Billboard Music Awards 2013: Recognizing the Good, the Bad and The Biebs

billboard music awards 2013Going into the Billboard Music Awards, we know three things for sure, right? 1. Taylor Swift is going to be adorkable. (And you are going to hate that. You always do.) 2. At least half a dozen times, I’m going to have to ask Google to identify an act that, because I’m a nerd who’s well past puberty, I’ve never heard of. (How am I supposed to tell Macklemore from Ryan Lewis when I still struggle with telling Hall from Oates?) And 3. the whole massive recording industry back-slap will be followed by a TVLine Top 10 countdown of the ceremony’s best and worst. In fact – what a coincidence – here it is:

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10. WORST TRACY MORGAN IMPERSONATION | None of us would be surprised, would we, if the scandal-magnet host had been told to play it safe. But it’s a huge shock that he seems to have actually listened. Whether introducing Wayne Newton as “my daddy” or engaging in a dance-off with Psy, he gives off an air of Tracy Lite. Not unpleasant, exactly, just not… you know, him.

The Band Perry9. BEST LIGHTSHOW | For their lively rendition of “Better Dig Two,” The Band Perry awesomely recycles the lasers from Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s “Relax” video. J.Lo and Pitbull later risk blacking out the whole joint by switching on every light, strobe and laser in it for “Live It Up.” But Selena Gomez still takes the prize. C’mon, how could she not? She mock-Bollywoods her way through “Come and Get It” surrounded by Joel McHale’s (and my!) favorite home-shopping item… flameless candles!

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8. ODDEST STAGING | Though Taylor Swift’s performance of “22” ends in a madcap mob scene in center stage, it starts – and goes all the way through the first chorus – backstage. Fine for us watching at home, sure, but presumably kind of a yawn for the actual audience. At least the serial dater scores a point by telling fans as she accepts her Artist of the Year statuette, “You are the longest and best relationship I’ve ever had.”

7. BEST BRAWL | Say what you will about Chris Brown (and you can, will and, if you ask me, should), but his moves during the Jacko-esque “Fine China” are impressive. Plus, since the number includes a ninja battle, I figure there’s a 50/50 chance he won’t end the evening throwing beer bottles at presenter Kid Rock for cracking, “Let’s give it up for people lip-synching under prerecorded music.”

6. BIGGEST TEASE | After whetting our appetite for Madonna with a clip package of the Top Touring Artist in action, she… doesn’t perform. Instead, Her Madgesty – styled like a cross between Patsy Stone and Vanity 6 – grumbles about the height of her mic (“They obviously think I’m shorter than I am; I’m not happy about that”), hides behind sunglasses that even she calls “pretentious” and, finally removing her glasses, uses Will.I.Am as her gofer.

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5. BEST A-HA ‘MOMENT’ | Literally, a-ha, the 1980s act! At the end of Pitbull and Christina Aguilera’s “Feel This Moment” (complete with the Voice judge tapping her mic like she’s tapping out a pinch of salt), the duo throw the spotlight to Morten Harket to sing a little of “Take On Me,” his New Wave classic that their hit samples. (Finally, the kids’ turn to ask, “Who is that?”)

Justin Bieber Billboard Music Awards4. WORST DRESSED | Justin Bieber is young, fit and can buy his own department store. So there’s no excuse for his showing up to sing “Take You” in a leather jacket that’s missing a sleeve and a pair of leather pants so baggy, they look like a miniskirt pulled over hip boots. (Maybe that’s why Miley Cyrus looks so disgusted when she announces his victory as Top Male Artist?) Later, before telling us in his Milestone Award acceptance speech that he “should be taken seriously,” he finds a second jacket sleeve to perform “That Power” with Will.I.Am. But not only is he still wearing skirttrousers, he’s got the Black Eyed Pea wearing ’em, too. (Is this the parachute pants of the ’10s?)

3. BIGGEST LAWSUIT WAITING TO HAPPEN | After getting lost in his own lightshow at the start of his passionate performance of “Adorn,” Miguel decides to make sure we’re paying attention toward the end by hurling himself across the stage… and landing directly on a member of the audience! Ouch – to the extreme! (Backstage passes for life, anyone?)

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2. RAUNCHIEST NUMBER | Good thing Nicki Minaj and Lil’ Wayne’s “High School” hook-up gets saved for near the end of the show. Even if you consider her crotch-grabbing kid-friendly, the lap dance she gives her fellow rapper – and the ample screen time given to her ample posterior – definitely aren’t. (Oh, and yes, the wife-beater and pajama bottoms Lil’ Wayne wears do have me rethinking Justin Bieber’s Worst Dressed designation. Then again, Lil’ Wayne’s never been a fashion plate, has he?

