The “2012 Billboard Music Awards” will be launching in just a few minutes but until then, here are some specifics to be looking for this evening. First, there will be a special tribute to Whitney Houston as well as newly added tributes to recently deceased Adam Yauch of the Beastie Boys and Donna Summer, the Queen of Disco. There is drama about who will be accepting the BBMA Millennium Award for Whitney Houston tonight as sister-in-law, Patricia Houston, is creating havoc. She is reportedly using the death of Houston to gain the spotlight she apparently feels she is due from a supposed reality television show deal about how she and husband, Gary, are handling Houston’s death to her appearance in an exclusive interview with Oprah Winfrey on “Oprah’s Next Chapter” a few months ago which was to be about Bobbi Kristina and Whitney. While it was originally stated that Bobbi Kristina, Whitney’s only daughter, would accept the award with her aunt, it seems Pat Houston has been making waves about wanting to oust Bobbi Kristina from the picture all together. Who will have the final word?
The “Battle of the Bands” winner, Patent Pending, will be appearing about 9:45 PM (ET). They were declared the winner by Taio Cruz last Friday after months of voting and the judges deliberation following the Battle of the Bands showdown which was held at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. Among the awards to look for are Top Hot 100 Song, Top Artist, Top New Artist, Top Billboard 200 Album, and Top Touring Artist. Last year the winners of these categories were Taio Cruz (“Dynamite”) for the Top Hot 100 Song, Top New Artist went to Justin Bieber who is now a seasoned recording artist, Taylor Swift won the Top Billboard 200 Album, and U2 was declared the Top Touring Artist with comments about his innovation of the 360 outdoor stage performance. U2 is in the running for top touring artist; will they be able to heist the award once more this year? The red carpet pre-show reveals some interesting moments to watch for including a zebra as well as a duet between Alicia Keys and Stevie Wonder, but the red carpet host for Billboard Jonathan Brooks who really misses in the humor department has got to go (Please do not quit your day job!).
Who will open the show and will they be able to top last year’s entrance by Rihanna in a black bustier and high leather boots who performed with Brittney Spears? Will this year’s hosts, Julie Bowen and Ty Burrell from Modern Family, be able to outwit (and outperform) Ken Jeong who made his entrance dancing on a black baby grand piano? We are about to find out as the 2012 Billboard Music Awards hits the airwaves with LMFAO taking the stage singing “Party Rock Anthem.” It’s great to see some artists still actually PERFORM, not lip sync! They have Quest Crew from “America’s Best Dance Crew” on stage with them as well as the promised dancing zebra who rocks the stage as the launch into “Sexy and I Know It.” The lead singers rip off pants to revel boxers with a smiley face and “Big Bad” but it is the glitter trunks of the zebra which steals the show!
Ty Burrell and Julie Bowen take the stage in a nondescript manner to a wild audience and present some video of themselves singing rap, country, and a children’s song of which is almost all bleeped, so what the bleep is wrong with this picture? It’s NOT funny! They introduce Julianne Hough (“Rock of Ages”) who presents the BBMA Social Artist of the Year who is Justin Bieber which appears on stage dressed like a punk off the street and takes forever thanking Scooter Braun, Usher, parents, and God who we thank for giving him talent to sing because he definitely cannot deliver a speech!
Following the commercial break, the hosts return to announce Robin Gibb has passed away and offer a moment of silence which almost seems like a slighting pun on his life and the BeeGees before bringing on Lisa Marie Presley who presents the BBMA Spotlight Award to Katy Perry for her top five #1 hits from the album “Teenage Dream” which makes her the chart topper bumping out Michael Jackson who is the only other recipient of this award for the songs “California Gurls,” “Teenage Dream,” “Firework,” “E.T.” and “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.). She receives a standing ovation as she takes the stage looking stunning in her lavender gown that accentuates her purple hair as she thanks fans and her grandmother who she kissed before accepting the award.
Robin Thicke announces the voting for the best performance of the evening which can be done by going to the Billboard Music Awards website as he introduces Kelly Clarkson who performs “Dark Side.” The stage set is beautiful as is she. After the next commercial break it is The Wanted from the U.K. who take the stage to sing “Chasing the Sun” followed by “Glad You Came.” It is almost as though they are lip syncing but hints they are live but they have A LOT of support from back music! Miley Cyrus appears on stage to presents the BBMA Top New Artist which goes to Wiz Kalifa looking every bit representative of the Las Vegas strip with a dress (?) that is far too low cut and too high cut that it resembles a shirt! The Fashion Police are going to have a field day with this one tomorrow night!
Brandy introduces Chris Brown who enters on a mini stunt bicycle which you think he will include in his choreography but simply sets it aside as he starts into “Turn Up the Music.” Personally, I cannot stand this performer and do not really see the all the hoopla about him because almost all of his performances are lip synced so he can concentrate on dancing which is really what he does best and normally I am a fan of his choreography but tonight it simply fell flat…stunk actually at least until the stunt bikers came onstage. Natasha Bedingfield sings “Last Dance” as a tribute song to Donna Summer which is a great performance for a memorable artist but hated how the television crew cut into it in order to go to commercial break!
Kris Kristopherson takes the stage to talk about Taylor Swift who is present the BBMA Woman of the Year award by Zoey Deschanel for her achievements already in life at the young age of 22-years-old. She is involved in many philanthropy projects as well as being the only woman to achieve toe-to-toe standing with The Beatles, Michael Jackson, and the Rolling Stones with having 3 #1 albums released back-to-back. What makes her even more remarkable is that each and every song on those album has been written by her. Now SHE is a role model young women should be emulating…not Miley Cyrus! She gracefully accepts the award as her mother beams with pride in the audience.
