TGJ Roundtable: 2019 American Music Awards Review

Published: Monday 25th Nov 2019 by Sam

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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…

2019 AMAs 


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.

Personal Highlights?

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.

Your thoughts?

[Photo credit: Getty]

Comments 36

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  1. Joe November 25, 2019

    For me the only ones I enjoyed were toni and shania…

    • ? Jasmine’s Grape Juice ? ? November 25, 2019

      I liked Toni’s performance

  2. Nicky November 25, 2019


    How do you perform three times and your songs are not affected


    Payola is running out. It’s clear someone on her team has an in, but the public is not dumb

    See 5 FLOPS in a row. Can’t wait to see her debut numbers and ticket sales


  3. Clarks0oon November 25, 2019

    Top 8 Most tweeted about Artists at the AMA

    #1 – Taylor Swift (579k)
    #2 – Camila Cabello (493k)
    #3 – Selena Gomez (356k)
    #4 – Halsey (207k)
    #5 – Shawn Mendes (146k)
    #6 – Billie Eilish (105k)
    #7 – Kesha (50k)
    #8 – Post Malone (34.6k)

    • Nicky November 25, 2019

      I thought Twitter Hype doesn’t matter.

      Imbecile. ??????

      How are those ticket sales doing. What’s the increase

      How about those songs on iTunes? Are they in top 50? Will any go top 50 on Billboard this week


      • Clarks0oon November 25, 2019

        it’s an awards show dumb àss showing the most talked about live performances.
        It shows who is dominating the conversation.

        Nobody is hyping anybody like they are the second coming like yall did normani.

        Ur so pained Camila performed 3 times and won an award.

        Why Camila sell out her arena tour u better dont deny ur comments cause I will pull out the receipts.

      • ? Jasmine’s Grape Juice ? ? November 25, 2019

        @Nicky If u are not Clarkson T***** talking to himself again please stop talking to IT. Ignore that thing so it goes away!

    • Clarks0oon November 25, 2019

      Ur such a dumb àss
      Camila already has a number 1 song on this album
      Every song from an album cant be a hit.
      All it takes for an era to be successful is one hit.

      Beyonce self titled album only had one hit, drunk in love and drunk in love didnt event hit number 1, it stalled at number 2. Pretty hurts didnt chart, does that mean that era was a flop. Every song had a video and did any of the songs charts? No. Only partition manage to scrap the top 30.

      Seniorita is a number one smash . 990 million streams about to hit 1 billion streams this week.
      Shameless, easy, cry for me, liar are all eligible for gold certification.
      Album is eligible for gold certification upon release.

      They hate to see it.

      • Tori November 25, 2019


      • Tori November 25, 2019

        And do you know how many factors went into making “BEYONCÉ” a hit era, it was never about the “hit single”, if that was the case she would’ve went with her first mind and released “Grown Woman” as planned. And don’t even bring up that era. Camel can’t even chart, let alone change the f****** day artist release music.

      • Clarks0oon November 25, 2019

        Go fight billboard not me

        Seniorita is her song, she wrote and sang it.

        Everything is not Camila’s
        Havana is not camila song
        Those 2 latin Grammy she won is not hers
        Her 3 Grammy nominations are not hers
        Her platinum debut album is not hers
        Her vma awards are not her
        When she sell out her arena tour what are yall gonna say? The arena tour is not hers.

        Yall need to shut the hell up.

      • Clarks0oon November 25, 2019

        Drunk in love was the most successful song of that album and it didnt hit number one, it stalled at number 2 and fell off the charts. It had a feature also.
        Every other song on that album flopped big time.
        No angel
        Pretty hurts
        Super power
        Mine feat drake
        All of the songs didnt chart. Are we going to judge Beyonce career based on these non charting singles? No

        Seniorita hit number 1 and has been in the top 5 since the day of release.
        Fastest song in history to hit 900 million streams

        Before the end of this week seniorita will hit 1 billion streams.
        The other 4 songs are already eligible for gold certification with combined streams of 300 million.

        Stop hating

      • Tori November 25, 2019

        Beyoncé didn’t give a damn if there was a hit single or not, she was selling an ALBUM AND VISUALS. Same as “Lemonade”, the only reason “Formation” was released as a single is because the tour was named “Formation World Tour” and would be announced 2 months before the album release. “Senorita” hype was literally build off their public relationships, not off any of the minimum talent that either has. And the other FIVE songs have failed to generate any interest. The general public just don’t care and her fans are complaining. She signed to Epic Records, who have stupidly used must of the budget on big elaborate videos for “Liar” and “Shameless” and that backfired, even more money on her SNL live performance and promo just for no one to care. So now you’re trying to cling to “Senorita”, FROM SHAWNS DELUXE EDITION OF HIS ALBUM, so you can have streaming bragging rights? And stop saying she wrote it, it’s 8 writers on the damn song ????! And now trying to bring down one of the most monumental album of the decade, one that shift the way and day the entire industry release music in fave of an album that won’t move 300k units in SALES?

      • Clarks0oon November 25, 2019

        “she was selling an ALBUM AND VISUALS.”

        This is the exact same thing Camila is doing
        She wants everyone to pay attention to each individual song cause every song on the album is good

        Beyonce self title dont have a number 1 song in it. So be quite. Drunk is love is a feature, jay z said her àss.

        Seniorita had 8 writers,so?
        Travis Scott sicko mode hit number 1, the song has 30 writers.
        7 rings had 9 writers
        Thank u next had 7 writers

        Seniorita is Camila song, she wrote the song and she sang more than shawn.
        Go fight billboard.

        Easy , shameless, liar, cry for me are all eligible for gold certification combined streams of 250 million .
        Nobody cares? But the album eligible for gold certification upon release. Lol

        Ur a hater, and u cant win an argument with a hater. They will drag u down.
        If Camila debut at number 1 yall are gonna say she did bundles even tho everybody do bundles.

