An American Music Awards Medley


Tonight ABC aired a live episode of “My Super Sweet Sixteen” starring birthday girl Miley Cyrus, her teeny-bopper friends and over a dozen musical performances. Oh wait, I just realized this was actually the 2008 American Music Awards. I was confused. When I saw The Jonas Brothers, Taylor Swift, Ashley Tisdale, Jesse McCartney, and Demi Lovato it just looked like a Disney Channel party.

Actually the whole night was one big hodgepodge of stuff. It started with the pre-show red carpet coverage hosted by Chris Harrison of The Bachelor/ette shows and Carrie Ann Inaba from Dancing With The Stars. It is weird to see the reality show people mixed in with the music scene. They tried this with the Oscars and it did not seem to work. So I am not sure why Chris Harrison was chosen to host this event. I suppose they have him on contract until the next season of The Bachelor (which, by the way, is actually happening even though I cannot believe they still find people who want to be on that show. Doesn’t anyone see that the real romance develops during the intense rehearsal schedule for Dancing with the Stars??).

Adding to the reality show cast of characters was Christian Siriano (from Project Runway), who was on hand to assess the fashion choices of the evening. And Nicole Scherzinger (of Pussycat Dolls fame) was an additional red carpet interviewer for ABC. She was sure to make every interview somehow be about her. My favorite quote from Nicole was addressed to Miley Cyrus. She said, “You’re such a freakin’ star. I freakin’ adore you.” They wear earpieces for this?

It was a “this means a lot to me because it comes from the fans” kind of awards show since winners were determined through online voting. Most of the three-hour broadcast was dedicated to elaborate staged performances featuring 19 different musical acts. Unfortunately, the performances seemed a bit off in terms of the audio. In many of the performances, the vocals seemed to be overpowered by the instruments. And it appeared as though many performers weren’t quite sure what they sounded like, or even if their voice was making any sound at all. Mariah Carey seemed uncomfortable and kept touching her ear piece. The Fray sounded kind of like a mess. I had to play their song “Over My Head” immediately just to cleanse my ears.

Taylor Swift had a good performance, as did Leona Lewis and Ne-Yo. My favorite of the night was Pink’s performance of “Sober”:

You can count on awards show for two things: song medleys and duets. Christina Aguilera kicked off the show with seven songs in seven minutes. It wasn’t too impressive, as it felt more like she was taking part in some sort of race. The performance had quick wardrobe changes, multiple dance numbers, and a “which song are we on now?” feeling. She’s a good singer, but this medley seemed rushed.

Towards the end of the night, Sarah McLachlan took the stage to play her song “Angel”. I wondered why she was on the show, but then Pink joined her and made some sense out of it. Next, Alicia Keys was joined by Queen Latifah and opera singer Kathleen Battle for “Superwoman.”

Some other things:

Colbie Caillat wore a dress made of fresh flowers. It’s a novel idea, but it just looked like she was wearing a dress made of AstroTurf. That would hurt.


Colbie Caillat at the 2008 American Music Awards (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for AMA)

I didn’t see much of Beyonce, and I wondered if she was even there. But two hours into the show she unleashed her Sasha Fierce on the AMA audience, performing “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It).” Great choreography, but damn, that song’s going to be stuck in my head all night.

Rihanna was named the Favorite Female Artist in both the Pop/Rock and Soul/R&B categories. Chris Brown was named the Favorite Male Artist in the same two categories. But when each stood up, there was no hugging or congratulating each other. So they seem very committed to keeping their relationship under wraps. But it was weird since they were sitting right next to each other. You always see the winner and turn to hug someone. Even if it is a seat-filler.

Congrats to Rihanna for winning, but she seemed to be wearing a tablecloth.

Rihanna accepts an award at the American Music Awards in Los Angeles on Sunday, Nov. 23, 2008. (AP / Matt Sayles)

Rihanna accepts an award at the American Music Awards in Los Angeles on Sunday, Nov. 23, 2008. (AP / Matt Sayles)

The Jonas Brothers: They were cute. Thanks to the Purity Rings I don’t think they will end up like the Hanson brothers, who have six children among them (well, almost seven—Taylor, 25, will welcome baby number four next month(!).

NKOTB: They tried unsuccessfully to recapture the old days. Joey and Donnie were really into it, but I’m sorry, Jon just cannot convince me that he’s buying their whole act.

Scott Weiland: He had a lot of trouble introducing Pink. It seemed painfully hard for him to string the words together.

I miss OutKast. The show could have used a good “Hey Ya!”

Kanye West ended his acceptance speech with: “I want to be Elvis.”

Prediction: Rihanna will bring back the eye patch (a bejeweled one, of course).



One Response to “An American Music Awards Medley”

  1. Taylor is such a amazing performer. I listen to all of her songs.

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