We’ve pored over the lineup, we’ve made our predictions for the biggest categories and we’ve ogled the hottest looks in the history of the awards show. All that’s left is to tell you exactly what will go down at the 2012 American Music Awards this Sunday (November 18). The 40th iteration of the show airs live from Los Angeles at 8 p.m. ET on ABC, but we’ve got your guide to the proceedings right now.
YOUR HOST FOR THE NIGHT
Nobody! Like last year, the show will rely on a stable of stars to present awards and introduce performers.
Rihanna and Nicki Minaj are tops with four nominations each. RiRi is up for Artist Of The Year, and both are nominated for Favorite Female Artist (Pop/Rock). Justin Bieber, Drake, Maroon 5, One Direction and Usher all garnered three nods apiece. PSY scored none, which is a travesty. The AMA committee must’ve realized the error of their ways, because they gave him a concession with the New Media award.
SO WAIT, HOW ARE THE WINNERS CHOSEN IN THIS ONE?
You pick ‘em! Unfortunately, if this is news to you, welp, you’re too late. Voting has closed.
This is what the AMAs are all about. Sure, the hardware is nice, but unlike the Grammys, the Ammys (trademark pending) are basically a big pop festival that just happens to hand out some trophies to kill time between performances. We have absolutely no idea how 19 performers and 20 awards will be crammed into the three-hour broadcast, but hey, these are the American Music Awards, and America landed on the moon, dammit.
Here are all the performers:
*Justin Bieber (Now with less relationship!)
*Carly Rae Jepsen
*PSY (What do you think he’ll perform?)
*Swizz Beatz featuring Ludacris and Chris Brown (Guess that means we’ve moved on from the “should Chris Brown be performing at awards shows?” debate,)
*Also, Ryan Seacrest will introduce Stevie Wonder for a tribute to the late Dick Clark, who created the AMAs in 1973.
The roster is pretty much entirely comprised of pop behemoths. Swizz Beatz is the only one here whose live act isn’t a known quantity to the majority of the viewing public. So while we’re looking forward to the sure-to-be clinical, polished performances, we’re holding out hope that a few of these old pros will surprise us with some sort of curveball. For instance, how great would it be if Bieber decided to take a page from his Instagram book and perform shirtless to celebrate his bachelor status? Or what if The Wanted — who called Christina Aguilera a bitch earlier this year — were to join Xtina? These are the things we dream about at night.
As for the award part, it’s always a crapshoot when we peons get to vote (see also: American Idol, All-Star games, presidential elections). For Artist Of The Year, we surmised that Bieber would come out on top, even though Rihanna seems like 2012′s biggest pop force, because “the diva war has a way of fracturing the market.”
Oh, and one other thing. Like at the Grammys, the EDM category makes its debut this year. All it took to get some recognition was to have dubstep soundtrack ALL the movie trailers.
*Which Lotus song will Xtina perform?
*Will 1D once again edge out The Wanted, this time in Favorite Pop/Rock Group?
*Wait, the only other person they could think of to go up against Minaj and Drake for Favorite Rap Artist was Tyga?
*Beyonce vs. Rihanna for Favorite Female Artist (Soul/R&B): Who ya got?
*Which famous person will join PSY for the horse dance?