By Simon Vozick-Levinson
November 22, 2009 at 12:00 PM EST

The latest stop on Rihanna’s publicity tour just took her to the American Music Awards stage. She began her performance strapped to an uncomfortable-looking gurney in front of a pile of staticky TVs, going on to perform a medley of “Wait Your Turn” and “Hard,” both from her new album, Rated R (out tomorrow).

Was it the kind of outstanding performance that will have viewers buzzing at the water cooler tomorrow morning? Not quite, I’d say. Rihanna was in decent vocal shape, but those two songs just aren’t necessarily the strongest selections from Rated R, for one thing. Still, awards show performances are all about spectacle, and she had the eye-catching factor nailed — from the aforementioned gurney set, to the “RATED R” tattoo-like writing on her chest, to the fake-gun-toting backup dancers. Overall it felt like another well-played step in her promotional plan, if not a resounding triumph.

Or do you disagree? What did you think of Rihanna’s performance? The comments section awaits below.

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