Monday, November 23, 2009

It's That Time of Year Again: Commentary on the 2009 American Music Awards AKA the Hot Mess Heisman- by Toya

This year’s American Music Awards…*sigh*. I mean, wow. I normally find much delight in sharing my commentary on what I like to call our society’s “Hot Mess Championships” but this one wasn’t as much fun for me. To borrow from the crazy lady on Wife Swap, this mess was dark sided…and no I am not only referring to the Adam Lambert performance. Here it goes…

1. Janet Jackson’s opening performance: 2009 is the year of the comeback indeed. I hate to say this but Michael Jackson’s passing may have helped Janet Jackson’s career immensely. The industry was very unforgiving towards her years after her “malfunction” (yet, we can’t get rid of Justin Timberlake? I can’t.) but there seems to be a sympathy factor here that has allowed the industry to embrace her again. “In every season, turn, turn, turn…”

I love Janet but her dancing wasn’t nearly on point as it used to be. I won’t compare her to her brother Michael for two reasons: Michael was an unmatched talent but Michael was addicted to drugs that helped his performance. I liken her performance much to Whitney Houston’s comeback performance on Good Morning America however I think she will bounce back very soon. Being out of shape and irreversible damage are two different things. Regardless, she is still the Queen of Pop. Her song “Together Forever” bears a whole new meaning now for all of us I think.

2. Daughtry is about 2 centimeters from being Nickelback but I like them anyway.

3. Ok, I didn’t see a step show coming. Is Shakira now a part of the Rhythm Nation? Whose sorors are those?

4. Confession: Adam Lambert looks hot in that manliner and pompadour. I’m just sayin’. I like a little glam sometimes

5. Too little, too late: Yall know I love Michael Jackson forever but I don’t really get all of the nominations for him this year. Now if we are talking reparations for him not getting anything for “Butterflies” then rock on.

6. Kelly Clarkson: Sooooo Beyonce’ wasn’t available to sing “Halo”? I dare anyone to start singing “Already Gone” and not end up singing “I can see your halo, halo, halo”. Ryan Tedder is DEAD wrong for writing the same song twice and I need him to own up. In other news, yall can stop clowning Kelly Clarkson’s weight. Every time I see her perform I put a lighter up for squishy, fun sized women all over the world. I aint mad at her.

7. Commercial for Dancing with the Stars is on: if Mya wins this, 2009 will go down in history as the Year of Career CPR.

8. I love that Taylor won and is in London. Some place far, far away from Kanye West. Not that he would’ve…well. Anything is possible. I’ve learned not to get my hopes up with him.

9.Alicia Keys and Jay-Z “Empire State of Mind” performance: This was a good performance. Really good. However, I find it interesting that hip hop is so widely accepted that one rapper can get thousands of people to chant “Jesus walks” and then label owner of said rapper can get the same thousands to recite the lyrics “Jesus can’t save you. Life starts when the church ends.” Hmm, interesting. And I know I am beating a dead horse but my joy would be so complete if cameras panned over to Lil Mama being surrounded by security guards.

10. Possible Wardrobe Malfunction Award goes to ….Kate Hudson who is in desperate need of a dickie.

11. Black Eyed Peas performance: Hold up, did this just turn into a rave? What is really happening right now? No hate here. Fergie has been in the game since Kids Incorporated and what yall know about some Wild Orchid?

*crickets* *crickets*

Anyway, I’d be a liar if I said that “Boom Boom Pow” is not one of my favorite jams of 2009 (I love dance club music) however Kris Novoselic, Dave Grohl AND Courtney Love ARE COMING FOR YALLS BEHINDS for that Nirvana “tribute”. You know they’re touchy about that stuff.

12. Oh they gave MJ his first award of the night! Michael wanted me to tell you all “God bless you”. He’s here playing dominoes with me and Tupac. (Obviously I am still in denial.).Something else I am in denial about? Jermaine naming his son Jermajesty. Not okay.

13. Oh look it's Kris Allen. Man he was SO close to winning American Idol this past year but…what? Oh he is the guy that actually won? Did they announce this publicly?

14. Rihanna’s performance: I really don’t have much besides the question “Why is everything so dark?”. I am still processing. The lights on the jacket were cool. Yeah, that’s all I got.

15. Carrie Underwood: I'm sorry, I like my country music relatively wholesome. I want it to only talk about Jesus, pickup trucks and beer. I can't get behind this at all.

The awards had already seemed a bit darksided and out there but then it took a more drastic, ugly turn when…

16. OMG why do I always feel the need to go Old Testament and take the blood of a lamb and brush it over my doorpost when Lady Gaga performs on stage? What is really going on???? Call me crazy but for some reason I could not make it all the way through this performance. I am all for performance art and such but something just did not sit right with me and I am still not sure why. It reminded me of when Marilyn Manson closed out the VMA’s one year and Chris Rock yelled to the crowd “"Take your a** to church!!!” That mess had me rocking back and forth like Miss Sophia in The Color Purple afterwards.

