AMA 2009: Carrie Underwood, Lady GaGa, Kelly Clarkson Continue to Impress

To vote in the AMA Performance Poll, click here.

Since I had nothing else to do tonight, I decided I’d watch the AMA’s.  That show made me realize just how well-done the CMA’s.  Anyway, this year’s AMA’s came across as more of a concert series than an awards show, since awards were given out in the 5 second transitions between performers.  Here are the highlights (and lowlights):


  • Carrie Underwood delivered another knock-out performance of “Cowboy Casanova,” this time with even more dancers.  The vocals for this one were spot-on.  This was probably the best overall performance she’s given of this song so far.  The general mediocrity of the majority of the other performers made her look even better than she did on her own merit.
  • Kelly Clarkson gave an outstanding rendition of “Already Gone” without all of the bells and whistles of the studio version.  She reminds us all that she’s still got it, despite less-than-stellar live performances in the past few years (see, “Never Again” live on AI).
  • The one and only Lady Gaga convinced me to look at her new album, The Fame Monster (in stores tomorrow), after wowing in her performance of “Bad Romance”/”Speechless.”  I’m thinking “Bad Romance” may have been at the very least partially lip-synced, but “Speechless” was the real deal and it was great.  Not to mention Gaga is incredibly entertaining.
  • Alicia Keys shined during her two performances, both of which made up for her disappointingly bland lead-off single from her latest album.


  • The Black Eyed Peas performed an unrecognizable medley of their latest hits because apparently they’ve spent half a year at #1?  On what chart?  Regardless, that’s a huge accomplishment.  And while the whole performance came together as a bunch of noise and lights, Fergie still showed everyone that she can and does sing quite well.  If only we could hook her up with another gig singing Heart covers (see, Idol Gives Back).
  • Former Idol-contestant Chris Daughtry performed his latest single “Life After You.”  I can’t fault the vocals, but I can say it was incredibly boring and unmemorable.  It’s only been an hour since I watched and I have no idea what the song sounded like.
  • Life-long divas Mary J. Blige and Whitney Houston delivered good performances (in comparison to their “norm”) and Houston was honored with some international award accomplishment.  I’m glad she’s trying to turn things around.

The Bad

  • Janet Jackson got the first ten minutes of the show to lip-sync and dance around sporadically.  Could’ve used that ten minutes to allow the latest American Idol Kris Allen winner and the immensely talented teen star Demi Lovato to perform instead of reducing them to lowly presenters.
  • Perez Hilton was in attendance and was allowed to speak.
  • Taylor Swift once again sweeped all of her categories and gave acceptance speeches “live” from the UK.  Doubt it.  They were obviously pre-taped and Taylor acted surprised the whole time.  I don’t really think MJ deserved “Artist of the Year” more, but I certainly don’t think he deserved it less.  Gaga should have won it.
  • Green Day cracks and squeels through “21 Guns,” causing me to wonder if and why people still listen to that crap.
  • And finally, the worst part of the night was Adam Lambert’s atrocious and over-hyped show closing performance of “For Your Entertainment.”  Suggestive dance moves aside, the vocals were terrible.  He sounded like 40’s-era versions of Mortimer Mouse (Mickey’s cousin or whatever) on helium.  Not to mention he fell and then made out with some ambiguously gendered keyboarder midway through.  I just ask that I not be subjected to gay porn while I’m trying to eat a bowl of mini-wheats.  Thank you.

So what do you think of the AMA’s?  Who really impressed you?  Leave your comments below or send an e-mail to  Don’t forget to bookmark The Conservative Journal and sign up for the RSS Feed and the daily e-mail newsletter.

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Filed under Entertainment

24 responses to “AMA 2009: Carrie Underwood, Lady GaGa, Kelly Clarkson Continue to Impress

  1. James

    You forgot J-Lo lip-syncing in her grandma undies.
    The entire production of this year’s AMA was cheesy,
    the CMA’s did it right, as you’ve mentioned.

  2. UTMOM

    I loved Carrie, Kelly and Chris – they did an amazing job. I too wish we would have been given the chance to see Kris Allen and not been subjected to Adam’s atrocious performance. I am sooo glad my kids weren’t watching that!

  3. Jingles

    I thought Carrie was over the top, not so much as Lambert and Gaga and the rest. Clarkson is a wonderful singer and impressed me, tho I’ve never been a fan. I don’t believe Taylor was pre-recorded at all, that seems to come from a predisposition of dislike on the part of the blogger here. She was also bigger than Gaga this year so deserved that win, imo.

    On a side note, it looks like from Carrie’s performance that she is going to go hard for the pop audience in the coming year, her song and performance had no country to it.

    • When you look at Rihanna’s being on a torture device, Adam making out with a guy, Lady Gaga playing a burning piano, Alicia Keys playing a flying piano, and J-Lo doing whatever that was, Carrie’s “over the top performance” seemed quite reserved.

      And you’re right, I don’t like Taylor, but that has nothing to do with why I thought her acceptance speeches were pre-taped. I don’t think Taylor has any talent, much less enough talent to justify winning an award like Arist of the Year over people like Gaga. Since this is fan voted, I’m not at all surprised.

      Have you listened to her new CD? It’s certainly not hard pop and that’s a better indicator of where she’s headed than one performance on the AMA’s.


      • Thank you – there is sanity out there!!
        Taylor is a sweet role model for the teens but to have totally taken over every award out there is beyond my understanding. Give her every writing award possible but not singing!!