1. THE BEST OF THE BEST | You’ll debate amongst yourselves which performances you think stand out, but for my money, the winners are Bruno Mars (on the retrofantastic “Treasure”), Kacey Musgraves (low-key but spot-on on “Merry-Go-Round”) and Icon Award recipient Prince, who reinterprets “Let’s Go Crazy” as a kind of psychedelic Jimi Hendrix jam and mixes it in with new tune “Fix Ur Life Up.” (We’ll talk about that fro he stole from The Golden Girls’ Sophia some other time… )

Okay, your turn. What did you think of the show? What did I miss – or dis that I shouldn’t have? (Admit it, Beliebers, wouldn’t you rather see Justin in… pants?) The comments section below would be a swell place to leave your comments.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Rachel says:

    Stana Katic was on it! Only thing worth mentioning :)

  2. Vanessa says:

    your comentary about taylor doesn’t fit with the eight awards she got. no argument against facts. she keeps on showing everyone that her talent goes beyond all those sh*tty rumors but people would rather believe that she’s a worthless wh*re. must agree with her, “haters gonna hate”.

    • RodPod says:


      • Sibella says:

        Ha ha ha. I’ll join in for a second *YAWN* !

      • misha says:

        I think we all know that people who win awards in hollywood typically aren’t the best singers, the best songwriters, the best lyricists or the best actors for that matter.

    • What commentary are you referring to? There was no negative statement made about Taylor in that article. RIF

    • dude says:

      Did she actually get 8 awards? Only 2 were televised.

    • Ethan says:

      She’s the chick from Boy Meets World who starts selling albums when Eric breaks up with her to keep her away from the store. She’s what everyone says. An ex-boyfriend every month, it’s always their fault, and then she trashes them in a new poorly written single. That 22 song has some of the worst lyrics not in a Lil Wayne song. But girls eat it up and they make up over 50% of the worlds population.

      • Well, I don’t expect you to suddenly become a huge Taylor Swift fan or even accept what I’m about to say, but you’re wrong. The thing Taylor excel the most at is not trashing ex boyfriends with songs, it’s depcting perfectly the feelings of people (us, fans) who go through simliar situations as her. And yes, being with jerks who hurt you bad is one of those, but only one of those. Some of the greatest Taylor Swift songs are about how great love is, how sometimes it’s just fate that breaks a couple apart, some of them are not even about love, she has this incredible ability to depict feelings like being a teenager, being a young adult, graduating, being with your friends, moving on, accepting harsh things. That’s the great thing about her, how she can sum up a wide range of themes with incredibly rich and deep lyrics, that’s the reason I love her music and do not judge her for being with a different boyfriend every month. I respect that, she can do whatever she wants with her life and still be a role model to young girls, and then to me, a young male who works hard for what he wants, not a childish girl.

        • Ethan says:

          I disagree. But I’m not saying you’re wrong because clearly that’s what she is to you and many others and there’s nothing wrong with that.

        • Nancy says:

          Amen, Alan! So tired of all the hate on Taylor. She is a wonderful role model for young girls and takes than title seriously. Love Taylor!

          • Pattygale says:

            I don’t know about the role model thing, tho she seems like a nice girl, I just wish she could sing.
            I wrote her off entirely once she did the duet with Stevie Nicks a few years ago. So many of these young, and old, performers rely on clueless, young fans who have never existed without autotune and lip synching. I don’t want to sound cranky, but a cute face and lots of promo replaces talent now days……. not always, but often enough to be discouraging.

        • Elyse says:

          I don’t even understand all of the Taylor hate… she is famous for singing songs and having actual talent… she didn’t make a sex tape and doesn’t go out drinking and doing drugs. I love her… I went to her concert in Columbus Ohio earlier this month and it was amazing. I hope she never quits making music.

          • M says:

            she is a mediocre singer/songwriter at best. If you look at the score to her music she uses the same chord progressions over and over again with very basic rhythmic patters. I couldn’t care less what she does in her personal life but when people make her out to be more talented than she actually is….

      • Luke says:

        She needs to reinvent herself a beyond the lovelorn girl who wants a boyfriend. It just won’t play well when she’s thirty and singing about the guy she lost again and again.

