The American Music Awards was all about Taylor Swift and she wasn't even there!
The 19-year-old country singer, who became a household name after Kanye West embarrassed her at the MTV Awards, somehow edged out the late Michael Jackson for the biggest award - artist of the year.
Swift collected five awards and had to accept them from London's Wembley Arena, where she could not be interrupted by Mr. West. Swift is scheduled to perform at the arena on Monday.
The annual award show got off to an energetic start with Janet Jackson performing a medley of her popular hits. The 43-year-old icon showed she still has it delivering her signature dance moves from hit songs, "Miss You Much" and "If." She also mixed in her latest single, "Make Me Move."
The night also marked returns for Rihanna and Jennifer Lopez.
Rihanna welcomed viewers to the "mad house," performing "Wait Your Turn" and "Hard." It was a pretty sub par and dry set. The most spectacular part was her outfit colliding with red lasers, creating a cool effect for television. Other than that it was as plain as vanilla ice cream.
Jennifer Lopez hopped into the boxing ring like Manny Pacquiao going for the knock out of the night. Instead, she nearly knocked herself out trying to perform a stunt, jumping off the back of one of her dancers! She had a bad landing and fell flat on her derriere. But the former "Fly Girl" quickly bounced back up to finish "Louboutins." Welcome back J-Lo!! But no one really missed you while you were gone. Maybe the fall was a sign. I personally don't see how J-Lo fits into today's music scene.
Lady Gaga easily had the best set of the night because it was the quintessential award show performance. She had it all. A costume that beamed with lights. An exceptional dance routine during "Bad Romance." A piano that was set on fire. Not to mention, she took out her frustration for not winning ANY awards by breaking a bunch of glass during "Speechless."
Whitney Houston soared back into the spotlight with a well-done and emotional vocal performance of "I Didn't Know My Own Strength" from her latest album. At one point she got so emotional that she had to pause, and received quite an ovation from the crowd. Houston, who at times during her 'big return' has sounded awful, managed to give a solid showing in Los Angeles. It wasn't exactly CD quality, but it wasn't bad. Kudos to Whitney!
Although the late King of Pop couldn't top the teenage country singer for the biggest award, MJ managed to win four AMAs. I'm still scratching my head at how that happened. But what's even more puzzling is trying to figure out how Jermaine Jackson, who accepted the awards, keeps that grease-shalacked hairstyle.
Personally, I don't think Michael Jackson should have been nominated for anything. I'm sure the spot could have went to someone a bit more deserving.
The show ended in controversial fashion with Adam Lambert, of American Idol-fame, giving viewers more than they cared to see. One dancer had their head rubbed in his crotch. Another male band member received an aggressive kiss from Lambert. And it looked like Lambert went for a somersault move, but it looked like he fell.
Nonetheless, it was a sloppy and raunchy ending to an otherwise eventful and entertaining award show.