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Today’s roundtable topic asks each anchor their thoughts on the…
The AMAs were holistically nothing to write home about, but provided enough spike moments to satisfy. Somewhat.
Undoubtedly the night’s talking point was Christina Aguilera and her ‘Bodyguard’ 25 tribute to Whitney Houston.
When placed in context (see: the fact Whitney’s voice was otherworldly, alien even), it’s easier to both receive and respect what Xtina offered. She delivered power, range, and control (for the most part). The latter of which had me super anxious pre her taking to the stage.
While on the topic of the sentiment before and after her performance, it honestly felt as though some on social media were literally waiting to roast her – regardless of how good she sounded. Almost as if “how dare”…”she” honour Whitney. Sure, there’s a broader conversation to be had about how and who producers pick to perform. But the reality is that Christina is wholly capable – and is one of few singers-singers left. So why the slander? If anything, I’m more aggrieved by what she – as an already beautiful woman – has done to her lips. But even that doesn’t take away from the vocals that came out of them.
In any case, her team clearly have their work cutout for them ahead of her chart return to steer her likability in a favourable direction.
Elsewhere, Diana Ross proved why she is more than deserving of the Lifetime Achievement honour. Beyond boasting a catalogue of classics, she delivered them live in dynamite fashion. At 73 her voice is still crystalline and she easily out-sung acts a fraction of her age. Legend!
Similarly Pop’s most daring diva Pink cemented her vocal supremacy by singing live while performing airborne on the side of a building. Not to harp on about age, but at 38 she’s not only upping her levels, she’s pushing the creative envelope for all. I enjoyed her showing with Kelly Clarkson too.
The rest of the show skewed a little “meh.”
I wanted to love Lady Gaga’s performance, but found myself more in-love with the sheer audacity of her performing a song that deserved such promo way back in April. Like, girl really? Still, I commend her commitment, considering that she could have Skyped in the tour rendition, but instead cultivated something new. That said, I personally couldn’t get past the sloppy choreography. And still don’t know how much of that is down to the moves or how she was executing them. I suspect it was a little of both. Her awkwardness is almost trademark now and usually works, but last night it did not.
The likes of Selena Gomez, Shawn Mendes, and co were a ball of blah.
In the grand scheme of shows, the AMAs was by no means the worst, yet didn’t do enough to warrant much discussion beyond today.
Last night was awesome.
Sure, though there were some vocal mishaps/ moments it could have done without, but the show went a long way to showcase some of the industry’s best and brightest.
From its welcoming of K-Pop with BTS to Demi Lovato‘s bold anti-bullying performance, the show ticked a number of boxes I hope see it soar as far as ratings go.
Pink’s spectacular performances, Niall Horan‘s moving delivery of his hit ‘Slow Hands’ and of course…the night’s honouring of Diana Ross.
Admittedly, when it comes to annual award shows my hopes are always their lowest for the AMAs because they consistently are behind the curve when it comes to staging, the performance roster, and overall entertainment value. In 2017, I’m glad to say they did not live up to my expectations and actually brought forth an engaging show. P!nk and Kelly Clarkson were excellent ways to kick off the show as both – especially the latter – delivered some dynamite vocals. Lady Gaga (who looked absolutely sensational, by the way) came through and delivered an amazing performance as well (my favorite of the night).
Even the male Pop acts – Shawn Mendes, Niall, and Nick Jonas – rendered some (albeit forgettable) commendable vocal showings. Everybody brought their A game except the night’s two most talked about showings – Selena Gomez and Xtina.
The former lip synced for her life while boring everyone else to do death, the latter got way too much flack for what was a very decent performance. But, even with that compliment lies the issue: you don’t just sing “decently” when covering Whitney – especially the hardest songs of her career. Giving credit where it’s due, I commend Aguilera for taking on the challenge of singing so many challenging number back to back. With that stated, I say this in the least shady way: please no more Whitney tributes from Christina. She is just not in the voice to do them.
P.S. Knock her all you want, there are props that must be given to P!nk and those acrobatics. Yes, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t tired of the predictability that’s surrounded her performances since she began taking to the sky on her trapeze. But, no matter how many times she does it, there have to be props given for the daringness of it all, her willingness to be a trailblazer in that regard, and the fact nobody else has the balls to consistently do it.
Demi Lovato seems to finally come into her own. Though her whole acts still feels somehow contrived, it’s always great to see talent given a golden stage to shine on.
Being part of the sect that doesn’t “get” Shawn Mendes, his performance didn’t really move my spirit. But at this point it’s clear the industry has decided to make him “happen” so good on them for developing the truest rival rival to Justin Bieber after several tries.
Christina Aguilera was in amazing vocal form during her melismatic Whitney Houston tribute. Clearly on edge, the diva did a great job channeling the late songbird while giving it her own little twist. Above all, what this performance did was wet my appetite even more for some new material and accompanying live performances from one of the greatest of our generation.
… and about those facial expressions from Pink and Ciara, I personally saw those as severe cases of “sing it, girl.” But to each their own.
Selena Gomez’ showing was another proof that talent and charisma are not essential requirements to become a top dog of the music industry. And once again Alessia Cara and Khalid held it down for the new generation of gifted artists.
From her way of being present on the red carpet to her performance, Gaga continues to bring in the uniqueness and excitement. Although she gave it the classic ballad-then-full-on “Gaga” treatment, her showing of ‘The Cure’ elevated the song to new heights.
Vocally, Pink and Kelly Clarkson’s joint offering delivered , Nick Jonas held his own and Diana Ross was delightful as ever.
Also, I really enjoyed Tracee Ellis Ross’ hosting; it’s amazing to see her star shine brighter and brighter after so many years of being active in the industry.
Without any surprises, Bruno Mars took home the most awards and Niall Horan cemented his place as a bonafide solo act with his Best New Artist win.
Congrats to everyone and thanks for the entertainment.
Do you agree with our picks? Who was spot on? Let us know your thoughts on the latest TGJ Roundtable and your thoughts on the 2017 MTV AMAs.