At least this thing had its heart in the right place.
In an age of widespread awards-show overload, nobody looks to the annual American Music Awards — broadcast live Sunday night on ABC from the Microsoft Theater in downtown Los Angeles — for an authoritative diagnosis of what matters in pop music, never mind the larger culture that pop is supposed to reflect.
Unlike the Grammy Awards, the AMAs presents itself as a fan-voted event that recognizes the “favorite” over the “best” — which would be fine (maybe even preferable!) if those favorites didn’t seem more often than not to overlap with whoever was willing to show up and perform.
Yet as the last major awards production...