That Other Awards Show

Dave Iannacone

The American Music Awards might just be the most ridiculous music-related awards show there is. Between the arbitrary number of nominees in each category, the usually forgetful performances, and the abundance of foreign nominees (after all, this is the AMERICAN music awards,) the show is just kind of a dud. However, every year, the world’s biggest acts always seem to find their way onto the stage, and for a few gleaming moments, there is hope of some sort of validation of the ceremony’s existence.

The AMAs were started by Dick Clark in the early 70’s to rival the well-respected Grammy Awards. However, unlike the Grammys, the public votes for the winners. For a show like the Video Music Awards, that works just fine, but for a ceremony striving towards respectability, this is a bad move. For example, Justin Bieber won Artist of The Year and three other awards at last year’s ceremony.

The nominees for this year’s show have been announced and are once against confusingly predictable. Artist of the Year is a ladies battle, pinning Adele, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, and Taylor Swift against each other, with Lil Wayne thrown in to up the testosterone level. There are eight acts up for the Sprint New Artist of the Year award, including Foster The People, Miguel, The Band Perry, and Thompson Square. However, LMFAO are also shortlisted. But haven’t people been taking “Shots” to their music for the past few years? Even Wiz Khalifa, also nominated, had released “Black and Yellow” in time to be eligible for last year’s ceremony, and thus shouldn’t be considered “new.”

The Favorite Pop/Rock Male nominee list is another head-scratcher. Justin Bieber, who has barely released anything musically this year, let alone had a legitimate hit, is up against Bruno Mars, who has only had one mediocre-sized hit this year, and Pitbull, who actually has seen success. The Female nominees are predictably with Gaga, Adele, and Katy Perry. The Favorite Pop/Rock Band/Duo/Group (yes there actually that many adjectives for this category) nominees are understandably LMFAO and Maroon 5, with OneRepublic thrown in as the dark horse.

The Country categories can pretty much be summed up with the words “Taylor Swift,” “Jason Aldean,” and “The Band Perry,” with Lady Antebellum surprisingly only nominated for one category. Hip-Hop apparently only had three acts this year, Lil Wayne, Nicki Minaj, and Kanye West, who are all up against each other for all encompassing categories. Beyonce, Rihanna, and Chris Brown pretty much have the R&B category locked up, and somewhere along the line Katy Perry became considered “Adult Contemporary” as she takes on Adele and Bruno Mars.

The performers have not yet been announced, but no doubt some huge names will sign on. Regardless of the boredom the previous ceremonies have exhibited, I’m still holding on to the hope that after almost 40 years, they may finally get it right! This year’s show will take place on November 20 on ABC.