Get ready to have your hair blown back by the 2014 American Music Awards. Broadcast live on ABC from The Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles, there's promise of lots of Iggy Azalea — the night's nominations leader — opening act Taylor Swift, singer Ariana Grande, a Lil Wayne sighting and more
Follow along in our live blog below.
5:00pm EST: Did you know the American Music Awards are three hours long? That's why this intro is 15 minutes long.
5:02: Taylor Swift's “Blank Space is up first. If you're not familiar, it's the new single from her runaway hit album “1989” and is by far her CRAZY-CRAZIEST-EYED song ever. How many men will she kill in this performance?
5:04 I lost count of dead ex-lovers. Is this “Fury?” Did you see that perfectly set of crazy eyes? She's on her knees pulling her best “Bad Romance.” I'm kind of in love with her now, too, I should wear a hazmat suit.
5:06 Pitbull is just shouting buzzwords at me now. Off the chain! Raising roofs! Music, go team, score all the points!
5:08 “Not all Latinos are Mexican. Mexicano!” Pitbull starts. It's like a joke with no punchline. “President Obama said we can all stay.”
5:09 Iggy Azalea is not impressed with Pitbull having admitted watching her “Booty” video hundreds of times in slow motion. Iggy Azalea is a serious artist, Azalea thinks to herself. Iggy Azalea's booty is, like, art.
5:11 Oh that's so weird, One Direction won a fan-voted award, so strange. I'm guessing the category is for Cutest Boy In Math Class (actually, it's Favorite Pop/Rock Band Duo or Group).
5:17 Ansel Elgort, swoon-man of “Fault in Our Stars,” introduces Charli XCX's “Boom Clap,” featured in the movie. This song is also possibly the best pop song of 2014. You slept on it. It's ok. Loving the junior prom theme.
5:20 This leather-clad boobie death grip was brought to you by Charli XCX's “Break the Rules,” from the forthcoming album “Sucker.” The goth transition was cool until she tried to get all punk rock. It was Hot Topic punk rock. I miss the pink balloons :(
5:22 Wyclef Jean is here singing “Remember When I Was in the Fugees.” Or, rather, it's a song that's for charity, released with Avicii called “Divine Sorrow.”
5:24 Magic! The band that requires an exclamation point due to copyright and previously named acts called Magic! Just looking at that dude makes me hate middle school all over again. “Rude” is simultaneously the catchiest and worst song of 2014. We're really hitting all our superlatives here.
5:30 I can't understand half of what Pitbull's saying, and I'm not talking about his Spanish. That's kinda fun. No, he's speaking really fast. Big breath, dude.
5:32 Jamie Foxx is holding a little girl who is about his own size. It's weird.
5:33 Iggy Azalea plundered Lorde's wardrobe.
5:34 “This is the first award I've ever won for anything…” Azalea is genuinely moved for her Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Album win. Go get it.
5:35 For those who may be confused about who 5 Seconds Of Summer are, they're like the community theater kid version of Green Day. For those who know and love 5 Seconds Of Summer, Green Day is a pop-punk band from the 1990s, who made some questionable choices and took great career risks in the aughts, you should look them up.
5:42 Imagine Dragons is still the rock-formatted band that is still making actual rock music in the rock sphere. They're on the radio for making rock. They make rock records. There is something to be said for that, I'm glad they're around. That being acknowledged, “I Bet My Life” feels like 3 minutes of someone yelling at me inside my own house.
5:47 Mega-LOL at OITNB stars Taylor Schilling and Uzo Aduba laughing hard at their wooden script.
5:49 Congrats to Sam Smith, for his win Favorite Male Pop/Rock Artist, based initially off of a song that is pretty much exactly Tom Petty's “Won't Back Down” but less stoned and sacredly sung.
5:52 I just figured out what 1D's Louis Tomlinson's haircut reminds me of.
5:54 Intrepid reporter Chris Eggertsen and I took like a full minute to figure out Pitbull's glaucoma joke. We're not true Californians, I guess.
5:58 Sam Smith's “I'm Not the Only One” is the reason his “In the Lonely Hour” will be your folks' stocking stuffer x100
5:59 “Women can run hip-hop…” says T.I. They can, but is Iggy the way into that convo? Nicki Minaj is backstage somewhere, throwing so much shade she needs a marlin net.
6:01 This Iggy Igg medley with “Fancy” (Charli XCX) and “Beg For It” featuring MO is already twice as good as her ill-fated SNL appointment. More space, more dance, more lively. And Mo isn't there. BIG SIDE EYES
6:05 Luke Bryan Forgets A Button, Wins Favorite Country Male
6:12 LORDE IS IN A TINY ROOM. GET HER OUT OF THE ROOM
6:13 LORDE'S SURROUNDED BY THE GUILTY REMNANT FROM 'THE LEFTOVERS' GET HER OUT AND SAFELY
6:14 This actually might be one of my favorite performances from the night. So stark. It's like the anti-performance. The Courtney Love lipstick smear, there's no need for broken instruments and spikes. Kudos for Lorde, get that “Mockingjay” visibility for “Yellow Flicker Beat” and for the rest of that soundtrack.
6:16 Ariana Grande is on with a smooth jazz version of “Problem,” sung at 75% speed and yet still I can't tell what the words to this song are. All hail Queen Mushmouth.
6:18 Giant expanding hearts in pink and blue blow up behind Grande for “Love Me Harder,” Mariah Carey is at home, sharpening knives. Weeknd has a rough start and looks a little lost on a stage this big, but I think he's earning new fans.
