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November 23, 2010  | by: Laura Rosenfeld

Justin Bieber Performs at American Music Awards

The American Music Awards was full of spectacle, boy bands and the Biebs. The 38th installment of the annual awards show aired last night on ABC. It was a night full of new faces, but also the return of some of our old favorites.

It was a big night for everyone’s favorite finely-coiffed pop star Justin Bieber. Bieber brought home the most trophies, winning four awards, including Favorite Breakthrough Artist, Favorite Pop/Rock Male Artist, Favorite Pop/Rock Album and Favorite Artist of the Year. The pop star is officially the youngest artist to win the night’s highest honor.

Justin Bieber accepting the award for Favorite Breakthrough Artist at the 2010 American Music Awards.

As usual, last night’s AMAs featured a slew of performances by the biggest names in music. Rihanna opened the show with the somber “Love the Way You Lie (Part Two) while sitting atop a tree-like structure. To make sure we didn’t get too depressed at the beginning of the show, Rihanna burst into the more energetic “What’s My Name” and “The Only Girl (In the World).” The AMAs also marked Diddy’s return to the stage, singing “Coming Home” with his backing band Dirty Money. Katy Perry struggled with her performance of “Firework,” sounding like she couldn’t handle her own song. But, she did make good use of pyrotechnics.

The man (boy?) of the night, Justin Bieber serenaded the audience with “Pray” while showing off his piano skills. The performance showed limits to Bieber’s vocal ability, but a choir soon took to the stage to help the performance out. Christina Aguilera performed a Burlesque-themed number, singing “Express” from her upcoming film’s soundtrack. Ke$ha performed her current single “We R Who We R” in all her auto-tune glory.

The biggest (and possibly most awkward) surprise of the night came with the show’s closing performance. Like one huge boy band, New Kids on the Block and the Backstreet Boys teamed up for a mash-up of some of their greatest hits. The groups, which will be touring together this summer, sang “Hangin’ Tough,” “Everybody,” “I Want it That Way,” “Step By Step,” “The Right Stuff,” and “Larger Than Life,” complete with their exaggerated hand gestures and choreographed dance steps we have come to know and love.

The AMAs also included performances by Enrique Iglesias, Miley Cyrus, Kid Rock, Black Eyed Peas, Bon Jovi, P!nk, Ne-Yo, Taylor Swift, Usher, Train and Santana.

Despite all this, however, last night’s telecast was the lowest-rated in the awards show’s history. According to EW.com, the number of viewers for the AMAs dropped 22 percent from last year, averaging 11.6 million viewers for the night.

If you watched the AMAs last night, what did you think of the show?

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