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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…
Save for select moments, the 2019 American Music Awards watched like one long toilet break.
Despite being anchored by the who’s who of today’s airwaves, there still seemed to be a dearth of must-see performers on the bill. Re-affirming my long-held stance that commercial slayage doesn’t auto-translate to stage blazing.
Few defined this more than Selena Gomez, whose vocals were quite the fright. Indeed, she ironically sounded like clanking keys while never quite unlocking the right notes.
Perhaps this was contagious, because the usually dependable Lizzo seemed to have an off-night too, with her pitchy-patchy take on ‘Jerome.’ It was clear she was angling for a vocal moment, but this is one instance I’d have preferred she dial-up the theatrics.
Elsewhere, Taylor Swift – for all her chart clout – didn’t have the match to ignite excitement on what functioned as one of the biggest night’s of her career to date.
I wasn’t especially moved by the likes of Billie Eilish, Kesha, or Camila Cabello – whose three-visits to the stage defined excessive. Visits that will do little to calm the arguable air of “artificial” that surrounds her ascend.
The night wasn’t all doom, gloom, and snooze, though. Thanks largely to the seasoned veterans on the bill.
Toni Braxton was “the” definitive highlight with her enchanting take on ‘Un-break My Heart.’ Her ability, as a balladeer, to reel in with subtilely choreographed movement gets me every time. A performance!
Similarly, Christina Aguilera delivered what, for me, was her most vocally resonating live TV performance in years. And it seems many agree, because – as at writing – ‘Fall On Me’ with A Great Big World has rocketed to #2 on iTunes.
Still, these weren’t enough to mitigate what was an otherwise unmemorable evening.
What a show, eh?!
Recent award ceremonies have lacked the grandiosity that makes such platforms as must-see as they’re supposed to be. So it was awesome to see that void filled at the AMAs.
With Ciara as its host, the night was bound to be an upbeat one and I was happy to see how much effort went in to celebrating the best of what has been an excellent year in music.
Toni Braxton’s phenomenal ‘Unbreak My Heart’ performance, Taylor Swift’s party with Halsey and Camila Cabello.
Also, Lil Nas X‘s ‘Old Town Road’ win…even though it would have been cool to see it a bag a Country-related gong too.
After watching Ella Mai miss out on picking a number of awards she was nominated, for I’m hoping the coming months bring with them a comeback campaign from the performer which will ensure that doesn’t happen again next year.
The Ambien Music Awards sincerely came as a prayer answered for many-an-insomniac. From Selena Gomez’s shaky karaoke performance to Taylor Swift’s beautiful gowns, the overall show was more of a miss than a hit.
But, before the show even began, Ciara started off with a killer performance of her latest single ‘Melanin.’ A shame, really, that even with all that charisma and staging the song is still a no for me. Just sounds like a mix between a Sprite commercial and a reworked version of Tiffany Evans’ ‘Promise Ring’ (which, of course, features Cici).
Next, Selena opened the show with what I will argue was the second most highly anticipated performance of the night (behind her bestie Taylor).
She must have easily popped two ‘IDGAF’ pills before her performance because those karaoke vocals during ‘Lose You to Love Me’ lost me from the first sentence. Then, the choreography during ‘Look at Her Now’ was almost reminiscent of Britney’s wreck of a ‘Gimme More’ performance from 2007’s MTV VMAs. All a no.
There were moments of saving grace, however.
First, Toni gave the performance of the night. For any lack in vocal there was (which I will argue there wasn’t really), she made up for with awesome staging and a diva-esque presence that we haven’t seen since the likes of Whitney Houston.
Next, Christina Aguilera gave the next best vocal of the night. Warmed me up to the song.
For all the flack we give Taylor, her performance overall was actually ok. I guess the flack comes from “ok” just not being enough for an artist of her stature. Halsey‘s creative showing, though great, would have been better served at the MTV VMAs where it could have been better appreciated.
Finally, Camila’s three-peat of performances ultimately made her the star of the night. It was definitely the “Camila Show,” if I do say so myself. In each performance she held her own. Kudos.
AMA’s 2019… let’s just say it was far from the best award show of the year.
Considering all the hype apportioned to Selena Gomez following her recent hits and grandiose staging, I found the performance she gave insulting. We’re talking about an act which has been doing this for over a decade now. There’s just no excuse.
Thankfully, newcomer Billie Eilish stunned with her fiery performance of ‘All The Good Girls Go To Hell.’ Backed by brother and collaborator Finneas, she was captivating to say the least and showed poise and eloquence when she collected her awards last night.
Without too much surprise, Taylor Swift was the big winner of the evening. She did a solid enough job reminding viewers of her decade-spanning chart dominance, with a number timely references directed to her detractors.
Elsewhere Toni Braxton served diva aplenty with her rousing and dramatic rendition of classic ‘Un-break My Heart’ which got everybody on their feet. Ciara made for a great hostess with the mostest too.
Post Malone, Travis Scott and Ozzy Osbourne did “their” thing, Christina Aguilera was in fine vocal form and Lizzo switched it up – or really down – with a cute ballad moment.
All in all, it all felt a bit uneventful in the absence of the certified stageblazers.
Maybe next year.
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 AMAs.