Did you watch the AMAs last night. I didn’t–and here’s why.

The American Music Awards sucked up a lot of oxygen over the weekend didn’t they? And they sure continue to leak all over the Internet today. Did you watch? I certainly didn’t. Let me explain.

First, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, my favourite CFL team, was playing my second favourite team, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, in the Grey Cup. The Bombers eventually broke a championship drought that extended back to 1990 by winning 33-12. Yay!

Second, with the notable exception of the Juno Awards, I despise music awards programs. They’re nothing but TV variety shows that pander to the most mainstream of music fan in hopes of scoring ratings and goosing sales and streams of music that’s been out for months.

ABC asked Dick Clark to create The American Music Awards in 1973 when they lost a deal to carry the Grammy Awards and was deliberately scheduled for late fall. Hey, isn’t Black Friday coming up this week? What a surprise.

Third, most of these shows are not about honoring excellence at all. The politics and lobbying behind the nominations and voting warp everything.

Related to those last two points is the woeful under representation of rock. There were six categories that included the word “rock” in the title. The six winners in those categories were Drake, Taylor Swift, Taylor Swift, BTS, Halsey, and Billie Eilish. Rock on, AMAs. Rock on, AMAs!

This brings me to Tay-Tay. I’m all Swifted out. Yes, she was given the Artist of the Decade award, but gee, could it be that’s how they persuaded her to show up in the first place? Funny, too, how she won so many awards. (See my second point above.)

Could the Swift-generated controversy of the past couple of weeks be timed to generate eyeballs for the AMAs? Or am I being too cynical? She certainly kept the feud going during her performance by wearing a t-shirt that conspicuously listed the titles of the six albums she made for Big Machine.

Question: Has Taylor distanced herself from her fans who threatened Scooter Braun and his family with death? Taylor? Taaaaayylor? Nope.

Last year, the AMAs attracted a disastrously low viewership of 6.5 million. (As I write this, the overnights haven’t come in yet.)

UPDATE: The numbers are in and they’re not good. An all-time low, actually. The number of people watching was up 2%, but in the key demos, ratings fell from 1.82 last year to 1.75. Not good.

If you must review who won what last night, go here.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

One thought on “Did you watch the AMAs last night. I didn’t–and here’s why.

  • November 26, 2019 at 7:24 pm

    Green Day performed live, and so did Ozzie! The only 2 things I saw that night… skipped the rest of the show.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.