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Today’s roundtable topic is the…
2016 AMAs Review
Historically, the AMAs are renown for being one of two types of ceremonies. The show that surprisingly upstages the others or one that pleasantly plods along with few reasons to remember after the credits roll.
Last night sat somewhere in the middle. With over 16 performers, the line-up was longer than needed and provide ample filler. However, the standouts, where present, shone brightly.
For yours truly, Bruno Mars was the evening’s MVP.
He’s hit many a platform plugging new single ‘24k Magic’ and its like-titled album. Yet, none of those showings come close to matching the level of slay he brought to the stage at the AMAs. Subtle but effective additions, such as increased dancers and a dynamite dance-break, helped elevate the song to new levels live.
In an era when the Usher’s and co a struggling to make a mark, Bruno proved that he is the premiere male performer of the current generation and is wholly deserving of said spot.
Lady Gaga was another personal highlight. Sure, I’ll always thirst for the eccentric, dance diva persona that made her the star she is. But in parallel to that is the understanding that sometimes it’s important to strip-back so as to remind the masses of the talent at the core of the “character.” And Gaga did a great service to herself on that front with her rendition of ‘Million Reasons.’ It was simple, heartfelt, and most of all well-sung.
Elsewhere, Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj redeemed themselves from “that” questionable showing at the VMAs. The Caribbean-kissed theme complimented ’Side To Side’ handsomely and provided the right backdrop for them to blaze the stage – which they did. Particular kudos to Ari for keeping up with that choreography. Her voice has always been undeniable, but her stage presence has improved leaps and bounds over the years.
Other enjoyable showings came courtesy of Fifth Harmony and John Legend; although both could and would benefit from punching on to their next singles.
As for ”moments” the show didn’t really serve many – a reality that is somewhat problematic.
At a human level, I “felt” Selena Gomez’s impassioned speech about her rehab stint. But given how banally basic she is as an artist, it was impossible to invest in her narrative in any other way beyond that.
Also, was anyone else scratching their heads at how Prince nabbed Best Soundtrack? It’s great to see the late legend receiving his dues, but that was kinda odd. Still, salute to his sister Tyka for the dignified acceptance message.
All in all, a decent show. Just not one that producers of its rivals will lose any sleep over.
The show was great!
Though award specials no longer pack the excitement and talent levels they used to, I look forward to see what the likes of Gaga, Bruno Mars, Ariana Grande would dish up.
Quite interestingly, I left being most impressed by a well-rehearsed and insanely cohesive Fifth Harmony who killed their performance of ‘That’s My Girl’ and Green Day who, by way of their politically charged set and charisma, served as a reminder of Rock’s importance in pop culture.
Other highlights on the night were Kendrick Lamar‘s live union with Maroon 5 and the aforementioned Ariana who took to the stage with Nicki Minaj.
What I thought about that performance?
It was stronger than their VMA set on all fronts and saw Minaj show how electric she can be when she puts in those rehearsal hours. Its only problem? It may have been a little too much on the sexy side for the fans responsible for the PG friendly ‘Pink Friday’s success.
I’m hoping she tones things down on her own releases and performances.
That being said, the angles used during the performance did a great job at capturing its set and what both ladies and their dancers had to offer.
As a whole, this year’s ceremony felt well balanced, in terms of winners and quality performances.
Nothing in particular made me jump off my seat, but it’s always exciting to see Ariana and Nicki on stage together, their ‘Side To Side’ showing was definitely a step up from the VMAs which was a sweet disaster.
Fifth Harmony seem to have really grown as performers (especially Normani and Lauren), while and Lady Gaga delivered a beautiful and performance of ‘Million Reasons.’ I’d have personally preferred ‘A YO,’ but I guess if one song on ‘Joanne’ is gonna sell the album, it’s the one she performed. And what better place to appeal the heart and soul of America than the AMAs?
I’ve never been impressed by Justin Bieber’s proposition on stage and yesterday’s telecast of his concert did not help change my mind; detached, pitchy, and altogether lifeless.
As much as I enjoy Bruno Mars’ ‘24K Magic,’ I can’t help but think that it’s not strong enough to be “the” lead single from its LP. As the biggest male popstar of the past few years, he should have detonated something BIGGER than this track and all I could think of was that his amazing opening slot would have been even better with a better song.
The Chainsmokers and Halsey displayed once again amazing chemistry and ‘Closer’ is just the epitome of a hit; so I had a sweet time watching them. Elsewhere, John Legend can never do any wrong with that voice.
Otherwise, The Weeknd was a bore (as always), and I don’t especially care for Shawn Mendes nor Niall Horan.
As far as actual awards are concerned, it looks the rationing was fair. It felt like “everybody” got at least one, which makes for an appeasing watch. I must say I was surprised by Ariana nabbing Artist Of The Year as neither ‘Dangerous Woman’ or its singles have had a significant impact this year. Or have they?
Overall a very entertaining show, with solid performances which in the end weren’t overshadowed by the scandals or controversies that plague rival shows like the VMAs and the Grammys.
Yesterday night seemed to be all about the music, and I find this refreshing, ironically.
Do you agree with our points? Who was spot on? Let us know your thoughts on the latest TGJ Roundtable and 2016 AMAs!