The 2018 American Music Awards Performance Recap

The good, the bad and the boring

American Music Awards 2018 Photo By
American Music Awards 2018 Photo By

If you missed the award show last night, allow me to be your source into what were must-see moments, and what were most certainly not. While the award show was full of stars, not all of them shined. Here is a recap of everything that went down.

The show began with the much anticipated Taylor Swift performing an altered version of I Did Something Bad, and man was it good. It was her first time performing her Reputation album for an award show, and she did not disappoint. Between her epic stage and her iconic sparkly outfit, I didn’t want to blink. Whether you love Taylor or not, it would be foolish to call her anything but a true performer. She provides an entertainment value that is undeniably strong. The only thing that could have possibly out-staged her was the massive cobra behind her which she confirmed goes by the name Karyn. The people have spoken, and she is officially the most awarded female artist in American Music Awards history.

Twenty One Pilots performed their song Jumpsuit, from their new album Trench that was released just last week. The performance was thoroughly thought out with memorable special effects, and a car on fire behind them as they performed. I will say that while the overall quality of their performance was good, I did find that the music was slightly too loud, and there were moments where it felt like lead singer, Tyler Joseph was struggling to compete with it.

The next performance was Mariah Carey, with new music that no one really knew/cared about. Sure, she is reputable for her powerful voice, but at this point in the industry, a good voice just doesn’t cut it anymore. I’m not saying you need a full band and a 200 person dance team, but she didn’t move the entire time. I swear at one point, I asked myself “is she stuck?” If you are performing a slow ballad following performances like Taylor Swift, you have to give more, and that doesn’t include lip syncing.

Shawn Mendes took the stage with Zedd to perform Lost in Japan from his newest album, Shawn Mendes. He showed his talents with an outstanding performance, reminding us that singing is most definitely in his blood. My only complaint was that I didn’t know the words to sing along.

Ella Mai had a great performance. She performed within the crowd, and the simplicity of it worked for her. I did find it to be slightly too long, but her vocals were strong.

Cardi B ft Jay Balvin and Bad Bunny was a performance I was looking forward to all night, and I was not let down. It was inventive and colourful, and exactly what you would want out of Cardi B. Her outfit in itself was something I couldn’t keep my eyes off of. She looked amazing – just had a baby who? And sure, Jay Balvin and Bad Bunny were good, but Cardi stole the show. Even when they were performing, I couldn’t resist Cardi dancing and riding her bike.

Following Cardi was Khalid, Halsey and Benny Blanco. They took the stage using the unique set of a home studio. I always find Khalid super enjoyable to watch. He doesn’t need fireworks to keep the audience interested, and that was proven last night when he took the stage for this casual and cool performance.

Post Malone featuring Ty dolla $ign were up next, and for someone who has seen Post live, I knew the audience was in for a treat. Don’t let his barbed wire tattoo distract you, he is a quality performer, and and an underrated singer. He performed two songs, and I wish he did more.

Dua Lipa is one of the acts that I could have passed on. Her 90’s vibe was cool, and her singing was fine, but the overall performance of One Kiss and Electricity was mediocre. Majority of the time, I was either distracted by her outfit falling off, or her backup dancers making out. I know we are in a time where we are trying to constantly reinvent, but this performance was overdone.

JLO performed on a pedastool, and there’s a reason for that. She looked absolutely gorgeous, but is that something I even need to say? At this point, it’s just something we know. She performed her new song limitless, and it seriously couldn’t be more fitting. The only thing louder than her projection of girl power, was the projection of the audience.

Camila Cabello stuned the audience with a performance of her new song Consequences. She had an entire orchestra behind her, but it was her voice that was electrifying. The song showcased how her voice has matured, and how truly beautiful of a singer she is. I was clapping the entire time from my couch, but I wasn’t the only one. Cardi B was spotted applauding her in the audience, before the song even finished.

Ciara and Missy Elliot were exactly who I wanted to see. The performance veterans proved with high energy, and plenty of dancing that they only get better with age.

When you’re pregnant, you get superpowers or something, right? Carrie Underwood sang her song Spinning Bottles, and proved why she is the queen of country. Her performance was effortless, and left the crowd mezmorized by her talents.

Panic at the Disco payed tribute to Queen by performing a much anticipated performance of Bohemian Rhapsody. I’ll be honest, I didn’t know what to expect because Queen is, well, King. There is nobody quite like Freddie Mercury, so I was unsure of how they would compare. The intro was done slightly softer than the original, but their rendition of the classic song was impressive. Brendon Urie hit amazing high notes, and did an overall job well done.

Gladys Knight, Ledisi, Donnie McClurkin, CeCe Winans and Mary Mary joined forces to pay tribute to the queen of soul, Aretha Franklin. There was not a dry eye in the building as they took the stage perform a gospel production. It was power, inspiring and full of talent. It was beautiful to watch, and a must-see.

Favourite rap/hip hop artist: Cardi B
Pop/rock male: Post Malone
Tour of the year: Taylor Swift
Soul/r&b male: Khalid
Pop/rock song: Camilla Cabello – Havana
Country female: Carrie Underwood
Adult/contemporary artist: Shawn Mendes
Pop/rock duo/group: Migos
Soul/r&b album: XXXTentacion
Pop/rock album: Taylor Swift
Favourite country male artist: Kane Brown
New artist of the year: Camilla Cabello
Artist of the year: Taylor Swift