Any high hopes for the first iHeartRadio Awards presentation held May 1 on NBC, were slowly dashed with each category winner announced, as the three-hour night wore on.
The scheduled list of guests and presenters noticeably excluded Beyoncé, even though she released a major visual CD. Yet she garnered no nominations and neither did Katy Perry, who had a big year in music and also helped open the show.
Encounters Similar Pitfalls of Predecessors
It became pretty obvious later in the evening that this touted internet-voting music contest, was disappointingly encountering the same pitfalls that commonly befall its predecessors, however on a smaller scale.
Similarly, as with other considerably larger-level, staple award shows, such as Billboard’s and the MTV Video Music Awards, there is usually one artist who dominates the night. It was no different for Clear Channel’s iHeartRadio Award nominees.
Though nominated in multiple categories (Artist of the Year, Song of the Year and twice for Best Collaboration), Justin Timberlake was not in attendance. Miley Cyrus’ song “Wrecking Ball” won for Best Lyrics. The words and message in Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ “Same Love,” nearly brought me to tears the first time I heard them.
The night was Rihanna’s, and she clearly knew it, while conspicuously sitting out front where the cameras frequently fixed squarely on the big winner, visibly attempting to contain her obvious smugness.
Call for Official Army of Justin “Timblakes”
Her fan base earned the singer a trophy for her “Rihanna Navy” in the Best Fan Army category. Since winners are contingent on armies, I think JT just needed an official ‘army’ of Timblakes.
I’m sure fellow viewers were also surprised that singer-songwriter/producer Pharrell Williams honored at the show with the “Innovator” award, and in the running for “Hip Hop/R&B Song of the Year” award with simultaneous chart toppers: “Blurred Lines” and “Get Lucky,” lost to Rihanna.
For Williams, the worldwide throng of participants who danced to his “Happy” song during his continuous International Day of Happiness 24-hour video, could all be Pharrellies.
If it were a political poll, Rihanna’s “navy” would’ve been accused of stuffing the ballot boxes and a recount demanded.
It was the town’s night, too, which was an integral part of the show’s local focus. According to the online news release, video segments featured throughout the program, included several artists who “[took] over Los Angeles’ iconic venues…highlighting their ‘L.A. Story’ and telling fans what brought them there and how it helped make their careers.”
For all of the pre-show build-up, it climaxed with Usher and a few backup dancers performing Michael Jackson’s moves to a short preview of MJ’s newly released single (featuring Timberlake).
A portion of the Shrine auditorium was sectioned off making the live ceremony more fan-friendly; as they got to touch hands with some of the artists, including Williams, who showed during his Oscar performance earlier this year that he likes to get up close and personal with audiences.
Whether the ambitious undertaking to join existing platforms warrants another presentation next year, is a good question. Promos describe it as an inaugural show rather than annual event, so the answer probably depends on how well this one went off.
See also by this Contributor : 5 Reasons this Year May be One of the Best Ever for Music Performers and Fans
Taking into account common flubs and snubs, why enter into an already crowded arena simply by implementing subtle categorization inclusions along with utilization of social media?
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Paul Telegdy, president of the network’s alternative and late-night programming, said “NBC has not had a major music awards franchise before,” so we created one.”