        • Oh, but she’s getting there. I reckon not with the fastest pace out there, but I sense a palpable maturation on her music, not just quality-wise, but with the themes and content of the songs also. Who could have thought Taylor Swift would be singing about sex? And yet now we have the incredible Treacherous in which she, albeit not explicity, talks about it, and so on.

      • Tina B. says:

        I totally agree with you Ethan, the only song I like of Taylor Swift’s was “Mean”. I am so sick of hearing about her boyfriends, and break ups, poor unsuspecting victims. She is the chick from Boy Meets World, always looking for a new horrible song. I didn’t like Selena Gomez and her mock bollywood performance either, no consideration for the actual culture, just sexing it up and selling albums. If Selena doesn’t want to wear clothes fine, but don’t wear East Indian type clothes and mock them

        • Ethan says:

          Wow, I didn’t know Selena did that. I heard about the Kid Rock comment that they thought was directed towards her. The only things I know happen is Miguel freakin Hulk Hogan leg dropped on some girl and then acted like nothing happened, Nicki Minaj used her 100% fake body to give Lil Wayne a lap dance and Lil Wayne was grimacing like he didn’t want to be there, and Justin Bieber wore a diaper. Watched Prince perform though, he was the most normal person on that stage which is odd. No problem Alan Martins Rodrigues.

    • What the hell? What a terrible comentary! I’m a big Taylor Swift fan and I couldn’t agree more with Andy, the backstage perform, although awesome, would have been a little boring to anyone actually in the awards. Also, calling her a “serial dater” made my day, I’ll add this to my life hahahahhaa

    • dee123 says:

      I love Taylor too but these are Billboard awards. Let’s not go nuts here. At best she’s got 8 fabulous door stoppers.

  3. Jimmy Wayne says:

    .. I can’t stop laughing! “look like a miniskirt pulled over hip boots” WOW!!

  4. Garret says:

    Nicki did know know this was the Billboard awards and not the BET awards right?

    • Rae says:

      This comment is offensive. I watch the BET awards and even I thought her performance was horrible for tv. I don’t ever remember seeing something so provocative during the BET Awards.

  5. Lisa says:

    So grateful for your update since I’m on the west coast & can see that my time will be better spent not wasting time on this show. At 46, I don’t consider myself old but when it comes to music awards now, I’m far removed from what is considered current. And I can’t see wasting time on people like Kanye West or Chris Brown. Not sure why the media continue to give them airtime. And Nicki, you can go away as well.

    • Rae says:

      While I don’t like Kanye West or Nicki Minaj, and know that Chris Brown is continuously making mistakes in his life, I can admit that Kanye West and Chris Brown do have good songs. That is why their music continues to be played. I don’t understand why Nicki Minaj receives media attention.

  6. Lana says:

    Morten Harket hasn’t aged a day in nearly 30 years. If anything, he looks better now than he did then!

  7. DavidSask says:

    How did I miss this but good on him!!! “Let’s give it up for people lip-synching under prerecorded music.”
. I must also say that Prince we get it you like to jam but people not buying your albums and expensive concerts because you can NEVER sing your hit songs as they were recorded and sorry sometimes we want that!!!

  8. Jo says:

    Weird. I didn’t think Beiber would be into leather for another 10 years or so.

    • icywinter2 says:

      He’ll be forgotten in ten years, he’ll just be another former pop star that is working a normal job.

  9. DavidSask says:

    Wouldn’t it be great if one awards show for its entirety had completely live vocals and music?!! Why is Selena Gomez looking like Carmen Electra? Justin needs to go away for long period and change his attitude and look and discover what dress pants and levis are!! Xtina looked great with her weight loss but the hair needs to retire already and even though never wore red lipstick should never be allowed to wear again.Wil I am presenting Madonna was sad, no one else would do it? Nicki Minaj nice to see you rap but damn that ass was not needed made you look bad. Tracy Morgan is the worst, again can’t find better?

  10. dee123 says:

    14:59 Bieber. Tick tock……

  11. scorpo says:

    where was DJ Baby Bok Choy?!

  12. #6 – Madonna is queen of everything and how gorgeous was that tourtrailer?

  13. Alex says:

    Can we also mention how the Take On Me singer managed to dodge the curse of 80s icon old age disfigurement? Cuz he was seriously hot. Even after he took off the sunglasses. That was my top moment of the night.

