyrus closed out the show with “Wrecking Ball,” wearing a kitten-covered two-piece leotard thingy and enough lucite jewelry to make a Philippe Starck “Ghost” chair. (Furniture design joke, hollllla!) Miley basically trolled Buzzfeed with her stage setup. The crying, singing, winking kitten either confused or delighted you, depending on how you feel about crying, singing, winking kittens.
And that concludes my American Music Awards recap. I leave you with Miley’s crying kitten.
Yeah, AMAs, you wrecked us all.