The undisputed highlight of this year's miserable American Music Awards (airing now — Iggy Azalea performed and won Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Album) was this Pine Bros cough drops commercial featuring rapper/ inadvertent (and welcome) homewrecker/Amanda Bynes collaborator/blunt-roller employer/Love & Hip-Hop Atlanta cast member Waka Flocka Flame. Waka rolls a lot of weed-smoking innuendo into his 30 seconds.
In the rare instance that she is made to say her name in public these days, Rihanna pronounces it, "Ree-anna." This is unlike the rest of the world, which pronounces it "Ree-ah-na." This has been a longstanding pet peve of mine (especially because I say it the way she does). It doesn't make sense that people such as her Roc-a-fella boss Jay Z, or her on-again-off-again parasite of a boyfriend, Chris Brown, say it the popular way (have they even listened to her)? Shit went haywire Sunday night during the American Music Awards, when her own mother, Monica Braithwaite, pronounced it onstage with the "ah." After all, Braithwaite had a hand in giving her daughter the name (it's actually her middle name—full name is Robyn Rihanna Fenty).
Katy Perry opened Sunday's American Music Awards in geisha drag. Or maybe it was Madonna circa '99 drag. Either way, and as usual, her look and performance were tedious and bereft of personality. Perhaps Perry realized the best she could do was make Twitter users cluck their tongues, and inspire think pieces in which the word "problematic" would feature prominently.
Our big stars are getting bigger. Half of the women who performed on last night's American Music Awards don't have bodies that live up to the perfection we supposedly want in our pop stars and what's more, they put these imperfect bodies on display: it's one thing to show up, but it's a far more brazen thing to emphasize said curves. Last night, Kelly Clarkson, Ke$ha, Nicki Minaj and Christina Aguilera all did just that, to varying degrees.
The American Music Awards aired last night. It was every bit the waste of time that you'd expect from a ceremony that, like the Billboard Music Awards, gives out trophies based on sales and presence (airplay, streaming, social networks, etc.) but fosters the illusion that it is awarding its already awarded stars based on merit (whatever that is). Notable moments included:
Say what you want about Jennifer Lopez—go ahead, we'll wait until you're done saying those things. Finished? OK, cool—but there's no denying that she can obliterate the stage at a televised event. Her relentless medley of "Until It Beats No More," "Papi," and "On The Floor" at last night's inconsequential American Music Awards took advantage of every award show performance convention ever: the ballad-as-intro, the choreographed dance breakdown, the rap cameo (by Pitbull), the gradual costume strip show. She even managed to squeeze a Fiat commercial into the middle of it.
The American Music Awards—aka the Grammys for tweens—are underway in Los Angeles. Miley Cyrus just performed (screeched?) a Stevie Nicks-esque ballad called "Forgiveness and Love" in a dark, flowing Stevie Nicks-esque dress. She did not do too well.
• Sarah Palin's memoir is officially No. 1 on the US bestseller list, alas. [NYT]
• A Swiss court has granted bail to director Roman Polanski. [Times UK]
• Oprah will sit down with the president as part of a Christmas special. [THR]
• All that drama at the AMAs is boosting sales of Glambert's new album. [LAT]
• Related: Is there a double-standard when it comes to gay performers on network television? CBS's Early Show asks the question, then answers it. [HP]
• Fox is looking forward to the return of Idol and 24 in a few weeks. [NYT]
• New Moon has a lock on the long weekend box office, not surprisingly. [LAT]
• Carla Bruni-Sarkozy on her decision to appear in Woody Allen's next film: "Maybe I will be terrible. But, in my life, I cannot let such a chance go." [BN]
• France's first lady, Carla Bruni, will star in Woody Allen's next movie. [AFP]
• Time Inc. is shutting down InStyle Weddings and laying off nine people in the process. The company also let 15 staffers go at Fortune today. [Gawker, NYP]
• Adam Lambert's racy performance at the AMAs has stirred up some drama, in case you haven't heard; ABC says it's been flooded with complaints. [NYT]
• In related news, Lambert will not be appearing on GMA due to the fallout, but he will be on the Early Show and the Late Show with David Letterman. [HL]
• The Washington Post is closing its NYC, LA, Chicago bureaus. [WaPo]
• Time Inc., Condé Nast and Hearst are setting up a company to "allow them to take the digital future into their own hands." Better late than never! [NYO]
• Sarah Palin's Going Rogue sold 700,000 copies in its first week, sadly. [AP]
While everyone else was talking about Lady Gaga's flaming piano and Adam Lambert's flaming hot dance moves, JLo took a fall when she jumped off of a male dancer. Can we call this a J-Fail?