        If she sells out her arena tour, I wonder what yall are gonna say? Her record label bought the tickets in bulk, they are lying about the sales, ????
        U cant win a hater.

  4. Pat November 25, 2019

    Toni’s aura was great. Xtina was pitchy but still good. The others not with mentioning

    • ? Jasmine’s Grape Juice ? ? November 25, 2019

      I agree

    • Taryn November 27, 2019

      I wish Toni actually sung live though. She can’t really handle Un-Break My Heart that well live anymore. It’s one of the most demanding vocal performances so it’s understandable she chose to lip.

  5. Clarks0oon November 25, 2019

    My faves performed 3 times, and all 3 performances she slayed.
    Music critics are praising her vocals and falsetto, choreography and visual effects.
    And she won her 5th AMA .
    How many awards has this girl won in these past weeks
    2 Latin Grammy awards
    1 people choice award
    2 BMI London awards
    1 AMA
    1 2020 Grammy nomination.

    Where was normani? Nobody wanna answer this question, I thought she was a main pop girl?
    The same way the Grammys paired her dust, that’s the same way the AMA paid her dust. No nomination, no invite, no slot to perform.
    What a loser
    Atleast she has her fenty collaboration. looking like a stripper.

  6. Truth November 25, 2019

    The lack of diversity was so noticeable.. I couldn’t even watch

    • ? Jasmine’s Grape Juice ? ? November 25, 2019

      I agree. I recorded it so i could see Toni’s performance. There was a strong lack of men and black people on the performers list for me to watch the show

    • eric November 25, 2019

      That was my feeling as they announced the performers at the start of the show. I wanted more of Toni. Christina was good too.

  7. Clarks0oon November 25, 2019

    “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.”

    Ur not a real music journalist so ur opinions dont counts.
    So many music critics praised Camila heavily.

    Camila Cabello’s performance of “Living Proof” at the 2019 AMAs was one of the best of the night- idolatòr

    Camila Cabello delivered not one but two fantastic performances at the 2019 American Music Awards — and the second one had her literally grazing clouds with her high notes.  –

    They hate to see it.
    Camila is a live act. She has proven to us that she can give us visually stunning great live vocal performances. All her performance have received acclaim
    2019 Grammy performance
    SNL performance
    Mtv vma performance
    Ama performance

  8. Taryn November 25, 2019

    Christina sitting at #1 on iTunes. An effective and stellar performance. Toni did great too.

  9. Nicky November 25, 2019

    Congrats to Christina. Sitting pretty at #1

    Typically when you perform a song and it’s done well, you see the impact

    Can’t say the same for Camicky. Songs nowhere to be found. The public has spoken. No beauty, No charisma no stage presence.

    RIP. Can’t wait for those ticket sale numbers

    • Clarks0oon November 25, 2019

      Gurl dont deny ur comments cause I will pull out these receipts when Camila sell out her arena tour.

      Remember u said she was not gonna win any latin Grammys and she ended winning 2, then u lied and denied ur comment.

      Gurl I keep receipts.

      U haven’t learnt ur lesson.
      @only facts has learnt his lesson, he dont talk about Camila again.

      • Tori November 25, 2019

        Those Latin Grammies are the equivalent of buying used car parts from a junk yard.

      • Clarks0oon November 25, 2019

        The Grammys are voted on by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, a group comprised of musicians, producers, recording engineers, and other musical professionals.

        Camila peers voted for her.

  10. Clarks0oon November 25, 2019

    Seniorita- number 10
    Living proof- 49 ( people may not like this song because of the impressive vocal acrobatics and falsetto) I dont think people are use to this kind of singing.

    • Tori November 25, 2019

      No we are not used to the sound of a black crow dying slowly and loudly. Funny that you are tho. Says a lot about your personal taste.

  11. Angela D Wesley November 25, 2019

    The AmAs was lackluster to me. Most of the show was about Taylor Swift and Camilla
    who are two of worst sounding vocalist that I heard, but white people love them, but
    I don’t see what the hype is about. Toni Braxton, Xtrina, Lizzo, and Ciara were the best
    performance to me. Travis Scott should have won for best rap/soul album instead
    of post malone, he is taking the spot of desversing black artist. I just the the Grammys
    are better than this show.

  12. Fanciest BISH November 25, 2019

    Favorite Soul/R&B Female Artist winners at the #AMAs this decade:

    2010: Rihanna
    2011: Beyoncé
    2012: Beyoncé
    2013: Rihanna
    2014: Beyoncé
    2015: Rihanna
    2016: Rihanna
    2017: Beyoncé
    2018: Rihanna
    2019: Beyoncé

    How and why is this allowed? I know it’s voted on but WTH?

    • Clarks00on November 25, 2019

      Because of no competition if Camila did rnb they would not stand a chance. AMAs have ALWAYS been a popularity contest. Who is most popular and associates with r&b music?

  13. Rashad November 25, 2019

    Only like Christina and Toni. The rest was boring and mediocre

  14. Jasmine The Real Princess November 25, 2019

    Toni is a one-hit-Wonder. Flop.
    Camila is ugly.

  15. Truth Dot Com November 26, 2019

    Toni’s performance just made me Miss Whitney Houston even more.
    They are from that era where you have bomb vocal mixed with undeniable stage presence. It was almost regal. I loved every minute.
    (Especially the Dramatics… None Tamar Dramatics)

  16. Taryn November 27, 2019

    I love Toni Braxton, but you know she lipped for her life yet you all are claiming it’s the best vocal performance. It’s like discussing Beyoncé’s Love on Top VMA performance as a great vocal performance when she lipped it.

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