Far East Movement introduces Usher who performs “Scream” with a really cool stage set similar to what might be seen on a foggy night in London with a woman clocked in red who disappears for an Usher look-alike. This is who Chris Brown wishes he was! Justin Durello who is recovering from a neck injury appears next to present the BBMA Hot 100 Song of the Year which goes to LMFAO for “Party Rock Anthem” featuring Lauren Bennett and Goonrock. They are followed by the introduction of Justin Bieber who performs “Boyfriend” and although it is pretty well choreographed with different segments to make it interesting, his constant grabbing himself totally distracts from the performance and makes it cheesy. In addition, it seems as though there was some problems with the sound system and when he did appear to be singing and not lip syncing, it was out of tune. Umm…go figure!
Carly Rae Jepsen takes the stage to sing “Call Me Maybe” and is another of the few performances tonight which are truly LIVE and it is totally refreshing! Wiz Kalifa presents the BBMA Top Duo or Group to LMFAO who is controlling the awards tonight! He gives a shout out tribute to MCA Adam Yauch and the Beastie Boys for bringing rap to the forefront of the music world. Luke Ryan introduces Carrie Underwood who takes the stage to perform her new hit single, “Blown Away.” It is a good performance marred by a flat backup singer. After the commercial break, the Empress of Soul Gladys Knight, who recently appeared on “Dancing with the Stars,” awards the BBMA Male Artist of the Year to Lil Wayne who is not in the audience to accept the award so she does it for him. Swizz Beatz brings on Linkin Park who sings “Burn It Down” and knocks it out of the park!
Monica and Eric Benet are up next to present the BBMA Top R&B Artist of the Year statue to (wait for it) CHRIS BROWN! Are you flipping kidding me? Seriously, he won over Beyonce and Rihanna! Such a travesty I almost quit watching the show but I wanted to see how the acceptance for Whitney Houston’s Millennium Award went down! It almost seemed as though everyone in the audience was waiting to see what stupid thing he would say which was simply to thank fans and the disc jockeys for playing his trumped up music. Moving on, hosts Ty Burrell and Julie Bowen introduce Katy Perry who sings he new single “Wide Awake” for her upcoming movie. It is an incredible performance but she seems a little flat but it is another REAL rendition with only so-so reception from the audience.
Whoopie Goldberg appears on stage to talk about Whitney Houston and the BBMA Millennium Award which is being presented to her post humorously tonight and who will accept is up in the air. Bobbi Kristina is in the audience along with Pat and Gary Houston but it is nice to see the camera mainly focus on closeups of Bobbi Kristina Brown., Whitney’s only child. Whoopie introduces John Legend who sings “The Greatest Love of All” and Jordin Sparks who provides a fabulous tribute of “I Will Always Love You” in this tribute to the wonderful Whitney lost earlier this year right before the Grammy Awards. Jordin plays the title role in “Sparkle” as Sparkle Williams in the movie Whitney Houston was involved in before her death. Jordin delivers an emotional performance and does Whitney Houston justice so hope you have tissues available for this portion of the program! It is Pat Houston and Bobbi Kristina Brown who accept the award for Whitney but after Pat announces thanks to Billboard she turns over the reigns to Bobbi in a very graceful manner which must have been eating at her insides. Bobbi thanks everyone who stood behind her mother during the good and bad times stating there will never be another Whitney…and an Amen to that!
Ty Burrell is back on stage to introduce Cee Lo Green and the Goodie Mob who are back together for this performance which includes a tribute to the Beastie Boys and the late Adam “MCA” Yauch. They first sing “Fight to Win” which features one of the dancers from Cirque de Soleil who is an amputee that has some incredible hip hop and break dancing moves using his crutches. The taiko drums are a great addition but although the camera focuses on the dancer, it seems the audience does not give him a moments notice until he is front and center. This dancer has to be fatigued at the end because dancing alone is strenuous and what he is doing takes A LOT of stamina as well as physical strength! BRAVO!!! Following this, Cee Lo and the Goodie Mob break in to one of the Beastie Boys most popular songs, “(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party)” when Cee Lo breaks a bottle over his head at the end in tribute to Adam. Nice touch!
Julie Bowen introduces Taio Cruz who FINALLY presents the “Battle of the Bands” winner, Patent Pending from New York, who receive BBMA Dreamseeker Artist of the Year nearly 45 minutes after they were scheduled to appear according to the Billboard website earlier this evening. They are actually pretty good and hopefully this moment in their career will launch something which cannot be said for last year’s winner, Gentleman Hotel, which seems to have never been heard form again. After the commercial break, Gavin DeGraw and one of his famous hats introduces Nelly Furtado who sings “Big Hoops.” She is accompanied by Native American hoop dancers which makes an impact to the song title but really do not understand the dancers on stilts at the end. It was not one of her best performances.
The evening ends with Alicia Keys talking about the contributions to the music world by Stevie Wonder who is truly one of the amazing wonders of music. She is rocking that black stealth dress as she announces Stevie Wonder is the winner of the BBMA Icon Award. He is indeed operates as a “key of life” and is an inspiration to us all to reach for “higher ground.” Together Alicia and Stevie perform “Higher Ground” and “Overjoyed” before she presents the statue to him to which he pulls down his glasses as if to look at it in a humorous moment before being thankful to God and his family. He states that this past Sunday was his birthday and wants Alicia to sing “Empire State” A Capella for his present which she does and beautifully. The show ends with Stevie Wonder performing “A Million Hearts” with a choir following his challenge to the world to love more.