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Zara DeGroot is a lover of autumnal candles, expert in petting puppy ears, and winner of the RMCA 8th grade Most Improved at Math award. One time, someone mistook her for Rob Kardashian. She is a sophomore Journalism and Media Communications major and a Business minor at CSU.

If you found yourself huddled on the sofa with a plate of grocery store chocolate cake and ice cream watching the AMAs with unashamed eager eyes, then we spent our Sunday nights the same way. I am always up for an awards show. From One Direction to Mary J. Blige to Garth Brooks to the still relevant Fergie, the American Music Awards were aired live on November 23 and showcased a variety of artists from around the world, despite being called “American.” And it was hosted by none other than Mr. Worldwide himself, Pitbull.

Taylor Swift started off the show on a good note with a flawless performance of “Blank Space.” She continues to be flawless with everything she does, which is a good thing for her seeing as she was the recipient of the first ever Dick Clark Award of Excellence, presented to her by Diana Ross.

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“To the fans who went out and bought over a million copies of my last three albums, what you did by going out and investing in music and albums is you’re saying you believe in the same thing that I believe in, that music is valuable and that music should be consumed in albums and albums should be consumed as art and appreciated.”

Were we expecting anything less? Taylor is the prime example of how being a kind, genuine person will take you far in your career and even farther in your life. Props to you, Queen T.


The first award of the night was given to *drumroll* One Direction!!! They won all the awards they were nominated for (Group of the Year, Pop/Rock Album and Artist of the Year) and that is all that matters. A weekend of success with their latest album Four, followed by winning a few awards must have been the cherry on top for our favorite British boys.

Later on in the show, One Direction graced us with a performance of “Night Changes.” The stage was turned into a field of shrubs and brush with a big full moon in the background. Give these boys five standing mics and some faux grass and you have the perfect performance, compared to the elaborate, showy productions of many top 40 artists that consist off flashing lights and scantily clad women. One Direction knows their most successful approach.

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Just like many of our iPods, the show went from One Direction’s peaceful croons to Lil Wayne’s cackles. He was sporting a very Lulu Lemon-y outfit and was rapping incomprehensibly into a microphone. But as the ancient proverb goes, it is not a music award show without Lil Wayne.

Lorde gave us an obscure presentation of “Yellow Flicker Beat.” She started off in a box, which was eventually lifted, exposing her to the audience and a stage of dancers who were not actually dancing, but standing. The only movement was her signature head-banging. She ended her song by smearing her trademark dark purple lipstick across her face. Incredible.

Charli XCX took to the stage with a rendition of “Boom Clap.” No offense to Charli, but will we ever stop hearing this song? She seems like the type of girl who is too “cool” for award shows, yet there she was. She brought a good energy, though.

5 Seconds of Summer released our inner punk as they jammed out to their cover of “What I Like About You.” I’ll tell you what I like about you 5SOS: e v e r y t h i n g. Michael’s red hair, Luke’s unamused demeanor, Calum’s honeybun face, and Ashton’s enthusiastic banging of the drums. They went home as the New Artist(s) of the Year. So indie, so angsty.

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Other performances included Sam Smith and A$AP Rocky’s “I’m Not The Only One,” which personally made me want to be eating dinner on a yacht overlooking the Hudson Bay.

Arianna Grande owned the stage twice, first with a slow performance of “Break Free” and “Love You Harder” and then with Jessie J and Nicki Minaj for “Bang Bang.” Arianna has many adoring fans, of which I am not one. However, I will say she sounds better live than she does recorded. Her outfits were gorgeous and she opted for a sleek half-updo rather than her usual headache-inducing high pony.

The moment we were all waiting for was undoubtedly Selena Gomez’s performance of “The Heart Wants What It Wants.” My heart wants what it wants and that is to be the goddess that is Selena. The Bieber inspired song is a vulnerable projection of loving and losing. The song is relevant to women everywhere: he is not good to or for you and you know that, but your heart works differently in those situations. Selena performed solo with no dancers or a band. It was just her and her perfection. Also some smoke, clouds and thunder in the background. Selena ended looking sad, but humble, and was cheered on by a supportive audience and Taylor Swift who was clapping along like a proud mom. Also, does Justin Bieber get invited to award shows anymore?

Khloe Kardashian, and Kendall and Kylie Jenner showed up to showcase their musical talent. Just kidding, they just showed up.

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Country music is not my forte, but what girl does not love a little bit of Luke Bryan. He won Country Artist of the Year and Brantley Gilbert was awarded with Country Album of the Year.

The show ended with a fierce performance of “Big Booty” by Jennifer Lopez and Iggy Azalea, and there was only one question on our minds: where is JLo’s cellulite?

Fashion will forever be a large part of award shows. Fergie, Selena Gomez, Julianne Hough, and Rita Ora, to name a few, opted for very sleek, form fitting gowns. Iggy Azalea wore an all black ensemble- black dress pants, black button down, and black blazer. Only Iggy could pull this off fashionably without looking like she was working at an Italian restaurant or for the Romney campaign.

Bizarre jackets for the men seemed to be a theme. Ansel Elgort donned what looked to be a shrunken Revolutionary war jacket with some fun animal print pants. He should have won the award for smallest coat. Wyclef Jean wore a leather motorcycle jacket with studs and pins. Liam Payne modeled a long belted black trench coat. And Harry Styles followed suit (pun intended) with a sparkly patterned coat slightly resembling a matador jacket.

But the best dressed by far was Diana Ross.

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The 2014 AMAs kept us entertained. The best musicians as of now performed and did not disappoint. It was a good jumpstart into the award season and we cannot wait to see what other award shows One Direction and Taylor Swift dominate.

Did you watch the AMAs?

Images via Getty Images/Kevin Winter