accessAtlanta

City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP
City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP

Some highs and lows from the AMAs

Dick Clark's presence will always be felt at the AMAs. All photos: Getty Images

Dick Clark's presence will always be felt at the AMAs. All photos: Getty Images

The big moment at the 40th anniversary of the American Music Awards wasn’t when Justin Bieber won his third award of the night, making him the top winner, or when David Guetta won the inaugural Favorite Artist Electronic Dance Music Award and gleefully accepted via video from Brazil, where he is on tour.

What was your favorite moment of the AMAs?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...
No, a highlight for those of us who have watched the AMAs throughout the year was Stevie Wonder’s tribute to Dick Clark, the man who created the awards show, became a bonafide media icon and, as we certainly know, a hero to Ryan Seacrest, who introduced Wonder’s performance.

While it wasn’t an elaborate homage, it was, appropriately, focused on music. Wonder spoke briefly of meeting Clark as a 13-year-old musician, praised his “kindness, his love for music and love for people” and, as photos of Clark scrolled behind him, broke into “Master Blaster (Jammin’),” “My Cherie Amour (Clark’s wife, Kari, was in the audience and watched as photos of the couple were displayed) and “Sir Duke.”

It wasn’t maudlin by any means, but still induced some misty eyes.

As for the rest of the show, here are some high and lowlights.

lukeHappiest winner: Leesburg’s Luke Bryan nabbed his first-ever AMA for Favorite Country Music Male Artist (beating Eric Church and fellow Georgian Jason Aldean) and you would have thought he won the Powerball jackpot given his reaction. He high-fived and hugged the Lady Antebellum guys (the band presented the award), thanked his wife for letting him be “a big kid” while on the road and profusely thanked his fans, noting he’s always been “really, really lucky with fan-voted awards.”

NickiSourpuss winner: Nicki Minaj turned up her Fran Drescher-like honk both times she stumbled her way to the stage (seriously, if you can’t walk in your clothes, get a new look) and seemed irritated that she had to get out of her seat to traipse up there. She, did, however, thank her Atlanta-based hairdresser during her acceptance speech for Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Album.

BieberSweetest acceptance speech: Justin Bieber, who, on his third trip to the winner’s circle to accept his Artist of the Year honors, not only brought his mom, Pattie Mallette, with him, but seemed genuinely at a loss for words before coming up with something heartfelt: “It’s hard growing up with everything going on, everyone watching me. [But] as long as you guys keep believing in me, I will always make you proud.”

Best Performances:

pinkPink, “Try”: Streaked with paint and demonstrating exceptional athletic ability, Pink not only sang the wrenching ballad from deep in her gut (no Auto-Tune here, kids), but also shattered glass, sidestepped fire and flung around a guy who looked as if he just burst out of his Hulk clothes. So looking forward to her Philips Arena date in March.

Kelly Clarkson, medley: Starting with an amusing takeoff of the “American Idol” set, the show’s inaugural winner proved, once and for all, that she’s her own superstar now. Belting a medley of “Miss Independent,” “Since U Been Gone” and “Stronger,” Clarkson ended with “Catch My Breath” from her new hits collection. Yep, you no longer need the “Idol” association when you’ve got your own set of greatest hits.

Taylor Swift, “I Knew You Were Trouble”: It was difficult to tell how much help Swift had on her lead vocals – backing tracks weren’t obvious – but she looked and sounded terrific. A stealth pop song combined with a slick onstage costume change and a set of staircases and chandeliers worthy of a “Phantom of the Opera” staging provided the song with a grand backdrop.

NoDoubtNo Doubt, “Looking Hot”: I want to look like Gwen Stefani when I grow up. I guess I should have started by putting down the packet of cheese I was eating while watching her perform.

Pitbull, “Don’t Stop the Party”: The guy always looks snazzy and no matter where he performs, his Latin rap electrifies a room. If only the people in the crowd waving those lighted sticks had a fraction of his rhythm.

Worst performances:

ChrisSwizz Beatz, Ludacris and Chris Brown, “Everyday Birthday”: A bunch of yelling, jumping, lip-syncing and a shirtless Chris Brown. Is there something to enjoy here? At least Luda was classy enough to keep his clothes on.

Christina Aguilera, “Army of Me”: Nope, not gonna pick on Aguilera’s hideous outfit – though as colleague Rodney Ho commented, she still thinks its 12 years and five dress sizes ago. That’s hard to disagree with, but I’ll never chastise a girl for having curves. However, I will call out a singer with Aguilera’s pipes for using Auto-Tune and otherwise sounding like a raggedy mess during her performance.

ChristinaKesha, “Die Young”: Kesha is always an amusing train wreck, but what was that Tarzan-Cleopatra look she had going on? Was I the only one reminded of Brittany’s performance of “Walk the Dinosaur” on last season’s “Glee” finale?

Carrie Underwood, “Two Black Cadillacs”: I adore Underwood. She’s beautiful and humble and has a knack for choosing great songs that fit her powerhouse voice. But between Sunday’s performance and her screechy presentation at the CMAs earlier this month, she’s developed a troubling pitch issue on these award shows.

Best? Worst? I Have No Idea

Psy with MC Hammer, “Gangnam Style”: I am so over the Korean wunderkind and his aughts version of the “Macarena.” And I so wanted to hate his performance, even though, having seen him perform the song in a live YouTube clip, know how ridiculously fun it can be. But then those AMA producers had to throw MC Hammer and a “2 Legit to Quit” mashup into the mix and suddenly I went from snarling to swooning. Yep, you got me, Psy. I think Dick Clark was watching over this one.

What were some of your best and worst moments from the show? Also, here is a complete list of winners.

