The 2015 AMAs set out to break the Internet with surprise performances and unexpected presenters (*waves to Harrison Ford*). With a blockbuster lineup, Sunday night’s festivities kept timelines on their toes with a throwback performance from Alanis Morissette and a Star Wars score courtesy of Pentatonix. Recap with the best and worst moments from the American Music Awards below.
Selena Gomez shines bright
With a staircase full of tuxedoed male dancers, a bedazzled Selena Gomez delivered “Same Old Love” with fireballs and disco balls for a shimmery performance of her 2015 album Revival. While the track was heavily censored, Gomez’s set offered the night’s most eye candy.
Miss Piggy says “Hello” spoof
While it was a plug for ABC’s forthcoming show The Muppets, Miss Piggy and her former flame, Kermit The Frog, teamed for a commercial spoof that Adele would be quick to co-sign.
Anna Kendrick outlines her Thank Yous
Loaded with sarcasm and inside jokes, Anna Kendrick proved she wrote the book on thank you speeches after accepting the award on behalf of the Pitch Perfect 2 cast for their Top Soundtrack AMA win. Sample line: “You’re a ruthless little group of socio paths and I admire that about you.”
Ariana Grande brings “Focus”
Her first TV performance of “Focus” included a fringe-y ensemble as she pranced around in white pumps and shook her tail feather.
Abel Tesfaye set the stage aflame — as he oft does — for a hot rendition of “The Hills.” Without breaking a sweat that could be seen on HD flat screens, The Weeknd was soaking up the spotlight, especially after winning the AMA for Best Soul/ R&B album for Beauty Behind the Madness.
Diddy gives special shout out
Puff Daddy saying: “Can we give it up for Jennifer Lopez?” as flashbacks to 1999 to 2001 when the two were an item danced in the Internet’s minds.
Celine Dion performs tribute to Paris
With a heartfelt preamble from Jared Leto, the iconic songbird performed “Hymne a L’Amour” for a touching tribute to Paris and the victims of the recent attacks at Le Bataclan. With a montage of the city’s landmarks including The Louvre and The Eiffel Tower, Dion did Edith Piaf‘s record justice.
Alanis Morissette returns
1995 made its way into 2015 with Alanis Morissette’s performance of “You Oughta Know” with special guest Demi Lovato. Suffice to say, the ’90s babies lost their shit.
Justin Bieber makes a splash
For the finale, the Biebs brought his best jams to the stage from “What Do You Mean?” to “Where Are U Now,” but the Canadian singer turned on the waterworks for “Sorry” with an on-stage shower. Sorry, no pans to Selena Gomez here.
Jennifer Lopez busts a move
Dressed in tribal garb designed by DSQUARED2, Jennifer Lopez belted the opening notes of her 1999 club smash “Waiting For Tonight” (the opera version, not the original) before launching into a dance-a-thon for the year’s monster hits including Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk,” Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda,” Beyonce “Feeling Myself,” and Rihanna’s “Bitch Better Have My Money.” She then made it rain with bills falling from the sky. Still, it was a bummer for JLo Stans, who awaited a flashback compilation of her jams.
Gwen Stefani pours her heart out
With a montage of selfies as her backdrop, Gwen Stefani had a message to her old life with “Used To Love You.” It seemed like an ill-timed performance given her current relationship status: currently swooning in blossoming romance with The Voice co-star, Blake Shelton, after finalizing her split from Gavin Rossdale.
In a black rain coat and strappy pumps, Meghan Trainor delivered a sweet rendition of “Like I’m Gonna Lose You.” The cameras then panned to Charlie Puth, who hit the stage with his piano for a soulful performance of “Marvin Gaye.” While the set hit all the right notes, the two engaged in a steamy yet awkward make out sesh for the Internet to Vine and simultaneously shudder at. Even country star Luke Bryan had to shout them out during his acceptance speech.
Pentatonix takes Star Wars
Pentatonix spent a good chunk of time singing the Star Wars theme song, backed by a full-on orchestra (as advertised) as a timely endorsement for The Force Awakens but not sure if Chewbacca & Co. would have gotten jiggy with this set.
Coldplay‘s trippy performance
The British rock group’s psychedelic performance of “Adventures of a Lifetime” included LED balloons and four monkeys. It’s Chris Martin’s world — we just live in it.
Anna Kendrick’s speech was actually the funniest thing I’ve heard in a while—— pic.twitter.com/Sr5FT1WjlM
— DarceeJohnson (@Darcee_J) November 23, 2015
— Brandon Gates (@TheBGates) November 23, 2015
The rain during “Sorry” is to hide Bieber’s tears this time around #AMAs
— Dan Rys (@danrys) November 23, 2015