As the American Music Awards were gearing up for showtime, we kinda had the feeling that instead of a celebration of music, this miiiiiiiight just be a BTS concert pre-party, because the ARMYs showed up in droves to show their support of Jin, Suga, J-Hope, RM, Jimin, V, and Jungkook.
The massive chants of “BTS!” as they walked the red carpet, and even inside the Microsoft Theater concert hall in Los Angeles, couldn’t be ignored. They made their American TV debut on the AMA stage exactly four years ago, so this felt like a fitting welcome for them.
And can we just talk for a second about the entire arena in a purple color scheme? Seeing as how “borahae” (a.k.a. “I Purple You”) is the patented BTS phrase for expressing love, we feel like the AMAs definitely understood the assignment.
The ARMY wasn’t the only group of people low-key obsessed with seeing the fav septuplet.
Becky G said on the red carpet she was most excited to meet the K-Pop boyband, gushing with admiration.
Becky G’s fashion choices even seemed to be a nod to BTS, wearing their royal purple colours in her cut-out barely-there dress. She ended up winning Best Female Latin Artist. Purple is just lucky.
Of course, Chloe Bailey of Chloe x Halle had to fangirl out and get a huge selfie with the crew.
Shawn Stockman of legendary R&B boyband, Boyz II Men, brought his daughter, and they both expressed how BTS was all the rage in their household.
It wasn’t just the pre-show where celebs went purple. During the show, Giveon was literally performing “Heartbreak Anniversary” on the AMA stage for his very first time, and he walked offstage just a smidge to give V a handshake. Because of course he did.
Watch: BTS wins Artist of the Year
[video_embed id='2325294']BTS artist of the year[/video_embed]
BTS were up for several awards of the night, like Favourite Pop Duo or Group (which they won, of course), Favourite Pop Song (which they also won, ‘natch), and the coveted Artist of the Year (you guessed it, they nabbed it), and had a much-anticipated performance collab with Coldplay. Naturally, ARMYs managed to secure some BTS (that’s “Behind The Scenes” in this instance) footage of the two groups meeting up and rehearsing before the big moment. We can already sense a bromance a-brewing between RM and Chris Martin. So adorbs.
When Coldplay and BTS did take the stage, performing their duet “My Universe,” there were eight singers on stage, dominating the space and navigating the pyrotechnic explosions. Chris Martin and crew decided against performing a choreographed dance, so no one moved in unison, but the performance was still explosive!
“This is all possible thanks to the ARMY. You are our universe!” they said in the mic when accepting the award for Favourite Pop Duo or Group. “Without you guys, the ARMY, we couldn’t have done any of it. Nothing.”
And then Jin did this. Is he flirting with us? Because IT’S WORKING.
BTS performed a second time at the end of the night a rendition of “Butter” which was supposed to be a duet with Megan Thee Stallion, but she withdrew citing an “unexpected personal matter.” That didn’t stop them from raising the roof and setting it aflame.
Okay, is this the AMAs or a BTS concert? We seriously can’t tell.
Luckily the ceremony, hosted by the incomparable Cardi B, didn’t hold back from handing out awards right off the top, with Bad Bunny the first winner of the night for Favourite Latin Album. As he rose to accept, we noticed that the celebs get to sit on socially-distanced sofas placed two metres apart from each other. However, it was shoulder to shoulder in the masked-up mosh pit. The age of the virtual red carpet and zero-attendance award shows is over!
Speaking of being in-person, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house when Olivia Rodrigo, guitar in hand, performed on a stage adorned with roses to sing “Traitor” that blew the roof of the house with her powerhouse vocals, and made us all glassy-eyed.
Watch: Olivia Rodrigo wins Best New Artist
[video_embed id='2327479']Olivia Rodrigo[/video_embed]
Cardi B, who just gave birth to her second child in September, was a vivacious and passionate host, making us laugh and cheer at every opportunity. She even managed to win Favourite Hip Hop Song for “Up” in the middle of her duties.
She gave us everything she got last night. There were visual gags. Please note the luggage.
There was the on-stage violin and pasta dinner. NGL, the spaghetti looked delish.
There were costume changes. This mustard coloured flounced dress is an entire vibe.
And there was the Schiaparelli couture accompanied by the gold mask. Is this Eyes Wide Shut (Cardi’s version)?
Watch: Cardi B wins Favourite Hip Hop Song
[video_embed id='2325290']Cardi B[/video_embed]
From Cardi’s version to Taylor’s version, Taylor Swift’s “evermore” won for Favourite Pop Album, making her the most AMA awarded artist with a whopping 34 wins. A LEGEND.
There were a few eyebrow-raising moments; some better, some worse. Tyler The Creator performed for the very first time in his long career on the AMAs stage, and we were totally feeling his locked-out-in-the-cold theme.
Chloe Bailey’s performance of “Have Mercy” with a very holy-choir theme ate up the entire stage and she left no crumbs.
But fans just didn’t get the costume and theme of Bad Bunny, Tainy, and Julieta Venegas’ performance of “Lo Siento BB.” It was like The Matrix meets H.A.L. We are confused.
For the rare millennials in the audience (yes, they still like music too!), there was a Battle of Boston dance-off between '80s boyband New Edition (reuniting Bobby Brown with Bell Biv Devoe!) and '90s boyband New Kids On The Block.
NKOTB starting us off with “Right Stuff” and then New Edition coming in with “Candy Girl” was pure time travel. Their interchanging medleys including “Step By Step,” “Mr. Telephone Man,” “Hangin’ Tough,” “If It Isn’t Love,” and then the supergroups stood side-by-side to sing alternating lines of “Is This The End” and “Please Don’t Go Girl.” This is the Verzuz we didn’t know we needed.
In the end, there was a huge list of winners, like Doja Cat, Ed Sheeran, Luke Bryan, Carrie Underwood, Dan + Shay, and Megan Thee Stallion. Canada was definitely on the gold podium as well with The Weeknd winning Favourite Male R&B Artist, and Drake taking home Favourite Male Hip Hop Artist. Before we let you go, can we just take a minute to honour the reigning king of award show red carpets? This is Billy Porter’s world, we’re just living in it.