Caitlin Rickard: vs. then, here vs. there

This time two years ago I was actually at the Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas, but sadly, this year I was forced to watch at home.
May 28, 2014
Caitlin Rickard

This time two years ago I was actually at the Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas, but sadly, this year I was forced to watch at home. 

Warning: this column will feature some humble bragging.

The Billboard awards can be either tricky or factual, depending on how you look at it. It’s given by Billboard, a publication and music popularity chart that tracks the rises and falls of songs and artists in the music business throughout the weeks. 

I won’t obviously get into the dynamics, but let’s just say songs like “Blurred Lines” aka the most overplayed song of the year, can steal the spotlight and take home every award in it’s genre (which it did) simply by being, well, overplayed and overheard and staying on the charts.

This year, rapper Ludacris hosted the show, in some last-ditch effort to catapult a new show he’s featured on, Rising Star, into fame. I could be wrong, but with “experts” like Luda, Brad Paisley and Ke$ha (or is it just Kesha now?), I can’t foresee a season two. And talk about awkward conversations during commercial breaks, right? 

Anyway, I digress.

When I attended in 2012, the show as hosted by Julie Bowen and Ty Burrell, who you know as Claire and Phil Dunphy from Modern Family. Hilarious choice, hilarious show.

All the in between stuff, the performances and winners, is just as predictable as it is changing every year, so I can’t really complain about who I didn’t get to see the year I went and how it compares to this year’s show.

In 2012 I got the pleasure of seeing Usher and Kelly Clarkson, who were both absent this year, but I missed noted performers this year such as Iggy Azalea, Imagine Dragons and Lorde. 

See, always changing, but it’s not like we even knew who Iggy Azalea, Lorde or Imagine Dragons were two years ago, so no harm, no foul. Well, actually, I guess the foul is that I missed out on the three aforementioned artists who have, in one year, already become staples in the music business and are all-around awesome, as compared to a performance of Justin Bieber I had to sit through two years ago. I will admit I am bitter about that. To counter that, I am, however, grateful I missed Robin Thicke; he is just so gross to me, everything he does is cringe-worthy.

Also, can we talk about how much I love, love, love Iggy Azalea? Can we talk about it next week?

Back to the point, luckily, performers John Legend, Carrie Underwood and Katy Perry have stayed in the spotlight and I was also able to see them the year I went, as well as on TV this year, among at least 12-14 others from LMFAO to Chris Brown and more.

A performance I did miss, though, and can’t be made up, was Michael Jackson.

Yes, yes, you read that right; the King of Pop was back and not quite better than ever, seeing as how he was not actually there, clearly. So, in all, I’m not quite sure if I’m upset I missed this hologram performance of “Slave to the Rhythm” because it was kind of scary/creepy, or if I’m just bummed I missed history being made. I don’t know, these holograms and people coming out with tracks and albums after they’ve died, it’s so eerie and astounding, I do not get it and I won’t pretend to. 

And I’m going to boast a little here and at the same time try not to sound like I’m bashing Jennifer Lopez.

This year, JLo took home the Icon Award; you know the award for, like, the best person who’s had a great career and yada-yada. Which is great, go JLo, love you girl, you’re amazing and beautiful and deserving etc. etc. However, the icon I got to witness, sorry JLo, was a bit better. I still love Jenny from the Block forever though.

I, along with my parents who were way more excited, not only saw Stevie Wonder take home the coveted award, but also got to see him perform a five-song medley with Alicia Keys.  

What a dynamic duo, I mean, I could’ve settled for Alicia taking the Icon Award on her own, but then they go and surprise us with Stevie. Ah-mazing.

Award-wise, the shows winners were dominated by Justin Timberlake, Lorde and Imagine Dragons, go figure, quite frankly no one has had a better year than those three, all in very different genres. 

But both years, however, the show has been lacking in one thing: Beyoncé. 

Regardless, with the countless performances and laid-back air of the Vegas show, the Billboards is always a fun time no matter where you’re watching. 

I will tell you this though; it was a lot more fun watching it from the MGM Grand Arena than it was my couch. 

Dear Mom and Dad, there’s always next year?

Caitlin Rickard is a staff writer for The Democrat. Email her at or follow her on Twitter @wilsonnewswritr.


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