Welcome to the latest TGJ Roundtable!
Over the years, That Grape Juice has established a distinguished voice that – whether loved or loathed – sparks discussion, debate, and on occasion drama!
Though comprised of seasoned writers who share a similar outlook on Urban Pop culture, the idiosyncrasies of the TGJ team members often lend for quite heated debates “behind the scenes” about the hottest topics.
Now, we give you a front row seat to the show. In a format similar to ‘The View’ or ‘The Real’, TGJ editors – Sam, David, Rashad, and Joe – get real in a very candid way.
Today’s roundtable topic asks each anchor their thoughts on the…
2019 Billboard Music Awards
The Billboard Music Awards tends to either knock it out the park or totally the miss the mark. This year, though, saw neither occur. The show wasn’t especially memorable, but it did deliver a few noteworthy moments.
Yours truly was raised on thunder and lightening spectacles from the gems of the Jackson clan. So I’ve come expect as much from at least some of the acts populating award shows these days.
On that front, Ciara was the evening’s MVP. She worked the stage with Olympic-like precision. Her creative and choreo were grandiose and wholly befitting of her seismic talent. Truth be told, I high-key wish it were for a different song. But she performed with such conviction, that whatever she was selling I was buying!
Elsewhere, Mariah Carey‘s showing was a little less slick and kinda shaky at the start, but she seemed to approach it like a battle and came out victorious by the end. Her weaponry this go round was largely live vocals and I wholly commend her for it. Moving forward, perhaps it’s best to veer away from choppy medleys and pick 1-2 songs and give it her all.
Further down the bill, Madonna – though eternally exciting – couldn’t pay me to be excited about ‘Medellin.’ It’s late and lacking and not even a performance with a reported $5 million price tag could change that.
Besides engaging on-stage moments from winners such as Cardi B and Drake, and an emotional acceptance speech from Mimi (more of that side, please and thanks!) the rest of the guys and girls largely amounted to filler.
Taylor Swift is attracting critique (see #MayoChella), but I’m kinda confused because that’s what she’s been serving the girls. So it is a case of folk waking up to it now or simply looking to drag for dragging sake? The former seems fair, the latter not so much.
Halsey‘s vocal was horrid and it must have been contagious because Khalid had the exact same issue. The Jonas Brothers were blah, and for all her talent Kelly Clarkson didn’t especially rouse either.
BTS were a relative ray of sunshine and Paula Abdul too, but neither were enough to render the show anything beyond mediocre for me.
The highlight of the night? Paula Abdul, hands down. Perhaps witnessing what Janet Jackson’s career-spanning performance did for her last year, the ever-masterful Abdul delivered a spectacle I believe was one of the best the Billboard Music Awards has seen thus far.
Unfortunately, this spelled bad news for Taylor Swift who had hoped to use the night to celebrate her new single ‘ME!’ Alas, her slot-though extravagant- played it far too safe and predictable to make the kind of splash it needed to push the track in a substantial way.As a result, it found itself eclipsed by the likes of Paula, Ciara, Khalid, BTS and The Jonas Brothers. Still, I found it to be well-executed and entertaining.
All in all, I’d give last night’s show a score a 8/10. Why not a solid 10? There were very few standout performances….and could have done with a little (or a lot) of Normani.
The 2019 Billboard Music Awards were easily the franchise’s best showing in recent memory. With a lineup that featured an awesome mix of music’s new school, old school, and everything in between, the BBMAs delivered many/a-highlight and was an overall quite engaging watch.
The standouts for me were the old school divas. Paula Abdul’s Kung Lao inspired performance (ouch Julianne) being the night’s winner for me, Madonna’s technology driven performance was an impressive reminder of her daringness to stay ahead of the curve – even if only when compared to other aged divas. Unlike Taylor Swift, Madge did let the performance happen around her but it was pulled off in an engaging way.
Swift’s spectacle, albeit impressive, was a mayo flavored disappointment and has deservedly earned every thumbs down it’s received.
Mariah may have missed a note here or there, but she brought it home when it counted most.
Overall, the new school was the show’s lowlight. Ariana Grande was dry, Taylor did too much and too little at the same time, Khalid was a snooze, and Ciara delivered a good showing for her but it lacked wow factor.
Overall, I give this year’s showing a solid B-.
I had fun watching the Kelly Clarkson-hosted event.
Although I would have advised Taylor Swift not to go for a marching band theme just yet (‘Homecoming’ much?), her showing with Brendon Urie was solid enough and offered some great visual elements.
Mariah Carey seemed a bit nervous but once she was on, she was on. The best part of her being honored during the show was undeniably her amazing speech though.
With wit and a lot of heart, it felt fantastic hearing her talking about the ups and downs of her storied career, in her own words.
The biggest performance of the night came courtesy of Pop Queen Madonna and her CGI-heavy performance.
She managed to bring rather bland single ‘Medellin’ to vibrant life. The Latin-infused production goes to show that no one should ever count the entertainer out… at least not when about spectacle. Maluma made for an excellent partner too.
Just like Madge, Ciara turned what I hate to describe an uneventful track into a crowd pleaser, thanks to her amazing energy and spanking orchestration. It’s such a shame the stunner didn’t come back with stronger material, as it’s clear the audience is receptive to her brand. Almost a complete home-run, CiCi.
Other than that, BTS, Tori Kelly, Panic At The Disco! as well as the Jonas Brothers – and Sisters – gave respectable renditions of their latest hits.
And, as always, shout out to Taylor Swift for remaining the Queen of audience participation
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 2019 BBMAs.