9:59 - The show is over. Go to bed!
9:57 - I didn't want you to think I wasn't providing updates any longer, but Neil is still performing, now backed by a choir onstage. The length of his performance motivated the final kid downstairs to head up.
9:48 - Tribute to Neil Diamond. He is the recipient of the Billboard Icon Award, and I'm hoping he doesn't slip on all the glitter from Ke$ha's performance. Has he had work done or does he just look really good for his age? I bet this award is almost as important to him as his induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame a couple months ago. He gives everyone a thrill by singing "Sweet Caroline", and I know he's really singing (unlike Brit Brit) because I'm having trouble singing along. Lots of shots of the "fans" surrounding them and trying to look like they're rocking, although Neil's music doesn't really lend itself to tons of crowd excitement- they're struggling.
9:45 - Random thought: I thought this was going to actually take up 3 hours of my evening, but there are SOOO many commericals that I was able to fold an entire load of laundry during the last break without hardly breaking a sweat. I'm even working in a bit of math tutoring with the boy, although I'm irritated (but not all that surprised) that he's waited until 9:30 Sunday night to tell me he has a math test tomorrow and doesn't understand the material.
9:39 - Nicki Minaj performs with a number of lookalikes wearing striped swimsuits doing lap dances for a bunch of guys sitting in chairs onstage- random. Now it's Britney's turn to sing "When the World Ends" and she's really not even trying to pretend she's actually singing it. I think Nicki is opening for Britney on an upcoming tour; hence the pairing.
9:31 - Gentlemen Hall, winner of Billboard Battle of the Bands contest, performs. Can't think of any immediate observations to share. They're still working on their stage presence, I think.
9:27 - Female Artist of the Year: Rihanna. Does it seem like the same people keep winning? And who is afraid her boobs are going to pop out of that white unbuttoned jacket?
9:17 - Montage of U2 concert performances. I have seen them in concert only once and they are amazing. You can't argue with their live performances, even if they don't have anything particularly current. Not sure about the timing of this segment. They accept an award- apparently they are still on tour right now.
9:12 - Bret Michaels introduces Ke$ha. Is anyone else terrified that he'll drop at any moment? Ke$ha has quite an animated performance. I'm having a debate with the teen girls about whether Ke$ha is similar to Lady Gaga. I don't think she especially is.
9:07 - Country Artist of the Year: Taylor Swift. Yawn. She is pretending that she used to watch the Billboard awards and can't believe she's now winning one!
9:03 - One of my favorite gals, Mary J. Blige, takes the stage. Again the kids are questioning how old she is and whether she's too old to be strutting around. This preoccupation with age is making me paranoid. Mary J. is joined by Lil Wayne whose every other word must be bleeped. Do they not practice using appropriate onstage language? Odd combo.
8:49 - Far East Movement and One Republic perform. Not hugely familiar with either and trying to ignore two bickering kids who are about to get booted out of my presence if they don't pipe down. Things liven up a bit (and bickering subsides) when Snoop comes out during "Like a G6". Teen daughter questions his pigtail braids. Boy just told me he has a math test tomorrow and can I help him study. Ugh!!!
8:39 - Top New Artist: Justin Bieber. Wow, Snoop Dogg and Far East Movement present. Based on following Snoop on Twitter, I'm guessing he was smoking a joint backstage before he came out. I have to admit, I am a Belieber since seeing "Never Say Never" (twice). Justin sounds like he's only 17 when he speaks spontaneously. If we had used "every time Justin says 'amazing'" as a drinking game we'd all be wasted right about now.
8:35 - Taio Cruz performs, but the exciting thing is that he was introduced by Apolo Anton Ohno who I think could double for Taboo from the Black Eyed Peas, no?
8:32 - Radio Artist of the Year: Rihanna. I don't even understand these categories, and these weather warning beeping over the broadcast are really getting old. Wow, her accent (Barbados) really comes out when she's speaking rather than singing!
8:22 - Host Ken Jeong is doing a banjo dual with Keith Urban. So far, not finding our host all that hilarious. Thankfully, that moves along quickly and is followed by Lady Antebellum performing a new song.
8:17 - Cee Lo Green performs a medley. I'm thrilled that he's singing his newer song, "Bright Lights, Bigger City", which is just starting to get radio play and is fantastic. He's looking as sparkly as ever, including his piano (which he is not actually playing). I'm terrified that he and his sparkly piano are now suspended upside down over the stage. It seems like a dangerous stunt, Cee Lo.
8:12 - Top Duo or Group: Black Eyed Peas. Will.i.Am is chattering about various technology, including Intel (?). Fergie sputters about nothing very substantive.
8:04 - Beyonce's mommy, Tina Knowles, presents her daughter with the Billboard Millenium award, which is apparently a very big deal. Beyonce is wearing only a couple strings across her body and looks phenomenal. Shout out to her Destiny's Child sisters. Jay-Z manages a little smile when she acknowledges him.
7:56 - Gushing tribute to Beyonce. Even Michelle Obama is in on it! And Lady Gaga- you don't get bigger than that! Kids are excited about Barbra Streisand to take her turn gushing mostly to put a face with the current song on the radio. Beyonce performs her new song, "Run the World", complete with a lot of special effects. The kids are more impressed than I am.
7:48 - Country Song of the Year: Lady Antebellum "Need You Now". I liked that song the first 6,000 times I heard it, but really...it's been overplayed. A comment from the peanute gallery about how old presenter Tim Allen is and how "old people can't be funny". Starting to take offense since I am very, very funny.
7:44 - Pitbull and Ne-Yo perform. I'm fascinated that one of the teens seems to know all the words to the song they're singing. Ne-Yo sounds okay, but Pitbull doesn't sound the greatest. I'm realizing why they voice track these things. Comment from teen: "Pitbull looks like he's about 40!" Apparently that means he's too old to be on stage.
7:37 - Hot 100 Song of the Year: Taio Cruz "Dynamite". Did not know he was from some other place? Somewhat of an accent.
7:32 - Keith Urban performs. I'm not much of a country gal, but two of my kids (confusingly) are, so one is fist pumping. I'm pretending not to notice so as not to encouraging some sort of Jersey/country habit.
7:21 - The Black Eyed Peas perform. I'm ignoring the tornado warning that keeps annoyingly interrupting the broadcast. I'm sure it's not nearby. Fergie is wearing a neon flashing dress, which my 18-year old seems interested in. Fergie sounds a bit less out of key than usual during her live performances, but it's also a pretty tech heavy song. Fun fact: Apple-d-Ap is legally blind. Who knew? He's handi-capable! I take back what I said about Fergie- pretty off tune.
7:19 - Digital Artist of the Year: Justin Bieber. He's gone from purple to gold for his big night, and his hair if fluffed, too. He thanks everyone "who has helped me get out of my hometown." Aww, how sweet!
7:10 - Best Album Artist: Taylor Swift. Oh no, it's not going to be a night of all Taylor, is it? She accepts the award from Matthew Morrison (Glee). She looks pretty, even if her dress makes her a bit monochromatic.
7:05 - Host Ken Jeong is joined by Nicki Minaj for a Broadway showtunes number. He serenades her with a Coldplay song off-key.
7:00 - I accidentally advertised to my Facebook followers that this started at 9:00 CST- now I'm not even sure how I figured that out. Anyway, the show kicks off with Rihanna doing a family friendly version of S&M (is there any other version). The show in Chicago is interrupted briefly by a weather update but that clears up in time for Britney Spears to join Rihanna for some side-by-side pole dancing. Glad I'm watching this with my 18-year old daughter. Her comment was that Britney's kids must be proud of her.
Filed under: Music News