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If the American Music Awards Fell in the Forest, Would Anyone Hear Them?

Male street dancers are powerless against J-Lo's Fiat-powered hips.
Male street dancers are powerless against J-Lo's Fiat-powered hips.

Last night, the American Music Awards were broadcast on ABC to record low ratings. A show that featured typically lackluster performances from artists far more interested in choreographed dance moves than actually singing and playing bordered on all-out awful at times, which begs the question: Are music awards shows even relevant anymore?

The Academy Awards and even the Golden Globes are Hollywood events that bring in viewers simply because they want to see the celebs. Winners and losers are secondary. The problem with music is no one gives a shit about the artists, at least not in an awards setting, and they know what they'll mostly get in terms of performances are watered down lip synching and/or uncomfortable (rather than inspired) pairings.

Just for a minute, let's contemplate the aftermath of the AMAs.

There were the usual things like TV "stars" from the network hosting the show being paraded out to announce performances. Benjamin Bratt looked so thin and out of place, we almost felt sorry for him until we remembered who he was.

There were the streamlined nominations with predictable results and the rambling, awkward speeches that sounded more like shout outs and name drops than heartfelt sentimentality. There was even the strange joint custody of rapper Pitbull in "duets" with both Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony, who recently separated. 

But these are all things we sort of expect to see at awards shows. What we didn't expect to see was live advertising.

Honestly, when J-Lo was announced as "international superstar Jennifer Lopez," we were dubious. Sure, she looked like a star desperately clinging to her youth (read: booty) by bumping her assets into the crotch of Pitbull while her soon-to-be-ex looked on, no doubt in stunned silence with a bevy of hot chicks on each arm.

But, when the stage set revealed an honest to God Fiat, the car that she pimps in commercials where she appears to kill street dancers with nothing but the shaking of her hips (we thought that was reserved for Shakira and the "Tango de la Muerte"), we were a kinda floored. There she was dancing on it and shimmying inside it (with in-car cameras we're sure come standard) after she managed to get the locked door open in a not so ironic twist. The background screen even used the same street shots they use in the commercial.

Of course, as if magic had occurred, the very commercial she practically performed live came on in the next break.

We get that these things are sellouts, but we can't recall a more painfully obvious display and we'd like to believe that was at least part of the reasons viewers tuned out. That and awards shows suck.


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