Katy “turned” Japanese. Gaga was Marilyn Monroe. Rihanna had a moment with her mom. Miley performed with a lip-syncing cat. And the important thing about the American Music Awards this year? Nobody twerked. After taking in all the showy performances and the list of winners from the 41st installment of this particular dog and pony act, we scrounged the Internet to see what critics were saying about the whole spectacle. Head below for our roundup of the blathering.
:: CNN states, “Sunday night’s American Music Awards seemed much tamer than many of the other awards shows lately, despite having the promise of host rapper Pitbull to ABC that ‘I hope you got that delay button ready; we’re going to have a lot of fun’.”
:: The New York Daily News writes, “Lady Gaga staged her song with R. Kelly, ‘Do What U Want,’ as a cheeky homage to Marilyn Monroe’s famous performance of ‘Happy Birthday’ for John F. Kennedy. Here, Gaga played a Marilyn figure, bumping and grinding for Kelly as an improbable Prez. The timing of the performance, two days after the 50th anniversary of JFK’s slaying, was in questionable taste.”
:: The Los Angeles Times was underwhelmed, but felt one highlight was Miley Cyrus and her kitty: “In the days before the American Music Awards, she and the show’s organizers used social media to tease something even more outrageous. On Sunday, though, the joke was on viewers as Cyrus performed her power ballad ‘Wrecking Ball’ in front of a willfully amateurish image of a cat mouthing the tune’s anguished lyrics. The stunt blunted the impact of the song, one of the most emotionally potent of 2013. But in its thrilling perversity, it did what an awards-show appearance must these days: It gave us something to remember. At least for a few days, anyway.”
:: Not to be outdone in the controversy department, Fox points this out about Katy Perry’s performance: “Perry wore a traditional Japanese dress during her show-starting performance of ‘Unconditionally; as scores of colorfully clad dancers waved fans, danced in front of rice-paper screens and played the drums… But not all AMA viewers appreciated Perry’s efforts. Only moments after her performance began, some took to Twitter, charging that the pop star’s stage costume was racist.”
:: Psychology Today added, “If you don’t think Katy Perry was racist – let me ask you, what if she had performed in blackface? Perhaps a costume isn’t the same as changing skin color to you, but it is agonizingly close for me – I remember Mickey Rooney in buckteeth for his role as Mr. Yunioshi in Breakfast At Tiffany’s; Jonathan Pryce in Yellowface in Miss Saigon; Gwen Stefani in her Harajuku phase.”
:: Fuse raved about Christina Aguilera’s pair-up with A Great Big World on stage: “As a coach on The Voice, it’s no secret Christina Aguilera has an ear for talent. So even if you hadn’t heard of indie duo A Great Big World before the AMAs, you shouldn’t have been surprised how flawless their ‘Say Something’ duet with Xtina was. It was a heartfelt moment of unadorned, expertly-executed vocal power.”
:: Time quipped, “Justin Timberlake took the title for Favorite Pop/Rock Singer from a field that included only Bruno Mars and Robin Thicke. It was the musical equivalent of saying that out of rice cakes, rice and a chocolate ice cream sundae, you prefer the ice cream.”
:: USA Today also pointed out the merits of JT: “Picking up a total of three awards (equaling the night’s other big winner, Taylor Swift), JT proved that he’s not only one of the most lauded artists today, but among the most likable, too. Walking up to the stage to pick up his second trophy of the night, Justin stopped by Taylor’s seat so they could share an OMG moment, adorably poking fun at Taylor’s many surprised awards-show faces.”
:: SPIN doesn’t put too much stock in who won which trophies: “…Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, who were the ceremony’s most-nominated act with a total of six nods, picked up two awards, Favorite Artist — Rap/Hip-Hop and Favorite Album — Rap/Hip-Hop, for The Heist. This is where we remind you that the AMAs are voted on by the public, and thus, little more than a popularity contest. Most upsetting though, is the fact that Florida Georgia Line won Single of the Year for their Nelly-featuring hit ‘Cruise,’ beating out Robin Thicke’s summer-defining ‘Blurred Lines’.”
Miley Cyrus interviewed by sister Brandi at the AMAs:
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