AMAs – BTS; Bruno Mars; Pink and the winners and losers

The winners and losers of the AMAs

BTS (Beyond The Scene) made more than an appearance on the AMAs 2017, they made history as the first K-POP act to appear on the AMAs ever.

BTS has their “army” of devoted fans to thank in part because of their hard work pushing their favorite act to hit the big time by scoring spots on many television shows and storming the sacred gates to the AMAs. They were spotted at Warner Bros. Studios as well its neighbor NBC Universal Studios. From “Ellen” to “Jimmy Kimmel” there they were promoting their current LP release for their “Wings” tour.

This seven-piece ensemble of internationally famous teenage boys wowed the crowds with their performance of “DNA” while rendering up a very flashy choreographed show that had Jared Leto and The Chain Smokers agog. The audience, as well as the BTS “army” were going wild over BTS by chanting for them which is a tradition in South Korea when an act is liked. The better the band, the louder the chant.

I first became aware of BTS during KCON 2016 as there were a lot of their fans wearing their merchandise as well as lots of BTS merchandise for sale. They were also apart of the “Fan Engagement” series at KCON 2017 as well as appearances at KCONs around the world for the past few years.

BTS has described 2017 as an “amazing year” for them due to all the recognition they have received this year and have been greeted by an overwhelming response wherever they appear. BTS has also made history by being the first K-POP act in history to crack the Billboard Top 100 and staying on it for 40 weeks.

It is important to not confuse Psy’s “Gangnam Style” win at the AMAs in 2012 as K-POP, it isn’t.

Although Psy did win an award at the AMAs for Best Pop single he is considered a “novelty” act by a majority of hard core K-POP fans. That doesn’t mean he didn’t bring a lot to the table of K-POP…he did. He was recognized by Guinness World Records, most liked video at the time on YouTube, Best Video at the MTV European Music Awards and raked in 13.4 million dollars for Korea’s audio sector. This success led to South Korea’s expanding their K-POP music industry overseas. Psy/Gangnam Style is also credited with adding a surplus of 2.3 billion dollars in the first nine months of 2012, compared to a 4.5 billion dollar deficit the year before.

Methinks it was smart of South Korea to lift their ban on rock n’ roll in 1994.

With this info, it is safe to credit Psy’s “Gangnam Style” with playing a large role in the movement of the “Korean Wave” and only time will tell if BTS AKA the “Bangtan Boys” will have the impact that Psy did with “Gangnam Style”, after all, BTS didn’t win an award, they just performed. International Stars yes, international awards yes…but up to now not here. Let’s keep an eye on BTS next year.

In order to experience the phenomenal audience response to BTS, I was forced to sit through the entire AMA 2017 show which did offer up more than a few performances and attire that attracted my attention.You know you’re getting old when you only know who a few of the new acts are. Had to look them up when the show was over, but not as many as you might think though.

BTS aside, I think that the best and most entertaining performance was Pink. She blew my mind dancing on the side of a hotel building in Los Angeles while singing “Beautiful Trauma.” As I watched her and the background dancers I kept asking how much those dancers got paid for the gig. I decided that it was the scale rate because of the ability to put that feat on one’s resume must be worth the danger. Amazing performance Pink.

Bruno Mars was as entertaining as usual and can always be relied upon to put out a really great performance.

Mars won a slew of awards: Fave Pop Artist, Fave Male Soul/R&B Artist, Fave Male Pop/Rock Artist and Video of The Year. Mars does have his detractors, but can they say that they have won as many awards as he has? Can they say that the people he is supposed to have ripped off made as many awards? I think of Mars as a James Brown on steroids.

I gotta say, wardrobe can make an act, or make one want to put them out of one’s misery and so it was with Actress Chrissy Metz (“This Is Us”) and singer Kelly Clarkson…please. Whoever picked out the wardrobe for these two talented women needs to go back to design school and relearn how to dress women of a certain size. There is no excuse for dressing Ms. Metz in a dress that looked as if it had come straight from Omar the Tent Maker and covering Clarkson up in a feathered cape that had me wondering if she was going to sneeze or fly off. Clarkson offered up quite a flawless performance, but who would know as everyone was wondering the same thing as I was…does the wardrobe consultant hate women of a certain size? One friend that was also watching the show and texting me said that “there is only so much you can do.” I don’t accept that.