    • robinannhunt

      I think you are mistaken in thinking Carrie was over the top. She was singing a sassy girl anthem and played the part. Over the top at the AMA is more like Adam Lambert. Taylor has toured only part of the award year and shouldn’t have won AOTY. Go lady G. She should have won. Oh and how do you become the pop and country female artist of the year? Something is off here. The voters voted for both? You would think they would vote for either but not both.

  4. trish

    Carrie was the best!

  5. Janie

    Gosh, I loved Carrie’s performance. I love this new stuff she is doing. She was spot on. She was so beautiful and so good. The others you mention in the Great category are in the right category also. They were excellent also. Kelly is still a wonderful singer. You got it right.

  6. Terry

    Loved Carrie, Kelly, GaGa, Alicia, & Mary J.’s performances!~ Don’t like the voting because Taylor doesn’t deserve what she gets & Gloriana over Ga Ga! That’s a great big ole HA-HA!~ Nobody has a clue who Gloriana is (other than Taylor fans)…They should be embarrassed to accept an award over the likes of GaGa because proven fact that it all about the Taylor Train voting over & over and over… bunches of tweens!~

  7. Terry

    P.S. & I have never been so disappointed in a performance as I was in Adam’s… I power voted like crazy for him & was on the bandwagon but he blew his 1st major performance big time.

  8. Jingles

    I think Gaga definately should have won breakthrough artist of the year, and would have no argument if she had won Artist of the year, she had lots of radio play and good sales for her album. I don’t enjoy her myself, shes way too dramatic for me and that takes away from the music.
    My saying Carrie was over-the-top was a commentary on the fact I believed her to be a country artist, not in relation to the rest of the performers, and I just don’t see or hear the country part of it.
    As for Taylor, I’m an almost 40 year old man and work with all adults in a professional environment and my co-workers, most of whom are my age or older all listen to her and have high regard for her talent and composure as a young woman. Some of the comments here seem very juvenile to me in their attacks on this young woman, I’m glad adults are able to appreciate her more.

    And I still disaggree on her acceptance speeches, I believe she learned of her wins at the time of the announcments last night on the show and responded through live camera.

    • Carrie is a pop/country artist. Being a country artist does not limit you to singing power ballads in a prom dress. Artists have to change things up every now and then, and it’s exactly what Carrie is trying to do with her latest single.

      I find it ironic that you sing the praises of Taylor, while criticizing Carrie of not being country. Taylor remixes each of her songs to cater to pop radio. The pop remix of “Fifteen” was sent to pop radio the same time as the original version was sent to country radio. Talk about not being true to her country roots.

      And surely you aren’t trying to say that some of us are being immature by not liking Taylor? Keep in mind her new single is about being “Fifteen.”

      I’m not trying to be rude, a lot of what you’re saying just isn’t making sense.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting.


      • Rick, I have become your biggest fan – you have not commented or responded in anyway I can disagree. Thank you, thank you!!

      • Jingles

        I’ll agree with you on the fact that both Taylor and Carrie are more pop than country, which is a shame. I think both could have a huge positive influence in bringing a large audience to actual country music if they would lean that way. I feel it will take away from the quality of both that they gradually lean more pop in both albums and performances, and it saddens me to see it. I don’t think doing pop performances of one’s songs vs sending pop versions to pop radio are two very different things, its just that it seems Carrie wants to court country radio more by saying she doesn’t do pop versions, howbeit some of her songs are pop enough that they don’t need makeovers for it. Just my opinion.

        As for seeing immaturity in the attacks on Taylor, I’d just come from CMT and a couple of other country blogs that had a predominant posting of comments by alledged fans of Carrie Underwood, and those comments were extremely immature and spiteful. My fault for juxtaposing the tone of those comments to the ones I see here. I suppose it was triggered by the tone I saw in the blog itself, in suggesting by the quotation marks around the word live and insinuating that she was somehow less than genuine in her surprise and appreciation of winning. She won, she acknowledged Michael and his place in music and thanked everyone in a heartfelt manner. I will never understand why this young lady doing what she loves to do and achieving recognition and love for that garners such a negative reaction from some people.

        I find the song “Fifteen” to actually be one of her most mature songs. It’s in the same vein as Brad Paisley’s “letter to me” in that it looks back on a point in life when you’re young and think you know it all but you really didn’t and is an attempt on both artist’s parts to advise others in their youth to think bigger.

        • lam0210

          As one of the Carrie fans you speak of, I find that most people and not just the Carrie fans, found that Taylor winning was unfounded. Yes, she had a good year for sales and worked hard for what she has but that by no means translates to someone that has good vocals because she does not by any stretch. I’m not sure exactly which award(s) she should get but any one that requires vocal capabilities, Taylor should not get. Her voice is corrected on her albums using electronics. Her live performances are horrible at best. What she has done is hit big on her target market. So give her an award for whatever that is.

  9. Pingback: Adam Lambert - Season 8 - Page 150 - Fans Of Reality TV

  10. I was thrilled Keith got an award – hes worked his tail off and love his work and glad he finally got rewarded!!


    Fantastic review!!! Carrie Underwood is so captivating and very entertaining!!!

  12. John

    Rick, you are my new favorite person! I agree with everything you have said!!

  13. Loved, Loved, Loved Kelly! She just sings with all of her heart and soul. Great song but greater voice! How could you not love Lady Gaga? The name alone makes me like her. Alicia did ok. Not a big fan of Carrie ever since I saw her live and I thought my ears were going to start bleeding before the set was through! Adam was just what he was on AI, a screaming mess!

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