The 42nd American Music Awards at Los Angeles’ Nokia Theatre brought out some of the best, worst, and weirdest performances of the year — as well as the latest crop of teen pop, a few doses of punk attitude and even more reasons for us to love Taylor Swift. Many awards were given out to deserving and hard-working artists, but here are some of the best moments you missed from Monday night:
Taylor Swift Shows America Her Crazy and Makes History
Her newest single “Blank Space” came to life on the AMAs stage Monday, when Swift performed the song with great attention to every detail of the song’s lyrics. In addition to partially bringing the song’s video to life, she lit a rose on fire with her hand and used her power to blow a man off the stage (creating more fire). In the end, she opened a red door — with a claw-mark on it — to reveal the perfect mystery date who has no idea what he’s in for. Later on in the night, Swift became the first artist ever to receive the Dick Clark Award for Excellence, an honor bestowed upon her because of her record-breaking album sales and the intense bond she has with her fans. Presenter, Diana Ross called Swift “a true superstar” before presenting the “Shake It Off” singer with the inaugural award.
Iggy Azalea Wins Her First Music Award
The Australian native won the two AMA for favorite rap/hip-hop album and best rap artist on Monday night. Azalea and her debut studio album The New Classic, beat industry veterans Eminem and Drake to take both hip-hop categories at the awards ceremony In a short but emotional speech, the 24-year-old artist said it was the first time in her life she had been awarded a prize. You go, girl!
Selena Gomez Sings Her Heart Out
Selena took the stage and performed her hit new single “The Heart Wants What It Wants” for the first time and absolutely blew me away. During the bridge of the song angel wings popped up on the screen behind Selena which couldn’t have been more perfect for her beautiful performance. However, the real tearjerker came at the very end of the performance when her own eyes started welling up from the raw emotion she put into her performance, which caused everyone in the audience to share some waterworks. This was without a doubt Selena’s best performance yet, and definitely her darkest.
Lorde and her Eccentric Dance Moves
One of the only performers who didn’t shake their booty on stage was Lorde. Instead, she performed a ferocious, and somewhat frightening, version of her song “Yellow Flicker Beat” which appears on the latest installment of “The Hunger Games” soundtrack. After starting her song in the dark, viewers soon found themselves trapped in a cell-like room with Lorde as she frantically thrashed around. If we didn’t that was enough, she ended things by angrily smearing her lipstick across her cheek.
Nicki Minaj, Jessie J and Ariana Grande Perform with a Bang
The trio of Jesse, Ariana and Nicki brought a diva-filled, gold-studded, and vocally flawless performance to the Nokia stage. From Jessie J strutting through the crowd to Grande digging in and moving her hips around the stage, and then Minaj came onstage firing, pushing this over the top with her known cadence. Jessie J (a truly underrated artist) brought out her best vocals with the song’s climax line, ‘you need a good girl to blow your mind’. But honestly, this one stood out thanks to the combined efforts of all three women and their powerhouse vocals.
Iggy and J.Lo Close Out the Show with Some Booty
When I saw that these two women would be performing together, I prayed that Iggy would be able to keep up with Miss Jenny From the Block. While Lopez certainly played nice with Iggy, it was clear that this was her performance. When she and Azalea did share the stage, it was still clear who was in charge. Then, just to further cement her status, Lopez closed the show solo, strutting and shaking her way across the stage before backing it up into Pitbull to send the show home.
The 2014 AMAs did not disappoint and these moments will continue to be talked about for a little while to come. Congratulations to all the award winners from the night!
By Rupal Mehta