The absolutely worst performance by far was that of Christina Aguilera singing a medley of Whitney Houston’s hits. Pink’s face said it all.

Ouch. On the AMA’s page it stated that Aguilera’s performance was done “flawlessly,” I must ask were they watching the same show that I was? Off key and too much gospel warbling to cover up her inability to hit the notes that she needed to was more than Pink or I could take. It’s been noted that Houston has been said to have stated she felt that Aguilera sang her songs the best. How long ago was that? Didn’t see any evidence of that on November 19th.

Diana Ross closed the AMAs with a medley of her hits which was a real treat and brought back many fond memories of her music as well as her film performances.

Ross’ voice was in fine shape and she looked marvelous. She won the AMA’s Lifetime Achievement Award with grace and aplomb. She brought up her extended family onto the stage and it was so nice to see the diversity of her large family. There were a few children that made me wonder if they were going to grow up as performers. Ross’ daughter Tracee Ellis Ross of “Black-ish” fame hosted the event this year and she was so funny and refreshing that I had to laugh. Lots of wardrobe changes.

There were other awards handed out as well some of which were: The Chain Smokers won the Fave Electronic Dance Music Artist; Niall Horan won New Artist of The Year. Among underwhelming performances was Selina Gomez and Ed Sheeran lost his bid for an award to Bruno Mars. Found Nick Jonas’ performance interesting even though whenever I see him I wonder who he going with now; as well as Imagine Dragons who won the Fave Pop/Rock Group but lost Fave Alternative Group to Linkin Park who provided a moving speech and surprised award presenter Mark Cuban by coming and dedicated the award to their frontman Chester Bennington. “Always appreciate what you got and make Chester proud” was their tribute to Chester. My fave songs done by them are “Set Fire To The Rain” and “Burn It Down.” This is an act that I first got to know on “Myspace” and we had many lively exchanges there… RIP Chester. For those of you that do not know and were living under a rock or freeway Chester committed suicide on July 20, 2017. The collaboration of Imagine Dragons and Khalid was a fun performance of “Young, Dumb & Broke.” Khalid won the award for Artist to Watch.

When I had an account with “Myspace” Lady Gaga hooked up with me and I reciprocated. The next thing I know I’m getting threats from Gaga’s “Monsters” if I don’t send on some stupid chain letter…sorry Gaga I am not interested. Gaga did win the Fave Pop/Rock Female award and sang “The Cure” with a flurry that I’m sure her “monsters” deeply adored or else. Cold Play, famous for the conscious uncoupling event than took the news and TMZ by storm won for Tour of The Year.

Portugal. The Man made quite a first impression on their AMA debut with their snappy and funky biggest hit to date “Feel It Still.”

With a computer in the background telling the audience “No computers up here. Just Live instruments” they did leave quite a feast impression and will be keeping an eye on them in 2018.

Caroline McElroy
Author: Caroline McElroy

The muse struck at a young age and began with Ernie’s Record Shop on Lankershim Blvd. In North Hollywood where I purchased my first Beatle record “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” and a record by Major Lance titled “Um,Um,Um,Um,Um,Um”. From there I saw the Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl and I was hooked…on Rock N’ Roll. At the age of 13 it seems as if the magical world of Rock N’ Roll opened up and welcomed me. A trip to Indio with Frank Zappa and possee, and subsequent gigs as a dancer at The Teen Fairs at the Hollywood Palladium sealed the deal. As a trained journalist, I’ve written for magazines, newsletters,newspapers and blogs. In addition, I have run a nightclub by the name of The Cave. Music is the thread that weaves a patchwork quilt of genres, venues and experience out of my life and in the process have introduced many fine acts to my followers. For the rest of my story dear readers, read my articles and it will unfold like the petals of a lotus flower. Sometimes you’ve gotta wear the hat to remind people who they are dealing with. LOL