Normally I would be watching Sunday Night Football, and it looks like I missed a pretty decent game last night.
My TV was stuck on a train wreck: the American Music Awards.
First of all, taking these awards seriously is like betting on the WWE, starting with the absurd categories. For Pop/Rock Favorite Male Artist, the nominees were Eminem, Michael Jackson and T.I.
How are Eminem and T.I. pop/rock? And why was Michael Jackson winning all these awards anyway? With all due respect, he did nothing this year except for rehearse for a concert tour and then die. Wasn't there a lifetime achievement award handy?
Taylor Swift, who was kept up way past her bed time in London, won Favorite Female Country Artist over Reba McEntire and Carrie Underwood. But then she also won Favorite Female Pop/Rock Artist over Beyonce and Lady Gaga.
Can't she be one or the other - preferably pop?
What the AMAs are really about are the mainstream of the mainstream plugging their records with live performances, ranging from bland to shocking.
On the bland side was Janet Jackson, in some kind of baggy Pocahontas get-up, opening the show with a medley of forgettable dance-pop tunes. Green Day was introduced as a longtime band that hadn't lost its edge and then proceeded to demonstrate the opposite with that dreadful "21 Guns" song.
Lady Gaga pushed the shock meter again, not with blood, but fire and broken glass, as she busted into a case with a mike stand to get to her piano. Yes, the Lady can sing and she can play, but her conventional pop doesn't rise to the level of her theatrics, does it?
Adam Lambert climaxed it all by going way over the top in a crude S&M fantasy scene so he'd be the most-talked-about artist today. Unfortunately, the talk is that not only was it rather gross, but the vocals were borderline hysterical.
Fortunately, there were a few performances that hit the meat of the bat. Jay-Z and Alicia Keys were a class act on their new New York anthem "Empire State of Mind," and the Black Eyed Peas rocked yet another party with "Meet Me Halfway," "Boom Boom Pow" and a surprising whiff of "Smells Like Teen Spirit."
They fared much better than J-Lo, who just went boom boom.