Yesterday evening was a star-studded night for ABC, which aired the 41st Annual American Music Awards, comprising superstar artists like Taylor Swift, One Direction, Justin Timberlake, Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry and more.
The three-hour event full of live performances, awards, speeches, sparkly wardrobes and the mingling of iconic, millionaire celebrities coincided with a monumental, historic, landmark accord between world powers to halt Iran’s nuclear program, and, in essence, prevent the entire world from dismantling into a state of chaos and decimation.
When Katy Perry took the stage at approximately 8:15 p.m. to sing her single, “Unconditionally,” and millions of observers across the nation Tweeted their reaction to her vocal performance, somewhere — far away — President Barack Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif were sealing an international pact behind closed doors, potentially extending the lives of every person who lives in this world.
And at 3 a.m. eastern time, when all of the night’s performances — including ones by Ariana Grande, Macklemore and Kendrick Lamar — were being illegally uploaded to YouTube, the world leaders signed off on the accord, which, for the first time in ages, may lead to a significant improvement in U.S.-Iran relations.
OK, you get the point.
Awards shows like the American Music Awards represent a goldmine for all those (…like me) who have a fascination with popular culture. Every major star, including all those named above — minus Obama, Kerry and the Iranian dude — are together in one room. I mean, numbers haven’t even gotten high enough yet to the point where you’d be able to compute their combined Twitter followers.
Also, where else would you get to see Justin Timberlake and Taylor Swift not only cross paths, but join together to do the “surprised face” that Taylor has mastered so brilliantly?
On a side note, Taylor took home four AMAs last night, and, for the record, she did not act surprised for any of them.
But while all those shenanigans were going on, the aforementioned agreement to temporarily freeze Iran’s nuclear program was reached. Again, I’m not going to pretend like I know all about this, but when it comes to Iran, Americans naturally fear the worst. While they say they’ve been building up their nuclear program for “peaceful purposes,” we live in anxiety that one day, their president Hassan Rouhani will wake up on the wrong side of the bed and decide to nuke everything.
Under the agreement, Iran cannot enrich its uranium supply greater than 5 percent, which is required to make bombs. In exchange, the U.S. will give Iran billions of dollars in sanction relief. While some politicians wanted harsher limitations on Iran’s nuclear program, this is reportedly designed to be a foundation for a more lucrative accord in the near future.
But, let’s face it, nothing in those last two paragraphs is more interesting than a TLC reunion, featuring Lil’ Mama as the late Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes.
People don’t want to think about nuclear war. Especially on a Sunday night. And why would they? It’s literally the worst case scenario that the world could ever come to. It’s much more enjoyable to watch ABC pan to an audience reaction shot of Taylor Swift to every single performance, or watch Lady Gaga collaborate with R. Kelly than to listen to a political analyst talk about Iran.
But let’s all take a moment and acknowledge that, with this accord, nuclear war will likely not happen for at least another three to five years. That’s something worth celebrating, right? Or at least a small fist pump?
But back to the AMAs. An interesting decision by the show’s producers was to have Miley Cyrus give the closing performance. You all already know my view towards Miley. I’ve lightened up on her a bit. She’s got talent, but it’s hidden under all her unnecessary theatrics.
That being said, I thought this was an opportunity for her — once and for all — to silence her critics, and to deliver a poignant, solemn rendition of “Wrecking Ball” under a giant international microscope. No gimmicks. No funky outfits. Just singing.
Though she listened to approximately one-third of those things by giving a stationary, heartfelt performance, she still chose to wear a sexually provocative outfit, and for some reason, have a giant, digital cat directly behind her, completely distracting the viewer from anything else that was happening. She still sung it well, and I’m not saying she blew it, but I thought she really could have taken better advantage of the grandiose opportunity. Oh well.
Is it bad that this disappoints me more than the fact that we’re not heading for war?