After being announced as the artist of the year winners for the second straight year, the 1D boys came together to thank their fans for voting… but not before taking a second to embrace each other. Watching Niall, Harry, Louis and Liam hug it out ahead of their big win and upcoming hiatus was a short but tender moment in the boy band’s history.
One of the more meme-able moments of the AMAs was Nicki Minaj’s unhappy expression being caught on camera as Jennifer Lopez danced to “Anaconda” during her opening medley. We get it, she made a weird face… but sometimes, people make weird faces! Let’s all join hands and move on together.
Hosting a major awards ceremony typically calls for a splashy opening sequence and a night of passing along the show to other presenters and performers. Therefore, your opening sequence needs to really count in order to stand out from the dime-a-dozen hosts. Fortunately for us, Jennifer Lopez gave the people what we didn’t know we wanted: all of our favorite hits, combined with stellar choreography and reaction shots of artists in the crowd. What better way to start a pop music awards program than with… a lot of pop music? Thanks, J. Lo!
The decision to have Pentatonix give John Williams’ classic Star Wars score an a cappella revamp was inspired, but did we really need the exclusive reveal of some film footage, too? The combination made the AMAs sequence smell like cheap advertising, and if there’s one movie that doesn’t need cheap advertising, it’s the new Star Wars.
A tribute to the victims of the Nov. 13 terror attacks in Paris was a classy move by the AMAs, but Celine Dion’s performance of "Hymne à L'amour" was fat more than just “classy.” Following an impassioned introduction by Jared Leto, Dion once again demonstrated why her voice is one of the best in the business, and the stunning performance was easily one of the strongest of the evening.
The opening montage of the AMAs promised a can’t-miss Clueless reunion 20 years after the iconic comedy was released. Instead we got… Alicia Silverstone and Jeremy Sisto presenting a performance. Neat, but definitely not worthy of any type of extended hype.
Everyone knows that the actual awards come second to the performances at the AMAs, but… whoa, we really did not see rising country star Sam Hunt topping artists like the Weeknd and Fetty Wap for the fan-voted new artist of the year. The win caused lots of non-country-savvy parents to text their children “Who’s this Sam Hunt guy?,” but Hunt is clearly shaping up to be a best new artist frontrunner at the Grammys in February.
Award shows like the AMAs tend to skip over the presentation of awards to artists who are not in attendance, but, come on, not even announcing Song of the Year because its winner, Taylor Swift, wasn’t in the house? Dear the few people actually paying attention to the awards: It was clear that the AMAs were shrugging you off.
After last year’s morose Ghost Stories, Coldplay’s next album is looking like a wacky adventure for the U.K. stalwarts. Their AMAs performance certainly was goofy enough, with dancers dressed as gorillas and Chris Martin freaking out in front of a spectacular light show. Coldplay is becoming our weird uncle who dances a little too hard at wedding receptions, and we couldn’t be happier.
Alanis Morissette and Demi Lovato combining for the former’s “You Oughta Know” was an awesome idea, but the mix was way off and both fierce females could barely be hard over the instrumentation. One of the most anticipated performances of the evening quickly became one of the most frustrating.