Pitbull, Swift & Booties rock the 2014 AMAs!

Pitbull AMAs 2014

Pitbull returned to the Nokia Theatre stage as the host for the 2014 American Music Awards (Photo property of Dick Clark Productions)

By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com

Last year, one of my lifelong dreams came true: attend the American Music Awards!

I sat at the top of the Nokia Theatre with my cousin, Mike Elyachar, as we watched the 2013 American Music Awards!

I got goose bumps as Justin Timberlake, A Great Big World and Christina Aguilera sang and danced in my seat when Jennifer Lopez paid tribute to the legendary Celia Cruz, Florida Georgia Line collaborated with Nelly and Rihanna performed “Diamonds” as she received the Icon Award.

While I missed sitting at the top of the Nokia Theatre balcony and watching the superb performances from my favorite artists, I enjoyed this year’s show at my apartment!

Taylor Swift kicked off the night with world premiere performance of “Blank Space.” Fans finally got to see the psychotic side of the “You Belong to Me” singer as she recreated her music video on the stage. There were some superb pyrotechnics and excellent choreography…but she lost me with her lip-syncing! C+

As Taylor left the stage, Mr. 305 returned for his opening monologue! He clarified that not all Latinos are not Mexican and praised President Obama for letting everyone stay. He also revealed that he watched Jennifer Lopez and Iggy Azalea’s “Booty” music video 100 times…in slow motion! He then introduced Patrick Dempsey to present the Pop/Rock Band/Duo/Group award….which One Direction won and whole place exploded!

Ansel Elgort from The Fault in Our Stars introduced breakout star Charli XCX, who performed her signature hit: “Boom Clap” and “Break the Rules.” She transported the audience to a high school prom for “Boom Clap” and wore a beautiful Goth black dress and jumped around the stage for “Break the Rules.” She has a bright career ahead of her! A-

Matthew Morrison and Rita Ora introduced Reggae-influenced duo: Top 40 Canadian band Magic! and music icon Wyclef Jean. While I liked the combination, Wyclef really stole the show and overpowered the band (which lead to somebody to forgetting the lyrics to the song).   I was going to rank the performance a B, but for forgetting the words…C.

Jamie Foxx brought his daughter out to help him present the Rap/Hip-Hop album to Iggy Azalea for The New Classic! She also brought up mentor T.I. to receive her first award! One of the show’s oddest couples, Gavin DeGraw and Becky G, presented 5 Seconds of Summer! The Australian pop rock band premiered their take on the Romantics’ “What I Like About You.” They breathed new life into this 35-year-old song and sent the fanatic crowd into a frenzy! A-

Imagine Dragons debuted their latest single: “I Bet My Life” on the Nokia Theatre stage. It is a great song, but there were muffled moments when the quartet sang. However, their backing choir redeemed their performance. Also, it is time that the entire music industry recognizes Dan Reynolds a legit vocalist. B+

Orange Is The New Black’s Taylor Schilling and Uzo Abdula presented the Pop/Rock Male Award to newcomer Sam Smith, who beat music veterans John Legend and Pharrell Williams. Sam praised his fanbase and stated that because of them, he did not feel lonely.

After accepting the Pop/Rock Male Award, Sam returned to the stage to perform “I’m Not the Only One.” His vocals were divine and he stabbed the audience’s hearts with each word! A+

Rapper T.I. introduced his protégé and little sister: Iggy Azalea! I remembered watching Iggy Azalea at Dancefestopia two years ago and I knew she was going to be big! She delivered an intriguing cover of “Fancy,” before teaming up with MO to perform “Beg for It.” Complete with shirtless male dancers and a jungle gym, Iggy sassed her way through her performances and proved why she is the hottest MCs in the industry. B

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay’s Elizabeth Banks introduced Lorde! The New Zealand singer debuted her single: “Yellow Flicker Beat,” which is the title track to the blockbuster film. After performing the first half of the song in a cube, she slithered around a group of models and acted like a woman-possessed. B-

As Selena left the stage, Dancing with the Stars judge Julianne Hough presented the Kohl’s New Artist of the Year to 5 Seconds of Summer! The guys were genially shocked by the win and praised Capitol Records, their management crew and fans.

Last year’s New Artist of the Year, Ariana Grande, performed a medley of her hits from My Everything. She slowed down the tempo to both “Problem” and “Break Free” and transfigured the hits into jazzy and bluesy tunes. She flexed her vocal muscles throughout her set and technically had the best vocals of the night! A+

Former View co-host Jenny McCarthy poked fun at her husband during the presentation of the Pop/Rock album. He stated that boy bands kicked ass back in the 1990s and proved that he was right as One Direction won the award over Lorde’s Pure Heroine and Katy Perry’s Prism.

Mr. Worldwide himself took the stage to deliver a medley of hits ranging from “Don’t Stop the Party” and “Fireball.” Next, his “Give Me Everything” partner-in-crime Ne-Yo to debut their new single: “Time of Our Lives.” Pitbull dropped his smooth beats and Ne-Yo delivered superb vocals in an excellent performance that reignited the night. B+

While Selena Gomez delivered a weak vocal performance, she left viewers wondering if her latest song is about her on-again/off-again boyfriend Justin Bieber. The lyrics, imagery and body language are pointing to the “Baby” singer. C-

Music legend and R&B pioneer Ms. Diana Ross presented Taylor Swift with the Dick Clark Award of Excellence! She praised the late trailblazer for what he did to the music industry and was truly honored to present the award to Taylor Swift. As she hugged friends Selena Gomez, Lorde and Sam Smith, Taylor praised Ms. Ross for her legacy and Dick Clark for being a visionary. She is truly a class act!

Josh Duhmael introduced his wife, Fergie, as she performed her single: “L.A. Love (La La).” It was great to see Fergie perform again! She was sexy and her beats were smooth as butter. Welcome back, Fergie Ferg! A-

The show traveled to Greensboro, North Carolina to see Garth Brooks perform his latest hit: “People Loving People.” Mr. Brooks is truly one of country music’s greatest performers as everyone in the arena was on their feet. A

Aloe Blacc and Ella Henderson introduced the Queen of Hip-Hop/Soul to the AMAs! She premiered the song that she co-wrote with Sam Smith…”Whole Damn Year.” It was one of Ms. Blige’s moving performances and she re-energized the crowd with her superb vocals! A

Jennifer Lopez and Iggy Azalea closed the night with their highly anticipated performance of “Booty” and it brought the house down! It was worth the wait! A-

What were your favorite moments from the night?

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Copyright 2015 Jacob Elyachar