The 40th Annual 'AMAs': Minaj and Bieber Win Big, Gangnam Style is Legit
The 40th Annual 'AMAs': Minaj and Bieber Win Big, Gangnam Style is Legit
Jilliane Johnson
Jilliane Johnson
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
Are you ready for three hours of non-stop celebrities, music and awards to those you most likely voted against? Of course you are! The 40th Annual American Music Awards are sure to be the topic of conversation for at least tomorrow morning.

As always, there's a pretty impressive lineup tonight. While One Direction, Drake, Justin Bieber and Maroon 5 are tied for three nominations each, Nicki Minaj leads the pack with four. So gather your friends, place your bets and enjoy performances from artists such as Carrie Underwood, Christina Aguilera and Psy!

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After seeing the wide response to Khloe Kardashian-Odom's failed attempts at good hosting skills, the AMA producers opted for no hosts this year. Well, at least I like to think that was their reason. 

Usher opens the show.
Medley of "Numb/Climax/Can't Stop, Won't Stop"

Usher is usually one to bring the house down. An array of light shows and background visuals are, by far, the most impressive of his performance. Well, until the pyrotechnics, that is. A bit boring, but let's just hope things pick up along the way.


Ryan Seacrest, aka the new Dick Clark, does what he does best and gives some insight on tonight's show.

Tonight will be looking back at some special moments over the last 40 years of the AMAs. Basically, this means that snippets from old performances will be displayed throughout the next three hours. Don't blink or you might miss them. First is Beyonce's performance of "Single Ladies" in 2008.

Pop/Rock Male Artist

Justin Bieber
Flo Rida
Pitbull
Usher

This might be more predictable than expected.

Eric Stonestreet of Modern Family presents:

Favorite Country Female Artist

Miranda Lambert
Taylor Swift
Carrie Underwood

Taylor has now won 11 AMAs in her career. Should we expect her to win for the next 11 as well?

Lucy Hale of Pretty Little Liars and American Idol winner Phillip Phillips introduce...

Carly Rae Jepsen
"This Kiss/Call Me Maybe"

Carly should have stuck to her hit "Call Me Maybe." No one else was looking for  her to run out on stage and sing something different, anyways. It's sad because she has an okay voice, but success with any other song will be difficult?


The Wanted
"I Found You"

If these were the 90s, would The Wanted be the Backstreet Boys and One Direction be N'SYNC? The Wanted is more mature, dressed in suits and holding back from dance routines. They've even taken us back and made a disco track.


American Idol judge Randy Jackson introduces:

Kelly Clarkson
Medley: "Miss Independent/Since U Been Gone/Stronger/Catch My Breath"

Those who watched the first season of American Idol were just reminded of their age as Randy Jackson announces Clarkson's release of a Greatest Hits album. 


Actress Stacy Kiebler and recording artist Ne-Yo present:

Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Album

J.Cole: Cole Word
Drake: Take Care
Nicki Minaj: Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded

Answer me this. Is Nicki Minaj true hip-hop? I'm sure all her "Barbie" fans jumped on the website and rewarded her with another upsetting win. 

Legendary recording artist Cyndi Lauper introduces:

Ke$ha 
"Die Young"

It's a good thing we're taking it back and paying homage to those who have paved the way for the previous 40 years because these performances are embarrassing. "Die Young" is a great party song, but it isn't exactly a great example of anything worth remembering in the next 40 years.


YouTube sensation turned number one duo Karmin introduces:

No Doubt
"I Don't Care"

Here's a way to pick the pace back up! Stylish, talented and back from a super long hiatus, No Doubt performs their new single. They can still get the crowd up and into it after all these years. They even have real fire on stage. Take that, Carly Rae!


Kerry Washington of Scandal and former Dancing with the Stars winner Apolo Anton Ohno present:

Favorite Alternative Rock Artist

The Black Keys
Gotye
Linkin Park

Rock on, guys! This is the fifth win for Linkin Park.

Country duo Florida Georgia Line welcome:

Taylor Swift
"Trouble"

Taylor sure has grown up before our eyes, and the onstage spectacle has grown alongside her. There must be 50 people up there with her. It makes for a pretty entertaining performance, though, filled with theatrics.


Once Upon a Time stars Jennifer Morrison and Ginnifer Goodwin present the nominees for:

Favorite Soul R&B Male Artist

Chris Brown
Trey Songz
Usher

Yeah, man! Usher has taken this award home three times in a row. That doesn't mean he escapes the might censor button after voicing his frustration from being a little tongue-tied.

Lady Antebellum is proud to present this category:

Favorite Country Male Artist

Jason Aldean
Luke Bryan
Eric Church

Luke can't contain his excitement, hopping up and down on stage, as Lady A. stares.

Linkin Park
"Burn It Down"

Where can this band go wrong? Another straight-to-it performance with little gimmick and all rock n'roll. Other celebs such as Usher and Gwen Stefani even recognize their appeal, bobbing their heads to the beat.


Nicki Minaj
"Freedom"

Let me retract my previous question about Nicki Minaj and her hip-hop authenticity because it doesn't matter. Whether she's more pop than hip-hop, she knows what she's doing, hence the pink hair, winter wonderland set and irrelevant choir to assist with vocals. It's all for show and will guarantee her the publicity she wants and needs.


