The 2016 American Music Awards had a lot of showstopping moments (hello, Nicki Minaj caressing herself during her performance of “Side to Side”), but not all of them made it to television. While viewers got an eye and earful of some of the best musical artists of 2016, there were behind-the-scenes moments when they weren’t playing or singing that really stole the show.
Rain, Rain, Go Away
Los Angeles’ ubiquitous sunshine didn’t come out to play for the 2016 American Music Awards. Though the long, winding red carpet was completely tented, it didn’t stop water from seeping onto the carpet and soaking it. While stars heads remained dry, some of their feet were, well, damp. While no celebrities were harmed, at one point before the show began, one of the tents filled so much with water that it broke and caused a mini-waterfall.
The Presidential Election Was Still the Talk of the Town — and the Audience Liked It!
The election was on Nov. 8, but the Trump family seemed to be all anyone could talk about. From Gigi Hadid‘s Melania Trump impression in her opening with co-host Jay Pharoah, to Mark Cuban wanting to see who won the award he presented more than the results of the presidency, to Green Day‘s “No Trump, no KKK, no fascist USA” chant, to Idina Menzel standing with the cast of Hamilton after they addressed Mike Pence with their concerns, the audience seemed to agree with the stars’ sadness over the choices of the president-elect.
When Chrissy Teigen called the election “f—ed up” while introducing her husband, John Legend, one audience member shouted, “Make America Great Again!” which was met by “Really?” from another person in the crowd.
Drake Was the Man of the Evening
They don’t call him Champagne Papi for nothing!
Drake was a big winner at Sunday night’s AMAs, walking away with four awards, and it seemed like everyone wanted to be near the sensitive hip-hop star. Everyone from Shawn Mendes to The Chainsmokers came up to him to say hello — and most attended his after-party at Delilah in West Hollywood.
He also got the biggest laugh of the evening when his new Apple commercial featuring him lip-syncing to Taylor Swift‘s “Bad Blood” was played. Even he laughed and got the seal of approval from his pals and entourage.
- Want to win a trip to L.A.? Enter now for your chance to be at the Oscars® Red Carpet
But First, Let’s Take a Selfie
While selfies with celebs during awards show commercial breaks is nothing new, there may be a new Selfie King: Zayn Malik. Social media star Gigi Gorgeous was able to snag one of her and Lady Gaga, but the most coveted photo of the night was definitely with Zayn. The singer was asked by multiple people for photos during almost every commercial break he was in his seat, and he graciously took photos with every single person who asked. He was definitely more popular for selfies than anyone — even Drake.
The Theme Was Love, Not Bad Blood
The AMAs provided some stiff competition between artists for the coveted awards, but the stars proved that at the end of the day, love wins. The biggest instance was the support for Selena Gomez during and after her heartfelt speech, in which she talked about her battle with depression. The audience was definitely on her side, cheering her on. The support for Gomez and her return to the stage could be felt throughout the room. When she was walking off stage, she and presenter Hailee Steinfeld put their arms around each other’s waists to show solidarity.
Nina Dobrev and BFF Julianne Hough were very giggly while the nominees for Best Hip-Hop/R&B Artist were announced. After Drake won, he even shared his stage time by giving a shout out to Garcia, his former Degrassi co-star. Jenny McCarthy and husband Donnie Wahlberg snuggled like newlyweds when the cameras weren’t on them when they were presenting their award. And frequent collaborators Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj held hands as they walked off stage after their performance of their new single “Side to Side.”