6:21 This newsroom just filled with barf sounds: Jenny McCarthy's on TV.
6:23 One Direction wins for Favorite Pop/Rock Album, and it doesn't really matter for which album, just look at Harry Styles' Johnny Depp hat. What do you think he's hiding under there?
6:25 Harry Styles is hiding panties under his hat
6:25 Harry Styles is hiding Four Loko under his hat
6:25: Harry Styles is holding Zayn Malick's career back… under his hat
6:28 Miss America is proud to introduce the night's host, who already introduced himself. And you wonder why this show is three hours long.
6:31 You can tell the state of Pitbull and Ne-Yo's self-esteem by the number of scantily clad dancers dancing at them.
6:34 Favorite Pop/Rock Female goes to Katy Perry, as presented by three carved driftwood statues. The Kardashian sisters say that Perry's live acceptance speech is via satellite, but we are not stupid and… well it doesn't matter, Perry seems less-than-excited anyway.
6:40 I can't believe “Alternative Rock Album” is still even a category. Imagine Dragons win. At least they're “rock.”
6:42 “The Heart Wants What It Wants.” Rumor has it those voice mails are to/for Selena Gomez' on-and-off bey Justin Bieber. Dark clouds roll, barbed wire glazes flesh, roses burst. Love is a nightmare you guys. Don't fall in love with Justin Bieber.
6:45 Mascara stained tears, a winged being flies into an eclipse. Take it easy on us, Gomez, we're getting a case of the Mondays on a Sunday.
6:47 Best New Artist (presented by Kohl's) is given to 5SOS. “Bastille, you guys are awesome,” they say at the podium. “This really shows that a little band from Sydney can do great things.”
6:56 Second Aussie win in a row. Azalea takes home Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop artist, stumps for David Geffen.
6:58 Kate Beckinsale introduces a little tiny band, One Direction. How does she stay so young? Drink the blood of her foes?
7:00 One Direction hitting you hard, where it hurts: with a forgettable mid-tempo father-daughter dance in a corn field.
7:02 “Goodness gracious great wall of China…” Lil Wayne rhymes in his song “Start a Fire” featuring eye candy Christina Milian. The rest of that stanza was bleeped. But knowing Weezy's affinity for cunnilingus, we can take a guess what he rhymed it with. Lotta fire in this show. And yet my eyebrows are still intact.
7:06 For her first act, Nicki Minaj keeps things classy in a nearly bridal white gown, getting serious-faced with Skylar Grey tickling the ivories. Check out the music video for this song, “Bed of Lies,” here. Minaj will be back later, for “Bang Bang” with Ariana Grande and Jessie J.
7:11 Diana Ross is having a hard time with her dress. She may be more excited than she normally would, to cover for the fact she may accidentally expose her Supremes.
7:15 Congrats to Taylor Swift, for the first-ever Dick Clark Award For Whatever Gets Her Back Up Here
7:17 Here's why I love Taylor Swift, Celebrity. She graciously thanks her presenter, Diana Ross, while simultaneously nodding to her own legacy, for “a woman who would stick up for herself” even when it wasn't popular to do so. She uses the apple box to thank her fans, and most specifically those fans who bought her album. In other words, thanks for the purchase and suck it, Spotify. Her “value” speech has everything to do with her “quality versus quantity” argument against streaming services. But makes all that as a compliment to her fans. Crafty. Smart. Celebrity.
7:22 Fergie having a tough time to snap attention back to the performances, ends on a soft note with a wardrobe issue at the end of “L.A. Love (La La).” The single hasn't moved the needle enough for a full-fledged comeback, and I don't think the neon lights and the shaggin' wagon setpiece will do it either.
7:28 Luke Bryan experiencing a little disconnect, dealing with an AMAs crowd (North Carolina what… what?) as opposed the CMAs, AMC, CMTs, AACCMMMMs. Get excited for Garth Brooks, though.
7:31 Garth Brooks tore down the roof… anywhere other than in L.A. “People Loving People” is rowdy, knee-dancey, and the perfect time to check your phone, because there will be no cutaways to Taylor Swift. “Country,” she sniffs somewhere grand, grasping a flute of champagne, “I think I remember country.“
7:33 I know exactly what this performance will be. It's Mary J. Blige being great and almost uniformly indistinguishable from the 200 other awards shows she'll say “yes” to in the coming year. “Whole Damn Year” isn't the best melody to depart from her mouth but, again, it's lovely. Thanks Ms. Blige, you can collect your check in your green room.
7:41 Jessie J, Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj come together again for “Bang, Bang,” and they do a killer job with their vocals, their wild gold outfits, their grinding up on the front row. Taylor Swift and Jessie share the frame, blowing minds for anybody who read my “Good Girls” piece. Minaj has a little more fun here. Sad that Jessie J still isn't A Thing here in America, what crazy pipes.
7:54 “We genuinely can't believe it…” Really, One Direction, you genuinely can't believe you've won a trio of fan-voted music awards, including this one, Artist of the Year? If they're happy, you're happy. We did it, America.
7:57 Houston, we have butt-rubbing. Azalea joins Jennifer Lopez for “Booty,” Lopez' derriere rising and falling like the moons of Jupiter.
7:59 “Booty” gets yet another remix as Lopez steps out and does what Lopez does best: hoof it. She makes any non-dancing act tonight look like a bunch of drowsy squirrels. “Booty” may not be a music achievement, but J-Lo has this magical ability to make any performance utterly entertaining.
8:00 It ends on time! I'm flabbergasted! Out of the woods! In the clear! Good.