The 2012 Billboard Music Awards were as flashy and over-the-top as one would expect from a show located in Las Vegas. Artists sang from the stage, from the sky, and from the audience. (We saw you singing along to “Fight For Your Right (To Party)”, Carrie Underwood!) Three fallen artists were paid tribute to, Chris Brown brought his bikes, and Katy Perry brought her grandma. It all made for a jam-packed evening, though we must admit that some moments worked better than others. Head below to relive the best five moments from last night’s awards fest — and live to regret the five worst.
TOP 5 BEST MOMENTS:
1. Katy Perry bringing her grandmother as her date.
Perry reportedly broke things off with Robert Akroyd, the Florence + The Machine guitarist she was cuddling up next to during both Coachella weekends. Instead of just going stag to the awards show, Perry brought her 91-year-old grandmother, Ann Hudson, as her date, and even gave her a shout-out from the stage while accepting the Spotlight Award. Hudson also attended the 2011 Grammys with her granddaughter, you may recall. Who needs a man when you’ve got your grandma by your side?
2. Miley Cyrus’ shocking outfit.
The 19-year-old pop star looked like the long-lost daughter of Sex & The City‘s Samantha while wearing a stark white blazer — and little else. We can always count on Miley to stir the pot (when she’s not smoking it).
3. Goodie Mob paying tribute to Adam Yauch and Beastie Boys.
The one-legged dancer already won us over during Goodie Mob‘s “Fight To Win”, but the gang’s performance got even better when it transitioned into a tribute to Beastie Boys‘ Adam Yauch, who died earlier this month after a battle with cancer. Even Carrie Underwood couldn’t help from singing along in the audience!
4. Old home footage of Taylor Swift.
Before the country star took the stage to accept the award as Woman Of The Year, we got to see Swift back in the day. We love seeing what she looked like — poofy hair! no makeup! clothes without sparkles! — before she hit it big at the ripe old age of 16.
5. Idols ruled the night.
To borrow a line from Carrie Underwood’s new single, we were blown away by all the performances from former American Idol winners. Kelly Clarkson wowed with her new single “Dark Side”, and Jordin Sparks got us so emotional, baby, with her tribute to her Sparkle co-star Whitney Houston. (Watch it here.) But Carrie was the queen of the night, delivering a powerful performance of her new album’s title track. Everyone bow and worship these these Idols.
TOP 5 WORST MOMENTS
1. Any time Ty Burrell and Julie Bowen were on stage.
We love Modern Family, but having the Dunphys host the Billboard Music Awards was like having your mom and dad try to be hip and entertain your friends by cracking bad jokes when you just want them to leave you alone.
2. Katy Perry rips off Pink and herself.
Katy Perry’s performance of her new single “Wide Awake” managed to remind us of not one, but two memorable performances from awards show past: Pink‘s game-changing aerial performance of “Glitter In The Air” at the 2010 Grammys, and Perry’s “Not Like The Movies” number the following year, where she once again was elevated above the stage in a swing. The worst part, though, wasn’t the concept of the performance, but Perry’s spotty vocals — we could barely understand what she was singing (when she wasn’t entirely relying on her backing track, that is).
3. The Wanted really need to learn some choreography.
YOU ARE A BOY BAND! Learn some moves! A box step, even. Just stop standing up their awkwardly while one of you comes forward to sing your verse. There’s no reason any of your songs couldn’t be sung by just one person, so prove you’re meant to be a group by performing like one.
4. Cutting off Natasha Bedingfield’s tribute to Donna Summer.
Was it really necessary to interrupt Natasha’s tribute to the disco legend with a commercial break? Pretty disrespectful, Billboard producers.
5. Carly Rae Jepsen.
The most underwhelming performance of the night belonged to pop newbie and Bieber protege Carly Rae Jepsen. Her voice was fragile and barely audible, she had no stage presence, and she had nothing to do but high-five people in the crowd. And let’s not even get started on that terrible commercial she allowed herself to be part of for John Freida hair dye. We might have your song still stuck in our heads, Carly, but we definitely won’t be calling you.