Follow me on Twitter and Facebook.

By Melissa Ruggieri, Atlanta Music Scene

26 comments Add your comment

Fred ™

November 19th, 2012
1:14 am

Enter your comments here

Fred ™

November 19th, 2012
1:15 am

I hate when that happens. (above I mean) One might as well wear a sign.

I’m trying to keep the blog blogging lol, but no one else is helping………

[...] BieberCBS NewsBieber sweeps American Music Awards with big winsReutersThe Seattle Times -Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) -San Francisco Chronicleall 1,531 news [...]

[...] 2012: A big night for Justin BieberCBS NewsBieber sweeps American Music Awards with big winsReutersSome highs and lows from the AMAsAtlanta Journal Constitution (blog)The Seattle Times -San Francisco Chronicle -Houston [...]

[...] provide plenty of popLos Angeles TimesBieber sweeps American Music Awards with big winsReutersSome highs and lows from the AMAsAtlanta Journal Constitution (blog)The Seattle Times -San Francisco Chronicle -Houston [...]

[...] dominates at American Music AwardsUSA TODAYBieber sweeps American Music Awards with big winsReutersAtlanta Journal Constitution (blog) -The Seattle Times -San Francisco Chronicleall 1,628 news articles » This [...]

[...] provide plenty of popLos Angeles TimesBieber sweeps American Music Awards with big winsReutersSome highs and lows from the AMAsAtlanta Journal Constitution (blog)The Seattle Times -San Francisco Chronicle -Houston [...]

[...] provide plenty of popLos Angeles TimesBieber sweeps American Music Awards with big winsReutersSome highs and lows from the AMAsAtlanta Journal Constitution (blog)The Seattle Times -San Francisco Chronicle -Idolator: [...]

[...] provide plenty of popLos Angeles TimesBieber sweeps American Music Awards with big winsReutersSome highs and lows from the AMAsAtlanta Journal Constitution (blog)The Seattle Times -San Francisco Chronicle -WFJA [...]

[...] dominates at American Music AwardsUSA TODAYBieber sweeps American Music Awards with big winsReutersAtlanta Journal Constitution (blog) -WFJA Classic Hits and Oldies 105.5 FM -San Francisco Chronicleall 1,675 news [...]

[...] dominates at American Music AwardsUSA TODAYBieber sweeps American Music Awards with big winsReutersSome highs and lows from the AMAsAtlanta Journal Constitution (blog)WFJA Classic Hits and Oldies 105.5 FM -San Francisco [...]

[...] sweeps American Music Awards with big winsReutersAceShowbiz -San Francisco Chronicle -Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog)all 1,686 news articles » Filed Under: Google News Top Stories Tagged With: Top [...]

[...] sweeps American Music Awards with big winsReutersAceShowbiz -San Francisco Chronicle -Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog)all 1,688 news [...]

Lisa

November 19th, 2012
7:40 am

Where are Chris Brown PR people. If he going to make it he needs to clean up his act. He so much wants to fit in with crowd(NOT WHAT I really want to say)..clean it up and get back on top.your loosening time and nobody going to keep supporting someone that needs to mature and fast. We love you but DANG…grow up already. Stop living below your potental.

Renee

November 19th, 2012
7:57 am

Melissa,
That guy looking like he burst out of his hulk clothing who performed with Pink is from Atlanta. His name is Colt Prattes.

Joanne

November 19th, 2012
9:51 am

I thought Kesha looked and sounded great. Definitely one of the better and more creative performances of the night. She knows how to entertain.

thom6799

November 19th, 2012
9:59 am

I totally agree with your all of your bests & worsts Melissa!! Pink was amazing! Very smart to throw Hammer in with Psy at the end, they had me then also!!

Shocked

November 19th, 2012
10:08 am

The worst awards show of all time. Since when is voiceover tracks, lip syncing and obnoxious dance troups the award winners. As I recall, Milli Vanilli lost their awards for the same thing, maybe they were ahead of their time. AMAs should be embarrassed by the lack of talent displayed. In the end, it was a teenie bopper show with the popular vote……Pathetic.

Melissa Ruggieri

November 19th, 2012
10:54 am

Renee – Is he really? Very cool. Great gig for him, since a lot of people are talking about that performance today!
Thanks for the heads up!

Cheers,
Melissa

david c

November 19th, 2012
11:01 am

I’m with Shocked. Now I don’t have to point out how bad this show and the music it celebrates is. oops. I just did.

david c

November 19th, 2012
11:14 am

And if Dick Clark was watching over PSY and Hammer, it was with head in hand,stifling a smirk. How much did they pay the audience to dance, or are they really that vapid?

JP

November 19th, 2012
11:21 am

The Hulk that was dancing with Pink is none other than Marietta native, Colt Prattes! Go Colt you were awesome too!

steve

November 19th, 2012
12:21 pm

I am just wondering when all these stars especially justin beiber realizes their look with their pants hanging below their waste is a trend that started in a prison to show your acceptance to having sex with another man. The lower you wore your pants the more you were willing to do. So when you look at all these people with their pants down low just sit back and give a snicker and know they like taking it in the rear.

steve

November 19th, 2012
12:24 pm

Oh my i forgot all about the justin beiber lip syncing . Go milli vanilli err i mean justin beiber!!!

kt

November 19th, 2012
2:00 pm

Milli Vanilli lost their awards bc they were imposters from the start, they NEVER used their own voices, even in recording the album. They were found out on an award show when they messed up their lip syncing. ;)

Patrick

November 19th, 2012
4:38 pm

Just watched the entire video–IT IS AWESOME!!

Thanks!