    • Ethan says:

      Entirely true. And he sounded great. But I’m upset with him for allowing such a great song to be bastardized by Pitbull and Aguilera. Again, HORRENDOUS LYRICS, I mean just pathetic. That song sucks so bad and the original is so amazing. “Artists” need to stop biting on 80’s classics and butchering them because they know people will recognize the hook and listen for just the beat. Then they feel no need to write lyrics with any depth just enough words to fill the length of the music.

  14. heather says:

    In my book Ed Shhleeran was far and away the best performance of the night!

  15. ImmaHooligan says:

    LMFAO this is hilarious and I agree with it all! In regards to using Taylor’s “8 awards” tonight… I believe that has no substance. Tonight’s awards were based off of popularity. Who gets the most screen time? Who has the bigger name? NOT TALENT. You can’t tell me Justin has better chords than Bruno. Bruno Mars won a Grammy, base off of what professionals in the industry believe to be great talent and hard work, not how the amount of teeny boppers a celebrity has in their fan base. How many Grammies does Bieber have? Btw I have nothing against Taylor or Swift I just don’t believe Bruno Mars should even be in the same category as Bieber and that Taylor Swift’s award count still doesn’t change the fact that she’s a bop

    • ImmaHooligan says:

      Lol I meant I have nothing against bieber or swift

    • Jason says:

      The Billboard awards are based off album sells and I believe that sadly Bieber outsells Bruno MArs because thirteen year old girls haven’t figured out how to download songs illegally yet and many of Bruno’s fans have.

    • icywinter2 says:

      Umm you do no one even that fool bieber has any real talent, all their crappy music is all computerized. what you are listen to is computerized processed music. None of these fools can really sing

  16. sabrina says:

    I think what justin said about forgetting all the bull and appreciating the art is real. It should matter how he expresses himself through dress, he received awards for music. Thats what the awards about. The other stuff is what distinguishes artists from another

    • icywinter2 says:

      Give me a break, someone told this fool what to say. He’s not an artist, he’s an immature idiot. He doesn’t do crap to earn what the awards. Real musicians actually work hard, with pop stars everything is done for them. His crappy music is all computerized. I’m glad the fool got booed he deserves it.

      Him being taken seriously, that will never happen. He’s too stupid and acts like an idiot.

  17. sladewilson says:

    The show was a train wreck. It started out great only because someone had the good sense to have Bruno Mars open (and he actually has talent) and then it went downhill at super-speed. Prince finally makes a save with a new all-female kick-ass band and started chanelling very very early Jimi. Otherwise, seeing a 19 yr old professional lip-syncer and other quasi-males wearing leather MC Hammer skinny dump pants, Madonna acting like she had one too many, and Miguel pulling off WWE leg drops on some girl still probably in the ER thinking “I’ll never be that close to the stage again!!! Miguel touched me!!!” He sure did, honey – was not my idea of a great TV Sunday night. I already miss OUAT, Revenge and the Good Wife…. ugh….

  18. Chablis says:

    Taylor Swift continues to be recognized because she sells songs to the teenagers who still matter to advertising. Selena or Selen as Tracy called her was just bad. And although Kid Rock was right, he is still an ass. Madonna is just so non relevant and she is a bitch.

    • flutiefan says:

      i’m 37 and i have all of Taylor’s music. so……

    • jalahyacinth says:

      I’m in my late 20’s and all of my friends are older (30’s) and we still buy T. Swift’s music…

      • Denise says:

        I don’t dislike Taylor Swift either. I think she writes cutesy, catchy songs that some people like to hear. I was actually one of those people until I saw one too many of her performances on country music shows. This was way before she botched her duet with Stevie Nicks. Now it seems like she has gotten some voice lessons, and someone has taught her how to perform better, so she isn’t as horrible as she used to be. But seriously, you can’t put Taylor Swift, Selena Gomez, and Justin Bieber in the same category as Adelle, Bruno Mars, or Ne-Yo. These people are true artist, that could be the next generation of musical geniuses; I doubt that Swift, Gomez, and Bieber will ever be in that category.

  19. Jason says:

    Thank heavens I didn’t watch a single moment of this pretentious mess. But just reading Bieber’s comments is enough to make every “fan” wretch. That kid is so full of himself, how can anyone stand him?

  20. Pattygale says:

    I refuse to watch any award show where Bieber performs or where he is nominated for an award. I’m aware that doesn’t matter to anyone, but the fact that the useless, untalented little dweeb is given any credibility at all makes me ill. The music industry is just one big bubba club and talent has little or nothing to do with who succeeds, who is played on radio, who wins awards. There are, of course, the exceptions, but not nearly enough. And I won’t even get into the continued plugging of America’s premier thug, Chris Brown. I’ve always believed that in entertainment and in politics the bottom suckers somehow manage to flourish……. hello Michelle Bachman, hello legions of lip synchers.