Model and host of Project Runway Heidi Klum introduces:

Pink
"Try"

Best performance of the night! Pink is a true performer, showcasing not only her vocal abilities, but her gymnastic skills as well. She and her male counterpart beat up one another, perform lifts, throw things at one another and complete tumbles all while Pink sings. This woman just gave birth a few months ago -- incredible!


The Backstreet Boys return to the AMA stage to present:

New Artist of the Year

J.Cole
Fun.
Gotye
Carly Rae Jepsen
One Direction

Really, America? Well, at least she'll have this to look back on when her 15 minutes are up.

Colbie Caillat and Gavin DeGraw

Country Band, Duo or Group

Zac Brown Band
Lady Antebellum
Rascal Flatts

This marks the third win in this category for Lady Antebellum.

Carly Rae Jepsen returns to introduce:

Justin Bieber
"As Long As You Love Me" and "Beauty and a Beat" featuring Nicki Minaj

Well, no one can argue that he doesn't have the chops to back up his ridiculous amount of fame. The stripped down, acoustic version of "As Long As You Love Me" is actually enough to make the grown women scream Justin's name. The problem comes when the second song starts. I find myself counting how many times Justin grabs his crotch.


Elisha Cuthbert of Happy Endings and R&B artist Kelly Rowland present a brand new category, EDM:

Favorite Electronic Dance Music Artist

David Guetta
Calvin Harris
Skrillex

David Guetta is fine and dandy, but if you really want some EDM, make sure to check out Skrillex.

Gloria Estefan welcomes:

Christina Aguilera
"Lotus Intro/Army of Me/Let There Be Love"

Give me a moment while I try to make sense of what I've just witnessed ... I grew up listening to and watching Christina Aguilera. Her voice will forever be one of the best voices of all time, but nothing about this performance helps to show that. Something about a lotus flower and then cross-dressing men are revealed and begin dancing around. I really don't know.


Pitbull
"Don't Stop the Party" 

Pitbull surrounded by scantily clad women, moving in a choreographed fashion. That's all you really need for this particular performance. Then to spice things up, just toss Christina Aguilera in at the very last minute. What did I just waste the last five minutes of my life watching?


AMA winner Luke Bryan and actress Jenny McCarthy present:

Favorite Pop/Rock Album

Justin Bieber: Believe
Maroon 5: Overexposed
Nicki Minaj: Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded
One Direction: Up All Night

Girls all over the world are jealous of Jenny McCarthy tonight after she kisses both of Justin Bieber's cheeks and his neck. Too bad we can't see a thought bubble over Justin's mother, who sits in the audience.

Carrie Underwood
"Two Black Cadillacs"

Christina might be able to take some notes from Carrie Underwood. Looking pretty as ever, the counter superstar walks out on stage, tells a story of death and betrayal and annihilates her latest single. To put it simply, this is how it's done.


Singer/actress Brandy welcomes:

Swizz Beats, Chris Brown & Ludacris
"Everyday Birthday"

Swizz should stay behind the turntables or off to the side of the stage because, as anyone would think, Chris Brown and Ludacris are the real performers. Although, Chris makes it look like all he knows how to do is take off his clothes, displaying his tattooed chest. 


Star of Nashville Hayden Panettiere (because she's so relevant to this category) and rapper/actor 50 Cent present:

Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Artist

Drake
Nicki Minaj
Tyga

Each of these artists belong to the same record label, Cash Money/Young Money, yet Nicki reaches around Drake and pulls Tyga over as her escort up the steps so that she doesn't fall on her face. Classy.

Neon Trees presents:

Favorite Country Album

Luke Bryan: Tailgates and Tan Lines
Lionel Ritchie: Tuskegee
Carrie Underwood: Blown Away

Every album Carrie has ever released has won this category. Awesome!

Ryan Seacrest returns to present a tribute to the late, great Dick Clark.

Stevie Wonder
"Master Blaster (Jammin')/My Cherie Amour/Sir Duke"

Stevie challenges the leaders of the world to put love first just as musicians put their music first before jumping into a medley of some of his greatest hits. Personal and professional photos of Dick Clark play on the screens behind the band, showing Dick throughout the years on New Year's Eve, the historic American Bandstand, etc. 


Will.i.am presents the biggest award of the night:

Artist of the Year

Justin Bieber
Drake
Maroon 5
Katy Perry
Rihanna

What do you do when you can't think of who to thank? Drag your mother onstage with you and wait for her to feed you words while you draw a blank. 

Special Surprise Performance:

Psy 
"Gangnam Style"

How would you make your American debut? Wear Hammer pants, of course. There's a perfectly good explanation, though. Yes, you guessed it. MC Hammer joins Psy on stage for a fusion of "Gangnam Style" and "Too Legit to Quit." Korean Pop has officially caught on when you can pull MC Hammer out of hiding.


Well, there you have it, folks. After three hours of music and awards, we find that each and every one of the categories were awarded to the expected artists. Nicki Minaj, Justin Bieber and Psy go home with big nights, but which moments actually stand out? Tell us your favorites and we'll see you again next year!

(Image courtesy of ABC)

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