At an awards show where there were no writers around to pen any stage banter, it’s only fitting that the night was dominated by reality TV stars. And the 2007 American Music Awards, held Nov. 18 in L.A., was a virtual reunion of American Idol alumni. Season 5 finalist Chris Daughtry took home the awards for Pop/Rock Album, Adult Contemporary Artist, and Breakthrough Artist, while season 4 winner Carrie Underwood nabbed the awards for Country Female Artist and Country Album, as well as the T-Mobile Text-In Award.
Fan voting seems to have played a key role in the Idol sweep. This was the first time in the AMAs’ 35-year history that the public, rather than a select group of music buyers, was able to weigh in. According to producers, more than 1.2 million votes were cast via ABC’s website, and the results left established stars like Justin Timberlake (also up for Pop/Rock Album) upstaged. While Rascal Flatts won Best Country Group, they lost Country Album to Carrie Underwood’s six-times-platinum Some Hearts. ”Carrie who?” joked guitarist Joe Don Rooney on the red carpet before the show. ”She won’t even talk to us anymore.”
The pressure to perform (sales-wise) was not lost on the most recent Idol winner, either. Jordin Sparks, whose self-titled debut album was released on Nov. 20, admitted she was ”nervous” about how it will fare. ”No one’s told me what to expect,” said Sparks. ”I hope it does really well, that my fans will be excited to hear it, and that people will [know] this is what Jordin Sparks is about. But I can also expect the worst, that it won’t sell at all.” (Have some faith, Jordin: First single ”Tattoo” just broke the top 20 on Billboard‘s Hot 100.)
As for Daughtry, his AMAs triumph didn’t make it any easier to get into the ultra-exclusive after-party. Then again, even Rihanna had trouble getting past the door guy. Once inside, they hobnobbed (and waited out the Nokia Theatre traffic) with host Jimmy Kimmel, comedian Sarah Silverman, Kid Rock, and Fergie, along with Mel B and some fellow Dancing With the Stars contestants. Sure enough, there’s no escaping reality TV.