  21. Steve says:

    Didnt watch more than the first few segments….Dont want to see lip synching – Good for Kid Rock for calling them out

  22. Vanica says:

    I only watched the entire show to see Ed Sheeran and Prince. Both were phenomenal.

  23. Dee says:

    I thought most of the show was a joke…from lip synching to Nicki Minaj apparently thinking she was filming a soft porn movie, the network should be embarrassed. From the ungrateful Madonna, to Justin actually WINNING, the music industry is really going to the dogs.One exception…Sheeran had a fabulous performance, and saved the entire show from being an absolute joke. I

    • icywinter2 says:

      Bieber doesn’t deserve to win, he’s an idiot and has zero singing talent. Everything is done for him, and his crap music is all computerized. All this fool is doing on stage is lipsyncing while pracing around….

  24. Talia says:

    I had the misfortune of watching this at a friends house and the best thing about this awards show was watching the credits roll after it was over. This crap featuring record label puppets is not music. Justin Bieber called himself an artist… Really? With what crayons?

  25. GG says:

    Taylor is the most annoying thing ever.

  26. Jason says:

    Man I can’t wait till Bieber’s audience grows up and abandons him. Wished it would have happened already but it’s coming. Although with today’s processed music maybe a douche with limited talent can sustain a career.

    • icywinter2 says:

      His audience will abandon him, he’s not going to sustain a career lipsyncing to his crappy annoying music.

  27. H.Houston says:

    Pitbull and Christina will have their song downloaded HUGE between last night and the entire Dancing with the Stars season using it as it’s publicity song. Also Pitbull is on DWTS this week for the finals. they are going to make HUGE money from that song. And as I said on twitter earlier – Bieber needs to simply shut up. Sorry pumpkin but I am not going to take a 19 year old punk seriously about his “craft” – especially not him. And before the haters lose their mind, yes there have been some amazing folks who have lived on and still live on in the music world and they started out that young… but they did not get an award they did NOT earn at 19 and tell all of us we need to take them seriously. Nicki – alittle too much dear – but damn if I could shake it like that I probably would have as well.

  28. H.Houston says:

    Oh and Kid Rock calling all of the ones lipsynching out was absolutely hysterical and spot on.

  29. c.hunt says:

    From reading all the comments, mercifully we missed all but 20 minutes of the show. If only we’d missed the last 20. I am not a prude, but I was so embarrassed to be sitting and watching nicki and lil wayne with my 17 year old nephew and his 14 year old sister. She ate it up and when I looked at him, he had a hat over his face and asked how could he erase that from his memory and get that time back in his life. THAT WAS TOO MUCH FOR WHAT SHOULD BE A FAMILY FRIENDLY SHOW! Janet Jackson’s little costume slip at super bowl was nothing compared to this trash. If I wanted to see that I’d go to a strip bar! Maybe I will next year and miss whole show. America, where are our morals? Prince at least took a little of the bad taste away.

  30. Justin Burnell says:

    Reblogged this on thehiltonburnellfiles and commented:
    Here’s what happens at the last night Billboard Music Awards

  31. Ahria says:

    With all the rappers and God awful music out there, give Justin a break, for God’s sake. He at least is respectful to his parents and family – and . . .he is nineteen. His show was great – was impressed. I had never seen him sing a song – only knew the boyfriend song. I am sixty . . . don’t know some of the other singers, but they are as pretentious. Madonna . . . now there is a b . . . for sure – with attitude – God awful speech – seemed cold. Getting old and trying to stay relevant is hell – would still love to see one of her shows, looked fantastic, and one has to admire her, but still . . . Justin is at the other end – young and trying to be relevant to those older who don’t want him to be relevant as they know they are aging. Time moves on – and many know Bieber far outsurpassed them and likely will on into the future. I hope he evolves, has a less problem-filled year upcoming, and does well ongoing. Good for him. Those who booed were boors.

  32. stevland says:

    Why did they boooo justin?

  33. Kate says:

    I disagreed with this entire article. Awful and completely off the mark. Did you actually watch the awards?

  34. Mark Tsmx says:

    The show was odd due to the Miguel incident.

    Aside from that it was OK and that Taylor Swift is great when performing.

  35. I savor, result in I found exactly what I was taking a look for.
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