Wednesday, April 17, 2024

LIVE Review: 2020 American Music Awards Are a Live Trainwreck, Handing Out Statues to Pre-Arranged Winners


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Like the recent People’s Choice Awards, the 2020 American Music Awards on ABC are a disaster. The “Winners” are pre-arranged. They’re either sitting backstage or they’ve pre-taped their acceptance speeches.

Much as I love Taraji P. Henson, she’s hosting a trainwreck in progress.

Justin Bieber, the most overindulged child in the world, opened the show singing his new hits, “Lonely.” and “Holy.” The former is a song in which he whines about being rich and lonely. The second exploits the Cross, and tries to wrap itself in some kind of religious hokum while “rushing to the altar like a track star.”

Bieber is a moron, so okay. But Shawn Mendez, who I thought more of, now performs a duet with Bieber on yet another song about being rich and lonely and misunderstood. A pandemic is wreaking havoc on the world, the US government is in chaos, and this is all they can think of to sing about. Stevie Wonder and Bob Dylan they are not. Nothing is blowing in the wind. Air is blowing through their coiffed heads.

What else? Katy Perry had a nice duet with Darius Rucker, trying to revive her dead “Smile” album. The Weeknd, selected as the winner of many awards tonight, performed with surgical tape and mask covering his face. This is to hide from the Grammy Awards, which won’t allow AMAs performers to be on their show in January. Thus, this show has no Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande, and so on.

But JLo and Maluma did lip synch very badly to some Spanish song. Why does she even bother? No one is buying this record.

As the show wore on, the people who were won more awards. And KPop BTS won the same award they got last year, and said so. LOL.

The American Music Awards are coming from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. There is no one in the audience, but a few fans have been put up in the rafters to simulate lifelike-ness.

So far, the only performance that made sense, in a way, was Billie Eilish and her brother Finneas.

Ratings and updates tomorrow. The People’s Choice was a ratings flop. I suspect the same here.

PS “The Undoing” is on HBO, “The Crown” is on Netflix. The Four Tops are always on Spotify.


Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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