These were so much better than the VMAs! So much better! I just love so much! So many things! Luke Bryan trying to bring his lame-dad shtick to non-country audiences? Not gonna work, but still a delight for me to witness. That’s MY kind of night. Eating artichoke dip and watching awards shows alone, wooooo.
(This is going to be so long and I’m sorry but also not sorry. Days-late breakdowns of awards shows are becoming my signature.)
And to think the show started out so poorly, with Katy Perry dressing as a geisha, ugh, and singing “Unconditionally,” which I don’t think I will ever like. Then, by the end, TLC! TLC!!!! Was it better than the country awards shows? MAYBE. So good. SO GOOD! 2 Chainz and Jaden Smith introducing Miley Cyrus! Miley’s vocal being expectedly perfect! I want her to play a bratty elf princess in some YA adaptation.
(this is what 2013 has been like)
Pop skewed pretty sleazy this year–Cyrus’ aesthetic, the success of “Blurred Lines,” the good girl/bad girl lyrical trend showing up everywhere from Drake to Avril Lavigne–but maybe, I think, it is better than a faux-innocent bent. Better red lipstick than pretending you’re not wearing any. This just one cultural moment in a long series of moments, anyway, next year could be something completely different. So I’m happy, after all, to take the pop I’ve been given.
And in any case, why would I want to live in a second that wasn’t a performance of “Cruise” by Florida Georgia Line feat. Nelly? Live to ride ride to live? You guys look like you might be working part-time at a Best Buy somewhere. I couldn’t love it any more.
Watching Nelly show up to do his verse at all these awards shows has, too, been a recurring joy. I had a dream a couple nights ago that I met T.I. and complimented him on his verse in “Cruise” and he looked insulted. When I woke up I thought of course he did, dream-me confused him with Nelly. T.I. would’ve made sense on “Cruise,” at least he’s actually from Georgia. But then I wouldn’t get to see Nelly take the mike while accepting Single of the Year, say “St Louis, what up,” and walk off.
Ariana Grande was perfect and completely precious when she won. “I have ten seconds left, oh my god, I have nine seconds, that’s really intimidating.” Her first real award, I would know, I’ve been watching all year. She was sitting next to Jeannette McCurdy, probably just to bring me joy. At the end of her song as they cut to commercial you could see her in the background running to high-five her backup singers.
SZA was singing with Kendrick Lamar and wearing what I can only describe as boyfriend-fit shortalls. At first I was confused, then amazed, then completely envious. I guess I love them? I hope they become the new romper.
Rihanna was dressed like a dystopian burlesque mermaid. We have reached the point in the quest where I refuse to hear anything bad about Rihanna. That’s where I’m at. With Ciara too. And Fifth Harmony. And Taylor, of course, look how excited she is about Imagine Dragons.
(And she cleaned up, no surprise. During one of her speeches she said something that gives me endless delight, “I’m 23 and I have no idea what’s going to happen to me.” Because–that’s the point, right? Mostly I don’t think about the future. When I do I feel scared. But there’s this moment, and it could be worse.
I’ll never stop with now and forever. You can offer suggestions if you want to see another theme worked to death.)
Oh, shoutout to our sponsor, Kohl’s! I got some sunglasses there this summer that make me look totally normal suburban-American!
What’s your deal, Fall Out Boy, why are you dressed like Mumford and Sons. Literally the boy band looks tougher than you.
Yeah, or not.
Prince Royce was robbed! ROBBED! I mean, I don’t know, I don’t listen to Marc Anthony, but, but, Prince Royce is so cute, so there’s that. YOUR TIME IS COMING, PRINCE ROYCE, CHIN UP. Until then, the one-person club I’m running out of my living room plays “Kiss Kiss” every night, so.
And, oh god, how did I get this far without mentioning the Kellz-Gaga sketch/performance? She was the Marilyn! He was the President! They’re both so theatrical that, like, it’s impossible to say whose idea it was. And I never wrote about it but I love “Do What U Want,” of course I do. I get worked up about ‘wouldn’t trade it in ’cause it’s our life’ on a regular basis. (I am always, always present for pop songs about the pop life and how hard it is to be famous and–)
Do I sound a little hysterical? It’s nice to be able to get worked up about something, I think. Also nice: Fifth Harmony was dancing to Kendrick. They were seated next to Luke Bryan, which is amazing, and they’re amazing, and I think Normani was wearing rhinestones on her lash line, which is my all-time favorite teen pop star makeup.
I got really into makeup this year, side effect of making the teenage angels your role models and/or listening to “Drive” 70 times. What screenshots aren’t here yet?
Oh, yeah, no one will ever convince me that this is real band and not an elaborate joke. Even their name sounds made-up. “The Ceremonies.” Ridiculous.