This Week In Music (V.6): iHeartRadio Awards [Review]

iheartThe iHeartRadio Awards aired this past Thursday, 5.1.14, from the Shrine Auditorium. The show overall receives mixed reviews from me. There were some things I’d like to see more of and some things that need to be improved. For the first televised appearance I can’t be too hard on the production of the show, but it could’ve been put together better.

First off the best way to describe the seating arrangements and stage is to that of the Golden Globes which is held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. The artists that won kept having the camera put on them and to be honest it wasn’t that big of a turnout compared to other award shows. With this being a fan based awards show and all about radio I was expecting more artists to turn out, but it didn’t seem that serious.

Performers included: Pitbull, Drake Ed Sheeran, Ariana Grande, Kendrick Lamar, Arcade Fire, Luke Bryan, Shakira, Blake Shelton, and Pharrell. Some of the performances were via satellite. My favorite performances were Kendrick Lamar’s cover of ‘California Love’ and Thirty Second to Mars’ ‘City of Angels’.

One performance that was a FAIL in my book was Ariana Grande’s of her new song, featuring Iggy Azalea, ‘Problem’. I recently reviewed the track and it’s pretty good. The problem with the performance and by the look on the faces of Rihanna, Blake Shelton, and Luke Bryan was that of confusion. I understand she wants to test limits and add a little more sex appeal to her squeaky clean image, but the performance was not that great. I know it’s a new song and there’s room for growth but all together this performance needed a bootcamp. The dancing and singing and then playing Iggy Azalea’s part while Ariana danced was eh. They could’ve skipped over that and got to the end.

The highly anticipated tribute to Michael Jackson was another bleh moment for me and I’m not talking the song. I guess I was expecting more, but really didn’t get it. Usher came out and did his usual footwork. Yeah, not really impressed or interested. The song overall reminded me of ‘Baby Be Mine.’ Check out the video/tribute to the new Michael Jackson track, ‘Love Never Felt So Good’, below:

I could not miss talking about Pharrell’s performance. I wish he would have done a mixture of old and new, especially with Gwen Stefani being there and presenting him with the Innovator Award. I would have LOVED for them to do ‘Hollaback Girl’. Maybe one day I can get this collab again. Pharrell did perform a medley of ‘Come Get it Bae’. ‘Blurred Lines’, ‘Get Lucky’, and ‘Happy.’ With the stage setup it wasn’t far for him to go. The audio wasn’t all that great, but I still love him as the artist he is. His work is to not go unnoticed.

Sidebar — I’m so happy that Pharrell and Gwen Stefani have been added to “The Voice” lineup. A reason for me to watch this show. Both will be performing on the show this MONDAY, 5.5.14, where Pharrell will perform ‘Come Get It Bae’ and Stefani will perform ‘Hollaback Girl’. Excited to see those.

Aside from the messiness of the setup of the show I will say that my favorite part was the packages/video montages throughout the show. There was no host, just an MC which was fine. I loved how artists connected to the fans with their recounts of their first memories in Los Angeles. The packages for the nominees was great as well. I just loved how that was set up. That was something that has not been done on other award shows and I hope it remains as a signature for future iHeartRadio award shows.

rs_634x1024-140501181443-634.Rihanna-iHeartRadio-Music-Awards.ms.050114Now for the winners. I talked about all my picks for the awards show and my predictions weren’t exactly correct, but I’m not surprised at who won. Again all voting was done by the fans. Rihanna was the big winner of the night with 4 wins: Hip-Hop/R&B Song of the Year (‘Pour It Up’), Best Fan Army, Song of the Year (Stay f/Mikky Ekko), and Artist of the year. As for her fashion of the evening I love the fact that she takes chances, but I wasn’t a fan of her hair at all. It’s like when she showed up to the AMAs with her hair in a wrap knowing she was receiving the Icon Award. her outfit was very edgy, as expected, I would just do without the leather jacket and her lip color was great as well. Personally I would have liked this with an asymmetrical bob.

The other winners were:

  • Best Lyrics – Miley Cyrus, ‘Wrecking Ball’
  • Best Collab – Pitbull f/ Kesha, ‘Timber’
  • Best New Artist – Lorde
  • Young Influencer Award – Ariana Grande
  • Instagram Award – Austin Mahone’s Mahomies
  • Alternative Rock Song of the Year – Imagine Dragons, ‘Demons’
  • Country Song of the Year – Blake Shelton, ‘Boys ‘Round Here’

The show overall started and ended on time, actually a couple minutes early as the last award, Artist of the Year, was presented by Jennifer Lopez & Ryan Seacrest. There were a few things that could be fixed for future shows, but for the 1st televised show it wasn’t too shabby. Maybe next year there will be a host and more artists will show up.

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