As expected, for those of you who missed it (and those who just want to reflect), here are the five most memorable moments of the 2013 American Music Awards.
In no particular order:
1. Ariana Grande Slays the Basics | After One Direction gave such as disappointingly subpar performance of their hit Story Of My Life, someone had to remind the nation what raw talent sounds like. Who better for the job than “The Next Mariah Carey.” Although many see her simply as another kid actress trying to breakout onto the music scene (like Demi Lovato, Selena Gomez, and Miley: Queen of Twerk), Ariana Grande proved that she cannot and will not be overlooked. In a classy 50s manner, she sang acapella accompanied mostly by the backing vocals of a dancing quartet. Her performance of Tattooed Heart was filled with runs and riffs as she flawlessly belted out a slow love song that made even the Great Gaga give her a standing ovation.
2. Is that Ke$ha or Miley? | We can always rely on Ke$ha to give us a not-so-nice, kinda sleazy performance if we ever need it. Usually, however, her performances are coated in her weird garbage-can chic style but this time, as she performed Timber alongside host Pitbull, she didn’t seem anything like herself. Her hair was not greasy and oily looking but instead she rocked long, straight locks that infused her light blonde hair with pastel blues and pinks. In addition, she wore short bedazzled shorts and cowgirl boots that coincided with the theme of the song but honestly made her look nothing like her usual self. Lastly, all throughout the performance she kept awkwardly shaking and rolling and grinding on Pitbull which seriously resembled the uncomfortable way Miley danced on Robin Thicke. Artists spend so much time establishing a look and sound for themselves that fans will recognize but tonight it seems like Ke$ha threw that all away to be more like Miley and get a little more attention. Or maybe she was just high.
3. Rih-Rih goes iconic | Every awards show usually has an award that acknowledges a certain artist for being beyond spectacular but, until this year, the AMAs did not. So, they instated the Icon Award to be given to the most record-breaking, influential artist of the year and to kick-start it, they honored Rihanna for being the most watched on Youtube and for having the most Vevo certified videos. Here comes the memorable part. After watching a special congratulatory recording from Jay-Z, Rihanna received the actual award from her mother. The proud Barbadian mom beamed and smiled admirably at her daughter as she delivered a heartwarming, genuine speech to her without reading along to any TelePrompTer and afterwards, Rihanna delivered the same to the audience. The moment was so darn cute that Justin Timberlake even referenced it later on in his thank-you speech. Her performance prior to all of this was pretty fantastic, as well.
4. Justin Timberlake keeps it fresh | Being one of the most anticipated acts of the night, by fans as well as by his fellow celebrities, the pressure was on for Justin Timberlake to top his best performances. Like always, he did not disappoint. Rather than performing one of his endless number one pop hits, JT decided to do one of his less known tunes with the “Tennessee Kids.” He gave a very blues-y southern sounding performance of Drink You Away as he strummed along on his guitar. With a crowd of people dancing along with him onstage, JT livened the audience up with his soulful voice as he crooned about drinking his sorrows away.
5: Gaga played by the Prez | Leave it to Lady Gaga to give the most theatrical, unexpected performance of the night. The scene opened up with her playing the secretary to President R. Kelly and it is soon revealed that the two are having an interracial affair (Scandalous) . In the end, Gaga offers Kellz her all but he denies any affiliation with her character to save his reputation. However, the performance was meant to be taken deeper than that as images reading “Lady Gaga is Fat” and “Lady Gaga is Over” are flashed in the background. While the lyrics repeat “Do what you want with my body” and “Do what you want with me”, she keeps a theme that she has expressed for years of her being a product of her fame and vulnerable to society. I give her props for having a performance with substance while still managing to be quite entertaining.
One last unofficial thing to check out if you missed it is Ariana Grande’s crazed acceptance speech. Definitely a good laugh.
That’s all you really need to know about this year’s AMAs.