17. I know yall love Drake and all but I still see Wheelchair Jimmy from Degrassi High, sorry. No, I’m not.

18. Confession: No hate here but I haven't bought a Mary album since Share My World. Much like Alanis Morrissette, I have not bonded with Happy Mary as much. I am so glad that she is happy but I think some of her more recent singles have fallen under the category of “Hot Tracks but not Good Music”. LOVE Mary though and her band killed.

19. Wha, what is a Gloriana and how did they win an award for breakthrough artist???? *shrug* Well good for them and a gold star for Nashville. I aint mad.

20. J Lo is up…*sigh* so many questions, so little time. First of all, I have $20 that says this song was cut from the “Enough” soundtrack. I have another $20 that says that there is a drag queen at Play TONIGHT doing this song 10 times fiercer. Janet and J-Lo, I love yall but forget what you heard. 40 IS NOT the new 20. I’m not saying they don’t still have it. I’m just saying it may take a little longer to warm it up than it used to (This just in: I just found out that she was not saying “Louis Vuittons” but “Louboutins”. I have never claimed to be fashion forward.).

21. Whitney’s performance has given me inspiration to finally comment on the Rihanna performance. These two performances contrasted in quite a few ways aside from the obvious contrasts in talent and vocal ability. Whitney displayed more of the strength and victory of a survivor standing in peace and in all white than a gloomier Rihanna did on stage with what looked like a surrounding militia of dancers bearing arms. Whitney looks like she has finally gotten over. Rihanna looks like she still has something to prove and is far from over.

22. I am checking the tint setting on my TV right now. Leona Lewis and Dancing with the Stars judge Carrie Ann Inaba CAN NOT be that orange!

23. Alicia Keys performance: There is sexy and there is slithery (Please lookup Sade if you need a visual). There is a lot of umm,”slitheriness” going on at these awards this year. And why is everything so dark? And wait, are those The Fly Girls? Where's SW-1? THAT LOOKS LIKE THE IN LIVING COLOR SET!!! Now J-Lo, this could’ve worked for you. I’m just sayin’.

24. Eminem’s performance: I have no idea why he is doing this terrible song and talking about licking his nether regions on network television. ABC has lost their minds. However, he is real bold doing his verse off of Drake’s “Forever”. He just reminded us how painfully obvious it is that his verse is infinitely hotter than everyone else’s on there. Still not a fan though.

25. Timbaland’s performance is…still…on…still…going…some…one…wake…me …when…*snore*

26.*Whips out pen and paper* Dear Green Day, You used to rock. I know you are old. So am I. However, all 4 of us are younger than the Beastie Boys and they would still break the faces of your “punk band” if they came up there right now and did “Sabotage”. I think “21 Guns” should be changed to “21 Yawns” because that is how many I have counted through this entire song.

27. Ok Taylor won Artist of the Year over MJ. Again, the fans vote. If you didn’t vote (and I did), then don’t hate. Besides, she is not crazy or delusional. She knows that was a long shot.

And now the moment THEY TOLD US we were all waiting for: Adam Lambert’s performance.

It was at this time that my roommate wanted to come in and talk to me about the movie “Precious”. I didn’t have the heart to tell her that interrupting me during an award show was much like interrupting a die hard sports fan during the playoffs so I listened. I missed the male on male simulated oral sex part and the make out kiss with one of his band members but I did see him put a woman’s face in his crotch and grab another woman’s vajayjay. The only thing I have to say is this: I have the same problem with the name American Music Awards that I do with the name Black Entertainment Television. One would be led to believe that the programming on both is what entertains that particular group of people. For instance, gratuitous shots of big booties, “thug” life, and overtly sexual images among other things, entertain black people according to BET. According to the American Music Awards, every single performance not only represents the best we have as a country but it is what we reward. Bra-freaking-vo.

I looked up Adam Lambert’s lyrics to the song he performed last night and here is an excerpt:

Oh, I bet you thought that I was soft and sweet
‘Ya fallen angel swept ya off ya feet
Well I’m about to turn up the heat
I’m here for your entertainment
It’s alright
You’ll be fine
Baby, I’m in control
Take the pain
Take the pleasure
I’m the master of both
Close your eyes
Not your mind
Let me into your soul
I’m a work ya ’til your totally blown

Call me a scaredy cat but those lyrics are creepy and explain the "not so fresh" feeling I had after his performance. If I was back at home, I would've crawled my grown behind in the bed with my parents last night. Uh uh.

In a nutshell, the type of behavior displayed in this show is what is unfortunately considered mainstream entertainment now and this is why I can and do get behind Taylor Swift. I have to. While she has a lot of growing to do as a singer, something in me has to believe that being a talented and wholesome songwriter who keeps their clothes on and does not resort to making out onstage pays and pays well (And before peole start acting sensitive, I don’t care if Adam Lambert went and made out with Lady Gaga for 10 seconds or if Keith Urban grabbed all of his musicians in the crotch and full on made out with his WIFE on stage. None of these scenarios are appropriate nor have anything to do with musical talent.). I have to believe that the good guys don’t always have to finish last. We need more “good guys” and quick because if something doesn’t turn fast, 2010’s awards are going to be a hot mess in a hand basket. The floor is now open for comments…

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