She may have written a love song dedicated to being 22 years old, but 23 is proving to be a good year for Taylor Swift.
Swift won the Favorite Country Female Artist award at the American Music Awards for the sixth consecutive year. Swift, wearing a gold sequined mini dress, was “shocked” to win as she swept the 2013 AMAs, which aired Sunday. She collected four of the five awards she was nominated for, including the top honor of 2013 Artist of the Year. With more than 37 million Twitter followers, and their track record of voting for her, one would think she always had at least a few awards on lock.
Justin Timberlake was the man of the evening, winning three awards including both Favorite Male Artist and Favorite Soul/R&B Male awards. Luke Bryan took home the Favorite Country Male Artist award almost immediately prior to his performance of his latest hit, “That’s My Kind of Night.”
By the end of the show, I had almost completely forgotten all of this because of some mild — yet still completely bizarre — Miley Cyrus antics involving a giant lip-syncing, crying, winking, animated cat performing “Wrecking Ball.”
I’m also pretty sure the creative minds behind the evening’s live performances have never attended an Open Doors session via Ohio State Student Life. Katy Perry’s opening number, “Unconditionally,” involved her dressing as a Japanese geisha with similarly dressed backup dancers, and Ke$ha and Pitbull (also the host of the show) performed their duet, “Timber,” to a cowboys-and-Indians-themed stage setup and backup dancers.
Not all of the AMA performances offended large populations of people, though. One Direction sang “Story of My Life,” and it was wonderful. How old is Harry Styles? Am I allowed to have a crush on him? Because I think I do after that serenade I’m quite sure he sang right at me. One Direction also took home two awards, including beating out Swift and Timberlake in the Favorite Pop/Rock Album category.
The three-hour show also featured two especially beautiful performances by New Artist of the Year winner Ariana Grande singing “Tattooed Heart” and Christina Aguilera with A Great Big World singing “Say Something.”
Rihanna took home the first ever AMA Icon Award as well as the Favorite Soul/R&B Female Artist. She performed her hit “Diamonds,” but she looked more like a dark mermaid than a diamond in her tiny, two-piece ensemble.
Certainly one theme of the evening was performers winning in their respective categories. Justin Timberlake and The Tennessee Kids sang JT’s latest hit, “Drink You Away,” and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Imagine Dragons and Florida Georgia Line with Nelly all performed before taking awards home for Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Album, Favorite Alternative Rock Artist and Single of the Year, respectively.
And what would an awards show be without a Lady Gaga spectacle? Lady Gaga and R. Kelly took the stage with her new song, “Do What U Want,” in a theatrical, Oval Office-themed performance. I’m sure this won’t be the last we see of Lady Gaga this awards season.